Tom Murphy of Denver Westword recently conducted an interview with vocalist Mark Osegueda of San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANGEL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Westword: You recorded your new album, “The Dream Calls For Blood”, in Sanford, Florida, with Jason Suecof at Audiohammer Studios, where you recorded your previous album. Why did you choose to repeat recording there and working with him?
Mark Osegueda: We were so fond of how “Relentless Retribution” turned out, and we knew going into the writing of this record that we were going to carry on the same aggressive nature in the music but knock it up another level in terms of that aggressiveness. We liked Jason‘s production so much and the relationship we established with him the last time, we assumed it could only be stronger the second time, and that proved to be the case. We got in there, and we were much more comfortable with each other. We knew what to expect from each other, and we went in with a batch of songs we felt were a lot stronger than the last record, which we were pretty damned proud of. The end result surpassed our expectations.
Westword: DEATH ANGEL is often hailed as one of the most important thrash bands in the history of the genre. Since you came back, did you find that the community was still there strongly for you?
Mark Osegueda: When we first came back, people were definitely interested, but I think it was more of a nostalgia thing. Once we started releasing more and more material, people realized we meant business. Then we had a whole other hiccup when we lost Dennis [Pepa] and Andy [Galeon], eventually. Then we had to win people over again with the newer lineup. It took a lot of work, and I think the majority of the work for the last three years was touring for “Relentless Retribution” with the new lineup. It worked in our favor because, live, we became a force to be reckoned with, and people saw that, and we not only won the respect of a lot of people who had written us off but also people who had not heard of us and just saw us live at those shows.
Westword: You’ve spoken to the fact that you still have this young anger in you that has driven or informed your music in some way. What still makes you angry in a way that is productive?
Mark Osegueda: Luckily, the style of music I play is the perfect release to take out this aggression. You know, I don’t have to look too far about things that piss me off. A lot of it could be the state of the world today and the things going on with world leaders in different countries — that pisses me off. But also just being someone my age still pursuing his dream, it’s definitely not all candy and cake. While I see friends I went to high school with definitely went far beyond me, but it doesn’t necessarily make them happier, and it’s not what I want, but I’ve made a lot of sacrifices in my life to continue doing what I love to do, and those are things that I guess a lot of people wouldn’t do to make sure they can do this. Sometimes it pisses you off, the sacrifices I’ve had to make, and the personal loss I’ve had from being on the road, and trying to maintain relationships at home, and relationships with friends and loved ones. A lot of that falls by the wayside when you set your mind on being a musician. You’ve got to take the good with the bad and a lot of the times the bad is trying to maintain personal contact with friends and loved ones.
Read the entire interview at Denver Westword.