MASTER

MASTER
Paul Speckmann started out as bass player in War Cry, where he met up with drummer Bill Schmidt who was drafted in to replace previous War Cry drummer, Joe Laccino. Together, Speckmann and Schmidt decided to form a more aggressive metal band based around Motörhead, Venom, Slayer and the whole emerging extreme metal movement. Eventually, Schmidt and Speckmann left War Cry, who (after their departure) also got rid of their heaviness. Schmidt had begun writing songs in the thrash vein as early as mid-83, and Speckmann followed suit. They named their band Master, and auditioned 26 guitarists, none of whom were suited to Master. This caused Schmidt to leave Master and join local metal act {link Mayhem (USA)}. Speckmann decided to start his own band, Death Strike, using songs originally written for Master. He was joined by guitarist Chris Mittlebrun (who had auditioned for Master a year earlier, but was still stuck in the Judas Priest mode) and together they wrote more Death Strike songs. Second guitarist, 16 year old Kirk Miller was brought in, along with drummer John Leprich, who was apparently a drunk.

After Death Strike's "Fuckin' Death" demo made an impact on the underground, Bill Schmidt, former Master drummer, begged Speckmann to join the band. As Death Strike drummer John Leprich could barely get the beats down for "Pay To Die", and was a drunk (according to Speckmann) Speckmann let Schmidt re-join. After kicking out 16 year old guitarist Kirk Miller (who was really just a session musician for Death Strike), the band was re-named Master. Guitarist Chris Mittlebrun was kept in the band, as Schimdt was highly impressed with his songwriting skills.

Anyway, Speckmann's father had recently passed away and left an inheritance to him, so Speckmann invested the money in paying for these studio recordings, with a promise from Schmidt to sign the first decent deal they received. Master headed into Seagrape Studios, where they recorded these seven tracks. Somehow, rough mixes of the tracks got out, and were traded around the underground (apparently by Shaun Glass (Sindrome, Terminal Death, Broken Hope)). Consequently, Master became a HUGE name in the underground.

So why did they never get an album out? Well, they did receive a deal from Combat Records (the same deal that Death signed), but unfortunately they met up with Kim Fowley (manager/producer of everything mainstream) who demanded changes be made to the contract. Combat simply laughed and tore the contract up. Thus, Master never got the chance to produce and release these seven tracks, and they stayed firmly in the underground.

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