years has passed since David DeFeis & co. graced us with a
Virgin Steele album. Now they are finally back with a new album
'Visions of Eden (The Lilith Project - a Barbaric Romantic Movie
of the Mind)'. Why it took so long, and what the future might hold
is some of things we wanted to know from them...
'Welcome back' is in order; it's been a while since the last
studio album (The House of Atreus, Part II) in 2000. But knowing
you as a workaholic you must have been other project in the 6 that
David - It was not really 6 years. It was somewhere between
3 and 4 years actually. It
did not take us long to actually record it. There was this gap
between albums because of several reasons. First, I felt that we
had released so much music between 1999 and 2003. We had issued
THE HOUSE OF ATREUS, which was a 3 CD Set, then hot on the heels
of that, we issued THE BOOK OF BUNING, which contained a full new
album's worth of music alongside some re-recorded versions of
older tracks, plus I also put together HYMNS TO VICTORY, (also
containing a few new tracks), which we released at exactly the
same time as THE BOOK OF BURNING, and then... I prepared the
re-issues of the first 2 albums and the first EP, (again with
many bonus tracks), quite soon after that, so... I thought
perhaps we should take a year off from releasing anything new.
Then next what happened was in 2003, I began composing my 3rd
"Metal-Opera", which premiered that summer and took in
over 50 performances. In writing for that, I became possessed and
I composed over 60 pieces of music. I simply never stopped
writing, and I was working on completing all of those tracks for a
box set, or a triple or double CD! The label was not interested in
releasing such a huge project, so...I had to scale it down which
was very difficult. So...that is why things took so long. In
addition I also began putting a studio in my house, and became
more active than ever before on the engineering side of the
recordings, this also took additional time. Plus I had various
calamities, issues and deaths to contend with. Once I finally
decided what would be on this album, things actually came together
fairly quickly. So you see I was not sitting idle at all. I am
always going non-stop with something or other.
did you begin working on the new album? I've read that you've
composed (and recorded) in the access of 60 songs - any plans with
David - As I said above, I began composing like a wild man
in 2003, and I still have not stopped. I am still going. Yes I do
plan to issue all those other tracks I mentioned within the next
year or so. I even have a full instrumental CD in there as well.
There are more Epic tracks, straight-ahead tracks, acoustic
songs...so many ideas...
promo discs have a not so good sound to say the least - but once
more the rumour has it, that the finished product will be totally
different from the promo album. In retrospect - was that a wise
decision? I have read a lot of reviews, where the main concern was
David - The Promo as I already explained many times had to
be rushed out to adhere to certain specific deadlines we had. If
anyone has further questions I suggest going to our Official site:
and catching up on all that was said there. Yes the final finished
version is much better sounding. However, the Promo though it may
be weaker, is far from horrible sounding. It is still quite
respectable. It was not a question of a wise or unwise decision. I
had no real choice in the matter. Once I committed to a release
date, I was caught up in the machinery and all had to unfold as it
did. That being said...I would never do that again. It went out on
the Internet due to some unscrupulous people, and caused a bit of
album is entitled "Vision of
" - what is
David - a
place, a moment in time where and when we can all be who we are
and who we are fully meant to be with no repercussions, no
judgments, no explanations. A place where honesty reigns supreme
and understanding and compassion are in abundance. It could be
reachable...at times it is. It is a matter of casting off fear and
its entire attendant imprisoning characteristics. It is a Love
that never dies...not even Death can stop it...
subtitled to the disc is 'The Lilith Project - a Barbaric Romantic
Movie of the Mind'. Your theatre play is entitled 'Lilith' - so
who is she, is she a Goddess, Princess or... Could you tell us a
bit about the story behind?
David - Yes.
She is the manifestation of the Great Goddess, the Great Mother,
and the Primal Fount of Creation. I want to try to get people to
think about our origins, and the origins of the World's religions,
and all the propaganda that went along with their rise. Lilith was
turned into a demon because the male God worshipping Patriarchal
order that invaded the lands where she was worshipped, wanted to
suppress her belief. So propaganda began and a smear campaign was
launched to denigrate her...that is why we have myths portraying
her as a demon. But originally... she was not. She was something
beautiful, a pure emanation from the Divine fount of creation.
