If you haven't heard his name yet, you have now, the act known out of New York as Demon Boy, takes the likes of Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson to create his own style of music. His style combines these influences plus so much more, into a show unlike any other on this planet. Demon Boy himself discusses how his band was created, where they have gotten themselves, and where they will likely end up next.
1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?
Demon Boy: I am Demon Boy, I am the world's fastest rising horror rock star right now, my namesake is my band, it is along the same lines as Alice Cooper.
2. Let's talk a little about the history of the band. When did you originally form and is this the original line-up?
Demon Boy: Okay, Demon Boy was created over a 6-8 month period of time, with my personal manager in 2008. Once we created the character, we released it at Comic Con in 2009. I was immediately approached by Fangoria Magazine, who did a 4 or 5 minute piece on me, which in about 3 or 4 months, everyone knew who I was at that point. So I have a BIG shout out to Fangoria Magazine, for launching Demon Boy in 2009. And NO this is absolutely NOT the original line-up, people that know Demon Boy, know that I go through band members like I change my socks. I am now up to, I believe 23 different band members in my back up band.
3. Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?
Demon Boy: Yeah, well, we were sick and tired of... basically I have been in the music industry since I was 13. I have been in a lot of bands, I did the whole 80's thing, I've been on MTV, I will not tell anybody what band I use to be in, but I was in a pretty popular glam metal band. When I decided to create Demon Boy at that time, there really was no, theatrical rock bands in existence, with the exception of Marilyn Manson who was doing his own thing at the time, Rob Zombie was becoming popular coming out of White Zombie, Alice Cooper was sort of in a limbo, he was still there, his fans knew who he was, but mainstream metal and rock had almost put him off on the side burner.
We were still coming out of the 90's with all of the crappy grunge rock, just I was so tired, of seeing bands getting on stage in their street clothes, like the whole thing with Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, crap that came out, I really hate all of that. They killed fashionable metal should I say, when I grew up, in rock n' roll if you went on stage, you were going "ON STAGE" you wore a costume, you went out of your way to look good to dress nice, that all went away. Ya know, with Nirvana coming out, then it just got really boring and for my money, if I went to one of those shows, I might as well just walk next store and see the 16 year old kids playing in their garage. It was no difference, so metal and theatrical rock was gone and had lost its flare. So we had decided that I was out of the music industry for a good 10 years, I had decided I would come back into the music industry, if I could create something worth while.
Again my manager talked me into creating something and we had studied bands like Wednesday13, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, I sort of picked their brains, and I said, "Well if do something along these lines, yet be very careful to not look like we are copycatting them, or trying to be a cheap knock off", I said " I'll do it". So we started coming up with drawings, concept art, of a character, someone had thrown the name Demon Boy out there, I took the name then dyed my hair red/black, it was not red/black when I started, it was actually blonde and we put together the whole shtick and gimmick. Then the other thing we wanted to make sure we did right was the music, we wanted to be more like Alice Cooper, where Alice Cooper hires some of the best musicians, to play behind him and we had said okay, when we hire a band, let's do the same thing, let's hire seasoned musicians. Let's hire guys that really know how to play. I want people in bands to be jealous of my band, or I want other musicians to say "damn, I wish I was playing for that guy!" That's where I started, I started recruiting band members, and as I said earlier, they come and go for all kinds of reasons.
I am a really tough cookie to work for, I have very strict guidelines as to being in my band. This is not about being friends, this is show business, this is about running a business, I am not in a band, of my friends, I am in a band of employees, that work for me, because they work towards a common goal. That's why I have been through so many band members. We were talking off record before, I am up to about 23 different members in my band, and that's not even including the dancers that have come and gone in my band. So, my current line-up Chris Cyanide my bass player, he's my wingman, he's been with me now for coming up a little over 2 years. The other three gentlemen that are in my band right now, Lighting Lou on drums, Alex on guitar, these guys are relatively brand new. Alex has only been in the band for about 6 weeks, the drummer Lighting Lou has been with me for only about 2 months now, so these guys are relatively new. But my fans have gotten use to the turnover in musicians in my band, but again it's like Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, there's never really the same line-up, that is backing me up.
4. How long after you formed was it until you played your first live show?
Demon Boy: Well that's a bit of a tricky question to answer. Since I have so many different outlets for Demon Boy, there is a Demon Boy comic book, there is a Demon Boy video game, I am able to do conventions, and just do personal appearances. I don't need to play live with my band all the time, because I do alot of horror conventions, where I can just show up, doing meet and greets, sign autographs, and I do about as many of them as I do live concerts. When Demon Boy first started, I think I literally only played 2-3 live shows a year, that was about it. I spent most of my time doing conventions, getting my character out there, my character is much bigger than the band itself. So it is more about the image of Demon Boy, the character because I am able to sell that character, again to comic books, video games, movies, things like that, there is a whole other world of that, that the people that only know me, for being in the band, some of them know about it, and some of them don't even realize that I have these other things in existence. Like the comic book you can go on Facebook and type in, Demon Boy comic book and it will take you to the page, same thing for the video game it's all there. So the people that have been following me since I started, have come accustomed to knowing that and some people don't and it's a really good Easter egg for people to find, when they realize I have the comic book series and video game out there.
