how many interviews have you had to do so far?
I started about 10 a.m., so about four so far.
the first day?
Ah no actually yesterday I did press from 10 till like 5 and last
week I was in Germany doing press for a few days. It's been like
press-mania, it's cool though.
you enjoy that stuff?
I like doing interviews in person more than on the phone. It's alot
more personal and casual.
but you get more done this way.
Yeah, and that way they don't have to fly me everywhere. Yeah, it's
are you excited about the release of The Sound of Perseverance?
Yeah, I'm very psyched, I wish it was out already. It's coming out
September 15 in America and in like 3 days in Europe.
you get nervous before the release of an album?
Just anticipation, you know, I want people to hear it already. We've
lived with it for a while, we've had it recorded since the end of
May. So you know it's about time. We need to get out there and play.
We're psyched to tour America, I'm looking forward to that.
you confident in the material on the new album?
Very, totally. More than ever, definitely.
does the new album compare to past albums, it's gonna be hard to
top Symbolic and Individual Thought Patterns?
Yeah, do you have the new one?
I haven't got it yet, Maria said she ran out of promos, so I haven't
heard it yet.
That fuckin sucks! It's got the attitude of Individual Thought Patterns
as far as that really crazy stuff going on, but it's also got that
balance between riffing and attitude that Symbolic had as well,
so it's kinda like a real good combination of those two, keeping
things moving forward though at the same time. There's some new
stuff going on this record as well. Different guitar stuff, different
harmonies that I never really experimented with. It's a very guitar
oriented album, yet at the same time it's a very drum and bass guitar
there more of a power metal influence?
It's exactly what we've been doing as far as embracing the melody,
absolutely. Every record has gotten more melodic and that's where
my roots are, so people are definitely going to continue hearing
are the new band members?
Everyone is from Florida, this is actually an entirely Florida based
lineup which is great, it's like the first one in many years. Everyone
is from local bands that have been around in Florida as well as
my guitar player Shannon, he used to live in Texas. He was out there
in a lot of metal bands as well. Richard, my drummer, used to live
in Kansas and he moved down here about three years ago I think.
The main thing is that everyone is from the old school of metal,
which is where my complete approach is from and my attitude musically.
So it was very important for me to find people who really embraced
that old school attitude.
you're happy with the way they are working out?
Oh yeah. These guys crush man. That's one thing where everyone has
been shocked when they hear the record. They're like where the fuck
did these guys come from. They are just top notch. Especially in
the drum department. Everyone was like who the hell are you gonna
get this time? And I just got one of the best drummers out there.
He's really killer.
those guys as opposed to like Digorgio and Hoglan or Larocque?
Everyone is busy you know, everyone is doing other stuff. Steve
is doing Sadus; he's like in three different bands. Either I could've
made phone calls, you know I had people's numbers, I coulda called
and made connections outside of Florida. But I didn't want to even
attempt it; to do the outside thing anymore. I wanted to get people
here. There's alot of talented people in the world. For the time,
I had some of the greatest times playing with Gene and Steve, and
that whole thing was fucking awesome. But it was time to move forward
and find people that I didn't have to fly in from the other side
of the United States or another country.
you chose Morrisound studios.
Yeah with Jim Morris who also did Symbolic.
how did that experience go?
Killer. I never want to leave that place when I'm in there. I dread
tearing down my gear and leaving basically. Seriously it's that
great a feeling. I love recording. Nothing else exists in the world
when I'm in there recording. It's like an escape. And Jim Morris
is like the greatest guy to work with in the fuckin world. He's
so professional and such a great person. Not a day goes by without
a great time occurring. He's just a crackpot you know he's a really
funny guy. He's just great, I have the utmost major respect for
on Nuclear Blast now. How does that seem to be working out?
Killer. Awesome man. This is actually a label that is run by people
who listen to metal. They're not like a bunch of corporate people
running around in suits and ties making wrong decisions. Nuclear
Blast is actually making all the right decisions, I think.
what happened to Roadrunner Records?
