Odin/Armored Saint's Jeff Duncan in Studio on the Wild Side with Diana DeVille
By Diana DeVille, Rock Goddess
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 @ 7:11 PM
KNAC.COM: Our guest on the show today is Jeff Duncan, who, in addition to having his own band DC4, has also resumed duties with Odin and Armored Saint. Hi Jeff, and welcome to the show. It’s always great to see you.
JD: Sure. Thanks for having me on.
JD: Well, there’s been some periods of time where I don’t know how I did it, but really, I kind of gauge things as to what’s busy. Like, if I get busy with Armored Saint, then I’m pretty much doing that, and when Armored Saint is busy, Armored Saint is real busy, but then it goes away for a long period of time usually. DC4 is something that I’ve always done consistently except that, when we lost our guitar player, we were down for quite some time, so I wasn’t really busy doing that. Odin, well, put it to you this way, Odin broke up in 1988, we got back together in 2003, so that was a long time. We got this other show coming up three years later. With DC4 and Odin, I’ve been rehearsing with both bands lately, so it’s really just a matter of, I love to play..I love to play loud, and it’s really fun to play with Odin because that’s my roots, and that was the first real band I was ever in. You know, my brother [Shawn Duncan] is the drummer, Aaron the bass player I have known since 8th grade, and we met Randy when he was about 18, so that was really the band that gave us individually any kind of notoriety. So, it’s Odin’s fault I’m here [laughs]
KNAC.COM: Our guest on the show today is Jeff Duncan, who, in addition to having his own band DC4, has also resumed duties with Odin and Armored Saint. Hi Jeff, and welcome to the show. It’s always great to see you.
JD: Sure. Thanks for having me on.KNAC.COM: First of all, you have got a lot on your plate obviously, with all the bands you’ve got going on! How do you manage your time with all the musical projects you have?
JD: Well, there’s been some periods of time where I don’t know how I did it, but really, I kind of gauge things as to what’s busy. Like, if I get busy with Armored Saint, then I’m pretty much doing that, and when Armored Saint is busy, Armored Saint is real busy, but then it goes away for a long period of time usually. DC4 is something that I’ve always done consistently except that, when we lost our guitar player, we were down for quite some time, so I wasn’t really busy doing that. Odin, well, put it to you this way, Odin broke up in 1988, we got back together in 2003, so that was a long time. We got this other show coming up three years later. With DC4 and Odin, I’ve been rehearsing with both bands lately, so it’s really just a matter of, I love to play..I love to play loud, and it’s really fun to play with Odin because that’s my roots, and that was the first real band I was ever in. You know, my brother [Shawn Duncan] is the drummer, Aaron the bass player I have known since 8th grade, and we met Randy when he was about 18, so that was really the band that gave us individually any kind of notoriety. So, it’s Odin’s fault I’m here [laughs]KNAC.COM: Why yes it is, and most immediately, let’s talk about Odin, as you’re going to be doing a show one week from tonight at Paladino’s in Tarzana.
KNAC.COM: Yes, I know Betsy. That will be good.JD: I was talking to her a couple of weeks ago, and I saw her out there at the club. She’s really excited about it as well. Really cool, a really cool person too. It should be a rockin’ night. We’re looking forward to it. KNAC.COM: What kind of set will you be doing?
JD: Well, we’ll be playing all the classics, you know. Pretty much most of the songs that any Odin fan would want to hear, we’ll be doing. We did record three new songs, but we won’t be doing any of those at the show, because we just don’t feel it is the right time to bust out anything new.KNAC.COM: My question is, why don’t I have it yet? [laughs]
JD: Nobody has it.KNAC.COM: I have to twist your arm and make sure I’m going to be the first to have it. JD: Absolutely. KNAC.COM: Cool. Okay I’m happy now. Now you mentioned the last show you did was at the Troubadour. Was that three years ago?
JD: Yes, it was in 2003.KNAC.COM: Wow. I was going to say 2 years ago. I was trying to think of when it was, and I was there, and I remember it, but I didn’t remember it being that long ago. JD: Time flies. KNAC.COM: It certainly does. How did you feel after that show, being that it was the first show you had played since you broke up in 1988?
