Death Dealer - Ross The Boss

Death Dealer - Ross The Boss

DEATH DEALER have released their sophomore album “Hallowed Ground” and there is no better way to dig deeper into the making of it than speaking to Ross The Boss. Ross gave many insights, talked about the band's future plans and then revealed that DEATH DEALER are working on the third album... Yes, that’s right; Metal keeps flowing from this band, so keep reading.

Death Dealer - Ross The Boss

Hi Ross, this is Dimitris from METAL KAOZ calling.

Hey buddy, what’s happening?

Everything is fine here in Chicago, Ross. So, how are you? Do you feel excited seeing the second DEATH DEALER album being released?

I am absolutely excited!

And it was released through SMG records, right?
Yeah, it was.

Was there any specific reason to change record labels?
We had Soulfood handling the distribution for the first record, so this is our first label. Basically we didn’t change labels.

Ok, cool and is this a multi-record deal?
Yes, it is. SMG is a real old school label and we are doing everything properly which is incredible.

Great! So, how long had you been working on “Hallowed Ground”?
We put out “Warmaster” about three years ago and after it had been released, we started working on our second record. So, we had the songs for a while and working on them on and off. DEATH DEALER exists in a song rich environment I must say.

Even though you started working on the second album almost right away, do you see any difference in the songwriting?
That’s a good question; our songwriting has definitely matured; it’s deeper and, you know, the band played on an arena tour, opening for METAL ALL STARS in Eastern Europe and we played in front 85,000 people. And since I was part of METAL ALL STARS I’d say I opened up for myself... (laughs). So yes, the band has matured and became a real band, so now we have released our second album on a record label and we are actually very happy.

And the lineup has a new drummer, Steve Bolognese. So, my question is what did Steve bring in DEATH DEALER’s sound?
Steve Bolognese is one of the most original and unique drummer I have ever heard. He is an incredible drummer and plays the whole set. His playing is a combination of finesse and chops; I mean, he is a Berkley guy and he is a great fellow. Oh man, he is an amazing drummer and you can hear it in the new album.

Was the album a team effort?
Of course it is; everything is a team effort with DEATH DEALER. The fact that we come from different spots in the world means that we have to utilize the internet. We send things around each other because we cannot be at the same plane all the time; Stu lives in Sydney, I live in New York and the rest three in LA but still we found a way to do it. We Skyped as a band together and I think what matters the most is the end result. And the record is a testimony to that.

Is it just my impression or indeed this album has a darker atmosphere compared to “Warmaster”?

Yeah, I’d say you right; as I said, our songwriting has matured and there is also some epic stuff, you know like “The Way Of The Gun” so yes, it’s a little bit darker.

Now that you mentioned specific songs, in “Gunslinger” there is the melody from the movie “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”; are you fan of the Western Spaghetti movies?
Absolutely; the old Westerns are fantastic. I am a big fan of Clint Eastwood.

I was thinking that this song would be excellent for a single but instead you chose “Break The Silence”; was there a specific reason for choosing this?
Well, “Break The Silence” was chosen by the label; they really thought that this had a good chance to hit the radio. “Gunslinger” or maybe “I Am The Revolution” will be the next single.

Will you make a video too?
Well, I don’t know; we don’t write the checks if you know what I am saying.

Of course I understand, especially nowadays…
Yeah and the fact that we do have a video is amazing. The people in SMG are fantastic and young guys. They wanted to do the video and I think it’s refreshing. Most of the record labels throw and thousand releases on the wall and hope that one of them will stick. But nothing happens. SMG realizes that they have a winner and, in fact, they came with us during the last tour, when we filmed the video, and saw everything we did.

In the beginning of “Plan Of The Attack” there is quote from Iron Man coming from “The Avengers” movie, right?

Sean Peck is a die-hard fan of Sci-Fi and of Marvel comics and has a deep knowledge on this.

Will you release “Hallowed Ground” on vinyl too?

Will you include or maybe I should ask do you have any bonus material?
There is no bonus material and maybe we will add some live recorded songs because we have recorded every show we did. So, we’ll see.

Have you chosen the songs from the new album that you will play live?
We can practically play anything because most of the people do not know us yet. Still, all the material we have done is for live. I mean, we have tested the songs from our debut in front of crowds. From “Hallowed Ground” I’d say “I Am The Revolution” but after some days from its release, we will be able to play a lot of songs.

Speaking of playing live, what do you have in calendar?
We have a West Coast run in January and the rest of the year is being planned right now.

You said West Coast, so what about the East Coast?
Well, I don’t know about the East Coast yet. I think once the record blows off - hopefully it will - then we will have lots of opportunities.

I am asking this because this year has been rather hard with not so many people going to shows here in the US.
Yeah, it’s hard. Music business is hard and this is the way it is. There has to be a band to move people and I think DEATH DEALER is one; I mean the way we play onstage and the charisma and the credibility we have as musicians. Although the credibility is not enough to make a band because there has to be chemistry and good songs to play live. These are the things that make a band and we have them. If no one knew who we were and DEATH DEALER was our first band it wouldn’t matter because we would still have these songs and the charisma.

Do you have in mind to release a third solo album?

Not right now because my whole life is divided between two bands; I have THE DICTATORS NYC which is touring and it's bigger than ever and then I have DEATH DEALER. That’s enough to fill my plate. Plus, I have METAL ALL STARS so I am very busy. I am not saying that they won’t be a third album, but not right now.

Yeah, I see what you’re saying, and now a not so serious question; the demon on the front cover with the DEATH DEALER logo on his forehead is going to eat someone; who is he?

(laughs) It’s a very unfortunate person I’d say. I really don’t know but I think we have to give the demon a name; he looks pretty gruesome.

And it goes hand in hand with the darker atmosphere of album.
Yes it does and it’s a great piece of artwork. I think for the third album the Death Dealer from the Warmastercover should come and kick this demon in the ass. We are thinking ahead, although we have already started writing songs for our third album.

You have already started? Oh my…
Yes, we have. You know, some bands out there take four to five years between albums but I am not going to tell who they are, but we don’t.

Some say that writing albums back to back, you end up with the same music.
That’s true but do you think we have repeated ourselves in this this album? Do you think it sounds like the first one?

No, I don’t.
I think we are not going to do this. I mean, by the time the third album will come out, we will have more live experiences and the reaction of the world on the second one, so who knows what will happen and how long it will take us to produce another one. But the truth is that we have started writing songs and this is the way we are.

That sounds awesome, Ross and thank you for your time! I hope we’ll see DEATH DEALER live in Chicago soon.

Absolutely. We love Chicago; it’s a great town with great people. God bless, Dimitris and thank you too.