my metal brother how are you this day? The band speaks about “reclaiming
heavy metal’s throne”, to you who are the bands that built this tradition,
ruled the land and how do you intend to reacquire
it? What exactly are you referring to when you say “Death to hippies”, the
flower children attitude of the ‘60’s?
I’m doing quite well thank you. I’ve just returned from a
month-long vacation in my car around the states so right now I’m just
chilling out and trying to sleep off this truly epic hangover. This is why I
was never home to get your calls Dale. I was probably getting plastered
California or maybe Las Vegas or maybe Portland or on top of some glaciers.
To answer your question, the bands that built the true metal tradition are
Candlemass, Iron Maiden and of course most importantly Black
Sabbath. We intend to revive metal by simply writing good fucking songs
so this genre will live long. Anybody who plays true metal these days is
part of the movement to restore metal to it’s former glory. When I say death
to hippies I’m not only referring to the crusty slobs of the ‘60’s but
everything that goes with the style. The Grateful Dead and it’s
entourage are at the other spectrum of metal. They are our arch enemy’s.
Hippies stink and are retarded. They like acoustic guitars and gay little
dancing bears. They have bad breath. They like to wear bright colors instead
of black. They give you hugs even though you hate them. They’re pussies.
They can’t do drugs and still play their instruments so they’re forced to
play simple music. They are truly beneath metalheads and deserve death by
Unfortunately I haven’t heard the “Hail Northern Virginia” demo, could you
tell us about it and if I am correct Janet Rubin was not on it, how has her
addition shaped the new material as opposed to the old? Was it a difficult
task to search for a singer to fit with T.T.D.?
The “Hail To Northern Virginia” demo was recorded back in the
winter of ’95 during a violent blizzard. We braved the ice and snow in the
name of heavy metal and produced this two-song demo. No this doesn’t have
Janet singing on it. Our first Vocalist was Tom Phillips of While Heaven
Wept. Adding Janet to the band made us turn a bit from our doom roots
and head for a more traditional sound ala’ Maiden or old Helloween.
This was the case I suppose because of her high range and tendency towards
writing lyrics reminiscent of Omen or Running Wild. It was
actually quite simple finding Janet because Jim(our bass player) and I
already knew her from a previous band the three of us were in called
Knightfall. When Tom left for
England to sing for
Solstice all we had to do was pick up the phone and call her. Anyway, as of
summer ’98 she’s no longer in the band. She left for Germany to persue her
opera career and none of us made much effort to stay in contact. She was
pissing us off with her complaining and negativity. During our last gig with
her she brought a piece of paper to read the lyrics from an old song she
couldn’t remember. It was only a party we were playing but we were still
like, “fuck that, she sucks!”. There was even a point last winter we were
secretly plotting to replace her. We tried out about seven people but they
were all a bunch of freaks. When (a) little boy came in and embarrassed
himself with his shitty singing and wound up running out of our practice
space while we laughed at him. We finally just decided we’ll just have Tom
back and sing on the forthcoming album with Mark(the drummer) and I doing
some Running Wild-like back up vocals. Right now we are experimenting
at practice with Mark and I trying to sing over the new stuff.
your “Triumphing True Metal” promo it seems to me some or all of you must
have had some classical training, could you list the members and the
training each have received? Have you found T.T.D. have learned more just
writing music and playing together than any training or are they just
I Scott Waldrop (the main guitarist) have had no classical
training. I’ve taken lessons from a few teachers. One teacher was in a
thrash band back in the eighties and he taught me some basic arpeggio and
diminished stuff which was popular back then. Another teacher was into
classic rock Jethro Tull and Rush so he taught me how to play
by teaching old songs of that nature. I mainly learned how to play by just
hanging out and playing with friends who were classically trained musicians.
Jim (bass) has taken several music theory and composition classes. He’s
actually a better pianist then a bass player in my opinion. He’s been
playing from an early age. Mark (drums) took all kinds of lessons from his
teenage years through college. He’s an arrogant motherfucker about that
shit. He’s always saying that certain riffs aren’t “right” rhythmically and
that you can’t argue with him because he’s got a college degree in music.
Our new guitarist Dave Boyd seems to have learned to play mostly from his
thrash influences. He’s a superb rhythm player. As for Tom Phillips he’s got
a college degree in music so he’s an arrogant dick about that shit as well.