Once the rise of the World's "organized" religions
began...she was further suppressed, and finally eradicated, and
made to live on as this vile demonic creature.
to what the title might suggest, "VISIONS OF EDEN" is
not about happiness, peace, contentment or Eternal
tranquillity...it is the opposite. It is about disorder, strife,
struggle, dominance, and the annihilation of a culture, a way of
Life, and the violation & annihilation of a human being. It is
a Work based on the destruction of Paganism, Gnosticism
and the desecration & eradication of the Goddess Principle
that once dwelled so freely within Divinity. The album is really
about today...modern times and how we might have arrived here to
this strange place we are now in...
is a rebel. Should you need a frame of reference from the male
perspective, perhaps something akin to a female Prometheus if you
will? However...She is actually something infinitely more powerful.
She is the manifestation of the Primal Energy, the Life force, and
creativity, indeed the Origin of All Life itself. Due to the
tremendous appeal, power and popularity of the Great Goddess
within early "Pagan" Society/ Religions / "Mystery
Cults", etc., Patriarchal, Male God worshipping Societies
felt their status threatened, therefore they enacted laws and
actions in which the worship of the Goddess was made illegal. She
was demonized, and attempts were made to make her become hateful
to women. These attempts were only too successful. My story seeks
to parallel what occurred long, long ago, concerning this shift
of the first times that we hear about Lilith is in the Ancient
text "The Epic of Gilgamesh". There She is described as
an unpleasant squatter in a Tree. Lilith is often equated with the
Egyptian Isis, Inanna, (sometimes called the hand of
Inanna), also Astarte, Hecate, Sophia, Mary, and all the other
powerful feminine deities. She represents the primordial fount of
all Mother/Goddess figures. And yes, according to legend she was
actually the first wife of Adam, prior to Eve. From earth / mud /
clay, she was created, just as Adam was. Lilith felt that She was
Adam's equal, a true mate & match for him. In the early
Legends it is said that She & Adam were created as a dual
being...joined back to back. As such, Lilith wanted to remain
independent, and did not wish to be subservient to the male
personality, Will and ego. Adam, however, considered himself to be
the Supreme Power. He claimed that it was decreed to him by his
God, that he should be the master over Lilith. And sooo...my
friends trouble in Paradise/Eden began.... anyway...
go back to the beginning. God gives "Birth" (or
thinks he does), to Lilith in the Dark of Night, through the
miracle of...nocturnal emission, (this is discussed in
ADORNED WITH THE RISING COBRA), and
forever lusts after her. (He's got a great passion for Flesh!)
However, she is not his child. Again what Lilith really is, is the
exact other "side" of True Godhead...the Goddess, or
female half of Divinity. This God...we are discussing is not a
true God...He is a demi-urge or half-maker. Lilith is part of a
higher Authority/Energy/Emanation, an equal part of the
True...Oneness or God Above God. Anyway...Lilith has awakened this
particular God's Dark, sensual Nature. However... this God is
really very afraid of Lilith. He finds her ... "uncontrollable",
wild, untamable and far too difficult to understand, so... he
creates Adam in the Light Of Day, to be the mirror of his own
image, thus IMMORTAL I STAND (The Birth Of Adam). Adam
& Lilith meet ... they try to have ... a Magick, Romantic
Evening ... but everything goes horribly wrong. Oh yes... very
wrong. Adam wants to be on top ... (sexually & otherwise),
and Lilith wants the same so... they have an enormous fight! She
pushes him off her and screams out "bastard", he calls
her, a "bitch", and She flies off on her Glorious Green
Wings! She is able to do this because she is in possession of the
Power/Knowledge of the True "Name" of God. Lilith knows THE
INEFFABLE NAME. She has found out that which was
supposed to be forbidden and unknowable. In anger, rage and
fear...God & Adam curse Lilith.... and Adam demands that God
create him a new partner.... Someone perhaps a bit easier going...
the aftermath of her dramatic flight, God creates Eve for Adam, to
be Adam's subservient, docile helper. Lilith then momentarily
reappears, confronts Eve & Adam, and rages at them...
