CLARA RAMAS INTERVIEW #2 WITH DAVID DEFEIS:
1. Question: Hello David it’s nice to speak with you
again. How’s life?
Answer: Cheers Clara!!! Greetings, Salutations & Thanks very
much! Same here. Hmmm…all is going fairly well at present.
2.Q: I must say I enjoy all your Works. They are truly
inspiring. Where does the inspiration come from?
Answer: Hey, Thanks very much for all your kind words! I do work
very intensely on all my music & lyrics. This is my Passion,
my Life, my Reason to be! When someone such as yourself, hears these
works and gets inspired, it is incredibly satisfying to me! I derive
all of my nourishment from living Life. I write about what I live
through, think about, love & hate. I try to draw energy from
all the stimuli that cross my senses. Basically I’m just trying
to unravel the Mysteries of the Universe through words & music.
3.Q: I particularly like WHEN THE LEGENDS DIE. I think
that it is probably the most beautiful song ever written. I keep
wondering how the hell did you manage to express so well all of
Orestes' feelings, and about how he decides that the only way to
purify the “House” is to kill himself. The self-sacrifice
to save the others also reminds me of Prometheus (“I have
chosen, I bleed for Mankind Watch me die I'm the God in Man”....),
and it's obvious that both of them are like some kind of Jesus Christ
Answer: Again HEY, Thanks so very much for all
of your kind words, and for sharing your thoughts about WHEN THE
LEGENDS DIE, etc... I love all things Dramatic, Dark & Tragic.
I enjoy scaling the heights & plummeting the depths of the Human
experience. I had to try to live in his World, and also inside the
heads of each of the other characters. I dove deeply into Orestes
character, and found that I could strongly identify with all of
his emotions. It was cathartic to live inside his rage, pain, confusion,
sadness, etc. Only in this way could I then begin to try to express
his World. The World of “ATREUS” is not so very different
to the World we live in today. I looked at his Life and I saw that
his death could be the only possible solution for the never-ending
bloodshed/curse on the “House”. Anything else…would
have been false. Yes, to me Orestes in THE HOUSE OF ATREUS does
have a kind of Christ like quality. I see him as another incarnation
of the Eternal God-man. The dying & resurrecting Ancient Myth/philosophical
idea that is represented by Prometheus, Osiris, Dionysus, Christ...etc....
And speaking of Prometheus, I've always wanted to know something.
How did you do the intro to the song? Is it your real voice singing
those high notes? Did you use any special effects?? You sang brilliantly
on that song, combining your usual strength and power with the nice,
subtle sounds of the beginning.
Answer: As regards my vocals on “Prometheus The Fallen One”,
yes that is definitely me singing on the introduction and everywhere
else. I have many voices that I use to express my lyrics. No, there
are no strange or special effects there, just a bit of reverb, and
echo, that's it. I can sing that high with my whistle tone voice.
That is something I use only occasionally. I did a few of those
kinds of notes also on the outro of Hellfire Woman. Thanks sincerely
for all your kind words about my vocals. I really do appreciate
5.Q: Are the Stories of Christ really similar to the Dionysus
Myths? And isn’t that your middle name? And what about the
story of Metallica writing you guys a letter?
Answer: As regards Dionysus, believe me the Myths concerning him,
Osiris, Attis, Mithra, etc., are all identical to the Jesus story.
It's all the same dying/resurrecting God-man tale, reborn in different
ages for different cultures. The story is from the Dawn of Time.
And yea... that is my middle name. And yes it's true about Metallica
writing us a letter. They enjoyed “Children of The Storm”,
from the first album. We met them in the early days a few times.
They were very nice guys!
6.Q: I applaud you for staying true to your own particular
vision. Are you satisfied with all that you’ve achieved?
Answer: Thanks for all your kind words regarding my/our staying
true to our identity/vision!!! I appreciate that. VIRGIN STEELE
was not formed to be the richest or biggest Group on the Planet.
