Hi Jeff, please tell us all important facts about the new album.
The new cd was done in about 4 months at my Watersound Studios for most of it. I still have some new ideas but there is also a lot of the back-top-the-roots metal in the songs. Padden, our singer is much more relaxed in the studio this time, as it is his 2nd cd now. Instead of trying to make a voice to suit each song, Padden narrowed in on 2-3 voices for this cd. I left off the usual 1-2 ballads or instrumental songs this time so I think it gives the listener the impression that the cd is heavier than the last one. Also the mixer, Chris Coldrick and drummer Tony Chappelle really make this a heavier cd in the sound and the drumming.
What are the differences between "Schizo Deluxe" and "All For You"?
New mixer. A different drummer. Better production. Heavier cd. No ballads to slow down the mood. Padden has more of his own and simpler style. I kicked my ass on this one.
My favourite songs are the thrashy "Plasma Zombies", then "Warbird" because of his catchy chorus and the highspeed track "Drive". Can you give us more details about these songs?
Plasma is cool. TV and computer generation of kids. Kids not going outside to play. No friends. No excersise. Their only friend is a computer or a computer game or a Playstaion/Xbox or a TV. Not all kids but way too much. Fucking heavy song. Especially when Dave screams the title. Thrash music! Very typical Annihilator part in the middle where I take the song into a completely different style and right back to thrash.
Warbird. Slow. Heavy. Great singing again. Dave pronounces his words so clearly that it almost cuts your ears. This song has a bit of feeling from "Set the world on fire" but heavier. Very catchy metal song.
Drive. Super hard and difficult to play this one. I am sure most all musicians will agree that this is nearly impossible for most to attempt to play, now you know why there are not a lot of Annihlator tributes out there, most can't play the stuff, hehe. Not much to say except this is one of the most difficult and hardest guitar, bass and drums you will find on most any metal cd. Definitely has some early Razor influences.
Has the title "Schizo Deluxe" something in common with the lyrics in general?
The title has a few meanings. The word "Schizo" was used in a few of my songs from previous cds. Also, my music can be quite Schizo too! But the real meaning was to tell my Schizo fans, this is the name they have in our www.annihilatormetal.com forums and this is the name of ours fans, that this is a deluxe Annihilator cd and that it is for them. No concept for the lyrics in general. Usually just things I read or see on tv or real-life stuff. Observations too.
I suppose "Like Father, Like Gun" is a song against war and imperialism. Do you agree?
It is a song I wrote down after watching a news reoprt where there were fathers marching with guns and shouting hate; with their children beside them. Sad.
You will release a limited digibook edition with three songs. Can you tell us something about these bonus-tracks, maybe there are some coversongs?
No covers. One of them is a track of the very first Annihilator song recorded by me and John Bates, it is called "Annihilator", but is not the same song as is on "King of the kill". Another is a ghetto blaster recording of "I am in command", our first ever rehersal with Coburn Pharr, the other is the song "Weapon x" from the last cd sessions. This was on a single cd called "The one" but was not avaliable to our fans on the "All For You" cd. Cool tune.
When can the german fans welcome Annihilator in germany for a tour?
No concrete plans yet but we will let everyone know when we do.
You did 16 albums in your career. What was the most important album, not only for commercial reasons, but for personal and musicial reasons?
I was wrong, it is more like 19 official releases now, hehe! Important cds were "Alice in hell", "King of the kill", "Criteria for a black widow", "All for you". "Carnival diablos" was a great one for my guitar playing. "Alice in hell" was the one that started my career. "Never neverland" because of the big sales and tours with bands like Judas Priest or Pantera. "King of the kill" because of the touring success and sales in Asia. "Criteria for a black widow" because it brought me back from the not-so-good "Remains" cd. "All for you" because it introduced Padden as singer and set us up for "Schizo deluxe". Everyone is now talking about Annihilator again.
Annihilator had several changes on the vocalist position, Randy Rampage, Coburn Pharr and actually Dave Padden is doing a very good job. Who is or was the "best" vocalist for Annihilator?
All of them for different reasons. For example, Rampage had that "attitude". Pharr was original and perfect for the "Neverland" cd. Waters was ok! They all rock.
Do you think that it's an advantage for newcomer bands that they can use the world wide web for promoting their songs and stuff, because in the older days bands didn't have this possibility?
It's an advantage for the new, young, unknown bands. For the huge major label bands, it is not really too much of a big factor. For the one's in the middle, though, it can mean a big difference between touring and not touring and surviving.
What has changed in the metal scene if you compare the situation when you started with the situation of today?
In the 80's it was mainstream. Now it is more an underground thing but now it is coming back. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Slayer, etc are bringing it back in big ways.
Please tell us something about the scene in canada, are there some talented newcomer bands you would call "the next big thing"?
I don’t follow too much of the "scene" here.
Do you have enough time to visit concerts and listen to other bands?
Sometimes. I am a very busy guy but I am going to the Priest show on Friday here in ottawa canada.
You started in the mid 80's. Have you ever expected that nearly twenty years later fans are still attracted to Annihilator and crazy about your music?
I never expected or dreamed of it. My goal as a teenager was to get a record deal and put a record out. That was all. Never did I dream that I would be promoting studio cd 11 and release 19, wow! And I feel like I am only halfway through my career with this band. Judging by the fan and press interest in this cd, I am going to be around a long time. But I guess I have proven that a long time ago.
Yeah, you certainly proved that a long time ago. Are you still in contact with the guys who were part of the line-up that released the legendary debut "Alice In Hell"?
Yes. Not all the time but occasionally I will speak to or send a message to them.
Anything you want to add or tell the fans?
You all rock and you must listen to Annihilator's "Schizo deluxe". It is for you!