What a great name for a female-fronted metal band! Just wait until you hear the music by this great new band, fronted by Deborah Levine. Bands like that need some special attention and after hearing their self-titled debut album, we are more than willing to give it to them. There is no way back, once you’ve heard LADY BEAST. Imagine the likes of JUDAS PRIEST, DORO, DIO, IRON MAIDEN and some influences from the good old NWOBHM sound put together in one band. Well, there you go. We got in touch with this band from Pittsburgh, PA and they were more than willing to tell their story and what more LADY BEAST has got to offer. This is what we found out....
When did LADY BEAST start out as a band and who were in this first line-up?
“LADY BEAST started back in 2009. It’s funny, as it seems like so much longer! The original line up was Deborah Levine, Greg Colaizzi, Stephen Lauck, and ‘Natty’ Dave Cristello. That’s how it was for probably half a year, until we got our new and current lead guitar player Tommy Kinnett. Then it was only a matter of time, until Adam Ramage (drums) and Christopher ‘Twiz’ Tritschler made us complete.”
How did you team up with one another and did any of the current band members play in other bands, before LADY BEAST?
“We all basically met just by being involved in our local music scene. Most of us were already into the other bands members play in, so it just kind of happened. We were already all friends, too. A couple members of LADY BEAST are also currently in other bands: Adam plays drums for OH SHIT THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US, Greg plays bass in WRATHCOBRA and Twiz plays guitar in CAROUSEL. Actually, Twiz was taking photos of OH SHIT THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US, when Adam remembered he played guitar and asked him to try out for LADY BEAST. We were in between or more so in need of a rhythm guitar player. It worked out!”
A very obvious question maybe is why did you name your band LADY BEAST, but I will ask it anyway…..
“There was a short lived band called LONG TO HELL that Greg and Deb were in, which basically became the start of LADY BEAST. The title “Lady Beast” was an old song of ours…and the only song we kept from the old band. So we figured we would just use it as the title and that was that.”
The very first time we heard from LADY BEAST was on the “Warriors Of Metal Fest 2012” compilation, that was handed out to us at the 15th Keep It True festival in Germany this year. How did this come about (that’s the festival of Datis Alaee, right?) and did you get to choose your contribution to this double CD (the song “Lady Beast”) yourself?
“We’re so glad to hear, that you grabbed one of those comps! The details are fuzzy at this point, but much earlier in the year Deb got hooked up with Datis through the internet. We sent him some tracks to play on his online radio show, called Metal Messiah and spoke about possibly playing his fest in 2013. He asked if we would be interested in giving a track to put on the comp and we were stoked to do so. It’s so awesome, that they made it all the way over there!”
You released your first self-titled album back in August. What’s the response been like so far and what does this album mean to you?
Twiz: “Pretty good. There is a local punk DIY radio station, that will play us every now and again. It’s always our friends playing it, but it must mean someone likes it.”
Greg: “Great. I’m happy with the overall end product of the album and glad it’s finally done! It took three years to essentially make this record happen.”
Adam: “Good. Looking forward to our future progress and writing songs for the new album.”
Deb: “Awesome! I’m so proud and stoked for us to finally exist in the world! This record was a long time coming, especially for me, because this is my first recording ever.”
Did you also get any negative remarks and how do you deal with that?
“So far there have not really been any bad reviews, but the record did just come out. So we will see. We are prepared for people to give us their honest opinions. Possibly hear something we don’t like or agree. But if it happens and it’s actually helpful criticism, we would totally take it into consideration. There are always going to be things in music or whatever, that have the potential for criticism. Anytime the better something is, the more people seem to want to tear it down. We read bad reviews all the time for good bands. Everyone’s got an opinion!”
Who writes the lyrics for LADY BEAST and what are they about?
“I (Deb) up until this point have written all of the lyrics for LADY BEAST. They are about a wide spectrum of topics. From magical battle armor to murderous gangs of death children or some of the songs are just straight up heavy metal bangers talking about riding fast and livin’ free! One thing that’s important to me is to keep the overall theme positive. Mainly because that is the kind of person I am. Anything is always possible and magic is real! I want to take the listener on a journey.”
