Heart of Steel: Interviews

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Interview With Dark Angel
Interview By Luxi Lahtinen & Arto Lehtinen
 Transcription by JP

When the news about the reformed Dark Angel hit me, I became absolutely thrilled and very excited about the news. At first, I was kind of skeptical about Dark Angel´s reunion thing, but the more those rumors started reaching my curious ears from various different sources, the more I started believing in them. But in order to find out which of these ´rumors´ were true and stone-hard facts, and which were absolutely bullshit, the best way to get all the facts straight, was to contact one of the band´s original members Eric Meyer and let him do the talking about for all the reasons behind Dark Angel´s new coming and so forth.

So, boys and girls, Eric Meyer, the guitarist of these legendary L.A. thrashers Dark Angel explained politely a thing or two for Metal-Rules.com about both the band´s historical - and recent perspectives as far tours, the band members, the Dark Angel albums, etc. were all concerned. Actually you are about to find out lots of interesting details about Dark Angel based on this very interview both me (Luxi) and Archtur did with Eric a while ago already…

This is a pretty damn long interview, so hopefully you have sat down comfortably and have reserved something cool to drink and eat for yourself while you are reading this…

 

The reunited Darkest Angels...

 

Let’s have a couple of very straight questions about a long-awaited reunion of the legendary Dark Angel before continuing any further. First of all, I gotta admit being extremely happy when hearing the news of the Dark Angel reunion, making me listen to each of your albums a couple of times and running all around the house like some sort of a wacko maniac… (-uargh...!!!)

But back to the main thing anyway now: As far as this reunion matter goes, I have read quite a few interviews from many different sources where you made it quite well clear that there will be NO reunion of Dark Angel and if the reunion is really going to happen, it should be with the same line-up as on DARKNESS DESCENDS, which really put the band on the hottest spot on the map. So, I can’t help asking what exactly changed your mind and made all of you gather together for thrashing all those great classic Dark Angel tunes all over again?

It would be cool to do it with the Darkness Descends line-up, but you know we had problems with Don, so it wouldn’t really be possible to do that. So that is out in that respect but, the whole idea to get it going again was Jim’s idea. He contacted me, he contacted Ron, he just kinda suggested the idea and hatched the plan so to speak. We got together and talked about it and it seemed like a really cool idea. It was the right time to do it so we thought, “What the fuck...!? It sounds like a damn good time...!!”. Everyone was into doing it, we kinda had to revolve the door on a couple of people. You know people don’t keep their focus that well in the music biz, so of course it seems that people just have to be rotated out after a while. We’ll probably get more to that later in the interview...

 

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Now when the news about your reunion obviously has been spreading all around the world by a great bunch of people, I bet all the response towards your direction has been reaching rather massive scales of curiosity lately as many of us, especially old school metalheads, have felt really overwhelmingly thrilled and damn excited by such a great news. I was just wondering that have you been trying to reply back most of these people by telling them basically that all the news concerning your reunion are true and that you have started on writing with new material for Dark Angel and so on? Is it kind of annoying and even frustrating sometimes when you have to reply back to such a big amount of people and tell them all the very same things about your reunion?

Yeah, it is kinda frustrating to… sometimes I’m glad for all the response from all the people has just been fuckin’ awesome so I’m totally stoked about that. You do have to say the same thing over and over, but that’s just the way it is, it’s no big deal.

 

 

Apparently you must feel some sort of an obligation towards them, too, cause they are your fans, the true supporters, and they kind of want to share these great news with you guys, y´know?

I do feel an obligation towards them. I’m just really thankful that everyone has been so supportive. I think it has helped fuel the enthusiasm for doing it. I’m definitely thankful to all the fans who are into it.

 

 

As all the fuss and gossip talking around Dark Angel and particularly all the talk around the reunion became hotter and wilder, I guess people started desperately longing for Dark Angel and literally started begging you to get back together, because of several other old school thrash bands had made their own more or less successful returns to the limelights again. Not only the old fans like us, but also the younger generation have become more curious and excited over the things regarding Dark Angel. I guess it is quite obvious that you just must have got blown away by a huge amount of demands and requests and above all, because of an enormous interest towards the band?

To be honest, people have been talking about us doing this for years and it just really wasn’t… well, y´know we always entertained the idea, but put it on the back-burner a little bit. So when Jim called us up and hatched the plan, it really solidified the whole thing. Basically, nobody had really been thinking about it and then we got an offer to play at the Wacken -festival about three years ago. That was kinda interesting because we got a fax to Metal Blade, it went to the guy who engineered our first record, Bill Metoyer, he got a fax saying the promoters wanted to have a Dark Angel re-union at the Wacken -festival. That was one of the first times we really thought about it. We tried to pull that one off, but different things were happening with different band members, so we ended just not doing it. People probably heard about that three years ago. That was a close-one for us getting back together, but before that I don’t think anyone had really given it a second thought.

 

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Can you name some people around you who basically were constantly begging you to get the band together, like being the true pains in the ass constantly trying to convince you that it actually could be the best thing for you guys to do for a long time and eventually worth of each your effort you would make?

I’ve been hearing from people, I’m sure everyone has, to try to put the stuff back together… I don’t know… names of people who are constantly begging us to do it… you know… I don’t think anyone has been doing that. I was working in a music store for five years. It was the first thing I would hear from so many people. A lot of people don’t want to hear about what new projects we are doing, they just want to hear about that. I’m sure the other guys probably get the same thing. So that’s we decided to give it a run.

 

 

When we started doing the interview for you guys about a few weeks ago, the whole interview layout needed to be changed a couple of times as things kept changing so rapidly and without any signs of warning concerning your new coming as we got to read pretty much in the following order: Firstly Jim, Eric and Ron started jamming together at Jim’s house with ´Mayhem´ Mendez playing the drums and this dude from Morgion was handling the bass. According to the latest piece of news Gene Hoglan have now teamed up with you and even Mike Gonzalez has agreed to take a part to the reunited Thrash legends. Please could you politely shed some light on the whole thing one more time to get all the facts the way they are right now?

Jim, Eric and Ron, yeah… we did start jamming together at Ron’s house. Mr. Mendez was playing drums with us. We were going to do a jam at a Kreator/Destruction gig and he agreed to fill in on the drums for us as Gene was going to come down and do it and then Gene was not able to come down so we ended up doing the gig. We just did a couple of songs, “The Burning of Sodom” and “Merciless Death”.

Mike Gonzolez was contacted in regards to it, but he has other things going on so he won’t be around. The guy from Morgion is not with us, not around so he is not doing it either. We’ve got a good friend of ours who has been working with the band for years, probably since 89 or something, I’ve known him since 1986, Danny Williams, he is going to be playing bass with us. We have been working on that, working with him.

