KILL RITUAL is an American thrash metal band that has impressed me royally. Answers from David Reed Watson, singer.Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release an album, that it sorta is for real now?
David: Whether it’s a demo or an album it’s always game on for us. Pressure to succeed comes from within, at least that is what I believe.
When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
David: Everything that I write comes from the heart and I know it does for Steve as well. Our goal is always the same… make a great record and if people like it… that’s an added bonus. I can never expect that somebody is going to like what I do, I believe you are setting yourself up for failure if you do that.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
David: It’s why I do it! There is nothing better than having someone sing your lyrics back to you. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it’s better than any drug out there.
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and art work for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
David: Yes, in a way, but not so much that we focus on that. Steve writes all of the music and I write the lyrics, melody lines, etc, and we’re writing constantly. I’ve talked to many other musicians about this… when an album comes out we shelf it and move on to the next one. I never want to get stuck in that rut of focusing on what I’ve done previously. There are times that people will start gravitating towards something I did years ago… that’s great, but again, I don’t focus on it.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
David: A greater community? No. But I do feel as a touring musician like I’m part of an exclusive club. Music to me changes lives and if I can get my music out to more people, the better. No different than any other artist. Sometimes I reflect on how art is getting taken out of the schools here in United States. I hate seeing that because art influences culture and vise-versa. So… being in a band, and creating music is important. At least it’s important to me.
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
David: Believe it or not I don’t listen to a lot of metal. There are bands out there that I gravitate towards, like my favorite right now is Devin Townsend… so, that being said, how do I not start writing like him? I just don’t. I look at my writing as coming from somewhere else, if that makes sense? I believe we’re all part of a collective conscious and when we tap into that we pull different things from that source. As far as riffs, things like that, you’d have to talk to Steve.
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
David: Thank you for asking this question. It follows very closely to who I am as a person. I don’t consider myself a ‘preacher’ per se, but I do believe that I have a message for everyone. I look at musicians, painters, etc. as people who have no choice but to say something important. We are the voices for the ones who don’t believe they have a voice. For instance… I’m a HUGE U2 fan. I love Bono. I see their concerts and I see the emotion in the people. When we have shows I talk to people afterwards; we could talk politics, religion… I don’t care. Bring it on. If you’ve got something to say, say it! I guess it’s the old hippie in me.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
David: The last time we were in Europe, this past spring, we noticed the CD sales were up. We actually ran out of them, and not only that everybody wanted Vinyl! I love that Vinyl is back. Our next release will be on Vinyl.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
David: As for me, I’ve always wanted something physical. Like reading a book… I want to feel the pages in my fingers. Also, speaking about vinyl above, I remember staring at the pictures for hours while listening to it. I hope that aspect comes back. I just read an interview with Jon Schaffer from Iced Earth where he talks about his young daughter recently having Vinyl parties. That’s awesome!
What lies in the future?
David: We are super excited right now with the new album coming out on February 23rd, 2018 and the Tour with Iced Earth and Sanctuary… and we just signed contracts with a new Booking Agency yesterday as I was in the middle of answering your questions. So… expect to see a LOT more of us here in the near future. We’ve got an awesome line-up that is solid and tour ready. Horns High!