Meeting David Reece for the second time in Bulgaria was an absolute delight and I sure as hell wasn’t going to skip the opportunity to talk to one of the most memorable and strong voices of rock music. David Reece, who is well known by his works in bands such as Accept, Bonfire and more recently, Sainted Sinners is a huge fan of Bulgaria and the rock community over here adores him so his visit was no surprise. He is coming back pretty soon again and I, along with his fans will be waiting with anticipation.
I met David last year when he came to Bulgaria with Sainted Sinners and Ian Paice for one of the best rock shows of 2017. Seeing him perform the songs on which rock laid its foundations on (from Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, etc.), as well as fresh new additions to the world of rock&roll was a mind-blowing experience and now I can proudly state that I was part of it all yet again and not just as a fan or a concert attendee. I had the golden chance of speaking to him about many things, including his upcoming activities as a solo artist and with Sainted Sinners, the music industry, how things have changed in the past years and so much more. He gave me such valuable insights on many things rock-music related and I am glad I can now share it with all of you – my precious readers and lovers of rock music. I do hope you enjoy the following interview and photos from his recent visit in Bulgaria.
I would like to express my gratitude to Bulgarian rock singer Sheky and his band for backing up David Reece during this memorable night! Those guys did a wonderful job and I’m certainly proud of them! International collaborations are so beautiful!
How do you feel tonight and how does it feel to be back in Bulgaria? It’s not your first time being here so I’m curious to know what do you think of the Bulgarian rock community?
I realized when I came here the first time, the passion from the people was intense. I’ve been told so many times here – “You know, I really wanna see this band, they never come to our country.” I’m coming! And every time I come here, more people come to see me. I’ve built a fanbase here and I feel like people respect what I do and I respect that. I’m welcomed here and it’s a good market because many bands pass by – they only look at keeping the same, say Germany’s fees and Sweden’s fees, they wanna keep that balance. I don’t believe that. I think that you have to work with the dynamic of the market.
Is there a song you’re mostly looking forward to singing tonight?
Yeah, I’m actually a huge fan of the album from Whitesnake “Forevermore”. That song. I wanted to do it last time I was here, but the guys didn’t learn it. I think I really sing it good. I do it my way but I keep some of the Coverdale sound in it. I’m excited. Last time I was here, we ran out of time and the owner wanted more songs. So I sang an acapella. Everybody stood up and started cheering. That’s what I mean about Bulgaria! They know the songs, everybody loves music.
Are you performing any of your solo material or any Sainted Sinners music tonight?
No, I’m gonna do one Accept song – “Generation Clash”. I do that, everybody knows this song so I usually play that live.
You have recently released a new album with Sainted Sinners and it’s getting some really nice reviews. I also thought that it was a big step forward in comparison with the debut album in terms of production, songwriting, passion and energy. I’m curious if there’s a particular theme or topic you followed while making the album? How did you pick and write the songs?
The vision was – we all come from the old Deep Purple thing and that was kind of our ‘70s sound with the Hammond keyboards. Ferdy is a great keyboard player. Frank said, “How do you feel about a more guitar-oriented album?” I said okay but you can’t go from heavy guitar and keyboards and jump right into guitar – the fans who liked the first album are gonna go “What happened?” So we put little colors and keyboards on the new album. There’s a lot more guitar. Frank really gets to show his talent there.
As far as the songwriting goes, Frank and I have this weird telepathy. We don’t really speak. We play really well together, we have this really good writing relationship. When he sends me an idea, I hear the words immediately. I’m not a lyricist who wants to write “woah woah, baby baby, I love you” lyrics. I hate it. I would rather write about what I’m watching on television or what people are talking about in a club or person-to-person conversations. I hear words in my head and then I write the lyrics.
So now that the album is out, is there a next step for Sainted Sinners? Do you plan on touring together?
It’s really hard for the fans. Frank is in Bonfire. Sainted Sinners is our kind of a side project. So, I have to live in the shadow of that in a sense and I don’t like it. I would rather have more focus on Sainted Sinners but it’s not possible. One of the reasons it that Bonfire tour more. We did five shows this year on the release and it’s not enough for me.
But what I’ve done is, I’m playing my solo stuff. In July, there’s a giant festival that I’m part of. I’m headlining on the Friday night. I said, “What do you think about Sainted Sinners on Saturday before the major headliner?” So I think we’re gonna do that but Frank’s schedule is… it’s really hard.
I wanna play more but I’m not gonna sit around and wait for an opportunity. I’m gonna grab it while it’s still there for me.
Perhaps you can maybe focus on recording new albums rather than touring?
I’m open to that with Frank. No reason why not to, we have a great writing relationship, there’s no animosity, but I really believe that if you’re a band and you’re making records, you should be touring behind those albums. I can make 50 albums a year with all the great guitar players who are home for the weekend. I don’t like that. I wanna tour what I do. You really don’t get the song until you tour it.
Tell me about your solo album. I know that it’s coming out this year.
I signed with “Mighty Music”. The story really quickly is I know a guy – Alessandro Lifonti who is very good friends with Mike Tramp. Mike Tramp and I did shows together in the USA. I wrote Ali one day and said “I wanna make a solo album. What does Mike Tramp say about his label – Target and Mighty Music?” He said he really likes it. I said I’ll write Mike Tramp so I wrote Mike and he said “Yeah, they’d be interested.” Within minutes I had a record deal. I signed a multi-album deal. The music is very modern, heavy, melodic. If you like Accept’s “Eat the Heat”, that’s what it is vocally but it’s more modern rather than the cliché AOR.
Where did you draw your influences from?
I don’t know. I like bands like Nickelback. I enjoy them and some of those sounds they have, I think they’re great. People criticize them but they still go see their concerts.
It’s not Nickelback music (his new album) but it’s more modern than what I’m used to doing. I’m really excited cause it’s heavy. My voice is in great shape on it. Mario Percudani at Tanzan Music is recording my vocals. The band is from Denmark – the two guitar players.
So we are expecting something modern?
Modern and heavy and very melodic. Very heavy but not dark. Really good, I think it’s my best album in many years and I mean that from my heart. I’m really shocked.
So maybe by doing a more modern record, you’re getting the attention of many younger fans? Is that something you’ve thought about?
No. I kind of got bored, writing the same style. I wanted to reach out and expand my horizons. I’ve had these ideas in my head for a few years. In 2017, April – around that time, I wrote the first song, called “Karma”. That was the template of the album.
When does the album come out?
Maybe when you release it you can come back and have a show here to present it?
Yeah, I hope.
Is there anything you wanna say to the younger generations of rock fans, like myself?
If you believe in what you’re doing and you’re talented, then nobody can tell you that it’s not gonna work. One thing you have to learn in this business is how to say “no”. If you don’t like something and you feel it in your heart that it’s not right for you, don’t do it. I did that for years with the big record companies. They always had this great plan and in my heart that didn’t sound right and it usually failed. Follow your dream, believe in it. You’re gonna get kicked down. Rise like a phoenix – like the song in the Sainted Sinners album. Stand up! My mother used to say – “You get kicked in the teeth all the time, but you always rise like a phoenix and come back!” It’s disappointing, but there is joy and if you believe in it and it’s really you, then it’s real.
Thank you, Dave for the awesome talk! I wish you all the success and hope to see you in my country again, soon!
What a valuable collection piece – ACCEPT’s “Eat the Heat”, signed by David Reece!