THE DEMO CORNER
Phil: First of all, you’ve played the first two dates of the tour; how’s it been so far?
Ted: Good, good. We started off in Santa Ana down in southern California; that was good - it’s always good to play SoCal; we have a lot of friends and the fans out there are pretty raging. Then last night, we just did San Francisco - hometown show. And the hometown show was good, not only for us, but they showed a lot of love to all the bands that played, so both shows were good.
Phil: I understand that in a couple nights you’re going to have to drive from Seattle all the way to Salt Lake City.
Ted: Yeah, that’s going to be a fun one. I don’t know if we did that drive before but I heard it’s a pretty brutal drive.
Phil: It’s probably about twenty hours.
Ted: Is it really? Oh man. [laughter] We’re going to have to leave right after Seattle. I think we did a drive from Reno to Salt Lake City, which is not that bad, but from Seattle to Salt Lake, we’ve never done that. I guess we’re checking to see if it’s snowing in that part of town. But we’ll be asleep on that drive.
Phil: I understand you have some new material ready; tell our readers a bit about that.
Ted: We have five skeletons right now. It’s just music. Mark wrote lyrics to one song. It’s all in the working stages right now. How we normally write is usually… Rob’s been writing a lot of stuff, so whatever he has, we just get it to the rawest form, we give it to Mark, then Mark will start throwing lyrics down and we’ll fine-tune it later, you know; we’re just trying to amass a lot of songs. Right now we just have five skeletons and we’re going to be writing on the road; we’re going to set up a studio back here (on the bus) in a day or two and between tours at home, we’ve just been doing our rehearsal studio and writing, so we’re going to write a whole bunch of songs and hopefully try to get into the studio before the year’s over. That’s the plan, but who knows what might come up? If a good tour comes up, yeah, we’ll do it, but if not then I think we’re going to enter the studio probably about the end of October, early November, around there, with a 2013 spring release.
Phil: Are there any plans for re-issues of The Ultra-Violence or Frolic in the Park? I know there was the Archives and Artifacts box set awhile ago but that’s out of print too now. [This interview was done just a couple days before The Ultra-Violence re-issue announcement.]
Ted: We’re re-releasing The Ultra-Violence this year; it’s the twenty-fifth anniversary, so we’re going to be releasing it and we’re gonna play that album in its entirety in Europe in June. We’re doing some shows out there, some headliners and some festivals, so we’re going to be playing that album in its entirety, so it should be released by the summer, I believe. But with Frolic, I’m not sure about Frolic or Act III.
Phil: Putting any extra material with it?
Ted: You know, we were thinking about it. I’m not sure as of right now. We were throwing out ideas of maybe throwing a cover tune or whatnot, but right now it’s just probably going to be The Ultra-Violence, the Kill As One demo and… but it’s just going to be different packaging than the original release, so it’s going to be good. With plans with Frolic and Act III, not sure about that but I know The Ultra-Violence is coming out later this year.
Phil: Speaking of the older material, what do you prefer - the material from DEATH ANGEL’s original run or the current one?
Ted: Good question, man, good question. It’s two different eras, if you ask me. I love the first three albums in the ‘80s - the musicianship’s great, the songwriting’s great and, you know, it’s kind of hard to say - I like them both for different reasons. But if you were going to ask me what my favorite albums were, I would say, just to sum it up, in the ‘80s I would say Act III would be my favorite and in this era, probably Relentless Retribution is my favorite. But love ‘em all, love both eras. That’s kind of hard; it’d probably be a lot easier for Rob or Mark to answer that because they lived both eras; I’m on this era, but Act III from that era, Relentless from this era.
Phil: All right, tell us a bit about the upcoming Thrashumentary DVD.
Ted: Tommy Jones from The Studio New Jersey has been following us around for like the past year and a half or so filming everything and we’re slowly putting things together right now, like the final touches, the last bits and pieces of it and it’s basically… you know, we’re going to touch on a little bit of history of the band and we’re going to touch on pretty much the whole writing and recording cycle of Relentless Retribution. So it’s kind of like, how would you say, like a Behind the Music type deal, so a little bit on the old, more of the Relentless touring cycle. And it was supposed to be out spring but we had to push it back ‘cause we had a lot of changes and a lot more footage come in, so it takes awhile to put all that stuff together and edit, so we’re shooting for the fall. We should be seeing the rough draft in a couple weeks. It’s cool because on this recording cycle and this touring cycle, the band got to go to places for the first time; South America, southeast Asia, eastern Europe, so we capture all that footage and it’s just basically going to be all about the touring cycle, which is going to come out pretty badass.
Phil: Is it going to be a live show with bits of documentary in-between songs or just straight documentary and straight live show?
Ted: We’ll see how the first draft turns out. I think the plan is going to be more documentary with some live stuff in there, but we might have some extras, maybe like on another disc, maybe a couple of live songs from each place we hit around the world; southeast Asia, South America, eastern Europe and the States and some festivals in mainland Europe. But I think the whole goal is the documentary part. But there’ll be some live stuff in there. It’s cool - some of the raw footage I saw is pretty badass, so it’s going to be intense.
Phil: Recommend a book for our readers and then explain why you recommend that particular work.
Ted: The last book I read… [long pause] I really like MOTLEY CRUE’s The Dirt. That’s a good one. When it comes to books and stuff, I’m mainly a music guy, so I would say Ozzy’s autobiography and MOTLEY CRUE’s The Dirt are pretty good. But if we were talking non-music, The Da Vinci Code, so those are great books.
Phil: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Ted: Stay Metal!
Death Angel's Ted Aguilar
Interviewer: Philip A. Wickstrand
May 22, 2012
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This interview was conducted by Philip A. Wickstrand with guitarist Ted Aguilar at Branx in Portland, OR on April 12, 2012.
After their reunion in 2001, DEATH ANGEL have been ripping it up across the world with such electricity that it makes you forget they originally formed in the ‘80s. Where most older Metal bands don’t have the energy they once exhibited in the live environment, DEATH ANGEL puts even the young guys to shame with the energetic shows. Here they are, three albums into their second run, and they show no signs of slowing down.
(Click on Photo to Enlarge)
San Francisco, California USA
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Thrash Metal
Mark Osegueda: Vocals
Ted Aguilar: Guitar
Rob Cavestany: Guitar
Damien Sisson: Bass
Will Carroll: Drums
The Ultra-Violence (1987)
Frolic Through the Park (1988)
Fall From Grace (1990)
Act III (1990)
The Art of Dying (2004)
Archives & Artifacts:
Boxed Set (2005)
The Long Road Home:
Killing Season (2008)
Live in Germany (2009)
Relentless Retribution (2010)