Virgin Steele


"A Barbaric-Romantic Movie Of The Mind" - THE VIRGIN STEELE INTERVIEW PART 1 - with David DeFeis
by Edmund Alscott

Edmund Alscott: OK let’s begin! First can you please explain to me the origins of how you got involved in the creation all of these “Metal-Operas” of yours which have been presented on the Theatrical stages of Europe?

David DeFeis: I think it was simply the next logical step, as the musical direction kept moving closer & closer to this type of large, Epic Dramatic scope. As regards bringing the first one to the stage, it came about in the following manner. The director of a Theatre in Germany approached me a few years ago. This director, a man named Walter Weyers, at the time was working in the Trier Theater. He is now working in the Memmingen Theatre, where we staged “THE HOUSE OF ATREUS / KLYTEMNESTRA” Work, and the “DIE REBELLEN” Work, which was based on the albums, THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN & HELL PARTS I & II, and INVICTUS.

Anyway, Walter called me up one day and asked me if I would consider composing something that could be presented in a Grand, Over The Top, Epic style at his Theatre. I said… “Yes of course”! What immediately flashed into my brain was the Tale of “THE HOUSE OF ATREUS”. The Blood, the Fire, the Triumph & Tragedy all flashed before my eyes. Thus this became the basis for the first presentation of a Work of this type. That is how it began.
But…you might inquire, “How did Walter know about you and try to contact you”? Well… the answer to that question is…. Prior to what I just described, Walter had met a wonderfully loyal VIRGIN STEELE Fan named Lambrina. When Walter inquired of her, “What shall I do for an exciting presentation at the Theatre”, she said... ”Why a Rock Opera of course”!!! And she then proceeded to tell him all about VIRGIN STEELE, and let him hear some of the music. She played him EMALAITH, A SYMPHONY OF STEELE, CROWN OF GLORY, and a few other tracks. Walter really loved the music and became quite hooked on VIRGIN STEELE, so the idea of doing one Stage Presentation grew to doing three of them.

Excellent! What is on the cover of the HOUSE OF ATREUS albums? Is that a shield and where did it come from?

David DeFeis: Yes it is a shield, and it is an heirloom of my House. My far traveling Uncle Cosmo brought it to my Family. It has been in my Family’s possession for over 50 years. The scene depicted on it is the Greek hero Achilles dragging the body of the slain Trojan hero Hector three times around the Walls of Troy. It made perfect sense to use it for the HOUSE OF ATREUS covers, because all of the events that occur on the albums are the “reactions” that stem from all the “actions” that occurred during the build up to the War in Troy, and of course during the War itself.

Great! OK, please tell me briefly, what is “Lilith”, your current “Opera” all about? What is the music like, and how did you come up with the story?

David DeFeis: Briefly you say??? It might be hard to be brief... The very, very basic premise is: well… It concerns the very Ancient personage named LILITH. She was considered to be the first wife of Adam. He of Biblical fame, as in Adam & Eve and the apple, the snake and all that fig leaf and rib propaganda .
One of the first times that we ever hear about Lilith, is in the Ancient text "The Epic Of Gilgamesh". There She is a squatter in a Tree. She is most often equated with the Egyptian Isis, and also Inana, (sometimes called the hand of Inanna), Astarte, Hecate, etc. And yes, according to legend she was actually the first wife of Adam, before Eve. From earth / mud / clay, she was created as Adam was. Lilith felt that She was Adam's equal, a true mate & match for him. She wanted to remain independent, and to not be subservient to the male personality and ego. Adam, however, considered himself to be the Supreme Power. He claimed that it was decreed to him by God, that he should be the master over Lilith. And sooo trouble in Paradise began….. anyway……

Back to the beginning. God gives "Birth" (or thinks he does), to Lilith in the Dark of Night, and lusts after her. (He’s got a great passion for Flesh!) Lilith awakens God’s Dark, sensual Nature. However... God is really afraid of Lilith. He finds her ... "uncontrollable", wild, untameable and too difficult, so... he creates Adam in the Light Of Day, to be the mirror of his own image. Adam & Lilith meet ... they try to have ... a Glorious, Romantic Evening ... but everything goes horribly wrong. Oh yes... very wrong. Adam wants to be on top ... (sexually & otherwise), and Lilith wants the same so... they have a huge fight! She pushes him off her & away crying out, “bastard”, he calls her, a “bitch”, and She flies off on her Glorious Green Wings! Lilith winds up in the Red Sea where she cavorts with Demons and has numerous children. Next The Three Black Angels arrive in an attempt to force her to come back to Adam, but she refuses. So... they tell her OK, as punishment 1.000 of your children will die every day. We will kill them. Lilith says ... "ahhh Fuck off, I am not coming back”, and She does not. But of course with God here there must be punishment, so somehow they convince her that in return for her willfulness & stubbornness she must be the one to do these killings of children. And thus, she is slowly turned from the idea of the Great Goddess / Good Mother ... into the Terrible Mother / Evil Demon.

