Interview with Dan Kabanuck of Aftertayst
Cotati, California's AFTERTAYST is certainly about as green as they come through the doors here at metalunderground.com. I do think it's important amid all the top level names that I do bring to my worldwide readership here to not fail in recognizing the fact that there are bands who are just getting out the gate and need as much of our support as the rest of them. How the hell else is heavy metal going to prosper in the future? Unless you're all waiting for Justin Timberlake to start slam dancing behind the microphone. What is it with this guy lately anyway? The world acts like he's the second coming of Moses. Anyways, I digress, Aftertayst shows solid potential in many areas of their developing metal sound that I scout for: heavy, heavy... and yes, more of the heavy. Let's keep our eyes and ears open, along with devoted devil hornz raised for these dudes and wish them the best of luck as they move into the literal void of the metal biz, shall we? Here's my Q&A with Dan, their guitarist.
Rocket: Are you originally from Cotati, California?
Dan: Not Cotati specifically, but I am from the North Bay. Originally born in Santa Rosa, childhood in San Rafael(Marin County) and moved to Sonoma County in 1984 where I've been ever since.
Rocket: Cool. When did you first start playing electric guitar?
Dan: I started playing a few years ago at the ripe young age of 29.
Rocket: Who are some of your biggest playing influences?
Dan: The most direct influence in my playing and in the band's music is Jon Schaffer with Iced Earth. I was developing the triplet galloping style on my own and when I heard Iced Earth, I had an epiphany. I knew that's the direction I wanted my playing to go. I listened to nothing but Iced Earth for a year. Interestingly, I've never purposely learned an Iced Earth riff much less a song. I'm not into playing other people's music. Other influences that you'll hear are old school Metallica, Testament, Slayer, Pantera…all the best metal.
Rocket: Is there any other way? Don't answer that. Haha. That's actually why I came here in the first place, to expose the bullshit! What kind of guitars are you playing live and in the studio?
Dan: I play a 2001 Gibson Les Paul Standard. For me there are no other guitars. With the exception of an MJ Mirage Custom. Which, I don't have yet. I use the same guitar live as I do in the studio. I also have an '80's Aria ProII Les Paul with a monster Kahler Trem and some sort of Duncan at the bridge and I believe p90 at the neck. It has killer bassy tone. It was my first guitar that I bought from Lee to get me started. It weighs a ton. I was going to try some recording with it but due to money and time constraints, I didn't get a chance. Right now it's my back-up guitar on stage.
Rocket: Right on, man. What kind of amp rig?
Dan: I play a Peavey XXL through a Peavey MS cab with Sheffield Speakers. When we went looking for amps we played all kinds. As soon as we plugged into the Peavey we both went "Fuck yeah!" It was our sound. I'm one of the odd balls that isn't crazy about tubes. Even the Peavey tube heads. Though I recently was play around with a MesaBoogie Dual Rectifier Road King. It has monster tone and both Lee and I really liked it. But, it sounded crappy at low volume like tubes usually do and I was playing faster than the tubes could recreate the sound. I suspect that it can be set up to correct that but I didn't have time to really mess with it. The Mesa will likely be the direction we take.
Rocket: Whatever gets you thrugh soundcheck! Tell me briefly how the Aftertayst band got formed.
Dan: AFTERTAYST really started when I decided to pick up the guitar. Lee had been playing since high school, so he sold me one of his guitars(Aria ProII), showed me the power chords and I took it from there. Lee moved away for a year and I continued to play. When he came back we really started jamming together. We were able to write songs and it was so different from everything out at the time.(Korn and Korn wannabees, hard core, etc). We liked it, our friends liked it, so we decided to start a band.
Rocket: So let's cut to the chase, when can we expect a new album of material from Aftertayst and what can we expect?
Dan: It's a shame that money dictates so much in our lives.
Rocket: Ain't that the truth. Tell that to George W though, brother... it don't seem to weigh much on his mind one bit! Haha!
Dan: Well, we have twenty completed songs, which we regularly rotate through our live set. The 3 song demo we did was a cross-section of our styles. "Why" is heavy and fast and in your face, "Life" is a cool groove, and "Bury" is more like an epic type of song. So really, there's just more of that. Our biggest complaint is that people want more of our music recorded. We've given away over 2,600 demos since Sept '06 and we're pretty much hoping it gets into the hands of person with some money. But we're starting to feel like we're needing a full length cd. Really, we can't wait ourselves to hear our songs recorded and recorded with some real dollars behind them. Hopefully this year we'll be able to do that. Again, it's all about money.
Rocket: Everyone that follows me here knows that I like to have fun with this next one. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you while you were performing on stage?
Dan: We've had our fair share of equipment failures, Miguel's hair has gotten caught in my tuning keys, but for me…we were playing The Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa, Gabe's ex climbs on stage, gets in front of the mic and yells "I'm drunk and I like pussy!" It was a classic moment because there was a five second moment of silence as everyone ingested what she said, then the crowd started laughing and screaming. It was great.
Rocket: Haha. Ay, man... you gotta love that! Last year was a great one for metal, brother. What one album was your personal favorite?
Dan: This is really tough for me. I'm actually really picky about music. I never really got into the heavy dropped tuned sound or the super heavy vocals. Thus I don't follow or have a lot of metal from the last 10 years. I'm really trying to get into Lamb of God. They're such an amazing band, but I have a hard time with Randy's vocals. I can only handle three to four songs at any given time. But with that I have to go with Sacrament from LOG. I fucking love "Beating on Death's Door."
Rocket: As much as I rip on Randy and those guys, it is overall a pretty damn good album. Who are some of the other upcoming acts in your area that have impressed you?
Dan: Here's another tough one for me because of my pickiness, so many bands sound the same. Because of our style we can play on a death metal bills and a hard rock bills. So we get to see a lot of different kinds of bands. There are also tons of bands coming out of the wood works and good old thrash is really moving. A couple of the better bands have also recently split up(Pandemic/Killing of Mind). With that, the heavier bands are "Ancient at Birth," "Fog of War," "Outrage," the thrash bands are "Hatchet," and "Devastator" and the hard rock bands are "Krawl," "Soulfeeders" and "Trigger Effect."
Rocket: Awesome. Maybe we'll get some of those bands coming through metalunderground.com one day soon. What are some of the upcoming shows for your band?
Dan: Aside from our local stuff , Rocket, we have some big shows coming up. April 14th we're at Kimo's in San Francisco, April 29th we play "The Festival of Bands" at The Dome in Bakersfield, May 25th we're back at The Whisky in Hollywood, and June 29th we headline Bourbon Street in Concord.
Rocket: Sounds killer to me. Thanks very much for taking the time out to do this. Best of luck in 2007. Go ahead and give a shoutout to your biggest supporters.
Dan: Here's a monster shout out to our families that continue to sacrifice so we can continue to do this, to our fans for the on going support, to the local promoters and clubs that let us play and of course to Rocket and The Metal Den!
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