Interview By Ali Blackdiamond
2010 saw the birth of English metal band DEMONS OF OLD METAL; experienced musicians who wanted to create some classic metal for the masses. They went on to release the first of their ‘Demonic Chronicles’ on Halloween 2012 and have recently (March 2014) released ‘Demonic Chronicles Vol. III.’
Blackdiamond recently caught up with vocalist and guitarist Tom B Stone. You can read the chat in full below:
Hi Tombstone, welcome to Metal Shock Finland, how are you?
Hi Blackdiamond, I’m very well thanks!
I’m quite new to DEMONS OF OLD METAL, so for anyone who doesn’t yet know the band, how would you describe yourselves?
Well you never ask a musician that question.
I do! (laughs)
Well, every band likes to think they’re blazing a trail. Terrorizer Magazine labelled us as ‘old school metal,’ which I’m not uncomfortable with. We don’t try and be part of ‘this core’ or ‘that core’ – we’re just doing our thing. The massive range of influences we’ve got just combine into one big melting pot.
You’ve just released “Demonic Chronicles Vol.III” - what’s the story behind these volumes, do they have a theme to them?
Well yeah, we didn’t initially plan to write a concept trilogy! It kind of evolved from the idea or the true story, that the Devil got fed up with everyone turning their back on the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, losing souls and he decided to send some emmisaries up to the surface to start winning people back, and that’s where we came in really.
I’m the vocal/guitar Demon, reanimated as this 180 year old cowboy. “Chronicles I” tells of how the Devil sent us up to the surface – the songs off there give the back story of Demons. “Chronicles II” tells about what we do, the general chaos we cause. The “Volume III” is the conclusion – God gets a bit miffed that we’re winning all these souls back and sends down his angelic assassins to do battle with us.
The music generally comes first; just jamming, then all five of us get together with a white board – we throw ideas onto a white board and record them straight away, it’s incredibly collaborative. This is the most fun I’ve had writing! Because we literally record the vocals as soon as they’re written, it’s very spontaneous.
As this album is quite short with six songs, are you planning on recording a longer one next time?
Yeah, I think this one is technically classed as a ‘mini album’. Next time we’re aiming for a 12 track full length one, bearing in mind though, it took us 21 months to do the three volumes. What we need to do now is consolidate that – get it out live in front of audiences, focus on building our live profile around the country. Myself and bass player Machine Gun work mostly on the business side.
Let’s introduce the band – Tombstone Cowboy, Machinegun Skelly, Psycho Wing, The Butcher and Digital Death. Where did these names come from, are you all big horror fans?
Yes definitely, especially Wes Craven type stuff where it’s slightly tongue in cheek and horror B movies like ‘The Return Of The Killer Tomatoes.’ I think it’s so easy to take yourself seriously. But the characters themselves, the Demons, who were sent to the surface, they didn’t have a form, so as mentioned I took over this zombie cowboy. Machine Gun was a Chicago gangster, The Butcher (also known as Dr Doom) is the only actual living Demon – he’s a human being that’s been possessed. Psycho was fried in the electric chair in the ’60’s. He wears that mask because every time he looks in the mirror, he sees different faces looking back at him and it drives him even crazier. Digital Death is actually digital, he hasn’t got a body, that’s why he wears robes. He puts the rubber mask on top just so he’s got a face. Basically, he occupies cyber space, he can go into any network or electrical system and possess you.
Moving onto the live shows and if it has scary content, Tom said:
Well yes, if you’re sensitive about what happens to babies and beheadings!
We started at the end of 2010 and we’re doing 2 or 3 gigs every week and of course Halloween is bonkers for us! The good thing is we’ve got so much stuff we can do, we can play any size of venue within our current level we’re at and make it work. I think giving people a show is so important.
We went on to discuss musicians and Tom gave me his opinion about TWISTED SISTER’s Dee Snider:
Dee Snider is for me possibly the best front man. He’s just a genius, he’s note and pitch perfect all the time and he’s still a wise ass. He doesn’t take himself seriously at all, that’s the kind of feel we go for, somewhere in between Steel Panther and Slipknot.
Can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?
I’ve been playing guitar since 1980 and I’ve been lead guitarist of the Ozzy Osbourne tribute band for about three and a half years. I’ve also done lots of session work. Our bassist has been playing for years since the ’80’s and the rhythm guitarist since the mid ’90’s. Our drummer is mainly know for his work in Slack Babbath, the Black Sabbath tribute band. And Digital Death is new, this is his first band.
Discussing the music scene today, Tom stated:
It would be nice if people stopped experiencing things through social media and actually go down to the local venues and support events. We still promote in the old fashioned way to be honest – we still produce flyers and posters, we still send press releases to local papers and try and get the word out that way, because you can’t rely on social media.
There are people desperately trying, saying to people “come on get off your arses and stop viewing the world through your laptop or tablet”, get out there and support it! For example the Metal 2 The Masses events, I can’t fault them, it’s a great opportunity for bands.
What are the upcoming plans for the band?
We need to get somebody on board to look after the business side, which is a really high priority. We’re at that stage where we’ve peaked with our own network. We’ll carry on plugging away, developing ideas for our full length album. There are a couple of festival bills coming up, but I can’t say about those at the moment. There may well be a new video by the end of the year, lots that stop me getting to sleep at a sensible hour!
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Check out more about DEMONS OF OLD METAL here.