Lilith is a rebel, sort of a Female Prometheus if you will. Due to the tremendous appeal and popularity of the Great Goddess within early “Pagan” Religions / “Mystery Cults”, Patriarchal, Male God worshipping Societies felt threatened, so they enacted laws and actions in which The Goddess was demonized, and attempts were made to make her seem repugnant to Women. This Story is a parallel as to what occurred long ago, concerning the destruction of the early "Pagan" Societies, by the more "organized" Religions. It shows how they crucified and eradicated the Female Principle and subjugated the Women. Meanwhile in our Tale, God creates Eve for Adam, and the plot thickens!

Of course this synopsis of mine, is extremely brief. Essentially what we are dealing with are male / female, God / Goddess relationships and the schism between the sexes which occurred early on in our Past." In addition we have an angry, jealous God, who lusts for Flesh and also wants to become Flesh, and then we have Lilith who is Pure Spirit, and Adam who became Flesh but yearns to revert back to Spirit!!! Sound fucking crazy??? Yes it is!!! I devised the Work, based somewhat on what I know of these Ancient SUMERIAN / BABYLONIAN / HEBRAIC myths, plus my own studies in other Mythological & Archeological areas, my observations of the treatment of women all over the globe, and all OF my own life’s experiences. It is the result of a Lifetime of thought, experimentation, passion, commitment and belief.

How do you research your subjects - in this case is it the Bible, or Mythology for the others - for your plotlines? What is it exactly?

David DeFeis: I am a voracious reader of all sorts of material, so I have a large store of information inside my head at any given time to start with. For this one same as with anything else I’ve done, I always utilize my own Life experiences to base my lyrics on. I have to write & sing about what I know from personal encounters on the Highway of Life.
Ahhh... the Bible was not so useful for much of this, as it doesn’t contain very much regarding Lilith. However it does have quite a bit about the Jealousy & Wrath of Jehovah, which makes for entertaining reading now & again. It does contain a large amount of information regarding the persecution of the Pagans.

Do you believe that a project like this could be successful in America?

David DeFeis: With the right commitment, dedication, presentation and representation, it certainly could, as it can cross over from a Total Metal Presentation, to a presentation in a “Classical” setting like the Metropolitan Opera or some such place, for it does contain Epic Barbaric, Savage “Classical” elements, along with the Metallic ingredients!!! Metal as I’ve always said, is the Classical Music of the 21st Century! The Music in this Work is always very accessible. There are many “hooks” to get stuck on, and the idea behind it all is interesting as well as timely. Its message should be heard and explored by all, as it raises many questions about the origin and development of religion and many of the problematic concepts that have passed on down through the Centuries. It would take a Company with a lot of heart and guts to get it going.

Right now you are recording everything, playing all the instruments and doing all the vocals. Do you present this to the opera company and do they take it from there? Do they use your backing tracks during the production? How does it all work?

David DeFeis: I present to the Theater a version with me singing all the parts so the actors & actresses can learn the songs, plus I also present a version of the songs without my vocals, so they can rehearse / sing / perform the songs live during the evening’s spectacle. The versions of the songs used for the Stage Presentation are heavily edited / shortened most of the time for the production.
I have composed well over 50 pieces of music for this Work, and all of it will not fit into one Evening’s performance / presentation, so you’ll have to wait for the CD release, (actually several CD’s!), to hear all of these compositions in their entirety and in their complete production form as well. The versions for the Theater are largely demos, and rough mixes, (same as last time). However, they do sound quite good!!! Yes the music is coming from backing tracks that I prepare, and the performers (actors/actresses), are singing live. You will recognize my backing vocals (and the occasional lead vocal), in there from time to time as well during the performance.

With the previous opera, Klytaimnestra, you worked around a script. Did you do that with your other opera as well as this one? Is it easier to work with a script?

