MARK OSEGUEDA Didn't Tell His DEATH ANGEL Bandmates He Was Working With KERRY KING Until Four Months Ago

May 30, 2024

During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Let There Be Talk" podcast with rock and roll comedian Dean Delray, Mark Osegueda was asked how he broke the news to his DEATH ANGEL bandmates that he was joining Kerry King in the solo project from the SLAYER guitarist. The singer said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh, man. With this one, it's tough. I really had to respect the NDA [non-disclosure agreement I signed with Kerry's team]. I really did. And it was eating at me. 'Cause DEATH ANGEL has been touring consistently — we toured consistently when the world shut down [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. When the world reopened, we went right back out on the road. And this was all happening. I was starting to do these demos during the pandemic, and then, after that, I was regularly seeing Kerry to do more demos [for his debut solo album] when the world opened. And [Kerry's] record was done for a year before it came out. And I'd be on tour with DEATH ANGEL. And there were some nights where me and Rob [Cavestany, DEATH ANGEL guitarist] were in the lounge, just me and him, drinking, listening to music and just laughing and talking like we do. And it just took everything in me [not to tell him what was going on]. It's so hard to not just say, 'Look, bro. Look, bro.'

"This is one of those things that just, like it or not, some people will think I'm an ass about it, but I just kind of really promised — I promised Kerry and I signed the NDA," Mark explained. "I promised everyone I wasn't gonna let anyone know. The only people who knew were my girlfriend, my girl, my mom and my sister. We didn't even tell my dad 'cause my dad has loose lips. So we didn't even tell him then. So those are the three people who knew. And, of course, people who were at the studio when we were recording, and shit like that, who were all NDA people as well. So it's fucked up, but I waited and let him know through e-mail same day that the [official] announcement [of Kerry's new band] happened [in early February]. And then shortly thereafter I talked to Rob and Ted [Aguilar, DEATH ANGEL guitarist]."

Elaborating on how he approached informing his longtime bandmates of his involvement with Kerry's new band, Mark said: "I said in the e-mail, 'Look, this is the toughest thing for me to tell you.' And how I worded it in one aspect to them was just pretty much, 'This is gonna be either the most surprising thing in the world to you or, slash, the most obvious thing in the world to you.' And I even said at the end, 'cause it was an e-mail to all the guys, and I just said, 'Take some time to really process all this before you respond, before we talk. Let all this kind of sink in, and then when come together, if you wanna talk to me, then we'll all talk.' And shortly thereafter, I talked to Ted and Rob. And they were still a little sideswiped, for sure — for sure. I could see it in their [faces]… We did a FaceTime kind of Zoom call, the three of us, and they were both definitely still in kind of a state of processing it. But by the end of the call, after we talked for about an hour, they were supportive, for sure, happy for me. And they both did say, 'Now that you mention it, man, it is kind of the most obvious fucking thing in the world.' [Laughs] But it was tough, man. I'm not gonna lie. It's tough, 'cause we've been through so much together — so much together — especially me and Rob. I mean, not to take away from… Shit, Ted's been in the band since 2001, and now Damien [Sisson, bass] and Will [Carroll, drums] have been in the band for well over a decade now. So it's crazy. But, of course, me and Rob, we've known each other since we were in the crib. So that it was a tough one. But now, [Rob is] very, very supportive. Before the first [Kerry King] show, I got a text from him saying, 'Have a fucking killer show, bro.' And all this stuff. The [Kerry King album] release day, he sent me congratulations on release day. Ted as well. So, they've [come] to accept it. And I think it's already brought a lot of attention to DEATH ANGEL. And it's gonna keep doing that. But it was tough."

Mark added: "I'm excited about everything. I'm excited about everything ahead. But, yeah, for sure, it was definitely a delicate situation. Even before it was happening, when I knew it was coming up, it was, like, 'I've gotta choose my words carefully.' It's tough. But now that it's out, I feel so relieved — so relieved — it's out. And since then, we've [DEATH ANGEL] toured South and Central America together recently, and that was the first tour we did since the [Kerry King] announcement and some [of Kerry's] songs have been released. So everyone got along great. And it's out. And it just feels so much better to be around the guys with them knowing. I just felt so odd them not knowing."

Asked by Delray if he made his clear in his initial e-mail that he was not quitting DEATH ANGEL, Mark said: "Yeah, absolutely. Well, first, I'm kind of yammering about the process of it, but I definitely said, 'I'm very much still the singer of DEATH ANGEL.' And, of course, when I was talking to Rob and Ted, Rob was, like, 'I was very happy to hear you say that.' Like, 'Of course, bro.'"

