Ozzfest, the light at the end of the tunnel is - The DeadLights!
by Debbie Seagle
RNW: You have a beautiful
Duke: Oh thank you.
You know I have the entire, I have this problem
of self hatred and I don’t like anything about myself and its really hard
for me to say that I’m good at something or something like that but I guess
that’s a good motivator too because you always want to get better.
RNW: Well those cheering crowds
out there must be proving you wrong I would think.
Duke: Yeah, its definitely
a trip. Definitely a trip.
RNW: That is one of the reasons
that we perform, right? We perform to purge emotions and things like
that, but we also perform for acceptance, right?
Duke: Acceptance and acknowledgment
from your peers. No one can really deny that. There are certain
people motivated by ego, like a lot of people are and I try to keep that
in check in my every day life, you know? I know that the ego is the
one thing that dominates the music industry.
RNW: I was going to say that
you’re probably in the worst business of all for that (laughs).
Duke: Yeah, definitely, definitely!
But you know, as long as you know that and you’re aware of that, then you
can control it, you know?
RNW: Well, what about landing
your slot on Ozzfest? Now, I know that had to have made you happy.
Duke: Yeah, a new opportunity,
I guess its kind of making me feel like I’ve, we’ve actually achieved something
in the band, which is cool. But you know, along with that comes a
whole lot more, a lot of problems can arise, a whole new cliff to climb,
you know? We have to sell records and we have to think about that
kind of stuff and its like, you know. Yeah its really a good achievement
but it hasn’t gone to my head so far. Nobody in the band is letting
it get to their head. We’re all just staying focused and keeping
our minds on the music, trying to make our live set as aggressive as we
can. I think everybody in this band is pretty much driven by revenge.
Duke: Yeah, we’ve all been
s*** on so much in our entire lives cause like now its pay back time.
RNW: Are you talking about
musically or personally?
Duke: Musically, personally,
all around. I don’t know, its kind of a harsh way to live when you’re
driven by revenge, but its really, it lights a fire under your ass, you
know what I’m sayin?
Duke: By the same token, its
an all or nothing kind of thing. When you’re living for revenge,
if you don’t get it, you’re a failure. You know what I’m sayin?
RNW: That makes you even meaner!
Duke: Yeah, totally!
RNW: There’s inspiration for
songs right there . . .
Duke: Oh yeah, definitely.
That’s probably one of the things that keeps us going the most is just
our constant drive to get back at people that have s*** on us.
RNW: And you know, really,
I see that a lot in your performance. In your live performance.
Duke: Thank you.
Its very dark, you guys come across as, like, dungeon masters, but then
afterwards, at the after party at your Paladium gig, all of your guys are
just . . . sweethearts (laughs). I hate to say it because I don’t
want to ruin your image but . . .
Duke: Well, you know, I like
to be polite with people, you know, I’m just that way. I have respect
for people, everyone in general, because that’s just the way I’d like to
be treated. But you know, of course you run into people in your life
that don’t have that same kind of mindset and those are the people we want
to crush (laughs).
Duke: Yeah, so I’m really
a nice guy. Everyone in the band, we try to be nice guys and we try
not to have attitudes or anything like that toward people, because its
actually the people that give us what we’ve got and its the people
that have aligned themselves with us that make us what we are and what
we’re trying to be. We never want to be rude to our fans or try and
get this rock star mentality or anything like that.
RNW: Well, let me ask you
this, what do you think of when you hear the term "rock star?" Have
you been called a rock star?
Duke: I think those rock stars
are people that have been pampered their whole life and never really had
to deal with an adversity and just don’t know how to treat other people.
When I hear the words "rock star," I think of a pompous kind of guy who
thinks that the world owes him something. And usually a lot of people
with attitudes are like that. I aspire never really to be like that.
I want to try and keep the band guy on the stage, you know? Keep
that on the stage and when I get off stage, that’s what I will do.
