Kevin Johnson of NoTreble.com recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA/DOWN and current KILL DEVIL HILL bassist Rex Brown. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
NoTreble.com: I understand you’re in the studio working on the next KILL DEVIL HILL album.
Rex: Absolutely. We’ve got nine tracks with the bass and drums, and I don’t know how many guitars we’ve done. About half of those have vocals. We’re kind of on a drifting schedule because we’re using [producer Jeff Pilson], and he’s as busy as he can get. We’re moving along, man, and this stuff is kicking ass. This [record] is more like everybody writing together and knowing everyone else’s strengths. Before when I came into the band, they had a lot of things where the structure was already there. I just put my spice into it. I’d rearrange some stuff and really get stuff down with Vinny [Appice, drums] in pre-production and stuff like that. I spend a lot of time with [guitarist Mark Zavon] with the riff, and we’ll take it to Vinny to put his splash on it and it can completely change. He’ll say, “Ah… let’s put something different here.” So it’s more of a collaborative thing on this one than anything that we’ve had before. I’m excited. If you like the first one, this one is going to blow you out. The melodies are crazy.
NoTreble.com: So it’s collaborative writing? Everyone brings something to the table?
Rex: Well, I mean, everybody did on the last one, but this one more is just all for one. Before, someone would bring something in, or I’d bring in a song. Yeah, everybody is working at their own speed and their own pace. It’s much more of a collective feeling.
NoTreble.com: When do you think the album will be out?
Rex: I wish tomorrow, but as soon as we can get it out. I want to make sure it’s good before we put anything out, that’s for damn sure. If we’ve got nine songs, and I know I’ve got three and Mark’s got three, we just need to get together and hash it out. It’s not all over the place. It’s collective, but there’s more diversity on this one than the last one within the same confines of heaviness. It’s all heavy but it’s got elements of us as a band growing after playing and growing together for the last year and half. I used to sit around and watch BLACK SABBATH and HEAVEN HELL and sit behind Geezer‘s [Butler, bass] cabinet and burn a joint and watch Vinny play. It’s getting to the point where I know where he’s going to go with his fill so I can go with it. It’s one of those things where before, we had to really work those things out. This time around, it’s where we know exactly where we want to put it. There’s no second guessing what we want to do.
NoTreble.com: That kind of psychic connection is something you get from touring together, right?
Rex: Oh, yeah. The more you jam with somebody, it’s more of a comrades in arms kind of thing, and that’s what Vinny and I have together. I’ve said it before, but I’ve been blessed with three great drummers in my life, and for a bass player, that’s heaven. I’m grateful for that for sure. You have to have a really good drummer, but also a lot of the times if you listen to any really good tracks, the bass player holds down the whole fort. For me, all this time it’s been knowing when not to play instead of going all over the place. Anybody can do that, but you know you don’t want to jump on the vocals. On some of these parts, I’ll just let Vinny take a fly around the toms, where other times if it needs to be heavy to go into a bridge part, we really worked out those kinks in the armor that we maybe didn’t have on the first one.
Read the entire interview from NoTreble.com.