Sacred Metal Page > The Interview-Section > Destiny's End - To Be Immortal!!

Destiny's End - To Be Immortal!!

"Breathe Deep The Dark" - That's the name of the sensational debut from Destiny's End, a new   Power-Progressive-Metal-Band, founded by ex-Helstar singer James Rivera and three ex-members of New Eden. The album is a real "must" for each and every fan of sophisticated, dark, yet still heavy and melodic music - really a masterpiece!

Here's the result of an E-Mail "talk" with the new "hopeful-guitar-twins", Dan DeLucie and Perry M. Grayson (especially Perry comes down with some really long and interesting answers; great work, guys!!).

Sit back, play "Breathe..." on 10 and enjoy!!


SACRED METAL-Page: Let's start with the most obvious question: the beginning of Destiny's End! Tell me all about the founding! What are the aims you want to reach with the band?

Dan DeLucie (guitar): Brian, Nardo (Andi - bassplayer) and I were in New Eden. We were having trouble with our singer and Denis Gulbey of Sentinel Steel told us that James was in CA and we hooked up with him. He tried out and blew us all away! Incredible voice! Later we kicked out Horacio because we had disagreements about the music and what was being written for the next CD. I was friends with Perry and asked him to try out. I knew he was perfect right away because of the awesome riffs he played for me. He has made the band so much better than before (both the music and the attitude)!

Perry Grayson (guit.): Destiny's End was founded by the five band members who played on BREATHE DEEP THE DARK: Dan DeLucie (guitar), Nardo Andi (bass), Brian Craig (drums), James Rivera (vocals) and lastly myself on guitars. This came in the aftermath of James, Dan, Nardo and Brian deciding to part ways with Horacio Colmenares. Since one of us feel it's a accurate moniker for us and since Horacio wanted to keep the name New Eden, we set about searching for new names. I think it was Dan who came up with the full name, although I had some similar dark stuff in my list and so did Brian. Basically, all of us felt that New Eden sounded too religious and not dark enough. All of us wanted to play stuff that sounded darker, more "evil", with more ominous imagery in the lyrics. Since I'm not religious, New Eden was the last name I'd like to have for a band.

I'd been friends with Dan and his sister Linda for a while, but I hadn't seen New Eden live--I always seemed to be out of town when they played--until they played a gig opening for Fates Warning in late Aug. '97. I bought a copy of THROUGH THE MAKE BELIEVE and the SAVAGE GARDEN demo from Dan before that, so I knew the material a bit. There was some stuff on both recordings I didn't dig, especially "Now That You Have Gone" (both lyrically and musically), but there were some tunes I did dig. I was really impressed by the performance James, Dan, Brian and Nardo gave that night. While hanging with Linda and my other friends we could tell Dan was bent out of shape about something after their set was over. It was a very weird situation that night, because I was standing there after the show chatting with Mike Grant (who was New Eden's vocalist for a short spell after Victor Vaca left and before James came in) and Mike Bear (bassist of Prototype) and then Horacio walked over to talk to Mike Grant. Horacio asked Mike Grant what he was up to, and he pointed to me, saying he was going to be helping me out by singing on my demo. Later I met James for the first time, who was very cool compared to a lot of musicians I've met with massive ego problems. He's very down-to-earth. Little did I know that the guys had decided they'd had it with Horacio that night.

Having spent almost a year without a band, I decided to just record a demo under my band name of Obscure with my friends from other bands, namely Mike Bear & Kragen Lum from Prototype and Mike Grant (who has done some work for Sentinel Steel's forthcoming release Legendmaker, who are from Columbia). The truth is that I was all set to record the first Obscure demo up until the day after New Eden gig; I'd already started jamming with the Prototype guys and was just about to start working with Mike Grant on lyrics and vocal melodies. I was going to have Vince Levalois (guitarist/vocalist of Prototype) engineer the demo and finance it myself, but I never had to.

