About Me

Interview with Death Dealer

There are groups whose elements need no introduction. Even so, we enumerate them, just for you to feel the attack power that this super group of Power Metal has. Death Dealer are composed of Sean Peck (Cage), Stu Marshall (Empires of Eden), Ross the Boss (ex-Manowar), Steve Bolognese (ex-Into Eternity) and Mike LePond (ex-Symphony X). This project - one among the countless ones that the various elements are involved in - launched last month, its 4th album, Conquered Lands.
About this album and the next ones that are already done (!), we talked with the lead singer Sean.

M.I. – Hi! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! How are you?

I have been doing nothing but recording songs and working out. I am about to start my snowboarding season so I am kind of glad there is no touring. I hope to get about 40 ski days in this year.

M.I. – Congrats for the fantastic new album! A great dose of traditional Power Metal in its purest form. Talking about Conquered Lands… What is it about? I sense a lot of unity, brotherhood and human connection in the songs. Not just between the band members but also the band with the fans. And maybe, a will to get back to the past?

Yeah, there is definitely a lot of that in this record.  It is funny how people need to describe the style and you nailed it. This is how I was raised on metal. This is what metal is, so I love it and I am glad there are people out there that still appreciate this stuff. Most of this album was written about 4 years ago, so back then, there was a feeling I had that I wanted to cover a lot of different lyrical topics on this one.

M.I. – What`s your favorite song in the album? 

That is always a tough question. The way it works for me is that it normally changes every week or so. Then you stop listening to your own record and come back to it and have a new favorite that you land on. The ballad “22 Gone”, or maybe the title track “Conquered Lands”, probably.

M.I. – And the one you, probably, wanted to work more on? 

Hmmm, maybe “Beauty and the Blood”. But that one came out pretty good. A lot of people like it. After we sat on these songs for some years, we came back and analyzed them with fresh ears, as Stu Marshall likes to say. We injected more fury in some parts and wrote a couple more and it came together nicely.

M.I. – How is your creative process? Who does what? Do you start with the lyrics or the melody?

It is all different. This album was mostly me and Stu putting it together and Ross would add some ideas at the end. The first 2 albums, Ross had more writing involvement but he was super busy this time and we just had to get it done. Stu and I get on the Skype and spend like a couple of hours per session, from scratch mostly, and songs come out. Sometimes I have a vocal melody or a guitar melody idea that we start with. Stu and I have become an insane writing team.

M.I. – This album took three and a half years to be made, I think. Why did it take so long to see day light?

Well, we all got crazy busy. I was doing Denner/Shermann, Cage and then later, the Three Tremors. Stu started up Night Legion and Ross was doing RTB. We finally found the time to concentrate on finishing the record and we came up with the plan to put it out on my label, Steel Cartel. We had quite a few label offers but, in the end, we said “Fuck it! We will do it ourselves”.  It is selling really well so I am glad we did it this way.

M.I. – You got a new member. What did Mike bring to the band that was missing? Besides a new bass, that is.

He is probably the best bass player in heavy metal. He wrote some insane bass lines for this one and it really shows. You can hear all these great runs he did that really added a tone to the record and there is an incredible amount of areas he made better. I cannot wait to get on stage with him. He is a beast. He really loves the material too, which is cool.

M.I. - I know the band "started" on Facebook. How did social media contacts evolve until the band was born?

Yes, it did start on Facebook. I just messaged everyone that Stu and I wanted to be in a new band and they all said yes. It is a pretty funny story. If you do not ask, you never know if someone will say yes or no, so go for it people!!

M.I. - Are Death Dealer a way to keep classic 80s metal alive? Or just a group of people playing what they like most and do best? What was the main reason for creating the band?

We are not trying to keep anything alive. This is what I like to play. This is classic heavy metal in the modern age, though.  We cover all the bases.  There is a heavy dose of thrash in our stuff and we also cover classic headbanging style, power, epicness, and even hard rock, in some spots. I will put this band up onstage against anything - the blackest black metal band, the heaviest death metal band, whatever. I am used to that kind of stuff with CAGE. So many shows I have played where we are the loan band with singer like me and we crush them all mercilessly, most of the time. Sometimes, it is not your night (laughts)! But we have the power to smash it.

M.I. – What other projects are you guys involved in? 

I am in Cage, The Three Tremors and another unnamed band right now. Mike Lepond is in too many to mention. I am not sure which ones are bands and which are just albums he did. Ross has a bunch too. Stu is in Night Legion, in Australia, and Steve the drummer is with Ross in his band.  Whew!!

M.I. – All you guys are legends. With so many years of music, how do you keep your energy, mainly on stage? Where does your drive come from?

It is just the love for the music and the love of performing live. It is truly a great feeling. We are getting up in age but I am more motivated than ever to create new stuff and put out more amazing rocking products!

M.I. – With the situation of the world today, with no live gigs, festivals, etc, how are you promoting the album?

We have an advanced email list where the subscribers get free songs and premier exclusives (sign up at www.steelcartel.com!) and we do a ton of print magazine advertising. I think we did a half page ad in 11 European magazines. We have 3 publicists and then a cool network of social media fans that really support us, which is great. This album and all my albums moving forward, only stream 2 or 3 songs. If you want to hear the album, you have to buy it and support the band and support metal.

M.I. – Although you have now released your third album, you are already working on the fourth, right? How far to finishing? Any launch prediction?

Yes, the 4th album is completely finished. The 5th album is almost done too (laughts)!  It is crazy. The 4th album will probably come out in September 2021. I love the 4th album. It is probably my favorite one we have done yet. We are probably going to continue writing and move into 6th album territory. Why the fuck not? I also am releasing a new Cage record next year and a new Three Tremors record. Those are both finished also.

M.I.- The pandemic has accelerated technology and everything that has to do with the internet. As old school guys, you are very much an apologist for physical products (me too!). But thinking about trends, is it something that will eventually end? Is digital music the future?

Digital music is definitely the future but we refuse to give our albums out for free on launch date. It is fucking stupid. We are releasing the songs that we release videos for, to Spotify but no others. Digital is convenient for sure and no one can carry a record player in their car but vinyl looks fucking cooler for sure. In the next album, we will include a digital download card as well, probably.

M.I. – Do you have any plans lined up for after the pandemic is over? Any tour planned?

We have lots of offers but we are just waiting, like everyone else.

M.I. – Almost finishing here… Any last word for our readers?

Thanks for your time and thanks to all the readers.  Check out www.deathdealermetal.com and www.steelcartel.com and youtube.com/steelcartel
Thunderous Hailz!!

M.I. – Again, thanks for your time. Hope to see you on stage fast! And stay safe!

For Portuguese version, click here

Interview by Ivan Santos