Beyond the Record
Music news, album reviews & interviews
BtR: After being on a 20-year hiatus, why did the group reform? How was the band able to come together after such a long period of time and persevere?
IVD: Introvenus Demilo is Dave Fitzgerald (Lead Vocals & rhythm Guitar) William Starnes (Vocals & Bass Guitar) Grady McDonald (Vocals & Lead Guitars) & Timothy Berg (Drums & Viking Screams) William Starnes- “Yes! Originally, there were four band members. Sadly, we lost two members, one in 1999 and the other just a few months ago.” Dave Fitzgerald- “Our original drummer Ed Barich died suddenly of a heart attack. The response from around the world was so great that it prodded us to get things rolling again.” William Starnes- “Perseverance, It’s just what we do, we reformed, finding two new band members, Timothy Berg on drums and Grady McDonald on Guitar. Both are excellent musicians. Easily, we’re brothers, family. We just keep our eye on the prize, which is recording another album and playing live globally. Dave Fitzgerald- “Agreeing to get back together was the easy part. Finding replacement members was tough. We’re fortunate that we found Grady and Tim to fill in the blanks left by former members.”
BtR: Would you say the band's music is different than what it was in 1995? Why aren't all of the original members on board?
IVD: Dave Fitzgerald- “The new material is more progressive and shows experience. The second album features 14 songs that show this process. It won’t be released until sometime in spring 2017.” Dave Fitzgerald- “The lineup has changed because of some dismal events. Our original lead guitarist Zachary Poll died of a drug related overdose in late 1999 and our original drummer Ed Barich died last summer from a sudden heart attack.”
BtR: What motivates you personally as musicians, to continue to your career and be a voice of the underground music scene? What motivates the band?
IVD: Dave Fitzgerald- “I think we’re driven by our love for the bands we grew up with. They don’t have bands like that anymore, RUSH, QUEEN, KISS, Iron Maiden, Priest, YES. Those bands were huge influences on me. I don’t think kids nowadays have nearly the musical intensity available to them in new music. It’s all technology driven recordings, auto tuned vocals, hired gun writers, multiple producers…it’s ridiculous. Now, Europe seems to be having a fantastic revitalization of true metal music with bands like Nightwish, Delain, Sirenia & Lacuna Coil. Those groups are amazing. America seems to be lacking in areas where Europe is shinning. We hope to change that.” William Starnes- “My motivation is the feeling of home with underground music scene, I feel I was born into it, it feels comfortable. Just making music motivates the band.”
BtR: As a group that formed in the 90's, having been in Seattle, what made you unique from the other bands that came out of this time period?
IVD: Dave Fitzgerald- “Probably the fact that we weren’t grunge! (laughs) We were staying loyal to our hard rock roots. We weren’t angry at our dads and we weren’t trying to sound like we had just bought the latest piece of crap equipment at a garage sale.” William Starnes- “Our sound and style made us unique and our diverse backgrounds influenced us to do what we do on stage and in the studio.”
BtR: Sometimes a group of creative minds come together with a majority of the same influences, but different backgrounds. Sometimes, a group of creative minds come together to form a band, having various inspirations and tastes in music. Are the members of Introvenus Demilo exhibit A or exhibit B?
IVD: Dave Fitzgerald- “We’re all a bit schizophrenic. I guess we’re sort of AB negative. I cling to my influences with RUSH and Queensryche a lot. We do agree on the direction, but sometimes it’s hard to skate on the ice with roller-skates. We all have wet asses by the time we agree on a song’s arrangement. In the end it always sounds like an IVD record.” William Starnes- “Introvenus Demilo in my opinion would resemble Exhibit B”
BtR: What are some of the lyrical themes behind the music these days for the band? What is the message in the music?
IVD: Dave Fitzgerald- “I write lyrics based on feelings and experiences. Sometimes they come to me when I’m walking through the garden or doing menial tasks like dishes or waxing the car. It’s weird but my mind turns on when I’m doing basic tasks like that and I find myself running into my studio to put it down on guitar and figure out some lyrics to the melody in my head. William Starnes- “Lyrical them is a very cool darkness. I see music as a form of art and our music is a way of connecting with people from our own personal experiences.”
BtR: And what about some career highlights? The best of moments. Tell us some darker times for the band. The worst of moments.
IVD: Dave Fitzgerald- “We had some great adventures in the 90’s. Our first gig was at the Star Bar. In those days, I had my hair micro braided and had little metal beads woven into them. I was the only one on the Seattle scene at the time doing that. Once The Offspring came out, I took my braids out because I didn’t think I was original anymore since that doofus had braids too. Anyways, we played this tiny dive bar and right as we first started the first song, we’re all banging our heads and like a machine gun, all the rubber bands holding the beads to my braids broke and beads went flying into the audience like a hail storm. I guess the audience thought it was part of the show because they all loved it!” William Starnes- “Recording our first album. Best moments were recording in one take.” Dave Fitzgerald- “The recording of our first album was a great highlight also. We did this song called The Beer Song , which was a 40 second blast of country music with a comical lyric content. We needed to get that old country washboard rhythm going in the song but we didn’t have a washboard, so I unscrewed one of the heater vents from the ceiling and used a guitar pick on it. It sounded the same to me.” Dave Fitzgerald- “On a darker note, in the midst of the 90’s we were all strung out on something, with the exception of our drummer Ed. He was a straight laced type of dude who only drank beer, no cigarettes or cough syrup. As things progressed and we began to get more popular, the drugs seemed to creep in and take over. By late 1996 we had become a parody of every other Seattle band that had ever existed. Zachary, our original guitarist, would disappear for weeks and wake up in strange peoples houses. We’d get a phone call saying “Do you know this person. He‘s been crashed in my basement for a week!” These things eventually lead to the demise. Bill and I are lucky we got sober later in life but unfortunately Zack succumbed to the beast. He overdosed in 1999.” William Starnes- “Breaking up were the worst moments.” Dave Fitzgerald- “Losing Ed last summer was probably the most horrible chapter in Introvenus Demilo to date. He was such a big spirit. He was definitely the soul of the band. He lived and breathed IVD! It was his total existence. He had an infectious laugh and a larger than life opinion of everything. When he died, there was a great darkness that entered the fabric of this band. Tim has had big shoes to fill, but all is well.”
BtR: Let's say you had the power to change the music industry and the way things work for all artists. The mainstream and underground. What would you do?
IVD: Dave Fitzgerald- “I would do away with digital! The digital age has destroyed what used to be a lucrative industry for musicians. Nowadays you can forget about advances or tour support from the skeletal remains of what is the music industry. Now days, if you’re not on the road for 9 months out of year, you’re not paying the bills. It sucks! Gene Simmons said it best when he said “the masses have decided — that they should get free music, download, fileshare… And you're not hurting KISS; we've been around a long time and we make a good living. You're killing the next Elvis and THE BEATLES and the next KISS and the next whoever, because you have to give your music away for free. And who did that? Big corporate entities? No, they didn't do that. Actually, big corporate entities — record companies — gave bands money that they never had to pay back — ever! If the band failed and the records were a complete disaster, the advance money was all [the band's]. What other business would give you that? If you go to a bank and they give you a million dollars, and your business goes under, they don't care it failed; they want their money back." William Starnes- “Nothing at all, I wouldn’t change a thing. My mother use to say, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix will.”