Dan's sister Linda called me to say that she and Dan had never really heard me play, and that they wondered if I had a tape of my stuff. Unfortunately I really didn't have anything presentable, as I'd never even recorded a full 4-track demo with any of my other projects. So, Dan asked me if I could just come down to his place, jam and learn some of the tunes. I went home and practiced non-stop on two tunes from the SAVAGE GARDEN demo and "Under Destruction's Thumb" and went down to rehearse with Nardo and Brian for two days, as Dan was sick. This led to daily rehearsals for almost two weeks, until James came back from Texas and the guys welcomed me into the band. I knew these guys had a deal in the works with Metal Blade, and playing in a signed metal band is something I've been pursuing for almost a decade. Looking back, I figure someone else would have been nervous as hell (I was to some degree), but I was very honest about what I was looking for in a band and just gave it my best effort. Theday after James came back we all set the gears in motion by visiting our new lawyer. It seems Horacio had been sitting on two contracts for six months...

I can sum our goals up pretty easily: to play honest, intelligent heavy and melodic metal without compromising our creativity, to tour for our fans across the globe, to keep the flag of metal flying high in the U.S. (and the world) and hopefully to be able to make a living playing the music we love. To be playing metal when I'm as old as the guys in Maiden, Priest and Sabbath is also a goal.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: Have you made a demo-tape before you've recorded your debut or how do you come across Metal Blade? For me it was a great decision! What do you think about the production from "Mr. Metal" Bill Metoyer?

Dan: Bill is a great guy and great producer!

Perry: No, we didn't record an official demo to shop with Metal Blade. The rest of the guys sent a recording of James doing vocals on a few New Eden songs over there before I was in the band and the Metal Blade chaps saw them live, as well. Mike Faley at Metal Blade was James' manager in Helstar, and when James came out to California in '97 Mike checked out what James was up to band-wise. There was a band James worked with in San Diego before New Eden that was in the Pantera vein, but Metal Blade didn't like them. Once they heard New Eden with James they were convinced, though! We actually had two deals to consider, Metal Blade and Nuclear Blast. Obviously, we decided to go with the Blade, due to the cool relationship we had with Mike Faley and Bill Metoyer. Right after I joined the band Mike came down to our rehearsal studio to check us out, which really showed me he had genuine interest. We later found out that Horacio took the Nuclear Blast deal.

Bill "Lord of the Board" Metoyer is definitely a cool guy and engineer to work with in my book. He's very relaxed and patient, and I think he's done some excellent work in the past. Bill's work on Fates Warning's AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN is probably my favorite mix and recording job. Bill's a cool producer as well; he has a great ear for tuning. Brian Slagel came in and helped Bill with the mix, and I feel that Brian really has a killer ear for how to make an album sound big and heavy. They're both cool guys, and I admire them both for staying in metal for so long.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: I know that three members played in New Eden (by the way: "Through The Make Believe" was my "debut of the year '97"...) before D.E. has been founded. I'm very interested in knowing the circumstances of the split with Horacio Colmenares. I know that he would continue under the banner of New Eden, but everywhere I'm reading that D.E. is the "follow-up" to New Eden. Please give some kind of explanation to these situations!

Dan: Like I said above, we did not get along when it came to songwriting. We wanted to be a team and he did not. His new music was not too good either. We dropped the name New Eden so we would not have any problems with Horacio (even though Nardo thought of the name). Bringing Perry into the band has been the best thing for us in all aspects. His music and guitar playing and lyrics are so much better than Horacio's. We are a much better band now.

