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James Murphy Death Tribute

James Murphy Death Tribute
December 03, 2004, 06:07:51 AM

Hi All,

I've just returned home to Florida from a 6 week stay in Los Angeles where I got tons of work done for the Death Tribute CD, Within The Mind, which I have been working on together with Deron Miller of cKy for a while now.

My first week was at Deron's home where he recorded rhythm guitars for several of the album's tracks. I was expecting that he would do well but he blew my expectations out the door... he played the songs amazingly and knew them right off the top of his head.. and very few punches were necessary (a rare feat, trust me)... he knew the songs THAT well!

In week two I stayed at the home of one-time Death guitarist Albert Gonzales. Albert, as those who know their Death history very well will remember, was the guitarist who took my place for the second US tour in support of Spiritual
Healing. I had met Albert while I was still in Death when we played a festival that his then band, Evil Dead, also played. Albert is a killer jazz-influenced
player who's solo style obviously impressed Chuck quite a bit back in 1990 and which is even more developed now and his contribution to the Within The Mind tribute is VERY cool and brings his part in the legacy of Death to full circle.

During week three I made a quick trip up to Seattle where I recorded Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis, Himsa guitarist Matt Wicklund, and ex-Forbidden,
ex-Nevermore guitarist Tim Calvert. Jeff laid down 2 incredible solos, but that will be no surprise to those who have heard him and followed his career in
Nevermore. Matt and Tim recorded a great solo each. it was cool to see from Matt's
contribution yet another example that tasteful playing is alive and well in newer metal bands and it was an equally great pleasure to see Tim step back in from musical retirement (he has a successful aviation career) and show that he
still has it.

Jeff Loomis and myself

For week four I was back at Albert Gonzales' home where Rise Vocalist/Guitarist Istvan Lendvay also resides. Those unfamiliar with Rise may know Istvan
from his touring stints as fill-in guitarist and bassist, respectively, for Behemoth and Vital Remains. Istvan lent his vocals to one track with great results.
I also spent a few days resting and recuperating from the heavy schedule during this week.

Week 5 brought me to the home of Brujeria, Asesino, ex-Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares where drummer Nicholas Barker (Brujeria, Old Man's Child, Lock-up, ex-Dimmu Borgir, ex- Cradle Of Filth)  was also staying during a trip to the US to rehearse with Dino for some Brujeria shows and to write some material for their as yet unnamed new project. Nick laid down the foundation for 2 more
songs for the tribute and Dino contributed his signature rhythm guitars to one of those. once again, I am very happy and I can't wait for everyone to hear them on the CD. off the subject of the death tribute for a moment.....during this week Dino and Nick asked me to record and mix 2 of their new songs for their new band.. I did and I can tell you that it's awesome material and these two guys will be roaring back very soon with a full CD of new material with their new band and it's awesome, brutal, fast, technical, VERY heavy and catchy.

Dino Cazares, Deron Miller, me, Nicholas Barker

Week 6: amidst preparations to fly home and wrapping up the recordings with Dino and Nick I also managed in the final week to meet back up with Deron Miller who laid down an excellent vocal track and I also brought another bassist on
board who happens to be an old friend of mine and a long time Death and death metal fan - Tony Campos of Static X . I've know Tony since about 1996 and, despite that his primary band is not known for playing death metal, his sincerity as fan of Chuck's music and death metal in general is the same now as it was when I first met him some 8 years or so ago.

I'm back in Florida now and planning the next trip out.. this time the east and northeast US and a short trip into Canada... time to buy new thermals!   as always I welcome your comments.... just don't bother attacking the credibility or musicianship of any of the guests.  each were held to high standards and 2 major criteria... #1: each must have been a fan of Death and Chuck for years
#2: musicianship, musicianship, musicianship - each guest must be able to play Chuck's music... and well.

Thanks for following the progress and for your patience... it's going to be
worth the wait!

~James Murphy

(Chuck's corpse continues to draw maggots, but many of those contributing are talented, although I question the sanity of anyone who thinks Death is that difficult to play.)