Sunday, March 5, 2017

Band Interview: PREDATOR

Interview with Damien Lee Thorr of PREDATOR

Predator is described as “an openly atheist heavy metal band.” What were the reasons the band decided to take this stance and how has it led to a worldwide fan base?
Too many metal bands have embraced the dark and satanic imagery for a long time and people have associated metal with satanism as a result. In the 80's, many of the bands were almost transvestites, dressing up with feminine tones and fashions and even wore feminine make up. These things give metal a bad or negative image and people often misunderstand us all.
With Predator, we are all about reality and we have been lending our name and music to help the cause and fight for freedom. Specifically, freedom from religion. Our old manager advised against us coming out as openly atheist but after thinking about it, we decided to go with it. If some christian mother tells her kids not to buy our heathen songs or cd's, that's the first thing the kids will want to do: to rebel.
It has not affected us although christian organizations have been targeting us.
Believers often criticize atheists about why we care to argue that there is no god and it seems they miss the point.
As atheists, it is a fight worth fighting if you value your freedom. It is always the theists, believers, who attempt to sneak their beliefs into our laws, government, schools and our currency. They think they have the right to dictate how everyone must live, even when it comes to the bedroom, which in essence, violates our human rights. Not to mention, if all churches paid taxes, the rest of us would be better off.
So the fight is on!
There must be separation of church and state.
There should not be any mention or endorsements of any mythological deities and/or organizations on any government buildings, public schools, public places, public vehicles, our pledge of allegiance and our currency anywhere.
- Would christians like it if our tax dollars were used to fund schools that teach islamic beliefs?
- Would christians like it if our court houses and police cars were tagged with the words “allah be praised”?
- Would christians like it if their kids were forced to recite islamic prayers before a football game?
- Would christians like it if politicians spoke of government adhering to islamic beliefs?
- That would be quite a trespass upon you and a violation of your rights wouldn't it?
- Atheists and others with different beliefs live with this violation daily with christian influence in government.
Many politicians want prayer back in schools as well as the teaching of creationism as a science. That is quite ridiculous since creationism is not a science, but a religious misrepresentation of nature, based on flawed scriptures, and there are no scientific studies, research nor observations to support it. Their claim is that it should be taught alongside evolution (scientific fact) and to let students decide what to believe. To even suggest that is crazy. That’s like teaching about human reproduction from a medical point of view, which is correct, and also teaching about the stork bringing home a baby and to let the student decide where babies come from.
If they are allowed to sneak their mythology unchallenged, we will all be forced to live in a fascist theocracy and there is no way I will ever accept that. Which is why I urge everyone to vote, to let your voice be heard, to stand up and be counted.
The bible is the claim and not the evidence. Ask yourself who wrote the scriptures (bible, q'ran, torah, talmud, etc....) and you will see it was all written by men who reflected a hostile and misogynistic, pre-scientific culture who knew nothing of nature, science, geography and the universe and thus, they contradict what we know about those matters, which is enough to dismiss all claims of authenticity, divine authorship and inspiration. Therefore, using scripture to prove god is very much like using Star Wars to prove Yoda.
Do you have any evidence that supports your deity is not imaginary? Were the Greek gods legend or real? Were the Egyptian gods real or legend? Were the Roman gods real or legend? Were the Aztec and Mayan and Hawaiian gods real or legend? How about the Norse gods... real or legend?
You see, all cultures invented gods to interpret and answer what man could not before we had science for valid, satisfactory answers. The problem with yours, as the rest of them, is that you all make outrageous claims and it makes your belief as equally ridiculous as the other gods.
How do you "know" there is a god? Did someone tell you or did you see it? And who told those who told you? What evidence do you have to support the existence?
Mass belief does not certify a myth to be true.

