interview with Death Requisite

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What year did the band form? Initially Death Requisite came together in 1999. We started moving really quickly playing shows, recording songs, and worked hard for 5 years to establish ourselves in the underground metal scene. In the beginning of 2005, we mutually agreed to take a break; which turned into a 5 year hiatus. We reforged the group in 2010, and have been going strong since then; no plans to break anytime soon.

What's your style of genre? ”Blackened Symphonic Melodic Technical Death Metal” would be a more literal description of our music; but we often refer to our style as “Extreme Hybrid Metal” - all the most potent elements of the various metal subgenres forged into one cohesive assault!

What are your names? / Who plays what?

Dave Requisite - 1st Guitar, and programmer of Virtual Instruments

Sir William Lee - Drums

Vincent Saint James - Vocals

Joseph Moria - 2nd Guitar

RTJ (Regnal the Just) - Bass Guitar

Have you had other previous members?

Yes, Death Requisite has been around for a while now, and we’ve had a few line-up changes.

We’re all still friends, but one previous vocalists in particular still hangs around a lot.

Did you make music even when you were young?

This is a yes for at least 2 of us.

William played in school.

I (Dave) have been performing since I was 4; and I wrote my first piano piece at age 5.

What inspires you? We find inspiration in lots of places, music, books, movies etc.; we have a high appreciation for many art forms.We are really into the art of story telling through all mediums, but especially in music; and we would like to see some integrity returned to the art of music. Many art forms have been enhanced and improved with modern technology, but in many ways the actual ART has been replaced by the goals of perfection and money. This is truer of music than any other art, as it is frequently dominated by commercialism. We look for the real artists in the world, who care more about their music and their craft than they do about marketing and commercial success; those are the people who inspire us.

How often and where do you reherse? Death Requisite rehearses twice a week for 2.5 hours each night. We rent a room from a local business owner, who also happens to be an awesome guy and our friend.

How have you developed since you started with the music? In the beginning Death Requisite was more traditional metal, and that was the goal; we wanted to preserve some of the genre’s original sound in a time when many artists were shifting towards the “core” side of music. Hardcore bands were becoming more metal, metal bands were becoming more hardcore, they were all meeting in the middle, and metalcore was the message of the day. So we decided to just be straight up metal at the start. Overtime we have evolved as a music project. We’ve always been very melodic and harmonic, but we experimented with lots of different speeds and styles, and frequently looked for ways to make it bigger with more instruments. We really moved in this direction when we regrouped in 2010, incorporating as many styles and instruments as possible. We had virtual instruments for the first time on “Prophets of Doom” in 2011, which were made on a friends computer. Then in 2013 we made “Second Death” and I had all the necessary equipment to program the symphony/orchestra at home on my computer. Since then we have included virtual instruments in all our music, and now we use them in our live performances as well. Death Requisite has come a long way since we started, transforming from our traditional metal origins into a multi-dimensional, trans-metal musical theatre.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Yes, kind of. We would like the benefits of this sort of representation, but we do like being in charge of our own destiny as well. Its really a matter of finding the right people to work with and finding the balance in that relationship. If its done right, and everyone is in agreement about what the goals are, I believe it can work well for us. So, yes we want to do it, but we are not going to rush into it either; we want to do it right.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? Yes we are; but not one that will take over the project. We are looking for someone who understands what we are and what we do, so we can partner and work together towards a common goal. Record labels typically have a lot more resources than we do (excluding home based start ups) and we would really like to get some serious distribution, so more people can enjoy our music. What we don’t want is to surrender our creation, and become puppets to the masters of the commercial music industry. We have met some cool people in the music business who seem to get it, and we are hoping to forge an alliance with someone like that.

What made you decide to make this music? In all honesty it started in my head. Music has been a part of my life from the beginning, and I have felt a need to write music for as long as I can remember. Coming from a home of classically trained musicians, I crave higher expressions of music, with thoughtful arrangement and lots of technical merit. Looking for modern music of this kind brought me to metal music, where we find some of the purest expressions of musicianship uncorrupted by commercialism. It was a match made in heaven. Most days my mind races with musical ideas, and Death Requisite is the vehicle I use to share my madness with the world. I feel blessed to have such great friends in the band, who understand and apprecitate what I’m trying to accomplish; they bring their skills and ideas and we work together to make these metal masterpieces a reality.

What are your songs about? Through the years we have written about a great many things. Some of the common themes include spirituality, the state of man, that battle between good and evil; these are classic and timeless subjects that will be relevant thoughtout the ages. Some of our unpublished works are more like metal operas with characters exchanging dialogue to tell the story rather than narrative lyrics or first person lyrical monologues. I’m looking forward to finishing those pieces.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? We have sort of fallen into a fairly consistent pattern, in which I write guitar parts until I feel there is a complete song. I present it to the band and we work together on the arrangement until we are happy with it. Then I will begin working on lyrics. So far this is the area where I have been given the most help, usually from the vocalist. Once the actual band parts are completed I will go to work on the symphony (virtual instruments). Often my brain gets a head-start on this during all the previous stages; just a part of my madness. Much like the guitar parts, I share these arrangements with the band for their approval and for suggestions. Most of the time everybody likes things the same way, which is great!