JD: Oh, it was extremely gratifying, the reason being that, unfortunately when Odin disbanded, there was some bad blood amongst certain members of the band. Not between me and my brother of course, but there was just some bad blood going on, and a lot of tension, and it was really a relief when the band broke up. I was happy because I had somewhere to go, which was, I went straight to Armored Saint after that, and I didn’t think about Odin. I even had this Odin guitar. I sold it; I didn’t listen to Odin music for a long time because I was just in Armored Saint doing that, and that’s all I cared about, and I’m doing this now, screw that, you know? So when we got back together, what happened actually was that I found some guy online who was bootlegging Odin records, and I contacted him and was like, “Hey man, you can’t do this.” He was like “Oh I can’t believe it’s you. I’m just a fan, and I’m just selling them to make back my costs” and stuff like that. I was like “Alright, I don’t care. Just send me copies of everything”, because I didn’t have any of the old music on disc. So he sent it to me and I put it on. Now, the members of Odin had been contacting me for probably a couple of years wanting to do it again, and I was the one saying no, no, no…KNAC.COM: Well you had so much going on at the time anyway. JD: That, and I just wasn’t ready to go there. But what happened was I got these CDs, and I said, “Let me see what this sounds like on CD”, and I started listening to it, and I started really getting into the songs, really getting into the Odin music, because I hadn’t heard it in so long, and I thought, “Wow, this is really cool stuff. I’d like to play this again.” So I got a hold of everybody, and we booked this show and everything. When the show was done, it was very gratifying because so many people were there, and the fans were there, and the show went great. I had a relationship…there was just a lot of mending that happened, and I was able to be at peace with the band. Whatever had happened in the past didn’t matter anymore. Everybody grows up and everyone changes in most cases, certainly for the members of that band, so it was just a real appealing thing in a lot of ways. You have to remember that when Odin made its first record, I was about 17. KNAC.COM: I was going to say, I thought you were pretty young when you were in that band. JD: Yeah, so not only was it my first band, but it was also extremely tied to my youth and that period of my life. When you’ve been carrying around wounds for that many years, it isn’t necessarily good, so it was very gratifying and satisfying that we did that, and the fans were what really made it so worthwhile, because they all came out. I was like, “Wow – people still love this band. I can’t believe it”, and we had been gone since 1988. That’s a long time to go away and then play, and people show up. KNAC.COM: I know, I was there. I remember, you know, because we were plugging the show here on the Wild Side a few weeks before it happened, and people were coming in [the chat room] saying “Odin? They’re back?” And I remember the show was packed. JD: Yeah, we couldn’t believe it. We were just amazed, and it was kind of touching actually. KNAC.COM: It’s kind of one of those cases where, you know how we all say we wish we could go back to when we were young knowing what we know now? And it’s like you got a chance to actually do that in a sense. JD: It was very similar to that. I know I’m a lot different than I was then just in terms of life experience. So yeah, it was a lot like that. We were able to play those songs and do our show as the people we are today, even though they were the songs from back then, we were able to play them as the players we are today and as the people we are today. The thing is, with Odin, there was always some kind of tension going on. There was always something between us, and that just doesn’t exist anymore. KNAC.COM: That is great. And probably it was also kind of cool in a sense to be, you know, like you said, as far as you’ve evolved as players, to go back and play those songs, and have it be a whole different show almost than it was 20 years ago. JD: Well the band definitely sounded better, I thought, than it ever had. It wasn’t so taxing to play those songs. It was very easy, very second nature. Also, it’s a lot easier to do shows too when, yeah, you’ve got a packed house, but you’re not thinking about, “who’s going to sign us? Who’s going to show up and give us our shot at rock stardom?” We’re not thinking about any of that because number 1, we know that’s not really where this is going to go and 2, who cares? I don’t care. KNAC.COM: You’re just doing it for fun, which is what you really should be doing with a gig. JD: Exactly. And that was the whole idea of getting the band back together in the first place, was to do it and have fun with it for a change, play the songs and the music. Odin had a lot of fans because they liked the music and they liked the way the band performed on stage. So, I thought that, since Odin had such a big following and people were so loyal to us, I felt like maybe I owed it to them to at least present the band to them and say, “Please come.” We didn’t know how it was going to go; we really didn’t know, and when all those people were there, it was really mindblowing. KNAC.COM: So obviously it got the response from the fans that you had hoped for?