There are people in extreme metal who find the satanic imagery to be played out. In what ways do you see their point?
The whole satanic imagery is a gimmick for shock value. Not one of those artists truly adheres to satanic values and criminal behavior. I am friends with many of those black and death metal bands and they are very good people and friends. Some bands present themselves in the satanic image because they feel it has some market value, because some teenage fans of metal are rebellious and embrace the dark imagery to cope with their place in life. I do admire quite a few of those bands, and seriously, where would we be without Black Sabbath?

Black Sabbath was one of the first bands to use satanic imagery in their concept. Obviously they continue to influence bands today. What is your view of their impact on music?
I truthfully cannot imagine my life as a metal head without Black Sabbath. They invented a genre and a way of life. The satanic or dark imagery was simply a gimmick, a way to attract an audience which became trendy. Their lyrics always reflected something beyond that satanic theme.
What is of great importance is the song structure and how the metal band unit worked together with guitars, drums and bass. The guitar sound and style they invented was a primary factor that inspired millions and created a culture of its own.
Due to the many lineup changes they experienced, there is division among fans, whether Ozzy was the superior singer or Dio. I prefer to think of them as a book with many different great chapters, where each one offered something new and surprising. I liked everything from them except the Forbidden album but each of the others had some good valid points to enjoy.
My favorite Sabbath albums are: Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules, Dehumanizer, Born Again, Sabotage, Seventh Star, Eternal Idol, Headless Cross, Master of Reality and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
There is a bit of Sabbath in every metal head whether they confess it or deny it. I feel they are the well from which we all flow…

How does your band’s name fit with their atheist position? How often does the band find themselves targeted by christian organizations of late?
Our name is just a cool name and it is positive. A predator is a marvel of nature, representing the strength of survival instincts. It has nothing to do with atheism but it gets attention.
We get criticized every time we publish anything, any interview they run across, since we talk about how their beliefs are based on lies and built on mythology. I participate in atheist speeches and debate against clergy. They hate me because I prove that Jesus never even existed.
I went right from high school into seminary because I wanted answers. I really wanted to know if there was some esoteric information, any truth about a supreme creator. You see, I was already an atheist by the age of seven but kept it a secret until I was eighteen.
Atheism is not an opinion nor a rebellious choice. It is a conclusion based on the available evidence. I have conducted research through the years and published my findings. My atheism is mostly politically motivated because there are too many theists who are blind with belief and always attempt to force their beliefs on the rest of us.
They also have the most distorted views on atheism:
1. That we hate god (how does one hate something that does not exist?)
2. That we worship the devil, that we are satanists (we don't believe in the devil either)
3. That we are bad people & have no morals (we don't need a god to know right from wrong. Meanwhile 97% of the prison population is Christian).
4. That something horrible happened to us in order to abandon god. (ridiculous and arrogant presumption since our conclusions are rational).
5. That there is no love in us. (totally clueless to think we don't love our family and friends)
6. That we are evil people. (not believing in your particular god does not make us bad people)
7. That we are angry people. (you mistake our efforts to have a rational world, where theists don’t interfere and violate the freedom of people, for anger)
8. That Atheism is a religion. (VERY stupid thing to say. It’s like saying that not collecting stamps is a hobby)
9. That atheism is just an “opinion” when it is actually a conclusion based on scientific findings.
10. That we live without purpose. We are here to live, laugh and love.
Atheism inspires us to make the best out of life since it is not like the life of a theist, which they treat as a dress rehearsal for an afterlife which is not going to be there when they die.

