Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current KILL DEVIL HILL bassist Rex Brown on the “black carpet” of this year’s Revolver Golden Gods awards on April 23 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. You can now watch the chat below.
KILL DEVIL HILL in March recruited drummer Johnny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, DANZIG, A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH) to replace Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, DIO, LAST IN LINE).
“I’m really excited about coming on board with KILL DEVIL HILL,” said Kelly. “I’ve been a fan since their debut and have known the guys for a long time. It’s also clear that I have some really big shoes to fill. I’m ready for that challenge as I prepare for KILL DEVIL HILL‘s next chapter. This is gonna be a blast!”
KILL DEVIL HILL played their first shows with Kelly behind the kit April 4-6, three warm-up shows before embarking on an Australian run with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE.
“It wasn’t a musical breakup at all,” Vinny told rock journalist Mitch Lafon about the decision to split with KILL DEVIL HILL. “It was more of… What you wanna do with… I mean, I started the band; it was my band and then Rex [Brown, former PANTERA and DOWN bassist] came into the band and he was a known dude and strong personality, and it became a great band. So it’s not a musical problem at all; it’s more a business thing where… scheduling and the idea of how to make this work, the time involved, and all the different things. Obviously, I had a lot of stuff on my plate, and it’s hard to devote to one thing when these other really good things are happening too. So it was just a mutual thing where… ‘Look, I think it’s better if you guys continue and get somebody else,’ and see what happens.”
He continued: “Actually, [KILL DEVIL HILL] was started at the end of 2009, when I started doing this. You devote four years, almost five years to this thing. And it’s, like, ‘Wow! What does it take to get this across?’ Especially when Rex joined the band. It’s, like, people know Rex, people know me. It’s not like it’s a bunch of new guys trying to make it. And it was, like, ‘Wow! It’s really, really hard to get this thing off the ground.’ It seems to be doing better now. And it comes down to getting people around you that know what they’re doing, like record companies, managers, agents and different things. That’s a real important part of being in a band. Unless it’s an all-star band; then it’s easy to go out and do stuff. Like LAST IN LINE is a lot more sellable on this level than KILL DEVIL HILL when it comes to agents booking gigs. That’s the way the business works; people wanna see, or hear music that they know.
“It’s a crazy business right now. Rex and I were shocked that… ‘Wow! This is the third tour already, and we’re still struggling to get this thing off the ground.’… You’re going out and you’re making merch money, but it’s all going back into keeping this thing alive. There’s no tour support, there’s no advertising… Where do you advertise? You can only advertise on the Internet, really; there’s no more [print] magazines. And even then, it’s hard to get a budget for advertising. Videos… You do videos… Basically, it seems like you just need somebody that does social media that you just hire 24 hours a day, every day, 16 hours a day, get on the Internet and get it everywhere. That seems to be the way to do it.”
KILL DEVIL HILL‘s sophomore album, “Revolution Rise”, sold around 2,150 copies in the United States in its first week of release. Released on October 29, 2013 via Century Media Records, the CD was produced by KILL DEVIL HILL and Jeff Pilson (DOKKEN, FOREIGNER, DIO) and was mixed by Jay Ruston (STONE SOUR, ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER). The cover artwork was created by Sam Shearon, who has previously worked with ROB ZOMBIE, IRON MAIDEN and FEAR FACTORY, to name just a few.