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INTERVIEW JOHN WAITE 2013

HARD ROCK INTERVIEWS 2013 - DEATH ANGEL ROB CAVESTANY

 

DEATH ANGEL

Rob Cavestany talks to Andrew...

ABOUT THE AWESOME NEW ALBUM - The Dream Calls For Blood - out October 10th 2013

CHECK OUT THE REVIEW OF The Dream Calls For Blood - HERE

 

Hailing from Concord California Death Angel is a Thrash Metal band currently on their second lease of life after reforming in 2001 (initially they rode the first wave of Thrash from 1982 to 1991). Currently rehearsing for their upcoming tour in the US, the band is just about to release their latest studio album 'THE DREAM CALLS FOR BLOOD'.

 

Andrew settled down to chat with Rob a couple of days before the release and after discussing their common Filipino heritage it was all about the awesome new album in depth!

 

 

 

 

Andrew: Hi, hows it going?

 

Rob: It's going good! How are you doing?

 

Andrew: Yeah good thanks! First off, thanks for taking the time to talk to us, it's much appreciated.

 

Rob: Oh sure of course, the pleasure is mine!

 

Andrew: I've just been listening to the new album "The Dream Calls For Blood", I absolutely love this album! It's one of the thrashiest albums you guys have put out. Just tell us a bit about how the album came together?

 

Rob: It came together in an interesting and very intense way so there's no doubt that this album has got the fierce energy that it's got. It's kinda got a bit of a long story but I'll tell you because all these factors lead to this album, there's no other way around it. Starting with the fact that we had been on tour for 3 years for "Relentless Retribution", then coming home in between tours for 3 years straight, that in itself is an intense situation. We never toured that long before, I don't know what posessed us but we were on a mission to spread the word and do what we do so we just kept going and inevitably it was going on for so long that I realized I better start writing for the next album or it's going to be way too long between albums. So I started to write while we were on tour which I had done in the past but not to this extent, not this much writing. Totally writing in the last year we were on tour, anywhere we could while we were on the road. Back of the bus, hotel room or wherever, backstage, fucking anywhere man. So that in and of itself, I think writing while in that environment surrounded by everything that touring is, playing shows every night, you got the energy of the crowd, the other killer bands and musicians that you are surrounded by, our peers.

 

Rob: Tourng with Anthrax, Testament, Kreator and all these guys, it's very inspiring and it also pushes you to want to write something that is going to blow everyone's minds from the fans to the other guys in the other bands. And meanwhile as this was going on, we were gone from home for so long and everything that just, shit happening in your life and everything around your personal legality, your psychological wellbeing, being on the road for that long and away from home and your loved ones for that long, it get's really crazy. It get's intense. The highs are intense, the lows are also intense. Everything about it gets amplified and emotional and everything else. Throughout those 3 years a lot went on, personally and musically and a lot of heavy shit, good and bad and it was all massively fueling the emotion that would be expressed into music. You add to that we reached the 25th anniversary of our debut album "The Ultra-Violence" and that happened this year so we re-released "The Ultra-Violence" in the middle of the tour and then slipped up our set to where we are doing the entire "The Ultra-Violence" album from beginning to end as the first part of our set. So I figured that while we were doing that, playing that album it was also giving some kind of influence on our own music, on my own self, playing that early album in the style of that album, which is probably the most straight forward thrash album we have other than "The Dream Calls For Blood". I felt that was also going to be good and widely accepted as well as good for my own self and our own band because what better way to go back to your roots than by playing your entire first album every night. I knew that was going to be a good thing going to your roots that way because people love that shit and so do I and it would have to be something that would happen naturally instead of trying to cop the feel of what you had 25 years ago rather than just trying to think about it and flashback on it. By actually playing the album every night it naturally brought it to the surface. So all that was happening at one time as we were creating the music of this album.

 

Rob: When we got home finally from the last show of the tour before the recording was going to begin, the other part of the plan was that we would not take a break whatsoever in between the tour and going in for the album. Although it was going to be totally exhausting and ridiculous of an idea to do that where a break was very much needed, we also knew that if we didn't take a break we would never come down off the high of the road and then have to ramp yourself back up again after chilling out at home and just being in the studio and not in front of a crowd and not a tour bus and not surrounded by that life. So literally 4 days after I flew home from Europe from the last show, 4 days later I was on a plane to Florida on the other side of the country from where I live to begin recording the album where I stayed for 2 months straight before I came back home again. So that's where all the fire (came from), everything about the road was still with us when the button turned red and the record button was on and you're actually laying down the takes, the performances that you're capturing on the album, it's just the other half of it. One half is writing it and coming up with it and having the songs created but then a lot can happen in between the time the songs are created and the time you actually capture them onto the record. I didn't want that gap to happen, I wanted the same feeling of fire and fury and emotion to come out in our performances as we tracked the album. That, my friend, is exactly what happened! Even though it almost killed us doing it, it was intense all the way.

