Interview with LADY BEAST
The Band: Lady Beast
Answers by: Christopher “Twiz” Tritschler (guitar), Deborah Levine (vocals)
Originally formed in 2009, LADY BEAST quickly immersed itself in the East Coast live scene, developing a reputation as a band who can seamlessly blend venerable NWOBHM sounds and thrash. Their second album, “Vicious Breed”, is LADY BEAST’s most dynamic album to date, offering a wide variety of moods and flavors, time to talk about it, enjoy this cool chat we had with them.
Hello guys, on November 17th you are releasing your new album “Vicious Breed”, what are your expections about it?
Twiz: We just hope that as many people as possible hear it, and love it. All of us feel that this is our best album to date. We’re really proud of the songs, as well as the production on the album. It’s our best sounding record.
Being an American band you have signed by Cruz Del Sur Music, globalization at it best, how did it happen?
Twiz: I’ll let Deb elaborate on this one because she was primarily in contact with the label when we were looking for someone to put out the record. I will say that I’m really excited for what the future holds for us and Cruz Del Sur working together.
Deb: We have actually only released on European labels (besides our own independent label Cobra Cabana that our vinyl is on). I would say that’s majority where our fan base is as well. Its all about networking and connections and we were very lucky to work with everyone we have so far and looking forward to our future with Cruz del Sur.
Comparing “Vicious Breed” with your previous album “Lady Beast II” what would you say?
Twiz: I think the most noticeable thing is the sound of the album. The production is a little more raw on Vicious Breed (as well as with the Metal Immortal EP we put out last year). To my ears, it sounds closer to how we sound live or at band practice. I love the songs on “II”. That record has the first songs I wrote after I joined the band (Bind The Runes, Caged Fury, Heroes Of Our Time, etc). I feel like “II” is where the overall sound of the band started to gel.
Originally your sound was categorized as a blend of the NWOBHM and thrash, I think nowadays you have even a more open style
Twiz: I think we still draw from the same influences, but it’s impossible as an artist not to try to grow, and get better. I doubt we’ll ever do anything that waivers too far from the sound that we are going for.
Lady Beast offers not only strong compositions, the good melodies are also present in your songs
Twiz: When I write a song, I can tell if I’m on the right track if I keep hearing the riff in my head long after I’ve turned off my amplifier. I love a simple melody, or the hook of a good guitar riff. A lot of my favorite bands (Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Metalucifer) have these perfect guitar harmonies in their songs. As a metal fan, I just try to write things that I would be stoked to hear if I was in the crowd at one of our shows. I like when albums are dynamic. I remember reading an interview with Jimmy Page and he talked about how he would put an acoustic song, or a ballad before a song that was a rocker. I like having that contrast on an album. It makes the fast songs faster, heavy songs heavier, etc.
How long did you work on “Vicious Breed”? How was the comsposition process?
Twiz: I’d say the album took a little less than 2 years to write. Some of the songs (The Way, Always With Me) were written at the time we recorded the Metal Immortal EP. When I write the music for a song, I never sit down with my guitar with the intention of writing a song. I just like to play guitar a lot. Usually what happens is I’ll be playing my music room. Sometimes a riff or a guitar lick will catch my attention, and I’ll start riffing on it. All of my songs started with either a riff or a melody of a few notes. Once I get a rough sketch of what the song is going to be, it kind of writes itself. The trick is to be receptive to where the song wants to go. Whenever I start a new song, I usually record it on my phone and text it to everyone in the band to see what they think. My phone is full of parts of Lady Beast songs. Haha.
Yes, phones are so useful sometimes… What the lyrics about?
Twiz: I’ll let Deb handle this one since she writes all the lyrics. I think that she writes a lot about traditional themes in metal that we like.
Deb: The lyrics are never written before I hear the song. The way the song feels and moves definitely determines where the lyrics will go. I tend to lean towards the same format with all of our albums. I always have the song about how awesome heavy metal is, the an epic telling of a story, a underdog tale, a song preaching positivity and self growth. I am very happy how the lyrics and melodies came out with this album.