David DeFeis: No. Actually with the Klytaimnestra / HOUSE OF ATREUS Work, I did not work with a script. I did not see the script until after I had finished composing the entire Work!!! However, I did have many discussions with the director Mr. Weyers, as to what sort of tale we wished to tell. I basically drew from the Ancient Myths and made up my own version of events. Take for instance the Death of Orestes. He doesn’t die in the Myths, however... I killed him off in the Work. With DIE REBELLEN, it was completely the other way around. Walter devised a script / play from out of the Songs already written and recorded for the albums, INVICTUS & THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN & HELL. With this current LILITH project, I did see a script, but I did not have a very good English translation of it, (the script was written in German), so once again I was largely left to my own devices. Hopefully the end result that people see onstage still makes some sort of sense!

What kind of response do you have that the dialogue is in German and the lyrics are in English? Do you think the audience still gets it?

David DeFeis: They do seem to get it quite well! I certainly don’t understand all the German unfortunately, but I still absolutely enjoy the intent & expression of the actors & actresses, so I think that those in the audience, who are not quite familiar with English, perhaps find a similar enjoyment out of the intent once again. It’s all about mood and feeling, and the emotions are clearly always identifiable. Music has its own language, which transcends the language of words / speech, thus all becomes clear in the final analysis. For those who have not seen the stage Presentation, the lyrics are all sung in English as I wrote them, and the spoken dialogue of the play is spoken in German, as Walter conceived it. Perhaps when we do the DVD and put a bit of these moments on there, people will have a better idea of what went down.

How is composing an opera different than writing a Virgin Steele album?

David DeFeis: It is not any different really, as these work... become VIRGIN STEELE albums! Music, & lyrics... either they come to you quickly, or they arrive slowly. The birth process is never the same for each piece of music. It is not always easy this job of composing, but it is... always an adventure, and always extremely rewarding to hear the finished outcome! I live for the task of living through these compositions. That is why I bother to get out of the bed in the morning, and attempt to remain relatively sober from time to time!

Your sister is an opera singer - has she had any influence on your composing?

David DeFeis: Yes she is an Opera singer, and quite an amazing one at that! But no she has not influenced my composing in any way. But... she has influenced my singing! I have tried to achieve some of those dramatic effects that she does in the high registers!

How are the recordings going?

David DeFeis: We’ve only struck the tip of the iceberg, but I have recorded a bit of both Edward & Josh on some of the guitar parts for the songs, and all is turning out quite nicely! They are very enthusiastic about the music! They both have a very different style of guitar playing, and I am utilizing their most excellent capabilities to great effect. Frank Gilchriest, is also learning all the Music, and I hope to be able to bring him into the studio shortly to record his drums. I know that he will turn in an amazing performance as always. I believe that he is truly the finest drummer in Metal / Rock Music these days.

What was it like watching the stage production of Lilith? What did you feel when you saw other people performing your work?

David DeFeis: Shock and horror! No, actually it was quite Magickal! I derived great pleasure from seeing all those actors & actresses performing my Songs! It made me feel that maybe there is hope that one day long after I become food for worms, this music could still…live on…live on…live on…

What sort of critical reaction did you receive?

David DeFeis: In general all was quite positive. The VIRGIN STEELE Fans seemed to enjoy the experience, and the Theatregoers seemed to enjoy the music too, so all in all it was a win-win situation. People have been as positive to this new one as they were to the last two.

How long did the previous 2 “Operas” run?

David DeFeis: I think each of the two previous works had over 40 or 50 performances, which is quite good! The next step is to take all three works and transport the idea of performing them in more & more countries. I will include these performances on the DVD, so that those who were not able to attend the Stage Presentations can still get an idea of what went on there.

Which came first, the idea for this “Opera” or your cat Lilith?

David DeFeis: Ha!!! The Opera! This has been in my mind for well over two years now. Lilith the Cat came later on. She arrived on the same day that my Cat Emalaith did, the Black Demon!!! And Lilith The Cat, like Lilith the Work, have both grown huge! Larger than Life & a Trillion times Louder!

Do you expect a backlash from religious types - after all you are making God out to be lustful and full of vengeance?