We formed and we stay together, because we want to play a certain
type of Music, and we wish to turn other people on to this type
of sound. Am I satisfied you ask??? Yes to a certain degree I suppose.
My life has turned out all right. I have my ups & downs, but
I'm not going to complain....no one listens anyway! Ha!!! Musically
speaking I am proud of what we have accomplished, especially these
last few albums from “THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN & HELL”
through to “THE HOUSE OF ATREUS” albums. And I do think
the best is yet to come, creatively speaking, sooo...I look forward
Speaking of your first steps as a musician, how old were you when
you recorded the stuff which appears on the interview in the re-issue
of the Guardians of the Flame album? Don't tell me "slightly
before the formation of VS" because I already know that. Plus
really, I like your voice there. I prefer it now of course but it
was also good back then. The fragment of No Quarter is as good,
if not better, than the original one!! And not many people can sing
like Robert Plant, so that's pretty impressive I think.
Answer: I was about 15 or 16 when I made those basement recordings.
Thanks very much for your kind words about the No Quarter vocal.
Plant was always a huge influence. I still love his voice. I really
like his “Fate Of Nations” album. In the early days
I used to jam on the Led Zeppelin catalogue quite a bit with Edward.
We still sometimes play those songs in rehearsal.
8.Q: I was listening to the Marriage albums and thought
I'd ask you a couple of things... In the first interview we did
you spoke about Numerology and number seven, but nine appears quite
often too... what about that number? (I challenge the Nine in Heaven
divine for example). And I don't quite understand the Weeping of
the Spirits lyric, it's a bit confusing. Could you explain that
for me? Thanks!!
Answer: Ahhh yes…certainly! Nine has many, many meanings.
Nine is another Magick number, as are all numbers actually. There
are 9 Muses, (creative powers...all female!), 9 upside down is 6,
etc...The "9" in the “I challenge the Nine in Heaven
Divine” lyric, are the 9 orders of Angels. Seraphim, Cherubim,
Thrones, etc...Nine is a number of completeness. It completes the
essential numbers. You spend 9 months in the womb. It replicates
the Power of "3", three times, and 3 is another Power
number. Three is the number of completeness. The Pythagoreans called
3 the perfect number as it has a beginning a middle and an end.
In addition, ”Three”, is the number of Creation. It
is considered the number of Man & God. A triangle is a 3 sided
shape/object representing procreation, and the “as above so
below” philosophy along with the theory that God is Man written
large, etc. is found in Three. The result…the greatness of
9!!! Also Nine stands for great Spiritual & Mental development
Weeping Of The Spirits, is essentially about the war of brother
against brother for example, like Cain & Abel, or Father &
Son, etc. people or beings who should be One, who should be close....but…they
People who should be One but are enemies, that's very interesting.
Maybe that appears in more of your lyrics? I'll think about that...
A: Yes perhaps it does…Seek & you shall find!
10.Q: And I was wondering, where does the name Magick (with
the k) come from? Who added it? I don't know much about that, but
I recall reading it had something to do with some kind of occultism,
maybe Aleister Crowley, I don't know.
A: Magick with the "K" again is involved with Numerology,
& Gematria. “K”, being the 11th letter of the Alphabet,
is another Great Number of Power. Eleven is the beginning of the
higher series of numbers and as such represents the higher Spiritual/Supernatural
Realms. It is the number of revelation and the “Knowing”
of the Godhead. This also ties into the theory of Gematria, where
the name of a "thing" is the essence of the "thing".
There is always a hidden name of a “thing”/entity, and
again this is where Gematria comes in to play. For as such “Knowing”
a Name concedes Great Power to the “Knower”. All that
I am speaking of is concerned with the Arts of Magick/Occultism
and the Spiritual Plane of existence. Yes Crowley...you are correct
is involved. The “K” comes from him. He was considered
a great Magus. He was quite keen on the number 11.