Like I said, Jim had initially contacted us in regards to getting the thing together and we had set up some tour dates around in December and that was something that Jim had contacted the guy over at First Row Talent, John Finberg. He had contacted him in regards to setting up some shows and we had like 10 shows set up were just West Coast stuff. Gene was getting done with the Strapping Young Lad -record around that time, basically in November and basically it was going to be a real tight timeline to get it together, to pull off the dates. We took that into consideration when we started this. As we got closer to it Jim started to have some… you know… he had to go out of town for his work, this and that and the next thing. I questioned his involvement and what he wanted to do because it seemed really strange... you know he spearheaded the whole idea to get it back together but it seemed once the train was rolling he didn’t want to have any part of it. It was just kinda weird the vibe that we got. It’s just a really fuckin’ strange thing you know? Jim ended up basically at pretty much the last minute just deciding that we weren’t going to have time to do the shows, so he called up the booking agent and cancelled it. This wasn’t in agreement with myself or Gene, Gene hadn’t been contacted and it really wasn’t the way we were going to be doing things. So basically at that point we had lined up a replacement to do the shows, replacing Jim and we ended up just having to have him scrubbed anyway. At that point we decided at that point, because of that we were just going to replace Jim. It started off sounding like a fucking wonderful idea but ever since he left the band before, I guess I kinda considered him an acquaintance, we weren’t exactly tight friends or something. It is tough to predict someone’s character you know? I mean it all sounded freakin’ wonderful at first and then it really kind of went down the tubes. It was all confusing. It didn’t seem like he wanted to be a part of it. You know he plays in his own bands on the side, Dreams of Damnation and basically everyone has a band on the go, on the side, so to speak and Jim… it just seemed to me that it was more important to him. Whatever...!! Gene’s into doing it and we have yet to decide on his replacement.

 

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And you don´t feel any sort of pressure towards all your fans now when an army of Dark Angel maniacs think DARKNESS DESCENDS is your best work to date and assumable expect you to write DARKNESS DESCENDS - part II as reasonable as it may sound like to your ears? Funny thing is that when Slayer recorded REIGN IN BLOOD, of course their fans expected their next album to be like a continuum to REIGN IN BLOOD. Well, there´s still no REIGN IN BLOOD - part two, but could there possibly be DARKNESS DESCENDS - part two some day, -eh?!

I think it is definitely there is a possibility that we can put out a bunch of songs in that vein. A little shorter, tighter, faster kind of stuff. We will just have to see how it shapes up when we get to that point. We all like the DARKNESS DESCENDS record. It’s a great piece of work.

 

 

I recently came across a short interview, or actually more like a statement given by you that the new tracks would be in the process, having real aggressive Thrash -elements in them. Does that mean Dark Angel could have a potential chance to enter a studio and start working on a new album relatively soon?

As to how long until we get into a studio, that’s really hard to say…

 

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Before continuing more with Dark Angel, let’s focus a little bit on you and your bands that were formed after the split up of Dark Angel.

Eric: After the demise you obviously kept some silent period before forming a side project with Ron Rinehart called Hunger and released one three track demo that turned out to be a real killer Thrash in my opinion, sounding surprisingly much of Dark Angel musically as a matter of speaking. How did you come up with an idea to put that project together with Ron and where did you find those two other guys to complete the line-up, i.e. R.D. Davies (on drums and backing vocals) and Greg Roe (on bass and backing vocals) for this particular project? And do you have any idea what R.D. and Greg are up to nowadays?

Yeah, I did the Hunger project. I thought it was a really cool band, too. The drummer was a guy named R.D. Davies who I have known for a really long time. He used to play in a bunch of different punk bands and I thought that, that would give us a real different vibe to the music. I was going for something maybe just a little bit shorter, more condensed. He was a great player... he still is. Greg Rowe was on the bass, I think he was a friend of a friend of Ron’s, a real creative young guy, I don’t know what he is doing. I still see R.D. around he is still playing in some local bands around town. I’m glad to hear you liked the demo. I thought it turned out real cool, too

 

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Well why didn’t Hunger lead to anywhere, cause the band and above all you just vanished from the metal map without leaving any bigger traces behind you? I assume that Hunger had its decent following, tho…

The thing with Hunger, well, we were just doing recordings and stuff. We did the demo and did production on it and duped of bunch and sent them out to a bunch of magazines and got reviews and things like that but stuff, unfortunately by the time stuff hit print, I can’t quite remember who was out, I think it was the bass player split or something… it just turned into your typical bullshit ya know? That’s why I never heard anymore about it. That’s a shame too ´cuz we got some bitchin’ reviews. I think we just hit at too late of a time.

 

 

Obviously you also tried to win some attention from record labels as well in order to get signed up and to get a full-length album released with Hunger eventually, but this master plan failed for some reason or the other…?

Yeah, basically, you know we solicited a bunch of labels and stuff and it didn’t seem to click much. I think also at that point, I have to get my years correct, I think it was ’93 we were still having a big Seattle thing going on with the record industry. I don’t know if people know about that shit but in ’92 after we put out the ´Time´ record and we got off a record label, as you know that big Seattle explosion that fucked things up for us and a lot of bands. All the record industry attention was focused on stuff like that. It is just the way it was.

 

 

By the way, was the name ´Hunger´ taken from your legendary DARKNESS DESCENDS album? The third song there was called “HUNGER of the Undead,” so…?

No. It wasn’t. I can’t remember where we came up with the idea for that name to be honest with you, but no, it wasn’t from that.

 

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How copies did you actually sell? Because it is definitely hard to get a hold of, only if you happen to see on a list of some old school tape trader?

I don’t know. I think we might have printed a thousand. We only printed them on cassette. Yeah, I don’t have any copies of it.

 

 

Have you ever considered re-working with those 3 songs (“Face First”, “Hear the Pain” and “Caged” that are) on that Hunger demo and then possibly re-release them under Dark Angel name on your next output? I guess that wouldn´t be that bad idea after all…

Reworking the Dark Angel songs? Yeah, I don’t know… it’s a possibility. I’m flattered that you think they were that cool. We’ll see what happens.

 

 

In some point of your career you worked as an engineering degree and produced a couple of albums with such bands for example as Transmetal and Recipients of Death. Just wondering have you worked more as a producer for other bands as well - or just for these bands and pretty much giving it all up and been concentrating on some other activities in your life after that?

I did the stuff for Transmetal and I did the Recipients of Death. I had gone up to Mexico City to work with some bands. I worked with Transmetal, a band called Blackthorn, a band called Pactum and I did those projects. It was kind of the end of it I suppose. I just kind of turned the page on that kind of stuff.

