David "Rock" Feinstein
Interview with: former Elf and Rods member – David "Rock" Feinstein.
David "Rock" Feinstein is a long time coming in being introduced into metal's hall of fame, being an original member in R.J Dio's first band, Elf, later to become Rainbow, and then band leader for heavy metal greats, the Rods, after some time away from the spotlight, David is back, big time, his new album, Three Wishes, is a punishing display of technical prowess, with a soul to match, accompanied by some great metal players, and sung by the ever dependable, John West, I called David the other night, and this is what he had to say!:
A: Hi David! I understood the new album is released in the states finally!
D: Yea, well it's been released in Europe since April, but just now we got it released here.
A: The most interesting thing would be where were you since the Rods Split up?
D: well, I didn’t really to anything in the music industry, I wanted to get away from all of it, you reach a point where you don’t really create anything, and you need to step away, a couple of years back I decided on getting at it again, I wrote some songs, and I started looking for people to work with on this, and here I am!
A: How did the line up get together?
D: Actually, all of them are people I knew beforehand, the Drummer lives in my town, the bassist also lives nearby, and he played in several other bands, not exactly metal bands, but he is a fan of the Rods, and he's one of the most amazing bass players I ever worked with, the keyboardist, Bob, I knew before, and I knew he played, but never hear him before, and then I found out that his actually a really good player, and John, who's the most recognized band member, also lives right next to me, and when he heard I'm back in the business he wanted to records with me, as you probably know, he was in a band called Artension before, and also in Royal Hunt, he's an amazing vocalist so I was really glad to have him, so we took the tracks I already had, john added some more material, and we worked on the lyrics, and that's how the album was done!
A: The album has a lot of an 80's metal feel, was that something you were aiming at?
D: Not really, I just wrote the songs that I know how to write, I mean, I grew up listening to certain guitarists, such as Hendrix, Blackmore, and Page, and their influence is there, but that's just the way things came out!
A: I noticed that Manowar's Joey Demaio is listed as producer on the album,
D: Not a producer, I actually produced the album myself, but Joey is a long time friend of mine, we go years back, and he lives something like 20 miles from me, when he heard I got some new stuff on, he asked me to come over and play it to him, when he did, he really liked it, and he suggested to set things up, and he did, he connected me with SPV records, which I didn’t know too much about, and he got the backing to do it, so without him, it probably wouldn’t have turned out the way it did,
A: I saw some excellent reviews about the album, how are the responses you are getting as of now?
D: Amazing, we got great reviews, and I'm doing loads of interviews right now
A: Is that something arranged by SPV?
D: Yea, they got things going, I'm doing lots of interviews, and they are pushing the album, and its all a great surprise, after being out of the music business for so long, and I wasn’t sure if my style of music will catch on, and it did, I'm really surprised and happy about it!
A: How did the title, Third Wish, come about?
D: Me and John where throwing ideas about the title for the album, and then John said "Third Wish" which I liked, it’s a nine minute song, with some really deep and interesting lyrics and melodies, and its also a great concept for a song, the whole idea of the genii and the lamp,
A: Was that the concept used in the album's cover?
D: Yea, it’s a Belgian artist, Eric Philiipe, we kind of gave him the concept we wanted and he did the art, which I think turned out amazing.
A: Why did you name the album after your own last name, why not think up a band name or something?
D: At first I wasn’t sure if its gonna be a band, since John was in other bands, and I didn’t want it to be perceived as another John West project, as it turned out, its now he's main band, so that's great, but that why the band was originally named after me.
A: So the band members are considering the band as their main thing now?
D: Yep, John also, the band is everyone's current main thing.
A: I know that you have quite a long and illustrious career in metal, but how did you start out?
D: Well, I used to play in school, at first it was a trumpet in the school band. And then as I grew I fell for rock n' roll, so I started drumming, now Ronnie, (Dio – A.M) asked me if I knew how to play guitar, so I could join his band, so I just studied how to lay guitar, and we started playing together, eventually the band became Elf,
A: Were you there when Elf turned into Rainbow?
D: No, I left a lot earlier, when the band split up after the first album for some time,
From what I know, two guys from Deep Purple produced the band, and did a tour with them, and when Richey Blackmore wanted to form a new band, he knew Ronnie from Elf, and so he actually took Elf, and turned them into Rainbow,
A: How did the Rods begin?
D: Some time later, I decided I wanted to do some gigs, so I kinda put the band together, and we played and had some fun, but then the band just grew, I mean, the band was doing really well,
A: So what screwed things up for you guys?
D: It’s a combination of the record company and the managers which kinda ruined everything for us, we were doing real well, the albums sold well, after the second album did good, we did shows with Judas Priest in the states, and we were offered to do Wacken in Germany, the band's management just told them no! They said it costs too much, and so they said no, and then we were offered to do a show with AC/DC, just so you understand, AC/DC asked for us! An again they said now, because it was too expensive, so we just got really pissed off, all the moral was gone, I mean, it was sad, the band could've gotten somewhere, we did shows in the UK, supporting Iron Maiden, and everyone was talking about us, and nothing came out of that, and that's just sad.
A: Do you feel the current state of things is better for the band?
D: Yea, for sure, even though our label has a lot of artists, they do a lot to support us, and it feels good to have as supporting a label as we do,
A: Are there any plans for touring?
D: Yea, there are talks about a tour in Europe, maybe even Wacken of its not too late, were going to know in the next few months, hopefully we'll get do a proper tour, were all really eager to do it!
A: Well, thanks for taking the time in talking to me, David, and good luck with band!