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Dave Padden (Annihilator)

Interview with Dave Padden from Annihilator
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 09 April 2008, 12:28 AM

In March 2008, ANNIHILATOR did 'fly' to Greece especially for the MMD Festival and Metal Temple's annihilating editors, Yiannis Z. and Yiannis D., had a face-to-face chat with Dave Padden about his five years (to the day)  in the band.

Hello Dave. First of all welcome to Greece!

Thank you, I was waiting for this for a long time.

Is this your first time here?

Yes; very excited about it, my friends are very jealous!

You knew ANNIHILATOR before you joined them?


Yeah, I had Alice In Hell when it first came out, when I was 13 years old. I had the first two albums and then, when Set The World On Fire got out, I was getting more into stuff like FAITH NO MORE, SOUNDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS and stuff like that, not as much Metal. So I lost ANNIHILATOR after that, and I didn’t even know if they were still going, until I think I was working on Virgin Megastores when I was like 22 or something like that, and I was going through the racks and I thought Wow, ANNIHILATOR, look at this, holy crap they’ve been busy. I didn’t even know there were all these albums.

They had different singer in every album.

Not every album, but just about!

You’re five years in the band now, right?

Actually yeah, this month. It’s pretty crazy, hard to believe five years have gone already.

How did you join ANNIHILATOR?

I was just in Vancouver, a friend from my old band, heard that Jeff was looking for a new singer and I guess he had a way to contact him. I wasn’t doing anything at the time and he said you should go try it, you’re not doing anything, I think you’re good enough. He gave me his number, I called up Jeff, he gave me Set The World On Fire to practice on for a couple of days so I can learn the words, cause I’ve never heard it before, and went to his studio, when he was still living on Maple Region in Vancouver. I sang the song twice, he called me back a day or two later and said OK, lets do it.

You were totally free of doubt…

Yeah, kind of. Cause I’d never sang for a band before; I was always a guitar player, I only sang back up vocals, never a lead vocalist.

It’s common sense for guitarists to stand in front of the mic.

It’s also hard, you feel naked without your guitar on. I know what to do when I have the guitar on!

You don’t have a guitar on stage?

I do now; I wasn’t, for the first three years.

Was it awkward?

Yeah, it was at first for a little while, but I got into it, it took me a few shows to get comfortable but I figured it out.

How are sales for the new album, Metal?

I honestly didn’t know. I think they’re doing alright, I don’t really see the figures or keep track. I kind of keep it out of my mind. We actually, finally released in North America in January, for the first time in a long time.

What is it like to work with Jeff Waters?

It’s interesting \[pause and laughs]. It’s good, when we did All For You, I’ve never done an album before and it was just a big experimentation for the both of us, we just try anything we can, ’cause Jeff didn’t know what I could do and so we just go for it, and said let’s do this and let’s do that, how about this?, can you do this? and I said I think so, I don’t know, let’s try it. That is how this album turned out, it was really experimental, that’s why it sounds like there is probably a few different singers in every song. But we kind of solidified what I was doing when we got into Schizo . Made it sound a little bit more like me, instead of trying to sound like a bunch of other singers.

Whose idea was it to have so many guest appearances on the last album?

I think it was one of those weird coincidences. While we were recording Jeff had been talking to Bealieu from TRIVIUM when they were in the studio and Corey said hey do you think I could do a solo on the album? and Jeff said yeah, sure, why not?. While he was in the studio in the States, doing a TRIVIUM album, he recorded a solo and sent it back to us and Jeff started thinking talking to other people that we know and like ANNIHILATOR, and it just kinda snowballed for there. Everybody we asked said yeah, lets do it! so \[it] worked out really well.

It’s weird because one or two guest appearances are OK, but the whole album…?

The whole thing about that is, that everybody on the album is a fan of ANNIHILATOR, it wasn’t that we gathered a bunch of big stars, I mean I’m not saying that the people we have aren’t, it’s just we could have asked so many just for the sales. But the whole point was to get somebody on there that was excited about it, really loved ANNIHILATOR and wanted to do something.

Who were on this album?

Jeff Loomis (NEVERMORE), Corey Bealieu (TRIVIUM), Michael Amott and Angela from ARCH ENEMY, Andres from THE HAUNTED, Alexi from CHILDREN OF BODOM, Jesper from IN FLAMES, Lips Kudlow from ANVIL, Danko Jones…pretty big list.

