Master on a warpath again

intie with Paul done by Rick, August 2007.

1st off Paul, Thank You for taking the time out to talk to me. Much Appreciated! I stood less than 15 feet from you 3 years ago and never said a word, so now we are going to get our initials out of the way for the 1st time.
It's no problem as this is my life under scrutiny as always, and I enjoy these interviews, after all, this is my job. I regularly seek out interviews, because I want people too know what the band and what the music is about. Half the battle is tying too get my point of view across to the world. It may not be the correct view of the world for some, but it's called freedom of speech and I believe this is an important freedom, by all means. As for speaking, I have and always will be very approachable, so you should have come up and spoken to me. Unlike many in this business, I am not a rock-star.

Alright Paul, I have read interview after interview with you as far back as I can remember, they all start the same way. So here is question 1. You have been in the thick of Metal since 1980, been in several bands, WARCRY, MASTER, ABOMINATION, FUNERAL BITCH, DEATHSTRIKE, SPECKMANN PROJECT ,SOLUTIONS, MARTYR ,KRABATHOR. We owe you all, what I want to know is why?? Why Metal? What attracted you to this brutal form of art that you have invested your entire life into Mastering (no pun intended)?
Well, ever since my friends from the neighborhood turned me on to Metal, my life was changed. My old comrade Mike Baker took to a friend called Dan Neitzel's house to hang out. After meeting Dan, I began to go to his house and work out on the weight machines at his house and listen to bands like Rainbow, Judas Priest and Montrose. I was searching through my older brother John's collection and discovered a record called Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and this record really changed my view on life. I would go to high school that year in 1977, and walk the halls of school singing. I had always like to sing the latest catchy Metal that I discovered. Actually I was currently listening to a progressive band called, Yes. I was a freshman in school, and as I walked the halls, singing the song, ’All Good People,’ a guitarist called, Ronald Cooke, heard me and said I should audition for his band called White Cross, obviously named after speed. I went and auditioned with songs from Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, and Ted Nugent. The rest as they say became history. I saw a band the same year from school called Deuce, named after the band Kiss. This was a want to be Led Zeppelin type group with a bunch of longhaired freaks, and I was impressed with the bass player. I thought this would be a good instrument for me to learn. All my friends including the members of the band, said I wasn't cut out for it, and that I would never learn. I practiced throughout my tenure with White Cross, and after the band disbanded a few years later, I really began to take the instrument seriously. I began to copy Sabbath, and Priest. I was trying to figure out the bridge on the song Killers from Maiden, and so I asked a local bass teacher, if he could figure it out and teach it too me. I took two lessons from Jeff Kapcek, and he couldn't figure out the bridge. I later realized that he was just too busy and more interested in taking my money. I went home after the second lesson and figured the bridge out myself, and this was the end of my short-lived bass lessons. I never took a lesson with anyone again. I realized that with practice, I could teach myself, and I did this.
I found that social acceptance was probably a big part of it, as people began to look at me in a different way. I have forged many friendships throughout my career, and these are lasting friendships. For example, I received a mail from Phil Fasciana, saying they were playing the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic and would I like to come and visit with the boys. I took a 4 and a half hour train ride, but it was worth it to see my extended family. My extended family is huge.
I truly believe that the Metal family of the world is huge and there is no difference in race, color, or creed. It doesn't matter if you're in Portugal, Poland, or Japan, the sense of comradeship is still there. I think the politicians of the world could learn a thing or two from the Metal community.

Now out of curiosity, what made you abandon the ’Second City’ for one of the most beautiful countries I have ever laid my eyes on? Among other things I did there...but that's another story.
The politics of America are complete crap. The USA is ruled by geriatric patients, which are just too old to dictate the way people should live. This is total hypocrisy living under governmental rules. Big brother is always looking over your shoulder in America. I have had many bad personal experiences dealing with the police and their strict sense of rules. I have found more freedom living in the Czech Republic. Of course politicians in Europe are corrupt as well, so it's not just an American problem. I think that if the youth of today don't make a stand against these political tyrants, then freedom will be most certainly lost in the near future.

The new opus ’Slaves To Society’ Fucking Rules!! Musically its the fullest MASTER album I have heard. Its like a excellent meal--has enough of everything. Not only that my kids who range in age from 11 to 4 gave it the horns up as well. What I have got from MASTER is that it's a vehicle to vent your anger and frustration at all the stupid shit that goes on in our world. For those who don't read the lyrics, what pissed you off enough to write these songs?
Society is always my biggest influence and my food for thought. Such chaos just continues year after year. Of course my life has a big influence on my writing as well. Bush is a big influence on Slaves To Society. I cannot believe that after the fiasco in Vietnam that the US hasn't learned anything from its mistakes since. You certainly cannot force democracy on parts of the world that are not interested in the American ideology. I realize as everyone does, that America is the strongest superpower on the planet, but forcing its values on the rest of the world is like being the big bully. It never works. The bullies of the world are always beat down in the end. People need to be able to express their own personal beliefs whether we agree with them or not. We are neither judge nor jury.
As for the lyrics, these are simply my beliefs on the various subjects, and I take the lyrics very seriously. It's rather easy just too write about fucking your mother and sticking a cross up Jesus ass, but I am not really interested in this typical Death Metal bullshit. There is plenty of shit going on in the real world today to write about.