David DeFeis: Hey, this particular God is! Hmmm... no I don’t really expect such, but then again it is possible, these days you never know! However, I am certainly not the first person in History to make God out to be this way. Check out the Scriptures! The Old Testament is positively reeking and overflowing with tales of God’s hmmm... Vengeful bloodthirsty nature! It is a regular bloodbath! It should challenge many long held beliefs. The Ancient “Pagan” Religions existed for thousands of years before your “Organized” Religions, and also co-existed for centuries alongside Christianity, Judaism & Islam, yet most people know little to nothing about them, because they were essentially exterminated. Thankfully today due to modern archeology and serious study we know quite a bit about how & why those Cultures / Beliefs were destroyed. If one takes the time to research these older Beliefs and in addition research the origins of the “Organized” Religions one will be astounded by the incredible amount of falsehoods that have been bequeathed to us.

Do you devise & plan out the story before you write the music? And does the plot ever change as you are composing?

David DeFeis: I make a rough outline as to what the main action is & what the characters are going to do in each scene, and I then attempt to create music that fits each scene in its own special way. Yes the plot is sometimes malleable and occasionally due to the inspiration of the Music, it often twists into a different configuration as I am composing. Sometimes the tone of the music will reveal a hidden aspect that I will develop further. My philosophy is... “Just begin, the path through the forest will reveal itself as you wander on through it”.

Do you get involved with the staging at all?

David DeFeis: Most of the blocking / stage direction (how & where the actors move onstage), takes place early on with Walter, and his people. I usually attend about 1-2 weeks of the rehearsals, and try to make a positive input in whatever way I can, be it from discussing the vocal melody with an actor or actress, or some idea for the scene, both musically and dramatically. The Theatre sometimes has quite different ideas than mine, as regards the staging / presentation. Perhaps one of these days I will direct as well!!! Aha! Lookout Spielberg!!!! And you too Oliver Stone!!!

Do you have to put yourself in a different state of mind as you write an opera, for instance, in the mind of one of the characters as a screenwriter may have to?

David DeFeis: I am usually in a different / altered state of mind anyway! What I try to do is tap into the motive & emotional content for each song / scene and build on that. I ask myself, what are my reactions to what the character is thinking, feeling, saying, or whatever, and do I agree, or disagree with them.
I see how the situation relates to my own Life & experiences, and I try to produce a similar result in the Work, as I would in my daily Life. I have to be able to identify with the characters in some way otherwise I wouldn’t be able to compose properly for their situation.

Now that you have built your own studio in your home, do you find yourself working differently? Are there more distractions?

David DeFeis:
The main difference is that now I am working almost all the time! There is no escape!!!! There are fewer distractions actually. In the past when I would work in a commercial studio, I would have to deal with the engineer answering the telephone or people dropping in. Now... when I am working, I am totally unapproachable. I rather enjoy it! I find that I do my best work in the later hours of the Night, so I tend to wail on until the morning comes.

Will this opera, or any other of your operas be released on CD?

David DeFeis: The first of the “Operas” was released as the 3 CD Set, THE HOUSE OF ATREUS ACTS I & II, and the second “Opera” was based on the THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN & HELL PARTS I & II and INVICTUS albums. Yes this Project regarding LILITH should see the Light of Day & the Dark of Night sometime in 2005.

Which is more difficult, dealing with musicians or actors?

David DeFeis: Neither. I grew up around actors, actresses and musicians, so I understand their particular needs, likes & dislikes. I’m very much at home with all types! My Father is an actor / director who wanted to be an Opera singer! I grew up in a Theatrical & Musical home.

Why do you think it’s metal musicians, which do concept albums more than any other genre?

David DeFeis: I think Metal aligns itself well with the Epic-Dramatic form. Metal Music explodes with Drama. The Music has inherent Theatrical qualities that can be made more over the top if one wishes. A good tale with interesting lyrics can help to bring the Music to life with even greater force. Plus Metal has many thinking people inside its World.

Virgin Steele just celebrated its 20th anniversary, what is the most valuable lesson you have learned over the past two decades?

David DeFeis: Hold on to your Publishing Rights for all of your songs, because these Works are your children & your pension plan! I learned early on in Life, that it is important to stand for something and not fall prey to every trend that pops up. Stay true to your course and develop your music in your own ongoing fashion regardless of the flavor of the month or any attempts from outside forces that wish to change you. There will always be characters that want to either ride on your coattails or grind you down in some way, but if you want to make Music your Life, then you have to learn to say, “Fuck You” to them, remain strong & Invictus, and forge forward like a huge fucking battering ram!