Perry: I talked a bit about this before and I can add a little more, but not much. I really don't know Horacio at all, and I don't have any bones to pick with him about anything. Because I'm looked at as his "replacement", he may not be too pleased with me. But that's not my fault. I always go to see shows when the true metal bands come through L.A., and we see Horacio and his wife Irma pretty often at these. Personally, I hate to see band feuds going on in metal, and I don't like seeing people fightingbecause their other band members decided to part ways. I don't know Horacio, so I can't be pissed off at him for any reason. And as far as the name New Eden goes, I never liked it to begin with. The other guys in the band new him well and therefore have vastly different opinions, so I'll leave it up to Dan to fill in the blank spots. I only know what they've told me, and from I've heard it wasn't too pleasant being in New Eden. If there's one thing I can say about Destiny's End it's that we all enjoy playing music together. We look forward to rehearsals now, but I'm told before it was quite the contrary.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: For me, "Breathe Deep The Dark" is definitely (until now...) the debut of the year. It stands in a row together with albums in the tradition of Sanctuary, Helstar, Iced Earth, Steel Prophet, New Eden, Death ( the guitar-work!) and Omen. Do you like all the old Metal-stuff and how would you describe your own style of music?

Perry: Thanks! Sanctuary, Helstar, Iced Earth and DEATH are all favorite bands of mine, and that's definitely a compliment being mentioned in the same breath. I've been a metalhead most of my life, and I really dig old stuff because that's what I grew up on. Hard to believe, but Los Angeles radio (KMET) first exposed me to metal when I was only about six or seven years old. I cut my teeth on Kiss, AC/DC, Scorpions, Aerosmith, Blue Cheer, Sabbath, Maiden, Priest, Rush, Def Leppard, etc. So, that's where my background is. I love old metal: Diamond Head, Witchfinder General, Sortilege, Queensryche, Savatage, Mercyful Fate, Warlord, Armored Saint and stuff in that vein. I really dig the whole double-picking/technical thrash movement; that's what I was listening to in my early teens (old Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Exodus, Forbidden), along with bands like Death, Kreator, Sadus, Hexx, Coroner, Forced Entry, Carcass and the like. Progressive stuff like Watchtower, Death (from HUMAN on) and Cynic just blows my mind, and I'm constantly listening to them.I think our style is a mix of the old stuff with a modern, heavy sensibility to it. I'm definitely not into repetition or blatant rip-offs. You can tell who our influences are, though. Most of my favorite band's today have a similar approach to us (Death, Nevermore and Iced Earth). We're heavy, fast and dynamic, but we're still very melodic and song-oriented. D.E. doesn't rely on tuning down to be heavy. Before D.E. I used to tune down either a half step or a whole step most of the time, which is definitely cool. Since the rest of the guys never really did that, it's something we haven't experimented with yet. But Metallica (of old--I loathe the new) and Forbidden (before DISTORTION) also showed us that you can still be heavy in plain ol' E. I still love listening to bands like Death who tune down. We're true metal, and that's all there is to it. You won't see us playing something else, because this is the music that flows in our veins. I've always believed that metal is a music that purveys melody with strength, a music that allows one to express one's true emotions and explore things of a dark nature positively without being afraid of what anyone's going to say about it. Life's hard, the world's not a 100% "happy" place, so why should music lack aggression or be monotonously happy?

Because I dig a lot of heavier bands, I definitely brought that to Destiny's End. The rest of the guys listen to their share of heavy stuff, but my roots are a bit heavier because I'm the youngest (at 23) and was most exposed to the thrash movement. But I like metal, period, and I'm not into shoving it into a million different categories. I believe heaviness is only used to its fullest potential with melody and tightness. I explained to the guys when they asked me to hook up with them that I enjoyplaying stuff that's heavier and darker than New Eden, and they had no problem with that. And, to me, just because a band tunes down and copies Pantera that doesn't make them "heavy".

You mentioned Omen. I like 'em, but I do like other early Metal Blade bands more. Metal Blade's a label with history, and I grew up buying their stuff: Cirith Ungol, Sacrifice, Anacrusis, Armored Saint, Slayer, Trouble, Flotsam, etc. Some new albums I'm listening to at the moment: Prototype's '98 CD CLONED, Iced Earth, Arch Enemy, Blackstar, Savatage, Kreator, Mercyful Fate and Sacred Steel (YEEEESSS!! -Michael.).


