Cage, Death Dealer


16 Novembre 2015


Blaster & Evanessa

Interview Sean Peck (by mailer)

Here is a man who has been quite busy lately. Not only Sean Peck has been hired as the new vocalist for Denner/Shermann (the two legendary Danish axemen from Mercyful Fate) but he has also found the time to release a new album with his own band, Cage, and another one with the power metal supergroup Death Dealer. These three recordings have all been released last October. Aux Portes Du Metal brings you an exhaustive interview with Sean Peck with questions related to all his different projects. Enjoy!


Let’s start with some questions about your new Cage record, shall we? First, it has been four years since the previous album “Supremacy Of Steel” was released. Why did it take so long for the band to come up with “Ancient Evil”? Is it because of the other bands you’ve been involved with?

We have been sitting with the completed record for over a year now. We signed a deal with our great new label SMG records and they had to get their infrastructure together so the release could be done right. So we have not lagged as much as it seems. Ha! We are already halfway done with the next record though so fear not.

So, “Ancient Evil” is a concept album based on a horror story you wrote, is that right? Can you tell us a bit more about this story?

I wrote the story in preparation for a side project I got asked to do with some former King Diamond members. It was ironic that now I am in Denner/Shermann! That thing kind of fizzled out and I was left with this story. I kept filling in the blanks and eventually it became a 150 page novella. I brought it to the guys in Cage and they all read it and agreed to tackle it as kind of a King Diamond "Abigail/Them" kind of thing. It takes place in London for most of the story in 1869 with some Egyptian flash back scenes. A prison guard has a sick wife and is approached to partake in an experiment to cure her. There is a sinister secret that the main character discovers too late. It takes him down a dark adventure where he must confront impossible odds to slay another worldly beast as he chases it throughout London’s catacombs. It is heavily HP Lovecraftian and has lots of action. I cannot however guarantee a happy ending, ha!

Is the story anywhere to be found? Can your fans buy it?

Yes, Amazon has the ebook and we will soon upload the audio book which I narrated, to be sold on the Cage website as well. We also have a limited number of paperback books for sale too which will be on the Cage store soon.

The line-up has changed since “Supremacy of Steel”. Did this have consequences on the new material and the way the album sounds?

Definitely in a good way. The new line-up consists of Casey Trask on guitar, Sean Elg on drums and now Alex Pickard on bass although Dwight Magic played bass on the record. The new line up is so vicious… so far my favorite line up yet!! They are all skilled writers and fully adapted instantly to the Cage vibe and live it is insane!

Did the new guys write anything for “Ancient Evil” or was it just you and Dave Garcia who created it?

Oh yes the new guys were in there all the way. Casey is a great riffmaster and Dwight Magic came up with some cool shit too. The writing actually flowed really smooth on this one and that is quite a surprise as concept albums can be very tricky to make good.

19 tracks and 75 minutes of uncompromising heavy/thrash metal with lots of double bass, fast guitars and high screams, no ballads, almost no mid-temp songs… don’t you fear it might be a bit hard to take even if you love that kind of metal?

Yes, I have to admit I thought it might be a bit of overload being so intense and so long. I also thought this album you might have to let it grow on you a bit but based on the fan and press reaction I was wrong. The album ends with a mellow track and we have gotten great praise for that one too which is a trip. So never underestimate the metal heads and their craving for the steel! Everyone seems to be taking the full ride and liking it. This album is best played and experienced by shutting out all outside stimuli and lighting some candles and playing the cd the whole way through.

This is not the first time you are so “generous”. “Hell Destroyer” had 21 tracks if I remember correctly. Would you say that you don’t like short albums? :)

For some reason this is how we always have done it. All of the songs have to be worthy though. This story had to be completely told and it took a lot of songs to do it properly.

You hired Blaze Bayley to do some narration on this album, how did this idea come up and how did it work?

I did not want to do the character voices at all I wanted them all to be done by outsiders which I feel really added to the vibe of the story and presentation. Blaze did a great job and we are so thankful for his work. He plays the main character Elliot Worthington. Another guy played the protagonist Allistar and they booth did a killer job. Dave pieced them all together for a convincing performance. It is funny to have Blaze on the record but not singing ha!

You recently shot a video for the song “Across The Sea of Madness”. How was it to work on such a project? How satisfied are you with the result?

The video came out so good we are so proud of it. I have to thank Rich Varville for a fantastic job. To me it is one of the best metal videos ever. It really tells an important part of the story and brings the whole thing to life visually. I mean who has a mini movie, a concept cd, an audio book, an ebook, and a paper back book in the history of metal?? It was a lot of work but to see how people are embracing the story and the music makes it worthwhile…

Will there be another one for this record?

There might be one for the song “Ancient Evil” which is going to be killer I hope it happens. We are releasing an extended version of the “Across The Sea of Madness” video which has an after scenes credit scene that sets up the next video. If it happens it will have his hot wife Annabelle half naked which is never bad!


Let’s talk about Death Dealer, now. So this is the second time Death Dealer brings heavy metal to the world. Are there things you wanted to be different from “War Master”?

Not consciously, no. We are all about writing just killer metal songs and that was the number 1 priority. We definitely took more time to do this record though.

How would you describe “Hallowed Ground” to someone who’s never heard the band before?

I think it combines all the best things about classic, true, power, and thrash metal genres. We have covered a lot of ground here and kept it ripping but really diverse at the same time. There are massive orchestration pieces that really give an epic feel to the thing and lots of cool interludes too. There is a relentless feel to the record.

Why did Rhino leave and how did it affect the band?