Do you compose in a certain inviroment? I prefer to be home alone, but it doesn’t always work out. Perhaps someday I’ll have enough funds or resources for a private place to write.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We prefer to vary a bit for our own entertainment, and for the benefit of those who may see us multiple times. I can remember the disappointment of watching an artist perform the same set as before. I want people to know they can count on us for a unique experience each time.

What was your first gig like? It was 1999, at a local dive in Bradenton, Fl. We were one of 3 local bands on the bill; and each of the other 2 bands had heard things about who were and what we were about. They made some assumptions about what to expect from us and decided that neither of them wanted to perform after us; so we ended up head-lining our first show. We were writing crazy long metal songs back then, and even at the first show we had prepared some segues from one song to the next to prevent down time on stage. The result was that people didn’t recognize where the songs started and ended; so we immediately got a reputation for 30 minutes songs.

 What was your latest gig? Last weekend, another local performance, we headlined an end of summer bash. We just finished another record this summer, and we promoted this as the first opporunity to hear that material before the release. It was a lot of fun to see how people liked the new stuff.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? Within our first year we recorded our first EP, made our first shirts, and printed our first stickers. We have stuck with these staple items for our merch throughout our metal tenure. Today we have 4 different shirt designs available, 2 different stickers, 2 CDs, and of course digital music online. Now that battle jackets/vests are making a comeback we plan to introduce buttons and patches soon.

Where can people buy your merchandise? The best place to get Death Requisite gear is on our bandcamp page, http://deathrequisite.bandcamp.com  We manage the online store personally, and regularly update the content. We stock limited physical copies and make it known what is currently available (usually everything). We also have an agreement with Metal Helm (www.metalhelm.com) for international distribution of some merch, including one exclusive shirt. Metal Helm has in-house printing also, so they never run out of stock.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays? Most of us in DR are musical purests, and we want the best. Digital music is here to stay, and artists can get paid for digital music (either directly at the time of download, or via advertising on streams), so we aren’t intimidated by it. Plus, we personally enjoy the portability of digital music. The issue we have is in the quality of sound. Physical discs are vastly superior to MP3 audio, and they are tangible: you get to hold something; its not just frequencies in cyberspace. We prefer this method. For the digital community we recommend WAV files; which typically possess 10 times the audio quality of an MP3 file.

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? The depends on what you are specifically looking for. The older bands seem to have more originality, but newer bands have more resources at their disposal. We tend to be open, and listen to lots of various artists from many time periods, including the classical periods. There are certainly a lot more bands today, and because many of them are drawing from the same inspirational sources they end up sounding much the same. So we are inclined to avoid those who sound like each other and search for the more unique groups. This didn’t happen much in the early metal days, so we enjoy most of the early works indiscriminately.

What have been your biggest obstacles? Knowledge. Its really important that you know and understand what is necessary to be a succesful music artist. Today there are so many nonmusical elements to the world of music (computer software, websites, social media, business practices) and the lack of knowledge could cost you everything. We have learned a lot of this the hard way, and honestly we don’t always do it well; but we do it, and its keeping us alive.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Be original, don’t try to be like anyone else. Learn your craft, learn how to promote your material, and play your music A LOT! Practice makes permanent, so practice often, and make sure you do it right.

Do you have any new material? YES! We just finished a new record called “REVISITATION”. We are using this record to shop for a new label home, so we haven’t released the whole thing yet. It will probably October 2015 at the earliest. In the meantime, we have pre-released one song, the title track from this record, to whet the appetite of the metal masses. You can find this song on our primary websites.

What are your web sites?

http://deathrequisite.bandcamp.com

www.reverbnation.com/deathrequisite

www.facebook.com/deathrequisite

https://soundcloud.com/death_requisite

 You can find Death Requisite all over the web, we’re just giving priority to these sites as this time.

 How can people reach you?

Email us at deathrequisite@gmail.com

or message us on Facebook

We have 2 members monitoring each of these at all times.

What are your plans for the future? More immediately, we hope to land a new record contract for “Revisitation” and a deal that will help grow our support base, and garner some more resources for the following release. I mentioned earlier a metal opera, and we fully intend to make that an all-encompassing and immersive metal masterpiece for the ages, both on disc and on stage. Its a lot of work, and obviously we’ve got a big jumpstart on the project, but it also requires more funds and connections than we currently have. The desire to make this, and do it well, is really the driving force behind the desire to return to a record label. We are all feeling really driven to complete this epic saga, so I feel comfortable saying its going to happen one way or another.

Do you have something to add? A big “THANK YOU to you, and to anyone who takes time to read up on Death Requisite and show their support. We are very realistic about who we are, the vast world of musical options before everyone; and we are honored and most grateful every time someone buys merch, or shares us with a friend, or posts our info online. We would be nothing to no-one if others didn’t care about us, and we know it. So thank you very much!

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