With this album you deliver your first ballad, properly speaking, softening your proposal or widening the range?
Twiz: The funny thing is I didn’t really intend for this to be a ballad when I wrote the music for it. I originally just had an idea to try to write a slow heavy song like The Zoo or something. That and I wanted to have a song where I could hit a chord and have a sip of beer during a live show. Haha. Joking aside, it turned into a ballad with how Deb sang to it, and the lyrics that she wrote for it. She can elaborate on the song’s lyrics if she wants to, but basically it’s a song about loss, and remembering. I like that this song can be for anyone that has lost someone, and that is all of us. It’s our tribute to anyone that is no longer here. -That could be loved ones, heroes, pets, anyone. When we play it, I always think about my grandparents, and a dear childhood friend’s mother that lost her battle with cancer. Lyrically, it’s a heavy song, but I hope that people realize that it is meant to be a way to celebrate those that are no longer with us in this world. I love it.
With Lady Beast we find a case similar to some classic bands as Chastain, Impellitteri, old Omen etc, this is, a big couple axeman&vocalist?
Deb: Yes!! Totally Shredding! Like we have said over the years, we are not trying to reinvent heavy metal. We are only trying to put our own spin and sound on it. Hopefully we will only get to continue playing with our favorite bands, and the original female fronted metal bands!
With this new album Deborah Levine submits her request to queen of the current heavy metal kingdom?
Deb: Yes I am ready and willing to lead my heavy metal loyal subjects forever!!! There are many queens of heavy metal and we can all share the title!! Hahaha
Rise the fist and yell for the Queen!! hahaha Any favorite song in the album?
Twiz: Honestly, I can’t say that I have a favorite song on the album. I have a lot of songs that I really like playing, and I will drift between songs that I like the most. I honestly do like all the songs on this album. We worked really hard on all of them, and I can’t wait for people to hear them.
If I’m not mistaken, Andy Ramage was part of the mighty band Argus, also signed by Cruz del Sur, but surprinsingly there you were playing bass and now you are the lead guitar in Lady Beast, how was it?
Deb: Andy has many musical talents. We are lucky to have him join the band and fill a gap, and allowing us to grow and mature as a band. Argus are very good friends of ours and its a great feelings to be able to share the experience of being on the same label and playing together.
Adam Ramage on drums, Andy Ramage on guitar… any family tie here or just coincidence?
Andy is Adam’s older brother. They played together in Oh Shit They’re Going To Kill Us. Ironically, it was a reunion with the Ramage brothers on a photo shoot 7 or 8 years ago that resulted in me joining the band. I knew those guys through one of my roommates in college. We hung out back in the day. Over the years, we lost touch. I was asked to do some photos for OSTGKU, and that led to me auditioning as 2nd guitar for Lady Beast. Fast forward to a couple years ago when Andy joined the band, and everything came full-circle. Andy and I have always admired each other’s bands, and guitar playing. The band got a lot tighter after Andy joined. I think that’s because he and Adam played together in bands before, but mostly because they’re brothers. There’s a weird deeper connection with siblings in bands. When we’re playing out of town, you can usually find Andy and I talking about guitars, or analyzing the early Metallica albums.
Cool! Now that you have signed by an Italian label I suppose we will have the chance to see you in some European fest at least, right?
Deb: YES!! We have been wanting to tour Europe from the start! But to be honest in a way I am glad we haven’t yet. We are now in this day, better players and performers than we have ever been. I feel confident and excited to now unleash a super professional and polished Lady Beast into the world with this new full length and am ready for the future! Europe if definitely on the horizon!
Twiz: That’s what we’re hoping. Some of us have had the opportunity to tour in Europe with other bands that we have been in. I love it over there.
Hopefully we will see you around here very soon, guys, thanks and congratulations for your new album!
Twiz: Thanks for asking us to do this interview. Cheers.
Deb: Yes thank you for taking the time! And thank you for sharing heavy metal!!!