EXORCIST The birth and rebirth of "Nightmare Theatre"


It happened almost 30 years ago, in 1987, 1988 maybe, when I listened to the magnificent "Nightmare Theatre" album by Exorcist on vinyl for the first time. Most probably it happened in Old School Metal Maniac's editor-in-chief apartment. There were a few of us gathered, teenage metal maniacs, worshiping evil, loving dark, mysterious diabolical atmosphere, hating church and priests (last two of our "trademarks" haven't changed until now). All sitting in awe in regard to what was coming out of the speakers. Witch trials, screams, burning stake plus great metal music. How could you not love it from the first listen?!

Apart from absolutely wonderful music, what drawn us towards Exorcist was mystery surrounded this band. It wasn't until several years after release of "Nightmare Theatre" (on Cobra Records in 1986) and that first listening session, when we found out that guys from Virgin Steele were actually behind those amazing songs and other sounds that we fell in love with so deeply after listening number one. Only regret that, at least in case of yours truly, has until this day is, why there wasn't second album from Exorcist?!

Fast forward 30 years. In 2016 there is 30th anniversary of the album that I still cherish in my memory so much and listen to it occasionally with as big pleasure as this from almost three decades ago. David DeFeis together with High Roller Records prepared wonderful reissue of the "Nightmare Theatre" on both, vinyl and 2CD, with lots of additional music. Wonderful opportunity to ask for an interview and dig deeper in search of some extraordinary, exclusive news surrounding the album.

I've been in the world of musical journalism for almost 20 years. Talked to some great guys, luckily only a few arrogant assholes. If you asked me about epitome of conversation partner, I would have to put David DeFeis very close to the top of my list. Mastermind behind only Exorcist album and driving force of Virgin Steele, agreed to sacrifice almost one hour of his valuable time to talk to Old School Metal Maniac Magazine and it was an experience I hope not to forget until the light will take me. If you think about class, eloquence, intelligence, kindness, willingness to share stories with fans, think about this unbelievably humble gentlemen from New York City. Bookworm, horrors geek, lover of history, great musician. Enter the world of "Nightmare Theatre". The director will show you around.

The "Nightmare Theatre" album was released in 1986. The whole concept was your idea. Can you remember in what circumstances it was born? What did ignite the idea to do that? Those days Virgin Steele was doing very well, you also recorded good album with Piledriver, so what was the reason to do something like that?

DAVID DEFEIS (DD): Well, I've always been interested in, let's say, witchcraft kind of nature and for some reason at very, very young age I started to read a lot about Salem's witchcraft trials from 1692. That fascinated me and stays with me. I thought it would was also have been interesting to musically do something around it. What happened was, and it happened a bit earlier before the whole project, we had run into so-called monetary difficulties with certain people (laughs). In order to get a clean slate and go back to square one, we were invited to do this other kind of project. "Requested" is a better word. Exorcist project was kind of born out of that. You know, I don't really need an excuse to be creative. When someone says: "Hey man, what about this, what about that" and I'm off and running.

I love writing songs, I love to be creative, I love being in the studio. What happened is, that me and Edward Pusrino sat down over the weekend and wrote all the songs that became the second Piledriver album. And after that we spent another weekend or so and wrote songs that became the Exorcist "Nightmare Theatre" album and also the Original Sin album. So, in a period of about month or so, we wrote all those songs. Then I got some guys to rehearse them for about week or two, then we went into the studio and did everything super, super quickly. I believe Piledriver album was recorded and mixed in two days, and Exorcist, I believe, took three days, and Original Sin was also done in two days (laughs). We basically recorded live to capture as much as you can the first, primal energy. Then we mixed it. That was our philosophy back then – get in, get out, and put it out.

How did you come up with the idea to call this project Exorcist? Were you inspired by the classic horror movie or maybe book by William Peter Blatty?

DD: Actually they both were inspirational. The movie, the idea of demonic possession, it is always fascinating and interesting. And also what surrounded Salem's witchcraft trial. The girls were supposed to be possessed. Not that I am believer in such things, but it is interesting. I like that how people distribute that kind of stories about satanic, devilish, demonic possession. I've found that period incredibly fascinating.

Can you remember how old were you when you had seen "Exorcist" for the first time?