How often have you debated with clergy regarding religion? Are the clergy’s arguments largely similar or different?
I debate against clergy quite often and their arguments are an exercise in futility because they think the bible is a testament or eye witness accounts of history and their Jesus.
Christians only believe because they have been lied to.
Archaeological research indicates that there are NO writings outside of scripture (which are all mythological accounts), that document anything about jesus.
There were several writers during the first century who reported the current events of the time (political, social, natural disasters and artistic) and not one mentions anything about him. Additionally, if he was so famous, raising the dead, curing cripples, walking on water, turning water into wine and raising a ministry of hundreds of thousands and angered jews and Romans alike, there would be much reason to report something about him..... but there is silence.
There are not even any Roman court documents that mention him in spite of the fact that scripture suggests he was tried by Pilate himself. Keeping in mind, the Romans were meticulous at keeping records of everything they did to demonstrate to their superiors their hold on the people they conquered. Everything was accounted for. Yet still….. No evidence of any jesus.
One must also keep in mind that there are no birth records, death records, tax records (as the Romans taxed everyone in the region), rabbi records and there is not even any record or mention of a last name. There are simply no documentations or any real life accounts about him during his alleged existence.
He is basically another man-invented deity attached to allegorical stories like the rest of them: Thorr, Horus, Osiris, Zeus, Odin, Metzli, Xenu, etc.....
I constantly hear evangelists and apologists cite Josephus but it is irrelevant. Josephus was not a contemporary and NEVER wrote anything about him.
For a start, Josephus was born in the year 37 CE (Common Era) and the alleged crucifixion took place somewhere between 29 CE and 34 CE. In other words, he was not around to document or witness.
There is a paragraph where he is mentioned in a much later version of the Josephus writings copied by christian scribes under the influence of Eusebius (235-339 CE), who arbitrarily edited the text and added a small paragraph about christ in the middle of two paragraphs where it clearly does not reflect relevance. It is evident by the paragraphs that follow which show zero relevance. There is evidence that supports this.
Additionally, if christ was so famous and so important to the jews and early christians of the time period, why only such a short paragraph? And why only ONE, for that matter?
This has been determined by ALL scholars to be a forgery, especially since the passage does not appear anywhere in the earlier versions of the writings by Josephus, therefore, no writings of jesus exist outside of scripture. Therefore, it is all mythological.
The so called “eye witnesses” that christians claim as evidence were born long after 34 CE (common era), the estimated date of the alleged crucifixion. So how could they have been witnesses to the resurrection if they were not even yet born to witness it? Christians are notorious for misrepresenting the facts.
Here are the facts regarding the “eye-witnesses” that christians lie about: Flavius Josephus 37-100, Clement of Rome 38-102, Ignatius 35-107, Pliny 62-113, Suetonius 75-160, Tacitus 55-117, Polycarp 69-155, Justin Martyr 114-167, Lucian 125-180, Clement of Alexandria 150-211, Tertullian 155-230, Origen 185-254, Cyprian of Carthage 208-258, Eusebius 235-339.
These findings have been confirmed and verified, yet, they reject it.
The only sources we know of that document anything in detail (and not much detail since none offer a physical description of him either) about a jesus are the gospels, which plagiarize identical characters from different cultures, that predate the culture of that era by thousands of years and they are open to a multitude of interpretations, lack coherence, are overwhelmed with contradictions and read more like fantasy than reality.
Additionally, no one can confirm who wrote the gospels and carbon dating tests conclude that the earliest copy we have was written in the 7th decade of the first century which makes them inconclusive as a source since that is 4 to 5 decades after the alleged crucifixion. There is also evidence that they have been altered and mistranslated.
Of very important notice is that whoever wrote them used and borrowed from other gospels and some paragraphs are even copied word for word.
Not to mention, they do not qualify as evidence.
The problem with clergy or these self-proclaimed men of god is that they have zero facts and lie about it.

Describe the origins of Predator, when you founded the band and searched for a complete lineup. When the band formed did you become their lyricist? What made you decide to convey your views on atheism through your lyrics?
Predator began as a recording project that eventually became a band. We have gone through numerous lineup changes because, unfortunately, we were stuck with musicians who were not serious and wasted our time. I have always written lyrics. Writing has always been one of my creative outlets. I have also written books, essays and guitar methods. Among my writings is the horror-erotica novel, The Vampire Journals. As for the atheist content of our lyrics, as artists we have a responsibility to engage the audience to provoke them to think.