SACRED METAL-PAGE: The cover-artwork is fantastic, too and fits perfectly to the music of D.E. How did you come across such a great picture and what does it mean for you?

Perry: Rainer Kalwitz is the artist. James had a bunch of samples of Rainer's work, including one he had in mind for the next Helstar record, which of course never happened. We all saw that one and wanted to use it, but it turned out that someone else bought it before we could, so we actually decided to commission Rainer to paint us an original based on the imagery in our lyrics.

The cover of the album, essentially, is Rainer's interpretation of the lyrics for "Breathe Deep the Dark", which I wrote with some help from Dan and James. What you're seeing is a shadowy figure standing high above a ruined city, long after the Earth has succumbed to a cataclysm. That figure is the character who's narrating "Breathe Deep the Dark", an outsider who lived his life alone by his own statutes away from the masses.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: Could you give me short comments about each and every song and their lyrics?

Perry: The whole album deals mainly with individuality and seeking immortality through various means... 

"Rebirth" is about someone getting a second chance to attain the goals they set for themselves, mainly because James has a second chance after Helstar with Destiny's End and the rest of the guys now have another chance after New Eden.

 "Breathe Deep the Dark", which I talked about before, is about a guy who in choosing to live his own way is exiled from the world of men and accepts this. The lyrics are a narration about how he has watched "those who they called men" destroy themselves,and how he now revels in the dark art (such as books) which survived the cataclysm. I dedicated this one to the memory of three fantasy authors who influenced me most: H. P. Lovecraft, Frank Belknap Long and Clark Ashton Smith. Some of the lines were directly inspired by lines in the work of all three weird literary men. The song is both about individuality (living life by what one believes in) and seeking to be immortal. "Sorcerers departed" refers to those authors, people the narrator remembered long after the rest of the world is dead. On another level, this also has to do with metalheads: we delight in music that's dark and heavy, and we'll delight in that darkness even if the masses don't accept what we do. I had most of the lyrics for "Breathe" written before James started working on the vocals with us, but he and Dan really helped me out by adding a few cool lyric lines of their own.

 "Idle City" and "The Fortress Unvanquishable" were inspired by an old short story ("The Fortress Unvanquishable Save for Sacnoth") by Lord Dunsany that I read several years back. The story's one of the most bizarre and epic fantasy tales (pre-dating Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS, I might add), involving a sword-bearing hero on a quest to vanquish a fortress which was constructed by the nightmares of his townspeople. Since telling the story word for word would be too cliche a metal song, I chose to write the lyrics to say "don't be afraid to dream or indulge in fantasy". I believe dreams and fantasy keep us sane individuals, and so did Lord Dunsany. At first I didn't think James was going to be able to fit the word "unvanquishable" into the song--so I didn't ask him to when I sent him my lyrics--but he managed to do it. For those who aren't into reading, unvanquishable means not capable of being conquered or defeated. James came up with some killer vocal melodies for this one right off the bat when we sent him a tape, and he added a few cool lines after I explained the gist of Dunsany's story.

"Clutching at Straws" is about people who's just fool themselves, who make up excuses to cover every one of their own shortcomings, those whose vision is totally blurred by what they falsely believe to be true but isn't.

"Under Destruction's Thumb" is yet another cautionary tale of where the world might be headed in the hands of politicians and weapons of mass-destruction. James has tackled this subject many times before in the past. The lyrics conjure up images, for meat least, out of George Romero's 1971 film THE CRAZIES.

 "Sinister Deity" is about how not to seek immortality: through exploiting others. James drew some of the inspiration for this tune from the movie SCARFACE. It's about a drug-lord who thinks he can become god-like if he is able to control other people by getting them addicted, etc. Pretty straightforward.

 "Unsolved World" is a comment on dealing with the harshities of reality and the unknown , the fact that some day we'll all evetually die. It's James' statement about living in the "real world" in the 1990s.

