POSSESSED’s JEFF BECERRA: DEATH’s CHUCK SCHULDINER ‘Was Like My Protégé; He Very Much Modeled Himself After Me’

Though DEATH is taken into account to be one of the vital necessary and influential demise metallic acts of all time, the Florida-based band didn’t launch its debut album, “Scream Bloody Gore”, till 1987 — two years after the arrival of “Seven Church buildings” by California’s POSSESSED, whose bassist/vocalist, Jeff Becerra, is credited by some with initially creating the time period “demise metallic” in 1983.

In a brand new interview with the “The Haunting Chapel” podcast, Becerra, who was shot in a theft in 1989, leaving him partially paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, weighed in on the endless debate on who can lay declare to being the primary “true” demise metallic band: DEATH or POSSESSED. He stated partly (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We [POSSESSED] have been promoting ourselves as a demise metallic band, and that was what we went with. And to this present day, it is each a blessing and a curse as a result of it is extremely debated and contested. And we actually, after I obtained shot, sure revisionists tried to dam me out of historical past. The POSSESSED Wiki is probably the most vandalized web page of Wikipedia. There was a sure particular person — he lately handed away — that was simply relentlessly retitling our YouTube, transferring our dates ahead, messing with the timeline. It was like a battle. Once I left, we have been the demise metallic guys. Once I got here again, it was no extra. So I needed to struggle for my very own historical past again, which was bizarre. ‘Trigger there is no cool means to try this, as a result of it sounds such as you’re tooting your personal horn.

“I am not saying I created demise metallic; I am saying POSSESSED was the primary demise metallic band,” Jeff defined. “And it is a bone of competition with many DEATH followers. And due to the best way that their administration spun it and the best way that the magazines spun it… Keep in mind, me and Chuck [Schuldiner, DEATH guitarist/vocalist] have been pals. He actually was like my protégé. He moved out to Antioch [California from Orlando]; he lived on the [house of the then-]POSSESSED fan membership [president Krystal Mahoney]. He was pen paling for some time and tape buying and selling. And he very a lot modeled himself after me. I used to be so honored as a result of, keep in mind, I am only a younger teenager. However he was the primary particular person to actually get what we have been doing, what I used to be doing, and he was the primary particular person that basically understood what it was about. And he was so good that means as a result of it was undefined and so exhausting to elucidate what it’s, with out placing guidelines on it, as a result of the very last thing you wanna do is put guidelines on something and stifle it. However he would simply grasp it; he liked it. He stated, ‘Pay attention, Jeff. I sound identical to you.’ And he was happy with that. And I used to be happy with him. And there was a bromance going there. It was a respect.

“I’ve by no means been jealous of one other band,” Becerra clarified. “I’ve by no means claimed something that wasn’t mine. And it is simply so obscure to see folks attempting to assert what they know they would not do in entrance of me. They know what they did not do; I used to be fucking there. And I am not hating on anyone, however it’s a really coveted place.

“What makes me mad is when the magazines spin this ‘DEATH or POSSESSED, DEATH versus POSSESSED.’ And it even tainted the connection between DEATH and POSSESSED, and that pisses me off, as a result of we have been pals.

“I understand that metallic is meant to be enjoyable,” Jeff added. “However there’s additionally one thing very legitimate about true historical past and never revising stuff — not simply with POSSESSED however any band. And the best way it is spun is, like, bands will exaggerate what they did and the writers might be wanting to impress who they’re writing about, as a result of the very last thing a author needs is for the band to go, ‘That is fucking fucked up.’

“Within the outdated days, it was very truthful. Folks did their analysis. They did not have clickbait. There was no ‘POSSESSED versus DEATH.’ I hate that shit. As a result of if Chuck was alive at the moment, I might like [us to] collaborate. And I do not prefer it fucking with my remembrance of what it actually was. I just like the historical past. Possibly I am being bizarre about it, however I believe that the reality is so significantly better than the story.”

Becerra instructed Antihero in 2017 that Schuldiner cited POSSESSED as a “major affect” in “numerous” journal interviews. However although DEATH was impressed by POSSESSED, “they ran with it and went in their very own route and created their very own vibe,” Jeff stated. “To go a step additional: Chuck used [’80s death/thrash producer] Randy Burns, who did ‘Seven Church buildings’ to do ‘Scream Bloody Gore’, his first album. He additionally did a canopy of [POSSESSED‘s] ‘The Exorcist’.”

Schuldiner died in December 2001 after a battle with pontine glioma, a uncommon sort of mind tumor.

POSSESSED initially cut up in 1987, forsaking a brief however extremely influential legacy, most notably “Seven Church buildings”. Inside tensions after the discharge of 1987’s “The Eyes Of Horror” EP led to the band’s dissolution, with guitarist Larry Lalonde becoming a member of Bay Space tech-thrashers BLIND ILLUSION, then PRIMUS, whereas Becerra, guitarist Mike Torrao and drummer Mike Sus every going separate instructions.

Two years after POSSESSED‘s cut up, Becerra was the sufferer of the aforementioned failed armed theft try, sending him right into a spiral of drug and alcohol abuse. POSSESSED was reactivated by Torrao in 1990 with a very totally different lineup, however solely launched two demos earlier than dissolving in 1993. Becerra then reformed POSSESSED in 2007 along with his personal lineup, which launched its first studio album in 33 years, “Revelations Of Oblivion”, in 2019.

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