I would say that I personally learn the most from getting first hand
experience with my bands. Everyone has so many different ways of looking at
song writing that there are infinite things to learn from each other. I
think most people that play in a band will agree unless they’re playing with
musicians that aren’t their equals.
lyrics are very cool and she seems like she likes to write in a fantasy
style similar to Manowar or Cirith Ungol, does this come out of her
naturally or does she write lyrics to fit the bands music and general
we were working with Janet we told her that we wanted lyrics to specifically
be about fantasy and escapism. Twisted Tower Dire is supposed to be a
journey, not a statement. If there is any statement that we bring in our
style it’s that we don’t give a shit about what’s commercially acceptable.
Janet was really into the first three Fates Warning albums and I
think these were her main lyrical inspiration for a time. Then, for one of
our forthcoming 7”’s the lyrics she wrote were making a social statement
which was totally against what we were trying to do as a band. We decided to
release the song anyway but this was one of the things that led to us
getting rid of her. She actually hates Manowar!?! (gasp!,
blasphemy!! -Dale). She refused to sing on a Manowar tribute just
before we ditched her this summer. She said that Manowar’s lyrics are
“uninspired and boring”. We’re of course still doing the tribute though.
name as soon as I seen it on the tape I reviewed seemed very fimilar to me
for some reason, like I may have seen it before, have you or any of the
other members been in other bands previously or done any other underground
activities? How did you arrive at your guitar sound, is it something you
strive for or do you just plug and play and that is how it ends up?
Jim and I are also full-time members of While Heaven Wept
but that’s about it. Maybe you saw me on T.V. slapping Monica Lewinsky’s
butt or dogsleding or something (yes,
must be it -Dale). I only play Mesa Rectifyer amps.
Anything else sounds disgusting to me. Sound is of utmost importance. As for
guitars I like Les Pauls with an EMG 81 at the bridge. I just sold my
Explorer and B.C. Rich Bitch to get a cream custom Les Paul like the one
Randy Rhoades used to play. I also have a Randy Rhoades Jackson V which I
like because it’s really lite but I can still make it sound heavy. That
thing is fine as long as you don’t ever carry it in it’s case. The cases
those things come in are so fucking big you could put a city into one of
You have a
couple 7” releases coming up, with who and what labels? How did these deals
come about? Does the band receive any copies to sell yourselves? How many
were pressed of each seven release thus far?
One is a double 7” set entitled “Fourteen Inches Of Fury”
coming out on Game Two Records. The other bands on this are Revelation,
Naevus, and Mood. The other 7” is a picture disc split with
Memory Garden. This one is being put out by Near Dark Productions. Both
of these offers came after the labels heard our second demo “Triumphing True
Metal”. Yea, we’ll be getting copies to sell ourselves though I can’t
remember how many. Neither of them are out yet. Our split 7” is still
available from Bad Posture though. It’s a split with Cold Mourning. I
believe they pressed something like 500. Maybe 1, 000. Maybe 10. I don’t
know what the hell’s going on.
did you hook up with Near Dark and what kind of deal is it? Will the band do
all the distributing in North America? Where was it recorded and how long
did it take? What is the album title of the debut, describe the music and
basic concept of it? Will there be any demo/7” trax on it?
I had been in touch with Tobbe since ’95 when he was
distributing our first demo through his old distribution service called
Kheeroth. When he heard “Triumphing True Metal” he offered us the 7” deal
and also said he was interested in signing us for a full-length. The deal is
for one album over 35 minutes in length. They’ll start by pressing a couple
thousand copies on
disc and 500 on vinyl. Near Dark will do most of the distributing everywhere
though I’ll help. We haven’t even started recording yet. We’ll hopefully
begin during the first weekend of September. This is when I have studio time
booked though problems always seem to arise. We’ll be recording at
Neptune were While
Heaven Wept and Arghoslent recorded their recent albums as
well as our old demos. It’ll probably take a few months as we work in the
studio sporadically (so
I am guessing a very early 1999 release date -Dale).
The album title will still mostly likely be “Land Of Illusions” though this
is still subject to change. Lyrically the concept of our debut album will be
a continuation of the lyrics which appear on our first demo “Hail Northern
Virginia”. Tom will come back and we will pick up where we left off when he
left and Janet took over lyrics. Musically you’ll hear a blend of the first
Candlemass album with old Maiden and stuff like that. The
material on the debut will be 100% all new (Now that’s what I like to hear
-Dale). We’ve had most of the songs written for years already. Perhaps on
our second album we’ll go back and give proper recordings to songs like
“Beyond The Gate” and “Rue Of The Forsaken Sleepkeeper”.
you been playing out lately? Any mini-tours planned in support of the album?
How have turn-outs been at shows? I hear there is a power metal festival
soon, near New York or somewhere will you be at that? What are some bands
you’d like to play with that you haven’t yet?