 "Where Do We Go?" follows up where "Unsolved" left off. James wrote these lyrics, too. It's about the question all human beings have: "Where do we go when we die?" It could've been miscontstrued as religious, but it isn't. Note the "For the one's who've always lied" line.

 "The Obscure" was inspired by three short stories by Frank Belknap Long ("The Flame of Life", "Giants in te Sky" and "The Timeless Man"). It's about whether an artist (musician, writer, etc.) will be remembered after he or she dies and how not to be remembered (by being a greedy, arrogrant person). An artist's work may been buried beneath the surface, but he seeks immortality by wondering if those who are around after he dies dig up his creations. This is directly about how people like myself have keptthe memory of neglected fantasy authors like Long, Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith alive by delving into obscure places to uncover their work. I had most of the lyrics except the chorus and bridge since my high school years. James helped me out with the last few words we needed.

 "To Be Immortal" on the surface sounds like it's told from the point of view of a dictator ruling over his land with a tyrannical hand, but it's really about a musician sticking to his integrity and following his vision to the edge of success. That's theone tune Brian wrote on the album, and I'm really pleased with his lyrics.

 The Japanese bonus track: "Thief of Life" is a tune that was mainly written by Nardo. Dan and I liked this story "The Finnegan" by Ray Bradbury and sent it to James to write some lyrics. This one's basically just a horror tale about a large trap-door spider who lures human victims to their dooms in Chatham Forest. Bradbury wrote a lot of stories taking place in Britain or Ireland, as he spent some time over there while writing the screenplay for MOBY DICK. This one isn't the most poignant story from Bradbury's pen, but it was fun. James helped us fill up a gap in "Thief" by humming a melody that led to the chord progression for the bridge.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: I'm not quite sure, but is it true that I know "Sinister Deity" from an old Helstar - demo?

Perry: "Sinister Deed" was an old title James had for a song. He refined the lyrics, changed a word in the title and used them to replace the existing lyrics for the old New Eden tune "The Hunger". "The Hunger" was just another song about a vampire. Since there have been a lot of songs in that vein (no pun intended), we decided to take another route.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: What can I expect from D.E. playing live? Do you have the opportunity to play enough gigs in the US?

Dan: We have a lots of energy live ... You will feel it. We LOVE to play live!

Perry: So far we've played two gigs in Texas and one in L.A. since forming D.E. We'll be returning to Texas to open for Mercyful Fate in San Antonio and Houston Aug. 14-16. Beyond that, I'm hoping we have a chance to do a U.S. tour with one of the bigger true metal bands. As far as Europe goes, there has definitely been some talk with Metal Blade about our coming out, and I can speak for the whole band in saying that we're dying to play Europe. Any gigs we can get we're happy to play. We enjoy playing shows, especially with other true metal bands. Sometimes it's hard to hook things up just for an odd show, because James still lives in Texas and the rest of us are all in Southern California. But that won't hurt a tour.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: What do you think about the Metal-Scene in the USA compared to what happened here in Europe or in Japan?

Perry: Well, I haven't been to Europe or Japan, so I haven't experienced the scenes over there firsthand. But I do know that Europe and Japan have never abandoned metal and that it remains huge in both places even though it has waned in the U.S. I think that Europeans and Japanese really know what's up when it comes to music, and I respect their dedication and how they disregard a lot of the media crap.

Here in the U.S. right now a lot of uneducated "critics" and industry types have been referring to bands like Korn, Coal Chamber and the like as metal, and I think that's totally wrong. No offense to the bands themselves or the people who like those bands, but that crowd doesn't have the same vision as true metal bands. Just because downtuned guitars are present, someone automatically labels that stuff metal here in the States, and that just isn't flying with me. That is NOT the "new metal". Metalhas survived almost 30 years, which means it isn't a trend (temporary). The people who listen to metal have very little care for appearance (most of us are clad in jeans and t-shirts), and we're not in competition to see who can wear the baggiest pants, who has the fattest wallet-chain or how many body piercings we can amass.