RNW: So "rock star" would
not be a compliment to you? If someone were to call you a rock star,
or do you prefer "musician?"
Duke: Yeah, I prefer "musician"
over "rock star."
RNW: I think I would too.
Duke: But you know, for one
thing, I’d have to have a lot of money to be a rock star, I think.
RNW: That’s probably a prerequisite,
I would think. You have to have the entourage and, you know.
Duke: Yeah, totally.
RNW: Money, the whole business,
shades. You absolutely have
to have a cool pair of shades (laughing), especially at Ozzfest.
Now, to me, as a musician, if someone were to come up to me and say, you
know what? You’ve got a gig with Ozzfest, I would be totally beside
myself and excited. I’d be calling my mom, I’d be calling all my
friends saying, "Hey! I’m going to be on Ozzfest!" Was there that
kind of excitement for you guys when you found out?
Duke: Yeah, I’m not going
to say that we weren’t excited about it. Definitely, naturally its
like an achievement. Its a milestone and there’s a lot of great .
. . its the last Ozzfest and actually its the first Ozzfest that I’ll ever
see, so that’s kind of cool that the first one I’ve been to is the one
I’m playing at. I don’t know, its going to be really cool, I mean,
we need to be in front of a lot of people and that’s what I’m looking forward
to and everyone in the band is looking forward to. Getting our point
across to as many people as we can. Ozzfest, what better forum than
RNW: You’re definitely going
to be getting a lot of attention!
Duke: Its a great launching
pad for up and coming bands and especially this year. There’s a lot
of great up and coming bands that are gonna get, they’re pretty much getting
the start of their career off of this.
RNW: The line-up is great.
Duke: And like Ozzy, he’s
pretty much metal, you know? The godfather of all metal, so that’s
pretty cool to actually have Ozzy and Sharon (Osbourne) be the ones that
put us on this gig. That’s really cool.
RNW: That’s like the ultimate
nod, isn’t it?
Duke: Exactly. I don’t
see what higher source you could go to for approval (laughs).
RNW: Yeah, I wouldn’t be looking
for anything higher than that. I’d be stopping right there.
So how do you get ready for Ozzfest? Like, I’m thinking geez, I need
to buy some new clothes, I’m going to get a new tattoo, I want to . . .
how do you prepare for something that’s going to be this all out jam for
the next couple of months?
Duke: With us, we’ve been
staying on the road. We’re doing this tour with Disturbed right now
and its kind of to keep us busy between Type O Negative, the last one we
did was Type O Negative, and Ozzfest. We’re keeping our chops all
tight and trying to stay healthy so we can give the people the show they’re
RNW: A lot of people on the
road right now are getting sick.
Duke: We don’t want to sell
people short so, we’re just trying to
make our performance as tight as we possibly can and then as musically
correct as we can. We’re not into partying. We go out and have
a blast and have a good time for our selves. We’re trying to really
create a show for people and we’re giving people back what they’re asking
for just by giving us their support.
RNW: You’re also going to
get to probably jam, or at least kick back with a lot of really cool performers
that you might not have been with before.
Duke: Yeah, totally.
Like Pantera for instance!
RNW: The ideas that
you are going to be exchanging with all of the other musicians and the
creative juices that are going to be going through that whole group . .
RNW: Well I see nothing but
good things coming down the road for you guys and unfortunately, Ozzfest
is not coming to my neck of the woods on the West Coast until the very
Duke: That’s when I finally
get to come home, one of these days.
RNW: You’re from L.A., right?
Duke: Yeah, I live in Huntington
RNW: Well, I’m not going to
keep you too much longer because I know you probably want to get out of
the heat over there (in Arizona). I hope you’re doing something to
stay healthy on the road. We want to hear good reports. I hate
that I’m going to have to just sit and listen to everybody enjoying Ozzfest
until the very end, but I will be in San Bernardino (CA) and I’m
looking forward to seeing you guys.
Duke: Cool, look forward to
seeing you too!
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