Magic Fire Music : Hello David, thank you for your time to answer our questions.
How are you?
David : I am feeling all right thanks for asking…I hope you are too.
Magic Fire Music : It’s been a few years now that Virgin Steele is signed on SPV. Are you still satisfied with this label?
David : Yes. They have been very supportive and they actually care about the Group. They have released our albums in special editions including vinyl, and have gone the extra mile for us.
Magic Fire Music : Since the release of The Black Night Bacchanalia, some old records of the band were released again on a remastered version with a lot of bonus tracks. Now it is Life Among The Ruins’ turn, which was first released in 1993. What can we find on this double CD?
David : There will be new tracks (both newly written songs and some covers) which were recorded and mixed just these past few days & weeks, and in addition some different mixes of the album’s original content, plus a never released older track, and… it also contains some rare live acoustic tracks, so there is really quite a bit of material. There will be 39 songs in all, spread over 2 discs.
Magic Fire Music : There are a lot of bonus tracks. Where does all this material come from?
David : Several tracks were recorded specifically for this re-release and some tracks have been kicking around for a while. I am always recording so at any given moment there are a few available possibilities to choose from, but I do like to keep the “mood” of the album intact, so depending on which album is being re-issued…I must decide if what I have is appropriate, and if not…I must record something new.
Magic Fire Music : When were the live songs recorded? Were they recorded recently?
David : The live tracks are from rehearsals that we recorded a while ago. I have live material and rehearsal material from most of the eras of the band. One day I will sort through it all and release everything…but this will take some time.
Magic Fire Music : What memories do you keep in mind from the recording of Life Among The Ruins in 1993? Methods of production and mixing have changed a lot compared to 20 years ago. Was it a lot more difficult to record an album at that time?
David : No it was actually quite easy to make that album, as we were very well rehearsed, and all the tracks were captured in a few takes. These days there are all sorts of tools and devices that are supposed to make things go easier and faster…but…they don’t. I think it actually takes longer now.
I have very good memories of making the album. We were very excited about the songs and we were very into getting them down on tape as quickly as possible, and… we were very spontaneous and into imprinting the atmosphere we were living…onto the tape. The one sad memory I have is …after we completed the last 4 tracks the engineer we were working with, Clay Hutchinson died…that was unexpected and quite sad. I had a very tempestuous relationship going on with a beautiful woman at the time…and a lot of that is documented in the album. Those were amazing days. There was a huge Long Island, NY scandal that went down back then that we became the soundtrack for…it was quite incredible.
Magic Fire Music : Is it important for you to release all those albums again ?
David : Yes of course. If we don’t…they won’t be available anymore for future generations.
Magic Fire Music : Is the next release Marriage of Heaven & Hell ?
David : Yes. And then Invictus…etc…and so on…and on…
Magic Fire Music : During our last interview, we talked about the next live album. It was when The Black Night Bacchanalia was released, and nothing happened since then. So, tell me, when will you do it?
David : We will do it after the Catalogue re-issues and the next album come out. I would like to coincide it with some visuals…so I will wait until I have time to do it properly.
Magic Fire Music : Would it be possible for you to release a DVD at the same time?
David : Yes that is my hope. But as regards a DVD I am not interested in just a live show document. I want to provide a real historical perspective…and this requires a fair amount of time, as there is a lot of material to go through. The work required will be enormous…I have years & years of footage to sort through…and transfer…etc…It will be quite an undertaking! But…in the end I hope to craft something very special.
Magic Fire Music : I am a huge fan of House of Atreus. Will it be released again with bonus tracks too?
David : It will be re-issued…as regards bonus tracks…I have to think about that, because we really already put out all the material for it. I would have to compose something new for it. If time permits…I certainly will! It would be a pleasure!
Magic Fire Music : Are you working on the next album? What will it be about?