 



 

 

Andrew: That sounds amazing! It so clearly explains why the album is so intense, I can also hear the Ultra-Violence influence on there. I did want to ask you how much of an impact did it have and by the sounds of it, it actually had quite an effect on the recording of this new album.

 

Rob: It did man because another thing was re-living the feel and the feeling of living the moment like we did back then which is another hard thing to put yourself into because, I mean just by the sheer nature of your age and everything that you have experienced in life and the decade that passed, the days of old when you were a naive innocent youth running around just fucking exploring and discovering everything. That's the frame of mind that we were in when we did "The Ultra-Violence" and that's why it's got that feeling on the album. We certaintly were not seasoned musicians or even human beings at the time, what you hear is the youthful energy and excitement that happens when you are living in the moment and you are not too concerned about yesterday and you are certaintly not concerned about tomorrow. You are only thinking about what is happening right then and so nowadays of course you are very concerned about the future and the past is constantly haunting you so in this case it was about letting go of all that and trying to just live in the moment which we try to carry on even now going into the tour. It's not easy to do once again but that's the focus there and in doing so I think you are able to release things that are inside you that you needed to tap into, deeper things that you can get to if you release yourself and surrender yourself to it. But it's not easy.

 

Andrew: Yeah that just sounds great. I wanted to ask you also about the album title "The Dream Calls For Blood". I get the impression that it signifies some kind of battle cry or something. What's the meaning behind the name?

 

Rob: Yes that is truly what it is, it's a battle cry but it's also a mantra for us. Mark (Osegueda, vocalist) came up with that phrase when he wrote the lyrics for that song. I love it when I read that, I was like 'That's awesome brother, I can totally feel where you're coming from' and he's representing our entire feeling about that which is for us, the dream is what we do. It's our band, it's keeping our band alive and staying in this musical world that we live to do and we have always done since we were little kids. That's the dream, and the blood represents everything that you put into it and I mean everything! The countless hours, the blood, sweat, the tears, the heart and soul, all the sacrifices that goes along with it. Without trying to sound like it's all negative and dark which it's obviously not but a lot of it is. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes. People don't realize nor do they really care to know about it because it's not really the important part, doesn't have much to do with the music that they are listening to and stuff but if you want to know the fuel behind what drives something like this and what pushes you to bring out these things, it's just exactly that. And for us it's all the personal reality that we are experiencing going through being in this band. The curse and the blessing that music is to us and the dream is your goal. The thing that you are reaching, your goal. Everyone has one or at least hopefully they do. Many people do and they do everything in their power to make it happen and that's what we do and we are just kinda pointing out, it's like us just releasing and venting out what it is to us and also a message to others that it's possible for other people to achieve their goals and their dreams but they have to put into it to get out of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew: Yeah and there's so much great stuff on the album, every song is intense and heavy. But my favorite has to be the 2nd last track "Empty", has such a killer riff. Do you have any favorites on the album so far?

 

Rob: Oh nice that's cool to hear! I'm stoked to hear that you like that one. That one of all things was really written with Ultra-Violence in mind, from my point of view on the music. I was totally vibing on that when I wrote that song.

 

Andrew: It's probably one of the reasons I like it so much, that main riff is addictive.

 

Rob: Right on man thanks! Totally the old school thrash for sure. It's hard to a pick a favorite, I love them all for different reasons. Currently I'm totally focusing on the first 5 songs in a row, I just play them when I'm practicing. I go at least 5 in a row before I stop to take a breather so I dunno man, I'm gonna go with the first 5 songs in a row as my current favorite block of music from our album. But then that's not to discount the 2nd 5 songs, it's just that I've been playing and focusing on detailing all my solos on those songs right now for the rehearsals for the tour so that's the reason why I'm choosing those for now.

 

Andrew: Every song sounds great and for me personally I think it's just about your best album so far. I also wanted to ask you just in recent years thrash metal seems to have gained quite a bit of interest with a lot of newer bands popping up and more fans getting into it. What's your take on this resurgence of thrash metal?

