Black Anvil Bassist Discusses New Album and His Love For Twisted Sister
In the wake of the release of Black Anvil's second full-length record 'Triumvirate' and a successful US tour with Swedish black metal juggernaut Watain, bassist Paul Delaney took some time to answer questions about Twisted Sister, the band's hardcore past, and the importance of being on one's own path.
Noisecreep: Your new album, 'Triumvirate,' was released late last year. How is it different from your previous release, 'Time Insults the Mind'?
Paul Delaney: We feel it's a natural progression. The first record was written fast, as it was the beginning of the band. However, we've all been tied together in life for over a decade, so it came pretty naturally to get the ball rolling. Getting together initially to write again after some time apart seemed to be very productive and we're pleased with the outcome. For 'Triumvirate,' we actually set out to start a second record. So without thinking, there's a different mindset. We managed to write a way more aggressive record on both a musical level and a lyrical level. To us, the lyrics are what drive the music; it was time to look at the bigger picture and be the vehicle to produce what was needed.
The three of you have been playing together on and off for many years. What other bands have you been in together?
Kill Your Idols mainly. I am in None More Black, which Raeph has also filled-in for, and Gary and I are both in Death Cycle, which Raeph has filled-in for as well. Raeph was in Cause for Alarm, SFA, Gary was in a later version of Sheer Terror. He currently does live shows with Cro-Mags. I've spent lots of time with Madball ... The list is rather lengthy.
The new record has a more stripped-down vibe. What was the songwriting process like this time around?
We, as a whole, have a stripped down vibe in a way. The way we write has pretty much been how we always [do it]; get together and create. We will never lose sight of the reality of that and try to be something we are not. Where the next record will take us, who knows. It will for sure be different from this in many ways, but we have somewhat of a signature sound that we can never stray from. Musically and lyrically, this record is a whole different beast from the first which is way more important.
When I listen to Black Anvil, I hear a heavy Celtic Frost/Hellhammer vibe, maybe a little early Darkthrone, and also a hardcore overtone. Were there any new influences on the latest record?
I can actually say the main influence for 'Triumvirate' was us ourselves. There's a connection that's a little unexplainable and it all comes together. Musically, our influences range all over the place. [Celtic] Frost and Darkthrone of course, Rainbow, to Mercyful Fate, Agnostic Front, Bad Brains, Black Sabbath... the list is uncontrollable, but that is all s--- that's just always subconsciously with us. Bands we hate influence us as well. Lyrically, the inspiration gets darker and darker as we venture deeper into a darker mindset. That is where the magic is created.
Where was 'Triumvirate' recorded?
We recorded at Diamond Drop Studio in West Babylon, NY, with General George Fullan, who recorded our first record as well. The studio is owned by Mark Mendoza of Twisted Sister. He had nothing to do with the recording itself aside from being in the studio here and there. Twisted Sister is an important band to us coincidentally, so there were some artifacts and cool s--- here and there. But bottom line, we had our guy at the helm in a very comfortable atmosphere that allowed us to make ourselves feel at home.
In my opinion, Twisted Sister are a band that doesn't get enough props, at least outside of the New York and New Jersey area. What is it about Twisted Sister that makes them so great? Have you checked out Dee Snider's other band Widowmaker?
I agree. I respect them more than most bands. Dee Snider is one of the best front men ever. He's always on, always hard. They're as hard as the Cro-Mags man. I have some live bootlegs where Mendoza's s--- sounds like Daryl Jennifer (Bad Brains) is playing bass. It's hard as s---. Widowmaker was good. The second record I don't know as well, but I like the first one.
Black Anvil wrapped up a tour with Watain and Goatwhore last year. What was the tour like?
The tour was great. Watain is clearly a band that we respect and are fans of. Even though we are a rather new band, we've toured with many bands over the years and it was great to be with good company for a month. We already had some ... [social connections], so it [made] for a comfortable tour environment. Goatwhore as well; we've corresponded with them in the past but never had actual relations with [them until the tour]. All together, it was a great, inspiring tour.
Do you have any tour plans coming up?
We have a run with Marduk and Aura Noir in the summer and some smaller headliners here and there. Nothing more than that as of yet.
You guys cover 'Dethroned Empero' by Celtic Frost and on 'Triumvirate,' there is a cover of 'Veadtuck' by Von. What is the significance of these songs to you?
'Dethroned Emperor' was a song that we would sound check with Kill Your Idols. It was cool to jam it this time around and actually get to record it. 'Veadtuck' was chosen because we love Von and also felt it was fitting for us. [It was] a good way to cap off our album.
There has been a rise in US black metal over the recent years. How does Black Anvil fit in?
I don't think we 'fit in' with anything. I like to look at it as, we exist and this is what we are. Real always recognizes real and it's not really a concern to be a part of anything else. We ride our own path.