Barbaric-Romantic Movie Of The Mind" - THE VIRGIN STEELE INTERVIEW
PART 1 - with David DeFeis
by Edmund Alscott
Edmund Alscott: OK lets 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.
you might inquire, How did Walter know about you
and try to contact you? Well
the answer to that question
. 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 Familys 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
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
to the beginning. God gives "Birth" (or thinks he does),
to Lilith in the Dark of Night, and lusts after her. (Hes
got a great passion for Flesh!) Lilith awakens Gods 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 lifes 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?
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 Ive
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 doesnt
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
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 Ive 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?
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 evenings
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 Evenings performance / presentation,
so youll have to wait for the CD release, (actually several
CDs!), 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
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 doesnt 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 dont 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. Its 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
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?
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: Weve 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
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
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 dont 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 Gods 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 wouldnt 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
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. Im 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 its 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
How is the feeling within the group these days?
DeFeis: It has never been better! We have the best lineup
weve 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
dont 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
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
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. Its fascinating
to look back on it all and see where everyone ended up later on.
I think weve 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. Id
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 Id have to say that it has gotten a
lot harder than it was back then. Its more competitive and
more corporate. But the potential has also increased, so it is even
more interesting as well. Its 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!
Virgin Steele ever been pressured to change musically?
David DeFeis: At various times in our Past History,
(...it 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. Weve
worked hard on every album from the first one to the latest one.
Weve always strived to feature the best songs and the best
performances we possibly could for each & every one of them.
Weve 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
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
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
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
David DeFeis: Lets 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.
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 ... heres 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.
groups would be trumpeting their upcoming Works for months in advance,
but you dont 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 dont 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 dont 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
CDs! 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?
Hows 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 wasnt 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 ... Ill keep you
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??? Lets
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
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
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 ...