1. First of all, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. Before we really get rolling, please introduce yourself and can you please give us some information on your band and its background?
Thank you for having me It’s an honor to be here today speaking with you.
My name is David DerMinasian and I am the original founding member of my band named: RETCHED - a pronounced: (recht’).
This new release of ours: The Overlord Messiah is actually a very early work from my first real metal band from back in 1988 named AVATAR. We formed early that year and we put these songs together and laid them down in the studio with the intentions to hopefully get signed and actually work our music careers.
Starting out we were backed by our drummers dad who put us in the studio and started to try to manage the band he also made the deal with us to cary the name AVATAR because he had rights to that name legally and he was also trying to sport the name of some kit sports car named AVATAR that he had on the market. Needless to say that name totally sucks for a metal band and I hated it but, I went along with it because we were your average small country town metal band with very few opportunities available and were just in our early twenties so you can also see were still inexperienced kids in business not to mention back in those days it was nearly impossible to get discovered as I always say “ Back then there was no internet- Our internet was as many telephone poles as far and as many paper flyers that you could tack up before the show so hopping the locals would spread the word and that was our promotional efforts. That’s how underground got its roots.
Our manager, he didn’t know anything about booking gigs or promoting or anything he didn’t belong in that position needless to say our band suffered and eventually close to the end of 1988 in the same year we withered and died on the vine. It was devastating and so when we broke up we never saw each other again but, I still had this cassette of our original production of this EP. We didn’t even have a name for this album yet because it was never released. I always wanted this record released but never tried to put it out till last October 2016. I’ve been keeping it for thirty years in a drawer safely wrapped and only taking out every five or ten years and playing once or twice wrapping back up and putting it away for the next time to remember my band. After that I had a few other bands but never excelled like my first band AVATAR.
In other interviews people ask me why now did you release this EP and I say because it needs to be heard and we worked so hard for it. It was a real shame that it never got out till now. So since 1991 I pretty much gave up playing in bands anymore the fire pretty much went out but I always kept my guitar around but hardly played it any more only occasionally. One day in 2011 I happened to be playing and I whipped up this cool thrash metal song called:
“Food for the worms” that I really liked and it actually became the ignition system for my wanting to come back on the scene after all these years.
So I went down to the local music store and started building a guitar rig and all necessary equipment to fuel my last attempt to do something with my music. It was very difficult to make the transition from analog equipment to digital the basics are the same it’s just operating and learning what does what. at least I got the basics down now on using digital recording software. since I came back on the scene in 2011 I’ve had a real hard time financing my project because I was a construction worker as a welder fabricator. In construction the work is always up and down not to mention where I live in the Bakersfield California U.S.A. it is primarily an oil producing economy and the last few years we all suffered here when the prices went down. I had to make sure first things first that my home and family were taken care of. So My releasing of this old work:
The Overlord Messiah have been about six years behind my planning schedule.
Now we are in the present time:
So now I introduce my new band RETCHED I am halfway done writing the new record but there are still a long way from production I’m estimating:
November 2018 as a release date for the new full length album. ( hopefully sooner).
2. Please describe your band’s style. Genre, similar bands, etc. What should a potential new fan expect upon hearing your music for the first time?
Our new material is Pure Thrash Metal with some melodic moments but very hard and sharp edged in your face molten metal to be released around November 2018. Dont worry I hope it will be sooner but I have many irons in the fire so to speak so it will complete when we are ready I do hope it will be sooner the whole metal world is waiting for us.
Well This EP The Overlord Messiah to me has a very strong older: Iron Maiden / Blacks Sabbath / Judas Priest kind of feel namely: Classic Hard Black leather and armoured kind of metal but, reading other recent reviews some say different but everything that they have said regardless if I agree or not has been very positive. I will include a few links below where readers can look up if they are curious about what’s been said so far please go to these links if you really want to know:
From the USA:
Domain Cleveland Entertainment/music review for the band
From the USA:
MTRS - MAXIMUM THRESHOLD RADIO - (INTERNET RADIO / ARTIST
DEVELOPMENT / PUBLICIST / MEDIA NETWORK)
ROCK OVERDOSE MAGAZINE from Greece
3. What other bands have you played in previously?
I played with two other bands one I formed way before anything never did anything with but our name was ANTIOCH
One after Avatar named: MORBUS
From Fresno California USA.
they are also in the Metal Archives and we are still friends and message and call each other periodically and stay in touch we all went to the same high school in Sanger California USA.
4. What are some of your musical influences both in metal and maybe in other styles of music?
Earlier metal and hard rock influences:
Exodus - Slayer - Iron Maiden - Judas Priest -
Black Sabbath - Metal Church - Scorpions - Accept - Loudness - Ratt - Dokken - Alice cooper - Kiss - AC/DC - Testament
Recent Metal Influences:
Havok - Testament - Sodom - Municipal waste - Evile - Onslaught -
Dust Bolt - Gama Bomb - Tankard - Warbringer - Nuclear Assault - Kreator - Destruction - Exodus - The older Iron Maiden - Halford - Yngwie Malmstien
Little Walter - Sonyboy Williamson - Little Walter - the late BB King - Albert King - Stevie Ray Vaughn - Big Mama Thornton - Eta James - Eric Clapton
Country: Johny Cash - Bluegrass music - Old time country songs with a fiddle.
Traditional Armenian music:
My Favorite oud player is Richard Hagopian and traditional Armenian folk Music Because I am Armenian. Someday I hope to play some of that kind of music for a side project.
5. Can you please share with us your band's recording history and any interesting stories and experiences from the studio?
Well this last record was the second time we were in a state of the art studio with all the latest technology and it was awesome watching the engineer do his magic. We had the greatest time.One thing that I find really interesting is how many different tones you can get from a guitar cabinet just by the position of the microphone in relation to the speaker cone.
So like if you’re ever not sure of your mikes position the best thing I’ve found to do is actually put on your headphones and monitor your microphone and strum or attack your strings the way you normally play the song and have someone move the microphone around the different zones around your speaker cone till you like what the mic is picking up. I stumbled across that little trick by accident. Before I wouldn’t do that I would only move it around without listening to it as I moved it. I realize now that it really changes drastically just a small distance so it pays to listen as you’re moving it so you don’t miss the sweet spot.
6. How about your bands live experiences? Any amusing or memorable shows you would like to share with us?
Well back in 1988 when we were doing small road trips the last show we did before we split up was the Troubador in Hollywood California USA. Where we headlined the show and our home town was near three hundred miles away but our fans from home all drove out that sunday just to watch us play that was the moment that proved to me they really loved us and we loved them just as much.
So when we went on all you could see was a ton of headbangers and high energy coming off the pit. I loved it. To me that was our best show ever.
I can’t wait to see what coming back to the stage will be like here in the future in these times after near thirty years of being away, ofcourse I know it will be awesome but what I mean is I can’t wait to feel the power surging from the fans once we hit the stage and I wonder how I will feel at that moment in time. I miss it very much.
7. We have all heard of the big 4 of thrash. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. It has been talked about in the past and critiqued quite often. In your mind, what are the Big 4? You don't have to just list thrash bands, lets open it up to all metal genres, past or present, what is the big 4 in your mind?
Ok, can I call mine the big 16 ?( Laughing as I say it)
My big 16 are:
Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer,Anthrax,
Exodus, Kreator ,Sodom, Warbringer
Onslaught, Havok, Dust bolt, Municipal Waste
Tankard, Evile, Testament,Gama Bomb. I could go on but I’ll stop here I love all their music so much they are all first place in my mind and they have huge impact on my writing and playing styles they are all so brilliant I can only hope to get close to the mark that I have set for myself.
8. What would be your dream supergroup? Again lets open it up to past or present musicians, what would be the dream band lineup?
Doug Jackson he is on this EP The Overlord Messiah or
Donny Johnson from my old band: MORBUS On lead vocals
Morgan Caldwell on bass from my old band MORBUS
Eddie Guardado on Drums from my old band ANTIOCH
David DerMinasian myself on lead and rythm guitar
That would be my dream line up but all these guys live too far away Eddie Guardado lives 134 miles away.
Morgan Caldwell is 280 miles away.
Donny Johnson is 753 miles away I still talk to these guys all the time.
Doug Jackson is missing in action.
9. Now if you were to be a member of any band, who would you love to join up with?
EXODUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are such brilliant musicians
10. Now it’s time to get philosophical. What IS heavy metal?
Heavy metal is a true form of expression it’s fuckin loud and in your face. It’s truth and a voice for justice upon the land. It’s a way out of the bullshit we all deal with everyday. A way to express what we feel about things in the most extreme way musically speaking.
11. What has heavy metal done for you thus far both in music and in your personal life?
It has given me a way to get out my feelings always a positive release of negative energy. Always a good form of therapy. It has given me respect in my personal life among my peers. It has also opened my eyes to a form of independence.
12. If you were not playing in a metal band, what do you think you would be doing currently?
Well I work full time as a millwright in a mining facility out in the desert and I do my music on the side. I think I would finish putting my Harley Davidson back together a lot sooner because all my extra money is being spent on equipment and promotions so there’s no room for anything else spending wise. It’s a lot of hard work for months maybe years before you see any money for us independant type players, but I have a good job to keep everything flowing so things are moving in the right direction.
13. What is your heavy metal dream? I am not talking about goals here, I am talking about going to bed and dreaming...what is the dream you are having? Or is it a nightmare?
That’s very funny you should mention this,I remember when I was a kid just starting to play metal I used to go to bed thinking about what it would be like to be on the radio and the magazines and doing interviews and have record releases out. I can say I am totally living my dream to fullest in respect to reality sometimes I can’t even believe it myself.
