Posts Tagged “Francisco Bay Area”


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The Rock Pit recently conducted an interview with guitarist Rob Cavestany of San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANGEL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Rock Pit: I wanted to ask you also about the [new DEATH ANGEL] 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 loved 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.

The Rock Pit: 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 its 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.

Read the entire interview at The Rock Pit.

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Metal Covenant recently conducted an interview with guitarist Rob Cavestany of San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANGEL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Covenant: For me the [new DEATH ANGEL] album [“The Dream Calls For Blood”] is a typical DEATH ANGEL album. So what did you do to minimize repeats from your last album, “Relentless Retribution”?

Rob: I think we just had to only live the life that we lived since “Relentless Retribution” and that was enough to generate a different emotion and inspiration. We were on tour for three years straight. That alone, if anyone can imagine what that will do to you psychologically, being on tour for that long. You immediately think of what a blast, what a big party it’s been and, “You guys must be having a great time.” Which is true — it’s not like we’re fucking not having a great time. We love music and we love being on tour and playing in front of crowds and being surrounded by our other friends who are great musicians and great bands. But also there’s the other 22 hours of the day that you have to exist when you’re not on the stage. Just traveling and missing your family and friends. One day you’re fine and so happy and one day you just wake up and it’s just a long hard day to get through, that day. It’s always great to release it on stage, but you know, after a while it builds up and all this shit. You know, the dark side of all that, was the inspiration of the darker sides of the album and the good side of it is that we got really, really tight with our lineup, because we had a new bass player and a new drummer on the last album. After three years of living together and jamming with each other on almost every single day, we grew so much tighter together as friends and as musicians and as a unit. So that also is, I think, apparent in the difference of the fire of the last album and the playing of this album, so that’s happening in there.

Metal Covenant: So what about the album title [“The Dream Calls For Blood”]? What made you decide to go for it?

Rob: The title is basically our motto. It’s what we’re talking about, you know. In our point of view the dream being our band and keeping the band going and making music for your life. The blood is all the sacrifice and all hard work that goes into it and that’s the metaphor for that. It’s not only meant for music. It’s also meant for other people to relate in their own life and goals that they’re trying to achieve and the sacrifices that it takes to achieve these goals. And along with that, there’s also a tinge of aggression in there about other people that cut corners and don’t quite go through all the steps it takes to achieve the goal the right way. So there’s a little bit of a middle finger to those people that go about it that way and don’t fully respect what it takes.

Metal Covenant: So this maybe explains some of your intensity in the music and also your whole writing mode?

Rob: Most definitely. I’ll throw in one other, if that wasn’t enough: fuel for the fire. Toward the end of our tour, we realized that we had reached the 25th-year anniversary of our debut album, “The Ultra-Violence”. This album had been unavailable and out of print for a while, and stuff like that, and a lot of people were looking for the album, so we re-released the album and then switched up our set. We were doing kind of a set to give a tribute to our album, so we were playing the whole “The Ultra-Violence” from beginning to end on tour. That was, like, you know, a double-edged sword too, in a way that it was doing two things at once. We knew it was gonna be killer thing to do. The crowd was gonna fucking like that, the old-school fans and then it was gonna be fun to us to do that all of a sudden after… [pause] We probably never even done that since we wrote the album. I don’t know if we did that before. Then I also knew, another secret key was that if we were doing that every night, it was gonna affect the music we were currently writing. In a good way, that people would be glad about too, because that album’s widely accepted and I can see why. In those days, when we were writing that album, we had far less parameters of musical influence and we were much more narrow-minded into metal, you know. You can never recreate that and I don’t even wanna try to recreate that, ’cause you’re, like, a whole other person when you’re young. By playing that album from beginning to end for so many times live in front of a crowd, I think that’s about the most you can do to yourself to actually bring yourself back closer to that feeling again. With that in mind, that also, you know, it snuck its way into the music as well.

Read the entire interview at Metal Covenant.



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Greg Prato of Songfacts recently conducted an interview with vocalist Chuck Billy of San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Songfacts: Looking back at the early days of thrash metal, at what point did you realize that there was a movement going on and that it was also clearly different from the opposite of the spectrum, the glam metal bands that were going on at the time?