David : Yes I am…I am actually working on the next several albums…Yes that’s right…several. I have enough material for the next 3 albums or so, and we are starting to record everything…I am not sure what “collection” of songs we will release first…but eventually it will all come out. Once I know what “collection” or song cycle we will issue first then I would be better able to discuss what the music is all about. Some “collections” are conceptual…and others are not. If you ask me again in a month or 2, and I may have a more detailed reply.
Magic Fire Music : A good and beautiful song, what is it for you?
David : It is one that is musically interesting, and emotionally & spiritually captivating. One that gains meaning and unveils itself more and more as the years go by…
Magic Fire Music : On Age of Consent there were some songs from Judas Priest. Is that a band you really like? What other bands influenced you to be who you are today?
David : I admire Judas Priest, and respect them greatly. I have seen them live several times and they have always been great! However, I really don’t have more than one of their albums. I really enjoy them and think that they are absolutely amazing, but in truth they were not a huge influence on my development. To be quite honest, we did those songs because we were asked to participate in a Priest tribute album, and only one of them…”Screaming for Vengeance”, was actually used, and the tribute album was not highly advertised, so I thought let’s use them for AGE OF CONSENT, as the attitude kind of fit our album, especially “Desert Plains”…that one made total sense for AGE OF CONSENT. I was more influenced by Queen, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath growing up….also T.Rex…I still enjoy all the bands we have just been discussing, and also The Cult, Type O Negative…Robert Plant’s latest work….Bryan Ferry, Bowie…so many things…As regards full on Metal…I do prefer hearing the Priest to most other bands in the genre.
Magic Fire Music : A tribute-album of Virgin Steele is going to be released soon as well. How long do we still have to wait for it? Can you tell us the names of some bands which are contributing to this album?
David : I really don’t know. It is not a project that I initiated. It came about through a fan of VIRGIN STEELE a gentlemen named Matthew Knight put it all together. He has a band called Eternal Winter, and he got all the other groups to participate. I know that Emerald is on there, also Timelord, Crystal Viper, Iron Fire and of course Eternal Winter…I believe Exorcist and Original Sin will also make an appearance.
Magic Fire Music : You are singing on the song « Symbol of Freedom » on the last album of Skylark. How did you discover this band? I was very surprised to see you on this album. How did they get in touch with you?
David : met them at a festival gig we did in Holland, and then we meet again several times in Italy. We have become good friends over the years. I have had Eddie, Kiara & Brodo over my house every time they have visited NY, (which they always do because they like to master their albums here with George Marino over at Sterling)…Whenever they visit I make a huge feast…with tons of wine…Anyway…they asked me to sing the part and I agreed…it was very natural.
Magic Fire Music : Did you work with some other bands?
David : Yes sometimes. I just sang on Tommy Vitaly’s album, “Hanging Rock” which was just released this month. I did a song called Forever Lost on that one. It is a ballad. I get asked quite often to perform on other musician’s albums, but I rarely have the time, as my schedule is so packed at the moment. It’s unfortunate.
Magic Fire Music : Are some concerts planned for the upcoming months?
David : We are playing in Chicago this week, but that is all that is currently planned for this year. I want to devote more time to completing the huge amount of songs I have written. I am possessed!
Magic Fire Music : No gig in France scheduled?
David : Not at this time, but if you are interested…please feel free to contact our booking agency! Anything is possible.
Magic Fire Music : Do you have something to say? About things you love or things you hate right now
David : I love creating and making music and lyrics come alive…I am not very happy about the current state of the music industry…or perhaps more accurately the way the internet has wrecked the industry…I don’t care very much for so called “social media”…If I wish to be “social”…I prefer to stand face to face in a room with someone and have a conversation, rather than post a photo of myself eating a sandwich or making a face, and waiting for comments to come in.
Magic Fire Music : I let you conclude this interview. Thanks again for your answers, I am very pleased!
David : Cheers and all the best to you…I thank you kindly for all your interest and belief…Keep well and remain…INVICTUS!!!
BY THE GODS!