How long have you been writing novels? Has it been easy to balance being a writer and a musician?
I wrote my first story when I was in first grade. I have always had a very vivid imagination and even as a child I made up stories. There are many things that interest me and I find many subjects fascinating. Once I have a story idea in my head I tend to fly with it. Lately I write essays on atheism but what I enjoy most is doing the research because I enjoy learning and it really enriches my life. The more I know, the better I can handle things in life.

What is the concept and storyline of The Vampire Journals? Did you publish this novel independently or go through a publishing company? Was there any vampire literature you took inspiration from while writing it?
The Vampire Journals reads a little bit like the diary of a lonely and bitter vampire who experiences life's changes as an immortal and suffers disappointments and betrayals. It initially began as a short story that was published in an independent zine called Stage Fright. After getting some great reaction, I decided to go with it and added on to it. Before I realized it, I had a good horror erotic story of over 100 pages. As with anything I write, I really enjoyed the research. A lot of work went into it. I never wrote eroticism prior to this and I have not done so after either. I doubt I will again because I don't like to repeat myself. But one thing I did notice when watching people read it was that they got aroused while reading the steamy parts! I never had any publishing contacts and being an unknown author at the time, I didn't want to go through all the hassle and rejection from publishers. There are a lot of writers who publish on the matter of vampire lore so I published it independently. I initially printed 500 books and sold them all. Now that I am popular with Predator, as people realize that I wrote the novel, there has been new interest so I may run. Second printing of it to sell at our merchandise booth when we perform. It would definitely need to be monitored so it does not get sold to our under age fans. I simply did research based on vampire legends and mythology from all over the world. Just as every culture has deity legends, there is also a lot of vampire legends in many cultures that I was not aware of, including vampire myths from biblical times. There are even vampire references in the New Testament which I used in the story and that pissed off a lot of religious people! Research is fascinating to me.

Is The Vampire Journals sold as a physical novel or can it likewise be ordered online? Has it been received well by readers of vampire fiction? What else of note have you written?
I sold all the copies. I was thinking about running a second printing since people are showing interest. I think many readers found a connection with the primary protagonist in the story. He is a very good personality although he does run through some moments of instability and borderline psychosis. But his feelings and desires for happiness feel real and many people relate to him in that sense. I also wrote a romance/erotic novel but I have never finished it nor published it. But mostly I have written guitar methods and guitar wiring guides for guitar players who like to learn repairs for themselves.

What was your inspiration when you developed the protagonist of The Vampire Journals? Did you do any research into unstable and psychotic personalities?
I thought about vampires but in a different way, not like the Bram Stoker or Anne Rice vampire lore. I always thought what it would be like if I were a vampire, how the world would change around me with each passing decade and the need to adapt with the changes. I imagined myself in the vampire's situation, accumulating wealth as time passes, making investments and living with the advantage of extra perception, to read the feelings and thoughts of those around me. I also thought about living alone and isolated and the thirst for human warmth, love and sexuality. I read about several different mental health issues and I interviewed a couple of therapists on how people are affected when experiencing severe loneliness. I learned about how some people develop a condition that makes them socially awkward and some go beyond that, to borderline criminal behavior, stalking people for attention when they are rejected. It was fascinating.

How many references to vampires have you come across in the New Testament?
There are many references outside of the bible based on biblical characters but within the bible itself there is the whole "drink my blood and live forever" bit from the new testament. There is a lot of horror inspiration taken from the bible from war, torture, executions and even zombies, with so many people rising from the dead.

In your view, what TV shows and movies show the most accurate (according to legend) description of vampires?
Vampires are the work of man's imagination so everything is open to interpretation and every producer has license to do what they wish with the concept of vampires. I personally never pay attention to horror movies and I never watch television other than news or science or history documentaries.

