PAUL SPECKMANN (Master) – Scream as hard as I can

PAUL SPECKMANN (Master) – Scream as hard as I can

Paul Speckmann er en levende legende i death metal scenen. Han startet sitt første band Warcry så langt tilbake som i 1982, men han er mest kjent som vokalist og bassist i Master, et band han startet i 1983. Paul har vært med i en hel haug med band der kanskje Abomination, Death Strike, Martyr og Krabathor er de mest kjente. Som vokalist har Paul opplevd at det lønner seg å varme opp og å holde stemmen sin ved like. Han har flere ganger mistet stemmen, og i følge ham selv er det mangelen på trening som er årsaken de aller fleste gangene. Master er for tiden aktuelle med albumet "The Human Machine" og da er tiden inne for Paul Speckmanns bidrag til The Deepthroat Series.


When did you start doing extreme vocals (What year and at what age)?

1984 age 21.

What made you start to do extreme vocals?

I couldn't think of anyone who could do this better than me. I put together a band called Deathstrike with Chris Mittelbrun and decided to try and sing the songs we wrote ourselves. It was a struggle at first, but in the end I think we created a lasting impression on the world with the "Fuckin Death" demo in the spring of 1985. Terry Butler told me that Death covered the song I wrote called The Truth on the first US tour.

Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using?

No, I just scream as hard as I can. I am not a professionally trained musician.

Has your technique changed during your career?

Not really.

Have you ever hurt yourself by using a "wrong technique"?

Yes, many times; by not practicing enough on the vocals before touring or recording. Practice indeed is very important with this style of singing if you wanna call it that. On the first European Tour with Master, Pungent Stench and Abomination, I sang in two bands for 26 dates. But I was terrified when I woke up after the very first show in the morning and my voice was gone. It came back by show time about 90 percent, but this was an eye opener for me. And I have been practicing ever since.


Is there something you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?

Yes drink Jack Daniels and smoke a lot of Marlboros.

Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals?

Yes, of course.

What is most important for you – to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms, or to have a clear diction/pronunciation?

All of the above are important for sure. A song need to be aggressive, angry and also have a decent melody to be cool in my eyes. I didn't always believe this but I am an old man now and ideas change after maturity.

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?

It's an individual thing. I realize that there are many imitators out there these days, but there is only one John Tardy for example and one Paul Speckmann, Chris Barnes etc.

Do you have any advice to people who wants to start doing extreme vocals?

Yes, practice as much as possible before every performance so your voice will handle this punishment and you will give the audience a full throttling.


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.

John Tardy
Chris Barnes
Bo Summer
All three have unique styles and interpretations of the brutal vocal style.
Phil Lynott
Lemmy just has a growl like no other and gives the performance of a lifetime every time in my opinion.
Cronos was and is still a great growler and showman.
Phil just had a way with words when he was alive. The harmonies to his song always struck me as unusual.
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.

Chuck Schuldiner, because I think maybe he'll reach up from the grave one day and answer these questions for you.