The return of the US Epic Heavy Metal legend TWISTED TOWER DIRE with their 6th album is coming. There are some things you would always like to improve, for instance your cell phone. But when it comes to Metal, good and classic Metal, there are just names and bands you would like to frozen and keep always young no matter how many years may pass. TTD are one of those things we should keep immutable, and at least with this new album we still have them at their best. Enjoy this fresh and sincere talk to guitarist and composer David Boyd.
Hello David! For fans of US epic heavy metal a new album of TTD is always great news, in this age of crazy & fast changes people are in need of icons like you, what do you think?
I’m humbled by the fact that anyone would consider us icons. If we can somehow be a source of inspiration to some people, that’s great. As a band, we just always write songs that interest us and try not to follow any trends. The band isn’t a career for any of us, so that allows us the flexibility to do what we want without worrying about making money or making everyone happy. If we make back everything we’ve invested in this album and not a penny more, I’d be very pleased!
The wait has been long, 8 years since your last album Make It Dark, any especial reason for it?
It took a while for us to decide how to approach this album. I ended up writing the core songs and everyone else contributed from there. Scott is usually the main songwriter and I didn’t know if I could even do it. It took some time to write everything then record, mix, etc. We’re not planning to wait this long next time and Jim already has a bunch of songs written.
On fire! I am lucky to have listened to your new album Wars In The Unknown and I can sincerely say that the best times of TTD are back, agree?
Thanks so much! We’re all very pleased with the album and I’m glad you like it too! We did try to capture the energy and style of early TTD and it seems to have worked out well. The reviews have been great so far and it’s nice to get such excellent feedback on something that required so much work and energy to create. We definitely feel reborn as a band.
Tony Taylor left us in 2010, no doubt he contributed to make TTD what it is nowadays, this new album is also dedicacted to his memory?
In a certain sense all of TTD’s work is dedicated to Tony, but we officially dedicated this one to Carlos Denogean who played drums for Walpyrgus, Volture, Salvacion, Weedeater and other bands. He was a great friend who recently died of a brain aneurism at age 30. It was a freak thing and it rocked all of our worlds. He was in great shape and lived life to the fullest. I also lost my Mom during the creation of this album and lost another friend just a few weeks ago. I guess this is something to get used to as we get older, but it’s tough.
Yes it always is and we send you our condolences and support for such big losses. Your beginnings were in The Washington D.C. suburbs in the early 90’s, what do you remember of that time?
Most of the band was from that area, but I grew up a few hours south and spent my first years in the band driving a lot to and from band practice. It kind of sucked but it was totally worth it to play with those guys! I remember practicing a lot and playing as much as possible. We opened for a lot of national acts at a club called Jaxx and played several festivals in the U.S. and Wacken in 2000. I remember getting to Wacken and being blown away. I had no idea how big it was, even back then, and some kid immediately recognized Marc and I and asked for our autographs. I think we signed his denim jacket, it was totally surreal!
Jonny Aune was the replacement when Tony left the band, a critical moment? Did you ever played with the idea of giving up the project after his departure?
We never discussed giving up on TTD, but if Jonny hadn’t done it I’m not sure who could have filled those shoes. He’s an amazing dude and we’re very fortunate that he was willing to continue this journey with us. I’m in awe over what he recorded for the new album…totally blown away. Our buddy Johnny Wooten recorded and produced the vocals and those two guys killed it!
When did you start the composition of “Wars In The Unknown” and how was the process?
I basically roughed out all of the music myself and recorded demos with Marc…just rhythm guitars and drums. From there we wrote the vocal parts and recorded some demos with Jonny on vocals. We recorded all of the instruments ourselves and sent it to our buddy Kevin 131 to mix. He did an excellent job and everything just fell into place with everyone giving it 100%. It was kind of like magic the way it all came together so well.
Compared to your classic albums how would you rate “Wars In The Unknown”?
I love all of our albums for different reasons, but this is my personal favorite so far. It’s a little darker than the last one but it has great vocal parts and hooks like Crest of the Martyrs. We tried to incorporate elements of all of our albums on this new one. All of the songs are pretty straightforward and we didn’t try to overcomplicate anything. I might be bias since I had a big role in writing it, but I suspect the others agree with me too. Maybe I should ask them..haha!
It’s good to see that key elements as power solos, great riffs and big vocals are still there in this new album
I think what helped this album is that we didn’t cut any corners and everyone made sure they contributed 100%. Not that we haven’t in the past, but maybe it just took us this long to figure out how to do things right. The vocals were really the icing on the cake. I was blown away when I heard what they did. The backing vocals came out great too, everything just sounds well rounded and complete.
Jonny Aune is fully integrated in the band after so many years but with this second album he really clears up any doubt that any “diehard fan” could still have
I don’t envy Jonny because he can’t seem to get out from under Tony’s shadow, but he’s extremely talented and proved that to me once again when I recorded his vocal demos. He had everything arranged and prepared and switched things up on the fly as necessary. He did demos for 8 new songs in about 12 hours over two days. The guy is a machine! I think this album allows him to truly shine and prove that he’s a big league contender in the metal scene. We’re very fortunate to have him!
Each time I listen to the album I choose a new favorite song hahaha, and maybe that is the best point of it!
I have a few favorites but I think they all turned out great. I think writing them slowly over some time allowed me to think more and get inspiration. If I wrote them all over a few weeks I think they would sound too similar and I’d be using some material that wasn’t top notch. I hate how long it took to finish, but I’m very proud of the end product!
The cover has a classic and underground air that goes perfectly in line with your music, different to covers of previous albums
We definitely wanted something less busy for this one. I do think it complements the music well, straightforward and hard hitting!
You have played in underground epic arenas as the KIT and the Frost and Fire festival, more chances to see you around this year?
We’re happy to be playing the Legions of Metal festival (Chicago) in May. That’s all we have booked right now. Hopefully we can make it back to Europe very soon!
A great festival that Legions, big names. Music has changed a lot, same as the world, what do you expect from the future?
Underground music is a special thing and I think there will always be bands to carry the torch of true metal. TTD will continue to do what we do until we can’t anymore. As much as I love music and playing guitar, I didn’t expect to be doing it when I was 45 years old…but I’m pleasantly surprised! We’re fortunate to have a small fanbase that supports us. That’s what keeps us going as a band and we appreciate it!
If you could rescue and preserve something from the past what would you choose?
That’s a big question! Honestly, I would go back and do more to support my Mom when she was battling cancer. I’d spend more time with her and try to make her well. That’s unrelated to the band but it’s the best answer I can provide. A TTD moment I’d like to revisit again would be our first tour in Europe. It had it’s up’s and down’s, but I learned a lot and it was my first time traveling outside of the U.S. It was an adventure and it changed me profoundly. I wonder what I’d do differently now and how I’d handle everything?
Thank you very much for your comments and sincere words David, much appreciated, and congratulations for the great new album, if you wish to add something…
I’d like to thanks No Remorse for all of the support, Sure Shot Worx for handling promotion, the other members of TTD for kicking ass and our fans for not giving up on us. Cheers and metal!!