How is the feeling within the group these days?

David DeFeis: It has never been better! We have the best lineup we’ve ever had, and we have maintained this lineup for years now! Everyone is totally dedicated to his instrument and to the Ideology of what VIRGIN STEELE is. Plus everyone has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. I have said it before, and I certainly don’t mind saying it again. To me Frank Gilchriest is the best drummer working today, bar none. His depth of commitment to the Art of Drumming, and to Music is extraordinary. Josh Block has developed into a powerful dynamic force, and his abilities grow further and further with each passing day. And my longtime Friend, the incredible Edward Pursino, remains as always, a Master on the guitar. He is an anchor onstage, and manages to seamlessly combine both flash & thunder-fire acrobatics, with impeccable timing and spot on teamwork. The chemistry we all generate together is unique, true, heartfelt, soul stirring, dramatic, powerful, and relentless. It is a Force Of Nature.

You pretty much manage yourself these days. Is it hard to step into the role of a businessman?

David DeFeis: It can sometimes be quite a burden and very depressing, but it does have its advantages. At least you have some idea of what is going on, and you can make your own hours!

What advice would you give another musician about the music industry?

David DeFeis: Learn to enjoy cleaning toilets, and in general all maintenance work! (I did a lot of that over the years!) Seriously, only get involved in this business if you have a great passion for the Music! If you are trying to break into the music business for fame only or ego, or prestige... then I recommend becoming a Porn Star instead, as it is easier and perhaps more immediately rewarding.

What was it like re-living the first two Virgin Steele albums as you were re-working them for the re-release?

David DeFeis: Like a root canal operation!!! Painful!!! Oh... no, actually it was interesting and most definitely brought back all sorts of memories about people, places & things from those times. I remembered quite a few interesting evenings with musicians, & girlfriends, etc. that I had and actually got contacted by recently! So yeah, it was entertaining. It’s fascinating to look back on it all and see where everyone ended up later on. I think we’ve come a long way since those albums, and the progress is interesting to view.

Could you imagine yourself working behind the scenes as in managing other bands or working at a label?

David DeFeis: Perhaps, but I think I would rather be more involved in the studio / creative end of things. I’d prefer writing songs for other artists or producing, as opposed to being more on the business side. But who knows? HEY, What are the hours & the benefits???

How has the music industry changed?

David DeFeis: Do you mean since the early albums release? If so... well I’d have to say that it has gotten a lot harder than it was back then. It’s more competitive and more corporate. But the potential has also increased, so it is even more interesting as well. It’s gotten much more complex, what with ways to promote or not to promote, the Internet, touring and even actual technical configurations. Do you use tape, digital, CD, mp3, DVD, video, surround... and / or whatever else is out there!

Has Virgin Steele ever been pressured to change musically?

David DeFeis: At various times in our Past History, ( would not happen today), those who wished to remake us into whatever image they had in their minds for us have approached us. I can tell you with complete honesty & certainty that we, or at least I, always greatly resented & resisted any such intrusions!!!!!!! I think by staying true to our own vision of what we believe Metal Music to be has been a key ingredient in our longevity. If someone approached any one of us today and told us to change, they would be flayed alive.

Which VIRGIN STEELE album is the best one?

David DeFeis: I have my personal favorite moments, but I believe in them all. I love them all for different reasons. On each album that we have released, we have given our best. We’ve worked hard on every album from the first one to the latest one. We’ve always strived to feature the best songs and the best performances we possibly could for each & every one of them. We’ve made all the albums with passion, honesty, power, and sincere commitment & dedication to bringing out the best album we could to our Fans. And... we will continue to do so.

What qualities do you look for in a musician to work with?

David DeFeis: Passion, Enthusiasm, focus, steadfastness in terms of their direction, dedication to a belief in what they wish to express or present to the World, musical open mindedness and an ability to play the instrument half way decently. I take Music very fucking seriously. I think Music is a living, Spirit, a Magickal Entity, not merely a collection of notes. It is like Fire, alive.

With the success of Cradle Of Filth, do you think gothic (dark) metal will become a trend, or at least become more mainstream?

David DeFeis: I think it might see more recognition, but I also think that this is a highly personal form of Metal and not necessarily made to be easy listening for mass consumption or crass commercialism. This is a good thing, as I would not wish to see this form exploited or destroyed in an inappropriate manner, as I do rather enjoy it.

