-For those who don't know you, can U please tell us how
long you've been around, your line-up changes, if U recorded other demos
before this one...
We have been Dark Ritual for about four years. Dale and Auggie have
been with the band from the beginning. Justin is coming up on his second
anniversery, and Jasen will be celebrating his first anniversery in
March. This band has gone through a number of member changes in the
past, ususally bassists, but our current line up is totally rock solid.
We are recording continuoulsy, and when we come across something that
is extremely good...that is what gets sent out.
-Why have U chosen such a typical name for a death or doom metal band?
It just kind of happened. A lot of the attraction to the name is that
it pretty typical and yet says nothing about what happens behind it.
You hear the name Dark Ritual, a certain image pops into your head,
then you see a picture either on the 'net or advertisement and you get
another image, and then you see us for real... live at a show... just
about the complete opposite blows your preconceived stereotypes out
of the water.
-Why did U decide to record with producer George Langis? Did U already
record with him previously?
(Justin) My friend Erin went to school with George's cousin. We were
looking for a studio to record the new material and my friend told me
that George had previouly worked on Mudvayne's last demo (the one that
got them signed). So we made an appointment went to the studio and heard
samples of what George could do. He played us the Mudvayne demo and
it sounded just like the major label CD (L.D. 50) that is out now. So
because the sound quality was great, that made us book time with Greorge.
-If U had to define your style, how would U do it?
-What's Chicago's present metal scene like?
Just like every 'sound' in every scene in every decade, each city oversaturates
the market with a formulated product. Chicago's no different... everything
that is rising to the top of the metal scene here has been sounding
the same for the past two years. But anything that's innovative, interesting
and actually good goes unnoticed. But that's the industry for you.
-When writing a song do U usually start from a riff?
And do U work long on a song before U're satisfied? No, songs just happen.
A lot of our songs seem to write themselves. Sometimes the words come
first. Sometimes the music comes first. And then there are other times
when they both happen simultaneously. There is no one way to write a
song. The writing and arranging of song usually happens pretty quickly.
Then we have to learn what we have just written...that usually takes
the most time.
-Is there balance when writing lyrics, music, and other
important aspects of your band, or is it Justin Smith who has most of
Whoever gets together with Dale, is usually how the songs get written.
Justin takes care of the graphics and multimedia. Auggie plays the drums
-What are your lyrics about? And what inspires U most?
Musically, our main inspiration is pain. The songs Dale usually writes
typically play themselves out as a scene from a story. 'Untitled', or
'Artemis' (songs from our last demo) are scenes from a definitely larger
experience, whereas 'Princess' is a complete story unto itself, with
the girl falling in love with the devil. Those songs are a bit more
typical of the way Dale writes, they are what he see as gothic-or-horror/romance.
there's the people or whatever falling in love, but there's something
just a little bit off, like the devil in "Princess", or random amounts
of blood or murder. Other times Dale writes about my personal beliefs
and what I value most. Those songs, like 'Frayed' and 'My Skin Unbroken'
off of the new disc are good illustrations of this. Dark Ritual as a
collaborative effort is an awesome thing when we all have time to write
together. In the past there's almost always been an issue of 'who can
show up and when?'. 'Frayed' was the first song that Agustin and Dale
were able to write from beginning to end together. In 2000, Justin and
Dale, got together and wrote 'Parts', which is literally "parts" that
they wrote, and then arranged it into its current form. Recently Jasen
has gotten much more comfortable with sharing his visions and ideas,
and I'm very excited about playing his music. You're going to have some
real thundering, big sounds coming out of Dark Ritual this year.
-Name your fav musical influences ( also out of metal,
if any ).
Pantera, Fear Factory, Dream Theater, Tool, KISS, Guinness Extra Stout,
Prince, Death, Slayer, Sepultura, Cradle of Filth, Rigor Mortis, Testament,
Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, King Diamond, Moosehead Canadian Lager, Opeth,
Dimmu Borgir, Faith No More, Oingo Boingo, and Weird Al Yankovic
-I'm curious to know your opinion about nu-metal
(Dale) The breakout bands that invented that genre were and still are
amazing. Unfortunatly, their success has created a cookie cutter situation,
like the pop hair metal of the '80s and the Seattle grunge movement
of the '90s.
(Jasen) I've never been an avid fan of integrating rap, hip-hop, and
simple guitar-crunch riffs. Not to dishonor the accomplishments of the
forerunners of nu-metal... after all, they were once innovators themselves.
It's just personally, it doesn't appeal to me. Call me a 'purist' if
you will, but I prefer extreme elaboration of musical integrity - pushing
conventional skills beyond their limits. But you and every reader should
know this too: I encourage all musicians to... no, I oblige them to
continue 'pushing the envelope' in different directions, tastes, and
styles all in the name of musical invention.
(Justin) There are a lot of great nu-metal bands. But these are also
the ones that invented this style of metal. The real problem with it
is the fact that once one band gets popular, you end up with a thousand
shitty knock off artists that think they are doing something great.
-From 'Frayed's video it seems to me U are definitely
a devastating live band. What are U preparing to improve your live shows?
How many dates do U have a year?
We are relatively pleased with our live shows. As we perform more and
more, the energy level increases and that is where all improvements
come from. As far as the shows we have, we average about two show a
month. But in the next year we are planning on doubling this number.
-What popular bands have U played with? Ever play outa
Yngwie Malmsteen and Lizzy Borden. No we haven't ever played out of
-Did U write any new songs recently?
We are always writing new songs... using different theories in new ways,
incorporating different genres (in and out of Metal) into our own music,
and just writing cooler and more complex riffs. They're not only fun
to do, we need to do them. We're compelled to write.
-Do U wanna add anything I still didn't ask U? No not right now.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH 13/12/01
DARK RITUAL ARE:
Dale Tippett Jr. - Guitar, Vocals
Justin Smith - Bass, B-Vocals
Auggie Jaramillo - Drums
Jasen Pantoja - Guitar
P.O. Box 34330
Chicago, IL 60634 - USA