We have a new album to promote Schmier told me joyfully. We had something to do during the coronavirus quarantine, which was great! That’s a big plus!
I found the time perfect for Destruction to come out with this album. People are starving for entertainment and this was a great opportunity.
Yeah, said Schmier, we only did this album because of the coronavirus, since everything else was canceled and it was the best decision we could make. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be so positive at the moment, it helped us go through this horrible situation.
We’ve had a great response from the crowd, people liked the idea, and we’ve got very positive reviews!
As an artist I can imagine that this must be the best feeling in the world, I said.
Yes! He exclaimed. Especially at that moment, we didn’t have much to be positive about, lots of cancelations, and bad prognosis for the future. It was a tough time and it since to have that positivity from the album.
And then we booked the show in Switzerland, they are a couple of weeks ahead of everybody else so it is very interesting to see how these things will go.
Little victory by little victory that’s how we take it at the moment.
During the quarantine we realized how important it is to have music and books and movies, to get us through the crisis.
Did your life change drastically since the coronavirus? I asked.
No, not so much, Schmier said. What I missed the most was my Greek restaurant he said laughing. Since they reopened I’ve been there a lot of times. And I missed seeing my friends, of course, I missed the gym too. The first week is tough, a lot of sore muscles, but I’m back! It feels good!
The biggest change for me was that I was riding my bike everywhere, I left my car. It was very quiet here so I was having beautiful bike rides. Me and my girl, we would take the bike and just go.
We were in lockdown together luckily, which was a big plus. I felt so bad for families that were separated. Some people were separated for 3 months or so…
His girlfriend Liné Hammett, is a talented and very popular tattoo artist so I wondered if he got any new tattoos while being in lockdown with her.
No, no I didn’t, I didn’t want to make her work, and we used that time to chill, do some sports together and do some barbeques. Luckily the weather was really good here.
The next thing I wanted to talk to Schmier about was the lovely map they created of their shows, where the fans attending would be mentioned by name. I thought it was such a cool concept!
We gave the fans the opportunity to send us a message, he explained, add their name, year, city, and country on the post. We run the campaign for 4-5 days and people sent us the info and now that’s included on the CD. It features almost 2k names all over the world.
What an amazing way to make their fans a part of their journey. Schmier was always like that. Very attentive to detail, very fan orientated, very appreciative of what he achieved.
It was such a nice touch, he said. People had all these amazing stories to share, they sent us old pictures, old tickets from concerts, so many memories. It was also a nice flashback for us too.
Do people appreciate innovation in the metal, music industry? I asked.
Metalheads do appreciate innovation nowadays, yes they do!
It’s unthinkable to believe that you can have a band today without using the modern tools.
The band contributes a lot, my friends contributed a lot, and we are active on socials.
But I get what you are saying, Metalheads are conservative sometimes when it comes to music, but in general, when it comes to new ideas and creative ideas they are very open to innovation.
Did you have to change the way you work entirely since the coronavirus hit us? I asked in an attempt to pick his brain. Great musicians are always flexible when it comes to the way they work and adjust to given situations. After all, a musician’s life is ever-changing.
We were a bit worried because we couldn’t rehearse together as our rehearsal room is basically in Switzerland and we live in Germany and the borders were closed. So we had a rehearsal studio that we paid for but we couldn’t go to. Luckily since the shows were canceled we didn’t need to rehearse that much. Everybody was working from home, and the live album was mixed in Switzerland without us being there. We sent the recordings and the instructions to the studio and the song files and we worked online.
You always have to be creative.
This was the biggest break we ever took from rehearsing so we were looking forward to getting back!
You have to stick together during these difficult times.
And you know, us playing in Switzerland it’s also important because we made the first step. Of course, there’s a risk, but if we don’t do these steps now what are we going to do? Hide in our closets forever? We gotta start moving again and see what happens. And the way the Swiss are setting up the concerts if really good, it is pretty safe if you are smart enough to keep your distances, the venue is huge there’s plenty of rooms for everyone to be comfortable and safe. This is a test and if it goes well they will take it to the next level.
So besides performing Schmier is sending a message and making a statement. Fear cannot paralyze us. We got to move forward as long as we do it smartly and safely.
Yes, he said. And even though some might disagree, I’m not doing this for anybody, I’m doing this for my good feeling, I’m looking forward to playing again, we had an uncertain future of cancellations and unemployment ahead of us, and so we are all looking forward to coming back. In a safe for everybody way.
Schmier always works like that. He trusts his gut, his instinct and so far it’s working out really well for him. He knows what he is doing he takes risks, but calculated risks.
Yeap, he agreed. When you have a band you always have to do what’s right for the band, we have so many years of experience in the scene, we still learn every day. In this world when you stop learning from your mistakes then your life is over.
Life is a big learning process and so is the music business.
I’m learning daily, I’m trying to go with my gut feeling and of course, sometimes I ask for advice when I need it.
We do this for us. Otherwise, we would play commercial music. This is still an important part of who we are. We love what we do.
Young bands always ask me ‘what’s the best advice you could give us?”
And I always say “hey don’t listen to others, do things your way, don’t copy others be yourself.”
That’s the most important thing as an artist in general!
My next question was trust oriented. Even though you have a lot of experience and you can do a lot of things by yourself sometimes you have to trust people. How do you know who to trust in the metal music industry?
Just like with everything in life, trust is hard to earn. You trust people that you have a good experience with and I go back to working with people who earned my trust for years. It’s not always easy, bands get slaughtered sometimes by promoters and managers. We have played out dues, we have sacrificed and we’ve learned a lot. Over the years you learn. There are a lot of great people and a lot of great labels today in the metal industry.
35 years ago when we started it was much worse. The contracts were really bad and I think a lot of things have changed for the better now.
It sounds like Schmier has it all. A great team, a successful career in music, innovation, a loving girlfriend, a beautiful life which he celebrated at his favorite Greek restaurant. But if he could wish for one thing for the future, what would that be?
The most important thing that we can’t predict is heath, so that’s what I will wish for. Nothing beats health. You can have all the money in the world and all the love in the world but if you are not healthy you won’t be able to enjoy it.
And also unity for the world.
Especially during those hard times with the pandemic, we should be united. It’s sad to see people being divided. What is going on in America right now it’s sad. I wish humanity can find peace at some point. More solidarity not money and success as the main goal in life.
With that note we said goodbye. But we will speak soon again, Schmier always has a lot of interesting things to say.
Until the next one,