Demon Boy: Because straight up, we are. my band, If you come and see my show, and when I say this, I don't say this because this is something that I am saying, out of my own head, what I am saying is that this is what I hear when people come to see a live Demon Boy show, I hear two things when we are done, the first thing they say is "That is completely not what I was expecting" and the second thing they say is "That is more energy that I have ever seen in one show". My show is strictly high energy from the second it starts, to the second it finishes. There are no slow songs in Demon Boy, there are no ballads, none of that, it's nothing but high energy, it fires like a cannon from the minute we open up the show, it is exhausting by the third song in, I am literally out of breath. That is how much energy is in one of my live shows. We have played with lots of national acts, I have had national acts that I have played with REFUSE to do any further shows with Demon Boy, because as people in the music industry know, the main act does not want to be blown away by the opening act. The problem is we don't go out of our way to do that, it just happens. My show is so high energy, having such excitement to it, that it's just the way my band is.
Again I have been in the music industry for a long time, I have tweaked this to be one of the best bands in the world. I am shooting for national and international attention. I'm not happy being a big fish in a little pond, I am not happy being in the local bar circuit, I am shooting for the top. Shooting to get myself up there, to be in line with Ozzy, Alice, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson. There are no other heavy hitters, in what I do,what I do is horror rock and horror metal, again don't get it confused with The Misfits, I have respect for The Misfits, I do not care for the music. I do play with Doyle a lot, on his own, the reason we like to play with Doyle is his image not the music, it's his image it fits with Demon Boy, we're face painted bands, we're horror bands, monsters of rock. Now when you come see a Demon Boy show, you get all that energy, you get the excitement, you get the theater, what you get is a Broadway play done by a band.
You get a little bit of Spinal Tap, a little bit Kiss, we are a little bit of all of these bands, filtered into one band. I have had some of the biggest names in the music industry and biggest bands in the industry, come and see me and say "Wow you are Mick Jagger, Billy Idol, David Lee Roth,Steven Tyler, you are all of these guys, in one guy". That's because in everything I have learned in my career, and I borrowed from each one of these people. Like Marilyn Manson is another one, I really don't care for him, I have respect of him, I have respect for anyone who is successful in music. Do I listen to Marilyn Manson's music? No, I really don't care for it, it's a bit too vulgar for me. Demon Boy is not a vulgar band, we are a very likable band, very approachable band, we are more Halloween trick or treat, than we are gore and graphic things like that. There's little pieces of that my act but not enough to where that's what we are about.
I have a huge fan base of kids who love death metal, but they like me because of the way I look. They don't even realize, that my music is the farthest thing from death metal. Again we get a lot of confusion when I made that quote before, of people saying "That was not what I was expecting". A lot of people go and look at the photos, then just assume when they come and see me, that I am going to be this growling, screaming, type of singer, ya know? I really can't understand that music, I mean, I hear those bands all the time, I don't like that type of vocal styling. More power to those bands that do it. Is it for me? No, is it what Demon Boy is.. absolutely NOT. We are more of a hard rock band, we have our own iconic sound. I've said this before in other interviews, if you were to pin point and say "Hey what kind of music would you say Alice Cooper is?"
You would have to think for a second. Is he a rock band? Is he a hard rock band? Is he a heavy metal band? What is he? You know what? He is all of it. Demon Boy is the same thing, we are a little bit of everything, because I have taken every influence I have had, and I have filtered it into one style and I have created Demon Boy's own style. So we are a little bit of a standalone band, as we have got our own thing. That's pretty much what it comes down to it is that.
6. You have taken your music into the acoustic dimension, with "Little Red Riding Bitch", so could we be seeing an official release of acoustic material in the future?
Demon Boy: That is a really good question. When we did that, again that was a convention, at some of these conventions, that hire me to come in and just do a meet and greet, the band cannot perform live. They either don't have accommodations to have a live band or it is a little bit too much for the convention. Conventions again you have to remember there are families, friends, and there's also kids, so going back to what I was saying about Demon Boy being likable, since we do so many events, like that, we have rated our show from a G rating to an R, to even going up to a double R rated show. Which means if you want to hire my band, to play your kid's Birthday Party, we certainly would do it, and certainly have done it.
