Dean Wallace & The Black Flames
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and who are your biggest influences ?
DW: Our band is a four piece metal group, with myself on lead guitar and vocals, plus a bassist, a drummer and a rhythm guitarist. It was created in 2011, but was inactive between 2016 and 2023. My influences are metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth or Pantera, but also pop or rock artists like Queen, Michael Jackson or Pink Floyd. I'm a big fan of the 90's, so my sound is rooted to this era.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from ?
DW: When I write lyrics, I like to write about the news, or at least my vision of the news, and mostly about people's behaviour and reaction to these news. I'm a very philosophical person, and I like to ask myself some quite deep questions. When I got an idea, I create a story around it and turn it into a song.
MM: What would you say is your Bands favourite song ?
DW: Our next single, "See What I'm All About" is definitely one of my favourites. It's full of energy, it's groovy, the lyrics are philosophical, and the music is quite innovative because it's a heavy Metal song with a hint of funk. It's gonna be released on December 15th, and available on Spotify, Apple, Youtube...
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2024 ?
DW: Yes, sure. Everything is being organised at the moment, so it's too early to communicate on it, but we are planning a tour in Western Europe (mainly France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy) in 2024.
MM: What can we expect from (Band Name) live ?
DW: We do our best to play the songs as they are on the record. We don't use any playback tracks or click tracks, it's only live music. This lineup is pretty new, so I'm not gonna lie, our shows don't include some gigantic screens or flame throwers for now. But we work hard to play as much as you can.
MM: What do you like best and worst about touring ?
DW : This band hasn't started to tour yet, so it's hard to give you feedback on this, but 3 musicians in the band (including myself) are professional musicians, so we play live several times a week in different bands. What I love about playing live is hanging out with your bandmates, having fun during the soundcheck or backstage, and seeing the audience happy. What I dislike about playing live, is carrying your gear around and plugging and unplugging everything on and on.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies ?
DW: We have many friends playing in different bands around us, but when it comes to tour with another band, it must pull you forward. So we hope to tour with bands that have a lot of experience, sharing some good advice, and presenting our band to a new audience. I must say I'm pretty impressed by Metallica choosing Gojira, introducing this french band in America, helping them to become the beast they are today. So I'm gonna answer Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why ?
My best show was Metallica in Milano in 2009. I'm a big fan of this band, and it was the very first time I saw them live. My brother and I went nuts, when after playing two songs from the new album, they played Disposable Heroes. We almost tore down the barrier we were leaning on.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far ?
I stopped this project in 2016 cause it was not going the way I wanted it to, but when the pandemic hit, I decided to fulfill an old dream, which was to write and produce an album from A to Z. So I wrote 13 songs, I recorded 10 (playing all the instruments myself), and mixed and mastered these ten tracks by myself. Though the songs have been properly remixed afterwards in a pro studio, I feel like I accomplished this task, which certainly was the longest and the hardest of my life.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
DW: Master of Puppets and Black Album, both by Metallica. Master is a masterpiece of creativity, and the Black Album is still a reference to me soundwise.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
DW: My very first gig was on 28th April 2012, in a venue in Geneva called Undertown. It was Dean Wallace's debut show (videos are available on Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrBp7-EDtUw). When we did our soundcheck, 20 people were in the room, and when the sound engineer asked me to sing on the mic, I did a "Yeah", and everyone shooted a "Yeah" back at me (like Freddy Mercury in Wembley). I was like discovering a new super power. Stage fright hit me 2 months before the show, it was horrible, but the minute we decided to walk on stage, it disappeared. It was a great experience.
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
DW: I had a Metallica poster from the "Wherever I May Roam Tour", a Dimebag Darrell (Pantera guitarist) poster, the "And Justice for All" cover poster, and right above my bed, a James Hetfield poster while he was playing the Monster of Rock in Moscow 1991.
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
DW: To answer this question, you have to think : I know what my favourite bands are, but who were their heroes, who influenced them ?
Then I would say Lemmy from Motörhead and Jimi Hendrix. They've inspired the first generation of metalheads, who then inspired all the bands we know today.
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
DW: Finding gigs. Spotify streams and Youtube views are cool, but touring is our main goal. So everything we do has one goal, finding touring opportunities.
I think we chose to write and play this genre on purpose, because it's a purist style : you get to play an instrument, and meet your audience on tour.
MM:If you could do a cover of any song, which one would it be and why?
DW: As an artist, when you do a cover, you have to make the song your own. And sometimes, you hear a totally random pop song and think : that would sound great with a heavy sound and hard hitting drums. From this perspective, there is a french song from 1980 called "Les Uns Contre Les Autres" (which means Against Each Other) that I would like to cover in a Heavy Blues way.
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band ?
DW: I'm not a big fan of modern metal, it's a bit too aggressive for me. And I can't listen to a band if there's growling or screaming. Maybe I'm not the only one.
Bands like "Black Stone Cherry" or "Airbourn" can create a new style based on old codes, and it seems like we have somehow the same approach. I take the music the music that Metallica, Megadeth or Pantera released in the 90's, and make it my own by bringing other influences like Queen, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, or Red Hot Chili Peppers. We are not the hot new djent band, so if you want something different, check it out.
MM: Four words to describe Dean Wallace & The Black Flames
DW: Heavy - Groovy - Pationnate - Versatile
Final Words for your fans and our readers
DW: Thanks for this interview, and thanks for your interest in my music. I can see on Spotify that my music is streamed mainly in Mexico, Russia, South America, United States..., and I can't wait to meet my fans wherever they are. I'm planning on being around for a while, no matter how famous I get. I've devoted my life to music, that would be awesome if you would like to share this journey with me. See you soon guys.
If you have any contact with a booking agency, or have some touring opportunities, let me know...