These days there are countless sub-genres of a variation of rock music we like to call Heavy Metal.
Not that it’s not necessarily a bad idea to have so many different labels.
After all, we wouldn’t want to mistake a “Doom Metal” band for a “Speed Metal” band or a “Death Metal Band“ for a “Glam Metal“ band.
But it’s refreshing when a band simply states that they are a “Metal” band. It might leave you to wonder for a moment what to expect, but honestly, isn’t
discovery one of the greatest things in life? We think so. Especially when it comes to music and bands.
In this interview we talk to drummer/vocalist Opus about the band DEAD BY WEDNESDAY from New Haven, CT.
They list themselves on their official FaceBook page as “Metal”. Nice.
Recently signed to David Ellefson’s EMP Label, this band is my personal current favorite “Newly discovered by me” band.
|Interview by Dave Henninger
Dead By Wednesday has a very powerful band member line up. How did you come to form this band?
Well, in 2005 my former band Gargantua Soul was coming to an end due to many reasons but summing it up as the
industry basically just changed so dramatically any the time that it just didn't make sense for us to continue on the way
we were, so me having music & touring in my blood, I moved on to creating DBW which started off with my two cousins
Ceschi & David Ramos. It was more of a family thing & way more hard core then it is now. My roots came from punk,
hardcore & thrash metal so after G-Soul, I wanted to go back to what I started playing in the beginning. Really I demo-ed
a bunch of cool heavy riffs and one night at my place when I was having a party, one of my cousins came over & started
free styling over the material, everyone who was there in the room was digging it & was like, "Daaaamn, this shit is dope!"
so it all sort of spawned from that.
What can you tell us about you EP "Death of the Rockstar"?
It was our first full effort with with our former singer Joe Morbidelli. We love it!! Came out great & the through payola,
money, & fake numbers. The first line of the first song says... 'Fuck the Industry!" It's true & the wild illusion of being a
'rockstar' is all fallacy these days. It's basically a blue collar working mans job that is tough. It's living the life you love but
it's not all green m&m's & sex, drugs, & rock-n-roll. That is a very out dated mentality. You have to be on top of your game
because there's always someone who is half you age & better then you at your instrument coming up. Plus the money is
horrible, probably more then likely for mid level working touring bands, less then minimum wage. You're better off working
at McDonalds, some times. But for some of us, like me.. I have no other options. This is all I know. This is all I've done since
I was 12. It's in my blood & I can't stop now. I don't even care. I'd rather die respected leaving good music to the masses,
rather then to be a one hit wonder. I mean I'd take that too if it happened organically but not try & follow trends to It was our
first full effort with with our former singer Joe Morbidelli. We love it!! Came out great & the through "make it".
Trends come & go, it's out thinking outside the box & making music that people like from your own love of it.
The music industry has changed so much. With an over abundance of social media which is killing love of it.
The music industry has changed so much. With an over abundance of social media which is killing live shows because
before there was some mystery in seeing a band, now you just go to youtube & if they had a shitty night or if the sound
guy sucked, next thing you know the people are like fuck that, I am not going to see them.
So many factors play into this now. Music especially metal is so over saturated now that people can't keep up with every
new band coming out every day. There's too many of them & every tom, dick, & harry thinks they can pick up an instrument
and play in a band.
Yeah, its their right but some really shouldn't & it ruins it for real musicians who bust their ass all their life honing in their craft.
Just like all these so called "producers' who have garage band & think they can produce a pro album. It's a joke and killing
Record labels barely even matter anymore. It's actually more important to have a good solid booking agent over a label
because playing out shows is how you sell hard copy CD's now a days.
Too bad most booking agents are complete scum, crooks, & ass wipes. There are a few good ones out there
(the ones who are musicians or former ones who truly understand what its like to be on the road) but most you can't trust
as far as you can throw them.
Tell us about your previous releases.
We have three full length albums prior to our last EP. "Democracy is Dead" our debut CD which
came out on Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed's former label Stillborn Records in 2005, "The Killing
Project" which came out in 2008 on Eclipse Records (Chris Poland's label who helped originally
break Mushroom head, etc.), & then "The Last Parade" which came out on my cousins super
awesome underground indie label "Fake Four Inc." in 2011. Now we are in the process of
releasing a very special unique full length guest vocalist album coming out in store & online May
20th, 2016 world wide in USA & Europe through EMP Label Group / eOne Ent. called "The
Darkest of Angels" and we are very proud of it & can't wait for it to drop & let the masses check
This band has been together since 2005. Has the lineup changed much, or has it always been the current members?
This band has always evolved but the core of it has always remained.
Myself (Opus/drums) & Mike Modeste (Bassist) which is the rhythm section & the foundation of most bands are the two original members & have
been together since the very beginning.
The guitarist we have now, Joey Concepcion, has been with us for a few years & we couldn't be happier. He joined right before the release of our
last EP "Death of the Rockstar" & filled former guitarist Ross Ragusa's shoes right before our US tour opening for Shadows Fall.
The most recent change is with our singer. Unfortunately due to substance abuse issues, we had to part ways with our former singer. He was a
very talented & great guy & we wish him the best of recovery in the future & hope he continues music in some fashion. Replacing him was tough
but we feel like we finally found a good fit and his name is Rob Roy from MA. He's 6 foot 5 shit brick house who can sing his ass off in the vein of
Corey Taylor & scream his ass off too in vein of Phil Anselmo.
It was funny how it all went down actually, after trying out a bunch of people, I tried the old school way of putting an ad in the music section of
Craigs List. We were pretty vague about who we were or what was going on but shortly after, Rob hit us up. We sent him the music & at first he
actually denied us & said he really wasn't into the music, lol... so we thought it was pretty much dead in the water. Then after touring with Shadows
Fall, we became decent friends with most of the guys in the band. Well, come to find out being that they’re from MA. Ron was also friends with all
the SF guys.