We do a lot of private events, a lot of private parties, which I actually prefer to do rather than playing the bar scene, we don't like playing that scene, I prefer playing events, and conventions and things like that. So what had happened was that we had done a convention, a couple of these, where the crowds would come over to our table, and my bass player, decided to bring in his acoustic bass, we began fooling around, so then we started walking around, and we did that one video your speaking of, then from that moment, we decided well you know what? Why don't we do a little bit more of that, because this way we will be able to play at these conventions, without having to actually book the band playing there. So yeah, we have done it probably twice since, and there are some things coming up, that we will be doing more acoustical shows, not that we are going to rush ourselves out to do an acoustic event or anything like that, but at a convention or something, you swing by our table, you most likely will get the four of us, sitting around playing some of our songs, acoustically yes.
7. Whereabouts are you in the recording process in terms of new music?
Demon Boy: It's very difficult recording. It's really tough to get all of my band members in the same place at one time, to do some recordings. One of the things people don't understand is that except for one song, I believe it was "This Halloween", everyone of my band members is not on any of the recordings. Most of the recordings were done by myself alone and my writer who is Steve Noir, who basically plays all of the instruments. On the new song that is out "Fly On The Wall", that is Steve playing all of the instruments, and me singing. Steve will record my songs, in the studio then send me the tracks, then in my home studio, I will put the vocals on top of it. My current band line-up will just play the songs. So "Fly On The Wall", just came out, I have "What A Beautiful Day for an Exorcism", coming out in a couple of weeks, I've got two others behind that one. So it is a very slow process, we are releasing single, after single, after single, then discussing things with my current record company, to finance the second album. So once I get about 5-6 songs, I will package them altogether, then release them as an album. For now, the easiest and best thing to do, for any band to be doing is to release singles. Nobody buys music, it's really tough, they will buy downloads, or go buy one song here, one song there, most bands, who I am sure know this, can back me up, you can go buy their merch and nobody buys CD's anymore.
It's very rare, so they will just go and buy one or two songs that they like. So we will be releasing single, after single, after single, if you have noticed on most of the Demon Boy releases, the first two albums, those contained I believe four songs. The first album I believe there were 5 songs, and about 4-5 songs on the second album. Then when we did "Memories & Nightmares", I had gotten signed to an indie label, basically what I did was re-package the first and second album, putting them together to release it as my third album. The next album coming out, may only have 4-6 songs on it. It is much more modern for bands to release singles, pump the shit out of those singles, getting a lot more attention from that, than putting out another album. One of the things, that Demon Boy does, is that I do is all Killer no filler, I will not put out a 12 song EP or 12 song album, that has 4 crappy songs on it, every single song that I put out, is a potential hit song. That is why my fans love every one of my songs, "Little Red Riding Bitch", "Cemetery Girl", "Ravenous", these all appear on one album. I just love hearing people say "Man, I gotta hear more, I just gotta hear more". That's the key to selling more songs, to make them want more. Make them want another song and another album. So I like having my fans, having to wait, to hear something else, I wrote my second album "Dawn of the Demon", I believe I had released that in 2010. I didn't release another new song until 2015. So it went 5 years on 4 songs.
8. When can we expect the new material to be released?
Demon Boy: Yeah well as I said, "Fly On The Wall" just came out two weeks ago. I will probably be releasing "What A Beautiful Day for an Exorcism", within the next three weeks, then I have another song called "Corpse Deville", then that will probably be about another month and a half behind that. So about every month in a half to about two months, I will probably drop one single after another. When I feel I have got enough, I will call my record company, package it, and put it out as one album. It's really all going to depend, things can mess up my schedule, with touring, other things coming in, that will distract me from that, but I do try to get them out as quickly as I can. To keep the fans interested.
9. What does the next year hold for you and your band?
Demon Boy: Mostly international touring, we are schedule to go to Russia, but with all of the recent events, going on we are debating pulling the Russia tour. Just going to a different country instead, I have got options to go to Great Britain and Japan, which I have been talking about for years now. It's just one of those expensive trips, once we can land all of the investors to back up that tour, I actually have my Japan people here right now, as we speak, I have the two people here in my office who will be bringing us over there right now going over all of the details to get Demon Boy over to Japan. I believe we will be in Great Britain for Halloween next year, for the Bram Stoker Festival. So my thing is to get out of the U.S. the U.S. is dead as far as metal and rock, the scene is just not there anymore nor is it what it was. It's like pulling teeth to get people to go out to shows, kids don't want to get off the couch, get away from their video games to go off to see a band play at a bar or venue.