Who provided the powerful artwork for it?
“The drawing on the cover and back cover was done by Christopher St. Pierre. All the painting and lay out was done by Bill Gilliland.”
What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
Twiz: “Go For The Bait”: It’s fun to play!”
Greg: “Go For The Bait”: I like this song, because me and Twiz get to do synchronized moves during It. Also, it is our newest written song on that album.”
Adam: “Hot Pursuit”: I like playing it.”
Deb: “Lady Beast”: It was the first song I have ever written and the ladies love it!”
Tommy: “I’m finding it very difficult to just choose one song.”
Cobra Cabana is the label of your bassist Greg Colaizzi. Does he only represent LADY BEAST or are there other bands under his wings?
“Greg’s other band WRATHCOBRA was the first band on the label (Hence the name). Cobra Cabana is also a house in Pittsburgh, that has DIY punk and heavy metal shows. The other bands on the label at the moment are OH SHIT THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US and ZEITGEIST.”
Let’s have a look at your live shows here, if we may. What can people expect, when they come to see a LADY BEAST show?
“Loud!! Lots of attitude, fist pumping, head banging and Deb’s hair everywhere!! We have gotten a lot of awesome feedback about our energy. We are definitely not afraid to move around! That is why people that aren’t even into metal tend to like us. We are truly being sincere and just having fun!”
With which bands did you share the stages already?
“We have played with a lot of kick ass bands! Some include ARGUS, SUPERCHRIST, MIDNIGHT, COITUS, HELLBASTARD (UK), NIGHT RANGER, METALIAN (CA)…. The list could go on! You can check out our old flyers on our LADY BEAST Facebook page if you’re interested!”
Do you use any show elements (pyro, smoke bombs, etc.) during your shows or what?
“Usually,we just use giant clouds of smoke… Our clubs around here are too small for stage shows. Fog machines and lights are about as crazy as it gets. But not by choice!! Bring on the fire! In reality, sometimes there are not even lights! Haha. Or wet basements! It’s all good fun though!”
I guess, that you’ve already experienced some very funny moments, while being on the road with the band. Maybe you can share one or two crazy moments with our readers here?
“One funny story (…although Tommy may think differently!) was the night, we played a pretty big show on the other side of town. We had a couple hours to kill, so we all went to get some food. Normally, we all pile in Deb’s jeep once all the gear is out to scoot around. Tommy was all the way in the back. We park, get out and start walking to look around for eats, when Deb gets a call from Tommy. Just thinking that he was “butt dialing” me, I turn around to let him know only to find out, that he was not with us at all, but still locked in the trunk of the jeep, because there was no way out unless one of us let him out. We were blocks away at this point!! Oh man, it was hilarious! He thought we were just playing a joke on him, until we never came back!! Or the time we played live on a local radio station and had a total Spinal Tap moment in the basement of the building trying to find the studio! We were walking with all our gear having people direct us in directions, that just led us to get even more lost. Then someone, we will not mention, pulled the fire alarm by accident we were told… That’s all I know.”
What’s the biggest show, that you’ve done so far?
“The biggest show we have probably played to date was an all local show at a bigger club in town, called The Club at Stage AE. Our friends Dethlehem invited us to play and it was awesome! There were probably close to three hundred people there. There is also a kick ass fest every year here in Pittsburgh, called Skull Fest. We have played that the past couple of years and those are always packed with locals and now some people that travel here just for the fest!”
Are there any shows on the agenda for LADY BEAST at the moment? Any plans to go to Germany, Holland or Belgium in the near future?
“We don’t have any major shows set up at the moment. We are trying to network a little bit to maybe play some bigger shows around our area. We are mainly just trying to focus on this new record. We are already more than half way there and it is sounding bad ass. Yes, Europe is definitely in the works! First a couple passports need to be gotten. We are also kind of waiting to see how the CD release goes over in Europe in the next months ahead. We are hoping to get over there next year!”
Which band would you like to go on tour, if you could pick any band of your choice? Let the sky be the limit!
Twiz and Adam: “IRON MAIDEN”;
Greg: “MOTORHEAD (So I can hang with Lemmy all the time!);
Deb: “IRON MAIDEN”; Tommy: ”Too many to name!”