11. Q: Thanks for that in-depth explanation, it helped
me a lot. So the three, nine and seven seem to be quite meaningful
numbers... Speaking of signs and such things, I find it fascinating
and extremely beautiful how you use certain entities or elements
to represent different concepts, such as these numbers, words etc.
The Sun for instance, I have been thinking lately about that and
noticed the importance of it in your lyrics. Apart form the obvious
cases (Perfect Mansions...), it appears quite a lot in House of
Atreus II, (“I worship the Sun”,”To walk in the
Sun like Gods”. “I rise with the Sun”, ”We'll
beat them in Sunlight”.” Victory in the Sunlight of
Union Above and Below”. ” Smile on the Sun, you are
the Savior”, etc), all are very connected with Orestes and
Apollo, which makes sense as he is the god of Light, but also with
Orestes himself, perhaps as a sign of his power and might... so,
what does the Sun mean to you, when you use it in your works?
A: A good question! The Sun is the Life-force,
the Power, essential to all Life on Earth. In Astrology it is considered
a ruling force, all the Planets revolve around it, it is the heart
of our universe, and along with the Moon, they both rule the inner
& outer personality of a human being. It is something to aspire
to, to flee from, to love and to defy.
12.Q: Since you chose music at such an early age, was
it difficult, I mean, at school for example, was your choice respected
by teachers etc? And what about… your family? Well they are
artists as well if I am not mistaken, so at least they supported
you I guess.
Answer: Respected by my teachers???!!! Hmmm....Actually yes some
of them were supportive. Others....not so. On no…not at all!
In fact there was one guy who actually tried to ban my first group
PHOENIX, from performing at the school, because…we “riled
the kids up too much”, he claimed. However, anyway I never
cared one fig leaf about their opinions. I had my own path and I
raced down it headlong into...victory or disaster. I more often
than not didn't care which. My piano teacher during my teen years,
a Mr. DiNapoli, was truly really great, very supportive & instructive.
I learned an enormous amount about Music through his lessons. My
Family was fine with my decisions. They are all in the Arts anyway,
and completely crazy!
Your sister, the one who is an opera singer, did she teach you anything
about singing? When listening to some of your falsettos, I could
have sworn you were an opera singer!! It sounds much more beautiful
and melodic that the usual screaming that other rock singers do.
Answer: THANKS!!! But…hmmm…No my sister never gave
me any formal lessons. However I did learn little things by listening
to & watching her sing. Also my other sister was a Rock singer
and I listened to her as well and gained a few insights that way.
Again…Hey, Thanks so very much for your kindness!!!
14.Q: When did you realize that Music was going to be
Answer: I always knew that I wanted to be involved in music. I
first Rock group at 11, and I never looked back! I was driven to
it. The Music chose me I think. Growing up in a house where I was
surrounded by Rock Music, Classical Music, Opera, & Theater,
I probably could not help turning out this way. As they say, “as
the twig is bent…so shall grow the tree”.
15.Q: I've just read somewhere that Life Among the Ruins
and Blood &
Gasoline, were originally written for the “Ruins” album
but they remained
unfinished until “Marriage I”, is it true?
Answer: Yes, both “Blood & Gasoline”, & “Life
Among The Ruins”, were written around the time of the "RUINS"
album, but not quite ready so I waited until they
"grew up" a bit/developed further before committing them
to tape. I worked
on them a bit more until they took the shape that you are now familiar
16.Q: Speaking further about “Blood & Gasoline”.
It is one of my favorite songs on that album, although I don't like
the guitar solo.... But I think the lyrics are absolutely great!!
The chorus is awesome... are the first words of each pair somehow
connected, I mean, gold, hot, young / silver, cold, old? They seem
to fit together....
Yes they fit together in that they are either opposites (hot/cold,
young/old), or, they are similar in function. Blood & Gasoline
both burn, ignite, enflame…cure or kill, etc. Gold & Silver
speaking strictly in monetary terms…can provide security and
peace of mind, or corrupt ones Soul.
