Albums of Purgatory interview Virgin Steele vocalist David DeFeis


Firstly, what's the band up to right now?


Preparing for some summer festival concerts, writing and recording new music, and generally loosing our minds.

How would you describe the Virgin Steele sound?


BARBARIC-ROMANTICISM, is the term I use to define what the music of VIRGIN STEELE sounds like. It is Epic, Bombastic, Aggressive, but also Tender, and Sensual. We move from a whisper to a to speak. There are elements of "Romantic""Classical" music, Blues, and primal Metal all combined.

How did you get involved with the band?


I formed the Band!!! And...I convinced everyone become brain surgeons, but instead, to play music to inspire, defy and change lives!

Can you remember your first gig (how did it go)?


My first gig in general or my first gig as VIRGIN STEELE??? My first gig in general was wild. I came onstage with a Devil pitch fork and proceeded to terrorize the audience with it. I was banned from the venue after that! My first VIRGIN STEELE gig was great. We completely mesmerized & bewildered the audience. Most Bands in our area at the time were cover bands, but we came out and blasted away with a full set of our own songs which immediately established us as a force to be reckoned with.

Are you involved in any other projects and if so how do they compare to Virgin Steele?


At present...yes I am contributing some keyboards to a friends project, and I am also involved in a strange 'one off' Metal/Bluesy/Strange outfit that also includes the guitarist of VIRGIN STEELE, Edward Pursino and our bass player Josh Block. This Group is called Carnival Of Souls and it is strictly a live performance group...we are not recording. The drummer for this is my friend Geoff Fontaine who was a member of EXORCIST.

What are your favorite Virgin Steele tracks?



What are your favorite all time songs?


Everything on the first two Led Zeppelin album, the first two QUEEN albums, and T.REX'S ELECTRIC WARRIOR.

What the first record you ever bought?


Bought or traded?????? Hmmmm....maybe Alice Cooper's Love It To Death.

Which album was it that got you into metal and can you explain why?


It was probably a combination of LED ZEPPELIN'S first two albums, the first BLACK SABBATH album, early MOUNTAIN & GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, and also the second BLOODROCK album. This was a sound that was powerful, stirring, and it spoke to me of lives long past and lives yet to come. I felt that I could conquer any obstacle in Life with this sound!

What's the last album you purchased and what did you think of it?


Hmmmm.....I think it was KATE BUSH'S CD "THE DREAMING". I owned the cassette but it wore out years ago, so I decided to buy the CD. I think it is a very unique and Magickal album that takes the listener to a place far beyond the ordinary world. Kate rules!!!

What would be your dream band line-up?


I never think such things. I love the groups that I love just as they are. QUEEN, LED ZEPPELIN or BLACK SABBATH were all a dream come true to me.

If you could do a cover for a tribute album to any band, which song of which band would you pick and why?


We have done a few covers. We did Priest's "Screaming For Vengeance"on a tribute album. That turned out pretty well. We have also done "Desert Plains" which was not used on the tribute, so we put it on our"AGE OF CONSENT" album, as a bonus track. Oh yes "AGE" also contain the URIAH HEEP song "Stay On Top". Personally I'm not all that much interested in being involved with tribute albums as such. I prefer doing a variety of covers if covers are to be done, and for me...the more obscure... the better.

What do you think of the position of metal and music in general today?


Metal Music is currently enjoying a healthy renaissance. I hope it will continue. The Music Scene in general is a bit out of joint. Trends come & go so quickly, and style is placed far above quality of content, especially in the Pop Scene. When you have one or two large corporations controlling what gets out to the public, you're bound to have problems. Radio is terrible these days. It's a load of shit.

Which other bands stand out for you at the moment?


I enjoy THE CULT. I think TYPE O NEGATIVE are doing excellent work. Also GAMMA RAY is very strong....RHAPSODY is very good group.

Do you have any funny stories about the band you can share with us?


Yes one gig in GREECE stands out. I never slept after the show and it was high time for breakfast of some sort so I tried to awaken Edward to join me. For that part of the Tour I was rooming with him, (we usually all have separate hotel rooms), but anyway he could not be roused, so I wrecked his bed with my Sword that I use onstage,  (he was of course still in it). Anyway after destroying his bed, I felt bad about disturbing his distinguished repose, so I let him have mine, since I was not planning on sleeping in it anymore that day, or sleeping ever again. I careened out the door, ran into some Fans & signed a few autographs, but then...for some reason a few minutes later I returned to the room and proceeded to destroy my bed as well, (and he still never got up!!! That kid can sleep anywhere!!!) And then....I wrecked the rest of the room. (Yes of course there was too much Wine involved and various other problems going on!!!) Anyway, somewhere along the way I managed to slice myself up with the Sword pretty nastily. Then still crazed...I found my way up to the hotel rooftop, where the open-air breakfast buffet was going on.
Mind you I'm shirtless, with no shoes and wearing ripped leather pants and dripping blood. Zeus bless the Greeks...they stared but not one person suggested I leave, or even said anything at all to me during the entire episode!!! Anyway, I then attempted to sit down and either eat or drink...I wasn't sure what I wanted at that point, and my sound engineer who over those past several hours had been continually annoying me, finally said something that was the "straw that broke the camels back" so...I lunged over the table, grabbed him by the neck and screaming at the top of my lungs I started to strangle him and then attempt to behead him with...what was fortunately only a very stylish butter knife. (I had left the Sword stuck inside a chair back in the room, spewing stuffing). The bass player at first encouraged me in my execution of our sound guy, but he soon realized that he had better intervene, and he managed to calm me down somewhat. Somehow I made it back to the room, to have a shower and begin that days round of Interviews, (with a splitting headache which only more Wine could cure…and it did!).

and finally, what do you see in the future for Virgin Steele?

The future will reveal itself in its own time. Hopefully we will complete the next studio album in a timely fashion, and then do a very extensive World Tour. We are planning more shows, a DVD, a live album, etc.. Many projects are in the works.

Thanks for your time and the interview and stay insane


You're very welcome. Hey who told you I was insane?!! Thanks very much for your support! Cheers & Stay...INVICTUS!
David DeFeis