The contract was done.
didn't consider resigning with them?
Not in a billion years.
Yeah you know. They think metal is Korn. That is their idea of metal,
that is why Symbolic got shit on. Fuck that, you know. I know what
metal is and I'm not gonna be part of any sort of corporate America's
idea of what metal is.
they just sent me an advance of the new Sepultura. I'm kinda sad
to see where they have gone honestly.
What does it sound like? Is it just like Roots or whatever?
a little bit like that. I think Max was the main contributor to
the band and because he is gone now, it's just very basic. Roots
was going in that direction already, but now it's even more basic.
I think the copy I got was unmastered, but I'm not sure. And the
new vocalist, he's all right, but he's basically a hardcore vocalist.
Really. Yeah, they need to embrace their, no pun intended "roots",
and that's metal you know. Cause Andreas is a killer guitar player
you know. I just don't get it. I just think that they should really
embrace your heritage, and that's metal.
really not getting a chance to display his skills.
He's a killer metal player. I've never gotten that whole thing.
I really would like to see bands like that get back on track and
put out what they were about, and that's metal. For me, I've just
never had the urge to go that opposite direction, and be non-melodic.
I love melodic music, melody is crucial for me.
think I can speak for alot of people when I say were glad you didn't
go that way.
Yeah really. I can just see people saying, "Yeah the new Death
album sounds like Korn!" Fuck all that shit.
the new Slayer album is kinda going in that direction.
Yeah I heard one song and I was like WHAT? My mouth just dropped,
I was like Oh My God.
guess with them, it was like they were gonna get criticized if they
did change or if they didn't.
Well in my opinion they should just progress. That's what it's about,
that's the route I've always wanted to go.
the way you've been going, and I think you've earned alot of respect
It's a nice thing to stay true to what you believe in. But at the
same time not repeating yourself, or going backwards, or staying
in the same spot. For some reason a lot of people think that to
progress you have to go backward or change the way you sound. I've
never understood that, I just don't get it. But whatever, that's
just me you know, everyone's different, everyone has their own opinions.
you think the new album is gonna help metal become more popular
or set any new standards?
I would hope so. In America absolutely. It's nothing but metal you
know. You're not gonna hear one trendy downtuned riff on this record.
Everyone is going out and buying seven string guitars and going
for that downtuned chugga chugga yo-yo motherfucker hop up and down
crap. You're not gonna hear that on this album, you're gonna hear
Yeah, I'm pretty proud of it too man.
you think the metal scene now is stronger than it was say five years
ago? And if so does that hold true for America as well as Europe?
America has sunk to some really bad levels. The thing is, America
is so trendy, whatever's trendy everyone thinks thats the direction
they have to go in or they'll get left behind. But when they try
to go that direction and catch up to what is trendy, the trend is
already fizzing out. A trend is temporary and don't get all these
bigger bands not realizing that a trend is for the time being and
nothing more than that. I don't want to be a part of anything that
is temporary, that is why I have lasted for 14 fucking years. If
I had fucked up and tried to be a part of any current trend, man,
I'd have fucking burned my guitar. Honestly, I would never subject
my guitar to that or the people who have supported us for so long.
I just got back from doing press in Europe and in Europe the metal
scene it is more massive than ever. Just metal in general is massive
heard the new Iced Earth album opened at like #19 on the German
Yeah, everything is just going great over there. It's time for America
to wake up. It's time for that alarm clock to go off and
everyone to go, "Oh shit what's been going on here? What
have we been subjected to by corporate America?" Fuck corporate
America you know. I'm a fan; it has nothing to do with me being
in a band. It's time for the real music to come back. I'm sick
of having to rely on import albums to satisfy my need to hear
something new. It's very frustrating. But it's about to come back
in America because there are alot of people like myself and yourself
that are sick of it. It's totally time for the tradition to come
back into music. Two riff bands can only last for so long. It's
time to play other frets on the guitar and other drums on the
drum set. I'm just sick of the simplicity that has dominated the
scene in America.
think there is alot of division in the metal scene simply due
to the fact that newer fans think that normal vocals are pussy
and older fans think that newer bands are just grunting like apes!
