Virgin Steele (David DeFeis)
On the occasion of the release of the new album "The Black Light Bacchanalia", we talked to the charismatic leader of the band David DeFeis, who talked about the details of the new album. Enjoy the interview!
Article by Davide Panzeri - Publish on: 28/10/10

Hi David, how is it going in the U.S.?

Fine thanks. All is well..

Ok, let’s go straight to the point of the interview: would you like to introduce us your new album “The Black Light Bacchanalia?”

Sure. I think the answer is best suited for your next question.
It is a concept album. It does continue the tale I began on the “Visions Of Eden” album, and brings those elements to their conclusion, with the death of Lilith (in "To Crown Them With Halos") and also God finally lamenting all the damage he has done and the havoc he has wrought in "Eternal Regret". I equate Lilith with Hypatia (the ancient Pagan astronomer/philosopher of Alexandria, who was murdered by Monks) and Joan Of Arc, and Lyzebel, (a Sumerian Queen who most people know as Jezebel), (but that name is a perversion of the original Lyzebel, which means Baal is exalted. She too was murdered), as well as all the various Goddess figures. I continue the discussion of the death of Paganism and the eradication of the Female Goddess Principle due to the rise of the Mountain-Fire-Father God, but I go further with discussing the rise of “organized” religion and its mark upon Paganism, and the subsequent coming of the Dark Ages. However, that being said, I am really discussing today’s Dark Ages, and the rise of fundamentalism in all walks of Life, not only religion, but politics, and everywhere else. And ultimately the album is about Rebellion. Rebellion against authority, God, government, whatever…. etc….This is quite clear in songs like "The Orpheus Taboo".

The title of the album intrigued me so much, what does it mean? (I read wikipedia eheh)

Here goes: The title is my way of saying something like “This insane Life”….It should be thought of in the same spirit as the way Dante called his Work “The Divine Comedy”. He was discussing Life in all its multifaceted craziness, and I mean something similar with the phrase, “The Black Light Bacchanalia”. I too am speaking about Life and all its attendant drama, aches, pains, pathos, joys and sorrows. By that phrase I also mean “The Great Reversal”. Where when one culture conquers another, the deities of the conquered people become the demons of the conquerors religion. Everything is turned upside down… Topsy-turvy. This is essentially what happened to Paganism and Gnosticism. The Pagans were killed off, and their worship of Bacchus/Dionysus with their bacchanalias was suppressed. the glow of the Black Light things that are white are illuminated... the other colors fade into the shadows…The Pagans went underground….

As I was listening to the album, I noticed a pleasant regression to your old albums and I'm referring to the two "Marriage" and "Invictus". Was it your intention to make that or did I misunderstand everything?

I did not intend the album to sound like any previous releases. If you think it sounds similar to “The Marriage” or another one that is fine by me. I think it retains the “core” identity of the Virgin Steele sound, and brings forth further developments of the style. It is another branch on the Virgin Steel Barbaric-Romatic Tree. Musically speaking from the compositional aspect, I believe it has a connection to the last album, but it goes off into another direction.

I don't know if this pleases you but, I listened to the album in streaming once, and it gave me the impression that it's much better than the previous "Vision Of Eden". Do you think there was, according to you, a leap forward?

It is what it is…I don’t consider it a leap forward in terms of its sonic qualities, but musically it is the next development in terms of composition.

You will definitely embark on a tour to support of the album, won't you? Will you come to Italy?

Yes we do wish to come over and perform in Italy once again. It is always a pleasure for us to visit our Italian Fans!

Why you haven't issued any kind of live material yet? I mean, a good DVD live ...

We will issue the DVD when the time and all the conditions are right for it. I don’t want to put something out that is half-baked. I want to do a proper one.


When you first started your career, what were your goals and have you achieved them? Have they completely changed now?

The goal became clearer as we embarked upon the journey of doing. I had no great illusions when we began. I simply wanted to create and play music that I loved. Upon getting into the whole experience, I realized that what I was doing was not really crafting a “career”, but creating a “Way Of Life” that would sustain me, give shape and meaning to my existence, and be my guide through my time on the Earth. To make one’s Life a work of Art that was the point. That goal has been achieved. And that is still my plan for the future. To keep going, to try to always make Life worth living, to keep creative regardless of how successful or unsuccessful it all is business wise. That is meaningless. What is important is the Life, the creative process, the Work crafted. The lives touched along the way…the communication.

When did you start to get interested in Greek and Roman mythology? Have you ever been in Rome? I mean as a tourist ...

Of course…we have played in Rome several times. It is a Glorious city!  I don’t travel around as a tourist. All the places I have been able to go to, have been because the Music brought me there. I am not much for vacationing. If I want to kick back & relax I go to the east end of our Island here…Montauk. That place for me is a Heaven on Earth…
The World of Myth… was always around me. I grew up in a house where my Father was directing, producing and acting in Plays…and some of those Plays were Greek Drama…and that is how it began for me. I was intrigued by these Plays and then I started reading the Myths, and it seemed like the Myths were all around me in my daily Life. That World always seems ever present to me…always there in open sight.

When you are not working on your music or you are not on the road what do you usually do?

Exercise…keep in shape, eat like a maniac, drink wine….try to learn new things…my other great passion is the female form eheh.

If I’m not wrong, next year will be the 30th anniversary of the band, are you planning something to celebrate it properly?

Perhaps…we shall see…

What do you think about music piracy and peer to peer?

Music piracy sucks….It has killed the industry…and most of the bands in it…Do you mean pay to play…that also sucks….

Ok David that’s all, thanks for your time. Do you want to salute your Italian fans and our readers? Ciao!

Cheers & Thanks for all your Glorious Belief!!! See you ALL again soon!
Happy Halloween….By the Black Sun and the Moon.

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