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Patriarchs In Black's Dan Lorenzo: "I also wrote the lyrics to Sing For The Devil, that song is about a musician who won't sell his soul. That's me! I just want to play music I love. I could never be in a wedding band!"

Interview with Dan Lorenzo from Patriarchs In Black
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 06 August 2022, 11:50 PM

Just to play the music the one likes and adores. Sometimes there are those that forget that every artist out there is influenced and just simply likes to tag along with foundation that made him start everything from scratch. When ex-Hades guitarist Dan Lorenzo started his collaboration with the mighty busy bee drummer, Johnny Kelly (also fondly remembered as Type-O-Negative's skinman), it worked like a charm and Patriarchs In Black started out. Recently, the duo unleashed their debut album "Reach For The Scars", signed to the German MDD Records. With Black Sabbath as their chief influence, things turned out to be punchy. Steinmetal had to find out more from Mr. Lorenzo.

Hello Dan, it is an honor to have you for this interview with Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

Life is good Lior! Happily married 25 years and I work from home for a tattoo supply company. I love my job.

The last time that I had a chance to talk to you was back in 2011, right after the reissues of the Hades albums by the late Cyclone Empire label. Quite a lot has happened since then I’d tell you. Is Hades still alive and doing anything nowadays?

Well, first off thanks for taking the time to interview me Lior. Hades last show was in 2011. We played Bang Your Head in 2010 in Germany and there's some great video of the song Rebel Without A Brain on YouTube, but we have stopped anything since then. Dark Symphony Records out of Boston just released a beautiful double LP of Resisting Success which includes the original recording of The Cross with John Collura singing and Faster and Louder Records in the UK just rereleased Hades Lost Fox Studio Sessions on CD.

Before we dive into your new act, Patriarch In Black, and if we are going to talk shop about Doom Metal, I remember that you already have a project / band going, Vessel Of Light. Now, I know that Covid pretty wrecked everything for you, as I suspect. Will there be a continuity of this band in the future?

I hope so. We were in the middle of playing shows when Covid hit and after that Nathan moved from Cleveland to Austin. I love all four Vessel of Light albums so much. I hope people check them out. Fortunately, right before Covid shut everything down a fan filmed us playing in Nyack NY. The promoter told me she sold a bunch of tickets, but that people called the day of the show to say they weren't coming because they were scared of Covid. I thought she was joking at the time! I'm so glad there's some nice footage of the show. I never expected it would be our last.

Looking to begin something new, prior to calling it Patriarchs In Black, and finding your partner in crime, Johnny Kelly, was it in the books that this new band, or project as you may call it, would end up being another Doom Metal driven outfit?

My wife thinks Patriarchs In Black are more of a hard rock band. I don't really know how to exactly classify my music. Some songs are doom I guess. I love heavy music.

Yes, Bobby Blitz was right, Kelly fit quite well to what Patriarchs In Black became, and no doubt that he also has the background to show for it. Since prior to this band you never did really work with Kelly, what were your expectations when you first started out? How do you find your relationship as the two originators of this act?

I was really happy Johnny agreed to work with me. He's such a great drummer and an equally nice guy. I knew he could play well, but I had never expected him to be so cool to work with. He's a bit like me in that he always seems happy.

Sharing the vision of Black Sabbath, you guys signed with the German label, MDD Records, a smart move indeed in order to get things going in Europe. Your debut, “Reach For The Scars”, quite a nice ring to it and a fine word game, delivers that British flavor but with an American attitude. Let’s talk philosophy first, there is a lot going within the record lyrically, plenty of things that have been probably twisting and turning in your minds for quite some time. What is your take on that?

Well, I only wrote the lyrics to two of the songs. This Damn War was going to be loosely based around the American Civil War and then Putin invaded the Ukraine. I wrote about some of the similarities where you may have brother fighting brother. I also wrote the lyrics to Sing For The Devil, that song is about a musician who won't sell his soul. That's me! I just want to play music I love. I could never be in a wedding band!

When you say “Reach For The Scars”, what do you mean by that? Other than reaching for the sky, I guess that there are the things that truly hurt, and will forever remain to remind of something, as a shocker maybe. What is your input on that?

Just a play on words. I liked the way it sounded. I didn't think too much about it, but when I did I envisioned God's hand maybe reaching out to people who were having a hard time.

When you look at the overall tracklist of “Reach For The Scars”, how do the themes relate to your personal values, to what you believe in?

Well, obviously I hate war. There are just wars, but obviously I wish we could live in peace….and again, I won't sell my soul. I could never work a job where I would have to wear a suit and tie.

I mentioned that earlier, truth be told, you guys are two Black Sabbath fans, but you didn’t attempt to really re-create the old 70s vibes. You took it a step forward, adding that American swagger into the songs. The end result is a groovy, Doom Metal driven album, with a semi-street type attitude. What is your opinion about that? To where the band headed through this debut?

I love a lot of Sabbath songs, but I'm not a fan of really long songs for the most part. I'm way more influenced by Kiss. Songs under 4 minutes usually. You think we have American swagger Lior? I like that!

What can you tell about the process of sharing ideas between yourself and Kelly? Were you able to come up with things together, working side by side brainstorming, or rather each to his own and afterwards integrating into one another?

I recorded all the guitars first. So everything was arranged, but Johnny rearranged the song I'm The Dog actually. I still live in New Jersey. Johnny moved to Texas years ago and he recorded there.

I will ask about that later, but it seems that this outfit is a project of sorts. However, for the experience of “Reach For The Scars”, you brought in guests to do vocals and bass. Some of these vocalists are part of great bands, and no doubt that they fit what you were looking for. How did you know which vocalist to fit into a certain track? You even had COC’s Karl Agell do 3 tracks if I am not mistaken

Yes, Karl sang 3 full songs and then Karl and John Kosco sang together on This Damn War. I didn't really "know" who should sing what with my music. I'm extremely happy though with all the vocalists' contributions.

"This Damn War", a song that might have the Black Sabbath feel, with its opening riff, crosses the great sea into the US and develops into an anti-war song, cracking it with a Hard Rock driving force chained to a groovy steel ball. One of the album’s finest. What is your appreciation of this song?

I LOVE the way it came out. It was the last song I wrote for the album. I sat next to John Kosco in the studio with him and sang him line-by-line what I heard in my head. John is a huge fan of Karl and he was so happy to do a… I guess it's a "duet"?

A heavier dosage of the doomed like blackness, is “The Submission Bell”, a song that its lyrical end is crucial, and its vocal delivery is no less than astonishing. It reminded me a little bit of Black Sabbath’s “Hand Of Doom” for some reason. What can you tell about the criticism that surrounds this track? What are your comments about the musical end?

The opening riff was written a couple of years ago. I pieced the whole thing together for Patriarchs and then Rob from the band Black Water Rising came up with the lyrics and melody.

At the moment, Patriarchs In Black is really a duo, yourself and Kelly. Is there a chance that it would become more than that in the future, an actual live band?

Karl and I would love that. Johnny Kelly plays with Quiet Riot most weekends so it would be hard. I would love it though. I'm ready!

With the record being out, are there any ideas for the next thing in line?

Yes! We had two songs finished that vocalists didn't have time to track to, plus I wrote an 8-minute doom song that I fucking love last month. We also recorded Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Gnecco is going to track it soon.

Dan, it was good to have you for this interview, and I was glad to discover a great record that makes quite the tribute for those who started it all by making something original and colorful. All the best

Thanks Lior. I appreciate you!


 



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