JD: Yeah. I had hoped for it; I didn’t know that was what was going to happen, but it did, and I still can’t believe it went like that, after being broken up for so many years, just completely gone.KNAC.COM: And now it’s three years later, and you’re getting ready to do the same thing again. JD: Yes, I just got an idea one day, and I had spoken to Jimmy D down at Paladino’s, and he had mentioned it to me a few times. He had talked to me about getting Armored Saint in there initially. I said to him, “I have nothing to do with that part of Armored Saint. I can’t really help you there,” and he goes, “I saw Odin play at the Troubadour. Why didn’t you call me?” I said, “Well, we can get Odin to play here if you want.” He said “Oh really?” I said “Yeah, let’s cut a deal, let’s do it.” Odin used to play a lot at the Country Club out in Reseda back in the day, and those shows did extremely well. We had a large following in the Valley area, and Paladino’s is right down the street from where the Country Club was. I think it’s a big Mexican church now. It’s definitely not what it used to be. So, I thought, it would be good if we played here, because we could play for the Valley. We played for Hollywood last time, and we should go and play for the Valley now. I mean, anybody who comes out to those Atomic Punks gigs probably knows who Odin is. I just thought, “Okay, let’s do it,” we started rehearsing, and the show is next weekend. KNAC.COM: Why did it take so long between gigs? Was that something you hadn’t planned, to do a second gig, and then opportunity knocked?
JD: Well, because that’s probably how Odin’s gonna go. It’s not really something that is really necessary to do a whole lot of shows with. We have our loyal core following, and we love them. But as far as playing way over there or something like that, I don’t know that it would be in our best interests to do that. Odin is a popular local thing. You have to remember that Odin never got a record deal; we never managed to get out of Los Angeles, so we’re like this Los Angeles, LA metal band fame thing. Knowing that, I opted to keep it at that and not pretend it’s anything more than that, because it never was anything more than that. But for what it is, it’s just great; it’s a lot of fun. Plus, like we discussed, I get really busy with the things that I do; I never know when Armored Saint is going to call, and when they do, I show up for duty. After this Odin gig is done, I’m going to be extremely busy with DC4.KNAC.COM: Ok, good, it sounds like you’ve got everything planned. So Odin sounds like the kind of thing where you guys get together every couple of years just to do a gig for fun for whoever happens to come, and a good time is had by all. JD: Yeah that’s pretty much it. Every once in a while, every couple or few years, I just seem to kind of get the itch to want to play those songs. That’s what happened this time. All the other bands I’m in are two-guitar bands. Odin is the only band I’m in where there’s only one guitar. KNAC.COM: It’s all about you, baby. JD: Yeah it’s just me, so I can go up there and be a hot dog for a while. [laughs] KNAC.COM: Now one thing I want to bring up is that a lot of people know you and Odin from “The Decline of Western Civilization [Part II]”, you know the people that may not have been in LA at the time, but they certainly know you from the movie. Now, I hear that has been airing on television lately. We’ve talked before about how you didn’t feel you were represented fairly in the film. JD: I think that, I don’t know that we were presented unfairly. I think that was a very low point for the band, and keep in mind that Odin disbanded not long after that movie. As a matter of fact, I went to the premiere of that movie as a member of Armored Saint. It was really that we presented ourselves poorly, and although we’ve received e-mails and things like that over time from people who loved us in that movie (“You guys were great” and this and that), I know that the band – including the concert footage – I know that the band definitely had better shows, better performances, better energy and was a better band previous to that time. So it kind of bummed me out that we had the opportunity to be in a movie like that and we weren’t up to our full potential, we weren’t at the top of our game like we had once been. But there’s no use in crying over spilled milk; it still got the band…even more people know the name now, so it’s really not a bad thing. I just personally thought that it would have been so cool if we weren’t so screwed up at the time and been in that movie. I mean, I was 22? KNAC.COM: I was driving around Hollywood today, and I drove by Odin Street. That was my first association. I mean, I know there are different meanings of Odin, a Norse god, etc., but when I saw Odin Street, I thought of you guys. JD: That’s over by the Hollywood Bowl. We got crazy one night and went out with some boltcutters and stole some of those signs… KNAC.COM: Rock and roll, man! [laughs] So now that the movie is airing again, what are your feelings on having it sort of brought back to light after all the years of seeing it yet again. It aired again right around the time you guys played in 2003, you know, they had the premiere at the Arclight, and it was laid to rest, and now it’s rearing its head again. Is it a positive thing or a negative thing?