That's completely what I've been talking about for two weeks with
all the press. There's too much division. It's incredible man,
I really started feeling my age. I'm only 31, but I start really
feeling my age when I look at the attitude of what's going on
these days. There's so much, "Well were this metal and were
that metal, fuck your'e kind of metal, that's wimpy if you dont
like our kind of metal." Metal is metal. Metal has different
attitudes naturally, some more aggressive, some more melodic.
When I grew up in the early 80's, buying albums by Iron Maiden
or Queensryche, but also Slayer and Metallica and all that stuff
from the early 80's. Show No Mercy, Kill 'Em All, Number of the
all great shit.
It's all fucking killer man. It's where all my inspiration comes
from. Not one specific album, not one specific band or style,
just all the styles man. The whole melodic thing, the intensity
of Kill 'Em All. When that album came out man, that was IT. That
and Show No Mercy at the same time, it just couldn't get any faster
at that point. No one could have ever imagined that it would.
That's what was so inspiring. But at the same time some of the
greatest melodic music ever came out. Number of the Beast, Iron
Maiden, shortly after that Peace of Mind, just milestones. Incredible
you heard much black metal? Like Emperor.
I've heard enough of what I need to hear basically. Everyone looks
and sounds the same it that genre. In five or ten years people
might argue with that, but you know what, I've heard it done in
1983. If I want to hear black metal I'll put Black Metal by Venom
on, or if I want to hear intense metal I'll put Seven Churches
on by Possessed, or Haunting the Chapel by Slayer. I want to hear
the originators, I don't want to hear imitators. There is too
much of that imitating going on out there and that's where that
whole division thing clicks in after that fact. There's alot of
imitators. Everyone is talking shit about each other and everyone
is calling themselves the originators. It's like wait a second,
let me get my records out here. 1983, oh 1984, hmmm! All you have
to do is look back to see where it came from. It's ridiculous.
are your upcoming tour plans?
For America we will start the tour on November 12th, with Hammerfall.
way. You're bringing Hammerfall out! That's gonna kill!
It's gonna crush, it's gonna totally crush. I'm looking forward
to it. A lot of people have waited for a real metal tour to be
out there. We're very psyched about it, we're starting the tour
in Europe starting in September and through October, and then
in November we'll start touring America. We'll take a break at
Christmas and then in January play Japan and Australia.
a better part of your next year is booked up.
Yeah it's pretty booked up for the next few months and then after
that we're gonna work on the Control Denied album and get that
your excited about all this naturally.
I'm thrilled about it. I've got a lot of stuff to get out. The
new Death album, and then the other album which is an extension
of what Death is doing musically, except vocally it is Control
Denied. It's also got that next element which Death isn't a part
of and that is the melodic powerful vocals, which is the main
stuff I love to hear. Musically as a guitarist for Death I feel
very content, but I also know that this music needs to be taken
to another level and that is in the form of Control Denied. People
can expect not some Iron Maiden rip off band, or something. People
are like, "Oh I heard you are doing a power metal album,"
and it's like no, were doing what this music is about you know,
it's metal. It's gonna be extreme in every sense musician wise
and instrument wise as far as the execution of the music, but
vocally it's gonna be very powerful, melodic vocals.
you gonna pull those vocals?
We'll I did some, cause we did Painkiller on the new record. I
busted out the traditional style which I love doing, it's much
more enjoyable for me.
pretty hard to pull off Rob Halford vocals.
It's killer man. I enjoyed it and it's alot easier for me to do
that then it is to pull off the Death material. The vocals for
Death are so fucking demanding. After a show I am fucking exhausted
man. It's very excruciating, not painful, but just demanding.