Concentrating on other activities in life? Yeah, I guess that is what I was doing! (laughs)

(Editors note: At this point Eric states: “You know what? I gotta tell ya. This is a very fucking strange way to do an interview! Because, usually you think things through, and you write them down, and maybe you re-think it and fix it so it all looks nice and coherent. So that’s why I probably sound like I’m a fucking idiot or something! It’s hard to keep focused when you are doing this because I’m not stopping the tape at all. I’m not editing ya! You are getting the raw shit!” (laughs)

 

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After having kept an enough silent period you went on and formed the current band Swine which was having more of this ´nu-metal / mallcore´ -oriented style. Hopefully you won’t tear your expensive pants apart now because of this question, but let’s be straight once and for all: What made you jump to that ´mallcore-ish´ style in the very first place?

I don’t know. I like lots of bands that maybe sound like that or are influenced like that. I guess that’s all I can say about that. Machine Head is one of my favorite bands, Fear Factory, you know stuff like that. Yeah, I like a lot of that kind of music. When we got together with the drummer and the other guitar player Josh, we worked on a few of different kinds of styles of tunes. The stuff that was on the three-song demo, we had progressed a substantial amount from that and the music unfortunately never got any vocals on it. It was just kinda of refreshing. With Dark Angel it was pretty intense, a lot of speed picking with the right hand and lots of difficult riffs, stuff like that. It was real refreshing in away to play music that was still really heavy and fuckin’ pissed off. We played it in a drop-D, which is where you have to bar your finger across the finger board hand and tuned into an ‘A’, so it is real fuckin’ heavy. I enjoyed it. That band has seen it’s day at this point so anyone who didn’t like it, I guess you can rejoice or something. Whatever…it’s all good. We did a lot of gigs around town. We played a gig with Gene’s band, Strapping Young Lad over at The Galaxy Theater in Santa Anna. I think that was the gig that we taped live by an Internet company called Hollywood Music. I think you can access it off the Swine site… or maybe you can’t, but I think they might be no longer existing. If you saw it, it came out real nice. It was a multi-camera shoot with interviews; it came out cool. I enjoyed it. The band was definitely ‘on’. We were tight!

 

 

Did you also kind of feel ´empty inside´ at that time due to Dark Angel break up that you just need to continue writing new material - no matter for what band or bands? You just felt an urgent need to keep your creative juices going on and torture your ´battleaxe´ on permanent basis?

I’ve never stopped playing. I’m always playing my guitar and I think that bands come and go, so I’ve noticed. I thought that the vibe Ron and I had after it split up, we thought it would be easy to get another band due to the name that we had before, just put a band together and get right back out there. I think we had quite a bit of the Seattle shit. People weren’t interested, they didn’t give a fuck about that kind of metal at that point, so that was the vibe that we experienced so that helped shelve the project.

 

 

The historical perspective of Dark Angel...

 

Dark Angel was formed in the early 80’s when all of you were still young (sorry, he!) and still in high school, digging metal and used to hang around with both the Metallica and Slayer dudes a little bit in L.A - and playing on the same gigs, but at that time the local scene was quite pretty lame and dead as far as the extreme metal is concerned. What kind of places did you usually play and how much did you pull people to your shows approximately?

When we started playing it was kind of a pretty cool time because Slayer had just put out HAUNTING THE CHAPEL’ and we had just done WE HAVE ARRIVED and RIDE THE LIGHTNING had just come out, so it was a scene that had just started. Megadeth’s record hadn’t come out, but it was anticipation for a while we played a few shows with them. It was really cool because all those bands were just starting and playing in small clubs and shit and it was neat watching the whole scene build up and we were a part of it. It was a real cool thing and a cool vibe I thought. It was not as you are describing the scene as being lame but it was always built… I was around for close to ten years and the band was together in one line-up or another for a couple of years before I got in there. We were lucky that the bands career went on the up-climb, from one thing to another, be it bigger gigs, putting out a record, we had a record deal, doing this, doing that… it was always going in a forward progression. We didn’t have any… too may sets backs, hills and valleys… except for rotating some band members and you know, that is just the way music is, You change people around. The bands career just went for a hell of fuckin’ long time so I’m really thankful for that.

 

 

How were your shows like back then? Would you open up your memory bank a little bit and describe one of them to our curious readers? Lots of insane headbanging, stage diving and that kind of things or what?

Insane head-banging and stage-diving?! Yeah... Pretty much like that...!! Back then there wasn’t as much stage-diving, there was some, but not like I see in Europe and not like when we did European tours. It was nothing like that but it was always a good time.

 

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Can you tell to our readers what clubs were some of your very favorite clubs to play at in the very beginning of Dark Angel´s career? Besides, I believe you still have some precious memories left from those gigs, so would you share some of those experiences with us as well? As you probably know, we are just a shit-bunch of over-curious fucks, y´know, -he-he!!

I’d have to say our favorite club, the one we really started to play a few times was Radio City, that was right next door to a place called the Woodstock. I think Metallica used to play there so if you read old Metallica interviews, you’ll here that one. That was one of the first gigs we started out, we played a gig with Slayer; we played with Hirax and shit like that. That was one of the first venues that we first started headlining at. It was just real cool. We headlined there every couple of months. It was a building process and the manager was real cool, he would get us a better deal, I’m getting paid or more beer or whatever with each gig we would bring in more people little by little, that definitely was a cool one. It was funny because we always used to end our set at that point with “Perish in Flames” and the last time we played there, that was the last song we played and somebody lit a fire in the place and so it ended being the end of the club. So the last song on stage was “Perish in Flames”. And there was fire and so that is some good trivia for ya! (laughs) After that we graduated over to another venue in Long Beach called Fender’s Ballroom. It was a lot bigger place and I think we put 1500 people in there at one point, when we did the LEAVE SCARS headlining shows, we packed that place like Sardines. That was a real great heyday. There is some video of that shit floating around too. It was kind of a weird club, low and flat and real sweat-bath kinda place, but yeah it was bitchin’. Fenders has a fire too, unfortunately and that fucked that place up.

 

 

And you pounded two demos in a row. The first one is quite exceptional in a way or another featuring entirely unreleased tracks, for example “Road Warrior” - and so on. Those tunes were never re-written nor re-recorded for any releases. But how come after all? Did you feel those tracks didn’t represent the style you were heading towards at that time, having this more aggressive vibe going on in your sound and overall having a slightly more brutal approach than what you probably had churned out in the past?

