of Eden, August 2006
Questions by Edmund Alscott
Photos: Gail Flug, foto:di-matti.com
1. You are just about to release a new
album called "Visions of Eden". How would you describe
the album with your own words? What is it about? And why should
people buy it? What are your favourite moments on it?
Frank: I would describe Visions.. musically
as predominantly romantic, barbaric, symphonic epic power metal.
However, Daves melodies, and his knowledge and use of harmony
are in a class all of its own. As a result, there are many musical
moments in Visions.. which clearly transcend that which
we normally hear in that genre.
It is an album filled with Epic Barbaric-Romantic songs of anguish,
struggle, Love, Death, and Melancholia. I will quote a line from
it: Rape of a Life, Rape of a Soul, Rape of us All VISIONS
OF EDEN... Why do we Live, Why do we Die, When will we Know VISIONS
Again... this album VISIONS OF EDEN is not about happiness,
peace, contentment or Eternal tranquility... it is the opposite.
It is about disorder, strife, struggle, dominance, and the annihilation
of a culture, a way of Life, and the violation & annihilation
of a human being. It is a Work based on the destruction of Paganism,
Gnosticism and the desecration & eradication of the Goddess
Principle that once dwelled so freely within Divinity.
A massive blow was struck against these early beliefs, by first,
the rise of the "Father-God" principle, and second by
the development of the "organized" religions. The album
concerns LILITH, 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), plus Ancient Sumerian Myths concerning
Liliths relationship with Adam, Eve and God. However, that
being said, in actuality, it is really about today... modern
times and how we might have arrived here at this strange place we
are now in
My favorite moments are many... THE HIDDEN GOD, WHEN DUSK FELL...
ANGEL OF DEATH, etc... I am pleased with all the songs.
Edward: The " Visions of Eden" album
is a powerful, dark complex hardhitting work of art. We pushed the
envelope musically, I must say. The songs are based on the story
and myths of Lilith >the Queen of the Demons< and the songs
help paint the picture perfectly. There are simply no other metal
records to compare this work to. I challenge any band to have the
balls to put out a record this advanced!!! However, we still managed
to bring it to light in true VS fashion, so I´m sure all our
noble fans will love this mighty metal adventure.
The album contains many different musical elements. Its classical,
dark, heavy, progressive, epic and a whole lot more. Its a
concept album based on the goddess Lilith. The story itself is really
something special and takes you on a journey from Heaven to Hell
and back so to speak. The packaging booklet with this CD is great...
the story synopsis, photos, and color scheme are all done so well
and really go perfectly with the music. Not to mention you get a
full 80 minutes of music which is unheard of!!
2. The new album Visions Of Eden - "The Lilith Project
- (A Barbaric Romantic Movie Of The Mind), will be released the
September 8th. What is different in this CD?
Frank: The CD is the story of the destruction of
the feminine goddess cultures, which existed in the ancient world
by invaders who imposed their patriarchal order of the universe
upon their subjects to consolidate their power. I cant say
exactly what is different about Visions.. but what I
will say is that I believe they are Davids strongest compositions
yet. I believe his song writing skills took another leap forward
David: It comes from the same place all of our
albums come from... the Heart, Mind & Spirit of VIRGIN STEELE.
And as is our style, it does bring in new elements. We have always
managed to incorporate new ideas on every album. We do not wish
to make the same album every time. This one has a new Melancholia
to it, which is perhaps more Autumnal, more Lunar than ever before.
It is possibly our Darkest subject thus far.