At the same time, I'm really pleased that some of the veteran bands have stayed true to their vision and have survived all the media blitzkriegs that have been shoving products (not music) down people's throats here in America. I couldn't be happier to see bands like Death, Iced Earth, Savatage (even though Criss Oliva's gone, they're still at it!), Nevermore and Jag Panzer and the like still at it! And unsigned bands like Prototype, too.

When we headlined in Houston, I was totally amazed to see the big club totally packed. It really made me feel warm and welcome to see so many hungry metalheads out to see us, especially since the U.S. has been so fickle with metal in the past several years.

People are famous for saying that a form of music is going to make a comeback when the movement is already at hand. The rise of true metal has already begun, and those who aren't merely concerned with talking about what's going to happen will actually be able to be a part of it. Whether or not metal ever gets as popular as it once was in the U.S. I'll still be playing it. To sum it up, I think the Europeans and Japanese are much less concerned with trends than the Americans are.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: What does Heavy Metal personally mean to you? Do you like cliches like Manowar uses them or is it important to transport a certain message?

Dan: Metal is the best music in the world. Metal has been in my life ever since I have first discovered it with Kiss, and AC/DC then Iron Maiden. I have always loved it and will never stop. I agreed with what Manowar says but I don't think we need to repeat that. We are trying to do something that isours and not copy another band's message.

Perry: Heavy metal has grown to be more than a music, it's a lifestyle. As I've said before, it's about playing music that allows you to express yourself positively, letting out this creative energy without hurting other people. Sure, our music's aggressive, but it's not blind aggression or just an attitude to show how angry one is. Metal is an aggressive music with melody, where musicianship matters much more than image (if image is involved at all). Some other forms of so-called music are just a facade for people to "act cool". Metal, to me, doesn't necessarily have to conjur up images of heroes on horses riding into battle bearing swords. Some bands use the heroic fantasy motif to their advantage without being too cliche, but not many in my opinion.

 That whole macho heroics thing is not my cup of tea. But I do believe playing metal--being metal--shows inner strength. As metal musicians you won't see us up on stage whining, saying self-defacing things ("I suck...") or giving a lethargic, slouching live set. Metal is definitely not a phase that kids go through when they're growing up. I have a number of friends who are much older than I am who were listening to Maiden, Priest and Sabbath when the stuff was originally released and still are. I also don't consider metal to be an offshoot of pop music, as it's not meant solely for public consumption. Metal has more in common with classical music than the average person is willing to admit. As for myself, I don't use music (metal) as an excuse just to go out and party crazily; I'm in it for the music. And even if I never get paid a cent for what I play, I'll still let the metal flow for as long as I'm able to.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: What are your daily jobs, how do you earn your money? And what are you doing in your free-time?

Perry: I'm not currently working a "day job", but I've had many of them in the past. Recently I was selling guitars and amps in a local music store. Before that I was a word processor. When I was given the chance to join D.E., I concentrated almostly solely on my music and didn't get another temporary job until after we were finished recording. I hate having to work a day-job, and I hope some day that playing music will allow me to earn just enough to survive comfortably. Realistically that only happens for a few. So, I'll probably go back to word processing or, even better, perhaps I'll get some editing assignments. I've been trying to get some students to teach guitar, but haven't gotten any yet.

Which brings me to what I do in my spare time besides playing guitar: I'm a total bibliomaniac and have been reading for as far as I can remember. I've been writing (horror and fantasy) longer than I've been a guitarist. After a while I became an editor, as well. I founded my own small press publishing business about five years ago. I call it Tsathoggua Press, which sprang from a creature named Tsathoggua in the writings of Clark Ashton Smith . I publish a weird fiction zine called YAWNING VORTEX and have put out several booklets by and about the neglected masters of horror fantasy like Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Frank Belknap Long, William Hope Hodgson, Lord Dunsany. Like my music, this is a labor of love. I don't really make any money from Tsathoggua Press, and I'm perfectly happy just getting the stuff out there for people to enjoy (just as I am with my metal). For another small press I edited a collection of Long's stories, and I'm currently working a bunch of other projects both for Tsathoggua and other publishers. I've written two novels (unpublished) and heaps of short stories and poems. Some of my short stories, poetry and essays have been published in various small press magazines in the U.S. and U.K. I even wrote and co-edited Dan's metal newsletter NETHERWORDS with him for one issue. If folks dig my lyrics, they might be interested in finding out more about Tsathoggua Press through my web page:

