Thursday February 22nd 2018

Interview with Death Ray Vision


Interview with Death Ray Vision at Great Scott

By Jim Slimedog


Death Ray Vision is a fairly new metal/hardcore band, but their members have been around for awhile. In fact, two of their members are in quite popular bands- Brian Fair (Vocals) in Shadows Fall and Mike D’Antonio (Bass) in Killswitch Engage. The band is rounded out with Pete Cortese and Zack Wells on guitars and Colin Conway on drums.

They combine the power and dexterity of metal with the speed and aggression of hardcore and are not afraid to go where the music leads them creating an exciting, original sound. One of my favorite metal bands on our site, we recently were blown away by them at a recent gig. I got to talk with Mike and Zack minutes before they pulverized us from the stage at Great Scott’s in Allston.

Slimedog- So how did you guys get started?

Mike (Bass)- I’m also in Killswitch Engage (very popular band) and we’ve been on a break for about a year and once you’re a musician you’re always a musician. So I’ve been writing for a while and I had some songs that didn’t really fit in with Killswitch, ….they (the songs) were more hardcore. I started sending demos to people I knew and immediately Brain Fair (Vocals) said he wanted to do it. And then Zack (Guitar) and Colin (Drums) fell into place and that’s how the band started.

Slimedog- So with Killswitch Engage being so popular is this more a side project?

Mike- It kind of has to be, yeah, my main job would be Killswitch. Everything in my life gets pushed aside for that band no matter what it is. Whether its family functions or anything it’s one of the sacrifices you have to make in order to make the band actually work. This band was something really fun to do in the interim. When I go back out on tour or Brian goes back out on tour. It’s gonna be pretty difficult; but we’re trying to get as much done as we possibly can in the amount of time we have. So up until then it’s all full sails for Death Ray Vision and when ever we’re back, we can coordinate  more shows and that’s when we’ll get back together and do more stuff. Right now we’re ready to record a record so hopefully that will come out before we have to quit for a little while.

Slimedog- So you do have some recording plans?

Zack- Not necessarily specific plans but we have enough material to make a record. So we’re just trying to sort out how we want to do that. Before these guys (Mike and Brian) get full steamed going into their next cycle we want to try to do it. But Pete (Guitar), Colin and I live here and we can start it if we need to and whenever they’re back they can polish it off with their stuff.

Slimedog- How would you describe your style?

Mike- Originally, we were just a band that mimicked the Cro-Mags so; I would say very 90’s hardcore. Then all this other stuff started blowin’ in, some from Pete Cortese, who’s a Southern Rock guy. So now it’s turned into Motorhead meets Cro-Mags.

Zack- Cro-mags, Leeway, Crobar, little bit of Slayer, little bit old Metalica, it’s kind of a mix of a lot of different styles. You’ll hear tonight a bunch of new songs that all have a different feel to them. Some are a little more funky, some are very metal, some are very hardcore.

Slimedog- I think you guys see yourself more as a hardcore band while I look at you more as metal.

Zack- Well, we’re more like the metal/hardcore crossover bands like Cro-Mags, Leeway- they have the metal edge and riffs but they play a more hardcore style of metal versus the technical or melodic stuff that was going on when they first came out.

Mike- Yeah, it was always based on the borderline bands  that could be called either metal or hardcore but paved the way for the new breed of metal-core, I guess, I don’t know. But we’re aiming for hardcore whether we hit the spot or not that is a different story.

Zack- Because people write songs the way they write songs so it’s gonna sound like the people in the band no matter what they’re doing, what style it is. Tonight one of the new songs sounds like it could be old metal, then it has a melodic chorus and then it’s this Crobar, Southern Rock, metal ending to it, which doesn’t make sense, but it totally works.

Slimedog- Any thought about the current state of metal or where it’s going?

Mike- Whatya think about that? (To Zack) You’re more in touch with the scene than I am? (Laughter)

Zack- There’s so many genres now, genres of
genres and genres of those genres, so I feel a lot of metal is becoming, I don’t want to say over produced, but it’s so perfect on the records that it’s kind of losing the human feel to it. If you listen to those old Entombed records or Terrorizer they don’t sound technically great but the songs are awesome. It has unique things to it while now all the records sound the same. There are no little screw-ups that made it unique like in the past.

Slimedog- Who writes in the band?

Mike- It’s between everybody, really, I mean everyone has their hand in it, everyones writing songs. That’s the cool part, everyone’s contributing.

Slimedog- How about the lyrics?

Mike- Brian, all Brian, no one wants to write lyrics. Are you kidding me? (Laughter)

Slimedog- Make the singer do it. Who drinks the most in the band?

Zack- Depends on when and where, on the road, it’s definitely me, from what I’ve heard. Here at home- I guess it’s me (Laughter) I don’t know, I only drink whiskey, so I drink a lot of proof but these guys drink a lot of beer so I don’t know.

Slimedog- So they have a pint of beer and you have a pint of whiskey?

Zack- Maybe. (Laughter)

Slimedog- How about a favorite dive bar?

Zack- For Boston I would say The Model, Silouettes.

Mike- I would say Ralph’s which is in Worcester.

Slimedog- Oh, yeah, that’s been there for decades and they’re still having bands.

Mike- Lots of good shows out there, lots of good bands.

Slimedog- Who’s most likely to become a serial killer?

Zach- Colin.

Mike- Our drummer for sure.

Zach- He has dreads, not as long as Brian’s, but his dreads are slowly eating his brain. He’s becoming crazier and crazier by the day.

Mike- They stopped growing outward and now they’re growing inward and they’re knotting up in his head. The inside is all cobwebs now, so we’ll see what happens in a couple of years.


You can find Death Ray Vision’s band profile here and their EP review here.

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