VIRGIN STEELE albums take time to absorb and to fully
comprehend. There is so much going on musically, lyrically,
emotionally, that it often can take years to fully understand some
tracks. It is meant to be this way. The songs are meant to
be companions on your journey through life! And as you change, the
ideas both musical and otherwise will reveal themselves more &
more to you. It is not easy listening in one ear and out the other
Music. It demands something from the listener, and it rewards as
Edward: There really isn´t anything different
about this CD, it´s really the next step forward. However
this time around David composed all the tracks on the piano so the
guitars and orchestrations merely enhance the drama and passion
of the music.The album wasn´t written from a handful of guitar
riffs so it was challenging to bring it to light, however the song
Invictus was also written on piano, so I´m quite used to the
process of creating the sound of the mighty VS. I approached the
guitar solo to "Immortal I Stand" the same way I approached
the solo to "Symphony of Steele", it´s on that level
The songwriting on this album is really in a class of its own. The
composition and flow of one song to the next is near perfection,
pushing songwriting abilities to the limits. Its impossible
to classify what genre of metal it falls into, so anyone who buys
the album will get a taste of a completely original work; something
thats never been done before.
3. What are your favourite moments on it? Favourite tracks?
Are you satisfied with the way the album turned out? Are you pleased
with your performances?
Frank: People should buy the CD because it is different
from what is currently available in the Genre. It is truly an original
work of music and has an interesting story that relates to all the
madness in the world today. My favorite moment on the CD is "God
Above God. Musically and lyrically that song brings a tear
to my eye every time I hear it!
I am satisfied with my performance. I wish to clear up any confusion
about the drumming on Visions of Eden. First of all,
that is me playing on every song. There was no programmed
drum parts used whatsoever!! I am very happy with my performance
on Visions... However, the drum sound is a different
matter. This was the first time we used a digital drum kit and Im
not entirely satisfied with the outcome. Unfortunately, they sound
so perfect that people are accusing me of not actually playing the
parts. Some people think Dave programmed the drums on a computer.
That is very distressful to me. I worked hard to get my endurance
and speed up to the task of recording those parts. I can hear my
own style of attack on the drums and, my particular way of phrasing
things but at the same time I understand what some fans are saying.
There is a machine like quality to due to the use of a digital drum
kit instead of a real wooden one. I cant wait to satisfy the
doubters when in concert Ill be ripping up those songs out
on a real wooden drum kit.
Ive always prided myself on being an old school player who
doesnt rely on computer, triggers, samples, etc. to make my
drumming exciting. Visions.. was a break from that thinking.
Recording digitally is cheaper and a quicker process. Sorry to disappoint
but, money was an issue plus, you cant be afraid to try new
problem is that triggers and digital technology enhance things so
much that no one knows who is a good player and who is not anymore.
With digital drums, plenty of hack drummers who have no style or
technique sound monstrous in the studio. Its really the producer
and not the drummer you are listening too. It makes me sick when
I see some of these guys in concert and if it wasnt for all
the triggers on their kit, they would sound like wimps. To my surprise,
the fans dont seem to know the difference. I dont want
to name names but youd be surprised how many guys are out
there, who are considered great drummers but are nothing without
the digital technology. As a matter of fact I went to see a prominent
speed metal band in Germany one night on a off day and when I got
to the venue, the show was cancelled. I went back stage and found
out that the drummers computer crashed and that he couldnt
play his parts without its aide. Meanwhile on their record the guy
sounds like the second coming of Dave Lombardo. I looked at his
bass drum pedals, which were rigged to barely move to impact the
drumhead. What a fake! And to think, there are drummers all over
the metal scene, (especially in Death Metal), just as pathetic as
this guy whom the fans think are monster players.
For me, digital technology just gets in the way of my expression,
and takes away from my power and finesse. Id rather have a
real organic sound even if it isnt perfect. I
hope I never get lumped into the category with all the hack drummers
Ive eluded too. It will really break my heart after all the
work Ive done to develop myself as an artist. I still say
that John Bonham had the greatest drum sound in Rock history. Jimmy
Page used just two microphones to capture that mans brilliance
and turn the world on its head. Its no wonder that producers
today are beginning to go back in time to rip off all the drum sounds
from the past, before there was any of this digital nonsense and
things were real.
sorry to those of you who are disappointed with the sound of the
drums on the new CD. However, before you doubt that Im actually
playing those parts, come out and see us on tour. When I get done
ripping your heads off with my usual sound and attack, all you doubters
will be silenced.