Chuck: Being from San Francisco, especially the late ’70s/early ’80s, the Bay Area was more glam metal and punk rock was the aggressive, rebellious kind of music that was going on here in the day. And once METALLICA and EXODUS and those guys came on the scene in the early ’80s, it kind of changed. This movement grew so quick, and all those glam bands left the San Francisco Bay area and went to L.A., where everybody ended up in that glam movement. So the next thing you know, we were just more of a punk rock/heavy metal community, that grew really quick. And there were so many places to play back in those days. You could go to a show at The Stone and then later on catch the midnight show across the street at the Mabuhay Gardens or the Rock On Broadway. Or go down around the corner and there’s another venue. Then everybody seemed to follow, and you’d always see the same people and the same crowd at all these shows. It was a little community of the same people, and then the after-parties — going to Paul Baloff‘s house to a party or something and the same crowd from the show is there. It was just a trippy scene that grew really quick in those early years.

Songfacts: By and large, how does songwriting work in TESTAMENT?

Chuck: With us, it’s been me and Eric [Peterson, guitarist] for a long time. Eric will come up with a structure, what he thinks is the verse, chorus, lead sections. Once I hear it, I listen to where I feel that the vocals should be, and then I’ll either rearrange it or stick with what he hears and come up with the arrangement. Once we get the arrangement down, Eric will take it back again and then rework it to make it all flow together. If he has to build an extra part to connect what he thought was the chorus that’s now a verse, going into a new chorus or something, he’ll redo it. That’s always worked the best. There are some songs in the current years, like “More Than Meets the Eye” or even “Native Blood”, some of those songs we came up with the riff and he had a lot of it already completed. From the first time we heard it to trying it live in the studio, the patterns were there, the song structure was there, and it came together really quick. And those are the ones where we go, “Wow, this is a special song because it just came together so quick and it still stands strong even after you reexamine it and make sure it’s got everything we need in it.” And those don’t happen all the time. Most of the time, it’s just building them. But sometimes we get lucky in that sense, and I think after working with somebody for 25-plus years writing music together, it’s like anything in life you do that long, you hone your craft and get better at it. We kind of know what each other is thinking at this point and what our limits are and what keys not to go in and play in. He knows what I turn down as far as the scales and the keys he picks to write songs in. We’ve been pretty lucky in that sense as a team.

Songfacts: Who are some of your favorite songwriters as far as either rock bands or solo artists go?

Chuck: Well, METALLICA‘s James Hetfield has always been an inspiration with clever lyrics. When I first started hearing METALLICA, it was something new to me the way his cadence of vocal styles sang to the music. Because when I was growing up, I was more like, UFO and THIN LIZZY and SCORPIONS and PRIEST, where the vocalists were more melodic singers. So when there was that thrash attack, it was a whole new thing to me. In TESTAMENT, it was what we were becoming, that same style. He really inspired me with his clever lyrics and clever hooks. Bruce Dickinson. Ronnie James Dio has always been a great songwriter and lyricist, same with Bruce. And then Rob Halford. Those guys always were my heroes.

Read the entire interview at Songfacts.

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Anna Dave Bertram of Sweden’s Access: Rock conducted an interview with bassist Jack Gibson of San Francisco Bay Area thrashers EXODUS on August 9 at the Getaway Rock festival in Gävle, Sweden.

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San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANGEL will release their seventh album, “The Dream Calls For Blood”, on October 11 in Eorpe (except for the U.K.

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HATRIOT, the San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal band led by former EXODUS and LEGACY (pre-TESTAMENT) frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza, will enter the studio in September to begin recording its sophomore album, “Dawn Of The New Centurion”, for a February 2014 release via Massacre Records.

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San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANGEL will celebrate the release of their new album by performing at Slim’s in San Francisco on October 18.

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Veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers EXODUS are writing material for a new studio album, to be released in 2014.

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Former DEATH ANGEL drummer Andy Galeon made his first official appearance as a member of the San Francisco Bay Area punk/hardcore outfit THE NERV this past Saturday, July 27 at Thee Parkside in San Francisco.

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Two titles by San Francisco Bay Area metal veterans TESTAMENT will be released on vinyl on September 24, shortly before the group kicks off its tour of North America alongside LAMB OF GOD and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE.

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