DD: Oh, I saw it much later. After it had been out for a while. I don't think I paid much attention to it when it first time it came out. It was this movie "Mark Of The Devil", which was really inspirational. It was Kind of horror movie. Then it was a time when I was really in love in Hammer horrors starring Christopher Lee. That was this particular one titled "The Blood On Satan's Claw". I think Christopher Lee was also in this another one called "Horror Hotel". Great movie, I loved that one! Shot in black and white. What I was trying to do with all these mentioned records was, to recreate mood of those movies and the feeling I've got from watching them.

From what you have already said, you had all the details worked out from the very beginning and later just executed them one by one. Weren't there really any, for example, alternate projects for front cover or other ideas for your nicks 

DD: Regarding the Exorcist record, it was very, very thought out musically where to go and what not. It was all done very quickly with a lot of spontaneity going on. Also all those little pieces, like trial and banishment for example, were created in the studio while we were wrapping up the mix. I wasn't actually supposed to sing on the Exorcist record. I had another gentleman involved. The gentleman, friend of mine, played bass guitar on the second Piledriver album (Mike Paccione). He was actually supposed to sing. But the day before going into the studio he came over to my place and said (David imitates raspy voice): "I can't sing it". It was pretty weird. This guy actually experienced something like religious epiphany and thought he would go to hell for it (laughs). So in these circumstanced I thought that since I know the songs, I'd been rehearsing the band, kind of sing along the songs, sort of conducted the group and kept everybody in line, I should do the rehearsal. It was like: "Fuck it, I will just do it". Some people said that people should not know that I am the singer and blah, blah blah, that I should do something different with my voice. Everyone was so weary about it. So, I went in, I did all the vocals. I was drinking a lot of beer at that time during that session, so I recorded most of the vocals with beer can in front of my face, next to my microphone. This distorted the voice in some way (laughs). Then I thought: "Why not to sound like character from Charles Dickens' novel or Johnny Rotten meets Lemmy and crossed with the zombies". That was the approach.

As you have already said, you did all with Exorcist album within like three days. And what we hear regarding vocals on "Nightmare Theatre" sounds nothing like David DeFeis we know from Virgin Steele or Piledriver albums. So in this context would you tell me, that it was a big challenge to you? To alter vocally so much on such a short notice?

DD: It was just pure inspirational moment. Like: "Let me go with this", and it worked. I did the first track and after that we said: "Yeah, okay, keep going". I did pretty much everything in one take. I'd just rolled the tape and sang the songs down. All instruments were recorded live. Maybe later we did a bit of guitar overdubs and solos. Mostly Edward. I was singing along with the group almost all the time. On all those bonus tracks that are at the end of the record you cans hear that I was going in and out in terms of style of singing. Like, I did some parts with my normal voice and later something with changed voice, I was kind of playing around (laughs). As we had all the guitars, bass and drums recorded I said: OK guys, you can go home now", and I sang the record. After I did that we did all other things that needed to be done that day. I came back the next day and I started to do all the intros and interludes connecting songs, like "Hex" or example, and after that we started to mix the whole record.

Originally "Nightmare Theatre" was released by Canadian label Cobra Records, the same that earlier released albums by Virgin Steele and Piledriver. Is this why you had decided to choose this company? Was there an option at all to look for another label?

DD: We were working with them back then. So it made sense to let it go through that channel.

As you said in one of the interviews, Salem's witches trials inspired you to write lyrics for "Nightmare Theatre". I know that you visited places in which those horrifying incidents happened centuries ago. Have you seen the movie "The Crucible" with Daniel Day-Lewis or the tv show "Salem" with Marilyn Manson playing in the last season?

DD: I didn't see the TV show that you mentioned, but I've seen "The Crucible" many times. And I read everything and get my hands on everything that was written about that period. My library is full of books on that subject. I'm interested in alternate religions, alternate realities. I'm very into paganism and the history of such. I'm always reading about that kind of thing.

Not long ago me and my editor-in-chief carefully studied front cover and insert of "Nightmare Theatre" LP re-release to trigger some ideas for questions to you. Regarding front cover weren't absolutely sure if it is a picture or painting. So, could you tell me what is it actually?

DD: That's a picture.

And those masked characters?

DD: I like telling people that this is us after car accident (laughs). But of course it isn't true. Actually those are like clay models plus paper maché plus whatnot. So they are like kind of sculptures.