BLACK. Here is also introduced the idea of what
might have caused the real "FALL" from Grace/Paradise.
Not the eating of any worm-ridden apple, but...Adam's ultimate
defection from Lilith. He prefers to cling to his idea of
superiority, with himself as "Master" to the submissive
Eve, rather than explore the potential of equality with
Lilith...Anyway, next our heroine winds up in the
where it is said that she cavorts with Demons and has numerous
children with them. (This is the beginning of a smear campaign
against her). Then along come Three Black Angels who begin to
torment & abuse her. This is essentially the idea behind...BONEDUST.
The Black Angels (sent by God), attempt to force her to
come back to Adam. They tell her, "for this unlawful flight,
this transgression, as punishment 1,000 of your children will die
every day unless you return, we will kill them". Lilith says
... "No! I am beyond your control. I know the Ineffable Name
of God. This...gives me Power! I do not have to come back, I will
not come back, and your God knows this"! The
"Angels" are in confusion, as they were not aware of
this arrangement with God. They however are great tricksters and
of course with a God such as this, there must be punishment, so
these crafty "Angels" contrive something truly dreadful.
They devise a way to convince her that in return for her
wilfulness, stubbornness, independence, pride and femaleness...She
must in fact be the one to do these killings of children. And
thus the process begins where she is dramatically transformed,
turned from the Beautiful, Noble idea of the Great Goddess / Good
Mother ... into the Terrible Mother / Evil Demon, repugnant to all
women. (ANGEL OF DEATH)...Lilith in rage and
madness...takes their poison bait...Later She comes to her senses
and laments her Fate, but... the damage has already been done.
Infection sets in...However, Her Pure Essence, her Divine Core
cannot fully comprehend why She must become this dark, vile,
hideous thing. She questions, she cries out, She begs, She
implores the GOD ABOVE GOD, to deliver her from this
tragic fate...And thus the Nobility in her Nature requires still
further corrupting to be up to such killing, so She, (or is it
the "Angels" again), conjure Samael...THE
HIDDEN GOD. Unbeknownst to her, Samael is actually Adam in
disguise. With his influence and trickery The Feminine Divine is
finally overcome, seduced, perverted, corrupted and She... becomes
the CHILDSLAYER...Eve and all Women of the World
begin their Eternal Lament...WHEN DUSK FELL...and...the
struggle begins/continues...VISIONS OF
Once again...remember...regardless of any Ancient, Myth-like
qualities the nature of this Tale may invoke, everything that
occurs is actually going on now in real time, in the
mind of a specific Woman while she is being raped...and...this
Story is not over yet...no...not yet...
of your theatre involvement - do you see yourself more of a
multi-artist today, or are you still a rock 'n' roller?
David - If
someone steps out of their usual role now and then it does not
mean that they have forsaken or, forgotten how to do what they
have previously done. Why can't one be both? I of course am still
a Rock & Roller. See me onstage or come to my house and this
will be obvious. But that is not the only thing that I am...I
refuse to be kept in a box and made to conform to doing the same
thing over and over again. I will continue to do whatever I feel
like doing, and be true to myself, and my Art.
year Virgin Steele can celebrate their 25th anniversary,
will you celebrate that in any special way with the fans, and are
there plans for something special?
David - We
would like to do something special. Exactly what form that might
take still remains to be seen.
do you reckon to be the biggest accomplishment for Virgin Steele
looking back? Not necessarily sales wise...
David - Being
able to keep going, and keep progressing musically. Every year we
reach new people, and the band becomes brand new again. For me it
is all about the compositions, and how they progress.
music has always been very symphonic and powerful - how big an
influence have classical composers like Wagner had on you?
