We thank you too and we are really happy for giving us the chance to introduce ourselves and our work. Dexter Ward formed back at 2009. Founders were Mark J. Dexter and Manolis Karazeris, who that time they left Battleroar. Their needs of creating music were so strong so they called some friends joint the band. Those friends were Akis Pastras (guitars), John Luna Tsimas(bass) and Angelo Tsoukalas(drums). In 2010, Stelios Darakis replaced Angelo behind the drum kit and the rest is history..... Dexter Ward's arsenal has a promo cd (2010), two EPs - Antarctic Dream(2010) and Stars And Stripes(2013), a split EP - Rendezvous With Destiny(2015) and finally two LPs - Neon Lights(2011) and Rendezvous With Destiny(2016).
2) While we are on the subject of the band history, can you share with us some of your musical influences? What bands have been combined to give us the Dexter Ward sound? At the same time what would you consider your sound to be?
Our personal taste and influences are so patchy. Consider that we mixed our NWOBHM taste, with flavors of US power metal, plus some hard rock and late 70s heavy metal motives and here you are.... This is the Dexter Ward sound.
3) In 2011, you released the Neon Lights album and it was a pretty good debut album (to say the least). In fact Metal Rites became a huge staple of my radio shows for years afterwards and I greatly enjoy that song to this day. Now you are releasing your second album Rendezvous With Destiny. While there isn’t a song on there that is as instantly anthemic as Metal Rites, there seems to be a lot more consistency in the music. You seem to have really turned it up a notch. Did you approach the writing process to this album any differently? Was there a conscious effort on making a more well-rounded album or was it just a natural progression as a band?
There was a different approach for sure. The tracklist of Neon Lights was already written before band's foundation. The final result was a huge achievement at that time. New member, no chemistry yet, no Dexter Sound yet. Everything was a new experience for all of us. We entered the studio and all of us didn't know how this is gonna be or how this is gonna sound. There is a variety of ideas there, coming through the musical personality each member brings back from the past, but it is an album that songwriting dictates the structure and attitude. Rendezvous With Destiny is a different album. Although some tracks already written before band's foundation, there was plenty of time in front of us. Attitude and structure changed the basic idea and each member did his job at the highest level. At the end we felt like "we made a record with our Dexter style and we changed the basic idea to a great song". There is no such a feeling about Neon Lights.
4) While we are on the subject, can you give us a bit of a breakdown on what the typical Dexter Ward song writing approach is like? Is there a certain order with things where one person does most of the writing or is it more of a group effort?
At first there is a basic song structure. You know, a riff, a verse, a bridge and a chorus. Then some changes coming next. Just like "hey guys listen to this, maybe we can change the chord progression at chorus part" or "I think we must cut this and do that". A typical heavy metal songwriting as you may see. There is no science. Just total inspiration.
5) You have released These Metal Wings (one of my favorites from the album by the way) as a lyric video. Are there any plans currently on doing a full on music video? We Are Dexter Ward would be a great introductory video track for example.
There is gonna be a lyric video for Stone Age Warrior for sure at the moment... We have plans.... Stay tuned.
6) With an early spring release, the timing is pretty much perfect for festival season in Europe. Do you have any festival appearances lined up (other than Keep It True), or are there any plans in motion for any sort of tour?
For now just Keep It True is on our way!
7) With the Ragnarokkr Metal Apocalypse Festival in Chicago and Frost and Fire on the West Coast, the US is slowly seeing more of an interest in the traditional style heavy metal bands. Are there any thoughts to trying to do a mini tour in the States in the near future?
We wish to perform at the States sometime!!!!! It's a band's dream for sure. We hope not to remain an antarctic dream!
8) I feel that your style of music lends well to a vinyl release. I know quite a few vinyl junkies and with that platform continuing to become more relevant again is that an option you have been considering for the latest release?
Of course there is gonna be a vinyl edition of our new album. As you may know, only Neon Lights isn't on a vinyl format. Everything else from our Dexter arsenal is only on a vinyl format!
9) Speaking of vinyl releases. Can you give us your contact links (facebook, website, etc) so any prospective readers can find out how to follow your band, buy merch, etc?
Everything is on our Facebook fan page.
10) Finally if there is anything I haven’t covered directly or if you have any last words to give to any of your fans or potential fans, I will leave the floor to you. Thank you very much for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to spend a bit of time with True Metal Lives and its listeners. Best wishes to you on a successful album launch!!!
We want to thank you again for your support. It is very important for a band like Dexter Ward to communicate with everyone who need to know for us or to listen something from our stuff. Hope to see you at Keep It True Festival!!!!! Stay heavy!!!!