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Interview

Interview With Death Angel's Will Carroll

MetalUnderground’s Al Case caught up with Death Angel’s drummer, and recent Covid-19 survivor, Will Carroll to chat about a variety of topics. Will is also the drummer for Hammers of Misfortune and Old Grandad, host of “The Fool Metal Jacket”, and all-around good guy.

Al: I had not read, or heard of, your interview in Decibel when I asked you for this interview. I’ve since read it so that answered some of my questions, and I’ll try not to repeat anything from that interview because most people have probably seen it by now.

I enjoyed your recent DJ session on “The Fool Metal Jacket” on Gimme Radio. That was the first time I heard your story about going to hell during your Covid-19 coma and seeing Satan as a woman, etc. You said you came out of your coma with this dream/experience/NDE/whatever-it-was fresh on your mind.

Sometimes when I am ill and feverish I’ll feel like the same dream or song will go through my head the entire night on a loop while I’m asleep. Do you feel like your hell-to-heaven-to-nightclub “dream” was ongoing for your 12 days in a coma or just the last dream you were having before waking up? Do you remember any other dreams or experiences during your coma?

Will: It felt like the dream lasted the duration of my coma. Although my coma only felt like a couple of hours. Definitely not 12 days. Those visions are the only thing I remember.

Al: Have you spoken recently to any of the other members of Exodus, Testament, or Death Angel regarding their Covid-19 experiences? Has everyone else that contracted Covid-19 on the Bay Strikes Back Tour in Europe fully recovered by now?

Will: Everyone in Death Angel is healthy now. A couple of members went through the sickness and quarantined themselves, but they’re ok now. As far as I know, the other bands are doing alright as well.

Al: That’s great to hear! How is PT going? You mentioned to Decibel that you are doing physical therapy to be able to walk, and resume other activities, again. Are you able to walk yet?

Will: PT is going well. I’m able to walk without assistance now. I live at the top of 3 flights of stairs so I’m doing a lot of stepping exercises now.

Al: 2020 Wacken, and most of the summer festivals, have been cancelled now because of Covid-19. I was looking forward to seeing you with Death Angel at MetalDays in Slovenia in late July. Although not yet officially cancelled, it’s likely that MetalDays, Brutal Assault, and the rest will be cancelled—especially with Wacken gone for the year and many bands playing Wacken as the main part of their summer festivals schedule. Do you have any favorite festival, or festivals, that you enjoy playing at? Any favorite country to visit and explore while on tour?

Will: One of my favorite festivals to play is Hellfest. It’s run very well. The bands are treated great, and most of all there’s always tons of awesome bands playing so I see some really great shows.

I think Holland is my favorite country to walk around in. You truly feel far from home when you see the waterways and the cobblestone sidewalks. Not to mention the coffee shops.

Al: Given that Hellfest is a favorite festival of yours, in part because of the great bands/shows you've seen there, what are three of your favorite live performances that you have witnessed either at Hellfest or anywhere?

Will: Surprisingly, Aerosmith were one of the best bands I’ve seen at Hellfest. I think they usually are really sloppy live and “Walk This Way” disappointed, but this particular night they were on fire. Dare I say they were better than both Sabbath and Maiden? And that’s saying a lot.

The other two sets that come to mind are both from Wacken. One being Pungent Stench when they were promoting their “Masters Of Moral/Servants Of Sin” album. They came on stage dressed as priests and quickly stripped down to bondage gear. They were fucking AWESOME! The other being Candlemass with the return of Messiah on vocals. That’s a set I’ll never forget.

Al: I would love to see Candlemass with Messiah on vocals. I haven’t, but after seeing Death Angel at Gefle Metal Festival in 2017, Messiah did make a guest appearance with Amon Amarth so that was fun. I think it was the day after the Death Angel set so you guys had probably already left Sweden.

The 2019 Brutal Assault Festival had a really deep thrash line up including Anthrax, Testament, Destruction, Violator, Jungle Rot, Sacred Reich, Hellhammer, Demolition Hammer, Tankard, Exumer, Sodom, etc. And, although not exactly thrash, bands like Metal Church, Voivod, Carcass, etc. were on the bill too. Anyway, I thought it was cool to see that the most common t-shirt on festival attendees wasn’t for any of those bands; it was for Death Angel! Do you have any idea why Death Angel hasn’t played at Brutal Assault yet?

Will: That’s great to hear that there were lots of Death Angel shirts. I truly can’t answer why we haven’t played Brutal Assault yet. It’s not because we don’t want to. It seems that [Brutal Assault] fest[ival] usually caters more to Death Metal, but maybe things are changing. We’d love to play it.

Al: Excellent! I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to see Death Angel at Brutal Assault.

What’s your favorite album from 2019? 2020?

Will: I’d have to say the latest from Possessed was my favorite album last year. Gruesome’s latest was great as well. But that might have been 2018.

Al: What’s your favorite Death Angel song while you were a member of the band? Favorite Death Angel song before "Relentless Retribution"?

Will: My favorite Death Angel song from my era would either be “Claws In So Deep”, “The Moth”, or “Divine Defector”. Oddly enough my favorite album with the band is “The Dream Calls for Blood” which none of those songs are on. For early Death Angel I’d say “Voracious Souls” [from The Ultra-Violence] and “Stop” [from Act III].

Al: Do you have any kind of relationship with (former Death Angel drummer) Andy Galeon? Are there any interesting stories there?

Will: I don’t really know Andy all that well. We’ve never hung out together. There’s been a couple of benefit shows that we’ve both played, and it’s very awkward being around him to be quite honest. But I have no beef with the guy or anything like that.

Al: Has Hammers of Misfortune had any activity in the past couple years? Any insights as to the future for Hammers of Misfortune?

Will: Hammers played a couple of shows with 60’s satanic-band Coven a couple of years ago and that’s it. As far as future activity, I’ve heard nothing. The key songwriter, John Cobbet, lives in Montana now and is raising his son so I’m not sure if there is a future for Hammers. But I would love to record with them again.

Al: I know it was before your time, but The Locust Years was brilliant. Speaking of Coven, they were at Brutal Assault last year. What a trip!

You recently mentioned Death Angel demos. Does that mean a new Death Angel album is in the works? Do you think the extended, forced “down-time” for bands now will mean additional or quicker releases of full albums than normal? In other words, Death Angel has been releasing a new album about every third year for the past 15+ years. Will we be waiting until 2022 for the next one or could one drop in the next year because of the lack of touring possibilities?

Will: Great question. It’s really up to the label I suppose. We only did two tours for “Humanicide”, one in the States and one in Europe. I guess it depends on how much time lapses from when “Humanicide” was released to when we can start playing live again. Either way, Rob is making good use of this “downtime” and working on new material. It’s good to have a head start ya know.

Al: Last question… What artists or bands will people be surprised to hear you love to listen to?

Will: Adam Ant, Gary Numan, The B-52s, and Pat Benatar.


You can listen to Will tell great stories and spin some fine tunes on “The Fool Metal Jacket”. Here is a sample:

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2 Comments on "Death Angel's Will Carroll Interview"

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Anonymous Reader
1. I'm not Jesus Christ writes:

Nice interview! I love D.A.!

# Apr 20, 2020 @ 8:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Metal John writes:

Glad to hear how the guys in D.A. are doing and I can't wait to hear the next album!

# Apr 22, 2020 @ 1:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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