We, I mean me and Old School Metal Maniac editor-in-chief agreed that there were some inspirations taken from horror movies of that time, like "Evil Dead", for example, and also from "Night Of The Living Dead"? Are we close to the truth on this subject?

DD: Well, anything that concerns zombies, mutilated corpses and that kind of thing, yeah. At that point in time the first "Evil Dead" came out. It was supposed to be like that, because I was very into horror kind of stuff. It all made sense. It was supposed to make people think: "That's what the group looks like" (laughs).

When you type Exorcist on Metal Archives website and click on proper one, there is a picture of the band. Who took the picture of you guys with this hooded man in clothes with white cross on the chest? What the story behind and where was it taken?

DD: (laughs) Only one of those guys is actually on the record. And that's the guy with the cross in the black costume.

Is that you or someone else?

DD: No, I won't reveal his name but it is one of the guys in the group. One guy in the picture is lighting guy who did lights for Virgin Steele, another guy is the bass player, friend of mine, the other guy is the drummer, also a friend of mine. They were in the shot. We just used them for the photo shoot. But only the guy in the costume actually played on the record.

Where was this picture taken? Was it in the neighborhood you lived?

DD: Yeah. It was a cemetery, I believe it was on a kind of hill in the town of Huntington Village. That's where we shot that.

Not having all the members, but only the one guy in the picture, was also the idea you had from the start?

DD: Yeah. It was supposed to be kind of anonymous, mysterious thing. That was a weird time in the 80s. People were suspicious when you did something differently. They thought you try to cash on or something. We didn't try to cash on. We were just doing our thing and having fun, because no one of us was ma king any money off music back then. Purely out of love for doing something wild and different at that time. That's what it was.

I know that all special effects on "Nightmare Theatre" were prepared and executed by you. From what I know you used hammer, foil to achieve proper results. Tell me, how did you created the sound of burning stake?

DD: That's right, for some of those sounds I used aluminum foil. Some of that was just pushing sounds around to the low end on the console. Then it sounded kind of like thunder. There is also my voice used to create that sounds. A lot of things, to be honest. Very quickly though, of course (laughs).

Can you remember any anecdotes from the recording session? Anything funny or unusual things that happened during those almost three days in the studio?

DD: Well… I actually remember more from the other record we did week later. One week we did the Exorcist album, then the other week we recorded the Original Sin album. During that session I was doing vocals at night. I remember that very distinctly that this was the day when spaceship "Challenger" blew up. It was all over the news. Exorcist session went pretty smoothly, I think. The guy who played the drums was very… How should I say this… He was freaked out a bit about the whole concept. He was, and still is, very Christian. Actually He is sort of priest now. Back then he was worried that he is going to go to hell for recording this kind of album (laughs). But he was great in the studio, he kicked ass. When I stood next to him and filled him whit what my lyrics were about, he was kind of relaxed and said he is going to do it. Truth is we all were a little crazy back then, because we were experimenting so much. That's why this record sounds unique to this day. We took special approach to recording. Today it is still interesting. One special thing was doing the vocals the way I did. The other all the other sounds and weird shit going on between them. While recording drums we didn't use normal drums. At that time we used Simmons drums, toms, which were electronic drums. We used them on the record. So they were also part of the sound of that record. First we weren’t sure about it, but then we went for it. Reverb was a thing of the day so we used a lot of it on the album. I remember the drummer came to record and he went to the other room, where normal drums were set. We said: "What are you doing, this is not the drums you will use" (laughs). It was cute moment. He was very inexperienced at that time. We got him involved on those two records and on "No Turning Back" album that I produced for Jack Starr around that time. His name is Mark Edwards and a lot of people think that this is not the same guy who played in Steeler. I know that people around Jack Starr perpetuate that, but this is not true. He is a different Mark Edwards, dear friend of mine, who I play with almost since we were kids.

I assume that you are familiar with reissues of "Nightmare Theatre", because you own the rights to those songs. There is one bonus song High Roller LP reissue and over 20 on 2CD from 2016, including 6 brad new songs. Is this all what remained from Exorcist album recording session?

DD: That is all that remains, yeah. Pretty much. Outside of maybe one of two uncompleted things. Not that much and nothing relevant.

On LP reissue there are drawings, so called devil head drawings, by Lisa Rose. Were they drawn in the 80s or were drawn in 21st century for the sake of the reissue?