The only shows we have played lately have been over at Mark’s
where we’ve had metal bashes. We’ll probably do a few shows in our area in
support of the album if the right opportunity presents itself. Like I said
we don’t do official shows anymore so I can’t say that the turn-out is
specifically for us. I don’t know if I’m going to the Power Metal Fest or
not. I might. I don’t know will there be beer there?(I would imagine!?
-Dale). Just look for the guy in spikes drinking beer from a bullhorn and
starting fights with people with Dimmu Borgir T-shirts. I suppose some metal
bands I’d like to play with are Virgin Steele, Immortal, Black Sabbath,
Iron Maiden, and Witchfinder General (but I guess that’s not
going to happen).
and Jim have just joined full-time with While Heaven Wept, how did that come
about? Do you think it will compromise Twisted Tower Dire’s activities? How
often does each band practice (must be a lot cause I phoned a shitload of
times before I gave up and sent this intie by mail!)? Any chance ala King
Diamond/Mercyful Fate will play shows together?
Jim and I have know While Heaven Wept for years. We
used to play with them back when we were all in death metal bands in the
early ‘90’s. We all felt it was a good time to join forces recently because
it makes both bands stronger with all-star line-ups. No, W.H.W. doesn’t get
in the way of T.T.D.’s activities at all. Both bands are of equal importance
and get equal attention form everyone. Each band practices at least once a
week. Twisted Tower Dire and While Heaven Wept just played
together at a party in June. It was just for our friends. We didn’t make
flyers or anything like that.
Forgive my ignorance but what has been happening with While Heaven Wept
since their 7” and MCD? I am guessing Tom Phillips has moved back from the
U.K. after going there to join Solstice? Do they sound similar to the old
After Tom released the first While Heaven Wept CD and
did the vocals for the first Twisted Tower Dire demo he went to
England and sang for
Solstice for a little over six months. When he got back he did a lot of
drinking so it took a while to finish the new album “Sorrow Of The Angels”
which is finally completed. It should be out by no later then November on
Eibon Records. The DAT is in the mail. It sounds similar to the older
material. It’s definitely much more evolved, orchestrated and stylized.
Maybe you could say it’s the bastard son of Pink Floyd and
Candlemass. Anyone who liked “Lovesongs Of The Forsaken” will flip over
it. Some people just don’t know how to receive nor understand extreme doom
despite of the fact that it’s superbly produced with exceptional musical
there is a lot of inbreeding going on in the Virginia scene (ala Sweden)
with bands like T.T.D., Crucifier, Grand Belial’s Key, While Heaven Wept,
Arghoslent, Uller, Sinistrari Recs. ect…Is it a tight nit scene or is it
just there are not a lot of musicians to go around?
It’s quality, not quantity.
record is out will Twisted Tower Dire continue to spread flyers, send out
promo copies to ‘zines and just diligently promote themselves as they have
before or will you leave that up to the label? What are some mags you have
I’ll be as vigorous at promotion as I have been in the past
when the album comes out. Near Dark has very good distribution but the more
people pushing your music the better. I f you want people to hear you then
you should always be trying to promote yourself and your ideas. That is of
course unless you are signed to a gigantic label and gay-ass Kerrang does
all of the work for you like they do for Cradle Of Filth. Some mags
we have been in are Reflections Of Doom, Ambiance And Atmosphere, Endtime,
Bowedome, Slow Ride, Mortal Flames, Fantasies of Tragedy, Metal Maniacs,
Lamentation, Morpheus, Isten, Metal Invader, Mouth Of Sauron, Sloth, Seventh
Sign, Terrorizer, Leather Knights, Teardrop, Spiked Impalement, Wishing
Well, Shadows Of Michealangelo, Ill Literature, Decibel’s Storm, Ancient
Tragedy, Curse Of The Chains, Brutalized and tons of others but I’m sick of
pawing through all of these old papers. There you have it. A tribute to
‘zines that were nice to us.
do you do in your spare time away from the band? What are some of your fave
‘zines, novels & movies? Are you the type that likes to get outdoors lots or
a sports type? What was it like growing up in Virginia? Did you go to a lot
of shows and stuff growing up?
