Death Angel

Death Angel is currently touring the US, working on their next album and planning some awesome releases for 2012. Take a look at the chat that Spirit Of Metal had with the guitar player Rob Cavestany on April 10th, about these and many other news.

interview Death AngelYou guys have been touring a lot in North America lately: how does it feel to be here for all this time?
It feels good. We haven’t had the chance to tour North America as much for many, many years. Normally we would be in Europe most of the time so, it just worked out [that way]: we got a lot of tours in North America for this album so, we are really glad.

We were just talking about this earlier, because we are going to Europe after this tour and it will be like, the first time we will be in Europe for almost a year. But, we’ve been touring the States and Canada a lot so we’re really excited. I think it gives a good opportunity for people to see us… [at] home soil.

You were touring with Testament and Antrax. Now you will start this tour with Sepultura and Krisiun… two Brazilian bands. How different will that be?
Well… we’ll see because we are just getting started tonight [April 10th 2012].

We’ve never met Krisiun before. We know Sepultura from playing with them a lot here and there so, it’s going to be fun playing with these guys. We’ve never actually toured with Sepultura but we played a lot of shows with them. So, I’m expecting nothing but a good time… really killer shows, I think.

After this tour you guys will be playing in Europe until the end of June. Any other plans after that?
Yeah… actually yeah but, I have just heard that this morning. We are confirming that today so, I am instructed not to talk about it yet but… it’s a pretty big tour and it will go through the States again, before the end of the year.

Besides the tours, do you guys have anything else planned for this year? Maybe working on a new album?
The thing is, we’ve been touring so long for this album [Relentless Retribution] and there is so much planned for the rest of this year that we just basically had to start working on our new album already, while we are still touring, which is something very different for me. Normally we finish a tour, take a break, start writing but it is going to take too long if we do that now. We want to really work hard and keep pushing.

In between the last tour and the starting of this tour we have almost 5 songs started by now. I have all my recording equipment here [he shows the area in the bus]. Right when we get done with this interview I’m going to set up the studio back here and start working.

So, you guys will not have one minute to relax during the tour…?
Humm… maybe some guys of the band… but not me (laughs). But, you know, I like to work and I like to spend my time doing something productive. Definitely a lot of partying and fun will happen but, it has been happening. We have been touring for two years on this album now so I’m getting kind of tired of running around and kind of wasting time after the show, so…

Is this going to be the first time that you are going to be writing / composing during a tour?
It will be the first time doing it in depth as this. I usually write some stuff, compose like a lot of riffs, ideas and parts. But, now it is going further into deeper writing and trying to get songs written.

About these songs you have started to write: do you have any ideas to where the new album will go towards to?
Humm… conceptionally it seems to be picking up where the last album left of, just very aggressive. The theme and where we were coming from, on our last album: we’re pissed off (laughs). Not at everything [but], at the stuff that keeps you down or stuff that pisses people off. We were using a lot of that as fuel for our fire. And two years to the end of this tour, we find ourselves to be pretty much at the same place (laughs).

I mean, we’ve done a lot of touring and we’ve definitely climbed up (as far as our crowd), we are exposed to a lot of different fans and getting a lot more fans. But, we are still very hungry, ver
interview Death Angely much in the struggle of trying to make our life in this life style and do what we do. We are not getting any younger so we are just putting everything that we have into it. So, that kind of thing is coming out and it is kind of the continuation of our last album. The music is really heavy, very musical... it’s cool, I like it a lot.

So, is the new album going to be heavier than the last one?
It will be definitely at least as heavy as the last one. It’s not going to be lighter than the last one. I think it will be more adventurous musically though.

Any specific influences?
No. I mean, a lot of the things that are influences are not necessarily musical but more of “life” influence. This album is influenced a lot by being on tour, being on the road, and by a lot of bands that we played with.

So, to me it is going to be very lively and just heavy. Because the feeling on tour is a really heavy feeling, you know? You are not really relaxing; you are constantly in the world of it, getting a feedback and energy from the fans. So, when you are writing you are picturing how the song is going to work on stage and how people will react, more than when you are just at home when and you are not connected to a live situation as much.

Death Angel was formed a long time ago (1982). You guys have brought a lot to the metal scene. Can you sometimes see your influence on other band’s music?
Yes, actually. It’s really cool. It’s kind of a flattered, honored feeling that you could have an impact on somebody else, the way that other people had [influence] on us. It spread out from others through us into somebody else.

Talking about your history: what was the biggest moment for you guys until now?
Do you mean our entire career? The whole thing? Oh god! It’s been a long time so there’s so many.

One of the main things that I have to say is: when our first album came out and the first time that I was at a record shop holding our vinyl, our album so… extremely big moment for us, very proud moment.

