Former Accept heavyweight vocalist David Reese II is promoting his kickass album Cacophony of Souls of which I have had the pleasure to listen to. I will get into that a bit later in the article as I spoke with David today from his home in the devasted and quarantined country of Italy. David has his feet on the ground and as of 3:41 pm Italian time this is what daily life is like.
“As for the Coronavirus, it’s really terrible! It actually began in a small town called Codogno about 30 minutes from me and I’d been recording in that town at Tanzan studios with Mario Percudani right when it hit. Codogno was the first town put in quarantine and now the whole country is basically under siege. ln Italy there’s a large population of people in their 80’s and older due in part to good eating, weather and healthy attitudes about life so unfortunately it’s been a perfect breeding ground for the elderly. I was about to travel and do two record release shows in Germany March 13 and 14 but the previous Saturday before my wife screamed oh no! I said what’s wrong and she told me the northern region was on lockdown so I, of course, was forced to cancel. The Italian media I believe we were told it was nearing its peak March 15 but yesterday it’s spiked once again, over 2,000 people have died so far its incredible. Now only grocery and pharmacies are open but to go to them you must print out a form each time and sign it and if stopped, you have to tell the police where you are going. Also, stores that are open only allow 4 persons at a time to enter, I’ve not seen the hoarding here like in other countries. We as a family buy two weeks of healthy food each time I’m used to it as I lived in Montana in the rural areas ranching and going for basics we usually did every few weeks so for them it’s a learning curve but we are surviving. We do wear masks and medical gloves each time we venture outside”
David, who lives in the village of Piacenza, told me that he has not been tested, but the protocol is that if you have or suspect you have the symptoms; the Italian health organization sends someone to your home to test you. Life has changed 180 degrees for all of us and while in isolation, he is writing a new song called “After the Quarantine” about how life will be moving forward with many countries starting to move to a cashless society and how the music industry is going to be crushed as people will not be allowed to work in factories to produce vinyl.
Now let’s turn things a bit lighter, as we really have no control over the predicament we are in, aside from hoping the scientist and doctors come up with a vaccine as quickly as possible so we can start living normal lives once again.
I asked David how he came to live in Italy and how he was tapped by the legendary band Accept to sing on the Eat the Heat album. That album, by the way, is stellar and my favourite cut is Mistreated and while listening to it, you can see Davids range. He has a David Coverdale kind of sound in my opinion, and we know Coverdale is no slouch.
“I moved to Italy because I’d met my future wife on social media (as many of us have) as we have some of the same friends. I took her on some tours in Europe to see if she could handle being around a bunch of drama fools and smelly men driving around Europe and living the touring life and she was perfect so I asked her to marry me.”
“How I was contacted by Accept was through a friend named Lucy Forbes, I was homeless basically living couch to couch and Lucy took me in and she had contacts with Dieter Dierks and she’d given him a cassette of me because he was in L. A. hunting for a singer for Accept. I’d actually given up the business and ended up in Colorado and one night Hoffman called and asked if I’d be interested in an audition”
It’s unfortunate, but for reasons that are common in the industry, there is no contact between David and the band anymore. An interesting note is that the original Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider and David are good friends.
“As for UDO he’s always been respectful of me and treated me great I admire the man. Doing the Special guest slot on the Steel Factory tour was a real highlight in my life”
Moving forward, David has a new album out and it’s dynamite. My favourite cuts are Cacophony of Souls and Another Life Another Time. I asked David to speak a bit about the album and his influences and insert anything Canadian that comes to mind and here is what he said.
As for my influences? I’m a Paul Roger’s guy; he’s got the perfect rock voice in my opinion, I also love Halford, Dickinson and Gillen. I have to say Malte our bassist is younger, and a Megadeth and Annihilator fan as well so he brings that element. Andy Susemihl and I wrote most of the record but Malte wrote Collective Anesthesia and A Perfect Worlds. Andy, in my opinion, is one of the greatest guitar players I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with! He also produced, arranged and mixed the album but we had it mastered by Matz Mix. Our goal was to have a heavy modern sound and as you mentioned like so many others even the bass sounds fantastic! I actually began my journey musically in the Twin Cities and played multiple shows in Canada in the early ’80s. We did the hotel circuits; we’d play, then strippers would do their thing. We were like pirates in those days lol! While in Accept we did a few Canadian gigs and I actually fished a lot in Canada as a boy in Ontario on a lake called Sparkling Lake. It was and still is one of my fondest memories being in your great country. So huge and so rock n roll as well. I suppose Rush comes to mind not so much for just vocals but such an incredible group. I also admire Triumph for their older work and Frank Marino I believe is Canadian and is great. I honestly feel Cacophony of souls is my best work and I thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to do what I do and I look forward to seeing you on tour and wish you the best during this trying time.”
There you have it folks; I hope you enjoyed the article and make sure you get a copy of Davids album. It is only day 2 of the lockdown here in Canada and I am going to take advantage of some takeout wings from the Roadhouse before that gets shutdown. I loooooooooooove my wings.
**On another note, a goodwill story is that during these trying times, the best comes out of people and small business. Qdoba a new local Mexican restaurant is shutting down indefinitely due to C19 and has donated boxes and boxes fresh food to the St. Vincent’s Men’s Shelter**