To do melodic vocals, for one thing, it's demanding in another
way, but you can do so much more with it. It's like anything,
if you play one riff over and over you're not gonna create a lot
of different vibes. Death is intense vocal wise, it's intense
and it's intense and it's intense. With the melodic vocals you
can create so many different elements that compliment the music.
That's why I had fun with Painkiller. We all had fun because for
one thing, great song.
think that is the perfect Priest song for Death to do, because
there aren't to many people, musically that could pull that song
That's why I wanted to do it. If we're gonna do any song, I knew
it would eventually be Painkiller, because of exactly what you
just said, it's something we could relate to. It's something literally
no one has done, except one other band, which I didn't even know
they did it. A band called Angra out of Brazil. They are a really
killer band. But that's it, no one else has really done it, and
we had fun with it. I don't think you should do cover songs if
you're gonna do it exactly the same, but we basically stayed very
true to the music, except I put some harmonies on some of the
rhythms. Alot of my leads, in fact nearly all of them, were not
what they did. I just had fun and took advantage of the great
rhythms that they came up with. Did some extra vocal stuff, some
extra screams, and some crazy stuff going on.
you see the new Priest when they came around?
No, they never played Florida unfortunately.
too bad, they're actually really good.
Yeah, I heard it was kick ass live.
new vocalist can really hit all the notes. So who will release
the Control Denied album?
I'm looking at Nuclear Blast right now.
did you like playing at Metalfest this year?
Crushing. The show was great. It's one of the most unorganized
events out there. It was chaos, I'm not gonna beat around the
bush about that. But the show went great, the crowd was phenomenal.
It was so killer to stand there and see 3,000 people or whatever
I was right there, it was great.
Yeah, they were there for metal. It was like proof that metal
is still alive in America. People are still there you know, they've
hung in there.
you happy with the sound?
We'll for the first three songs, I could tell the sound was weird.
Our soundman was down with Cannibal Corpse and their bus broke
down, so our soundman never showed up. We got lucky and got this
guy through a friend of ours at the label to run sound for us
and he did a really good job, but it's so chaotic we didn't have
time for a soundcheck, so it took about three songs and then after
that I felt like it started sounding alot better. Basically he
saved our lives.
you party alot when your on tour or are those days behind you
No, after the show, absolutely! We enjoy partaking in the party
mode. We are responsible about it though, no one has any weird
drug habits or anything. But we still like to have fun.
for myself, I have to work a real job and shit, and I labeled
that experience after one of your songs, which I call the Zombie
Ritual, so I was wondering if that song had anything to do with
HAHA. No, not really, but I guess it could be placed to that.
I just look around at everybody sometimes and I'm just like, shit
I don't want to do this for very long you know. It's cool that
you don't have to deal with that.
Yeah, thank God you know. I survive, sometimes barely, but I'm
lucky enough to somehow keep everything rolling forward.
there any chance of a Death live album?
If anything there, it'll be a video. I'd like to do one like Death
live in Japan. Just have a killer video, cause then people can
have a live album in a way. Alot of people have their T.V.'s hooked
up to their stereos now, so they could crank it and hear it, but
also see it. See the actual performances going on.
is Death going after this album? More albums?
More albums definitely, but Control Denied is absolutely priority
#1 after this album. I've got to get that out because the potential
of that band is immense. So I need to get that going and I'm not
gonna work two bands at one time.
are the musicians that will play in Control Denied?
The same lineup as Death except our singer who isn't in Death,
Tim Aymar. Richard my drummer, Shannon on guitar, Scott on bass.
Shannon and Scott also started out in Control Denied. I decided
to put the new Death record out first. I just asked them if they
wanted to join me and they were like, "Hell Yeah," and
everything just worked out great.
the material written for Control Denied?
It's all written and just waiting to go.
about all I got for you today man.
Cool, well get that record and crank it up to 11!