One of the things that I hate so much about playing, these local shows with these local bands, my fans do not want to come see me play, when I am playing with 6 or 7 crappy local bands. They want to see Demon Boy with national acts, like if I play with Doyle or Wednesday13, my fans will come out no problem. But if I just play with a bunch of local bands, like the way they do it here in New York, they overload the bill with 6 or 7 bands, it's too many bands for somebody to sit through. Who the hell is going to show up at a bar at 4PM or 6PM, and sit through 5 local bands, they have never heard of, waiting for my band to come on. Unfortunately in New York, since I am one of the heavy hitters, they will shove me on as the featured act at the end of the night. Which is sounds great to be called the headliner, but it is the worst spot you can have, it means you are going on last, it means nobody is left in the bar, it means everybody's already gotten drunk and went home around 11PM. Nobody is waiting until 1AM to see you. So there are a lot of things that are working against you. Which is why we pulled ourselves, out of the local circuit and will not play anymore of these local shows anymore. I turned down about 7 to 8 of them about every month. I will only take select shows if I feel it is really worth it for my band to play, because it is very costly for my band to put on one of my shows.
In New York where the bar scene is right now, nobody can actually afford to actually pay you anymore, there are a lot of pay to play shows, I don't do the pay to play, I only do them if there is a marketing angle I can get out of it. If I play with Doyle, it's like a shot heard around the world, Wednesday13, same thing. All Wednesday13 fans love me, Doyle's fans love me as well. But ya know if I play with a local band, it doesn't really do anything for me. I mean, I hate to say that, I do like supporting, local bands and local metal and the local music scene, but you wanna know what? This is a fight, that nobody is winning at this point. I hate to say that but it's true.
10. Why not just do local shows as just you guys, doing like a 2-3 hour set?
Demon Boy: We do, do that. Our Halloween Horror Tour, consisted of exactly of what you just asked. A Demon Boy show is regularly a 2 hour show. We prefer to do the 2 hour shows, for our fans so they don't feel cheated. When you come and see Demon Boy, squeezed into a set, where it is 30-40 minutes, we can only do about 5-6 songs. We can't put on our theater and effects that we want to put on, we have a custom light show that we bring with us, most of the time they don't give us time, to set that show up. So we feel like we are cheating our fans, because they come out and only get, ya know 10% of what our actual show is. When we do what we just came off of, our Halloween Horror Tour, 90% of those shows, are our 2 hour shows, where we play by ourselves. We prefer to play by ourselves, with no other bands, there is no reason for Demon Boy to have any other bands. Once in a while, we will take an opening act, throwing them on there, but there really is no reason. Our show is good enough to stand alone.
So we do, do a lot of that around Halloween, Halloween is my time of year, it's when we make the most money, it's when we do a lot of private events, a lot of private parties, a lot of Halloween parties, the bars book us for the Halloween parties. That's the kind of stuff we like to do. The stuff we do for the rest of the year, is basically throwing bones to the other clubs, and to the other bands, that call me all the time, oh can you get on the bill? I know why they want me on the bill, because I am a heavy promoter on social media, if you play with Demon Boy you are going to get noticed. Are a lot of people going to show up? I am not going to guarantee it, because as I have said, if my fans see Demon Boy playing today with blah, blah, local band, then they see that next month I am going to be playing with someone that they have heard of, a national act or something along those lines, they wait and will come to that show. So it kinda hurts me a lot, in my own backyard here in New York to play too many shows, that are too close together.
11. Do you have any last words for fans or potential new fans?
Demon Boy: Yeah well like I said, if you do see Demon Boy, get to the show, you will not regret it. I mean we have a lot of fans, that follow us from show to show. We have fans that try to make it out, if you do want us to come to your city, the best thing you can do is to go to the club or venue, and have that owner send me a message, and we will try to get to as many places as possible. As far as the U.S. for next year, we will be playing at Alice Cooper's Coopertown, we are working on a 17 date tour, between California to Colorado with a company that I am working with right now. I Don't want to say too much about this one, because I don't have a lot of details on it, but it is happening in May. We will be going down to Florida, probably playing a week's worth of shows out there. I just have to weigh out the options of where, we will go, where the fans want to see us, of course we get calls to go everywhere. It is just not financially possible, to get to many places.
If you do want to see me and my band get there and help us out, the best thing I can say for us and other bands out there, is for the kids to go out and buy the band's merchandise. It's the money from the band's merchandise that keeps all of these bands alive and well, because gasoline to travel is very expensive. So traveling from state to state can get costly, if these kids think bands are making money, they are not, bands are losing money, including national acts. It barely pays them expenses to get to the show itself. Even with what some of the clubs are offering, with the minimums and guarantees, basically it just covers maybe about 70% of expenses.
That’s why you have to live off the merchandise, if you do want us, again go to the local clubs, have the owner contact me, I have many websites, my main site is www.demonboyband.com, I believe I have about 47 websites from around the world, including about 18 pages on Facebook, my YouTube page www.youtube.com/demonboytv , the band members have their own pages as well. I will be releasing a new music video for "Fly On The Wall", hopefully within the next 4-5 months. So just that type of stuff, keep supporting the bands, buying their merchandise, checking out the music and getting out to the shows if it is at all possible. Thanks again for the support!