Steve Digiorgio is a man whom is loved by everyone in the metal scene, not only due to being a master at his art, but for being an all around nice guy and for hanging out with me and my gang and the rest of the fans. There was even a moment when this man-child, respectively, put a marker up his nose to entertain us other clowns. Of course we all know him from Sadus, but the man has played with so many different bands, and has been on many releases as well, namely Death (R.I.P.) / Control Denied, but also currently with Testament. Here's a little chat with the best bass player in the metal scene; HANDS DOWN!!! I must also add, due to whatever reasons, this interview was not like all the others that I have conducted. Live pictures and interview by Mike Coles, some time in 2000
The Outcast: Hello Steve, let me begin by asking how Sadus is coming along. Are you guys still together?? (They are still indeed together and have released an album
Steve: There's not much going on there, but no one has called it quits yet, so you know. There's a slim chance for a new release in the future, but I've been working more with Testament this past year.
The Outcast: Testament (really surprised)!!??
Steve: Yeah, have you heard of them?
The Outcast: You've got to be kidding!? Yeah, I have heard of Testament but I had no clue you were working with them at the moment.
Steve: We were getting ready to go on the road when Chuck (from Testament, not Death) called me and asked me to come and do the album. Basically he called me and told me that they were in the studio, but that he had problems with the old bass player, so he wanted me to go in and redo everything. It was pretty short notice, but me and Chuck go back a long ways, so…..
The Outcast: Out of all the releases that you have done with Chuck S. (Death), how is Control Denied different than Death since he is not singing and all?
Steve: Musically, it isn't that much of a difference. I know Chuck pretty good, so I'm used to his riffing style. There are little differences. There's a little more room in the songs than in where Death it would be more crammed packed with more riffing and more technical approaches. Here he has a little more room for the vocals, more guitar solos, but overall it is still the same guy.
The Outcast: I know that there has been controversy in the past where old members said Chuck was a hard person to work with. I'm not trying to put you on the spot, or try for you to talk crap about Chuck, cuz I like the guy and respect his stuff very much, but is he really that hard to get along with?
Steve: Well, there really isn't crap to talk. I've never had any problems with Chuck. The way the guy writes and the way we work together, I think I've played some of my best stuff. So not only am I saying that he is not hard to work with, as far as everyone I've ever jammed with, he's one of the people I most prefer. I've heard some stories, but I wouldn't say he's……. everyone is human. I will come to his defense and just say that all of those rumors come from people being bitter because of how successful the band has become. I've known the guy since he was like 18, since like 1986, and I've never really seen any bad qualities in the guy.
The Outcast: Thank you for your honesty. How is his condition doing (R.I.P. brother)?
Steve: He's doing a little bit better, he's recovering.
The Outcast: Did they get everything out alright?
Steve: No, what they've done is given him radiation treatment, so it is slowly disintegrating. They've zapped it, so they are hoping that it will just dissolve into nothing. He went through that treatment, and the progress is positive. It just sucks it takes so long, but he is doing better.
The Outcast: Well, I'm going to ask you a question, but you might not remember. Back in, what tour was that on Matt, do you remember (a friend of mine standing next to me)?
Matt: It was during "Individual Thought Patterns."
The Outcast: We saw you guys in St. Louis at Club 367, and we brought Death a cake with the Death logo on the cake, do you remember such an event?
Steve: (With excitement) Oh yeah, of course!!
The Outcast: That was us. I took some pictures of you, and you were making some funny faces and there was this one where you stuck a marker up your nose.
Steve: (Laughter) I totally remember the cake. I also remember that show because that's when there was all that flooding going on.
The Outcast: We were joking about you guys (Death) getting flooded out because the last time we were going to see Death; they got snowed in at Milwaukee when they were supposed to play with Pestilence at Mississippi Nights, and that truly SUCKED to miss that show.
Steve: We felt bad because we didn't know if we should be playing a show in a city where so many people had to go through flooded streets. The turn out was really good though and people were saying that they would have been pissed if we would have cancelled that show.
The Outcast: I would have been one of them. We drove three hours to catch that show!
Steve: You drove three hours?
The Outcast: Yeah (We had to go through various detours to get to the venue, it took us hours!! Floods suck!! - Mike - 2006).
Steve: I just came through St. Louis with Testament and it went pretty well. But yeah, I remember the cake man because we had a long drive.
The Outcast: Did you guys really eat it?
Steve: Hell yeah we did. We were up late and it was our meal before we went to bed that night. It was crazy.
The Outcast: So do you still smoke a lot of pot?
Steve: Actually, not as much as I used to. This year has probably been the least amount. I don't know why.