David - Classical
composers have surely left their mark on me. I have been
influenced by the likes of Chopin, Debussy, Verdi, Liszt,
Beethoven, Berg, Holst, and yes also to some extent Wagner.
you have any touring plans for 2006?
David - We
are sorting that out at the moment. Hopefully we will be able to
announce something soon.
internet is a very important source for many music fans - how do
you use the internet and how important is it for you and other
bands, and what's your opinion of Napster, file-sharing and so on?
David - I
cannot speak for other bands, but for me, and VIGIN STEELE, it has
been both a help and a pain in the ass. It has helped enormously
because we can do interviews like this one, and Fans can get
instant access to what we have to say. It is a pain in the ass,
when someone makes your music available to the World, when it is
both unfinished and has not even been officially released yet.
This is a drag. It is a double edge Sword...
an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your
life - and why?
David - QUEEN
II. I think it is just amazing compositionally and performance
wise. I listen to the MARCH OF THE BLACK QUEEN, and I think...how
the fuck did they do that! Brilliant!!! It made me want to compose
huge Epics and create an alternate Universe with sound. Songs
like OGRE BATTLE, WHITE QUEEN and FATHER TO SON, are excellent
examples of the genre. They are powerful, well crafted gems,
filled with intricacy and true development, yet always accessible
and never bogged down in technique for technique's sake. They are
always melodic and from the heart. The performances are stellar,
filled with power and precision far beyond those of mortal men!
But even more amazing, is that behind all that is the brilliant
creative "Mind" at work. This is the true Mastery, to
be able to envision the ideas...and then...execute them.
There would not be many Power Metal or Symphonic Power Metal
Groups working today if not for this album.
other one for me was LED ZEPPELIN 1. I wanted to sing the way
Jimmy Page played guitar. I wanted to become a Human Guitar, and I
guess in some way I have. That album had power, glory, and mystic
Viking attitude plus total sexual drive. It should be remembered
that QUEEN'S Freddie
Mercury was very passionate about the work of Jimmy Page, and the
incredibly full sound that he achieved both live and on record.
ZEPPELIN I, is full of raw power, hunger, virtuosity and
Nordic fury. They managed to capture the true sound of a band in
total heat. Plant's voice is the wailing of the north wind. It can
plunder or seduce. Bonham's drums are the implacable
elemental forces of Nature, John Paul Jones's bass and organ are
the sinews and life force webbing that enfolds and enables growth,
and Page's guitar is the lightning from Zeus and the power of
Odin. This was a sexual album as well as a mystical and warlike
effort. Passion oozes from every groove. The arrangements were
well thought out and a great sense of dynamics. Light and shade
permeates the work. Also one of the greatest things about the
album is the spontaneity. They did not spend 100 years recording
it. They rehearsed a bit...discussed and then went for it full
bore hardcore. And now today so many years later, it is still
fresh and vital. In this day and age, many are still trying
to achieve what they achieved in 30 hours of studio time. For me
both albums and both those groups in general, crystallized what
Metal should be in my mind.
you want to kick back at home and relax, do you put on music, turn
on the TV, read a book or?
David - I
might do all of those things, also drink Wine or have some
Scotch...or make love, have sex...the usual...or all of the above
thank you very much for participating in this interview and
sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last
lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to
round off with?
thank you for your questions and I thank your readers for their
time. I wish you all the very best and I look forward to seeing
you all again soon...Thanks for listening.
last note...someone over here asked me about the Sword and why I
set it on Fire, so OK...I will answer...well this is what the
Sword means to me...
I set it on fire and sing a vocal solo with it. The Sword is our
symbol of sorts. It is the physical manifestation of the Music. We
all take part (Group and Audience), in the healing of the
crucified Earth with it. We are avenged; we are made new and whole
again. I bring it out and it invokes a primal impulse from the
audience that can be quite cathartic. It is part of the Ritual and
Spiritual development of the performance. It is not a shtick. It
has a presence and majesty to it. There is Magick in the Air...
& BY THE BLACK SUN & MOON,