Orlando CityBeat writer Nick Pascale recently spoke with bassist Matt Wagner of the local metal band 5 BILLION DEAD and discussed what's happening with the band and the metal scene in Orlando.
OCB: What are some of band 5 BILLION DEAD's influences?
M.G.: We kind of sound a little bit like bands like Fear Factory, Sepultura and Anthrax. Those are usually our biggest influences as a band.
OCB: What does the band name mean?
M.G.: Was really thought up by the singer;. no one really knows what it means, only he would know. We tried to develop a name that people and kids would remember and think that after they heard that name, it makes them think 'damn I have to go see that band and see what it's all about.' We were just trying to develop a catchy name that kids would remember.
OCB: Do you reflect standards imposed by the genre?
M.G.: Definitely, in a way. We are not the heaviest band in the world, but I guess that if someone heard our name and didn't know any better they would automatically think we are a heavy metal band.
OCB: How many recordings have you done as band 5 BILLION DEAD?
M.G.: We just completed work on a four-song demo. Samples are available on our Web site. Coming up shortly we are having our CD release party locally. The response has been really good and we will begin shopping to the record labels and trying to land that elusive big record contract.
OCB: Is there any hint of a major label singing band 5 BILLION DEAD?
M.G.: So far we have had several scouts from Roadrunner come to our concerts, and Roadrunner is the home to a lot of major bands like Chimaira and Slipknot. At least we are getting some response from the major record labels and hopefully once our demo is released we can proceed from there."
OCB: What do you think of the metal scene in Orlando?
M.G.: The metal scene here in Orlando has really grown by leaps and bounds over the last three or four years with the help of things like the Orlando Metal Awards. I've really seen the scene come together. I've really seen a lot of the bands working together helping each other out, in that aspect the unity factor, it's really a great place to be and to play. A lot of the bands are interested in making the scene a success.
OCB: What do you think of the metal scene in general?
M.G.: It has kind of come full circle from the late '80s when metal was at the top of its game with bands like Slayer and Anthrax. A new generation has come around. I think heavy metal is one of those things that is never gonna die; kids are always looking for something more and more extreme.
OCB: Name your top five metal bands?
M.G.: Slayer, Pantera, Black Sabbath, King Diamond and Gargamel!.