 

Rob: I think it's fucking amazing man! It's great and about time. It doesn't surprise me just because to me it's a solid genre, or sub-genre of metal, it's a solid brand of music. It's timeless in it's own way. Of course there are aspects of it that are dated just like anything else but the style of music in and of itself, it has such elements that just makes the blood pump and it's exciting and it's got killer musicianship but it's got fucking loads of attitude and it's street level. It can really relate and especially to the youth and that's why we got turned on to it when we were so young. It's exciting and it has all those elements and I'm just really glad to see that a lot of younger bands and a lot of people in general are, if they didn't catch it the first time round, if they were too young or just weren't paying attention, maybe now is the chance for them to latch on and taste the flavor of this music that's called thrash. It's fun, it's a fucking killer time and there's a lot to be gained from delving into it and letting it take over your mind and your soul!

 

Andrew: Haha well as I said, it's my favorite genre so I'm happy that it's taken up this whole new 2nd kind of wave with all these thrash bands coming out. You have probably played with a lot of them like Warbringer and Havok and all these newer bands who are basically taking what the old schoolers have done and brought it to a next level kind of thing.

 

Rob: Oh fuck yeah! I mean we got 3 of them on our upcoming North American tour that we handpicked on purpose because they each have their different brand of it but they bring something to it and got the raw energy of where it's coming from. These bands are Revocation, Battlecross and then this really young band Diamond Plate. I don't know if you heard these guys yet but they're bringing it man, I think it's going to be a really killer tour. I'm so excited, it's going to be great time of quality music.

 

Andrew: Yeah I know the first 2 bands but I don't know Diamond Plate. Where are they from?

 

Rob: I'm not exactly sure where these kids come from, somewhere in the States. They are definitely up and coming, they're really new and we want to give them a good shot on the road with a good bill so they're going to be the opening band on our bill. The main support right before us is 3 Inches Of Blood, they've been around for quite some time but the other guys are fairly newer. They just all totally shred too, all the musicians just fucking shred man. Really good energy from all these bands so looking forward to seeing them live every night, watching everybody inspire one another and we will show them what the old guys can do at the end of the night!

 

 

 

 

Andrew: What are the plans for the album release as far as touring? Any chance we can get you guys to come down to Australia at all?

 

Rob: My god that had better happen or I'm gonna have somebody's ass! Or Arse, whatever you wanna call it! It's been way too long since we have been to Australia, way too long! I don't know what the fuck is going on but everytime I hear that we are going to play, something doesn't happen and we end up not coming there. It's really bumming me out. I'm bummed that we missed the whole 3 year Relentless tour and we hit every country in multiple times except Australia. It's sad to me but this tour we gotta come there. I heard rumors of us trying to set something up in April, I'll go ahead and push those rumors out to you even though nothing is confirmed but the more people are talking the better so maybe if we talk about it, people will make sure it happens.

 

Andrew: Yeah we need to get people to demand to get you guys to come down here because we need more thrash metal in Australia. It's really lacking here especially in the local scene so would be really great to see you guys come here.

 

Rob: Yeah man! We are ready to come there so please spread the word! And especially with this fucking massive festival that happens there?

 

Andrew: Yeah the Soundwave festival, March of every year.

 

Rob: Come on man! Everyone and their Mother's Brother are like 'You guys should play Soundwave'. Yeah we should so let's go and if we create a demand we'll hear about it and we'll be there so I hope and pray that the word gets spread and I appreciate people such as yourself supporting the scene and supporting Death Angel that will help bring us out there. We are on fire man, you guys have got to see the set we got going, it's insane!

 

Andrew: Great! Not just the old stuff but the new stuff as well. Have you actually played any of the new stuff live yet?

 

Rob: Nothing from this new album. Nothing!

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew: It will probably sound really good live I would think.

 

Rob: Oh hell yeah! In rehearsals when we were playing in pre-production, everything is on fire. So now we are going to be rehearsing for a month straight and some really aggressive rehearsal schedules as we want to get this shit really tight and really energetic for the shows. We kick off the tour here in our hometown in San Francisco, we got 2 nights in San Francisco which we haven't played in over a year so it's going to be a really fucking wild night. And the tour begins there, we go to Hollywood from there, we will be in New York by October and circling around the country and then we get back to California in the middle of November and we turn around and head straight out to Europe to do a month of headlining dates and ending with some Christmas festivals at the end of December. Come home for the holidays and catch our breath and then pick up where we left off in the beginning of 2014. I know we are already booked on that 70,000 tonnes of metal cruise and onward from there. I'm sure tours will be getting booked and you'll hear about them! Hope to see Australia in there!

 

Andrew: Sweet man! Would love to see you guys down here. Thanks again for taking the time to talk to us, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you about your new album and thrash in general so thanks again, it's been awesome!

 

Rob: My pleasure! Thank you very much for the support once again and great talking to you. Hope you have a good one today.

 

Andrew: Same to you, take care.

 

 

 

 

Rob spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe 17 September 2013

 

 

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