Dean Wallace and the Black Flames Discusses Music, Emotions, and More!


Heavy metal act DEAN WALLACE AND THE BLACK FLAMES have an album out, with another album expected, along with an EP due out in the next year too! No shows are planned as of yet, but the music is coming, with lots of energy and plenty of emotions! See what the band discusses about their music, time together, and what's ahead of them below.


1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

This band started in the French Alps as a family affair, when my brother and I, both guitarists and fans of Metallica, decided to start writing our own material. That was in 2011. One of my best friends joined us as a bass player, and we found a young drummer in nearby Switzerland. The band was named "Whymper" (named after the famous british alpinist Edward Whymper). After a few years playing gigs mainly in Geneva, we recorded our debut album "Metal Family". During the recording sessions, my brother encouraged me to release this album as a solo artist, as he saw me writing every song, playing every instrument in the studio, and being in charge of pretty much everything. "Metal Family" is known as Dean Wallace's debut album ( ). 

Few months after the album came out, my brother and the bass player decided to quit the band. The first music video was shot with two new band members ( ). As my determination was growing, we decided to move to London in 2015. Unfortunately, we had trouble finding gigs in the UK and the band split in 2017. When I came back to France, I started to work as a professional guitar player, which I'm still doing today. I decided to write again and to put this project back on track when the pandemic hit. I hired two musicians I knew from my cover bands, and met the second guitar player online. I'm now proud to present a new single New World Disorder ( ).

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name? 

When I decided to move on as a solo artist back in 2014, I wanted to create an international stage name by merging the names of some of my heroes. I was a diehard fan of Braveheart, the movie by Mel Gibson, so I chose Wallace after the Scottish hero William Wallace. And after spending days trying to find the proper first name, my eyes finally got caught by a Dimebag Darrell poster (Pantera guitarist) in my bedroom, with this huge logo on the headstock of his guitar : Dean.

In 2020, when I decided to write and release music again, I really didn't know if I wanted to create a new band from scratch, or to continue Dean Wallace. I write and produce the songs all alone, but play with a band on stage and on the videos, so I came up with the idea of "Dean Wallace & the...", as it's the best way to describe how the band works. The Black Flames is a name that came very naturally to my mind lately (a divine intervention maybe ;)

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?

The band is based in Chamonix, France. Down here, there are three priorities : skiing, skiing and skiing. Though we have a very international population, mainly in high season, bands usually go to larger cities to play live, such as Lyon or Geneva. The heavy metal scene is not so popular here, but we have a lot of clubs and festivals specialized in more brutal genres (metalcore, death metal...). I recommend Voice of Ruin and Blackrain as local bands to discover (Blackrain has now a national reputation).

4. How would you describe your style?

I'm really bad at identifying music styles. I would say that the starting point would be the Metallica of the 90's, on which I bring all my other influences : Rammstein, Pantera, Megadeth, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd... I tend to prefer heavy and slow songs than thrashy and fast tunes. We use baritone guitars, so some of our songs are tuned quite low. And finally, our style is pretty versatile. We are not like AC/DC, playing the same style for 45 years. I like writing different kinds of songs : funky, heavy, fast, slow, sad, epic... I usually say that what I love the most about Queen, is that their albums are really eclectic. You can hear some rock, funk, soul, jazz, disco and heavy metal in just one Queen album, and I love it.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

So far, we have released a 10 tracks album in 2014, Metal Family, and a single in October 2023, New World Disorder. The first record is a classic heavy metal album, very inspired by Metallica (it's the only band I was listening to at that time). Nothing very revolutionary I must say, but 10 metal songs well written and well performed. The new single is a clue of where the project is going. Still a bit nostalgic about the 90's era, but with a modern sound and songwriting. The voice is (and will ever be) pretty clear, with easy melodies, and no screaming or growling. The more I write, and the more versatile it gets. The epic songs are getting more epic, the brutal songs are getting more brutal, the ballads are getting more emotional.

6. Do you have any new music in the works? 

Yes, we have released one of five song that will complete our first EP. Yes, we have 3 more singles to come out every two months. These four singles will be gathered on an EP, to be released in April 2024. And I'm currently writing an album for late 2024, or maybe 2025 (6 songs done already).

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

As this project is reborn from its ashes, we don't have any gig planned out for now. We are currently using the new single and new video ( to contact festivals and clubs. We just wanna play and tour as much as we can. 3 musicians out of 4 in the band are playing gigs as a full time job (including myself).

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

All of us are already making a living out of music (3 as gigging musicians, 1 as a light tech), but only thanks to cover songs. Our goal is to make a living with our own material. We don't consider a tour or a recording session as a step or an achievement. It's something we wanna do consistently, as part of a lifestyle. We just want the band to exist and to grow. We are very honest and well intention-ed in this project, and we hope people will feel it.  

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

You can listen to our music on every major platform (Apple music, Spotify, Deezer, YouTube...) and you will soon be able to purchase our albums and merch on our website

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Emotions. Music and art in general is only about emotion. If our songs can create an emotion to a listener (excitement, sadness, anger, happiness,..), our job is done. I'd like the listeners to remember how serious and devoted we are about music, getting them interested in following the band through its journey.

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