David: Yes I am very satisfied with the compositions!
They are among my strongest to date. I am satisfied with the performances.
I am pleased that I could do many different types of vocal styles
on the album, and I am very pleased with Franks drumming.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. He is for me...
the finest drummer in Rock Music today. And yes... that is him playing
on the album. I did not program the drums. If I had I would say
so and list that in the credits. We have always been a very honest
band, even to the point of leaving in mistakes on a track, as long
as the feel is right.
We did use a digital drum kit, which is a different sound. I find
that for the slower tracks the digital sound is more than fine.
Sometimes on the faster songs it can be a bit much. But I do enjoy
the tom toms on this album. And I like that you can hear all of
Franks playing properly. On every album I am never fully satisfied
with the final mix, and if I were not stopped... I would still be
mixing NOBLE SAVAGE! So this album is no exception.
There is nothing wrong with this mix. All things are
in proportion to what really needs to be heard. I think it is a
fair and decent mix, which does not detract in any way from the
ideas in the compositions, but still that being said... I would
have loved to have been able to spend a bit more time on it and
to take it into another studio as well. I think it could have been
improved in some areas, and the potential of the songs could be
even more pronounced. A mix is a very relative, subjective personal
Edward: My favorite moments are "Angel of
Death", "Immortal I Stand" and "God above God".
I do think the album turned out amazing, I wish we had more time
and weren´t rushed to meet a deadline but the power and passion
is there, the songs move me.
Josh: For me, I like "Childslayer", "The
Hidden God" and " Visions of Eden". Its hard
to choose. I can say that Im very satisfied with my performances.
As they consisted of playing all the 7-string rhythm guitar tracks
and a couple of guitar melodies here and there, Im happy with
the way it added to the character of the songs. Although you are
always limited by time and money when recording, I think we are
4. What was the process by which the album came together?
David: I do not go anywhere near a recording studio
until I have a song completely worked out in my mind, on paper and
on cassette. I am very primitive in my approach. On this album I
composed as I always do, on my acoustic piano, using a very cheap
cassette recorder to capture all my ideas. After I maxed everything
out on cassette, I went into the studio and made fairly elaborate
demos of all the tracks and presented them to the Group. Once they
learned the parts we began recording. We recorded far more music
than actually appears on VISIONS OF EDEN, so there will be much
more to come.
Edward: The songs were from David´s work
on the Lilith project. The man wrote 60 songs so we picked what
we thought would make a strong record. This also was good because
it gave me a chance to stock up a bunch of new guitar riffs, so
to all you guitar lovers stay tuned!!
Josh: It pretty much followed your typical process
... first the writing, then recording the ideas, the addition of
each instrument. In this case most of the keyboards and orchestration
were done first, then drums, then guitars, with the vocal performances
being done along the way.
5. What do you think are the strongest moments in Virgin
Steeles musical history?
For me the strongest time in VS history was the Invictus era and
tour. I might be a bit biased because thats early on when
I joined the band. It was all very exciting and new to me. Plus,
the Metal concert scene was booming. We toured constantly.
Thanks again for all your support and belief in the band.
By the Hammer of Thor,
The Baron, The Kraken,
David: Now! We are entering our finest hour, and
I believe that the coming years will see some of the most Glorious
Cheers to you All... Thanks for listening! David DeFeis
Josh: For me, I feel that we all get stronger with
time. Ive said before that we all grow as musicians, as performers
and as people. So the best is still yet to come ...
Edward: All the years with the mighty Steele have
been strong and if I had to pick the most exciting time it was the
Marriage Era and the reissue of Age of Consent. I thought "Perfect
mansions" was a masterpiece and for those of you who attended
the acoustic shows witnessed David and I taking that song to the
heavens.The shows have always been the best moments in VS´s
history. It`s all about the music and our brothers and sisters of
We thank you for all your support and dedication. Rock On!!!!!!