King's debut solo album, "From Hell I Rise", came out on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music. Joining King and Osegueda on the record are drummer Paul Bostaph (SLAYER),bassist Kyle Sanders (HELLYEAH) and guitarist Phil Demmel (formerly of MACHINE HEAD). Working with producer Josh Wilbur (KORN, LAMB OF GOD, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, BAD RELIGION),the vast bulk of King's solo album was recorded at Henson Recording Studios (formerly A&M Studios) in Los Angeles, California, a location that birthed classics from THE DOORS, PINK FLOYD, RAMONES and SOUNDGARDEN, among others.

In a recent interview with Uruguay's The Dark Melody, Mark stated about how he feels about being part of Kerry's band: "Yeah, I'm thrilled about it. That's how I feel about it. I'm excited as hell. I worked hard to get that gig — very hard to get that gig — and since I did, I worked very hard in the studio. And then the recording experience of the record was incredible. We went to the studio with Josh Wilbur and the recording went great. It went great. And I think Kerry assembled a band of people he knew could pull off the vision and what he heard in his head… And the album, it's a beast. It's a savage. It is."

Regarding how he landed the gig in Kerry's band, Mark told El Planeta Del Rock: "It wasn't an overnight thing. It was a long process. Me and Kerry are friends, for sure, but that's not the reason I got the gig. By no means did I get the gig because we're friends; it was definitely a lot of hard work.

"He's an institution unto himself as his, as is SLAYER, and when SLAYER announced that they weren't gonna go any longer, he made it known to everyone that he was far from done," Mark continued. "And when that was announced, it was quite a few years ago. It was probably during the pandemic that I just gave him a cold call out of the blue, or a cold text rather, just saying, 'Just so you know, I heard you're doing this, and I'm just throwing my name into the hat, into the ring, or throwing my throat into the ring rather.' And he was, like, 'Hmm.' He's a very to-the-point guy, and he said, 'Okay.' And I know he's very serious about everything he does musically.

"It was a lot of hard work, I'll tell you that — a lot of going back and forth," Mark repeated. "I did quite a bit of demoing with him, and nothing was a sure thing ever. I know he had other people in mind for every for every position in the band. I think Paul was the shoo-in right off the bat, and then after that… Kerry knew his vision. He knew what he wanted. He knew what he heard in his head, and he wanted a lineup that could deliver it. And after a lot of hard work, one day me and him were out together — and it was plain simple as that. But quite some time had gone by and a lot of work was put into it, and he just said, 'If you want the gig, it's yours.' And I, of course, I just looked at him, like, 'Ah.' Pretty much, 'Fuck yeah.' And I gave him a huge hug, and from then on it was just even more hard work. As hard as I worked to get the gig, once I got the gig, it was even more hard work just concentrating on the songs and getting what I was gonna do to deliver in the studio. Once we got in the studio, we went in with Josh Wilbur, who produced it, at Henson Studios in Hollywood, and we didn't mess around. We got in — I think loaded in, two weeks later loaded out. It was work every day, but one of the most amazing studio experiences I've had and very fulfilling."

Kerry told Rolling Stone about Osegueda's addition to the band: "With Mark, he was on board early on. I just didn't pull that trigger. I was like, 'Let's see what happens.' Say for instance, [JUDAS PRIEST's] Rob Halford calls me and says, 'Hey, I would love to be your singer,' I'd have to go that way."

King also confirmed that PANTERA's Philip Anselmo was "considered" as a possible singer for his new project. "My management, my promoter, my record label all wanted Phil," Kerry said. "Phil's a good friend of mine, but I always thought he's not the right guy. That has nothing to do with his ability; I just knew he wasn't the right guy. When you hear Mark on this record, you know that's the guy.

"I had to do due diligence, because at the end of the day, had Philip been the guy, we'd be in arenas immediately because we could play new stuff, we could play PANTERA, we could play SLAYER, and fans would've been happy. It ended when the PANTERA thing came up.

"I saw Mark a few years back singing covers of MINOR THREAT and cameo in THE WEDDING BAND with members of METALLICA," King added. "It was different from what he does in DEATH ANGEL, and he sounded great. He's super versatile. He took steps to make this different than DEATH ANGEL. I don't touch on probably 50 percent of what he can do on the album.

"Mark knew how I expected the songs to be performed. On my demos, I sing with very good conviction, but I don't have pipes; that's why I don't sing. With 'Residue', he sounded so good I had to ask him, 'Is this sustainable? I don't want you to blow your load on this record and then blow your voice out every third show.' And he swore up and down he could do it. He went on to some of the harder ones and did the same thing on those, so I went, 'Okay.'"

KERRY KING will be special guest on the upcoming LAMB OF GOD/MASTODON North American "Ashes Of Leviathan" co-headline tour. The six-week run will launch on July 19 in Grand Prairie, Texas and will wrap on August 31 in Omaha, Nebraska.

DEATH ANGEL will support W.A.S.P. on a North American tour in the fall.

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