What essays have you penned on atheism lately, and where have they been published?
For a start, I blog quite frequently online and I am very active on Facebook Atheist groups. I have developed quite a following. You can also check out the mission statement on Predator's main web site: www.predatortheband.com.
I always stick to the facts when presenting a case. When you make an assertion, it must be supported with facts in order for it to be valid and no clergy can provide that. They operate under the assumption that the bible is true but it is quite far from that. You see, they have no divine knowledge and know nothing about what they preach. An atheist as myself will question everything they claim to be true and when one conducts research, it is astounding what has been discovered. They depend on prevaricating the facts and for people to accept the lies without questioning.
I recommend people read the essay posted on our web site under "mission statement" because it has a lot of very valuable information that has never occurred to people.
Theists reject all evidence as opinions but the fact is that facts are true whether or not they accept them.
I don't just debate on Facebook, I also participate in organized debates where a member of clergy challenges me. They underestimate me because they think my long hair makes me stupid. The one thing I always notice is that they resort to screaming at you when they are cornered with the fact that the bible is only the claim and not evidence and when you present evidence that christ never even existed. Their whole lives revolve around lies and that's the reality of it all.

Do you read many books on atheism? Whose published books you would suggest people read?
Quite a bit of them. I read a lot. I also read many books on ancient history, archaeology, philosophy, studies of ancient cultures, science journals and a few other subjects. I like science fiction but I do not read as much of that as I used to. I like reading to stay informed and it provides me with great ammo when debating and discussing things with people. I read the works of educators, mostly. My current favorite educators/authors are Dr. Richard Carrier, Aron Ra, Dr. Robert Price, David Fitzgerald, Pablo Bran and a few others. The funny thing is that since I have been active in atheism, publishing my essays, some people have been suggesting I write a full scale book on the matter. I need to find a publisher and see what happens.

Are there books about history, philosophy, ancient cultures or science fiction based subjects you would suggest? Do you ever consider referring to those for lyrical inspiration?
Too many to mention. For history, there are several publishers who only publish about history in explicit detail and another source for that that I enjoy reading are encyclopedias. I don't read as much science fiction as I do ancient history and real science reports. Lyrics are always provoked out of me emotionally: anger, love, frustration and other moods.

Florida has long been considered the most important hub of activity when it comes to US death metal. Is the scene in Fort Lauderdale still spawning quality bands?
There are many bands but not like it was twenty years ago. I think not as many young kids have any interest in learning instruments because they are too addicted to playing video games. I have worked as a music teacher for many years and I have noticed a decline in music interest among kids. As a result, there aren't as many bands as they used to be. It is really a shame because they don't explore anything. They don't even know if they have any talent, musical or artistic.

How long have you been teaching music? Is this decline of interest something you’ve seen take place gradually or more abruptly in recent years? If this could be remedied, how would you help make it happen?
I have been teaching over thirty years. It started when people asked me to teach them Van Halen solos or Hendrix solos in high school and before I knew it, I was making pretty good money when I started charging them for my services. In the last five years it has been very abruptly. It seems kids don't care about enriching their lives with the arts in favor of video games and Internet activities. Education and encouragement from the home. However, it seems many parents are quite comfortable with their kids watching television excessively and playing video games excessively because it keeps them out of their way. One of the issues I had with neglectful parents was that they did not want to enforce the kids to practice at home because they felt they already had their hands full with fighting over homework and picking up after themselves.

Describe the process of finding a steady band lineup to work with, and the succession of lineup changes you went through.
That's always tough because many people have egos and some lack responsibility and some just don't have a clue about how to work with others. The biggest problem Predator has experienced is finding people that share the goal of success who take it seriously. There have been countless people who have wasted our time and I hate delays. Too many people do not take it seriously and don't have the vision that Predator can be the next Iron Maiden. I feel you only get as big as you shoot for so I shoot for the moon. Otherwise, do not waste valuable time and just keep your ass at home.

