Death Angel

Interview date

08 Décembre 2013


Blaster of Muppets


Interview Rob Cavestany (face to face)

Hi Rob! It’s a pleasure to welcome you again. Thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions for the webzine Aux Portes du Metal.

Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here!

So, you’re touring to promote your latest album to date, the excellent “The Dreams Calls For Blood”, how has the tour been going so far?

Well, it’s been great. I mean, the album just came out, we’ve already toured North America and it’s our third week here in Europe and it’s great because you see more and more people singing the words and knowing the new songs. It’s nice, and we’re having a great time playing the new songs too. It’s fun.

If I tell you that “The Dream Calls For Blood” is the most thrash oriented, aggressive and straightforward album you’ve put out since “The Ultra Violence”, do you agree?

Yeah, I do agree with that and I’m glad it’s very apparent to most people too. It’s true that this one is uncompromising.

The limited edition contains Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” as a bonus track. Why this song in particular?

Well, it’s one of my favourite songs for one thing. And it’s a tribute to Dio too, of course. We’ve been playing that song live, half of it actually, for a year now… I thought that Mark’s voice would sound killer on that one and it does. So we’ve played that song and it always works very well in our shows, it’s such a great song, and when it came to record the album I said “Yeah, let’s record the whole song and put a little Death Angel twist at the end when it kind of speeds up”… and that’s it. We love that song.

If you were to record a cover album one day, what songs would you like to include?

Well, I would like to cover “Purgatory” by Iron Maiden. We used to do a little bit of that song in our live sets… Another one would be “Riding On The Wind” by Judas Priest, sometimes we play that one at rehearsals, we have fun, it’s killer and Mark can do a good Halford as well. A song by Cro-Mags too, I love that band, and some Discharge too. These are the first songs or bands that come to my mind, that would be a good start, I think.

Is this album like a new direction for the band, something you’d like to continue and explore, or could the next release be totally different from this one?

Well, I’m not going to promise anything because so many things can change between now and the time we’ll work on a new album. What matters is how we feel at the time we start writing. Right now, that’s the path I want to follow. If we were to start writing some new songs right now, they would probably sound a lot like the songs on our new album but I want to be honest, I’m not going to say that the next album will be like that because it truly depends on what we’re gonna experience next year. You know, there have been different styles and things on our past albums but at least you can be sure that at the time, when we tried different things, we were 100% behind what we did. We were never like “Ok, we’re gonna make an album like this and then we’ll do an album like that”. And, you know, whatever it is that we had to experience and go through to create and album like “The Dream Calls For Blood” is pretty heavy. To create another album like that might be hard. Nothing’s impossible but it might be hard… because this album is just an expression of what we’ve been through. If you listen to it, it appears that we’ve obviously been through some intense shit! It’s not jolly, it’s heavy, it’s brutal… it’s about aggression and thrash. It’s meant in a positive way but it’s definitely getting rid of some demons at the same time so, I don’t know what we’ll have to go through to create another album like that (laughs)!!

I think I read somewhere that you said that you might not be very young compared to some bands, but that you were still angry. Do you believe you have to be angry to play thrash metal?

That’s a good question. I don’t know if you necessarily have to be angry in terms of being an angry person in general, but yeah I do think that you have to tap into some elements of anger that are part of your life. You know, any kind of anger, angst or frustration that can be found in any normal person’s life: problems with your job, your family, your relationships… And there are different ways to release this. You can bottle it up, freak out and do something really terrible or you can get rid out of it, go to the gym and work out for example, hit a fucking bag or something. You can let it out in a positive or productive way or you can be non-positively destructive with your anger. By nature, we are not really angry people but, like everyone, we have our problems and we’re basically lucky to have this vessel to channel all the bad stuff. When it’s time to let that out, we do it in our music, we go on stage and we let that out. All the bad feelings that we sometimes have, we can exorcise into the music we write and when it’s done we can go back to our normal life.

I checked your recent setlists, just out of curiosity, and I found it quite interesting and surprising that you actually play a lot of new songs, there’s only a couple of old classics... Is it a kind of declaration like “we don’t rely on our past, we’re not a nostalgic act”?

