Ross “The Boss” Friedman, legendary co-founder/guitarist of MANOWAR and ex-member of influential New York punk band the DICTATORS, has joined forces with some other well-known metal heavyweights to create a new supergroup called DEATH DEALER.
Joining Mr. Friedman in Death Dealer is vocalist Sean Peck (CAGE), guitarist Stu Marshall (EMPIRES OF EDEN), bassist Mike Davis (HALFORD, LIZZY BORDEN) and drummer Rhino (Manowar).
The band had been in secret-planning mode for a year and only just announced the arrival of Death Dealer a few weeks ago. Through the clattering of bats connecting with balls rattling off wire net cages at Friedman’s batting cage he owns in Queens, he filled me in on all the details about his new band.
“About a year ago, Sean starts contacting me and we were talking a lot about the election and other stuff that people like to talk about,” Friedman said. “He asked me if I’d like to play on something he had going and I said, “Why not?” I like playing with different people and doing other things. Then Stu calls me and is telling me that he idolized me and grew up listening to Manowar and was a big fan of my guitar playing. He sent me a track and I thought it was tremendous and we started taking it from there. I asked who was in the band and he said Rhino, and I said, ‘I’m in!,’ because I’ve always wanted to play with Rhino. If you read the bio, they either wanted K.K. Downing or me! And K.K. Downing is retired. The first time I heard that, I was very flattered.”
After two releases, ROSS THE BOSS solo band is on hold. However, they are working on material for a third release, but at the moment Death Dealer is Friedman’s top priority. The songs that will make the debut release, Warmaster, weren’t done piecemeal, as the songwriting was done together as a band but the individual parts were recorded separately. Death Dealer is ready to unleash their new material on an unsuspecting but anxious metal community.
“The metal is more brutal than the Ross The Boss band. There’s more of an emphasis on thrash speed and precision. It’s flat-out nasty. I think there’s a really fine mix of songs. I’m not going to be the judge of it, I’m going to let the public be the judge of it.”
The thing that will set Death Dealer apart from other power metal bands is the experience and the professionalism of the musicians involved.
“I think this band is more Big League, if you know what I mean. Sean Peck is the best vocalist. Right now, there is not one single human being on this planet that can sing better than him. He was great in Cage, but he’s never had these songs, the platform and the band chemistry like this. He’s a lean, mean, fighting machine. I’ve played with some really great singers, but this guy is flat-out the best. He has the highs, he’s got the lows, too, and everything in between. He’s a man of a thousand voices. I think that the singing and the songwriting will set us apart from everybody else. And we haven’t even scratched the surface with our songwriting ability, just wait till our next album.”
There are a lot of these “supergroups” popping up all the time, but is Death Dealer an actual band or a musical side project?
“This is going to be a full-time touring band. I didn’t want anything to do with a project or a one-off. We want this band to be around for a very long time. We want to take our place in the hierarchy of heavy metal touring bands. Which, I think we’re going to do … I know we’re going to do.”
The album hasn’t been released yet, but it’s done, recorded and ready to go. The band is entertaining offers from record labels and the expectations are pretty high.
“I’m having such a good time and I can’t believe how great it is,” concludes Friedman. “I don’t want to super-psyche you out, but that’s the way I’m feeling. When this record comes, everyone should grab it. When we play live everyone should come see us. Give us a shot, give us a chance and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed because Death Dealer will absolutely rule.”
More on Death Dealer at this location.