Last year, Shadows Fall singer Brian Fair and Killswitch Engage bassist Mike D’Antonio took time out of their hectic schedules to form Death Ray Vision. Also featuring fellow Overcast alum guitarist Pete Cortese, drummer Colin Conway and guitarist Zach Wells, the group self-released their debut EP Get Lost Or Get Dead. Considering how busy Fair and D’Antonio currently are with their other groups, it seemed fair to say that Death Ray Vision was a onetime collaboration. However, we at Metal Insider can be the first to confirm that that’s not the case at all, as Death Ray Vision will release their debut full-length via Bullet Tooth.
Death Ray Vision has signed a new recording deal with Bullet Tooth, the label run by Trustkill Records founder Josh Grabelle. “Josh Grabelle has the capacity to get our record out to more people then we can reach on our own,” D’Antonio tells us. “It also doesn’t hurt that he is an old friend and is really excited about Death Ray Vision. What more could you want?”
In explaining what led to Death Ray Vision writing more music, D’Antonio explains that it happened organically. “We started the band to have fun, there is really no other reason to do Death Ray Vision,” he says. “Apparently we were having so much fun when we started writing for the 1st EP that we just kept writing and writing. All of a sudden, we had a crap load of tunes. The new LP will be this surplus of songs, plus some new ideas.”
Grabelle is as enthusiastic about the signing as the band is. He’s known the members for years, almost signing Killswitch Engage in 2000. “I’m a huge fan of Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and Overcast,” he tells us. “I first met Brian Fair in 1995 at an Overcast show in Erie, PA. I’ve been friends with Mike D for years as well. Mike D told me he had started a new band and I already knew it was gonna be awesome, and it was! I was honored they thought of me and Bullet Tooth and I know we will knock it out of the park together.”
An exact release date for Death Ray Vision’s debut full length has yet to be determined, but D’Antonio explains that both he and Fair currently have some down time to record. The Killswitch Engage bassist also tells us that the group is open to touring when time permits (having done “weekend warrior” style tours in the past).
Considering, though, that 3/5ths of the lineup was in Overcast, could fans expect to once again see a full-fledged reunion? “Well, there is definitely a comfort factor to playing with Pete and Brian again,” explains D’Antonio. “We have like minds, and know what to expect out of each other. Death Ray Vision has been known to do an Overcast cover or two live. It is a blast to play that stuff. As far as a reunion, who knows, we have done it in the past, I am sure we will do it again.”
But for now, while they have downtime from their other groups, Death Ray Vision is the primary focus. In fact, though the group is all about having fun, Death Ray Vision is proving to be an important outlet for each member. “Everyone writes and has a say in Death Ray Vision; that’s what makes it so great,” says D’Antonio. “We all do demos, send ‘em to each other, and weed out what works and what doesn’t. Personally these songs are much easier to write then KsE songs for me, and I can be a bit more old school in my approach. This style comes very natural to me because I grew up on Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Madball, Leeway, and Bad Brains. When I want to write, I throw these inspirations on and get to it.”
With this being the most high-profile band that Bullet Tooth has signed, we asked Grabelle if this opens the door to the label signing more established and well-known bands. “I’ve never had an agenda when it comes to signing bands,” he told us. “I sign what I love and what I believe is compelling music, in whatever capacity it may be. Death Ray Vision fits in with other Bullet Tooth artists and we are all excited about the debut album for 2013. Even though the members are seasoned vets of the metal/hardcore/punk scene, the band is new and fresh and exciting to me. I love signing and developing upcoming bands and that is what I have always done and I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but that is not to say that I wouldn’t sign a “bigger” more established band if the opportunity presented itself.” He also promised some “surprises and familiar faces” coming to the label in 2013.