We can wait any surprises during tomorrow’s performance, a guest appearance onstage maybe?


That was a possibility with Jeff Loomis, but NEVERMORE don’t have a second guitar player and he is really busy right know, he actually came up and played Clown Parade with us in Japan, when we were there last September, but right now he’s got lot on his plate and I don’t blame him; you have to focus on your show, got a lot work to do. If we were playing after them it would probably be OK. It would be cool as always, we have Corey come up and play a lot when we did  the TRIVIUM tour and we had Alexi (CHILDREN OF BODOM) when we were in Finland.

They played songs from the new album that they guest?

No, Corey and Alexi came up and jammed on King Of The Kill, it is just easy for them to learn, so they can have fun with us. Loomis played Clown Parade cause he knew the song and worked out really well. I just gave him my guitar cable, I am not playing guitar next to that guy.

Tomorrow you will play songs form the early material or from the newer stuff?

Pretty much all way from the begging ’till now. It’s hard to pick songs ’cause there are so many, over 150 ANNIHILATOR songs to pick from, so everybody’s got their favorite.

From the last three albums you are in?

Right now we’re just doing a couple of songs from Metal, when we were doing Schizo and All For You they weren’t really written for me to play and sing at the same time and they are all pretty hard. There is a couple of songs we tried from Schizo and All For You, but right now we’re just going to do what we can pull off. Cause we came here for this one show only and we rehearsed for a week and put the set list quickly with what we knew.

Do you prefer to play and sing the old songs you knew and love or the new stuff?

I like playing both really, I’m just happy I can play again not only sing, but as I said a lot of our stuff is really hard to play and sing at the same time.

You have any vocal lessons to maintain your voice while you’re on tour?

You got to take care of yourself when you are on the road for sure you can’t be out partying all the time. Singers have a hard task. You got to get good ’warm ups’, just don’t be an idiot with your voice if your going hard for a long tour and finally your voice is starting to fade, the hardest thing is to do, but a lot of singers have to do it, is to shut up. Hide, don’t say a word, give your voice a day to came back. Once I got a hold on some good ’warm ups’ I actually got The Zen Of Screaming by Melissa Cross that helped a lot of Metal singers and that helped me a lot. That’s it, good ’warm ups’ and just taking care of yourself on the road or you’re not gonna make it.

It is the first time ANNIHILATOR have such hard vox. I remember listening to All For You for the first time, and the songs starts and I listen to the vocals and I was like Wow.

As I said we were experimenting with this one, I am into a lot of heavy stuff and a lot of different things, but Jeff auditioned a lot of guys and they just only bark, they could scream but they couldn’t sing very well but a part of me is able to sing too, and that is hard too.

What are your influences vocally?

Mike Patton (FAITH NO MORE, FANTOMAS, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, TOMAHAWK) is my biggest influence, probably my favorite, Layne Staley (ALICE IN CHAINS), Chris Cornell (SOUNDGARDEN, AUDIOSLAVE); stuff like that and heavier stuff like Peter Dolving from THE HAUNTED is a big one for me and of course Phil Anselmo (PANTERA) and Rob Halford.

Is it true ANNIHILATOR got a government grant to record Alice In Hell?

Yeah, it is called factor grant, it’s something for bands that they are starting off. They throw some money to help developing acts in Canada.

It is really cool for a government to do such thing.

Yes it is, these grants are a lot harder to get this days and you already have a record deal or something.

I’ve never heard such a thing, especially for Heavy Metal music.


No, it’s a common thing, it happens, it doesn’t really matter what kind of music. If you are a young developing band and you just got singed, they throw some money in to help their country’s acts.

I think that we will never see this things happening in Greece. Not a chance.

I think they do that a lot in Sweden too, they got a really good government that supports music.

Do you know any of the Greek bands that will play tomorrow with you?

I don’t, to be perfectly honest. It’s so hard to keep up with all the bands these days.

You have any hobbies or surf the internet? Stuff like that.

Oh yeah, I am a big nerd, video games and all that stuff, but I do a little art too, pencil drawings.

You should do an ANNIHILATOR cover art work!

No, the guy we have doing our artwork is amazing, he can have it. He’ll do way better job than me.

Thank you for your time Dave. Have a good show tomorrow!



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