Deadline is a Pretoria-based band old school metal band. The 6-piece band consists of members Jessy Switchblade (vocals), Raven Chaos (guitar), Judge Mental (guitar), Dizzy Styxx (drums), Skullprit (guitar) and Baz Steel (bass), and is one of the few old school metal bands in the country. Ahead of their new album, Cathedral Point, PDBY spoke to lead guitarist, Warwick Maybery, also known as “Judge Mental”. Maybery talks about the new album, where the band came from and where they are going. If you’re excited about Cathedral Point or looking for some new music, Deadline is for you!
What made you want to get into music?
My mom has always been into rock music; she used to listen to Black Sabbath in her day. When I was a kid, we used to listen to the radio in the kitchen and when a rock song came on, I would strum on my tennis racket and pretend to be a rock star. My dad bought me a guitar at age 16. It was around that time that I first heard Metallica so I started learning “Master of Puppets” and the rest is history!
How did the band meet?
Raven started the band as a way to teach Baz to play bass. They brought in Jessy to help with [the] lyrics, and Skullprit on guitar. Leigh, a good friend of the band, joined on drums, but later left and was replaced by Dizzy. When Raven announced he would be emigrating, the band asked me to join.
Your band is known for playing “old school heavy metal”. What does this mean?
Well, classic heavy metal of the 80s and 90s is the music we grew up listening to – the era of Maiden, Priest, Dio and Metallica, so to us it represents the best of the metal genres. We play what we love.
Your latest single is called, “Before I Die”. How did you go about writing this song and how was the production experience?
“Before I Die” was a song Skullprit had been working on and brought to the band room. I call him the Terminator sometimes; because of how fast he plays that opening riff! After a bit of tinkering, we ended up with one of the strongest songs on the album, which, while technical, was still catchy. We all agreed it deserved to be the single.
Regarding the production, I remember the recording being a breeze because my parts in that song are easy. Skullprit may differ though, haha! But no, it was a smooth experience. Mike (from Gloryvale Studios) handled the recording expertly and Heinrich (from Burning Tone Studios) mastered it to perfection – not easy tasks when your band has three guitarists!
Your new album, Cathedral Point, releases on 26 June. What does this album say about you as a band?
It says we’re back to kick ass, shred more solos and destroy more stage equipment than before! No sympathy for cables, pedalboards or mic stands.
Your debut album, Black Wolf City has been out for a while now. How has your band evolved since then?
Black Wolf City was a great album, and my favourite song of ours is still “White Death”, from that album. But Cathedral Point represents our collective growth as musicians and shows off more speed, power and technical ability. It’s faster and heavier. I joined the band between the two albums, which brought some different ideas and influences to Cathedral Point.
Who do you draw inspiration from?
The band has a great depth of musical knowledge, including not only the classic old school bands, but also everything from Helloween to Dimmu Borgir. We all love attending international metal festivals like Download and Wacken whenever we get the chance. So we have a wealth of musical experience to draw from. Personally, I’ve always been a huge fan of Glenn Tipton (one of the guitarists from Judas Priest). He wrote solos that raced across the fretboard and seemed to defy musical theory, and he made it look like nothing to play them. His work on “Painkiller”, “All Guns Blazing” and “Ram It Down” are a big influence on my song writing.
How would you describe the South African metal scene?
It’s a relatively small scene, but passionate and dedicated! Generally, there definitely seems to be a leaning towards death metal in the scene, so Deadline is often the wild card on the bill. We have many world-class bands that are doing great things, so remember to support SA heavy metal!
What will your first performance after Covid-19 be?
Cathedral Point releases on 26 June, and we’re not missing the chance to launch it! So we’re streaming a live performance on Saturday 27 June at 7 pm on ROCKDOWN. Go to www.howler.co.za/deadline to find out more and get your ticket!
Image Provided: Baz Steel (Basil Koufos)