DD: No, they were drawn in the late 1990s or early 2000s, I think.

My editor-in-chief also has Brazilian LP edition that doesn't have drawings and lyrics in the insert, instead there is this photo of you guys and black hooded man. Was this your decision to release it like that or decision by Brazilian label?

DD: That's actually a bootleg edition. The only official release is the one by High Roller Records. Everything else is a bootleg. So that's why nobody has the lyrics, because nobody but me knows what is sung. You can't really understand it when you listen to the record because it was pretty much intentional. Only now records have lyrics and people know what's going on.

You said many times that all of you treated Exorcist very seriously. So why haven't you recorded 2nd album? Is that something you have just put into drawer and maybe one day, when you have nothing else on your agenda, which I honestly and seriously doubt is gonna happen, you will pull it out and execute?

DD: (laughs) I don't know. Everything that I started back then, every idea that I and Edward had after that album, were supposed to be for another Exorcist record. Some of which were later used with Virgin Steele, some of which are still sitting there. You know, if time comes, maybe it is gonna happen? If we had an offer? (laughs) Maybe it could be possible. Everyone of us has strong, fond memories of this Exorcist thing. But it might be they wouldn't feel the same way about it. We really had to capture this sound exactly again we had back then, we had to go back to the same studio, we had to use the same gear, if possible. Well, it's still there… (laughs)


DD: Yeah, the studio is still there. However, I haven't been there for a while.

And the old equipment?

DD: I think the recording board is still there. It's the same console we did "Noble Savage" on. I don't know if they changed the board or not, because I haven't been there for a while. They had 24-track tape machine, but we didn't use all the tracks, actually. Maybe 18 or something like that. It wasn't that much going on, only those weird things in between the songs.

I remember when I was listening "Nightmare Theatre" for the first time, and it actually happened not so long ago after the album was released. Most probably I was able to have this pleasure thanks to one colleague of mine who either was already dealing with albums or had family abroad and persuaded them to send him a copy of Exorcist record. The albums seemed so phenomenal, fantastic, and so evil. And absolutely no one of us imagined that this was done for a project that will disappear so quickly. I also remember reading so many favorable reviews of "Nightmare Theatre". My question is, were you guys surprised that this record was so warmly welcomed by metal community?

DD: To be honest with you, I was not aware of it how well or not well it was received at that time. I'd just moved on to the next thing. It was something I was played, listened to at home myself or in my car or whatever. With people who were involved in it, we talked about it. I was not really in a loop of knowing what I was doing. It was only years later that I realized it has such a great love from people. That was like a really nice surprise for me. I'm enjoying it now so it is very gratifying. People say: "Oh, it is one of the foundation stones of black metal movement"!". I'm always: "Wow! That's great!" (laughs). I'm really very happy to hear that. I didin't know that at that time. We did what we did and we moved on to whatever the next thing was, "Age Of Consent" and "Life Among Ruins". Plus life brigs all the troubles to you so you have to deal with them. And you just go on from there. With the advent of the internet this album got more audience and the news spread about it faster and wider than before. So now it is really nice to see it receiving this beautiful love from people.

I suppose that since you are traveling the world with Virgin Steele from the 1980s, you have sign thousands of copies of "Nightmare Theatre", am I right?

DD: Oh yeah. People sometimes have numerous albums that I've done, sometimes they have Virgin Steele, Original Sin, even both Piledriver albums regardless I'm not a singer on both of them (laughs). It still happens.

Has anyone of your die-hard fans had the tattoo of the cover of "Nightmare Theatre"? Have you ever met someone who has it?

DD: Not the Exorcist tattoo. I've seen Virgin Steele logo, I've seen the new cover for "Age Of Consent" tattooed plus other Virgin Steel things. But not Exorcist. That would be interesting.

So, there is a challenge to your fans.

DD: (laughs) Yeah! With tattoo on the back.

I was surprised to find out that you read stories about witches and other horrifying things while being in elementary school. Anyone showed you those and encouraged you to read them or it was your own choice?

