It's been 13 years since the San Francisco thrashers released their last album. Now they are back! Not yet with an album, but the second time this year they came around to tour Europe. A good reason to talk to singer Mark Osegueda before their show at Essen's Zeche Carl. Btw, thanks to whoever forwarded my interview request - I requested it through the website - to their new label Nuclear Blast who arranged the interview.
After all those years you restart. First some festivals, then the record deal with Nuclear Blast and then the No Mercy Festival tour in March / April. And now you are back here in Europe... On a headlining tour...
We are fully back! We have already written new material. And we will play one or two new ones tonight, actually every night. Just one or two new ones to kinda sort out what the people like. We will be home on Nov. 18th from this tour, then right into pre-production for a week. Then Dec. 1st into the studio to record our new album which shall be out on April 26th 2004. Then back on tour!
Who will produce the album?
Brian Dobbs will be our producer. He worked with bands like Men Made God and was the engineer of Bob Rock for years.
Someone from a different genre, to add something different...
Right, we always liked to use the people who aren't the typical people, coz a lot of times in metal someone gets big and everyone wants to use them then.
And then it gets too similar... You always were different, did it a different way...
That's the goal! *laughs*
After Death Angel broke up you all had different projects, but people kept asking for Death Angel. Did it feel right to do Death Angel again? Or was it the constant request?
Well, we did the Clash Of The Titans and it was phenomenal! It surprised us. Came off that one, then we did the Dynamo. It was just mind blowing! So many people were there and wanted... There was a demand for. Especially in the States. Then we came here and the reception was so overwhelming. And it felt so good to play together. It was phenomenal! It gave us a new appreciation for what we have written before. Then we came back to this No Mercy Festivals! That was just a clincher! That was just the reason... To do a live album from the tour and that's it. The No Mercy Festivals, the crowd, the warmth, everything... It just been phenomenal and it inspired us to go on and create another one. It's just been phenomenal!
All the reviews were pretty good and you were for most the hidden headliner. That was what people came for. What they were longing for.
That was our goal! *laughs*
Okay, it was all planned.
We hoped, hoped that it'll work. We got really good response and that was wonderful. That's why we wanted to come back to give these people a chance to see us. A lot of people hadn't seen us for years. Especially here we made a lot fans while we were broke up. They never had the chance to see us.
At the No Mercy Festivals a lot of shows were sold out and so people didn't get tickets anymore.
And... They only got to see us 35 - 40 minutes.
And I think it's interesting for people coz it's not so mixed. For many there were too many black & death metal bands... Like about 2 weeks ago at the No Mercy Festivals... They had first 3 death metal bands, then the thrash package with Agent Steel, Nuclear Assault and Exodus and then 3 more death metal and grindcore bands. From the first band on people where shouting for Exodus and after their set 2/3 of the audience left and that at a Friday night!
Seems that this is the second wave of thrash metal!
So... Good timing!
There most have been something special, coz there always were interest in Death Angel. And now after 13 years you are back. And it all comes back... Going in circles. Isn't it kinda strange that even young fans know Death Angel?
It's amazing to me. To me it's a blessing! It's true, it made me... I appreciate music more then ever. When the first time around I took a lot for granted. Now I wanna milk every moment of it. You know, things come around full circle and I think that we were fortunated enough to do 3 powerful albums. So we kinds leave the inqui when I left at the peek. *laughs*
So, it always left that intrigue and also some kind of respect, coz we didn't always keep carry on to where certain bands stay together... I think a lot of bands who stay together from this genre kinda lost sights of their original vision. We could never been accused to that.
People are looking for the old albums and they are getting harder to get.
Are there plans to re-release these? Something like that?
There is! Rico Disc will re-release the first 2 - as far as the dates I'm not sure about the release dates - with 3 bonus tracks on each.
What kind of bonus tracks? Demo versions? Live versions?
On The Ultra-Violence it is the original Kill As One demo. That's the 3 bonus tracks. And on Frolic Through The Park it's demo tracks, stuff we never released. 3 new songs and a the same time they're releasing a 11-song disc with songs we never released.
A surprise for the fans. And it's value for money.
Most people had it on vinyl and will be happy to get it on CD now. And it's not like getting another version of a track they have 10 times.
Exactly! It's with The Ultra-Violence they get the Kill As One demo. And with Frolic Through The Park they get something new. And with the other it's 14 new songs.
I think it's interesting to hear the demos, coz it shows how the songs changed.
There will be a new studio album. But you said that first there was the plan to do a live album. Plans changed.... But, will there be a live album?
The goal was to come out with a live album, but studio album first. April 26th 2004 on Nuclear Blast!
So we have to mark that day in the calendar!
Will you do a live album next time you come around?
Well, that's still kinda up in the air. We wanna do the legitimate live album, coz Fall From Grace was never a legitimate live album like U.F.O.'s Strangers In The Night and still like that. Bands we really respect. We liked their live albums like Unleashed In The East-kinda thing.
There you really get a feeling for the band. Especially when you live somewhere the bands don't go.
I think there are really a lot of territories which you have to cover live, where you haven't been.
Yeah! Absolutely, I agree. I always considered us as a live band.
As far as I remember there were some video clips. Any chance to make them available for the fans? As multi-media part on the coming CD? Or something like that?
It haven't been talked about yet, but I wouldn't rule it out.
Coz many probably never seen it, coz they had no music TV or were too young.
Well, in this re-release package they also doing a box-set of those plus a short DVD...
So, people should look out for the box-set!
...And it has the videos of our first two albums and some footage of early rehearsing and interviews.
Something I have to get then! Omen did a box-set with the first releases and a bonus DVD with a show of them from the early 80's. Cool for everybody who never seen them live. Sure, not todays standard, but cool! The set for 18 €. That's great.
What can we expect live?
Tonight we have 1 ½ hours and it definitely covers all our albums.
Do you feel a difference in what people what to hear? Are different songs requested e.g. in Holland compared to Germany?
It's really hard to say, coz they really appreciate that we are back, so that they enjoy the whole set. It's been pretty wonderful about everything across the board. So we step out all 3 albums and play 1 or 2 new songs. And the reaction for the new ones were pretty good as well. I think everyone is excited.
Everything happens for a reason.
It's kinda strange that all the old bands are back. And it's good that you are back with this package, coz it's more suitable. New bands...
I really like this package. And we are the headliner which always make me feel nice. I enjoy all the bands on the bill and I get along with everybody. With No Mercy Festivals I tend to hang out as soon as doors opened until we go on. I love it when I get a feeling for the people and I like to watch other bands.
Fans appreciate that you walk around and that they can talk to you for a moment.
Absolutely! I always be approachable, you know. I love the fact that I have the opportunity again. We wouldn't exist without them!
You have to be grateful, coz without the fans you are - for the music scene - nothing. Not as a person, but as a musician.
This was a kind of up-date, to let people know what to come. And I think we should talk again when you're touring next time with a new album.
We are still writing new songs. We have the album almost complete. Release is late April and then we'll tour like mad. Relentless.
We will see you a lot in future! Good to have you back!
It's amazing to be back!
Well, time was flying. I met a very sympathetic person and it was fun to talk to Mark. I think it won't be the last time that we see Death Angel and not my last interview with the charismatic singer.