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Dane McCartney (Judas Beast)

Interview with Dane McCartney from Judas Beast
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 31 July 2008, 9:00 AM

You should by now this band from my recent live report. Well, I had the chance to have a nice chat with the band's singer who shared with me his passion about IRON MAIDEN and gave me some insight info about JUDAS BEAST. (All photos by www.myspace.com/judasbeastchicago)

 Please take some time to introduce JUDAS BEAST to the METAL TEMPLE readers.

My name is Dane McCartney and I am the singer. We Jess Naputano on the drums, Chris Cassidy on bass, Ralph Circelli and Rick Voss on the guitars.

But to be a proper IRON MAIDEN tribute you should have three guitarists.

We actually did have three guitarists. The third one was also responsible for the keyboards. But he has cocky and arrogant and we do not have room for that in the band.

How did you all come together?


Well, I was in an original band called SCEPTER and we were on a CD release party where we played the songs with acoustic guitars. About a week later Chris, the bass player, and said You sound a lot like Bruce Dickinson and you will be perfect for JUDAS BEAST. So, I went to play with them as an audition with the intention to do a couple of songs and then turned them down because I actually did not have the time to do it. But it was like magic! We are all big fans IRON MAIDEN fans and the chemistry between us was just amazing.

What did convince to get to this tribute band?

I am a huge IRON MAIDEN fan and I do like JUDAS PRIEST.

(interrupting) Well on-stage you are more of a Dickinson guy than a Halford one…

Well yes. I like JUDAS PRIEST and I know what they have done to the Metal scene but I also believe that IRON MAIDEN have taken better care of themselves than anybody else and that back in the 80s they were sounding far better than any other band. I think that they have never compromised for anything even in their latest albums where the songs are long and not that radio friendly.

Do you think that they have changed especially in their live shows? I mean to my eyes and I am also a huge MAIDEN fan they look like they are doing just a job. Too much professionalism and less heart on it.

Yeah, I kind of agree with you. You know Bruce has been underrated for his frontman abilities. Many think that David Lee Roth is a better frontman but actually he is not that good singer like Bruce who runs up and down the stage and does a phenomenal job with the crowd.

Do you believe that trying to impersonate Dickinson or Halford you gain some confidence points while on-stage?

Sure, there is no question about it. I was always a confident frontman but when you are presenting your own material you are really nervous about the crowd's response. And eventually you are holding back some of your vocal and on-stage capabilities.

So, apart form the live shows do you have any thoughts getting the music on a CD?


I think we will. My proposition is to make a medley. One long song that will include 12 IRON MAIDEN songs or maybe do one from MAIDEN one from PRIEST and try to combine them all. I think it would be cool. I definitely don't want to do what the female tribute band IRON MAIDENS did; you know put an album with all the IRON MAIDEN with absolutely nothing new on them. I want to do something more that a cover version.

What about original music?

I am working with a guy who is in a Prog Metal band and actually we are putting together some recordings.

 Do you have a name for this band?

It's more like a project but if it turns into a full time band I would like to call it DISTANT MIND. Because I always feel that I cannot fit anywhere (laughs)

 What is the most challenging song to perform on-stage from the singer's point of view?

This is definitely Where Eagles Dare especially if you are going to sing like Bruce does. From PRIEST I have to say that Painkiller is the most difficult to sing because it is all falsetto. Actually this is what I like with Dickinson; all his notes come from his pelvis and not from the back of his head like Halford's. So, falsetto does not come naturally to me and this is difficult for me to do.  

 And what is the most difficult song to do as a band?

Paschendale is a really tough one. You know people think that with the new stuff MAIDEN follow something like a formula and that they do not work on their music. I disagree because some of this music is really difficult when you are trying to replicate. You get a new respect for them.

From PRIEST I will say Exciter. I don't actually feel that song and to tell you the truth I never really like it.

 Is there any song that you would like to do on-stage but for some reason you haven't yet?

(thinking) This is a good question. From JUDAS PRIEST I would say Sentinel. From IRON MAIDEN believe it or not is Judas Be My Guide. Because we are JUDAS BEAST and would be nice and also has a melodic chorus that I really like.

 What are your goals with JUDAS BEAST?

I'd like to travel and go to places where IRON MAIDEN don't go frequently and give them what we believe is a good live experience. I want to get the chance to perform in large venues in front of big crowds and I think travelling is the answer to that. Because the US is really tough place on live shows.

 Have you ever felt restricted as an artist being with a cover band?

Yes there is no question about that. There is a certain level of respect that I will never get by being in a cover band. I have my original band and music and I do want to do something on that.

 Have ever contacted IRON MAIDEN to show them your work?


No we haven't. There is kid in the Bruce Dickinson forum who is going to send to Bruce a CD with cover song from his solo career and with MAIDEN as a present for his 58th birthday. He will send this to the radio station where Bruce has his show on. We are going to do a live version of Two Minutes To Midnight. Actually we are the only band that chose to do a live version.

 That's sounds pretty cool. What about your voice; have you ever taken vocal lesson?

Yeah I had with a Russian guy. He was my vocal coach and actually he was very good. Before I went to him I had some serious problems keeping my voice in key. Apparently when I was singing in the lower registers I was doing fine sounding like Bruce but when in higher pitches I was loosing the key because I was trying not to sound like Bruce. So, he told to just follow my natural voice and that I sound like Bruce and this was a big compliment for me.

Ok Dane thanks for your time I will see you on-stage! Feel free to add anything.

First of all thank you for doing this interview and for coming to see us live. I would like to say that I believe we have a strong product here and that eventually we will get some publicity and why not some die-hard fans like MAIDEN do.



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