DEATH ANGEL Guitarist: 'We Pride Ourselves In Being A Little Different From All The Other Thrash Bands'

January 21, 2018

Darko Rajić of Metal Jacket Magazine conducted an interview with DEATH ANGEL guitarist Ted Aguilar prior to the band's November 26 concert in Kino Šiška, Ljubljana, Slovenia alongside TESTAMENT and ANNIHILATOR. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the variety found on DEATH ANGEL's most recent studio album, 2016's "The Evil Divide":

Ted: "Well, DEATH ANGEL, that's our style. We can play fast, we can play mid-tempo songs, we can play really melodic songs. It's our style. We like it. We like to mix up everything. We love playing fast, but we don't want to do it all the time. We want to do songs like, for example, 'Lost', that's a song if you're feeling it… we don't sit there and go, 'We have to write something like this.' Whatever comes out and it sounds good: 'Yeah, it sounds good. Let's keep it.' That's what we do. We pride ourselves in being a little different from all the other thrash bands. That's what is good about the thrash bands from the '80s from the Bay Area, the Bay Area, L.A. or the East Coast, we always strived to be different from everyone and that's how we got our unique sound. Everyone has their unique sound. TESTAMENT has their unique sound; EXODUS, us, OVERKILL, ANTHRAX, you can tell when you put on a record. Sometimes, DEATH ANGEL likes to write songs like 'Lost'. Sometimes we like to write songs like 'Thrown To The Wolves'."

On the stories of legendary METALLICA bassist Cliff Burton headbanging in the front row at early DEATH ANGEL shows:

Ted: "Oh yeah. Rob [Cavestany, guitar] and Mark [Osegueda, vocals] told me those stories. Early on in the DEATH ANGEL days, early '80s, maybe mid-'80s, Cliff Burton would be in the front row at their shows, headbanging, getting into it. From what they told me, Cliff was a big supporter of the band. There's times where you see old footage or old photos of Cliff wearing a DEATH ANGEL shirt, so that's really cool. Rest in peace, he's gone, but his music lives on. His legacy. He's always remembered as one of the greatest musicians in metal to this day."

On this thoughts on the current thrash metal scene:

Ted: "There's a lot of good bands. We've been fortunate enough to tour with quite a few. SUICIDAL ANGELS, HAVOK, we just did a run with WARBRINGER last summer, great guys, amazing. There's a lot of talent, so that's good that there's a lot of bands out there keeping thrash alive. There's a lot of bands and a lot of good ones and there's still more to come. There's so many out there that it's hard to go through them, but the bands that we've toured with have been great. As I mentioned before, HAVOK, WARBRINGER, SUICIDAL ANGELS, BONDED BY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL, would be one of them; they're one of my favorites right now. It's good that these up-and-coming bands are keeping the music alive, the thrash music alive."

On the different musical climates between Europe and the United States:

Ted: "It's very, very different. It's just two different cultures. Over here, it's not a good or bad thing, it's just different. Out here [in Europe], it seems more people are more open-minded. When you come to a show, it's more of a celebration, everyone comes, happiness. I don't know…it's hard for me to explain. For example, I have a couple of friends, a couple of people I know in the U.S. who have been to a lot of shows and some festivals in the U.S. and when they came to Graspop [Metal Meeting] in Belgium, their first time, they understood why bands love playing the festivals and playing club shows in Europe. They told me: 'We just had to witness it. We have to see it to understand.' I could sit here all day and try to explain to you, but you just have to come here and experience it. It's just a different culture. When metal in the States, when it kind of went underground in the '90s, it always stayed popular here in Europe."

"The Evil Divide" was released in May 2016 via Nuclear Blast. The CD was once again recorded at AudioHammer studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, DEICIDE),who previously worked on 2010's "Relentless Retribution" and 2013's "The Dream Calls For Blood".

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