Death Angel’s Ted Aguilar Talks ‘The Dream Calls for Blood,’ 10 Years of ‘The Art of Dying’ + More
Death Angel remain one of thrash metal's most influential bands and Loudwire recently had the chance to chat with guitarist Ted Aguilar. The axeman spoke in depth about the band's 'The Dream Calls for Blood' album. He also professed his love for Metallica and discussed the 10-year anniversary of the ‘The Art of Dying’ album, a disc which also happened to be his first recording with Death Angel. Check out our interview with Ted Aguilar of Death Angel below:
With all of these years of touring under your belt is there a band out there you’d love to tour with whom you haven’t been out on the road with yet?
First and foremost Metallica. That is the band, for me and everyone else. I bet you every other band who hasn’t toured with them will agree. They’re the band that influenced nearly every metal band out there whether it be old or new. I would love to tour with Slayer and Megadeth, such great and influential bands. We also want to touch on other genres of music maybe Lamb of God, Machine Head or Trivium and just try to reach out to a broader audience that would be awesome.
‘The Dream Calls for Blood’ -- what does this title mean to you personally?
It means a lot, the dream calls for blood -- no matter what you do in life, no matter what path you take, anything you want to do there’s going to be consequences and sacrifices you’re going to have to endure in order to get to where you want to be. So to get to your dream you got to spill some blood. It sucks. On your way to the top people are going to hate you, people are going to like you, you’ll make some enemies and friends along the way but it’s life. You go through all those steps to get to where you want to go.
What about who you are as a musician and person today can we hear on the latest album ‘The Dream Calls for Blood’?
Oh man, you can hear a lot, our hunger and we’ve been doing it a long time. It’s not a new story. We’ve lost a couple of members several years ago. Not everyone is built for this business. Sh-t happens, people have families, you get tired on the road but me Mark [Osegueda] and Rob [Cavestany] found Will [Carroll] and Damien [Sisson] who are just as hungry as us. We got to keep going. This is what we do, this is what we want to do and as of right now we’re going to keep doing it until we can’t. We’re not going to quit just because sh-t comes up. We’re going to go until all of us go, “We can’t do it.”
You can hear that hunger on the record. You can hear how we feel in the lyrics because a lot of the lyrics are personal. I think people can relate to the album when they listen to it from start to finish. Musically and lyrically they’re going to relate and they’re going to go, “That’s right, I feel the same way too” and that’s the type of music we want to write. We’re not into writing about 'Dungeons and Dragons' and astrology and there are bands who do it well. We’re a real band where we go, “You know what, this is how we feel and we’re going to put it to music” because we’re fans of music that we can relate to as well.
Was there one show in particular that you went to as a kid where you knew you wanted to be onstage and in a band?
I think it was 1986, it was Ozzy on the 'Ultimate Sin' tour and Metallica on the 'Master of Puppets' tour. I saw that tour and Metallica just totally crushed and from there I went, “That’s what I got to do.” Then I started to see the scene and I saw Death Angel before I was in the band when they came out with ‘The Ultra-Violence.’ Metallica made you want to play guitar and practice but watching Death Angel in their younger days made me push more.
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the album ‘The Art of Dying.’ What do you remember most about creating and recording that disc?
It was my first album with the band. Death Angel was a big influence for me and it was cool to see the guys in the band get together and write a record after an 11-year hiatus. It was cool to see them getting to know each other again as Death Angel because they’ve been apart as a band even though they’ve done other projects together but it wasn’t metal. I got to see them write a comeback record so it was a great experience getting to watch them in the rehearsal room and in the recording studio. They are fantastic musicians, just the way they piece things together was amazing.
While on the road, what is one thing you must bring on tour with you? No electronics.
My wallet because I can buy things. I can buy an electronic [device], clothes. I need my ID in the event something happens. [Laughs] If I couldn’t have my wallet … baby wipes, toothpaste and toothbrush. We are very hygienic people, we like to be clean.