Mainly, to be quite honest with you, it’s because we just really love our new album and we love playing the new songs. The album was written on the road and designed with the live show in mind. I think they work really well live. And you know, we recently played “The Ultra-Violence” in its entirety, last year on tour. We did that all around, on tour, everywhere so I think our fans had the chance to see that… So, after that, it felt like we needed to do something really different. I know it’s a safer thing to do your old classic songs, to play the songs you know the fans want to hear and nothing can go wrong but we really wanted to play new songs. And the thing is it’s been working really well. We’ve been doing that for seven weeks now and it’s working. If it had not been working, we would have changed the setlist but it’s been great, so there’s really no reason to change anything. Another reason is we want to get used to playing these new songs because we intend to tour a lot in 2014 and these songs are so new to us, we’ve just started playing them and we want to get comfortable playing these songs so we can go crazy on stage like when we play older material. But first, we have to get to used to them, you know.

Your last album covers are linked, we can see a wolf pack in sheep’s clothing on both illustrations. Would you like to follow this theme with your next releases?

Well, we’ve been talking about it. I think that if we can control ourselves and be reasonable, it would be a good thing to stop right there because I don’t want to overkill it. You know, we’re already making jokes of ourselves, we’ve started imagining a cover with the wolves having a cup of tea, or the same wolves in a spaceship (laughs)!! I think it’s good as it is like that, if we continue, I don’t know… it’s going to become a joke or something. I love these album covers, I really do, I think they look killer… Maybe another one would be ok, you know, a trilogy could work… But, after that, I think it would be pushing it a bit too far. I really hope we can come up with a new concept so killer, but away from the wolves, and you won’t miss the wolves because the next thing will be so fucking cool…


Hahahaha… Yeah, ducks, good idea. With Santa Claus hats… That’s great (laughs)!!

Do you intend to record some shows in the near future for a possible live album?

A DVD is in the works right now. It should have been released already but it took too long and we started writing the new album so it’s been delayed. But, the thing is, we’re gonna be able to bring things from this era, from this tour for “The Dream Calls For Blood”, to it. So the DVD will be complete. It’s gonna be called “A Thrashumentary” because it’s like a whole documentary covering everything from the beginning of the band until now. The first half of it is the history of the band all the way up to “Relentless Retribution” and the next half is on tour for “Relentless Retribution”. The guys came with us on tour for almost two years. So they’ve got footage of us everywhere, on all continents, on stage, in the bus, backstage… And so far, it ends at “Relentless Retribution”. Now, we have to get the filmmakers back to add stuff from this tour and it will be complete. I hope it will be out in a year from now.

Will there be live shows or just footage of you on tour?

There will be live shows as well of course. So far, I think we’ve got footage from three different live shows: one in Los Angeles, another one we did for an outdoor festival in the Philippines and another one from a festival in Europe, Bang Your Head I believe… It’s gonna be great!

Your classic album, “The Ultra-Violence”, has already been reissued because it was unavailable, and since then, it has become unavailable again. Are there any other plans for another reissue in the future?

Nothing’s planned for the moment but we’ll probably get around to it at some point.

What are the bands that inspire you or challenge you these days?

Well, there are old-school bands, like us, bands we’ve been playing or touring with, that are friends, peers and sort of competitors at the same time: Exodus, Kreator, Sepultura, Testament, Anthrax… And there are also some great upcoming bands like Havok, Battlecross, Revocation, Municipal Waste, Warbringer…

Now, on a less happy note, some of you come from the Philippines which have been recently hit by a typhoon… How does this affect you, guys? Do you have news from people or your families there?

It’s a terrible thing that happened, of course. It’s such a brutal situation out there. Luckily, for my immediate family or friends, nobody that they know has been affected by it. So I didn’t really have any close people, nor any people I know have anybody that was affected by that thing. It’s a bit closer to us and to our hearts because of our origins and heritage… but truth be told, I never lived in the Philippines nor do I have really close people who live directly there, so I feel sad for the people just as I do when tragedies like that happen in other parts of the world. It’s terrible.

Anything you’d like to say, a message, a thought, something I didn’t ask you and you wish I did, this is your chance:

Ok, just a last message for the people who are checking this out: I want to say a big thank you. We’re very grateful for our fans and for metal fans in general. It’s great that you support our music or just music at all. We’ll always give you everything we’ve got and we appreciate the energy you give back. Now, let’s have some fun tonight!

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