Those demos I didn’t play on and I didn’t hear them, so I can’t help ya on that one. (laughs)

 

 

How much do you indeed have unreleased songs from those demo days of yours? You possibly haven´t circulated or re-used any parts off those songs to the songs on WE HAVE ARRIVED mini-LP, for example?

No.

 

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Your first mini-album titled WE HAVE ARRIVED saw the dawn of darkness in 1984 via a small label Azra/Metalstorm, but for some reason the album got delayed an incredibly lot - and as strange as it must sound the album was released in Europe first and almost a year later in the USA? Can you still remember what caused the major delay of it and why the European release took place first?

It wasn’t really a mini-album, it had eight songs I think, maybe it was a little short. We were recording it and were basically financing it ourselves. The project went over-budget and basically we couldn’t pay for the tapes! (laughs) The tapes sat in the studio. We were borrowing the money in the first place and we went over budget. We were out a few thousand dollars and we didn’t, nobody had the cash for it. it sat there for few months as I recall and somehow, I can’t remember exactly how it happened, the guy who was going to put the record out in the Europe, the label called Axekiller, they advanced us the cash to get the tape out so they could release it. At that point, the people over at Metalstorm, he had got in touch with this artist and all of a sudden we had the tapes but now we were waiting for artwork for the record. So that’s why the Europe release… they just kinda put that together and didn’t do the elaborate production on it and it ended up coming out quicker. It took quite a while for the artwork to come in, the graveyard scene, which is kinda neat, I gotta admit. So that’s that, that is the way it went down. A lot of people ended up getting the European release before hand, before the other came out.

 

 

The album already contained a bunch of evergreen classic Dark Angel tunes like “Merciless Death” which was later re-arranged and re-done for the second album DARKNESS DESCENDS. All in all, that album is hailed as a real, hard-boiled Thrash classic nowadays and definitely is one of the finest pieces of the whole Thrash Metal´s florescence. Anyway I was just wondering what kind of memories and feelings do you actually have about the making and writing process of the album in general?

I had a great time. The DARKNESS DESCENDS record was a real interesting thing for us. We got hooked up with a producer, Randy burns and he had just finished up working with Megadeth. And as everyone knows, Megadeth were doing lots of drugs at that point and those chemicals were kinda spilling over with Randy as well and his disposition wasn’t really all that nice at points. It was kinda funny as we were a young band and when we went into the studio some of the tracks weren’t quite finished. Black Prophecies wasn’t done and at that point we had never really played the song. We go tin the studio and put it together in the studio and it came to Randy’s attention as we were doing it and he was pretty bent out of shape about it. Some temperamental recording sessions I would say. As I recall Jim was living with some girl at the time and they were breaking up right when we were starting to do all the tracking stuff. He missed a few sessions, with relationship turmoil, which is funny because the same shit happened to me when we did Leave Scars. It seems everyone breaks up with a chick when they do a record.

 

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Are you still proud of it and is there anything on that album you could have done a slightly different way nowadays if you had got a new opportunity for that?

Yeah, I’m still proud of it. I think if we could have recorded things a little bit differently now, if the guitar tracks were quadrupled today it would sound kinda cool but, for music of that tempo it makes it a bit mushier sounding and you lose the clarity. And if you listen to the record and people say, “Why can’t you pick the riffs out?” - because each thing was recorded four times, two on one and two on the other, and that will do it. It will make those intricate riffs tough to distinguish.

We had a good time with it. Don did a lot better, we were really stoked with the way his performance came out. He really pulled a lot out and we were all happy with it.

 

 

Who was the guy behind the cover concept of it anyway?

darkangel-pic17.jpg (31149 bytes)Well, because we had problems with last cover we wanted to be ahead of ourselves and not have the same problem this time around. So we had liked the artist who did the graveyard scene, I think his name was Sean Rogers, I believe. It’s spelled Sean, but he pronounced it ‘scene’, believe you me, S-E-A-N Rogers. This guy in Ohio, an artist dude and metal head and he told us he was getting into photography and shit like that compared to drawings, so he wanted to do the new cover and he showed us some shot he had shot, special effects and shit and he had shot of this guy on a gurney, coming out of a morgue and he had a sheet over him and there was a fist coming up out of his chest, with like the blood and fuckin’ ribs coming out and shit like that and we didn’t know how that was going to tie into the title DARKNESS DESCENDS, but we love it because it was just fucking sick looking. It was a photograph… it looked REAL!! It was pretty fuckin’ amazing, so we were way ahead of the game. We had given these pictures to the record label and they are like, “Oh My god this is gnarly”, but you know… whatever… so we give them the record and we are hearing that the record is getting pushed back and we are not getting a straight answer about what is going on with the cover and then I’m hearing we are going to have to put a plain sleeve over it, use it on a fold-out, or some kinda bullshit like that and then basically, in the typical Combat -style that they are not going to use that cover because the record is not going to get stocked in a bunch of stores. After our stuff was all done and sitting around for a couple of months at least, knowing those guys, they told us we couldn’t use our cover. All of a sudden we were back at square one with not having a cover. So we got back in touch with Sean and he did the photographs and drew up the art with tombstones and the fire. He had some people sitting in a hole and he shot the shot, gave us a couple different versions, and I thought it looked pretty sweet.

 

 

And when you look at it nowadays, are you still proud of the every element on it even if using tombstones, graveyards, etc. for cover concepts these days is somewhat a vanished trend, I guess…

I guess it’s a vanishing trend, but I thought it came out pretty bitchin’. I was diggin it. So, whatever...

 

 

At that time you had Jack Schwartz who departed from the band after the recording of the debut mini-album, but as far as I know you had a temporary drummer named Lee Roush before Gene teamed up with you? Is that possibly the correct info I have gathered for myself from somewhere…?

darkangel-pic21.jpg (18401 bytes)Yes. You have that entirely correct. We weren’t really happy with Jack, he didn’t fit in real well with us. We didn’t dig his vibe... he… didn’t fit in too well with us ya know? We had heard about this drummer who had been playing with Megadeth for a little while. His name was Lee Rauch and we got in touch with him through our manager we had at the time and he was just supposed to be this real bad-ass drummer who played with Megadeth. So basically we weren’t happy with jack and after recording the record, we gave him the boot. We thought, we’ll get Lee in the band and we started to work with him and man, we spent a few months and never got the whole set down! It was really… it was just a bad move. We were floundering and it was not a good thing. Lee... I can’t remember were he was living, but he we had this walk out studio and he was living in the studio, ya know it obviously wasn’t very great conditions for anyone to be in, you know living in the rehearsal studio and playing with the band and then he started working. It didn’t work out.

Gene ended up being friends of friends of ours and he was playing drums in a band called Wargod. I had heard a demo and he was friends with Jim also and we just ended up pulling him in. He was interested in playing with us and it all worked out.

