DEICIDE Guitarist RALPH SANTOLLA: 'Quitting DEATH Was A Very Big Mistake'

Killing Spree Records recently conducted an interview with DEICIDE guitarist Ralph Santolla (ex-DEATH, ICED EARTH). A couple of excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow:

Killing Spree Records: How did you end up as the new guitarist for DEICIDE?

Ralph: I was not happy with the direction things were going with Sebastian Bach, musically and stress-wise! I've known Glen, Steve and Jack for years and years. I used to throw water balloons filled with Holy water at Glen when we were kids. Ha! Just kidding. Anyway, I had 1 festival in Italy with Sebastian over an entire summer. Jack called and asked if I wanted to do four weeks with DEICIDE, and I said "Fuck yeah." Everything went so well that I'm still here.

Killing Spree Records: Can you please give me a brief rundown on each of the bands you have played for in the past?

Ralph: Well, I've had my own band, MILLENIUM, for years. We just do these hard rock records for Europe and Asia. I was in DEATH for a while. Quitting that band was a very big mistake. I was too immature at the time to realize how lucky I was to be in a band with Chuck, Stevie D, and Gene. I recently heard a board tape from that lineup and it was amazing. Then for a very long time I turned down every offer I got, I just wanted to do my own thing . Finally I joined ICED EARTH, did 'The Glorious Burden' record and tours. Sebastian saw me play at Bang Your Head in Germany and told me if I joined his band I could could run the whole thing, music-wise. "You're my Randy Rhoads" is what he said. So I wanted to write his album and I agreed.

Killing Spree Records: Are you playing in any other bands besides DEICIDE right now?

Ralph: I have my own metal band, STARE, that I'm working on. It's me and Johnny Lenaerts, who plays guitar for Sebastian still. I got him in that band. He's the lead singer in STARE. He's a great singer, a WAILING guitarist, and just a bad motherfucker all around. There will also be a new MILLENIUM CD, in the OZZY/MSG/Dio-era SABBATH vein.

Killing Spree Records: How old were you when you started playing guitar? What bands/artists inspired you to start playing?

Ralph: I was 7. I was into KISS and DEEP PURPLE. But when I was 12 I heard UFO. The instant I heard Michael Schenker, I realized what I wanted to do, which was to learn how to express myself completely on guitar, like he does. I'm still struggling with it, and I still listen to that album, "Obsession", all the time.

Read the entire interview at this location.


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