DEAD BY WEDNESDAY is one of those bands that come along once in a while where you’re like, “Whoa! Stop everything!! I gotta know all about these guys!!” That’s exactly how I felt upon first hearing them a few months ago. They just put out a new EP Death of the Rockstar and the songs are heavy as hell, yet there’s great melody in there to go with it. I was able to get Opus the drummer to engage in an e-mail interview with me recently, and thought I’d share it with you guys. Take a look:
Amps: You recently hit the road for a couple of weeks with SHADOWS FALL for a quick run. Any chance of a Southwest swing through Texas at some point?
Opus: We wish! It’s very possible. Usually we always try and play a couple shows in Texas. We love TX actually and have played there many times on the last STRAIGHT LINE STITCH run with Hatewear Inc., as well as on our own tour and I believe with SCUM OF THE EARTH and even ICP years and years ago! One of our favorite places is Dallas/Fort Worth. Shout out to our boys in SWEET TOOTH! Maybe if this tour with them goes well, we can do more stuff with SHADOWS FALL or whoever else, who knows. The more people demanding SHADOWS FALL and DEAD BY WEDNESDAY together in those markets the better, so go to their social media pages and DO IT!!!
Amps: You must forgive me for being a brand new fan and largely ignorant of past works, but I’m here now! Tell me about the writing make-up of the group.
Opus: Well, we all write separately and come in with riffs or melodies and then we embellish them as a group and turn them into a structure then a song or sometimes we just all jam and write in the room together and over time develop them as well. We don’t have any specific formula to how we write. Just whatever feels right to us and gels.
Amps: The songs on Death of the Rockstar are really, really good. I’m curious as to why you chose to only release an EP when clearly you had some more great material in you.
Opus: The goal was originally to do a full length CD but after Ross’ (Ragusa, guitar) departure we chose to keep it just an EP with 5 kick ass songs that can stand on their own instead of having a mish mosh of different songs or styles with different people and performances on it. When Ross left, he left us with unfinished songs, so we let one of our good friends from the band KINGDOM OF SORROW & JASTA, Charlie Bellmore help us with some solo duties and now we have a young new touring guitarist named Joey Concepcion from CT who also plays with ARMAGEDDON (feat. former ARCH ENEMY guitarist Chris Amott as well). He is awesome and extremely talented and brings a breath of fresh air and creativity into this band. They are amazing people and guitarists.
We will see where this leads with him after the tour. We are just humbled and blessed to be performing and touring again with a new CD under a new label, a new video coming out, & with a killer tour to support it all. The good thing is, people keep telling me that the EP does not seem short at all and it’s good enough where you want to hear it over and over on repeat. That’s the best news so far, plus we can sell them on the road for cheap, 5 songs for $5, all coming out on Ear One Productions.
Amps: There’s a definite mix of styles in the music. Who listens to what, and how does it all come together?
Opus: We are a very eclectic crew. We all listen and love metal of all types obviously but individually we listen to a lot of other stuff as well. I think every great musician should listen to or at least appreciate other styles of music as well. Being closed-minded closes off creativity sometimes, which was one of our biggest problems with some of our older members. Myself, I like everything from classical music to SLAYER and everything in-between, even real punk and mellow stuff like PINK FLOYD, THE POLICE, CAT STEVENS, etc. But I mostly like and grew up on old school metal like PANTERA, old school METALLICA, SLAYER, KISS, MAIDEN, TESTAMENT, old VAN HALEN, KREATOR, DRI, BIOHAZARD, OZZY/SABBATH, CRUE, etc. I’m sure you get the gist. Mike our bassist also likes that stuff but also loves jazz and some funk actually and even went to music school for jazz. Then we have the new schoolers & metal guys (both Joe’s – singer & guitarist) who like bands like BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, DILLINGER, ARCH ENEMY, and stuff like that…
Amps: Did any of the tracks stick out as a favorite, and if so why? For me it’s a toss-up between “Left for Dead” and “Shipwrecked”.
Opus: I personally really like the opening track “Death of the Rockstar” because of the message, what it stands for and the heavy brutal groove of it but “Shipwrecked” seems to be the odd ball favorite for a lot as well. I guess it depends on taste because “When in Rome” is very melodic so if you like singing more then there you have it but if you like pure brutality then “Left for Dead” will be your choice.
Amps: What do you do when not playing in DEAD BY WEDNESDAY? How do you spend time away from the band?
Opus: Well, I’m a full time touring musician for the most part. When not playing with DBW, I sometimes tour as the fill-in drummer for Marc Rizzo’s (SOULFLY) solo project, as well as the drummer in the classic METALLICA tribute band ALCOHOLICA. I even play acoustic guitar and even have a solo unplugged disc as a singer/songwriter but my first love and dedication is to drums. Something that a lot of people do not know is that I am also a part-time actor and have been in and on many different national and international TV shows including reality stuff, and even had small parts in movies. One movie for TV movie was called At Any Cost on VH-1 with James Franco before he blew up big.
Amps: What is ONE thing people may be surprised to know about you?
Opus: I am 100% Italian and was born in Rome, Italy and my blood father still lives there. About 20 minutes away from the Coliseum.
Amps: What’s next? What does the future hold for DEAD BY WEDNESDAY?
Opus: Well, we have a brand new music video for one of our singles “When in Rome” coming out very soon as well. It was already shot and we did it in an amazing castle so while we are out on the road it will get premiered somewhere and then we will post it up on our YouTube page and promote it. So keep an eye out for that as well as more touring in support of our new EP/CD Death of the Rockstar.
Amps: Say something to your fans out there.
Opus: Respect yourself and family first. We love all you guys and hope to see some old and new faces while out on the road. We do this for you!
Amps: Once again, thank you so much for taking time out to speak to a fan first, writer second. Take care!
I am a big fan of DEAD BY WEDNESDAY, even more so after this killer chat with Opus. And like I said in my review of the EP, “I may be here late, but I got here as soon as I could!” Check these guys out. I guarantee you’ll be thanking me!