DD: That particular area of studies, Salem and witchcraft thing, that really came to me in 5th grade. Believe me or not, but my 5th grade school library had book on the subject. I don't know why they did, but did. I somehow stumbled into the shelves where they were and I started reading about this. And, oh my god, my mind was blown. I had some kind of connection to those things that I felt. When I went there it was like: "Wow! It feels very familiar. There is energy of this place I can connect with, something about energy of it". When it came to introduce something of this kind of nature, that's when my mind went for the Exorcist record. I could have summed up that the whole feeling in of the bonus tracks, called "Spellcraft". That crystallized that for me, the feeling of the entire thing. I guess that was the moment that I remember has started it. When I was 8 or 9 I remember listening to group called Bloodrock and song called "D.O.A.", which Virgin Steele covered on "Nocturnes Of Hellfire & Damnation". After hearing that song about crash and the guy dying in the ambulance, I was thinking:" Wow, this song is about me, I'm gonna be this guy one day". That also started my mind going to that other path.

It is no mystery that you are in love with ancient history, ancient mythology. This love also started in school or later?

DD: When I was even younger. Because I was growing up in a family where the arts were always present. My father is an actor, director, he's still doing it. I used to watch his rehearsals for old tragedies, Shakespearean plays and whatnot, I've seen shows. My older sisters are opera singers. My other relatives are rock and rollers. There was rock, there was metal, there was classical music, there was theater. All around me! My dad's friends were sculptors or painters. I was surrounded by all kind of artistic people. From an early age I was telling myself that this is it and I wanted to be a part of this, I wanted to learn more about it. I joined my first rock band when I was 11 years old as a singer. I wanted to contribute, I wanted to do something. To give back what I was receiving. I started playing piano at 8 years old. So, I got into it when I was very, very young.

Your second name is Dionysus, one of the gods in Greek mythology? Is it because you have Greek roots or your parents enjoyed Dionysian way of life and wanted to commemorate it this way?

DD: I think the idea came from my father, because he is very much into Greek mythology. Dionysus was also connected to the theater. And my father's second name is Orpheus, also a Greek name.

You've already mentioned that one of your favorite horror movies of all times is 1960 "Horror Hotel" with Sir Christopher Lee. I'm sure you knew that he is classically trained baritone. And he became metal fan in his late 80s. Haven't you thought of recording anything with him?

DD: I never thought about it. Honestly, I was not even aware that he was an opera singer until, I think, more recently. Within the past 5 to 10 years. I'd enjoyed hearing him speak, I'd enjoyed his voice, I'd enjoyed his movies, but I didn't know about this side of him.

Your father is Shakespearean actor your sister is worldwide recognized opera singer. You said that you were surrounded by art from very early age. But you decided to choose music. Haven't you ever thought of becoming actor too? Or maybe combining music and acting on Broadway?

DD: I never thought about it. It's interesting, people keep asking me about this. I would be interested in doing something on Broadway, but it had to be role that I would really feel comfortable with, I think. Maybe John Proctor from "The Crucible"? (laughs) Something that fits my character. I think I do that musically. I bring the drama into the music, because of my upbringing and that kind of thing. When we do our shows on stage, I bring it into life. When we are doing videos, I bring it in that respect. But I would like to make a movie. Actually, there is a movie there. "Visions Of Eden" album in its subtitle has "A Barbaric Romantic Movie Of The Mind". This story combined with the one on "The Black Light Bacchanalia" album should be a film. Maybe at some point we will be able to do something like that. We did the opera on theatrical stage, but I think it could go further. I've got it on the back of my mind.

You mean movie like a musical movie or feature film with a soundtrack by you guys?

DD: It could be going either way, yeah. It could definitely be a regular movie with incidental music on it. Or we could use the songs and combine them so that it would remind an opera, a movie opera.

This question dawned on me a moment ago. Yesterday was Jerry Goldsmith, a phenomenal film score composer, birthday anniversary. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us. His soundtrack to "The Omen" is unforgettable. Since I know that you are a huge fan of horror movies are you also a fan of soundtracks to horror movies?

DD: Yes, to some movies. Some soundtracks are absolutely wonderful. Jerry Goldsmith was fantastic and I love music from "The Omen". I had some collections where this stuff is there. I'm a big fan of John Barry and his music.

John Carpenter is in recent years more active musically. He is even touring and releasing some valuable instrumental stuff. Not directing any movie right now, to my knowledge.

DD: Some of his music is also great, like "Halloween". This music makes the movie. We used some of his music as we recorded our version of "D.O.A." as an opening piece on the "Nocturnes…" album.

You are not only singer, composer, producer, but also storyteller. Who inspires you as far as writing stories goes?

