Destruction bassist and singer Schmier is known for being very open-minded when it comes to thrash metal.
In a new interview with Rauta, Schmier talked about thrash metal, touching on Metallica and the subject of US vs. German thrash.
When asked why he thinks American thrash bands like Metallica and Slayer achieved greater success than German bands such as Destruction and Kreator, the musician replied:
“You have to understand the Americans are sellers – they know how to sell themselves when it comes to image; when it comes to catchy songs. I mean, look at Metallica – they started to write catchy songs, and then they became famous… They still fill stadiums.
“And Slayer, of course, they had their ‘cult’ status at one point, and then they were up on this [level] that is kind of untouchable, basically. I think the American bands – if you look at the age, they are all a little older than us.
“We were the little kids when the American bands were, like, two years older than us, three years older. So, they were all technically also the better players at that time, because we were just 17 and they were already 21. So, I think that is one of the reasons why American metal was more famous.
“The big wave came from America; the big labels were from America. The productions were flawless at the time. The first Metallica albums still sound great. Even the guy was a Danish guy who produced them [Flemming Rasmussen].
“They did a lot of things right. And I think that made the American bands, of course, a little bit ahead of the time, ahead of the schedule. And that’s why they’re so legendary nowadays.”
When asked about Destruction making relevant music in the thrash scene, Schmier said:
“I was an angry young man; now I’m an angry old man. Not much has changed in that [respect]. Look at Metallica, as an example, and I don’t wanna piss off any Metallica fans, but look at the fact that once you’re a billionaire, what should you be pissed off about? That your butler burned your egg, maybe.
So, I think to not lose the street credibility, you can’t be, like, super-rich. In general, in heavy metal – I think there’s a few exceptions – but if bands get too big, too famous, it usually waters down the sound.
“So heavy metal has to do something with anger – and thrash metal especially. When you keep yourself angry, you can write that kind of music. And when you go shopping with Gucci bags all the time, I don’t think the anger is still there.”