Dropping Some Q&A: Phil of Dry Kill Logic
Band Photo: Dry Kill Logic (?)
Dry Kill Logic out of New York City, New York has managed over the last half dozen years or so now to keep its majestic head above the rest of true metal's competition. They have always embraced many different styles of heavy music injected with some refreshing and much needed melody. In October of 2004, Dry Kill Logic unleashed their horror-themed second album, The Dead and Dreaming, which the band says is about "addressing self-reliance, courage and the pursuit of ambitious goals." The band is currently writing new material for their third album expected for release in early June of 2006. I had the awesome opportunity recently to interview one of metal's most talented drummers, Phil Arcuri of Dry Kill Logic.
Rocket: Bro, I've been a DKL fan from the get go. How long have you been playing the drums for? And did you take lessons?
Phil: I've been playing drums for about 16 years now. I taught myself how to play and I attended The Berklee College of Music for about a year. Smoked a lot of weed while I was there..lol.
Rocket: Who would you say off the top of your head is your one biggest drumming influence of them all? And I think I know the answer to this one. Haha! (Vinnie 'The Brickwall' Paul perhaps?)
Phil: Vinnie is definitely one of them. He's pretty much the ultimate metal drummer.
Rocket: DKL blew my mind a ways back here in Hollywood at The House Of Blues opening for Fear Factory when Dino was still in the band, and I normally want to throw shit at the opening band(s) cause they typically are so way inferior to the headliner it just makes you want to vomit on someone. You guys nearly out performed FF's great lineup that night. Tell us how it feels being a young metal act at that time and delivering the goods to hardcore metal fans like me? That performance still inspires me to this very day, man.
Phil: Well, to be honest, that was our first L.A. show ever and we were scared shitless. Well, at least I was. The band was new to national touring so everything was new to us. We just gave it 110% every night and still do. Those were exciting times. Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited to be able to do what I love to do every night for the coolest people in the world, but back then it was really something special.
Rocket: How did you originally meet Cliff Rigano and get involved with DKL?
Phil: I met Cliff back in 1995. Our bass player at the time was a bartender at this place I used to hang out at. His band was looking for a drummer and I guess word got back to him that I played so he asked me to audition. I said yes and the rest is history.
Rocket: I have spoken with Cliff a couple times via email over the last couple years, and I love this guy to death for just being such a real cat. Tell us more about what it's like to work with one of metal's most underrated and important singers.
Phil: Well, it's kinda like how you said it... "real"..... real pain in the ass! haha.. just kidding. Cliff's fucking great man. He's my bro. He and I have been in this band since the beginning. We've been through a lot of shit together, good and bad. He's a real smart guy too and he's easy to work with.
Rocket: You guys are working on the next album I know, and I must say that I really hope you guys take it back to the first album, The Darker Side of Nonsense. I enjoyed The Dead and Dreaming, don't get me wrong, but in my book, the first one easily ranks among metal's top 10 heaviest albums in the last half dozen years. Are you guys going back in that general direction?
Phil: Thanks for the kind words, bro. Umm, I think this new album is going to be heavier than our two previous cds. You'll still be able to hear hints of the past two albums in there. I think DKL fans and just metal fans in general will love the new shit.
Rocket: Give me your top three heaviest metal albums over this period?
Phil: Wow. That's a tough one. Shit , man, you made me bust out my ipod for this one..lol. Let's see.... I'll give ya three that I really love..
1- Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia from Dimmu Borgir
2- Reign In Blood from Slayer
3- Far Beyond Driven from Pantera
Rocket: DKL was one of the first true metal bands to embrace the internet marketing capabilities on MySpace. Tell us what that experience has been like. And do you think it's had a significant impact on growing out your fanbase?
Phil: It seems that nowadays EVERYONE is on myspace. It's a great way to network the band and reach a shitload of people. We all take turns running the DKL site, including our label. I set up my own personal page too just so I could really talk to the kids one on one. We really take the time to try and talk to our fans. Without them, we'd be shit.
Rocket: I know what a great sense of humor you have. Is there one moment you can share with us that comes to mind as a truly hilarious touring experience where a groupie or overzealous fan just did something way off kilter, even for your standards?
Phil: Haha... there's so many stories man. Usually the last day of a tour is cool. All the bands on the tour find a way to fuck with you while you're playing your set. I always get the shit end of the stick because I can't move sitting behind the drums. I'm the easiest target..haha. And you know what?... I love it! I guess a funny time would've been when the guys in Spineshank came out in janitor suits and started sweeping the stage during our set. Then, they gave us shots of God only knows what that shit was, and then during our last song proceeded to take my entire kit apart. Oh yeah, and during our whole set, they managed to throw every piece of catering at us. I'd be playing and then all of a sudden a fucking loaf of bread would go wizzing by me, or bananas and grapes.... fuckin good times.
Rocket: What's your favorite brand of beer?
Phil: Well, people that know me know it doesn't take much to get me drunk... I like all beer, especially all that shit from Europe.
Rocket: Are you one of these metal musicians that listens to all types of music? Or do you just stay with the heavy
stuff like me 24/7?
Phil: I listen to pretty much everything. You never know where inspiration is gonna come from.
Rocket: On a somber note, the extended true metal family lost one of its brightest talents when Dimebag was shot while performing live in December/2004. I have to think that you'd met him at some point before this on tour somewhere. Can you share a cool memory you have of him or just elaborate on what he meant to you and DKL?
Phil: I never had the honor of meeting Dime. I have tons of friends and musicians that did and they never had a bad thing to say about the man. I cried when I heard the news. If it weren't for him, 99% of the metal bands you hear today wouldn't be here. He inspired so many.
Rocket: Okay, so let's get back to the new album DKL is working on. Can you tell us a little bit about what you guys are trying to accomplish with this one? I would have to say from a music business standpoint it's obviously a highly critical moment in time for DKL. You guys have a shot at really turning a major corner should the new material live up to DKL's almighty potential.
Phil: Well, like I said before, we are always evolving as musicians and as people. The new stuff will have elements of our past two cds in it, as well as some new twists and turns. I really think we're writing the best music of our lives.
Rocket: I have roadied for several bands in the past here on the Los Angeles music scene over the years and have found it so fascinating how each drummer goes about building their drum kits up and choosing let's say a snare drum that goes off louder than the next. What kind of drum kit are you playing on and are you constantly on the lookout to create a better sound for yourself?
Phil: I use a 5 piece Pearl Master Studio birch kit. I love that kit. Never had a problem with it. I try to keep updated on all the new shit that comes out for drummers but I'm really happy with what I've got. If you go to www.pearldrum.com and go to the artists section under metal, you can see my whole setup.
Rocket: Finally, what would you say from your own personal feelings that DKL's music is all about?
Phil: I think the great thing about our music is that it means something different to everyone. I mean, sure the music is heavy as fuck, but the words mean different things to different people.
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