Interview With The Deathtones

What was the beginning point for your music career? How did it all start?

As independent musicians, we all had different starting points:

-Pat toured with Lexis Jumps and others.

-Mr. Grim played festivals and such with his band Asmara.

-Dorian has played with some of the biggest names in rock and metal like Michael Angelo Batio and Zak Stevens as well as forming his own group “Portraits By Candlelight”

-Mikey has played in front of thousands of people over the course of his career, having a firm grip on the Northeast US casino circuit.

-Billy is kind of the outlier. Our charismatic frontman and songwriter has played with many acts over the years and founded more than one of them, but never got the chance to tour or play for a huge crowd. We’re hoping The Deathtones bucks that trend.

That was us individually, but together as RadioRiot! and later The Deathtones, it started more or less when we opened for Richie Ramone of The Ramones. It was us and about 4 other bands and we got the best crowd reaction of the night (except for Richie himself). That’s when we said, “okay, full steam ahead”. Once we heard that audience we knew we had something good and we should pursue it viciously.

Were there any bumps in the road? What kind of challenges did you have to deal with?

There are always bumps in the road, but not like you’d think. There aren’t any skeevy people trying to get one over on us. There isn’t a lack of a fanbase. If anything, this is one of the most welcoming music scenes out there. We’re all freaks and we know it!

The only bumps we’ve had so far really come down to the lack of musicians in our area to round out our live lineup and, to be honest, our own schedules. We’re all adults in our 30’s, live hours away from each other and have jobs in different industries as well as significant others, kids, et cetera, so scheduling is hard. Good luck getting us all in the same room for promo pictures haha. We’re just thankful that during Covid we became really skilled at remote recording so we can still keep on keeping on without having to pay for a studio and drag everyone into the booth for hours on end.

What was the most fulfilling and satisfying moment so far?

The rest of the guys may have other opinions, but I think the most fulfilling and satisfying thing we’ve done is when we signed on with Dan Phillips and We Are Horror Records in October/November. Not only are they good people who care about the genre, but they gave us a shot. There are very few bands in any genre that get a record deal after being together for only a year. It’s like a big horror family, us and our label mates and I hope we get to play together live someday. (Tour maybe? Never say never!) 

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

We take anything to do with any facet of the horror genre, be it movies, books, video games, real life atrocities, folklore or true crime and just write really cool creepy rock, punk and metal songs about it. Nothing is off limits, and in the case of real life happenings, (example, the Black Death, the Holocaust, The Plague Of Justinian, Jonestown, the Purges, etc) we always treat the source material with respect and reverence.

What is your creative process like?

Billy writes the basic outline of the song, tracking rhythm guitar, vocals, organs and strings to a click track. Then it goes onto our file sharing cloud where Mr. Grim take is and tracks his drums. It then travels to Pat, Dorian and Mikey and they track the other guitar parts as well as the bass. Finally it comes back to Billy who edits, mixes, masters and releases the song or album.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

Hahaha where do I start? 

 1. Venues that are willing to actually pay for entertainment.

 2. A much better artist cut from streaming services.

 3. More coverage of niche genres like ours as well as the umbrella rock/metal genre as a whole. More people know the Misfits now because of their logo rather than their music. There are grown a** adults out there who have never heard of Megadeth or Pantera. Who have never heard of Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. But they all know MGK, Yungblood and every mumble rapper on SoundCloud. But that’s not their fault. How are you supposed to know what’s out there if all you see every day are TikTok videos? 

 4. Lastly, before I make this a novel, the gatekeepers need to go and stay gone. “Oh, you’re not metal if you don’t…” or “That’s not punk! Punk is…” Like f**k you dude. Punk is an attitude. Metal is an attitude. Be it thrash, speed, power, whatever. Metal is metal and if people find a way to make money off their passion, that’s amazing and good for them. We need to stop this schoolyard crap and just raise horns together again.

If you were asked to give a piece of advice to upcoming bands, what would that be?

Billy: Don’t give up. I say this every interview that we do. It took me over 15 years of songwriting, playing and hard freaking work to get noticed. Not everything good happens in your teens and 20’s. Hell, Morgan Freeman didn’t get his big break until he was what? 40? 50? The point is that if you want something, work for it. Make it a part of you and pursue it relentlessly until you get it. And PRACTICE! 

What has been the best performance of your career so far?

Opening for Richie Ramone. Not our biggest show but it’s what set us on the course we’re on now.

If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing now?

We’d still probably be doing what we do for our day jobs already. Billy is a chef, Mikey is a baker, Pat is a stage manager for a local theater, Mr. Grim is a maintenance guru…but I don’t know about Dorian. I mean, he’s a college professor for music. With a PHD related to music. I guess if he didn’t become a musician he’d be…I dunno… a mechanic, a barber? He doesn’t talk a lot so he’s a bit of a mystery. I’ve literally said 4 words to the man and he’s in the band🤷🏻‍♂️

What is new with the band at the moment? 

Well like I said earlier, we signed on with We Are Horror Records about a month ago and will be releasing an album with them in 2023. 

We also have our “Horrordays” (a play on “holidays”) EP coming out in a few days. So if you get sick of Mariah, give us a listen!

We try to release new content monthly so just keep up with us on our social media!

What are you currently working on and would like to share with the world?

We are currently finishing up our release schedule for 2023 and are working toward finalizing our live lineup and setlists.

Here are our social links if you want to know more about The Deathtones or We Are Horror Records! 
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