What about the next Virgin Steele album? Have you started thinking about what you will be doing for it? When will it be coming out?

David DeFeis: Of course I think about it & work on it every day! It will appear most likely sometime this year and it will be Epic, Savage, Brutal & Beautiful!!! Understand that this Lilith Project that we have been discussing for the past hour, will be the basis for the next VIRGIN STEELE album ... or 2!

All right then can you please tell me something more about your LILITH Work? Is LILITH different from other VIRGIN STEELE releases and if so how is it different? What does it sound like? What is the style?

David DeFeis: Let’s see ... Well the Lilith Work as I mentioned before, concerns the destruction of Paganism, Gnosticism, and Knowledge in general, and because of this destruction, the resultant plunge we had into the Dark ages. It is amazing to me how all-scientific knowledge was eradicated, and blatant falsehoods were elevated and exalted to the Heights!

The album speaks of the rape of Cultures, and the rape of a specific Woman. It is also about the suppression and finally the eradication of the Female Principle that originally dwelled within Divinity. It is a Tale of the desecration of Beauty, Honour, Freedom, and Love itself. It is different from other VIRGIN STEELE albums, in that it is perhaps even darker than the darkest VS moments, because the subject matter itself is especially Dark. It is more Nocturnal, Autumnal, Celestial, Vampiric, Paganistic, Lunar, Underground and in general more Extreme. The brutality is if possible even more brutal, (especially mentally speaking), and the tender moments are incredibly Melancholy, Tortured, Forlorn and Torn. It is a Music full of eternal longing, suffering and regret. Long smoldering passions, lust and despair unite, ignite, consume and die ... In the end ... a type of hope arises. Not necessarily always the heroic VIRGIN STEELE All Conquering Triumph Ideology, (‘though that does occur now and again of course), but more of a sense of merging with the perennial consciousness of the Universe, where one day ... a rebirth of sorts might follow ... a Beauty born of Grief.

I am using more piano or acoustic guitar combined with very deeply tuned heavy guitars. Vocally it is very, very melodic, and the melodies can be alternately tender, aggressive, sensual and/or Bluesy. At times the vocal style is somewhat reminiscent of the approach found on the Life Among The Ruins album, however the Music and Melodies here are very, very, very different. In total, it is a much sadder Work than any other VIRGIN STEELE album.

That sounds really fantastic! Please tell me more.

David DeFeis: Well... the “Lilith” Work ... is highly ... atmospheric. There are big Epic Anthemic pieces, with sing-able, memorable "hooks", but there is also a Dark, Brooding, Moody, Impressionistic, quality that manifests itself throughout. There is over the top orchestration, yet simplicity. Nothing is done for the sake of overindulgence, or complexity for complexities sake. Everything is in proportion, balance and effective for the feelings & sentiments in question. It is a new development I think, a further progression of my particular compositional style.

As I said, these works are Epic, & Bombastic and totally full on Metal. I liken them to Conan the Barbarian meeting Verdi, Wagner or Stravinsky in a Dark, Black, Cave! Ethereal, & Gothik perhaps, as in the sense of Emily Bronte's Poetry, or ... here’s an image, ... like the effect of Cold Moonlight on a Haunted Cathedral. It screams out like a frightening Apparition, a Banshee, or it moans Tragically like the Wailing of the Wind through Accursed Ruins ... Images of stark bare trees, clutching at a Dark, Pregnant, Grey / Black Cloud covered Sky while fog stalks the streets are conjured.
Several tracks contain a very eerie, haunting quality that would be very much at home in a Horror Movie such as "The Omen", "The Ninth Gate" or "The Exorcist". All are extremely heavy, moody and melodic. Ultimately, I believe that it is Music to accompany either the Ending of the World, the Birthing of a New World or both!!! Frank and also Josh & Edward have said that it contains some of the best compositions yet, so I am hopeful that our Fans will like it. Understand that when I speak of this Work, I mean not only the 1 CD that will come out this year, but the entire collection of Songs that I have written for this Project, which will be unveiled bit by bit, CD, by CD. I would love for it all to come out in one release, all in one massive shot, but I doubt that our Label would want to issue such a huge Project all at once.
Also, as regards it being another Metal-Opera, well I don't think of it as a Metal-Opera really. What it truly is, ... is the Soundtrack for a Major Motion Picture that has yet to be made! I call this Work ..."A Barbaric-Romantic Movie Of The Mind".