Rhino will always be a Brother. He could not commit to the schedule as we really wanted to hit the road and play and jump right on the next record too. We wish him well of course. It was cool meeting back up with him in Turkey where he joined us once again and played “Hail and Kill” with us. Steve Bolognese did a great job writing these drum parts and performing them on “Hallowed Ground”.

How did you find his replacement, Steve Bolognese? What would you say he brought to Death Dealer?

My buddy, a local promoter in San Diego suggested him. Primarily it was because he was the most fun guy in music he had ever hung out with. Also the fact that he was a killer drummer was just an afterthought. Steve came to the Hollywood House of Blues and saw Cage play where it was the first time we met and we became good friends since then. He is a killer player and makes it look effortless. We have lots of crazy antics on the road with this guy it definitely make touring even crazier. His style and ideas really added that extra pizzaz we needed to make this thing really special.

How did the Death Dealer story start? Who contacted who?

Man that’s a long story. It started as an idea when Stu and I were just joking around. He said we need to take this name and start a band. I saw the trademark was available so I grabbed it and started making calls to the most famous metal freaks I could think of. I started with Mike Davis who for some reason wanted in. Then Rhino and then Ross. They all agreed to be in this fantasy band and then I called back Stu and said, “Dude, I guess we have to make a record now ha!”

How is work shared in Death Dealer? Who does what in the band?

Stu produces and engineers the whole thing. I record all my vocals and handle a lot of the artwork ideas and art direction. Ross, Mike, and Steve all record their own stuff and Stu puts it together.

There was a rare limited edition of your first album with a couple of bonus tracks. Will there be a similar thing for “Hallowed Ground”? Have you kept songs that didn’t make it to the tracklist?

Well, that was the Japanese version. We have a bonus song ready to go for the Hallowed Ground but I am not sure what we are doing with it. It was called “Cold Dead Hands”. Ross and I love it.

Do you consciously approach writing differently when you work with Death Dealer or is the process the same as it is with Cage?

Not really I think going forward it will be interesting what song idea goes where. Earlier it was easy because Cage had the concept thing going. Death Dealer was the recipient of any non horror idea I had although I did come up with “Séance” late in the writing process. Now I think I will take one album at a time. I am currently writing the next Cage record and the full length Denner/Shermann, then I will tackle the next Death Dealer record. We want to really insure the quality level stays high, the first 2 will be very hard to beat.

If a metalhead wanted to check on this band, what are the first tracks you would tell him to listen to?

Ha! “Death Dealer”, “War Master”, “U-666”, “Gunslinger”, and “I am the Revolution”.

What does the future hold for Death Dealer as far as you know?

New record and a lot more touring. We have a great time on the road and have made great progress for such a new band.


Now, just a couple of questions about the Denner / Shermann “Satan’s Tomb” EP. First, how did you get the job? Did the track “King Diamond” on Cage’s “Hell Destroyer” had anything to do with that? :)

Ha! No. It is a full product of Facebook. I saw that there was a press release from them about doing a new album with various singers. I was a huge fan so of course I was interested in at least throwing my name at them to be considered for a song. I messaged Hank and was so excited just to get a reply that said yes, he knew who I was and would consider me. A few months later I was shocked to hear from him saying he had a song for me to check out if I was still interested I was freaking out with excitement and quickly sent him a chorus idea for what is now the title track… "Satan’s Tomb". I was really nervous hoping he would like it and the next email was…Do you want to do the whole EP? I said yes and the rest is heavy metal history!

How was it to work with the great guitarists from the legendary Mercyful Fate? How much were you involved in the making of this EP?

Hank and myself did the majority of the writing. Michael added some insane stuff throughout but Hank and I talked every day it seemed. We never stopped working I was really excited that he and I really were on the same page idea wise and I was able to present these topical concepts that to me, Mercyful Fate fans would want to see as titles. We finished the Ep and have not looked back. It was good for me to have Hank educate me towards his writing style which is not as straight ahead as I am used to composing. That is his magic.

Do you know if there’s going to be a follow-up to Satan’s Tomb? Has a full-length release been considered?

We are at least half way done writing it. I am super pumped on what we have so far and think it will eclipse the EP which so many seem to like. I am just still pinching myself to make sure that this is all really happening since I am such a huge King Diamond and MF fan. The fact that the fans have really accepted me as the singer was a shock in some ways. I knew it was really good but the KD diehards I thought would stage a revolt against any singer. I thank everyone who has sent us any of the thousands of messages we have received praising the EP.


And now’s the time for more general questions. With all these exciting projects, how are you going to decide what your priority is?

They are all a priority I give all my time to metal that is why my girlfriend keeps threatening to leave me. Metal makes life worth living, ha!!!

Apart from the obvious Judas Priest/King Diamond influences, what other musicians made you want to become a singer?

I was a big fan of most of the hair metal bands as well and the hooks that are found in lots of those songs I have imbued into my own style. I want every song to have a hook that I write and I think bands like Dokken, Black and Blue, Helix, Ratt, WASP and others have really had a positive impact on my song writing.

And what are the more recent bands or musicians you admire or really like listening to these days?

I dig Battle Beast, Sabaton, Ambush, Enforcer, and some others.

Now, with all these bands to front, is there any chance we might see you on tour in Europe and more particularly in France next year?

Yes, I can guarantee I will be in Europe on tour with all three bands. Lots of it is already planned.

Any exciting news you’d like to share with us, anything important I forgot to ask you?

Ha, that about covers everything. Cage is writing a record now that may not go out under the Cage name due to the unique nature of the project. It is still straight ahead metal but we have a really cool innovation that will put the metal world on its head!

Mr. Peck, the final word is yours:

Thanks to all our fans and please spread the word there are millions of metal heads who have not discovered us and we need your help!!! And thank you for all the killer questions! Hail!!!