When i asked them if they knew anyone, they suggested this guy Rob... In fact, some of the SF guys were contemplating doing another project with him too.
Well sure as shit, it was the same dude so we spoke again on their referral & decided to give it a shot.
After checking out more of our music & understanding the direction we wanted to go in, he understood & become way more into the idea. Now he is gung-ho & die hard & wants to help take
this to the next level along with all of us! Couldn't have worked out better.
Great story & true!!
How did you wind up on Dave Ellefson’s label?
David almost managed my former band Gargantua Soul so we always sort of just stayed in touch through out the years.
He has been an acquaintance of mine personally for a while and is one of the most humble down to earth human beings in this business.
We reconnected when he was doing his spoken word tour & M/C 'd the event when he was in CT.
When when our new album was done, I started shopping the material to different labels.
I heard through the grape vine that he was starting his own new label & figured I give it a shot to send to him.
It wasn't until I flew out to NAMM & met his awesome partner at the label Thom Hazaert who is his A&R guy & actually sat down with him to explain the whole concept
of the album & got to meet him where it all came together & connected.
Sometimes it takes a personal touch for people to want to work with you. We couldn't be happier thus far!
Being on a label run by the bassist of Megadeth especially right now when their new album which is metal is topping pop artists on the billboard charts is pretty cool.
Is there a message or theme to your songs?
We used to be pretty political but over the years we've started away from that stuff.. it sort of alienates some of your crowd & not for nothing, politics sucks! Right now, it's all useless puppets
just pulling the strings & a popularity contest. Almost like a bad reality tv show. We started writing material that was more personal & even staying on humanitarian subjects but not things that
divide people. We want anyone & everyone from young to old to dig the tunes if possible.
The new album coming out this May, is very themed, it's an album that talks about addiction, what it takes for recovery. There's an epidemic out there with drugs & alcohol, we are all for
having fun but it's starting to kill people & turn our youth into real life zombies. Not only does it hit close to home because of the situation with our former singer but all of us in the band
including myself has had a run in with addiction with in our families so now it has sort of gotten personal.
Do you have a songwriting process?
We have many different ways we write songs.
Sometimes we bang out parts in the room on improv together & it just all comes together that way or we all bring in riffs or
even songs sometimes done & work off that.
We never try most of it was demo-ed out first by Joey C., our guitarist & then he brought it in & we made it more human & our
own adding our own touches to it. But then again there are songs where, other people brought in just riffs & we built off those
riffs as well & created songs.
We work well that way too. When working with other people, its very important to be open minded & patient.
Always give anything & everything a shot even if you don't dig it at first because you never know.
Some of the best stuff we ever wrote was stuff that some of us hated in the beginning & ended up being amazing!
If you could only use one song to show of your bands style, what song would it be?
One song from any of our older albums, I would have to say probably "Left For Dead" because its ballsy, has a heavy
groove, but also some break downs, and its a combination of screaming & a singing chorus that has some melody.
For our newest album, I would say in the vein of the very first track off our new album which isn't out yet so you won't know
what i mean until then but its called "Live Again" & it features Brian Fair, the singer of metal-core pioneers Shadows Fall.
Thats the formula moving forward most likely but again not just staying in that little box. We are very open to creation &
originality when writing.
Every performing band has encountered many different types of people and seen and/or done some crazy things. Can you share a story
about the funniest experience you had at a show (behind the scenes or on stage)?
For sure! There were a few but this one sticks out because it was pretty fucking funny! One time at the Maryland Deathfest, we were about to go on and
rushing around to set up quick because all the slots were on a tight time schedule & our singer at the time, Joe Morbid forget his own microphone that
he liked too use & ran outside quick to try and grab it from our van, when he attempted to come back in he was tackled by the house security team
thinking he was just some young punk dude trying to run in to the fest for free! hahaha....
He said he heard our intro from the back ground and was freaking out yelling at them saying, "my band is going on now with out me!' and we were all
looking around extending the intro like..."where the fuck is he??!?!" lol.. it was a magical moment, finally they believed and he somehow proved it & they
escorted him to the stage to amen sure.
How would you describe the metal scene in your area?
The metal scene in Connecticut is actually very alive & well & thriving! There is so much amazing under rated & over looked
talent here. We very much work together for the most part & support each other. Our shows are always fun & usually full.
The only problem is most bigger named acts don't come through for local CT. bands to play with enough. Reason being is
that CT. is somewhat of a secondary smaller market being that we are between NYC & Boston, MA. which are both big cities
so a lot of touring bands skip over us & just go to play the major markets instead. Venues are having a hard time competing
with that but we are making it work by our brotherhood here & it's starting to get a lot better. I love our little scene here!!
If ESPN aired a sport called, “Weed Whacker Fencing” would you tune in to watch? If so, what two celebrities
would you most like to see in a bout?
Yes, I would probably watch it.. at least once. lol.. give it a chance. Maybe the people are using weed whackers to fence? Or
maybe the people are smoking mad amounts of weed while fencing!?!? Not sure, but sounds interesting... I would like to
maybe see Joey Belladonna fence against John Bush or Sammy Hagar against David Lee Roth, lol... Now that would be
Is there anything you would like to add?
Yes, music is either in your blood or not. You have to love what you do or don't do it. That mentality works for anything in life
not just aspiring musicians. It's long hard road but if you believe in yourself enough, anything is possible. Perseverance &
hard work with out being annoying to anyone is the key to success! NEVER BURN A BRIDGE!! Be nice to everyone even
your enemies but you shouldn't have any!
|Mike Modeste - Bass & Vox / Joey Concepcion - Guitar / Rob Roy - Vox / Opus - Drums