 When I'm not reading, writing and editing, I enjoy book and record hunting, watching old (especially Italian) horror films and hanging with my close friends. I also try to take in as many cool metal shows as I can.

The other guys in the band all have day jobs. Brian and Dan are pretty stable in careers they want to be in, as far as that goes. Brian's married and has a daughter; he spends a lot of time with his family. James has a son, too.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: Can you give me a list of your ten all-time-favorite pieces of music? What were your biggest disappointments from your favorite bands?


1. Death - SYMBOLIC (But EVERYTHING from them is a favorite.)

2. Fates Warning - AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN



5. Savatage - SIRENS

6. Sortilege - HERO'S TEARS

7. Cynic - FOCUS

8. Watchtower - CONTROL & RESISTANCE

9. Witchfinder General - DEATH PENALTY



There's too much stuff to consider here, but those are some faves. A few disappointments: Metallica's LOAD & RE-LOAD, Dream Theater's FALLING INTO INFINITY, Forbidden's GREEN, Maiden's VIRTUAL XI, Helstar's MULTIPLES OF BLACK (that rap song bugs me).


SACRED METAL-PAGE: How old are the songs on "Breathe..."? I mean, do you wrote some new stuff yet?

Dan: We have lots of ideas for the next album both in the music and lyrics. Everyone has new ideas. There is no shortage of new material!

Perry: With the exception of "Sinister Deity" and "Unsolved World", we wrote and arranged a good part of the material on BREATHE in 1997. Nardo wrote those two several years ago, and Brian arranged them with Nardo and James rewrote the old lyrics. I had "Idle City", "Fortess", "The Obscure" (formerly called "Flame of Life") and "Breathe Deep the Dark" before I joined the band, but we rearranged some of the riffs. "Fortress" and "The Obscure" go back to the days when I was playing in a band with Mike Bear (bass) from Prototype and before.

We've written some new stuff here and there; there are lots of ideas floating around in our heads. A few pieces we have actually jammed on a bit, but we've been concentrating a lot on rehearsing the BREATHE material for a tour. I still have some songs with very rough arrangements from my Obscure days and before that we're going to try to use along with new stuff.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: My favorite interview-game is to ask for some comments to some key-words I've written down. I hope it doesn't bore you too much...


Dan: does not exist to me anymore

Perry: They're not about music (at least in the U.S.). Towards the end, HEADBANGER'S BALL actually had some cool shows with appearances by Dream Theater and the like. And they actually played Death's "Lack of Comprehension" and "The Philosopher", which was cool. I remember once when Mille Petrozza from Kreator was on the show, and Rikki Rachtman was trying to put all kinds of words in his mouth, because he didn't speak English too well at the time and hadn't been given such huge media exposure before. Stuff like that pissed me off...


Dan: the true home of Metal, I hope I can see it someday

Perry: Can't wait to visit! You really know what metal's about!

Brian Slagel

Dan: a true believer in Metal

Perry: He's been very cool to us so far, and I really respect his opinion on most things in metal.


Dan: brilliant band

Perry: Killer band. I remember hearing them when I was in my early teens for the first time. I was blown away. The first four albums crush! BURNING STAR and NOSFERATU are my faves.


Dan: don't care

Perry: In a word: bullshit. I'm not a follower and I'm not interested in the latest "product" or "package" that's being pushed.

German bands

Dan: so many good ones

Perry: Cool stuff! Kreator comes to mind.