Why prior to this Interview have you not revealed very much about this Work?

David DeFeis: I am not into over hyping what we do, because that sometimes can create false impressions and false expectations. I prefer to let the Music speak for itself.

Most groups would be trumpeting their upcoming Works for months in advance, but you don’t do this. Why?

David DeFeis: We are musicians, not used car salesmen. Ha! VIRGIN STEELE is a “Way of Life”, an Ideology if you will. We don’t want to operate like a corporate entity. That would diminish the Magick and the Beauty of what VIRGIN STEELE is. Ultimately again ... I want the Music to stand on its own, without any hype. I like to think that we are an alternative to the corporate mentality. Something more Noble ... When you believe in yourself, have confidence in yourself, and know the value of what you are doing ... you don’t need to shout about it. Often those with the least amount to say ... speak the loudest.

True! Can you reveal any titles?

David DeFeis: Truthfully there is so much Music that I am still uncertain as to what will be the complete track listing for CD #1. As I said, it will have to be divided into several CD’s! I think though that on the first CD there will be THE HIDDEN GOD, ADORNED WITH THE RISING COBRA, (which is quite an Epic,) and IMMORTAL I STAND, to name just a few.

Apart from composing what else have you been doing lately? How’s life in general?

David DeFeis: Battling my own specific personal Demons, going to wakes & Funerals ... and trying to maintain balance. Life is always throwing something at you, but it is our task to remain Invictus, to rise above, to be thankful for what we do have, and to remember that things could usually always be a whole hell of a lot worse.

I know that in the past there have been unusual occurrences when you are either composing of recording, (for example a tree crashing through the studio during the HOUSE OF ATREUS Sessions), has anything unusual occurred during the composition or during the sessions for this new Work?

David DeFeis: Do you mean apart from turning into a raging lunatic and conjuring up every Ghost, & Demon from Hades??? It wasn’t a tree that crashed into the studio it was actually a telephone pole! Anyway, often when I am composing ... yes, strange things do happen…
I believe that the spaces ... or if you will, the Walls between the worlds are really quite thin, and can be breeched with the right series of words, spells, or sounds. While I am composing and arranging, I will often play over and over again certain sections, which of course contain certain sequences of notes, chords, rhythms, & melodies, etc. These sounds / phrases can sometimes unlock or open the doors between the Worlds, and let through in both directions, a flow of energy.
For example while I was composing the Song "Life Among The Ruins", from the MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN & HELL PART I album, I was repeatedly playing the "theme riff" of the Song. As I was doing this a picture on my wall, changed form and the image leapt out off the wall and roared at me. I thought this was quite peculiar. And yes lately now as I compose what will be the new album, I am often visited by apparitions, and or creatures that suddenly appear, momentarily interrupt me, and then vanish again. Perhaps I am simply loosing my mind, working too many hours, drinking too much Wine or ... maybe I have accidentally discovered something which in the future might be quite useful ... I’ll keep you posted ...

Most interesting. Yes, do keep me posted. What goals would you still like to achieve with Virgin Steele? What would you like to do, and whom would you like to work with, if possible?

David DeFeis: A dental plan for everyone! Ahhh... on a more serious note, a monumental studio opus, an over the top live album, possibly an acoustic recording or two, a DVD, film music, more concerts, more Wine, more insanity!!! Work with??? Do you mean other than the three Noble Gentlemen I already Work with??? Let’s see ... hmmm... I would like to work with Brian May from QUEEN if possible. I think he might rather like some of these new tracks! He would make a nice addition to the Group! Ha!

Yes, & what about the live album or the DVD? We have heard many rumors.

David DeFeis: Yes I have heard the rumors ... We have filmed many concerts, and we will release a DVD, but not until after this new studio album comes out. I want to do a historical perspective on the Group, with documentary type moments, at home, studio moments, concerts, you know ... the Works!
Just recently for my own purposes, I mastered one live recording from a concert we did in Budapest, and it sounds quite good! So yes I am quite keen to do the live album, as I do want to capture the passion & the ferocity of what we do for all time. This will happen.

What immediate plans do you & the Group have for the rest of the year?

David DeFeis: Pagan Celebrations, live dates, composing, recording, and delving ever deeper and darker into the things that mystify, inspire, terrify & delight us all!

Part II ...