– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with DUBLIN DEATH PATROL?

DDP has just released a new album called “Death Sentence” on Mascot Records. It is getting good reviews and the response has been great. Actually Mascot picked up the first record too so we are happy for that. I just finished recording a record with my new band Hatriot, called “Heroes Of Origin,” and that comes out in January. So I’ve been a busy guy lately.

– First off, how did such a curious got started? As the band consists of none less than 10 musicians.

Well basically DDP is a bunch of friends that grew up together. We all had our serious bands, but we liked to get together and jam covers for fun, and sometimes write some stuff. So it was formed out of the love of heavy metal. This was years ago before any of us were really big and in the spotlight. So fast forward to 2007 when we recorded the first record. We all had some down time and wanted to record some of the songs that we used to jam back in the day or whatever. We put out that first CD and that is when things became a little more serious, but still not a full time commitment or anything like that.


– And why did you pick the name of «Dublin Death Patrol»?

We all lived in or around Dublin, California. Our crew of friends was known as the Dublin Death Patrol and it sort of became the band name over time. That was the catch – you had to be from Dublin to be in the band. We’ve had other big name musicians want to join DDP and we would turn them away because they are not from Dublin!


– Talking about your line-up, there are some brothers: Andy Billy, Eddie Billy and Chuck Bily, and also yourself and John Souza. Is it easy to work like this?

On the new “Death Sentence” record it is back down to the core seven, which is the band that plays live when we do shows. There are no guest appearances on this new record really. Troy from Tesla and Phil from Machine Head were on the first album, but they are not really in the band now due to their own schedules and stuff. Actually it is really easy to work with the brothers in the band. Everybody gets along fine and respects each other. There are no problems.


– Your new album is «Death Sentence», which its being released after 5 years of silence after «DDP 4 Life»came out. What have you been up to during this time? Will we have to wait that long until your next opus?

Well it is kind of funny because “Death Sentence” has been finished for over a year and we have been waiting for the label to put it out, so it’s not really “new” to the guys in the band anymore. The label has dragged their feet with releasing it. Between the two records DDP has done a few shows here and there. Mainly festivals and stuff. We don’t go on tour since everybody has other bands and it is a scheduling nightmare to try and tour with DDP. As for me personally, I have my new band Hatriot going full speed. Our debut album comes out in January on Massacre Records. So I have been busy building Hatriot up into a national act. DDP is more of a hobby. I’m not sure if there will be a third album. Time will tell I suppose.


– This new opus was released a few weeks ago so; how is its feedback being so far? And what were/are your expectations on it?

We really don’t have expectations for it. The whole purpose for doing DDP is to have a good time and not stress out over the business end of things like we do with our more serious bands. So far the reviews have been pretty good so I’d say feedback is positive. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what people say about it to be honest with you. Once I put out a record I am already focusing on the next step, writing another record and things like that. I don’t like to stay still. I like to keep working. So it is like “cool the DDP record is out, what am I working on next?” That would be the debut Hatriot record, which is really going to kick your ass!


– And what could you say are the main differences between both albums?

The first DDP album was a lot more relaxed. The songs were already written and we just kind of re-tooled them. We weren’t trying to capture any particular sound, we were just trying to document a certain time period, which is a time when we first started before our successful bands took off. With “Death Sentence” we wanted to perfect it a little more and take it to the next notch up. Chuck and I are known for getting a little heavier with each new release so that’s where our mindset was at.


– After giving the album some spins I could say is more well-cared and mature. What are your thoughts on this? Maybe taking your time with its creation has had its effect on it?

Well yes I agree. A lot of the material on the first record was written 30 years ago when Chuck and Andy were in a band together called Rampage. So we are talking material that pre-dates any of our success. The songs were written when we were kids and just re-tooled for the album to make them a bit more modern. “Death Sentence” is a whole new animal because we are different people now and we approached the writing process with experience and maturity for sure.


– It’s also really dynamic and especially quite aggressive and straight-forward, quite based on the old school American Thrash Metal. Has your experience with your different bands helped creating the sound of DDP?

Yes, of course, and it’s not just me. You’ve got Chuck Billy in the band, plus you’ve got Willy Lange who has played for Laaz Rockit for 30 years. Chuck and I get a lot of the spotlight and all, but guys like Willy know what’s up with thrash. I mean Metallica used to open for Laaz Rockit back in the day. So we’ve got some thrash metal experts creating this stuff. There’s no doubt about it. Our experience with other bands makes it easy to do this. We know what kind of riffs and dynamics to use. We have the formulas down. It’s second nature at this point.


– Anyway your sound and songwriting approach has always been quite straight forward. Due to this I would like you to tell us how is the songwriting process like for DDP and if it has changed from album to album?

DDP writes a lot different from what we did in Exodus or what I do now in Hatriot. With DDP we are not in a room rehearsing and putting music together. Basically the guitar players put down some riffs and send the recordings to Chuck and me to write words to. Occasionally we will tell them “I don’t like this part” and they will change it. We go back and forth by email or whatever until we get it how we like it. So there’s no real band vibe in the writing. We do it all separately, but it seems to work well considering how hectic our personal schedules are.


– The artwork was crafted by seasoned Eliran Kantor but, what did you want to express with it?

I didn’t really have anything to do with that but I think it is really cool. I’m not sure if there is a connection with the theme of the music or not, but the art looks awesome.


– And what do some of the lyrics on the record deal with? Where do you draw inspiration from in lyrical terms?

I always write from a very dark place. There is no set formula really. I write about everything from horror movies, to terrorists, to political issues. It is all in there!


– All this about «Death Sentence» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

A bit heavier…


– You are a seasoned musician with lots of experience and have also played in different well-known bands but, how do you see the current Thrash Metal scene? Any new bands worth suggesting?

There are a lot of good bands out there. Too many to keep up with really. I think the current scene is made up of older bands who still have something to say, and newer bands that we influenced by what we did back in the old days. So it is healthy. Thrash metal is definitely as big, if not bigger, than ever. I’d suggest a couple bands from the Bay Area, like my friends in a band called Angerhead. I did guest vocals on their record. There’s another band close to here called Deadlands. They are on Massacre as well and their record comes out the same day as the Hatriot record. Oh yeah, the band most worthy of suggestion is Hatriot and I’m not just saying that because it’s my baby. This band will kick your ass!


– And after playing with so many different bands; what does this project provide you other acts couldn’t?

DDP for me is a chance to play metal with all of my friends I grew up with. It gives me a chance to do a band on a bigger level but without the business pressures that come along with a band like Testament or Exodus. When things get to that level and you are a brand name it takes the fun out of it sometimes. With DDP it is all about jamming and having a good time like we did years ago. DDP is what it is. We have fun with it and don’t really put expectations on it.


– Finally, what are your near-future plans?

With DDP we may do a festival show here and there, but I don’t see us touring. Chuck is obviously committed to promoting the new Testament disc, and I have the Hatriot record coming out in January, so we are just too busy to get anything going full time with DDP. It is our fun band and that’s pretty much it. So I’d say DDP plans are up in the air. Maybe a few shows. My personal near future plan is to promote the Hatriot record with a world tour.


– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

I just want to thank everyone for their support and for following all the chapters of my career. Both DDP records are available now from Mascot Records. I know their distribution is a bit limited but you can find them online so I suggest seeking out the records if you are into thrash. Look for the Hatriot record, “Heroes Of Origin,” in January. I hope to see you all on tour at some point. Cheers! ZETRO


Sergio Fernández



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