 

 

But then the year 1986 was a real milestone of the whole Thrash Metal revolution changing the whole genre permanently as a bunch of classic releases came out at that time; some off the very top of that pile being considered Slayer´s REIGN IN BLOOD, Kreator´s PLEASURE TO KILL, Destruction´s ETERNAL DEVASTATION, Bathory´s UNDER THE SIGN OF THE BLACK MARK, Possessed´s BEYOND THE GATES and of course Dark Angel´s DARKNESS DESCENDS that many consider as that very best album of Dark Angel´s whole history. Definitely a magical year from its every aspect as far this topic ´bout “Thrash Metal´s golden year” was launched in the air…

I’m glad to see that people considered that record one of the top ones. That was really cool...

 

 

Don Dotty had left Dark Angel once again at the edge of the US tour and then you had another guy from a local Thrash band called Death Force helping you out on the “Gates of Darkness” tour with another Frisco thrashers Possessed. Did you have to go through a lot of potential screamers to fill up the empty shoes left by Dotty or was this dude from Death Force the first choice to get nominated as a session vocalist of that tour by either some of you or some of your friends as a recommendation?

What happened with that was we had the tour all set and I think Don had got in an auto accident or something and he owed some money and his folks wouldn’t let him do it, as I recall because he owed a bunch of cash for this auto accident he had gotten into or some weird bullshit like that. We didn’t want to back out of the tour, so Jim Drawbos who sang in Death for us, he just came in and had really good timing, which is something that Don didn’t have. The record and everything would sound great and everything, but when we played live with him he didn’t have much rhythm, he couldn’t tap his foot an didn’t feel the beat, he probably couldn’t rap in retrospect (laughs) but yeah… quite frequently he would come in… come in wrong… he didn’t feel the music too much… it’s kinda strange. He would be watching me play guitar and wouldn’t know when to come in. It’s didn’t make any sense to me.

Jim joined up and we did that tour. We knew going through the tour that he wasn’t going to be our guy, he was just kinda... had limited range. It wasn’t what we wanted. I don’t think we did try out a bunch of people. He just walked in and boom, sang the songs. It was very easy.

 

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Before LEAVE SCARS unleashed the beast, the line-up had undergone some major changes in the form of hiring a new vocalist and a new bassist for the band. I can’t help asking how Ron Rinehart and Mike Gonzalez got hooked up by Dark Angel and was it hard on you in a way or another to break in both Ron and Mike into the band by teaching and training all the old tracks for them and then get to know each other and so on?

What happened was the bass player came in first. Our bass player at the time, Rob Yahn wanted to get out. He was just done and we began looking for a new bass player. We were trying to get a new bass player into the fold before we did the ´Darkness´ record and we couldn’t come up with anybody. So Rob recorded the record for us, which was really cool of him because he wanted to get out. I think he was training to be a police officer at the time. We eventually ended up finding Mike. He had played around town in some local bands so he was basically in there. We was in the band before Darkness was released so that’s why his picture got put on there but if you read the notes he didn’t play on the record and ´Scars´ was his first one.

The thing with Ron, this takes us back to where Don was, the thing was with Don he was having some issues at home. You know we were all living at our parents´ homes and shit like that. At his parents house he lived in the back of the house he lived in an add-on section and he had a pool table back there and shit. I guess Speed Metal comes from his meth-amphetamine abuse because it was starting to become a predominate force in his life. It was like a 24-hour party going on back there. It was ridiculous you know? Like I said, the way Don worked with not having… rhythm… I don’t want to say rhythm per se but there were things he needed to work on a lot. His parts… where he would fuck them up. The guy would just start missing all sorts of rehearsals. I think we decided… we had a big gig coming up at Fenders for the Darkness record…and he was missing all the rehearsals coming up in front of it. We decided that, if he comes up, walks in and does fine, we would forget about it, but if he walks in and fucks up, that will be the point. And that’s what happened. He fucked things up and at that point we decided we had to cut him. Time to move on, we can’t deal with it anymore. I have spoken with him. I think I spoke to him about four years ago, he’s raising a family and shit now so that’s all cool.

I think he actually ended up getting arrested, possession of narcotics or something. I wasn’t too clear on it, he wasn’t too proud of it obviously and I think he went to jail for a couple of years as a matter of fact. After he was out we never ran into him. It ended up being about six months were we didn’t have a vocalist and it was a pretty depressing thing. Somehow we had heard that Ron was singing in a band called Messiah and Jim had seen him and we just saw his potential for being our perfect fit. He was interested and it just went from there.

 

 

What ´new´ did the guys bring into the band by joining the troops and becoming the permanent members of the Dark Angel line-up?

What did they bring to the band? I dunno, me and Mike ended up being real good buddies, we really got along well. We lied to do the same things, going out, drinking, going to shows around town, socializing, so we would also be doing that around town. Ron had a way better vocal range and he was a real cool guy. I don’t want to say family oriented but real protective of people, big bonds in that respect, loyal to the family, loyal to the hood of Norwalk. He was really into that. Very cool guy.

 

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Then LEAVE SCARS came out which literally surprised several fans who had got used and excited about more brutal, rawer and faster approach on DARKNESS DESCENDS - and not to forget Don’s hysterical screams there as well whereas Ron’s delivery was a bit cleaner yet more powerful than Don´s and to be honest with you, in fact completely opposite compared to Don’s voice. I guess you tried to carry out a bit more advanced sound vision for that particular album probably based more on heaviness, melodies and catchy song structures as always, but still at the same time trying to maintain the very same Thrash -element that you without a doubt already had on DARKNESS DESCENDS as a dominating element. Don´t you agree partly at least...?

I think the songs just got a little bit more advanced. That’s about all I can say. It was Ron’s first time in the studio and the manager we were working with at the time a guy named Paul Schenker. He set us up in this place called space station and he set us up with this guy name Michael Monarch to produce the record. He used to play guitar in Steppenwolf. This was one of those classic things where you wonder how the fuck things happen sometimes! (laughs) What the hell happened tour control? So we get set up in the studio, which is right at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, totally the heart of Hollywood. It was a big building but it was kinda run down. So Michael Monarch, the guitarist for Steppenwolf… that’s all great… but I don’t see him producing a lot of stuff. I definitely have to say that production wise on the record we weren’t really thrilled with the way things came out. It was one of those things were the shit was all recorded and the money was all spent and we ain’t gonna do it again! At that point, with record labels like that you don’t just scrap records and do them again. So it was one of those things. What I remember is we got there and spent a month recording that record and I was living with a girlfriend at the time and that turned into a living hell, so it kinda tends to sidetrack your attentions from the record sand with all the other things that were going on, what kinda happened is with us is that it seemed like that shit gets outta of your hands. The more people you hire to help make the band successful, all of a sudden you are under pressure to relinquish your control, and it’s tough to get shit happening at times, so to speak.