DD: Everything. Life. Every experience you go through in life is like a father to a song. Most of my inspirations are from living. Of course, I have certain novels that I love. I am a big fan of Ray Bradbury. He is considered a science fiction writer, but he is really a humanist, a poet. I think we you read his works, it is beautiful. It is not all science fiction. It's about life. In a horror genre I love Stephen King, people like that. But I read anything and everything. When I travel somewhere and I do not have a book with me, I grab whatever I can find and read it. It could be trash novel, but I will read it. It might be toothpaste tube, whatever. I like to read.

You were born on Long Island In 1961. Good time for rock and roll music was then. What are your first memories regarding music?

DD: My earliest memories are my brother and sisters band. Hearing them. I would go to sleep while they were rehearsing, because I was a little kid. They would be rehearsing in the basement and I hear Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin… I wanted to listen to them so I stick downstairs and then I had to go to sleep to wake up to school the next day. I think, it was my earliest exposure to music. I had band playing live in my basement.

When you were a teenager, did you have a bunch of friends who were into metal music as you were, or were the only outcast loving this kind of music 

DD: Yeah, I had a bunch of friends. I was the main guy who always had a cassette of this or that. I was always out there. The area I grew up in, was pretty filled with musicians. I was in bands from very early age. When I started at the age of 11, my friends in the band were 15 or 16 years old. As I got older, I started jamming with people of my own age. We had bands every few months. We changed members and whatever. We kept going on and on, we were doing gig. I met Edward Pursino probably when we were about 14 years old and we were playing together ever since. And there was also a circle of guys. Plus a few females around who played at that time. Most of them had drifted off to… Well, one guy became a lawyer, another some kind of counsel man for the town, got so-called normal jobs. Me and Ed stayed with the musical thing and worked on it. My point wasn't to be in the most famous band on the planet, but to create life that could work and support my life and situation. We stuck to our guns.

A moment ago you mentioned the name Black Sabbath. History of this magnificent band ended on February 4th In Birmingham. What are your memories, reflections regarding the Sabbs? Do you believe that band of that caliber and importance could surface any time?

DD: They were very important to me. There was Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin… Bands I was listening days and nights while growing up. We even toured with Black Sabbath on their "Eternal Idol Tour". To me it was huge thing to meet Tony Iommi, getting to have lunch or dinner with them or whatnot, and to talk about all kinds of stuff. Yeah, Black Sabbath were very inspirational to me personally, and to us. It was one of those bands that did something different.

Every act is the product of its time and its lifestyle. Some people want bands to go back and recreate certain thing. I think this is kind of like false. Unless you are exactly the same person. You haven't grown at all, and you are still eating the same food, and you are still living in the same place. I don't do exactly the same things. It doesn't seem honest to me. You can get feelings of those moments, of those times, but you've got to forward to who you are now. You can't pretend that you are 20 years old when you are not 20 years old. Hopefully, there are things important to you that were important to you then, but grow, and when you grow, you change. And you develop other things. I think it is dishonest to try to pretend someone that you are not anymore. It's not really possible, I think.

Your sister Danae is a renowned opera singer, soprano graduated from prestigious Julliard Music School. You collaborated on a couple occasions. How do you recall that?

DD: Oh, it's great! It's wonderful. We did something on "Visions Of Eden" album, the ending of "Angel Of Death". Her husband along with me. We also did something on "The Book Of Burning". The beginning of the track called "The Chosen Ones". More recently, over the past summer, I wrote the piece called "The Triple Goddess" I was actually going to use on either the re-relase of "Visions Of Eden" or somewhere else. They, my sister and her husband, are both there with me. It is an interesting piece. It has to do with phases of the Moon and the aspects of the Tripple Goddess. I like working with them. They both come from totally different space than me. It's interesting to hear our voices combined.

I'm not sure if you remember, but your sister's 1st recording was an album with music of Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki 3rd Symphony. But I'm quite sure that as classically trained pianist you know a lot of Polish classical composers. Do you have a favorite among them?

DD: Chopin, of course (laughs). I'm huge, huge fan of Chopin. I really like his preludes. They are for me the most beautiful, gorgeous music.

