GuitarWorld.com: Your new album, “Spiritual Genocide”, came out in North America in February, but it’s been out in Europe since November 2012. What’s the reason for the gap?
Schmier: If I was the label, I would have released it at the same time, but it’s not up to us. I think the reason was, December is not a month for heavy metal releases in America, so the label said there was no chance of releasing the album that month. So we pushed it to January. But then we have to wait until Nuclear Blast found a new distribution company in America. That’s why there’s been a three-month delay now in America as compared to Europe, which is kind of bad, but there’s nothing we can do. All we could do is provide some extra bonus tracks. We have four additional songs for America only.
GuitarWorld.com: I was going to ask you about the bonus tracks. It’s four re-recorded songs from the “Metal Discharge” album, right? Why did you pick songs from that particular album?
Schmier: They’re not even re-recorded, but remixed versions, actually. “Metal Discharge” is a cool album, but it doesn’t have the best sound. We tried to make it like a “back-to-the-roots”-sounding album, but it didn’t really work out that well. The drum sound is very bad on that record. So it was kind of a good thing for us to show the world that “Metal Discharge” has cool songs if they have the right sound, so that’s why we took some songs from that album. They were remixed, and as you can tell, it worked out really fine if you compare them to the original ones. It sounds just so much better.
GuitarWorld.com: Would you say the album is more atmospheric and darker than some of the recent albums?
Schmier: Possibly. It’s kind of difficult for me to say, to criticize my own work. I think the new album is fast and groovy, but it also offers a variety. If you go on playing just thrash, of course you’re limiting yourself in your thrash costume. None of the songs on this new record have the same tempo. All of them have a different root and speed, so the variety on the album also makes it a little bit darker. It’s not a slow album, it’s just that there’s variety. Some of the albums we did in the mid-2000s were slow. This one has some ultra-fast parts too.
GuitarWorld.com: Was it your aim to do an album with more variety, something more than just thrash, or did it just come out naturally when you started writing?
Schmier: When you start writing, of course, you are aware of the style and aware of where you want to take it. As a musician, you always want to create something new, you know. Otherwise you’ll be criticized for repeating yourself. With this new album, we are not just copying our own work from the past or from other thrash bands. There are a lot of new ideas, and I’m proud that we’re still able to come up with that even after all these years. It’s easy to write a brutal album, but it’s very difficult to write a brutal album that has variety and style on its songs.
Read the entire interview from GuitarWorld.com.