 

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Both DARKNESS DESCENDS and WE HAVE ARRIVED mostly dealt with rather typical death issues, but both on LEAVE SCARS and TIME SHALL NOT HEAL, the lyrics took another direction, dealing with topics like child abuse, state of mind, beliefs, plain madness and such things. Did you just get fed up with the stuff dealing with death and other obscure things and wanted to find another direction because so many other bands were already dealing with similar topics? This whole concept about ´death´ kind of became very over-used cliché at some point ´coz it was in use amongst the majority of Speed / Thrash -groups back in those days…

As you know Gene was our predominant lyric writer at this point, starting to do stuff on ´Darkness´ and with LEAVE SCARS and the time record. The guy is a phenomenal lyricist and he was really into writing lyrics and stuff like that so questions about that would have to be more directed towards him. We did want to stay away from clichés. That’s why we used that art for LEAVE SCARS to be anti-cliché.

 

 

Jim Durkin was replaced by Brett Eriksen in 1990 from other Thrash heroes called Viking. Hmmm… cannot help my ever-burning curiosity, but what he is doing nowadays? As far as his half brother goes, we only know for sure that he became a preacher or something like that? Hopefully he didn´t follow his brother´s footsteps later on…?

Brett Erickson replaced Jim and I have seen him very much lately so I can’t really help you out on that one. His brother... I did hear that he became a preacher, the guy who used to sing in Viking. I haven’t seen him either, but I’m pretty damn sure that Brett is not doing that though!

 

 

How well did you know the guys from Viking anyway?

I think we did done show with Viking. I didn’t know them all that well. I think Gene actually did some production on their record. I think it got put out on Metal Blade or something, I don’t quite remember. But they did put out a record and that was where he went the whole idea to get Brett in when Jim was out, so we can attribute that to Gene.

 

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Then Dark Angel headed out for the first European tour with Nuclear Assault crisscrossing all around the Old Continent and no doubts, it was definitely a great tour and worth every cent for everybody who came to your gigs for witnessing some hot and strong American Thrash Metal. Any ´hot´ and ´crazy´ stories to tell from that particular killer tour? By the way Eric… you didn’t come to Finland with Nuclear Assault even though you had a gig in Stockholm with them? Why indeed didn´t you come over here with the guys of Nuclear Assault? There´s better be a good reason for that ´coz as you may know, even here in Finland we had - and still have quite a few devoted Dark Angel -fans…

You know… I really don’t know. I thought we had done the entire tour with them, but maybe they did some dates at the end without us. I really don’t know. The big story on that tour was we did the Hammersmith Odeon and that was the big, I want to say big pivotal point for the tour. It was about a third of the way into it and we were playing this big, fucking famous venue, and we knew we were going to be filming it. That was a really big deal; it was quite a peak point of a tour. As you know when people go out on tour with the climate changes and all that people tend to get sick. I know Ron was sick at that point and really trying to take care of himself and it was just pretty damn stressful, but we got through that. Then what ended up happening, it was real stupid, we had an off night, myself and Mike from DA and some of the guys from Nuclear Assault… we had played like 17 nights in a row on that tour and we had one of our off nights. We were in Germany and a lot of people that were hanging out and going to the shows were in the Army, G.I.’s. Totally cool dudes!! They knew there way around the town and we went bar hopping and we had a pretty big entourage, maybe a dozen people or something and we went out and got really fucked up…I mean REALLY fucked up. We are not used to that powerful beer, it may seem normal to you guys but us... wimpy American people it was like twice as strong. We got pretty blasted. What happened was, we were walking down this little cobblestone street that are so predominant over in Europe, those little small streets… there were cars all parked end to end to end and I’m not sure who started doing it but someone walked over one or two of the cars in a row… boom, boom, boom over the roof and hood and I don’t know, three or four people did it in the group we were in. We didn’t think about it, we were fucking wasted, it seemed like a ridiculous out of control of thing to be doing, but we didn’t bat an eye and kept on walking.

We got into more of a town thing and I think we went into a McDonalds and we were all getting some food and we were heading out, me and Mike and our merchandiser and our monitor mixer, we were the last ones to leave, and when we were ready to leave, there were cops out there! They were looking for us. Somebody had called the cops and reported us and they grabbed us and the funny thing was we weren’t really involved in the crime! They grabbed us, arrested us took us back to the police station, strip searched… and when you are an American guy who doesn’t speak German being held by German police it was pretty fucking scary! What ended up happening was one by one they let us go. The funny thing was that one had a passport on them except for Mike. They let everyone go but him. They said they weren’t going to let him leave. We got back to the bus and told everyone what had happened, and the promoter who was doing the German leg of the tour went down to see what was going on and we thought we would get in touch with the American embassy and pop him out of there. We thought it would be easy… and it turned out it wasn’t so easy. I guess what the problems were that so many American G.I.’s stationed in Europe they get themselves in trouble but NOT get into trouble so to speak. So in the end they had a bunch of vehicles with damages and mike was the guy they were pinning the crime on. As far as they were concerned over there you were guilty until you prove otherwise. That was just the way it was. They charged him with the damages to the automobiles and said it was going to be $30,000 USD to bail him out. It that was just the way it was. We ended up taking out some of the merchandising advance we had upcoming and Ron ended up borrowing the money from somebody he knew and Mike’s mom agreed to sign over the house or some shit like that to agree to pay it back and we ended up getting Mike out of jail and basically he missed the last part of the tour. Dan Lilker agreed to fill in on bass he helped us out. There are some pictures on the web-site of Dan playing bass with us. That’s what happened. It turned into a real disaster. When Mike was in jail we had another roof-night and with mike in jail it was a real depressing situation. It was a real fuckin’ drag. Instead of just sitting around, we all went drinking! When ya get bummed out you go drinking! (laughs)

Some of the guys from Acid Reign were on the tour at that point and we got into a big barroom brawl, bottles were flying, people getting their heads split open. It was real ugly. One of our bus driver got stitches in his head and it all just comes with some extreme intoxication. Other than that, all in all it was good time (laughs). I know I got sidetracked from the question about the gig in Sweden. I know we played in Stockholm, but I’ll have to check on that. I know we played in Sweden, but I don’t have tour dates, so I can’t help you with that one right now. I’ll have to check.

