RICK ROZZ Says It's Been 'An Honor' To Perform Early DEATH Classics In LEFT TO DIE

November 30, 2023

Former DEATH and MASSACRE guitarist Frederick "Rick Rozz" DeLillo says it has been an "honor" to perform songs from DEATH's revered first two studio albums, "Scream Bloody Gore" and "Leprosy" as part of LEFT TO DIE, the band featuring fellow DEATH alum and bassist Terry Butler (also formerly of MASSACRE and currently in OBITUARY),alongside GRUESOME founders Matt Harvey (EXHUMED) and Gus Rios (ex-MALEVOLENT CREATION).

In a recent interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Rozz was asked whether he had any trepidation over learning material he hasn't played since 1989, which is the year he was dismissed by DEATH leader Chuck Schuldiner. "It was quite terrifying at first, especially when I saw we were doing a full tour," he said. "I had my taste of anxiety before the East Coast run that we did. I was like, 'Holy crap. I have to learn all of these songs and some 'Scream Bloody Gore' songs, and we're playing in front of people. I was like, 'Ugh.' Other than that, it's cool. It's chilled out a little bit."

Rozz then went on to discuss whether he has come "full circle" in his career by playing the songs that helped start his musical career. "It's been a blessing," he said. "I've made some new friends and rekindled my friendship with Terry. We room together. It's pretty cool. Then, getting to know Gus and Matt. They're so good at what they do. They're so passionate about the music and the songs. It's a really good feeling. It's an honor. There's nothing full circle about it, but it's pretty cool."

Rozz was also asked whether he has noticed increased fan support for DEATH, particularly the band's early period. "Definitely, especially these first two DEATH records," he said. "Not that people aren't passionate about the other records. There seems to be something with these first two records. It's an honor. It's flattering. It's a blessing. All of it all wrapped up into one. Those guys could have said, 'Nah. I'm good. We have enough on our plate.' They didn't have to learn all these songs and do a tribute to these records, but they did. It really is cool. It's been a lot of fun. When you're doing something with cool people — nobody is on their high horse or thinks they're owed something from someone else, that's the coolest thing about it. Everyone is doing their thing and gets along. There's no baloney."

LEFT TO DIE recently completed a run of West Coast dates that included a guest appearance from "Scream Bloody Gore" drummer Chris Reifert (also of AUTOPSY) in Oakland, California. Reifert performed the DEATH classics "Infernal Death" and "Evil Dead".

LEFT TO DIE completed its first U.S. tour in July 2022. A European run of shows followed this past March and April.

Butler previously stated how LEFT TO DIE came together: "After the recent Chuck tribute shows that Matt, Gus, and myself did, Rick posed the question, 'Would anyone want to see some 'Leprosy' shows?' With a resounding 'yes!', the masses had spoken. Matt and Gus threw their hats in immediately and, in my opinion, they were the only real choice to bring this thing to life."

Schuldiner died on December 13, 2001 after a battle with pontine glioma, a rare type of brain tumor.

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