INTERVIEW: Eddie Barton (Diecast)
This is the last post that I’m going to make with this blog for a while, as I need to move house to Russia in a couple of days’ time and I can’t guarantee when I will next have internet access. For now, hope you enjoy the interview.
Diecast are one of the older breed of metal, coming from the same 90s-era school of hard knocks that spawned Killswitch Engage, Overcast and Shadows Fall in their native Boston area. 15 years later they’re still alive and kicking ass, with 4 releases to their name and a fifth on the way. The band have gone through many a line-up change since their inception, but things seem to have calmed down since their last album Internal Revolution. I got to trade a few words with Austrian/US bassist Eddie Barton about his background, the band and metal in general.
Hey Eddie, thanks for taking the time out to answer these questions! Could you start off by introducing yourself and your musical background, influences, previous bands etc.? What do you think these groups taught you?
My name is Eddie Barton, I went to Berklee College of Music to study drums and songwriting. I’ve been playing and listening to music since as long as I can remember. I play drums, guitar, bass piano and I also sing a bit. I listen to all types of music everything from classical to metal! I’ve played in numerous bands over the years playing a variety of instruments. Listening to an eclectic variety of music has taught me to have an open mind when it comes to writing and playing. I love all music!! It’s my life!
I understand that you have some Austrian origins, how different is the Austrian scene to the US one? Are there major differences between playing, say, Vienna and New York? Or maybe something in the attitude of the people involved?
I’m not too sure, I was born in Vienna Austria, but my family and I left after only living there for 2 years. My parents are in musical theater so we bounced around Europe a bit. I never played Austria or Europe in a professional manner yet. I can’t wait to play or even just go to visit. I love Europe!
You’ve been playing with Diecast for about 4 years and counting now, how’s the ride been so far? Did it take long to get used to the other members?
The ride so far has been amazing! At first it was pretty intimidating but all the guys are really awesome and made me feel right at home. Now I consider everyone family!
I saw a couple of years ago that there were announcement plans for a new album to be released (to follow up Internal Revolution). Which stage are you guys at right now with that? Can we expect a release this year?
Absolutely!! All our schedules have been extremely busy over the years due to life. But, now we are kicking it into high gear and are really pushing to get this new record out ASAP! Pretty much all the music has been written and we’ve already started the recording process in January.
Do you find yourself able to listen to older recordings you made? Do you critique your own performances on these demos or albums?
Yes, I’m a perfectionist! I always critique everything I do and, try to find ways to make it better.
I’ve also heard you’re a bit of a multi-instrumentalist, with singing on top of that! Do you have any plans of releasing your own material in this way? How would a hypothetical ‘solo album’ of yours sound like?
I would love to release my own stuff someday!! My solo album would probably be a mix of heavy melodic songs with some acoustic and piano stuff tossed in. The record would probably be very eclectic due to my influences.
Moving on to more general matters, the role of bass in a lot of metal genres seems a bit relegated (or bass-ic, for bad puns), an instrument that isn’t fully explored except in bands like Iron Maiden or Obscura. What’s your view on the current bass situation?
I agree, to me it’s whatever the music of the tune calls for. I’m all about standing out and thinking outside the box, but sometimes, you need to know your place in a tune. Create a good solid foundation for the groove and the more melodic and upfront instruments to shine. Then embellish when appropriate. That’s just my opinion.
What’s been keeping your iPod or CD player warm recently? Do you listen to contemporary metal bands?
I’ve been listening a lot to the new Times of Grace record. Love it!! I also have been listening to A Day to Remember, Testament, Lamb of God and Pantera. Those bands have been on the rotation quite a bit in my car.
How do you see the future of metal in the next few years, either from a musical or financial perspective? What’s your view on the apparent increase of ‘internet-based’ bands with free-to-download albums?
I’m gonna be honest, I’m not too sure. Bands no longer really make money on record sales anymore. It’s all about the live show!! Which, in my opinion, is how it should be!! If you don’t have a good live show, then what are you doing!?! I’ve always hated listening to a band who cant reproduce “live” what they do on the record!! To me its a let down and, I’ve even stopped listening to bands who are just studio bands that cant hack it live. Again, things are changing so fast that it’s hard to predict the way metal is gonna change. I can tell you this though, Metal will never die!!!
Linked to that, do you find that there’s a variety of metalheads who turn up to the gigs? And what kind of influence do you want to have on the younger metal listeners?
Absolutely!! I see a wide variety of metalheads in the crowds from older generations to younger teens! I love the fact that no matter what age, race, and gender we can all get together and share our love for Metal!! I would like to influence younger metalheads to appreciate all metal and all music!! Keep an open mind!!
Finally, as the Mayans predicted, the world may well end in December 2012. Any last wishes?
HAHA to have this new record out, and to be touring Europe!!! No matter what happens, keep rocking y’all!!!
Many thanks are due to Eddie for answering the questions and Team All About The Music for orchestrating it.