JD: Oh sure..it’s retro cool, that’s what it is. I don’t think…I mean, I had a real issue with that movie for a long time when it first came out, but then I thought about it, as far as the interview footage in there, we just got filmed doing what everybody else was doing at that period of time. Everyone else was getting wasted, everyone else was saying stupid shit, you know, being out of control, everybody, whether you were in a band or not at that time in LA.KNAC.COM: That was the lifestyle. JD: That was it. So, we just happened to get on film and get put in a movie. KNAC.COM: You were the poster children for that lifestyle. JD: Pretty much, pretty much. I think we and London took the cake in that movie, and Chris Holmes. KNAC.COM: Yes, those are pretty much the defining moments of the film. JD: Yeah. So I think it’s good. There’s so many young kids now who are into metal. All you have to do is go to the Key Club on Monday nights and see that. You see these young kids decked out in their Motley Crue outfits, and I think it’s just great, because it’s all about rock music. I say, “Carry the torch, keep it going please.” Because trends come and go, but hard rock/heavy metal music never goes away. I was just talking to someone the other day about grunge music and when that all happened. I loved Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. I thought they were great rock bands, but as far as metal goes, I said to somebody, “Yeah, but Metallica and Pantera were plowing right through that and doing just fine while that was going on.” They were doing really well; people were going to those arenas and seeing those shows, so it never really goes away. It might get overshadowed for a minute; it might be considered whatever, not hip for a period of time, but it never goes away and the cream always rises to the top. That’s what I believe. I think that the energy...I think it’s positive, the energy of it, and hard rock/heavy metal music got me through a lot of things to have my entire life. I think that’s what kids today are feeling. KNAC.COM: Earlier this year Armored Saint reformed for quite a successful summer tour. That was cool..how was it for you?
JD: It was a lot of fun. We had a great time; it was easy. We laughed and joked and played some really good shows, and we came home, played LA House of Blues and a week later went out to Italy for one show and came home. So yeah, it was great. We had a great time.KNAC.COM: We were all so excited about that, because we have been waiting forever for you guys to get back together and do some shows.
JD: That’s Armored Saint. [laughs]KNAC.COM: I’ve been bugging Joey [Vera] and John [Bush] for a while “Why don’t you do Armored Saint?” and they were like, “ehhh, whatever, we’ll get around to it.” And I’d say, “Oh come on, people want to see Armored Saint” and they’d say, “Yeah whatever, we’ll get around to it.” Those guys have a really good way of sidestepping! [laughs] JD: [laughs] Armored Saint kind of has a life of its own, so we just kind of let it dictate what it wants to do when it wants to do it. KNAC.COM: By the way, let me say thank you for an awesome birthday performance! That was actually the night before my birthday that you played the House of Blues, and that has to be one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had, getting to see an Armored Saint show! JD: I thought Death Angel were great that night too. That’s a good band. That was a really exciting show. I couldn’t believe how loud the crowd was the whole time. The crowd was just completely roaring it seemed the entire show! KNAC.COM: They were just so excited to be there. JD: As we were. KNAC.COM: How did you feel about the reunion and the reaction from the fans?
