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Interview TRUEST DAMNED

A talk with
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PETE WILDER

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Give us the ever-so predictable interview opening run down of the band, who are you, what do you play and give us history of TRUEST DAMNED.

 

I'm Pete Wilder. I'm currently the drummer/vocalist of Truest Damned and we are looking for a full-time drummer in the New York City area so that I can get out a front and sing. The Truest Damned line-up came together starting with Dan Shiraga and Jimmy Pena by around June of 2002. We searched fruitlessly for months for a bass player until we found Ron Richter in September of that year. Dan and Ron left by spring of 2002 and Ed Jalowiecki came on board as guitarist. He is awesome because he tends

to have a very unique, guitar sound. We are both fans of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that produced bands like Holocaust, Vardis, Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. Jimmy is the power metalhead, into Kamelot, Nightwish and other metal. Then we were joined recently by Jimmy's old friend, Kevin O'Reilly, who saw our website, caught our show the next night and joined the band on bass. He's a big Slayer fan. I think the band that we all have in common as fans the most is Iron Maiden. 

 

 

What were you doing before you got involved with TD?

 

I had tried over the years to form an original band and play the songs I wrote, but the scene in NY has traditionally been very imitative, original and just plain lame for new hard rock and metal. Other than Helmet and maybe Type O Negative , I can't think of any band of note since the early '80'sThings are changing now with the Lower East Side scene and the slight resurgence in metal, but it's still largely trendy crap that gets all the attention. I also spent some time getting a philosophy degree and renovating a house.

 

 

If you were'nt in a band where would you see/wish life to take you?

 

I'd probably be a college professor or a cultural anthropologist. I love learning about other cultures and travelling as well as stimulating my mind. 

 

 

What influences are predominant in your music?

 

'70's and '80s British hard rock and metal. I just love the heavy, riffing yet melodic rock and roll of that era. If I ever get to Birmingham, I'll have to kiss the ground that produced Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Led

Zeppelin. And I think I learned more about world history from some of these bands than I did in school!

My vocal heroes are Ozzy, Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford. Songwriting is Sabbath, Mercyful Fate, Maiden, Manowar, etc., and my drumming influences are Bill Ward, Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon and Ian Paice. 

 

 

Any special reasons chosen these influences?

 

Anything that's heavy and/or dark and picturesque appeals to my morbidity.  

 

 

How would you describe Truest Damned to a prospective listener?

 

I think Dan Shiraga said it best: Our sound is like 3/4 Black Sabbath, Judas Priest with a sprinkling of Manowar. 

 

 

Give the readers and myself some idea of how a typical TD song comes to fruition.

 

Usually, I just get a line or a riff in my head and than I develop it from there. I don't think too much. I just let it come naturally. Then I bring it to the guys, we add solos and bass, backing vocals and rock out. 

 

 

Are either of the other band members involved in any other projects?

 

Not that I know of.  

 

 

Is Truest Damned and the rest of the US underground Metal movement the kick in the bollocks the US scene needs?

 

Hell yeah! I'm very happy with some of the underground music that I hear coming out now, some of the punk, stoner rock and metal that I hear or who we play shows with. In New York I like the Spunk Lads, Napalm Stars, Slunt, Porn Rock, Sex Slaves, Gods of Fire and Suicide King. Nu-metal for the most part can suck my ass. 

 

 

Tell me about the acceptance and reactions from maniacs in outside America.

 

In the short time we've been playing we've gotten positive reactions to both the songs and the energy of Jimmy on stage. 

 

 

A short briefing history about the releases so far please? Some background information.

 

I released a demo in 2000 before I had a permanent band. It features two musician friends of mine on the disc, who were willing to do the sessions but had projects of their own. We still play those songs, "Whore" and "Sins" live and they will be rerecorded soon, along with several other songs by the "true" Truest Damned line up. 

 

 

Plans for a full length album in the near future?

 

Yeah, we have a lot of material and we want to record an LP, but we also want to play a lot of live shows to work up interest in the band. But there's nothing like playing live.  

 

 

What about making contact with major record companies? Did you get some offers or not?

 

It's too soon for that. We've only been gigging with this lineup for a couple of months, and like I said, we also need a permanent drummer.   

 

 

Did you find someone to take palce behind the drumkit so far?

 

We've got a nibble, but, no, not yet. So many people put so many things before music and don't devote the time necessary to playing in a rock band.  

 

 

Whats the most embarrassing CD you've ever had in your record collection and why?

 

I would say a couple of demos I had. One was a former guitarist's tape. I kept it as an example of how bad local Ridgewood, Queens bands often are, but then I needed a blank tape so I made it useful. I still have the lyrics somewhere. Another is a metal guitarist that's chanting in Hebrew and soloing incessantly. Songwriters need to know that just because something is meaningful to them, doesn't mean it will be to others. They should try to have a little objectivity.  

 

 

Your favorite bands are..

 

Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Thin Lizzy and UFO.  

 

 

What advice can you offer to up coming bands?

 

Listen to the great music of the past, not just the present. If your idols are merely mediocre bands with one or two good songs per album and few facets to their music, your music will be in a sorry state, as your influences shape your music.  

 

 

Talking bout playing Live on stage! What was it like the first time you went on stage? Any frightening moments or just walk the stage and play like hell, no looking back?

 

By the time I played metal live, I was so happy and determined and bottled-up creatively that I just let it all hang out and that's what we do live, just go for broke. It ain't no time to pose, just get ugly, sweaty and extreme.  

 

 

How are you guys on stage now and give me bandnames you were playing as support with please.

 

We just bang our head live! Metal is so awesome and we just let it flow. We have played with Mindless Sanity, Gray Cell Green, The Spunk Lads, 7th Day and tonight with Iron Priest and Delian League. 

 

 

What's the biggest venue you've played?

 

In the few months of playing live just local clubs. However, I'm going to The Czech Republic, Hungary and Germany in two weeks and I plan to drop off some demos to the clubowners there. 

 

 

How was playing in TD so far and how do you see the future?

 

Playing with the guys now is a pleasure both personally and professionally. The music is the best it's ever been. I see us recording soon and touring the northeast next year and hopefully Europe one day.  

 

 

All the best and good luck to all of you guys, thanx for your time anyway and if you've got something to add, just do it brother..its all yours!

 

I just want to say if you hate religion, hypocrisy, stupidity and like history and just love old-school metal and hard rock, Truest Damned wants you! Log onto our website, www.truestdamned.com  and say hi!