 

 

“Three Way Thrash” video was shot in Hammersmith Odeon feat. Candlemass, D.A.M. and you. I have seen your part from that video and you both sounded and looked great in that video. Anyway, I noticed that the audience was sort of lame and rather inactive while you were doing you share of that show, but in general the whole place seemed to be totally packed. Did you Eric become at least a bit surprised by seeing your face on the front cover of that particular video?

That was the trippiest thing. We were really stoked and looking forward to playing Hammersmith venue. In afternoon we saw the layout of the place. You can’t really tell and I didn’t know the history of the venue but there are chairs that go all the way to the fucking front. It’s like a fucking movie theater! I thought to myself, what’s gonna happen is when we start to play, the kids are going to go fucking crazy and fuck the chairs up or something, but apparently that doesn’t really happen because they will get kicked out. That was exactly what happened. Guys stand up and cheer but there was no pit going on. For Ron, for all of us, that was… we are a band that thrives on audience participation and here we were all pumped up to do a huge gig, the stage was enormous, a five camera shoot which was pretty big and cool at the time and you know… and no stage-diving from the audience because they couldn’t do it. So it was definitely something to overcome. Yeah, I was surprised as hell when they put me on the cover. I have no idea what was up with that and we saw it and I was stoked! (laughs) I got razzed a lot about it a lot as if I paid the guy off or something (laughs).

 

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What did you overall think of the whole video nowadays?

What do I think of the video now? It’s fuckin’ cool. It was a cool thing.

 

 

The songs that were seen on that video, obviously were just a little take out of your whole set there. What was your complete set of songs at that particular night? Can you still remember what songs you played there although it´s been damn long time since those days?

I can’t help you on that. It was a short set, but we might have been playing a short set you know? There was a lot of bands. I don’t know if you guys know that, but that video was Nuclear Assault headlining at that place. I’ll give you guys some more trivia here. Then it was Candlemass, then us, then D.A.M. The Nuclear Assault segment was released separately, that’s why they weren’t included on our thing. Candlemass was actually playing after us live in the concert. But the funny thing in retrospect was that after the guys filmed the video they thought were the better band and put us on as the main band. Candlemass had a bit of a temper tantrum over his monitors and he was screaming at the monitor guy the whole time, I don’t know what his deal with that was, but that is what he was doing and I think if I’m not mistaken, he gets up and walks off and you can see that in their performance. It’s kinda downplayed, but he pretty much ended their thing. It was pretty funny and quite flattering that they flip-flopped the thing around and put me on the cover. It wasn’t something that was discussed with the bands that’s for sure. It was a very cool thing, a nice little perk for us.

 

 

Then you started working on the follow up to LEAVE SCARS called TIME DOES NOT HEAL. I remember having seen some article or advertisement where a huge amount of riffs were mentioned to be included into this particular release; that album being somewhat more riff-based, having heavier and stronger riffs than its predecessor. Was that indeed your masterplan right from the very start - to get it sound heavier and more focused effort than LEAVE SCARS?

As for the notations of the riffs, Gene is a very eccentric individual I guess I could say. He wrote a bunch of stuff, the lyrics and things of that nature and for some odd reason and for some reason he counted the riffs and mentioned it to one of the guys in the record company, when he was talking about the record. As I recall the guy from the record company thought that, that was the most amazing thing and wanted to make a note of it. That was their concept, put a sticker on it... 246 riffs! Woo-hoo...!!! If you count up the riffs on LEAVE SCARS there are a ton of fucking riffs on that, too! So that is how that went. I know that Brett and Gene really got along great together in terms of writing so they collaborated a lot on things and the results was pretty much the T.D.N.H. record…The collaboration between those two writers.

 

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What was the exact reason for Ron’s departure from Dark Angel? His serious drug problem or his new way of looking into the Christian ideology? Probably both of these issues count one way or the other as I assume…?

The thing that was going on with us at that point was, we had just released the ´Time´ record, we did a headlining European tour, and had a big tour booked in the States. We were coming home, and it had bolt Thrower on it and it was to be our biggest undertaking at that point. Combat for whatever reason were cutting their budget, they kept contacting us and wanting to cut our tour support, because we had a budget for the tour, you know getting some new gear, whatever start up costs, this, that and the next thing, to get the tour off the ground like all bands do. Our manager was getting together with us and kept saying, “Trim it down, trim it down, trim it down...”. And then it ended up bottom line when we got home that they weren’t going to give us any money to do the tour. Obviously it fucked everything up and we ended up canceling it. At that point we decided it was the last straw. We cut our deal from these guys and get a new deal. The manager we were working with, Scott Givens, he was working over at Roadrunner. He was East coast, he lived in NY, and we were an LA band and it took us along time to get off the record deal. That was a major setback. I’m not quite sure where it all fit in… after that tour. Brett had decided that he had seen his day doing it and wanted to get out. So Gene knew another friend of his, a guy named Chris that used to play in a band called Silent Scream. We ended up getting him to play guitar with us and we were working on the tunes for the new record. That is where it started to fizzle. Ron didn’t get along…he wasn’t too keen on Chris and from what I understand we were working on some stuff and it wasn’t gelling all that well. We ended up getting another offer to do another European tour; I’m not sure how long it was after that. We decided to take the offer and there was no tour support to do it and it ended up being our last tour that we did. That was the tour we did with Chris McCarthy, you might have seen pictures of him. We got back and Ron wasn’t digging things and there was just another fucking setback… he basically just… quit. He didn’t dig it and at that point we had been playing for so long. I mean, myself, I ended up being the last original guy and it was close to ten years! And it really seemed like nobody really gave a fuck. It funny, the adoration from the fans that goes on now but the vibe we got at that point was, no one was spurring us one. There wasn’t much to encourage us and the vibe at that time was, “Oh my god, you are going to have ANOTHER singer?!” or, “What, a THIRD singer in your band?” It was just like…ugh! So that just put a fork in it. The run was over, we didn’t have a record deal and it all kinda fell apart like that. It was… we had a great long run for a long time, a ton of years.

As for Christian ideology, no I don’t have a problem with it and as for drug problems, no. I mean we all had chemical abuses, but we never missed a gig and we never fucked things up and we really just had a relentless, balls-to-the-wall, unstoppable attitude when we were out on the tours. When we had the European tour and Mike was in jail, we didn’t miss any gigs. When we were touring in the US, everyone got sick, I’m asthmatic, Mike ended up getting Pneumonia, myself I got some kinda illness and it went into my lungs… (laughs) I remember the guys were doing an in store appearance, and this what the Leave Scars tour in ‘89, the guys went to record in-store appearance and me and mike went to the hospital! (laughs) It was just kinda funny. They stuck me full of IV’s and shit and gave me some kind of asthma medication to clear me up and shit and I remember the doctor came in… and anyone who is familiar with asthma I wasn’t doing too good. He said we’ll run this shit through you and I’ll come back in a couple of hours and if you are not better you are not leaving! (laughs) You gotta be kidding, I gotta a show to play tonight! (laughs again) I managed to get good. I missed the sound-check but made the gig. That shit wasn’t stopping us! It just seems kind of strange, you see a lot of bands nowadays, they don’t seem to have that same kind of vibe.