When I’m not doing all this bullshit I like to go to bars,
get drunk, and be a loud dick. Other then that I study art at college, run
and bike with my husky and walk the dirty mean streets of
Northern Virginia. I don’t
read ‘zines other than to check out my bands and friends bands reviews. The
only magazine I religiously read is National Geographic. My favorite novel
is “Call Of The Wild”. I almost exclusively read ghost stories though. I’m
fascinated by psychic things and always have been since I was little. If
anyone has any old ghost story books lying around their house send them to
me and I’ll send naked pictures of myself in return. As for movies I pretty
much all the westerns Eastwood did. Those are my all-time favorites because
he reminds me of me. I’m into the outdoors as well. I just spend most of my
summer out of my tent on the road. I go camping all the time. It gives me an
excuse to drink beer by the barrel and scream at the moon. Does anyone know
where I can get really, really powerful rocket-fuel tough moonshine?.
Growing up in Virginia one learns to hate jocks with ragtop mustangs, white
kids with ghetto accents and Starter jackets, and Milwaukee’s best beer. I
learned I can run faster then most cops even after I’ve had ten beers at
Shouse Lake. As for shows we are only 15 minutes from
D.C. over here in
Fairfax so I was always
able to see any bands as they came through. One of my favorite shows was
seeing Cathederal play at the original
9:30 club during the “Grindcrusher” tour with Carcass and Napalm
What kind of
mood or emotional state to do find is most productive when writing new
material? What location is best for writing for you indoors/outdoors, your
room, day/night ect…? Is it easy for you or do you need to force it at
I usually work best when I have other things I am supposed to
be doing. It seems like I can crank out a song just as easily as a good shit
when I’m supposed to be in my car on my way to school or to meet my
girlfriend. I just keep telling myself I’ll just play this sequence of riffs
one more time so I don’t forget them and it instantly seems to wind up being
an hour later. Usually I work best alone in my room but if I’ve just smoked
all I need is a guitar and I could come up with riffs on the wing of a
moving jet. I never force myself to write. I’m either feeling inspired or
I’m not. I’ve never kept anything I’ve forced myself to write.
At what age
did you get into metal and then what age did that translate into the
underground? What were some of the first bands, ’zines you wrote? Do you
still remember that awesome feeling of going to the mailbox and finding a
package from the underground like it was the holy grail (or was it just
My first record was Motley Crue’s “Shout At The
Devil”. I was about 8 when my sister bought it for me back in 1984. Then I
started buying other albums like Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry”(one
of my first records too - Dale) and Van Halen. Then I heard
Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning” and my life was changed. “Shout At The
Devil” and “Ride The Lightning” are still two of my favorite albums. I got
into the underground when I was fourteen. I sent some of my artwork to a
‘zine called Cadaveric Mutilation and a couple others. It was extremely
moronic artwork like toilets vomiting corpses and brains(ha I must be
moronic cause I love artwork like that! -Dale). I don’t recall comparing
Cadaveric Mutilation to the holy grail or anything. I was too concerned with
girls and pot at that time to even get my band in the studio to record a
demo. Our first guitarist Nick used to really be into the underground back
when we were kids. I used to go over to his house to listen to all kinds of
obscure death metal bands. I never got out of Maiden and all of that
old stuff so my band back then didn’t even really sound like the popular
death metal at the time like Autopsy or Bolt Thrower. If
anything my first band sounded like Iron Maiden with retarded
arrangements which kind of lent itself to a sort of Celtic Frost sound. Oh
yea, but that because I used to love Obituary. Actually I still
listen to the first two albums (I’m
with you there they ruled on those first ones! -Dale). What was the question again?.
I know you
use the internet, do you find it as a useful tool to promote the band? Do
you think as I do that it will be a essential part of the underground? Do
you get a lot of email?
Actually I was using the internet for a while but I got sick
of it because it seemed like not many people were contacting me with it.
Then my host started fucking up all the time so I just canceled it.
Computers just pretty much piss me off more than anything else. I don’t like
electronics in general. Unfortunately I have to use them to keep up with
everything. They always break down and take too long to learn how to use.
And once you learn how to use them to their maximum potential they die
because they’re so old. I wish it wasn’t necessary to amp my guitar. In a
perfect world you could just pick a guitar up and it would already sound
loud and nasty. To answer your second question though has undoubtedly made a
permanent mark on the underground. Some people prefer it and others don’t.
I’m old fashioned. I like vinyl and mail period. No I don’t get any E-mail
because I have banned it from myself!. I might actually get it again later
my great brother in metal for your time and this interview!. Last comments,
future plans & what did you have for your last meal (I have food in mind,
sorry man he he)?
Thanks for your time and
interest Dale. Cheers. Death to vampiric black metal and all that other gay
shit. Everyone look out for the forthcoming Twisted Tower Dire 7”’s and
While Heaven Wept album. For my last meal I had a young child of about 55
pounds. No that was this morning. My very last meal was a grilled chicken
sandwich with buffalo wings, nachos, and a pint of Pyramid Ale,