Death Dealer – Interview with Sean Peck
The Metal world is a buzz with talk of a new super-group, DEATH DEALER. This new international recording and touring act has a ton of Metal firepower in it’s ranks including Sean Peck (Cage, Vocals), Stu Marshall (Empires Of Eden, Guitar), Ross The Boss (Ross The Boss, ex-Manowar, Guitar) Mike Davis (Halford, ex-Lizzy Borden, Bass) and Rhino (Angels of Babylon, Ex-Manowar, Drums). The new album WAR MASTER is slated for release in the summer of 2013 on the Steel Cartel label and promises to rage with Metal power. We took the chance to talk to Sean Peck about this exciting new band.
There is an enormous amount of buzz in the Metal community about Death Dealer. How did the five of you come to work together? Did this band stem from your collaboration with Stu on the 2011 Cage album SUPREMACY OF STEEL?
Yes, Stu and I became good friends and a really good writing team as we kept doing Empires of Eden songs and talking metal all night on Skype. He came out to America and hung out and even guested with CAGE at a few shows. It was a great time and months later he called me up with his heavy Australian accent and said let’s do a band. It was primarily my idea to solicit some big names. As we began fantasizing about who we could get. I actually called each of them then and there one by one, and they all agreed to do it within something like 2 hours. We thought it up in our minds, acted upon it, and made it real. Then we got busy actually writing the music and the whole gelled in an amazingly easy way.
How did you settle on the name Death Dealer? A tough but fair question, did you take into consideration that there are other bands called Death Dealer?
We took a look at legal ownership of the name and saw it was available. I was amazed that it was as Stu thought it up and researched it. After careful consideration we took the necessary steps to confidently move forward with it now all the world knows us as the one true DEATH DEALER.
First impressions are important and the album art is killer. Who did it? Did you commission it or was it a completed piece that just fit the theme of the album?
No, we hired my favorite metal artist Marc Sasso who has done four CAGE covers for me and started brainstorming about what we wanted to convey with the imagery. Marc and I have designed many covers together and I love the process. There were lots of tweaks but the results were killer and the artwork has been a huge success. The pre order package has a sketch art book he did that is killer too. The booklet inside he designed is also second to none. I am a big comic book guy and am very particular about the visual presentation of the metal and people are going to love the whole package.
All of you are very busy and spread around the world it seems? How did you find time to write and record WAR MASTER? Is Stu still based in Australia?
Yes Stu is down under but through the magic of the internet we did it. It was a fully collaborative thing with lots of skype time long hours and all of us really diving into it full bore. Everybody contributed to the writing and Stu produced it. For none of us being in a band together before it was amazing how it just flowed. Something about this group and album was just meant to be, I am not just saying that it is like there was a plan from upstairs for this group to come together and thrash! I am basing that on how easy it was done, how great we all get along for mostly being strangers and how good the record came out and how well it has been received by the media.
Do you feel you have an almost built-in, ready-made fan-base with the die hard Manowar fans that avidly follow the careers of Rhino and Ross?
Yes it definitely helps! As you know Manowar fans are second to none and we hope they jump on board we welcome them all and are sure they will love what they hear. Ross and Rhino were the embodiment of the best of what Manowar was in my opinion.
The album WAR MASTER is pretty relentless. Where does the inspiration for this Metal aggression come after all these years in the business?
We are all just fans of the genre and music and each one of us in this band really lives our lives that way. It is no line or anything. We all love metal deep within our hearts and souls and that respect and passion keeps us all striving for more. In any album the songs have to be good and that was the focus. Great hooks and power!
How did the writing for the album occur? Was it built around jam sessions or everyone trading parts digitally? Who was the main writer?
Like I said we all collaborated and everyone lent a hand. Yes we jammed more or less on skype and it really worked. I am normally against that sort of thing but the songs just kept flowing when me Stu and Ross got together on the web. Mike and Rhino kicked in lots of ideas too and the rest is history. It is the first time I have ever put anything like this together web only but it was also the easiest album I have ever done. There were never any disagreements either which was astounding considering the insane talent involved!
As the vocalist do you write the lyrics?
Yes I wrote all the lyrics except HAMMER DOWN which Stu wrote. I have always done that. Lyrics are really easy for me I know some big names in metal that really struggle with it but it just flows like blood on steel for me!!
Turning to the business side…in this day and age how important is it to have a physical product on the market? Was there any discussion of doing a digital only format?
No because we love the artwork and physical aspect of the metal fans needs. We are committed to the physical experience so much so that we created this insane pre order package that no one could believe we were only charging $35 for. People want collectibles and trinkets and we will continue to innovate and expand our product line of items linked to the releases. We are currently in development ( I can reveal here for the first time) to produce collectible statues of the characters depicted in the cover art. Being a comic guy my studio is filled with them and we are super excited to be ready to offer what I have only seen AMON AMARTH do.
With the industry credibility, experience and welling power of the combined members of the band, you guys could pretty much sign to any label you wanted. Why Steel Cartel? Will you have different regional deals as well?
The business is really a trip right now. We had a large label that wanted to do business but it was simply taking too long. We got offered a great distribution deal with Soulfood and decided that if we could find someone to fund a label that perhaps that would be the way to go with a product like this. We found that person who started STEEL CARTEL RECORDS and now they are investing more time and money than any of the other labels would have by far and we couldn’t be happier. Look for some serious releases from the label in the near future it is really exciting!
Is touring going to be an option for Death Dealer?
Yes we have booked dates in the US and MEXICO for July and JAPAN is being established for later in the year. Europe will definitely happen in a proper 3-4 week run and South America as well. The important thing for people to know is that this is a band and not a project. This band is going to play live and often. We are also going to put out a lot of product rapidly. There will be no big wait for the next release it will be in the very near future!!