A few years back, we received the news about Dark Angel’s long awaited reunion. Everyone was expecting to see the classic lineup together but it was later revealed that founding singer Don Doty was not taking part of the 2013 reunion. That didn’t mean Doty was bailing on music entirely, and he later revealed his new band Eliminate which has been shaping up for the past few years but now, the wait is over.
After a long wait and some lineup changes, Eliminate is ready to take over the metal world one step at a time. The band is comprised of singer Doty (Dark Angel), guitarists Scott Owen (Hirax, Subversion) and Henry Elizondo (Devastation), bassist John Signorelli (Subversion) and drummer Joe Cangelosi (Whiplash, Kreator, Massacre) and before they take the main stage on our co-sponsored The Black Communion show in Los Angeles, CA next Monday 15th, we sat down with Doty to speak in detail about the band’s future plans and more.
First off, I want to say congratulations to you, Don, on getting a clean bill of health after battling your cancer. How has it been to finally get back to your music in full after this great news?
Thank you. It has always been my dream to play music. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to go after it again, especially after so many years have passed. I have been given a second chance to do this. In addition, I’m not sure if you heard, so maybe you will report it first, but my wife and I are splitting up. It seems now that our kids have grown we don’t have much in common so we will part as friends. So now it really does feel like old times with music as my life and what I am focusing on again.
I’m glad to hear that. Now, going into Eliminate: Right now, you guys have been performing songs from Dark Angel’s We Have Arrived and Darkness Descends. With Dark Angel’s reunion, were you expecting to receive the support you’ve been getting so far?
I did not actually expect anything. I was on Facebook one day and noticed a post. It was a redo of “We Have Arrived”. I made a comment that I knew the words to it, and then Mike (bass) made a similar comment. It snowballed from there. The fans have been great and encouraging me to get back onstage and to make new music again.
To follow the same subject, Dark Angel has been playing festivals everywhere they can since they announce their reunion, but this year, they have plans to perform Darkness Descends in its entirety. Do you think this will create some sort of conflict among the fans wanting to listen to the album’s music by either you or Dark Angel?
Let’s try and keep it simple. Dark Angel has 4 albums out. I’m sure they are pleased with the ones they did after me so I feel they should do those ‘cause I don’t really want them doing my songs that I wrote lyrics for, but hey, if they want to then have at it. Jim (Durkin – Dark Angel guitarist) gave me his blessing on coming back. You see Jim was the one who actually encouraged me to do the Keep It True show together with them, but it didn’t work out. He had done it the year before with Ruthless and it was a good show.
I hear you. Now, it’s been almost a year since you guys played for the first time at the Grindcore festival in Los Angeles, but the band has been in the works for about 3 years or so. What are some of the successes and difficulties you’ve faced so far?
The concept has been around for a few years but getting the right group of guys is another thing. Right now, I am surrounded by people that all have a burning passion for metal. It has been awesome! On the downside is the distance, which makes getting together to jam or play shows difficult since Scott and Henry live in Texas and Joe lives in NY.
Now that you brought up your bandmates, all the musicians involved in Eliminate are well-known, experienced artists with impressive backgrounds. How’s the dynamic between all the members during rehearsal and song-writing sessions?
It is like a family and we all enjoy each other’s company and we pull from each other to make the best music possible. Everyone is professional and self-motivated to do this, and for the right reasons. Naturally I wish it would be easier to get together more often to practice, but we’re writing songs and communicating online or by phone.
On the same topic, it’s known that you’ve been working on new music and everyone has been collaborating with the songwriting. How would you describe the upcoming original music you have so far?
I like where we are going with it. I myself always loved speed metal with a hint of punk thrown in. The new material may not be as dark but it is a lot of fun. It’s fast , it’s heavy , and it’s straight to the point.
You’re making me excited about it. So, what’s the timetable for the new record?
It’s never soon enough, but we haven’t even begun shopping for a label, even though some have already expressed interest. After this week of shows we’re recording a demo, so this will be the first time we’ve professionally recorded any of the new tunes. With that our mgmt will begin to circulate it in order to secure a deal for us to do a proper album.
You have small set of shows coming, including the Black Communion show in Los Angeles this coming August 15th, with a great thrash package comprised by young, upcoming bands. What are your thoughts on these new wave of thrash bands sharing the same vision you all had back in the 80’s?
I think it’s great and I try to encourage the younger generation — they are our future. If we are able to show them where we have been then they can move forward from that point. These bands coming up are really good and some just need a chance to shine.
What are the plans after this small run, as far as live performances go? Are you currently open for new bookings to play either larger tours or even overseas?
Yes, that is the plan. Now we just wanted to play some shows that kept us close to the fans. We wanted to do them in CA where Dark Angel and Hirax started and have some fun. It was also a chance to get the five of us together to record and take some new photos. We’re looking to get on some festivals, and we’re discussing doing one on the east coast in the fall so just a heads up. They are making a lot of noise and we like it.
Excellent! and just to conclude this, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes , to all the fans that have been leaving their cities where they would like us to play, thank you. Chile and Sweden we hear you and as soon as possible we would like to come play for you.
Don’t forget to go to The Black Communion show this coming Monday. It’s free and it will be great, but if you can’t catch the band then, make sure to support them during the short run right after throughout CA along with Hatchet. The dates will go as follows:
Aug. 15th – The Regent – Los Angeles, CA – Free Show
Aug. 16th – Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
Aug. 17th – TheDive Bar– Las Vegas, NV
Aug. 18th – The Slidebar Rock N Roll Kitchen– Fullerton, CA
Aug. 19th – Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA