Interview with David A. DerMinasian
1988 entstand das bemerkenswerte Mini-Album der Band RETCHED, das jetzt via Alone Records endlich der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht wurde. Wir sprachen mit Songwriter und Gitarrist David A. DerMinasian über die alten Zeiten und die Zukunft der Band.
Dave, how is life in California today?
Life today is amazing, this year 2017 kicked off the debut of our new release in the United Kingdom on New Year’s Day. We got our music on RADIO-WIGWAM internet radio show. We got awesome feedback it was shortly after that radio show like an hour latter from Twitter we got 43 followers from the United Kingdom right after that. That tells me they were listening and liked our music. I was so grateful for that, I put them in my album credits they deserve it.
Can you compare the scene of the eighties with the present situation?
The metal music scene was just as live back in the mid eighty’ as it is now. Although I say it’s more fun and better now because promoting your music and band are much easier with the internet. It is also much easier to get gigs because you can share your sound instantly anywhere in the world and audition your music. I especially love it because I’m from the “OLD SCHOOL”. We didn’t have the luxury of internet sharing. I remember sitting in front of the Capital Records building in Hollywood California hungry for a break stalking and begging executives to look at our portfolio with band bio and little demo tapes hoping they would give us a break and let us be heard it was a cold cold world back then and most of that stuff never got to where you wanted to send it because it had to go through so many hands and all it took was the wrong person to see it and deny it.
When did you start playing an instrument?
I began playing or trying to play ha ha (laughing) when I was a small boy about five years old it was amazing to me that these instruments made noise and you could change the sound that they made. I was very fortunate that we had mandolins, violins, pianos, organs and when I was seven years old my parents bought me a toy drum set it had shells made of tin and heads made of paper and two cymbals. I loved it and I thrashed it to its death. I never got another one but we had plenty of other instruments to explore. I always loved the guitar but never got one till I was ten years old and I took some lessons at school and learned a few simple things. It was because at an early age I loved the heavy sounding guitar music and always gravitated to the heavier sounding music the heaver the sound the more I loved it then my older brother came and showed me some chords and a few chord progressions and he always encouraged me to write my own music. Since then I have been playing guitar for forty-one years and I’m only now developing my skills but I took a long twenty six year break from perusing a career in music although I still played, I never put it away completely, I just didn’t practice like I was trying to be a better player you know, I’d pick it up and play now and then.
Who were your musical idols in the early years?
My favorite bands when I was a teenager was Van Halen, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath – Ozzy – Dio, The Scorpions, Accept, W.A.S.P, Iron Maiden, Overkill and Loudness: Those were my heroes of heavy metal.
When did you start your first band?
I can remember my first band from high school it didn’t last long but I kept trying and eventually got something going four years later with what we called AVATAR that was far before the movie or anything named that our manager wanted us to call it that because he had a product on the market named that and so he had legal rights to the name at the time. So we formed AVATAR I never liked that name it wasn’t heavy metal enough for me but, we kept that name on a technicality.
Tell us more!
Well, Tom brought these great songs into the band and we practiced hard for six months and got them perfect then we went into the studio and recorded them after that we went onto play shows and shortly started being a headlining band that was a big move for us everything was great for a while then we got tired of our manager who kept doing wrong things and we couldn’t fire him, because he was our drummers father and he put the money up for our studio time so we were stuck with that guy until we broke up we just had enough well he got us all tied up in a legal scandal and had everything ruined, that’s why we broke up and that’s also why we couldn’t fire him. It was a bad situation all the way around.
Who was in the band back then?
We had Tom Garcia on rhythm and lead guitar and I was also playing lead and rhythm guitar, Doug Jackson was on lead vocals and Roger Simms was playing Bass and Mike Doley was on the drums.
What were the problems that kept AVATAR from being signed?
We as a band always wanted to get signed with a label but thirty years ago things were very different, in fact almost impossible so we never really got the chance to present our music to any labels before we broke up and also where we were from there were no record labels that we knew of not to mention our manager didn’t help us with that at all.
Why did you change the band’s name into RETCHED?
Why I changed the name from AVATAR to RETCHED – pronounced: (recht’) not wretched? The reason is because I hated that sissy ass name it was not metal and lacked the hard core image of our sound of our sound in other words that named sounded like it belonged to a sissy hair and makeup band and to me the stuff isn’t metal. We were definitely a black leather and metal spike hard core old school metal band.
Now you have a deal with a small Label in Greece. What do you expect?
So now I have chose to release this work now in these times because this record still kicks ass and deserves the recognition that it was denied all these years and also because I have every right to release it I put it on bandcamp. It was amazing because not even two months passed and I got three record contract offers I chose to go with Alone Records, because they are the best choice for my record. Now our release will be available now for pre orders at this link: http://www.alone.gr our CD’s are going to be released at the end of August 2017 to all European and South American distributors also for all other distributors who need the release also go to our labels link at Alone Records in Greece at: http://www.alone.gr for all inquiries about shipments and all other releases we have many fine metal bands not just us there are many bands to choose at this link and meta T-Shirts and hooded sweatshirts of your favorite bands too. I spoke with the owner of our record label at Alone Records – Emmanoel Emmanoilidus – he said we are getting preorders coming in and we are looking good so I am confident in time we will do well.
You want to reanimate the group with a new lineup … can you tell us something about the new musicians?
I am working on my new album I expect to finish by November 2018. We are now a modern thrash metal band and will remain that until I die I am playing better all the time and after myself and Drummer David Ezelle finnish with the albums recording we will start looking to build the lineup we might just get a bass player and be a three piece band, but it’s really too early to predict that, but I can tell you this, for now to keep things moving at a good pace it will be just the two of us David Ezelle on drums and percussion and vocals and I will be on all guitars and bass and vocals. What you can expect from this next record that we are working on is this a huge metal sound that is dipping molten metal that every metal fan craves! We are ready and coming at the world at a steady and constant pace we are ready and able to overcome anything stopping or hindering our progress we are RETCHED: the new thrash metal band coming at you in 2018 with our new work. You’ve been warned!!!!!!! To all the metal fans everywhere in all the world I say: “Stay hard and never sell out!”
Thank you for giving us the chance to be heard!
Thank you, David.