Tori Amos

Dan: I like some of her stuff, some I don't, great voice

Perry: Heard of her, don't listen to her. I do listen to non-metal stuff, and I do like some female vocalists. Ever heard of the Norwegian prog band WHITE WILLOW? I think Aneke from The Gathering has a cool voice, as well.

"A Pleasant Shade Of Gray"

Dan: I love it!

Perry: For some a let-down, to me a masterpiece. I really admire what Fates has done for keeping metal intelligent. The stuff may not be too heavy, but it sure is experimental and progressive.


Dan: awesome, I love them

Perry: My favorite band of all-time. I can't wait to hear THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE. I heard some stuff Chuck Schuldiner was doing with Control Denied (he's not borrowing any of that material for Death) because Chuck asked James to sing for him a while back.

I really have a lot of respect for what Chuck has been doing; he's really evolved as a musician. I started out much the same way as he did, and I've always strived to grow musically. Chuck's lyrics are really poignant.

Virgin Steele

Dan: from Long Island like me...marriage part 2 is cool but a little light and poor production

Perry: Don't have any of their stuff, but I'm definitely aware of them.

Jon Oliva

Dan: great!! I love Savatage

Perry: One of Dan's and my favorite vocalists of all-time. He has this rough, aggressive edge to his clean vocals that's just so powerful. I still love Savatage, even after the tragic loss of Criss, and I'm glad Jon's involved directly with the band again. He's one of the few addicts who cleaned up their lives in this field. I'm glad. The loss of his brother must have really been tough for him.

Labyrinth's "Return To Heaven Denied"

Dan: Excellent

Perry: Don't have it yet, but I have heard it. Impressive stuff. I'm glad Metal Blade signed them.

Metallica's "Load" and "Re-Load"

Dan: Shit, they are scum to me now!

Perry: A total joke. I'm not going to waste space on such let-downs.

Bruce Dickinson's "Accident Of Birth"

Dan: great vocals...boring riffs

Perry: A decent album that I might pick up one of these days. I saw Bruce live last year with Adrian (whose playing kicked ass). I'm not really into Bruce's new image, but he's still a great vocalist and he puts on a show with energy.

Slayer's "Diabolous In Musica"

Perry: I've been into Slayer for a long time, but this one really didn't do it for me. I feel like there are some Slayer songs on the album, but also stuff in the vein of Korn and Coal Chamber. Paul Bostaph's a great drummer, and I totally dig his work with Forbidden.

Iron Maiden's "Virtual XI"

Dan: yuck...sad

Perry: Where there were some points on X FACTOR that I dug, I was pretty disappointed by this one. I just feel like Blaze is not getting the job done, and the band's just going through the motions. What's up with the soccer photos?! At least Dave Murray still shreds...


SACRED METAL-PAGE: Do you have some funny anecdotes happening in the surrounding of the band (gigs etc.)? Who's the most crazy guy in D.E.?

Perry: A local critic reviewed our last L.A. show, and instead of "Sinister Deity", he wrote "Sinster Betty". Betty must be pretty horrific looking!? Then, when we were getting our photos from the album shoot developed, the developing place printed the label on the package to read "Destiny's Child". I didn't know who Destiny's Child was until I flipped through the newspaper and noticed it was a top-selling female R&B group. Maybe we can score a hit with the first a capella speed metal tune. Not!

Nardo, hands down, is the wildest guy in D.E., as I'm sure he'd tell you himself. I'm pretty quiet and prefer reading, watching horror flicks and hanging with friends to partying.


SACRED METAL-PAGE: Now it's up to you: say whatever you want, it's your turn now!

Perry: Thanks for giving us the opportunity to speak to the European metalheads and the rest of the world! We appreciate your dedication to metal and look forward to playing live for you soon! Metal's alive as long as we are...

Now it's up to you, fellow readers: CHECK THEM OUT!! They are really worth it!!

(c) 1998 Michael Kohsiek