Former DEATH Guitarist Remembers CHUCK SCHULDINER

Zero Tolerance webzine recently conducted an interview with former DEATH guitarist Bobby Koelble. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Zero Tolerance: What's your favourite music? That is, what music does the band listen to and currently like? Who would you cite as influences?

Bobby Koelble: I have a very broad taste in music. I have an equal love for jazz, metal, classical, funk, reggae, Latin and electronic music and at one time or another have performed in each of these styles.

My list of personal influences is a mile long, but I would say guitarists John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia, Al di Meola, Frank Gambale, Allan Holdsworth, Danny Gatton, Tuck Andress, Joe Pass, George Benson, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Joe Diorio, Yngwie Malmsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Williams, Andres Segovia, etc.

Zero Tolerance: You appeared on DEATH's "Symbolic". Why did Chuck choose you? Did you know him previously? How did it all happen?

Bobby Koelble: Me and Chuck actually met for the first time through a mutual friend when we were both in high school, but didn't meet again until I auditioned for the band. I was told by a mutual friend at a music store he was looking for a guitarist and we got in touch with each other. I guess he liked the way I played and we instantly became friends.

Zero Tolerance: How was it to work with Chuck and Gene Hoglan?

Bobby Koelble: Playing with Chuck and Gene was the greatest professional experience of my life. Looking back, it went by extremely fast. Chuck was very easy to work with, not demanding at all in rehearsals. I always tried to be as prepared as possible so things would go smooth. I'm still friends with Gene to this day and I see him whenever he comes to town.

Zero Tolerance: What have been some of your best memories with DEATH?

Bobby Koelble: The whole time was a great experience. I got to visit places I had only dreamed of previously like Amsterdam, Prague and Madrid. Me and Gene definitely raised a lot of hell together (laughs).

Zero Tolerance: Can you tell us about how was your relation with Chuck?

Bobby Koelble: I have the utmost respect for Chuck, his music and his legacy. He was honestly a laid back guy who enjoyed simple things like cooking, his dogs and his family. We always got along well. I think we only had one disagreement the whole time we played together.

Read the entire interview at this location.


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