Who are the current members of Predator and how well are they working together after all those lineup changes?
At this time Predator is: Rick Mythiasin on lead vocals. He's the best singer in metal alive today. Me on lead guitar. Billy Gordon on second guitar, Mike Heremana on bass and Darrin McNair on drums. Billy was in the band before we recorded the Born In Blood album but left due to a severe head injury. When the position of second guitar became vacant, I gave him a call and he came back in. We are currently preparing him with the live set so we can get out there again.

Did the band record demos before recording full length albums? How many were released and are they still available?
Our recordings have always been the albums we have released. I don't like accumulating music if we are not going to use it. I have already written 13 songs for our third studio album, Castles In The Sky. I think that one will be way better than anything we've ever done. But before that one comes out, we will do a live album featuring our new vocalist. Rick Mythiasin (formerly with Steel Prophet, Pantera and others...) and I look forward to it because the song arrangements are better. I was never quite happy with the drummer on Born In Blood and the lead vocals always left me desiring a better singing style.

Which songs do you consider to be the high points of your albums Predator and Born In Blood?
On our debut I like Icon, Closet Anti-Christ, In The Name Of God?, Die Unborn and Cursed. I like them all and I am really proud of writing them but I think those stand out well. On Born In Blood I like the title track, Far Beyond Death, Slave, Days Without Rain and Home. I really like all of it and this album had more music variety and I used many different instruments including the Lute, which was my first major in college. I ended up getting a guitar performance degree.

In what ways did your music education in college prove a help when you went on to form Predator? Who did you study under and what subject matter were you exposed to?
I am skilled at arranging and composing because I know the instrument and the many techniques that can be applied. I studied under masters of the guitar such as Jorge Morel and Juan Sorroche, and both of them studied under Segovia.

Has your lyric writing improved along with the band’s improvement as a unit? Do you have a formula when it comes to writing lyrics or is it a natural process?
I think I write the same way as I always have. I think things through when I say something. I write constantly. I collect everything I write. Sometimes I set them to music and sometimes not. I can compose very quickly when I need to. Lately, everything I write deals with reality, politics around atheism.

Does the band still have copies of their first two studio albums, either in physical format or by streaming on social media?
All our inventory is controlled by our distribution company. We have worldwide distribution and our sales have been steady and we have been featured in many European magazines and that alone has given us a boost. Not many people know about us in the states but we are working to fix that.

What distribution company did you hook up with to promote and distribute your releases? Which areas in North America have they been pushing the band for recognition?
We are with a great company called MVD. Our initial album was released through Arctic with MVD distribution worldwide but after that we decided to cut out the middle man. The world has changed. Most record stores have closed down due to people ripping off downloads from the internet. The artists are not making the money they used to make. It is a very hard market now for everyone. We are known all over the world but the US has been a little tough. According to our current music sales, we sell far more downloads than physical copies of our CDs. It is a much different world than it was 30 years ago for musicians.

I have heard many people addressing the issue of downloading on the net rather than buying albums. How much of an issue has it been for you and your band? How many record stores in your area have had to close due to internet downloading? Are independent labels helping solve this by previewing their bands on social media?
Let's just say that if this was the 80's, a time when less than a thousand people were connected to something called the Internet, we would be quite rich right now. All but Barnes and Noble have closed. And they will not support us. I am not sure about social media. In order for us to sell as many CDs and downloads, it takes a lot of networking and making contact with fans.

How has the internet made it both easier and harder for bands to make a living on their own terms?
It is easier because we can promote and give ourselves exposure when in the past, rock magazines would only support the major label signed bands, as if they were owned by the record companies. Back in the 80's no one, magazines or radio stations, would give up and coming bands the time of day and the internet has changed that. With the internet indie artists could make a living until people began ripping songs for free.

Explain how important it is to incorporate other instruments into metal that aren’t normally used, such as the lute.
It is only a matter of creativity. Some past bands such as Deep Purple and Rainbow used symphony orchestras for some songs and many others used different nontraditional instruments for their rock songs. I wanted to demonstrate that we are not a bunch of loud growling mindless musicians who just play on 11. There is a lot of thought placed into our compositions and performance. I don't know that it does. My rule is: If it sounds good, then it is good. I don't listen to the opinions of others when it comes to this. I paint what I want to paint, just as every artist out there.