As far as members, and I feel compelled to ask since I am a drummer, Zdenek Pradlovsky, where did you find that guy? He is a bad ass! Did you play with him on another project that we may or may not have heard of?
Actually I had a lineup from the area of where I live and after the 2003 European tour with Master and Krabathor co-headlining, things fell apart. We began rehearsals for a new CD called The Spirit Of The West, and the drummer Michel wasn't making rehearsals on time. After this aggravation continued, I decided to fire the entire band and look for new members. I called the studio Shaark in Bzenec, Czech Republic, and they suggested Zdenek Pradlovsky on drums and Alex Nejezchleba on guitars. I originally wanted Petr Christopher from Krabathor to continue on guitars, but by this time he was tired of the scene and all the politics of the business side of Metal, so we began with this new lineup, and it was quite difficult at first, because the guys spoke zero English. So it really shows that you can let the music do the talking. We managed to record The Spirit Of The West Together 1n 2004, followed by Four More Years Of Terror released in 2005 and of course the latest epic called Slaves To Society this year.
We never worked together before, but he has recorded many CDs with Nejezchleba in the past with the band Shaark as well as others.

When writing material, do you write stuff and say, ’That?s MASTER’, or ’That sounds like KRABATHOR’ or do you write stuff specifically for groups? Reason I ask is because every project you have done has its own style, sound and identity. An example I would use is DEATHSTIKE always sounded very punkish to me, versus MASTER which is heavier, faster, sounds more like a well coordinated riot.
Of course I just write songs, and hope for the best. I don't really write a song specifically for one group in mind. The songs are written at different times of my life, and different things are happening in the world as well, and I just write often. As for Deathstrike, I was listening to GBH, The Exploited, and Minor Threat during this period. I was also visiting many other Punk shows in the Chicagoland area.

With years invested in writing material, is it as hard for you to write music as it was when you started out or has it gotten easier?
Actually these days it's much easier than in the beginning. I write new riffs very often while at home, and then when it's time for new CD, we go through about one hundred or so riffs, and choose the best. I normally write lyrics after the songs are arranged in the kitchen at home.

How about lyrically, Even though judging from your lyrics you seem to have plenty of inspiration? But even the best get writers block from time to time.
I watch CNN for inspiration, and I also read many books every year for inspiration.

Rumor or Fact (or somewhere in between). I heard that drummer Paul Bostaph attributes his previous bands name from a MASTER song, ’Forbidden Evil’? Anyone else say anything similar?
True, but the song was from an earlier band called Warcry. The song written by guitarist Steve Ahlers, was called Forbidden Evil. The band Forbidden got the name and the title of their first album from the Ahlers song.

I have to ask this because it looked like that you in the TESTAMENT beanie on their Live in London DVD?
Of course it's me. I was the merchandiser for the support acts on the tour. I worked for Susperia, Divine Empire and Demolition on this tour. I work still for a company called Kraft Evention. When I am not on tour with Master, I support the underground working as a merchandiser, tour manager, or I have worked even as a roadie for the band Dissection before its demise and the untimely death of the singer. This really keeps me in touch with the bands as well as the fans. I have had the opportunity to work for Vital Remains, Jungle Rot, Impaled Nazarene, Macabre, Incantation and many others over the last five years.

Ok back to business...Touring? I know what most of us love since I have toured before. What's the 1 thing you truly hate about touring? Besides a Texas peckerwood on the other side of a keyboard asking you retarded questions?
The food, and the crowded buses are usually the most difficult part, and the long drives at times.
But, traveling with the circus is the best of course. There is nothing like traveling with 22 idiots on a night-liner looking for the next thrill at the next concert.

Still get those pre-show jitters???
Not really, the bigger the crowd, the better.

Going back to ’Slaves’, (reading that twice sounds kinda ackward)...You are obviously proud of what you have done. Is there any feeling of ’That could have been done just a little bit better’.? What is the song off of ’Slaves’ you look forward to playing, the one that puts that ’FUCK YEAH’ mean ass mug on your face?
Every CD has its good and bad points, but I have found recently that it's a waste of time too worry about this. In the studio, you always try to do the best, and sometimes it's great and others, it sucks, but life goes on. The best tracks are The Final Skull, Slaves To Society, Anarchy Nearly Lost from my point of view.