Which other (metal) band(s) do we have to look out for from your area? Do you know of any more female fronted metal bands like yourself from Pittsburgh maybe?
“ARGUS, OH SHIT THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US, WRATHCOBRA, CAROUSEL, MOLASSES BARGE, LIQUITS GUTS, ABYSME… These are strictly just a few metal bands around town. There are many other great bands from Pittsburgh. Now to focus on some female fronted stuff. There is DERKETA, ICON GALLERY, ZEITGEIST, BARREN SCEPTER, LEIBSTOD, DEL RIOS, MOTORPSYCHOS, SHADOWS, NAPALM DONUT, THE BLOATED SLUTS and NOMAD QUEEN - just to name off some… It kind of even blew our minds once we wrote them all down and realized damn, Pittsburgh is rocking it with ladies doing awesome music! It feels great to be a part of all of it.”
Deb, you are the (only) female member in the band. Do you have to prove yourself twice as much, while being a female musician in a male dominated metal scene, or isn’t this an issue anymore?
“Personally, I have never felt persecuted or that I did not deserve to share a male dominate metal stage. Of course I have gotten comments here and there. Almost like people are not expecting a lot from me because I am a girl. But that makes it even better! Because by the time we start rocking those people are head banging!! It is really just a matter of people keeping an open mind. Not being so quick to judge. Being a front woman is especially important for me because of females! I have been told, that we are one of the only bands they have seen where women are pushing to the front. This is really a band for everyone and I want to make people feel comfortable and awesome at shows! I want to be that positive and strong example to both men and women.”
We are a Dutch on-line ‘zine, focused on the female musicians in the hard rock and heavy metal scene. Do you think that female musicians still need the special attention and recognition?
“Obviously not in Pittsburgh from all the female fronted bands we named! It was definitely more uncommon twenty years ago, but women are so much more prominent now.”
We are based in The Netherlands, well-known for its colorful tulips and beautiful windmills. What comes to your mind, when you think of Holland or The Netherlands?
Twiz: “When I think of the Netherlands, I think of heavy metal.”
Greg: “I remember falling in the canals…..”
Adam: “I think of hawk feathers.”
Deb: “Friendly people? Green…..”
Tommy: “Aardschok and Eddie Van Halen.”
Take a look into your crystal ball and tell us what the future has in mind for LADY BEAST?
“Europe! Japan! South America! Basically the world! We want to play everywhere and anywhere.”
Do you have any hobbies or interests, besides playing in a heavy metal band?
Twiz: “Photography. I just made a new website to document different guitars owned by different musicians in Pittsburgh.”>br> Greg: “Bartender and running my record label Cobra Cabana Records.”
Adam: “I am professionally a screen printer. It is awesome, because I am able to print a lot of shirts for bands.”
Deb: “I started a eco-friendly house cleaning company, called The Metal Maids. I also like to paint heavy metal vests.”
Do you have any personal messages for our readers?
“Personal messages? Hmmm…. Well, we can start off by thanking people for buying the record or even just reading this article. We hope we are able to meet all of you at our show one day! Stay in school… Wait no, that is not right. And anything is achievable, so go for it! No matter how big or small.”
Is there anything you’d like to add to this interview? Maybe there is something we forgot to mention here, that is essential for the story of LADY BEAST?
“Nothing really more to add. Just hoping, that the metal heads out there that don’t know of our music read this article and think we’re funny. No! Not really. Haha We are just really focusing on our next sick ass record and really looking forward to the future!”
The well-known final words are for Deb and LADY BEAST....
“Heavy Metal is the Law!! Don’t be afraid to dream. Thanks to all the friends, fans and bands, that have supported or set up shows for us. Check out Inferno Records (www.inferno-records.net) and Cobra Cabana Records (cobracabanarecords.com/) and buy our record!!!! And thank you so much to Metal Maidens and Rita for making this interview happen!! \m/
Visit LADY BEAST on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/pages/Lady-Beast-Heavy-Metal/179141995430791
or go to Deborah Levine's Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/msdlevine#!/deborah.levine.3?fref=ts