Rockpages.gr conducted an exclusive interview with Frank Gilchriest (RIOT, VIRGIN STEELE, HOLY MOTHER), in which he revealed that he is no longer a member of VIRGIN STEELE after a 20-year career with them.
Gilchriest underlined that he didn’t play on the last VIRGIN STEELE record “Nocturnes of Hellfire and Damnation”as the band’s leader David DeFeis decided to use instead a drum machine. The interview will be published within the week but here’s the excerpt:
Rockpages.gr: You told me a few days ago that you didn’t play on the new Virgin Steele album. Would you like to elaborate a little bit more on that? Why did David DeFeis decide not to use your drumming skills this time around?
Frabk Gilchriest: I think that is a question more for Dave. I haven’t recorded anything with them in over five years. I offered to record all or at least part of the CD in my studio for free, where I recorded the Riot V CD and other projects but he was not interested. I was really disappointed in his decision. When I pressed him further on this issue, he told me he could do just as good and less costly a job by playing the drums himself with his piano using drumming software and his computer. In fact, he told me that a quadriplegic could play the drums as good as anyone else these days because of advances in technology. Nothing against quadriplegics, but seriously? He also stated he wanted to do the drums himself so that if the CD is a great success, he can take all the glory or if the CD is a failure, he can take all the blame. You may notice that on the new release and bonus tracks that the software drums are more prominent in the mix, whereas on the recordings that I played real drums on, the drums are buried. Recording drums is a serious art form. On the early Virgin Steele classic albums, the drums sounded amazing and were upfront in the mix because the band recorded in a professional studio with a competent engineer. “Invictus” came the closest to my true sound but even that recording was lacking due to the incompetence of the engineer who hated heavy metal and never recorded a heavy metal album before aside from the Virgin Steele ones. He was a hip hop engineer and had no idea what do to do with loud pounding drums. After “Invictus,” Dave took control of the recording process and the drum recordings and mixes got progressively worse until I was replaced by a drum machine […] I will no loner be playing with VIRGIN STEELE.