Interview with Rex Brown: Road Pirates and Revolutions

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Legendary metal bassist Rex Brown, formerly of Pantera and Down, is now focusing his musical energies on new band Kill Devil Hill. Having just released their second album Revolution Rise, Rex is enthusiastic for people to hear the new material. And the best way to do that in this day and age is to hit that long and winding road

“We’re road dogs, pirates out on the fucking road.”

In relation to the band name itself, Rex characterises the members of the band as pirates out on the road. Although this may conjure up images of mischievous hooligans ransacking the highways of South Carolina, the reality is, Kill Devil Hill is a live band, and the road is their home.

“We want to go around and hit every fucking bar in every little town. When Pantera toured with Skid Row, we just took that crowd over. That’s what I want to do with Kill Devil Hill. That’s the kind of band that this is. The fire is back. This is the best I’ve felt in about ten years. I just really want to share it with everybody.”

No stranger to multiple months of touring, Rex and crew plan to stick to the road. Standing in defiance of Rex’s battle with acute pancreatitis back in late 2009, the world renowned metal bass player is persistent on retaining the moniker of being associated with a live act. “We’re a live band. I want to promote to Australia that this is a longevity project, it’s not some one-off supergroup. We’ll be putting out music for a really long time.”

With Rex on bass and other members of the band such as Vinnie Appice (Black Sabbath and Dio) and the highly talented Dewey Bragg, you may be mistaken for taking Kill Devil Hill as somewhat of a supergroup; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Rex stresses how Kill Devil Hill is not a supergroup and would like nothing more than to dismiss that notion, claiming that supergroups tend to put out one good track and then fade away.

“The supergroup tag is something I’d like to just chuck out the window. Supergroups come out, they have one big hit and they all go away. That’s not what Kill Devil Hill is. This is the band and it’s going to remain the band. I’m still rocking.”

On the topic of the physical embodiment of music and the album, Rex comments on the state of the music industry and the seemingly irrevocable stain that is illegal downloading.

“I really want people to just hear it. If you can’t buy it, then just fucking steal it, I don’t care. There’s just so much piracy and thievery in this scene. It’s hard to sell records. But that’s not me, you still gotta be out on the road, taking these tunes out to as many people as you can get in front of, and (get the music out) that way.”

When asked of KDH’s plans of heading down under, Rex was optimistic, hinting at the possibility of playing a particular large scale music festival.

“You have something special coming up in February right?”,Undoubtedly referring to the behemoth that is Soundwave. “There is a definite maybe for the future. All those plans are being drawn into effect right now. So I’d love to be able to come play in your country early next year. There’s some fucking wild shit being brought to Kill Devil Hill at the moment. We’re mostly looking at getting on tours to support.”

Rex harkens back to the days when Pantera used to totally obliterate the headline act, usually not leaving much left for acts such as Skid Row and even Black Sabbath to go on from. Instead of warming up the crowd, the idea was to completely drain the crowd’s energy by way of scrupulous live shows. As mentioned in Rex’s biography, you DON’T go on after Pantera. Rex wishes to re-ignite this flame with Kill Devil Hill by stealing shows as a stellar support act.

Kill Devil Hill’s new album ends 2013 reign of excellent releases on a high note and Rex cites the three B’s for Revolution Rise, the follow up to last year’s self-titled debut.

“This is a bigger, badder, bolder version of what we had in the first place. It’s a recipe of what is to come. What’s not a better way to do it than with people that you love and to just have a good time doing it.”

Kill Devil Hill’s new album, Revolution Rise is in stores now.

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