Paul Speckmann Speaks with Retch about OEF Asia 2015
Thom: As a huge fan of Master, I'm very pleased to see you on this year's Obscene Extreme Japan tour bill. Knowing that the festival is based in the Czech Republic, I anticipated someday that Master would make it over to Japan. Can you tell us how Master's involvement with the tour came to be and your relationship with the promoter?
Paul: I have known Curby for many years and have always respected his involvement in the the Czech scene of course. The guy lives and breathes music period. Every few years he gives us the chance to play on Obscene Extreme here in Czech and we always have a blast with the crazy intense crowds. We have been trying to get Master to Japan for my whole 30 year career. Kevin Sharp gave me a contact some years ago, but no one ever responded, so I was pleasantly surprised when Curby contacted me.
Thom: Most of the bands on the OEF bill are of the Grindcore or Punk ilk. Master stands out as a band more tied to it's metal roots being hailed always as an early influential Death Metal band. However, one can't mistake Master's approach as also having a strong punk attitude. I mean, just listen to any given song's lyrics! We are not talking about Satan and all that shit- you always bring an openly brutal critique about politics and society. In your view, where does Master fit into this year's OE fest?
Paul: As always fans have an open mind when it comes to extreme metal so we will fit in just fine. Deathstrike was a major influence on extreme music without a doubt. We began with the DIY attitude and it took us across the globe time and time again, so we are looking forward to spreading our message of individuality to the Japanese.
Thom: When you listen to Japanese bands, are we talking mostly Metal or Punk? What are some of the Japanese bands you're looking forward to playing with?
Paul: I may as well be honest as I have always found this to be the best policy. I am listening to mostly old Metal as I am old! I look forward to playing with all the energetic maniacs as I know this is where real Grindcore exists.
Thom: In the early days of Master, after moving to the Czech Republic, you soon thereafter had a tour in Japan. Can you describe that experience to and talk about some of the Japanese bands you played with?
Paul: Actually it was in 2000 with the band Krabathor! We were there for a week or so staying with the American GI, Daniel at his flat. The shows were cool of course but really the only band that comes to mind is Defiled from this visit. I ran into them also in the USA once. Defiled was a killer band.
31.03.2000 JAPAN-Mito city
02.04.2000 JAPAN-Kofu city
Thom: Many foreign bands find it difficult to set up a tour in Japan or Asia generally because of the cost involved. In the years since that tour, has Master been able to come back and tour Japan or Asia?
Paul: It’s never been about the cost, no one was interested I guess.
Thom: Master tours all over the world and sometimes faces problems resulting from visa restrictions. A recent case that comes to mind is this year's Maryland Deathfest where you toured with American musicians backing the band. Can fans expect this tour to be with the European group members?
Paul: The European band is coming. I always tour the USA with American memebers, this will never change!
Thom: Master has announced special sets for each of the dates at OEF 2015- a set of newer material, a set of the first 2 Master albums, and a special Death Strike set. I'm excited to have the chance to hear some of the old stuff live. How is it mixing in some older material mid-tour? Did you have to rehearse a lot, or do the songs come back to you easily?
Paul: We’ve been playing shows with different set for years so the Deathstrike set comes naturally, just a few practices to touch things up and we will be ready my friend!
Thom: The band has a brief break in the tour between European dates and the dates in Tokyo. Are you able to travel a bit in Japan and do some exploring? What are some spots you are looking forward to visiting?
Paul: We never have time for travel unfortunately we arrive on the 20th and return on the 26th so hopefully we will have some time, but I really doubt we will do much. Maybe Curby has something planned but he will also be busy with the festival!
Thom: After Japan, it's on to South America for Master. The band has been touring pretty hard in support of the latest and excellent album "The Witchhunt". After the tour wraps up in December, are there plans to work on a follow up album? Has any material been written, and what is the writing process in general for Master these days?
Paul: The new Master album is complete. Epiphany of Hate will be released January 29th. FDA has received it, now we wait for the production to proceed.