The Outcast: Don't you ever just get sick of it?
Steve: Um, I don't know, it comes and goes.
The Outcast: Okay, here's a question I've wanted to ask you a long time. If there was a battle between you and Les Claypool, who would win?
Steve: (Laughter) Well, Les would win by forfeit because I wouldn't even show up for that.
The Outcast: So you do think he is a real good bass player?
Steve: Real good isn't exactly half of what I was going to say about that guy.
The Outcast: I've always argued with my friend Bill Yates about you and Les and about who was better. I've always told him you would kick his ass!
Steve: No, I don't think so man.
The Outcast: Have you heard his new album?
Steve: Nah, I lost touch with him and what I mean by that is what he has been playing. When Primus first came out it was cool because it was real energetic and all, but I'm not into that vibe. I saw him at Oz Fest this summer and he was just amazing as usual. He plays some funny bass lines, if that is what you want to call it. He plays kind of comical music, so I mean I just can't take it seriously, but there's no denying it this dude has amazing jobs. I remember when I saw him in 88 or 89 when he was the bass player for Blind Illusion and they used to clear the stage and give him a big solo every time they played. I'm 6 foot 4 and I felt like 4 inches tall watching that guy play that solo. It was more in a metal context that he; he wasn't trying to be the funky chicken guy. He was tearing it up!
The Outcast: Have you ever talked to him before?
Steve: Oh yeah.
The Outcast: Have you guys ever jammed out together or anything?
Steve: No. We've met a bunch of times, but he's light years above the rest of us, he's untouchable.
The Outcast: What do you think of the current metal scene?
Steve: I think it is growing in the form of it is going through a transformation. Death metal finally fazed out to where something new is coming out. There's that Bio-Hazard, Sepultura trip, and the Machine Head, Fear Factory crap. There are bands that are similar to kind of what like what Chuck is doing in Control Denied, where they are getting melody and tradition back into metal, but without the playing of gay riffs that just bore you to death. They're keeping the aggression in the music and the complexity and stuff. It is bigger in Europe, but it is surfacing here. Nevermore is playing that kind of stuff.
The Outcast: Iced Earth.
Steve: Yeah, you know. I think it is cool because it is more of the stuff I prefer. The new Dream Theatre kicks ass. There are a lot of bands that have been heavier in the beginning that are now changing towards that style where the riff and feel of the music is the same, but the singer and the arrangements of the songs are a bit different.
The Outcast: What are some of your favorite bands right now?
Steve: The new Arch Enemy is pretty good. The new Dream Theatre, the new Solitude Aeturnus are both good.
The Outcast: Yeah, I like the new Solitude A. album a lot as well. (Thanks Elisabeth!!) Man, I'm really glad you guys (Sadus) got to play at Milwaukee Metal Fest last year. I had never seen Sadus before and I really enjoyed the show (sucks I didn't take any pictures!! Where were you camera?? - Mike - 2006).
Steve: Man, we had to get out of the West Coast. We hadn't been on a stage for over seven years.
The Outcast: Did you guys go on tour?
Steve: No, we just did that one show.
The Outcast: Hmmm... Okay, what do you want your epitaph to say?
Steve: What do I want my epitaph to say?
The Outcast: Yeah.
Steve: Ah gee, you always try to trick me into these kinds of questions.
The Outcast: In my next issue (this issue) I'm going to be focusing on death, not the band, and that is one of the questions I want to ask everybody.
Steve: What do you want yours to say?
The Outcast: I don't want an epitaph, or to be buried, I want to be cremated and thrown into the air.
Steve: Thrown into the air?
The Outcast: Yeah.
Steve: You just want to be pollution forever (laughter)?
The Outcast: Have you ever seen The Big Labowski?
The Outcast: When he "through" ashes into the ocean and it flew right into the Dudes face?
Steve: Where they tried to throw it over the cliff and into the ocean and it blew right back on him, that was funny. But I don't know, if something had to be said about me, I'd have; "Steve was a big asshole, but don't worry, he intended it to be that way (laughter)."
The Outcast: Going back to the music, is Control Denied going to be touring at all?
Steve: We didn't have plans to tour right away because the idea is to put two albums out, then go out and support the two albums to choose material from, because I know Chuck will not want to play anything from the Death albums. Plus, with his condition and all, he can't really get out there and play guitar. We have to wait for that for sure.
The Outcast: Well man, I guess that will be all the questions. Tell Gene next time you talk to him that we'll have to cook him another cake next time. Do you have anything else to say?
Steve: Nah, just take care Mike, and thanks.