JD: Oh, well Armored Saint’s kind of funny in that, I didn’t really consider it so much of a reunion just because of how Armored Saint goes, because in 2000 we did Revelation and all that, and that kind of came from left field when that happened. Then a while back we had done a one-off show in Arizona with the Scorpions and that was kind of like okay, and then we hadn’t done anything for a long time. We did the one show, that was it, and then we didn’t do anything for a long time until this European thing came up. As far as the fans’ reaction to it, it was really positive and very encouraging. It was “We love Armored Saint; we love you guys” kind of vibe, and it was just really flattering really. In a sense I understand it because, back when I was in Odin, I was an Armored Saint fan. I used to always go see Armored Saint because I loved that band. There was just something about it that would strike a chord with me and I wanted to throw my fist up in the air, you know? So, I understand from a fan’s perspective to a certain extent Armored Saint even having been a member of it for some time now, I can relate to it from that perspective, you know, whereas the other guys in the band perhaps can’t relate to it from that point of view. I’ve been in front of Armored Saint with my fist in the air going “Yeah! Stricken By Fate!” [laughs]KNAC.COM: When you stepped in to fill Dave Prichard’s shoes, what was that feeling like?
JD: It’s kind of strange because what actually happened was, I came into the band initially when Phil was not in the band, and I actually played in the band with Dave for a while, and then I departed Armored Saint because I had some personal issues I needed to sort out. In the interim David passed away, and they asked me back in the band, and I said “Yeah, of course.” My head was a lot clearer at that point, and I thought I had left Armored Saint. It was what I had to do at the time, but it was still like, “Wow, I can’t believe I walked away from that band -- Hello!” And then they were like, “Hey man, come back in the band.”KNAC.COM: A second chance there. JD: Yeah, and I never departed them after that. KNAC.COM: You were stricken by fate! You were meant to be in Armored Saint. JD: As far as stepping into Dave’s shoes or something like that, I don’t think Armored Saint expected me to do that; I think they just liked me. On a personal note, Dave was a buddy of mine and we hung out a lot. I certainly liked him as a guitar player and a songwriter. One thing I attempted to do and still do now, is to try to be true to certain elements of his solos that are very memorable and, not necessarily note for note his leads, but definitely things that should be left untouched. You know, certain melodic lines or certain things, playing my guitar with that band as a member of Armored Saint and not doing my thing, playing as a member of Armored Saint, which is…I don’t think it’s anything anyone can understand unless they are actually playing in that band. There is a certain approach to your instrument that you take with that band. It was a little strange at first, because I was like “Wow, this is weird being in Armored Saint without Dave,” because Dave was such a prominent figure in that band, and he was very…at rehearsals and things he was very much on top of things, and his presence was known. So, he wasn’t there, and there was me where he used to be, and it took some adjusting at first. I think I was a little nervous at first because I was thinking, “Are these guys going to be okay with me being right here? I know they asked me in the band, but I hope they’re okay with it, because I feel kind of weird.” But I think that was all in my head. The guys certainly wanted me in the band and welcomed me with open arms, and we’ve had a great relationship since then. The first thing that we did was..then I ended going in the studio with them and doing Symbol of Salvation, which a lot of the songs, a lot of the music was written by Dave. He had showed me a lot of those songs, so I knew exactly how to play them right. I was the one person in the world who knew how to play those songs how Dave wrote them, because he personally showed them to me. I was talking earlier to you about the song “Another Day”. I challenge anyone to pick up a guitar and try and figure that one out. I was taught that song directly by him, and it’s still pretty difficult to play. [laughs] KNAC.COM: Well that is very interesting. It’s almost like he passed the Armored Saint legacy onto you directly, which I hadn’t realized that. I thought you had come into the band after he passed away; I didn’t realize you had actually played with him. JD: Yes I played with him. I don’t remember how long it was that I was in the band with Dave, but it was for a little while. We did a lot of demos, and a lot of those songs that are on Symbol of Salvation were written