You've been professional musician for very long time and you have achieved a lot. Is there anything you are particularly proud of? Or any dream that still awaits fulfillment 

DD: Absolutely, yeah! There are tons of them. There are project I'm thinking about, In different styles. I'd love to do a movie, as I told you about, I'd like to do another opera, I'd like to do a live album, I'd like to do a DVD. There is entire measure of history of the group from the early days until now. There are many, many ideas in my head.

Is among your dreams to do an album with symphonic orchestra? Honestly, I've got the feeling that Virgin Steele's music would sound perfectly with the company of the orchestra.

DD: Yes, I would like to do such thing. I actually wrote several pieces, probably pieces worth of an album, that I orchestrated myself. You can do that these days with keyboards playing orchestral parts. But I would like to take those pieces and do them with a proper orchestra, yeah. I wrote other stuff for opera, little fable with some tracks from "Visions Of Eden" and "The Black Light Bacchanalia". There is a whole other record of instrumental stuff that we never put out. Only some of it was used briefly on the stage. There are lots of things that I still have to do. And I've already written what are going to be the next two Virgin Steele albums.

Two Virgin Steele albums?!

DD: Yeah. I wrote them, I sketched them, and we started recording them. We've done… They are 50, 60 percent done. But you know, then we started to do other things. We have also recorded some stuff live. We are to mix them and put out. We are also doing some visual things, video. Back in 2010 I'd agreed to do those re-issues. So that kind of bogged me down from doing a lot more of new music. If you look at those re-issues they all have lot of new music on them. So, I'm trying to as busy, as creative and as productive as possible. I'm almost done with the re-issues. And I want to have one of Virgin Steele records ready for release this year. I'm hoping to. Let's see what happens. I'm moving as quickly as I can (laughs).

In context of what you have just told me about your schedule, I'm doubly grateful that you agreed to spare some time on conversation with me. Tell me what are you currently working on? I know that re-release of "Visions Of Eden" is prepared. In 2017 there is also 35th anniversary of Virgin Steele debut album? Is anything in the can in regard to this?

DD: Nothing specific. We did talk about it briefly with the guy from SPV. We also talked about putting out box set with "The Book Of Burning" and "Hymns To Victory" plus a brand new record which is kind of esoteric covers and bluesy kind of things that we had done over period of past several months. I'm actually not sure what are we going to release next. I would like to put out a new album, but we will see what happens.

Unfortunately Virgin Steele doesn't tour much. Is it going to change in forseeable future?

DD: I wanna play. We want to do more shows. It is a question of kind of organizing things so that it makes sense. Sometimes I have issues with Edward getting him away from New York. Sometimes it is a problem, sometimes it works. We did do shows in South America and also in Europe without Edward, with Josh Block stepping in and playing guitar with us. These shows were OK. We will figure out what actually we are going to do in regard to playing live soon. But I don't know how we are gonna celebrate debut album. We still talk about it.

This was my last question. I cannot express my gratitude to you for finding time to talk to me. If you would like to add anything, you can do it now?

DD: With re-issue of "Visions Of Eden" coming, people are asking me, why did I remix the album and so, and so. Well, I was not 100 percent satisfied with the mix of that time. It was kind of rush recording and it was also rush mixing process. I wanted to give it another chance, because I know there is greater potential in the songs. I first started with remastering and I was pretty happy with remastering and I thought: "Well, let's go for it. Let's go back to the original session and see what's there and what can be done". I took to that. And I'm pretty pleased with that. We did pre-release lyric video for "The Ineffable Name" so that people can get the idea what the barbaric remix sounds like. Actually, today we are shooting something for another track so hopefully in a few weeks there will be another video from the "Visions Of Eden" project. And there is bunch of video things that we shot last year for the "Nocturnes…" album and never put out, but we never finished editing. Some of it was edited, but we just kind of shelved it. Something of it will show up in weeks to come. Now we are working on the next major statement that we are going to make (laughs). And there are also smaller things in a meanwhile.

My huge gratitude to you, David, for your time and for lots of information that you shared with me.

DD: Anytime. I'm really happy that people take to those records by Virgin Steel, Exorcist, Original Sin, Piledriver after all this time. It's very, very gratifying. When I was making the first record I wasn't thinking about that. I just wanted to have a piece of plastic in my hand: "OK, that's my voice on that for all the time" (laughs). I never thought of doing it 20, 30 years later. So I feel very fortunate.

Lesław Dutkowski

Poprawiony (poniedziałek, 27 marca 2017 21:33)