Back then I think it was even more special then it would be now because it was really hard to make a record in 1980’s. Nowadays anybody can make a CD in their house. Holding your CD is not that a big of a deal but back then, if you had a record that meant that you got signed, that you have a record deal and that you went through all the steps to have a real record. So the feeling of holding the record on that record shop is hard to beat.

What was the biggest moment since your reunion?
Probably the moment of the reunion, in 2001 at the benefit show: the Thrash of the Titan. The first time we stepped on stage, the reaction from the crowd, how loud they got singing all the words of our songs.

That show [Thrash of the Titan] and the headline show we did at the Efenaar Club, in Holland. That was the first show we did reunited in Europe since 1990 that show was also really, really amazing. The crowd was so loud that we could hear ourselves, they were singing the words of our songs so loud and it was, yeah, a really big feeling.

That’s the reason why we stayed together this whole time. I mean, we were only going to do a couple of shows, just for fun, and call it quits but the ways the fans reacted… 11 years later and we are still playing.

You just said something about the feeling of having a record deal on 1980’s. How weird was to come from that era, stop for a few years, and then come back at this totally different “MP3” era?
Pretty weird… but then again, it has been happening gradually and of course we were aware of it. So, when it happened to our music it wasn’t really that weird because it was just what was normally happening anyway. I mean, if it happened over night, it would be very, very strange.

Personally I prefer the way it was, in the old school. It was definitely much more magical making music and releasing music
interview Death Angel. Also, a lot easier for you to actually try to sell your music instead of being pirated for free everywhere.

So, yeah, it’s not so weird as much as it is a little bit sad that it is the way that it is now… to me, for an artist. For a fan, is probably cool because you get a lot of free music all the time.

My music collection, as anybody else’s, is huge because of that [music industry today]. I mean, you know, I would not have bought all that music. I listen to a lot of music so it’s great for me to owe all of that… and I don’t have a lot of money. I still buy music but not as much.

So, it’s good and bad. If you use the music to listen to it a lot, I don’t really care. I’m not really that concerned if some kid gets our music for free as long as they listen to it and they like our music. Maybe it leads them to come to our show, buy a shirt or something… so, that’s cool.

About Death Angel: do you still see you guys as a Thrash Metal band?
Yes, pretty much so. There was a point in time that we went though a period of ourselves that we didn’t want to be so classified, you know? But after a while, I can understand how and why you classify music, there is a reason for that: so people can figure out how you sound like. So, in that case, yeah, we are a thrash metal band and particularly, “Bay Area thrash” style of music.

It does sound that way but, we are definitely not limited to that. From all of the thrash bands we have been known to push the envelope of our music in lots of different directions outside of straight thrash. Some people like that, some people don’t like that. But, we can’t help it because we like a lot of kinds of music.

We have to even try to keep it more thrash because if so, the album would be all over the place (laughs), but we don’t want to do that to people who want to listen to a heavy album from beginning to end. So we keep the experimentation to a minimum, so it fits.

During the time that Death Angel was not playing together you had side projects. Do you still work on these projects? If yes, are you going to release something out of them?
Eventually yes. The only thing that I have time left for is basically the acoustic music vibe I play. I write and record that stuff with Gus Pepa, who is the original other guitar player of Death Angel, before we broke up. I keep in touch with him. He is not into playing metal and going on tour anymore but he still loves to play guitar and hang out. We are good friends so, when I get off the road is a very nice break to get together with him and we just play almost straightly acoustic music… lots of styles of acoustic.

We already did release one CD of that [Lines on the Road] and by now we’ve written enough songs to do another CD. It is just a matter of time now. There’s hardly any time because Death Angel keeps me so busy. And now, when Death Angel is not busy (sort of speak), I try to write the next album of Death Angel so I don’t have any time left. If there was more time I would do it right away.

Any hopes to maybe do some concerts for this acoustic project?
Yes, definitely… some day!

Are there any messages you would like to give to the Spirit of Metal readers?
Anybody that is our fan or supports our music: thank you so much. We are coming out strong, we are working very hard and we have a lot of new stuff coming out soon.

This summer our DVD is coming out: “A Thrashumentary”. We’ve been working on that for the last couple of years, throughout these whole tours, very interesting and funny.

And also, we are going to re-release “The Ultra-Violence”, our debut album that hasn’t been available for, at least, the last 10 years. You can’t find it anywhere. So, we finally figured it out, did a deal and we will be re-releasing that in the summer, doing some shows where we play only that album from beginning to the end. So, that will be happening.

Keep looking for us and thank you very much!

Interview done by Deesse_de_la_nuit

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AkerfeldtOpeth - 23 四月 2012: Death angel en 1987 avait realise un album très mature pour des ados à l'époque