when I was in the band with Dave. There’s a bunch of demos of the Symbol of Salvation tracks that are me and Dave on guitar. I think on the re-release of Symbol of Salvation, the demos are on there. There’s an extra disc that has the demos, and those demos are me and Dave. KNAC.COM: So then how weird was it to have played with Dave in the band, and then you leave, you come back and Dave is gone and there is Phil? You’re sort of in a different position almost. JD: It was great. I mean, Phil is Armored Saint; he’s an Armored Saint guy. It was really cool because Gonzo had his brother back in the band; I know he was happy about that. I was thinking, “I’m with these guys; I’m with these Armored Saint guys – this is cool. I’m helping Phil with his hair and his whole trip, and he still kinda looks the same. [laughs] We agreed to do the best we could to gel on the guitar and just make the guitar sound powerful in the band, and we kinda got our things for that band together and it turned out to be just great. KNAC.COM: The way Armored Saint writes and records, how do you and Phil split up the solos? Usually you’ve got one guy who is the lead player and the other guy is the rhythm guy, but in Armored Saint you seem to be pretty equal. JD: It’s kinda cool, because really, ultimately, who decides who’s going to do what solo…is Joey. KNAC.COM: Sergeant Vera! JD: [laughs] Yes, Sergeant Vera. He just kind of assigns the solos, which is fine with me. I’m like “Great, I’ll solo over whatever you want me to.” KNAC.COM: So it’s like, “Here’s your part” and you just go with it?
JD: Yeah. Just don’t tell me I can’t do any solos [laughs].KNAC.COM: Somehow I don’t think that would ever happen in Armored Saint [laughs]. What lies ahead for you guys? I know you said they come and go, and you do stuff for a while and then you take a break and everyone does their own thing. Are there any plans for a new record or any touring, or anything coming up?
JD: That’s all up in the air for right now. I just don’t know the answer to that.KNAC.COM: Okay then, let’s talk about DC4. You’re playing with your brothers Shawn and Matt, and you’ve now brought Rowan Robertson of Dio fame into the mix. How did that happen?
JD: DC4 had done a couple of CDs in the past, and our guitarist Hyland Church departed the band, and we were down for a long time. I didn’t want to take out an ad in the Recycler, or audition a lot of people; I’m just not up for that. Personally I’ve never really auditioned for anyone myself, and I don’t even know how to audition people. What are you going to do, go through 500 people before you meet the right guy maybe? So, I just told the guys, “We’ll just have to wait it out. The right guy will come when he comes.” So what ended up happening was, I did a gig down in Riverside with a guy you might know named Happenin’ Harry doing some covers, you know, some bar band stuff just for a good time. He said, “Rowan Robertson is going to playing guitar also”. I said, “That’s cool; I’ve never met him.” So the band was actually me, Rowan Robertson, Simon Wright…KNAC.COM: So you had the Dio crowd that night. JD: Yeah. So I met Rowan, nice guy, and we started playing the songs, and we just sounded really great on guitar together. We were really vibing on each other’s playing, and I ended up talking to him a little bit after that. Then what happened was that Harry called me and said, “I’m going to do some out of town dates in the Chicago area, a few shows. Can you do it?” There was a little bit of money involved, and I wasn’t busy, so I said, “Sure I’ll do it.” [laughs] So it turned out Rowan was going too, so that’s really where I started to befriend him. I got to talking to him, and I really liked him as a person. First and foremost, I just thought he was a real sweetheart of a guy, and a great guitar player. So I got to talking to him, and it turned out that he wasn’t playing necessarily in a band with anybody. I was like, “You’re not in a band? And he was like “No, not really in a band.” I said, “You should come play with us!” I gave him a copy of a DC4 record called Volume I and he really dug the stuff. We got together; I said, “Why don’t you come down and jam with us?” He came down and vibed with the rest of the band just like he and I had. We rehearsed about two or three times, and then we just said, “We want you in the band. Do you want to be in the band?” He did, and he made the commitment. He’s totally into it, and we have a good solid member in DC4. We’re going to start recording tentatively right now (and hopefully we’ll be ready by then) but we’re going to be going in the studio and recording with Joey Vera. We’re going to be doing that, so it’s all going very well, and I’m very exciting to be singing again, because I missed it. KNAC.COM: Very cool. Now that’s very interesting. That’s the first time you’ve ever sung right?