14. What is your view on the current state of heavy metal?
My view on heavy metal is that the scene is so much nicer now with the internet and social media combined it’s much easier to get gigs and audition your material to all sources so it only takes minutes to share with producers promoters concert halls and fans the sky’s the limit and it’s a big sky too there’s room for everyone!
15. What are your thoughts concerning the digital era of metal. I am curious what you think of digital downloading, recording in the modern era and anything else that has changed since the early days of the industry.
Digital is awesome downloads are great but I like them also combining the CD’s and vinyl’s as well they each have their purpose The best thing about digital is it increases your opportunities to get more gigs by sharing your soundcloud links or what have you with potential club owners and producers and all that stuff it makes it very convenient to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door so to speak not to mention land a record deal. That’s how it happened for us I uploaded to BandCamp.com my EP then less than 45 days passed and I get this email from Alone Records telling me they want to sign us now there were three offers that came in but I chose Alone Records because they offered me the best deal.
Recording was a nightmare for me I had to learn it on my own with books and now I have the basics down I believe enough to lay down my foundation of the tracks but when it’s time to do it for real I don’t want to do that I just want to play my instruments and let the professionals handle the sound of course I will be positioning my own mikes and adjusting my personal guitar gear but I will leave the sound engineering up to the engineer as far as recording then I will sit in with them for the mixing and mastering sessions.
Overall the industry in music in general is changed totally in our favor nothing is impossible now thanks to technology.
16. Heavy metal has gone through some changes since the early days. New movements have come and gone as has its overall popularity. With that in mind, what direction do you see heavy metal going in the future?
Good question I see metal going up and making a come back. I mean look at earlier this year we have Megadeth winning a Grammy Award that’s for metal!
Good Job Guys!! Even look at our own release The Overlord Messiah it’s thirty years old almost but yet it still made good and it’s growing everyday in popularity
To me that’s very amazing!
17. Several musicians have gone on record to say that the full length album is dead. That with the digital age there is no need to produce a full length release. What are your thoughts, is the full length dead or still viable?
Who ever said that full length releasees are dead is full of crap! just the fact that you get paid per track on your digital releases alone meaning digital x 12 tracks = 12 Dollars so obviously the more tracks you have the more money your release has a potential to earn not to mention that makes your CD’s and Vinyl’s more valuable. so when in doubt do the math the numbers won’t lie. I always say.
18. Okay time to talk and promote your band some more. What is the current news coming from your camp. Any new music, tours, festivals or anything going on?
At our label reports of pre sales were looking good on a predictable level looking like we have a good start I think.
Yes we are currently working on a full length album 10-12 tracks hopefully. That’s the goal we are almost halfway there but still writing and composing so it’s a steep hill to climb yet but gaining ground I’ve been having alot of equipment failures and a few triumphs I need to replace my guitar amp that won’t be cheap.but very necessary. and I still need to buy a bass rig also expensive but necessary so we are in a developmental stage right now we are evolving at a steady slow pace and gaining ground. We won’t be going on tour anytime soon, but when we start playing shows we will do trips down to Los Angeles California USA and Las Vegas Nevada USA we are 2 hours away from all major points for our shows. Of course I am not against to touring I hunger for it but the fact is I need to get paid at least enough to match my yearly income on a regular basis. At the moment I’m making a substantial amount of money so once again you can quote me when I say the numbers don’t lie. Not to mention I have a family to take care of. The road will always be there and our fans will not miss our music because I intend to release a lot more once we get settled in to a house in the next year.
19. What are the immediate short range goals for your group?
I need to get a new guitar amp soon and promote this current release
The Overlord Messiah having to spend a lot of money that I don’t really have to spend on but I’m doing it anyway because if I don’t then who will. hopefully generate more sales and revenue and get a few world wide record distributors to buy bulk quantities and resale in their stores so if any of you are reading this email me at: email@example.com
20. What about ultimately any long range goals?
The goal is to actually do this full time that’s really all I want to do with my life except Ill need to wait till it turns out because before that happens I’ll need to at least get the same money I’m making now to start and it must be continuous because I have a family I need to make sure that I’m takin care of them.
21. Finally if you have any last words you wish to express to your fans and the metal community in general please do so here.
I want to tell the fans and community thank you all so very much I can’t begin to express my gratitude after being in limbo for near 30 years it’s very awesome to be so well received. So Ill leave you with this “ Never sell out and stay hard folks!!
Here are some links to where you can find our new release:
You Tube Video Promotion
streaming also sound cloud has all links posted
Digital Purchases: iTunes / google play / Amazon USA and UK / Deezer and many hundreds of Digital platforms
Band Camp Link
RETCHED band Page/ Face Book
Label Contact for Cd's and Vinyl's and bulk distribution orders please go to this link:
Alone Records facebook page