Which of the songs on your current full length are nontraditional instruments used? How much of a difference do you hear in each of them next to bands who arrange with only guitars and bass, etc?
On Born In Blood I used a lute for the intro to the title track, Born In Blood, and on Home I used a traditional flamenco guitar (by Rodriguez family in Madrid) for the intro. On the bonus track, Die Not My Hopes, I used a custom made 12 string guitar but on the regular version we used a real string quartet: 2 violins, a viola and a cello. I also composed the music and conducted the quartet. The funny thing is that people thought it was a keyboard when they heard it but it was an actual string quartet! For the third studio album I will be using the lute again plus other instruments such as the balalaika, bandola, cello, and I will also be using a 12 string guitar. I was even thinking about using a symphony orchestra for the coda of one of the songs but we'll see if we can financially make that happen. I hear a big difference and I like to expose people to instrument from all over the world that many do not recognize but the average listener will not notice or care. I do it because I like it and it makes things interesting.

How do you arrange the sections with the additional instruments you use? How far are you and the band pushing the envelope of underground music as a whole?
There is no set formula. I always think about what is best for the songs and each song is a planet of its own. I don't know where we stand. We have some very devoted fans but I don't know where we are in the mix.

Who were the musicians of the string quartet you hired for Born In Blood? How well did you work together in the studio?
The musicians were employees of mine when I owned a music school in Ft Lauderdale. First violin was played by Andrea Velazquez, second violin by Rudy Rivera, the viola was played by Vivian Torres and the cello was played by Rudy's twin brother, Edder Rivera. It was done pretty much without rehearsing and what you hear on the album was the second take. We were done in about 15 minutes once the microphones and EQ levels were set. Afterwards, I treated them all to a nice lunch! They were employed as teachers at my former music school that I ran for 12 years. I write many different kinds of music. I love metal but it is not the only thing that defines me.

What are some of the genres of music you write and compose in addition to metal? How does this round you out as a musician so to speak? Would you consider adding any of these genres to Predator’s sound?
I have composed symphonies, duos and quartets in the classical style Elizabethan style solos for guitar or lute. I have recorded sessions where I have composed folk and tropical jazz and Latin Jazz and I have also written some pop stuff. I like everything except rap.

Are any songs completed or being worked on for the next full length? How have you been working on improving your lyrics?
The third studio album, Castles In The Sky, has already been written. I have twelve songs for it and I think it will be the best Predator album to date. It is faster and heavier with a lot more instrumental detail than the last one. I don't know that I am improving my lyrics. I don't see it that way. To me, I am simply expressing myself in hopes that people can be provoked to think and see reason so they are not so closed to the reality that there is no god. When I write, I sometimes feel like I am screaming out reason for all to hear and sometimes I feel like I am bleeding when I write. It is very emotional for me. It is funny when people read the lyrics because they don't expect any of us metal heads to have any type of intellect.

When do you expect Castles In The Sky to be released? Care to name some of the songs included on the new album?
I hope to record Castles in the Sky this year. It should have been out by now but due to losing members of the band, it has been delayed. Some of the new songs are: Into The Black, Wolves Of Late Winter, God's Hate, Song For Adam, Noble Nothing, Footsteps Of Rome, Misery and a few others.... I love the new songs.

Metal fans have long been considered mindless airheads with nothing relevant to say. How do you think you’re exploding those stereotypes?
Actually, studies show that metal heads are far more intelligent in most cases than pop, country and rap fans combined. People just tend to misjudge us because of our attire and hair fashions. People are just ignorant and do not understand metal. I think people are realizing that we are not dirty and mindless as they see what we can accomplish. My writings speak for themselves, I think.


-Dave Wolff

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