KELLY SHAEFER (Atheist) – I smoke, drink and talk way to much so.

KELLY SHAEFER (Atheist) – I smoke, drink and talk way to much so.

En av extreme metallens vokalister som har satt spor etter seg, er Kelly Shaefer fra Atheist. Kelly har holdt på i gamet siden 1984 og innrømmer her at hans måte å synge på har skadet stemmen hans. Det kommer også fram under dette intervjuet hvorfor Cynic vokalist Paul Masvidal forandret sin vokal på den glimrende skiva "Focus".




ET – When did you start doing extreme vocals (What year and at what age)?
KELLY – In 1984, I was 16 years old.

ET – What made you start to do extreme vocals?
KELLY – It blended well with the abrasive music we were creating, and I also enjoyed the sounds of Hetfield, Tom Araya, and others of the time, so it was natural for me to gravitate towards that style.

ET – Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using?
KELLY – It's all very throaty for my style in Atheist, so it's best for me to not try to bring it from anywhere but my throat, while singing in Neurotica it's a different story, I have to come from the gut for that style.

ET – Has your technique changed during your career?
KELLY – The most important thing is to pace yourself and make sure you have enough air to complete your phrasing etc, so I have become better at that over the years.

ET – Have you ever hurt yourself by using a "wrong technique"?
KELLY – Probably, I would imagine so, but it never stopped me from completing the shows. I just suffered the next day trying to talk, which is what really messes my voice up. I could sing all day but talking all day is not good, and that's why my voice was so strange on the Wacken show in 2006, I was doing interviews for hours just before playing that afternoon, and well…my voice suffered.

ET – Is there something you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?
KELLY – I am a horrible example of vocal etiquette; I smoke, drink, and talk way to much so. My best friend is something called Throat Coat, I found out about it on the Ozzfest tour in 2002, Ozzy was drinking it on stage and I was like what is that?? So I got some, and it's amazing!

ET – Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals?
KELLY – No question! Paul Masvidal from Cynic was told that if he did not stop singing the way he did on the old Cynic demos, that he would lose his speaking voice all together. I think that's what led to him using the synth voice on Focus.

ET – What is most important for you – to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms, or to have a clear diction/pronunciation?
KELLY – For me it's all about pronunciation, and articulation. Although one of my favourite Death metal vocalists is Jon Tardy, and on the early shit he had hardly any lyrics, just sounds.

ET – Do you think that extreme vocals can be made into a science, like "this is how it works for everyone, to make this sound you have to do this etc"? Or is it more intuitive and individual how to do it?
KELLY – Speaking for me, I can't imagine that would be the same for everyone, you really need to be able to have the spirit of that sort of vocal in your soul to begin with, in other words. I think we are all a bit angrier than most, some people are good speakers/screamers. Al Pacino would be a great metal vocalist I think, whereas Pee Wee Herman would not.

ET – Do you have any advice to people who wants to start doing extreme vocals?
KELLY – Listen to your body, if your not careful you will lose your speaking voice forever, your voice will dictate if you can do it or not, especially for great lengths of time. If you notice that you cannot speak at all the next day…then you might not be able to pull off that kind of vocal.



ET – Mention three extreme vocalists whose style you admire, and explain your choice. What specifically do you like about the styles of those three? Also mention three vocalists (not necessarily extreme vocalists) which you have been influence by, and explain in which way you have been influenced by each of them.
KELLY – Jon Tardy is to me the perfect extreme metal sounding vocalist, he is ferocious! I always admired Tom Araya, but not after Reign in Blood, that was the last record where he was really juiced up as a vocalist. I love the way he pronunciates and the torture in his voice on that record and earlier ones. And Phil Anselmo is also amazingly ferocious and angry. I love that, he just sounds like he will kick the living shit outta you if you don't listen properly. You should be a bit intimidated by a good extreme vocalist I think. I was, as most were influenced by Tom from Slayer, Mille from Kreator and Schmier from Destruction. I obviously prefer the witchy type vocals rather than the cookie monster type. And I also think what your saying is just as important as the way an extreme metal vocalist sounds.

ET – Who do you want to challenge in this series? (Who should be the next extreme vocalist to answer these questions?) Give a brief explanation for your choice.
KELLY – Randy Blythe from Lamb of God, he is one of the best new extreme vocalists, great deep range and killer blood curdling screaming, just the way I like it!