Beth Schuldiner, sister of late DEATH/CONTROL DENIED mastermind Chuck Schuldiner, has issued a response to statements and accusations made by Guido Heijnens, owner of the now-defunct Dutch record label Hammerheart Records (which was "resurrected" for a short while under the Karmageddon Media banner) regarding the fate of the unreleased second CONTROL DENIED album and Hammerheart/Karmageddon Media's reasons for releasing Chuck's demo recordings and unfinished studio sessions without the permission or consent of the Schuldiner family.
In a January 2, 2007 e-mail to BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Heijnens addressed some of the comments regarding the above matter made by former CONTROL DENIED singer Tim Aymar in the current issue of of the Greek edition of Rock Hard magazine (which features a lengthy tribute article to Chuck). Guido said, in part, "We contracted Chuck, he received 70,000 euros (this is no bullshit amount of cash), he started recording [the second CONTROL DENIED album], he got ill again and sadly enough passed away. I called Morrisound Studio and [studio co-owner] Jim Morris told me Bethann Schuldiner (Chuck's sister) took the master tapes a few days after Chuck passed away. Chuck's family did not want to hand us the tapes, tried to sell them (again) to another label, who were clever enough to check this with us... So the Schuldiners decided to break all contact off.
"That's it, basically. We never got back our money (nothing, not even any remaining money), nor did we get master tapes. Not an apology, nothing!!!
"In my opinion, these people are the LOWEST of the LOW... including Mr. Aymar with his shitty behaviour...asshole. The band was never asked by the family to complete the recordings as far as I know of.
"Mr. Aymar, before you judge me or the things I do, check with me, please. It is too easy to just be a 'cool' (read CRAP) guy and talk shit (as we all know Chuck's thoughts on rumours and gossip this surprises me a lot, Mr. Aymar seems to be a confused person).
"And what happened to your career now [that] Chuck is gone? Exactly, just as much as you have brains...NOTHING, that is!
"Anyway, THANKS a lot to the Schuldiner family and Empty Words (what a fitting name it is) website and Mr. Aymar (or whatever his name is) for being such unbelievable ASSHOLES and for ruining my record label and lying/cheating to the fans. Once again, you people = SHIT.
"Up to the next memorial, ready to do a stupid calendar, sell some more videos of Chuck's funeral (maybe do a DVD edition with bonus material?), talk great things in press and nonsense like that....all GREAT things, but no records..."
After reading Guido's rant on the pages of this web site, Beth Schuldiner sent the following response to BLABBERMOUTH.NET addressing the points made in Heijnens' statement:
"I agree, the whole bullshit with ALL of the lawyers sucks. It is, however, a part of our culture that while out of control, is an evil necessity. When ANYONE enters into a contract, individual, corporation, band etc. there is always the chance of a dispute. Unfortunately, the courts are the only way to resolve a contract dispute. Shakespeare said it best: 'First, kill all the lawyers.'
"As for me taking Chuck's masters within a few days of Chuck's death — this is a vicious lie. I will not disclose the last days of Chuck's life, other than to say he was brave, still wanting and struggling to survive — to play his music, love his dogs and cats, go to the beach with his family and many, many other things. There is nothing — I repeat, NOTHING — worse than watching someone who means EVERYTHING to you slip away.
"I am profoundly affected by the loss of my brother, Chuckie. I weep each and every day of my life. I know his fans see him as a wonderful musician — he was 1,000 times that as a brother, uncle and son.
"Chuck's biggest loss was our older brother's passing — his name was Frankie. Little did he know this legacy of grief would be passed to me.
"As for the 70,000 euros — our attorney, Mark Lippman (prior to him, Berry Walker), asked multiple times for cancelled checks where Chuck and/or the band received these funds. All that was ever given to us was a computer printout of these funds, generated by Hammerheart. Not ONE cancelled check, not ONE wire transfer confirmation. Guido (Hammerheart), in the contract with Chuck, committed to advertising in certain publications PRIOR to the album's release, some half-page [ads], some full-page [ads]. Bands that had signed on with Hammerheart prior to and during can attest to the fact that Guido's company was UNABLE financially to fulfill their contractual obligations, thus entering into a contract that they could NEVER fulfill. This is FRAUD. Bands go through it every day — you're out there, you know I speak the truth. Bands are forever screwed by the 'industry'; we all know it. The fans shouldn't have to know it. Their whole mindset should be, 'I just want to hear the music I love' — not the whole legal, 'screw' bullshit that it takes to release an album and tour.
"We live in the United States of America. In the United States, we have something called probate. We have to wait until the estate is settled through probate to continue with anything.
"As for me or my family offering Chuck's last work to another label — damn straight I did — WITH THE CONDITION THEY PAY GUIDO OFF THE FUNDS HE THINKS HE'S OWED — so that a 'reputable' label (if one exists) could put CONTROL DENIED's last work out.
"In closing, the music and the fans meant EVERYTHING to Chuck. I wish he were here to guide me through this bullshit. Chuckie always did his best by me not only as a brother, but as my best friend — I don't want to let him down.
"The band's [CONTROL DENIED] last work will come out this year, that I promise. Guido can sue me for everything and anything — I have already lost my brother. Have at it, Guido.
"As for OUR mother, Chuck would shit on ANYONE that disparaged her in ANY way. She was a warrior in her care for him, tirelessly caring for him while all the time her heart was breaking; the possibility of losing a second son.
"SHAME ON YOU, GUIDO.
"His nephew, Christopher, was Chuck's world. The thought of leaving Christopher with unfinished adventures, dreams to fulfill, was beyond Chuck's comprehension. He so loved him, not only as a nephew, but as a friend and a brother. He wept at the thought of leaving him.
"I look forward to completing the last works with Tim Aymar and Richard Christy [CONTROL DENIED/DEATH drummer], who remains as a dear friend and like a brother to me to this day. The other members of the band were extremely important to Chuck and I am sure they look forward to completing this work along with [producer] Jim Morris — somenone, a true friend, who also meant the world to Chuck."
To read a portion of the Chuck Schuldiner tribute article which appears in the current issue of Greek edition of Rock Hard magazine, go to this location. In addition to Aymar's words, the article contains statements from some of the people that played with Chuck — such as Kam Lee, Chris Reifert, Terry Butler, Steve DiGiorgio, Richard Christy and Paul Masvidal — plus music industry notables who dealt with Schuldiner, and other musicians, among them Michael Amott (ARCH ENEMY), Niklas Sundin (DARK TRANQUILLITY), Donald Tardy (OBITUARY), Alex Webster (CANNIBAL CORPSE), Trym (EMPEROR), Dan Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT), Kelly Shaefer (ATHEIST), and Tony Choy (ATHEIST, CYNIC).
Schuldiner passed away on December 13, 2001 after a battle with pontine glioma, a rare type of brain tumor. He was 34 years old.