Speaking of have dates up on MASTER's myspace page. Any places in particular that you are really looking forward to playing. I always looked forward to playing all of em, but there are those places where you just cant wait to get there and watch the fans go ape shit and tear the place apart. Holland Perhaps???(I am smiling really evil right now and I think you know why)
Every place has its good and bad points. I really just enjoy touring in every place. I suppose Holland is a great place, but so it's Greece for example. South and Central America are killer, as well as Mexico, but I haven't been there in many years.

And of course touring with friends LIVIDITY, I beg you don't let him near Twan, I think there is still some not too sureness from there interview (ask Dave about that)...anyway also touring with Imperious Rex, and do you feel about the tour line up? Any Predictions? Do you handle booking for MASTER?
Master and Lividity toured in 2003. Things were great on the tour except things were a bit difficult during the week as the USA just went to war the week we were touring, so many people were watching the television as we were also, to see what would happen. We got along well Dave and I, so things will be the same again. As for Imperious Rex, I look forward to seeing them for the first time. I think this is a good lineup for a tour as the bands are all quite different from each other, and this keeps things from being boring. Believe me I go on many tours where you really cannot tell a one band from another, and it's rather dull to say the least.

No, I usually have agents that book the tours. I normally book festivals as well as Twilight Vertrieb does their best to book a few festivals every summer as well.

The U.S. Tour...Looking forward to it? Have you booked a joint in Amarillo yet? Amarillo is an hours drive from me and I just need to know where to show up. This will make MASTER show #2 that I will experience, and I cant fucking wait.
I am sorry too say that I had to cancel the tour, as the promoter was apparently a crook according to my sources in the USA as well as Europe. At this time in my life I cannot take these silly risks with crooks. It's rather hard for me to find a professional agent in America that is interested in underground metal like Master. I hope to return to play the USA again someday.

You are the reason behind MASTER's longevity. It's your baby, no question about that. Through all the bullshit you have been through in your musical carrier, what fire inside you made you stick it out..WOW 27 years?
My true belief in the underground, and the belief in myself, as well as music in general give me the strength to continue. Master has been at it since the inception of the genre way back in 1984. After all these years I am too old to do anything else. I still get a charge when I take the stage and people yell out for particular songs from twenty years ago. I take pleasure in playing the songs year after year.

Down the road in your life...what do you really look forward to?
Harvesting the grapes, and mowing the lawn. Someday I will retire and just live off the land like my father in-law does now, but this is still years away. After seeing Dio and Lemmy continue, there's still hope for Master, and I for many years too come. I have released 23 CDS so far and that's definitely something to be proud about.

Pictures speak a thousand words, I was looking at some of the pics on the MASTER website, The Mushroom Picture? Culinary, or otherwise?
Of course I use these mushrooms for food. Those days are gone and the drug use as well. In the early days of Master I wrote some really killer songs, stoned on pot, but at the age of 25, paranoia started to creep in, so I stopped smoking. I have to laugh, because the press all over the world made such a big stink about the quote I said in a German interview. Drugs are great was the quote. I also explained that in the early days all the guys in my bands experimented with the likes of PCP, cocaine, hash, and hallucinogenics regularly. These were great experiences. The trick is not to get addicted to the pistol.
Many bands wrote great songs on drugs, so they are evil? I don't think so.

What new shreds of Brutality can we look forward to from Master? Any ideas or songs for a new record stewing yet? Any newer Projects?
I have written many new riffs for the next CD, but at the moment I am only concerned with more shows and tours. The new CD will be recorded in the fall of next year.

Speaking of you write songs for bands other than your own? Think you might get into the production game (if you havent already)?
I lend myself to many bands in Czech and write lyrics for them as well as correct English mistakes. I produced the second Abomination album back in the day. So maybe someday I will take up the helm again.

There are alot of ’SUPERGROUPS’ sprouting now. If you had the chance to put together your own group...who would you enlist to start that war?
Dave Suzuki on drums, and Martin from Pungent Stench on guitar.

Lets put it into perspective Paul, 27 years in the game, 28 official releases through out the years....opportunities gained, taken, and missed, enough stories to boggel anyones mind....ONE WORD.

Thank You again for the chance to get to talk to you and get a little insight into Paul, not necessarily Paul from Master. So in the immortal words of Twan... LAST RITES?????
If you are into one of the originators of the genre, then check out Slaves To Society as well as the last two previous releases, and I am certain you will not be disappointed. For more information on Master or any other project from me, you can go to the official web sight

Looking forward to seeing you in the states brother, take care and see you when you get in.
Interviewer: Rick
Aug 26, 2007
Next interview: Master on the comeback

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