JD: That’s the only band I’ve ever sung in…and I wasn’t even supposed to be the singer. My brothers made me do it.When I formed the band, (back then it was called Human Nature,) and I had written all these songs and made demos at home. I just sang on all the songs, because I wrote lyrics and stuff. I was going to sing them, so I just put on my best rock voice and sang the songs and gave the guys the tape so we could learn the material. So we got together and I said, “It sounds good; we just have to find a singer and that is going to be a bitch.” They said, “We thought you were going to be the singer.” I said, “I wasn’t really planning on being the singer.” They said, “No, it sounds fine. Let’s not bring a singer into this.” So I was like, “Okay, great. If you guys believe in me, I’ll believe in me too and give it my best shot.” KNAC.COM: Well, it sounds like it’s worked out pretty good. JD: Yeah, yeah. I became somewhat of a rock vocalist out of it. I love it. KNAC.COM: This could be a whole new thing for you. JD: Yeah. As a singer, you go on stage and listen to someone like John Bush sing, and really it’s good company to be in if you want to be a singer; that’s all I've got to say about that. [Laughs] KNAC.COM: Do you pick up tips from people, like with John, and with people that you work with?
JD: Little things here and there..they’re not usually things that I ask, just things that I notice.KNAC.COM: Like how they do a particular thing, and then you incorporate that?
JD: Yeah, like warmups, things like that.KNAC.COM: And how about Randy O? Did you pick up anything from him?
JD: Randy O was always good as far as his energy and his attitude. The same with John too, but Randy was almost manic. He got on stage and turned into some other guy! But he does that super high thing…I don’t know how he does it or where it comes from. It’s not human, I don’t get it and I’ll never be able to do that!KNAC.COM: So I guess you’ll just stick to playing guitar in Odin. JD: Yep. [laughs] KNAC.COM: So with DC4, are there any shows planned on that front? You said you were going to be recording. JD: We’re not going to play out yet. We’re going to wait until we’re done recording and then we’ll set up a show and put it out in front of people. KNAC.COM: Do you think it’s easier that way, to concentrate strictly on writing and then performing later?
JD: Yeah, at least that’s the way I like to do it, when you have something recorded, for one, the band is really well rehearsed after that and really dialed into the songs. We’re recording all new material so it’s going to help us be really dialed into the songs. It also helps with the camaraderie of the band. Especially right now with having a new member, I think it’s good for us to get in there with Rowan and just become even better friends and just get to know each other that much better. Recording is really good for that.KNAC.COM: So it’s more about the bonding, about getting the band all on the same page?
JD: Yes, absolutely.KNAC.COM: My argument for having a gig would be, just to get out there and see what the people think of the material as you are creating it. But then again, it could also be very distracting. JD: Yeah…we might do that, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen or not, but maybe. KNAC.COM: It’s always interesting because different bands have different approaches to the way they do things, and it’s always interesting to see what people do and why they do it that way.
Of all the bands you’re in, which you do enjoy playing with the most, and why?
JD: Oh wow! It’s hard to say because each thing has its different elements to it. I know that I absolutely love playing in Armored Saint. Armored Saint is such a powerful sounding band, and the songs are really, really cool. I love Armored Saint for the power that it has. I like Odin because I’m the only guitar player, and I get to stretch out a little bit more than I do in Armored Saint on guitar. DC4, well I’m the singer in that band, and I don’t sing in any of those other bands. Each one has its own special thing to it, so I can’t say that I like playing for one band more than the other, although Armored Saint has taken me across the ocean and all that. For my career, Armored Saint has offered me a lot and given me a lot.KNAC.COM: Congratulations on all your bands – can’t wait to see you live again. Again, Jeff will be performing live with Odin Saturday, September 16 at Paladino’s in Tarzana, CA. For more information on Jeff, visit
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