 

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Before Dark Angel was laid to rest, the main core of the band had already started working on the new material for the fifth album called ATROCITY EXHIBITION. Now I´m more than curious to find out how much do you have previously unreleased material from that session and do you believe some of those songs will be brought back to life again in the form of your forth-coming songs and album?

There is a possibility that we will. There were a bunch of tunes that were proposed for the next record, the ATROCITY EXHIBITION thing. There is a good chance we might resurrect that stuff. I’d have to say it was kinda similar to the time record, maybe not as… kinda similar but more like ´Scars´; faster more aggressive, not as melodic or something, definitely a pretty hard kick-ass record.

 

 

Excuse us with our next question, but when Dark Angel had descended to rest for an eternal sleep (or that´s what we thought for a while ago…), Gene Hoglan made his own decision by joining Death and did the job as an relentless skinpounder on two awesome Death albums and then joined Testament for a short stint and started working with Devin Townsend and had also done occasional visits to some albums of other bands like Old Man’s Child, for example. The fact remains still the same that he has without doubts been the most visible Dark Angel member whereas the rest of you have kept a bit lower profile. Didn’t you find any comfortable idea to join other so called ´big name bands´? It surely could have been the easiest way out for all of you to gain more reputation, fame and fortune for yourselves by dragging your asses right away, after Dark Angel´s split up, to ´a bit bigger´ metal bands, touring and seeing the whole world and overall being more ´visible´ the way as Gene had been doing at that time?

Yes. Gene is a phenomenal talent. He managed to jump in and do a bunch of other bands and keep playing. Like I said he is a phenomenal player, he has done a bunch of different things. For myself, that sounds like a great concept but guitar players are more… dime-a-dozen… so jumping into another project didn’t seem to work out for me.

 

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Dark Realm Records also re-released your mini-album WE HAVE ARRIVED as a digi-pack format with the original cover artwork. Did the request for its re-issue came from their direction or was it completely your idea? Was it some sort of a limited thing as well?

The Dark Realm re-release of WE HAVE ARRIVED, was something that Jim Durkin just decided to do on his own. He certainly didn’t call anybody to tell them about it. I don’t know how that all came about. I guess we could make a big issue out of it if we wanted to, but when we asked him about it he was downplaying the whole thing of course but whatever. I thought Dark Realm did a nice job on the package, it looked real cool, nice pictures and shit and I like the way it all folds out and everything. I would imagine that they were putting out a few records. I know they are a local store, an actual record store, right here in our Los Angeles area. I’m sure they just proposed re-releasing it and Jim took the deal. Jim took the deal and Jim took the deal all to himself, didn’t tell anybody and put the record out! (laughs) The band was all broken up at that time!

 

 

Then Century Media re-issued your albums and put them out with some exclusive never-seen photos, bonus tracks, liner notes of Gene Hoglan, etc. a couple of years ago, but screwed up a couple of tiny details with the lay-outs for them and so on. Was the idea for these re-issues primarily yourselves or were there some other people in the background forces who had drowned their fingers into this soup, too?

What happened with that was Century Media bought out the back catalogue from Combat and basically released all the records if I’m not mistaken. Just like Combat, after we had broken up, they did this sort of ´Best of´ -collection from our songs. They did ´Best ofs´ of Possessed and Exodus and all that shit and I don’t even recall if they asked us about the song selection. Somehow I bet they didn’t. They sure as hell didn’t ask us about the cover, it is a real... I want to say a half-assed looking package. Nothing to do with us, nothing we could have done. We wouldn’t have called it a ‘best of’, but that is what record companies do. So yeah, Century Media did buy out the back catalogue. I’m not sure… obviously there were some people involved with making the packaging. They got in touch with Gene for doing the liner notes and he also got a bunch of those pictures. They came form all sorts of different places, I know his sister furnished some of them, but I thought they did a real nice job personally. I had really caught… hadn’t really caught that many glitches. I thought there was a real nice bio in there and I thought the information in here was pretty darn accurate. I really don’t recall seeing it, but I haven’t looked at one that closely in a while so… whatever.

 

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Ok, one last question and then we are finished: What can we expect from the reformed Dark Angel in 2003? I guess expect a new album and lots of touring...?

The real snag that we had and was unfortunate for the timing of this whole thing, that Gene has been playing with SYL for years and they are finally releasing another record. The timing, the way that worked out, unfortunately, it didn’t work out for Dark Angel, in that respect. It’s just one of those things. We will work around it. Gene’s into doing it and in between some windows when they are doing their stuff we will go and do some touring as well. The more we get together, we will start working on some new stuff and put some new stuff out. It sounds like a great idea for all of us, you Ron, and Danny and me. We have a real cool camaraderie about it now. After we had the ‘near miss’ with those gigs in December, we are a lot closer together, as strange as that may seem. As we were trying to plan with Jim, his lack of co-operation was just a big mind-fuck. We couldn’t understand, couldn’t tell what was going on. I think we are all past that and going to focus on the future. We are going to line-up some other stuff around the time of the Wacken -festival, we just got that one on the calendar. With Gene’s touring that he is doing, that will pretty much work out the best.

 

 

Well, both me - Luxi and Arto wanna use this opportunity and thank you sincerely very much for spending almost an eternity with our questions and especially for coming back to the metal scene again to show everyone what´s a true old-school Thrash Metal all about!! Thank you and all the best with you guys in the future, too!! May the closing comments belong to you from now on… so go ahead Eric!

We have a website that is a fan interactive thing that is www.darkangelmusic.com . It is kinda fan interactive, you can send in pictures you might have had, or whatever, we appreciate all the comments we have had. We try to get to them as much as we can, obviously not that much is possible, we try to do our best and we really appreciate all the vibe that everyone has given us to keep going. Nobody said it was going to be easy to put all this shit back together but I’ve got a lot of people who help keep me encouraged and we are all very thankful for that. We are looking forward to getting out and playin´ for everybody. I think we used to have a real great camaraderie with fans when we were playing shows and we are looking forward to doing that some more.

I thank you guys Luxi and Arto for doing the interview and hopefully we will see you guys soon!!

 


Band Website: www.darkangelmusic.com