Interview With Rob Cavestany Of Death Angel

After 10 years, one of the most influential bands to emerge from the thriving Bay Area Thrash Metal
Scene in the early 1980s, is back with a new release The Art of Dying which will hit the stores on April 27, 2004 (Europe, South America) and May 4, 2004 (United States, Australia), offering 11 songs for your listening pleasure. Max Metal guest interviewer, Pierce, had a chance to do a phone chat with Rob Cavestany Of Death Angel.

Well Rob, let me just say welcome back metal man!

Thank you, thank you.

So, how do you feel about this new record, "The Art Of Dying"? Is this a tighter knit album musically than the prior albums?

Yes I think so, as to a tighter knit aspect, it has that tighter concise songwriting towards like "Act III", it kind of has the energy that "The Ultra Violence" had, more energetic and looser than "Act III" with the extreme diversity that is reminiscent of "Frolic Through The Park" and "Act III". But everyone has their opinion.

I got a chance to listen to the promo Nuclear Blast sent and, I tell ya, I'm really liking the new record. Note: You can win the new CD from us in our contests section.

Thank you, I appreciate that. Right on! We did our best, we wanted to make the old fans happy and have something to be proud of, but we didn't want to duplicate what we did before. We feel we accomplished our goals with it.

"The Art Of Dying" reminds me a lot of "The Ultra Violence" and "Frolic Through The Park". The last song, "Word To The Wise" reminds me of the last track on on "Act III". Are you going to try to do more of that stuff?

Yes, thank you. Mainly the use of acoustic guitars and melodic guitars gives the ears something more to grasp on to. We are fans of melodic music as well as heavy metal.

Were you working on this album prior to the bus accident in 1990, or is this material all new stuff?

All the material for this album came from July to September last year. We started writing in July, August, and by mid-September we went on the road through November and we picked up writing in mid-Novermber through December. On January 2, we started recording the album. All the ingredients on this record were very fresh.

I always wondered what happened with you guys after that accident

Yeah, we didn't break up because we didn't like each other or anything. Just unfortunate circumstances broke us up.

Are you planning on doing a full tour to support the new CD?

Hell Yeah! No US dates yet, but we are working on it.

So, who came up with the idea of the album title, "The Art Of Dying"?

That was an Andy Galeon idea. He got it from an interview with Bruce Lee talking about philosophy and Andy talked about it to us in rehearsal. The meaning is more so not really the moment of death, but how the entire time, of the entire time you are alive, from the moment of birth to the time of death, that is the "Art Of Dying".

Who came up with the cover art idea?

That was my idea of the lion and the snake. I took that picture when I was in France. We went to play the Dynamo Fest in Holland and stayed in Europe for a few days and while in France I took that photo. I loved that picture. I sent it over to our art director and he doctored it up and we really like the imagery and the symbolism. The lion is biting the snake while at the same time the snake is biting the lion. A full circle type of thing. We tried to keep it simple with the "The Art Of Dying" and logo on top with a more simple approach.

"...we wanted to make the old fans happy and have something to be proud of"
I've read that Ryko will be reissuing "The Ultra Violence" and a demo?

That should be out by the end of the year. Its an intense project to do with the new album and everything. It will be the "Kill As One" demo and "The Ultra Violence" and some additional artwork added as well. Some old pics and flyers with it as well. At the same time will be the reissue of "Frolic Through The Park" with three unreleased older songs on that plus additional art to that. Then there will be an eleven song CD of Death Angel material that was never released, then all three will be available in a box-set with a DVD of videos of that era, with older rare footage of shows and us messing around and stuff.

Any chance of another Swarm record?

Not in the cards right now, since Death Angel got together. I've learned to say never say never. We have a lot on the plate right now.

Will we see any new material as videos on Headbanger's Ball?

We just did a video for "Thicker Than Blood" and sent that over to Nuclear Blast to do whatever they need to do to get that on the air. Nuclear Blast is in contact with MTV2 to get it on there.

Okay, we are going to play a little fun game here. I'm going to say a word or topic and you are going to give me the first thing that pops in your head, ok?

Yeah, lets do it.

Metallica--Solos, where are they?
Slayer--Riffs, rythmn, Dave Lombardo
Limp Biskit--Crap
The Darkness--More crap

Okay, I'm gonna stop the game for a second. Alot of people are saying The Darkness is bringing back the 80s, with no shirts, women, and Thin Lizzy shirts...

That might be, but they are bringing back the poser shit that I was never into back then. There is no old substance musically to me. If you are bringing back Van Halen you better bring back some riffs, some big Van Halen guitar boy.

Okay, sounds good. On to the next ones:

European Metal Fans--Ultimate, intense, loyal
Iron Maiden--One of the best
George Bush--Idiot
John Kerry--Hope for the best
Pro Wrestling--Goofy
Downloading--Actually, cool

Okay this last topic is a pretty controversial one. Everyone at the office is really torn over this...asshair.

(Laughing) Yummy!!

A couple of guys want to market asshair shampoo and stuff...

(Laughing) What are you guys doing, just running around naked showing your bare asses?

From reading a long time ago when Gus was in the band and you guys were related....

We still are! (laughing)

Is it difficult to be in a band with family?

I really have no way to answer that. This is family since day one so its hard to answer that. I guess it makes it easier since we know each other so well, but at the same time its hard since we know each other so well. Its a catch 22. When I get asked that question its just really difficult to answer.

Okay Rob, I have to head back to the office. You are making me late to work!

Sounds good man. Thanks a lot!!


Rob CavestanyPearce4/27/2004

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