17.Q: Barbaric Romanticism is a great definition of your
music, not only accurate, but also very poetic...The mixing of 2
things that are apparently opposite is one of the things
that makes VS so great. What is it with this opposite thing you
have going on?
Answer: Thanks Clara. I am a firm believer in mixing opposites
to see what new third element might arise from the union. It’s
rather like Alchemy, where they tried to turn base metals into gold,
or the philosopher’s stone, to find the secrets of the Universe,
eternal Life, etc…It is the result of the collision of the
two disparate elements that intrigues me.
18. Q: Can you tell me about some funny experience on tour?
ANSWER: Sure! There have been many, many, many!!! Perhaps the most
insane experience was when I went completely berserk in GREECE.
This was after the concert. I had stayed up until the morning drinking,
and drinking, and then…I wanted to have breakfast. I wanted
Edward to join me but he was in a dead sleep, so…I took out
the Sword and destroyed his bed, while he was still sleeping in
it. I then proceeded to chop up everything in my room with the Sword,
including myself! And then dripping blood, I went to the rooftop
breakfast buffet where I had this wonderful fight with our sound
guy and attempted to behead him with a butter knife!
Some questions for Ed Pursino
and Josh Block ...
1. What do you do when not performing with VIRGIN STEELE?
Josh: PRACTICE.... among other things of course.
I teach guitar and bass. There are some other musical projects I
work on regularly, and I try to enjoy the little free time that
Ed: Living life, having fun,going to dinner and
taking long drives in the country side. Sometimes I workout, buy
suits or shoes, have lunch with friends, normal everyday stuff,
spend some time in the office or the studio. I seem to be forever
What does "Metal" mean to you? Is it just music or something
Josh: Heavy Metal to me is a very strong part of
my background. It’s something that I grew up on, but there
are so many other musical roads to travel. Its a huge, endless path
in finding new sounds and styles that can really set off emotion.
Ed: Metal is a true brutal expression fueled by
anger, hate, war, blood, lust, also dancing with it`s lovely partner,
beauty, kindness, love, marriage etc.
3. After double albums and Trilogies and Metal Operas,
what's next for VS?
Josh: From what I gather there is much ahead ...
new records, live album/DVD, tour dates. We’ll see .....
Ed: Rest!!!!!! just kidding!! More albums, writing
and wonderful special events.
4. Do you enjoy touring? Any funny stories to tell?
Josh: I LOVE to tour and play out. There is nothing
in this world I’d rather do. There are tons of stories ranging
from wild parties to busted eggs!! Perhaps I’ll share them
one evening over a nice bottle of merlot.
Ed: Yes I enjoy the wonderful moments on stage
and the band parties are fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. How did all the Italian Festivals go? Any special touring
plans? When do you return to Europe?
Josh: The Italian shows were great. The fans were
amazing as usual. Right now we have a couple of dates in Greece
coming up this winter, and some others on the horizon.
Ed: The italian festivals were splendid, I love
every one of our italian fans more then they love us!!!!! David
and I are working on a very special acoustic presentation of all
the favorites VS moments, a very special event. We will be doing
Greece in February.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Josh: Hopefully still doing what I love. I have
no intention of slowing down. Music is a life long career for me
so hopefully I’ll see continued success in it.
Ed: Doing exactly what I`m doing now, no bullshit.
Probably a little grey however but my wallet will probably be much
7. Can you tell me about your stage set up and why you
use what you use?
Josh: I use a 17 string bass and 22,000 watt bass
rig! I use what I use because, most of the time, its reliable.
Ed: My current stage set up is the new Marshall
JCM20000 models, they sound great for live gigs!!!!!! However I
might be making a change soon.
8. Any news about Lilith? How was the Lilith Stage Presentation
received this Summer?
Josh: The premier this summer was absolutely amazing;
a huge success. It was the perfect union of heavy metal and the
Ed: All of the news has been positive, however
I did miss the stage presentation this summer... However I am a
big fan of all the songs that David wrote. Dave worked his ass off
writing and advising the theater. Great Job Old Boy!!!!!!!!!