Six days after it was announced that classic late '80s /early '90s California thrashers DARK ANGEL would reunite for a number of shows next year — including an appearance at the Keep It True XVII festival, set to take place April 25-26, 2014 at Tauberfrankenhalle in Lauda-Königshofen, Germany — the band's drummer, Gene Hoglan, and vocalist, Don Doty, have released a statement addressing the reunion "rumors" in an attempt to "put any confusion to rest."
Says Gene: "Now that I'm off the road for a few minutes, I'd like to address these DARK ANGEL rumors that are flying around. Yes, we have been talking about doing something next year, and although it looks like possibly some festivals could be in the works, right now it's just speculation.
"Don Doty and myself have been in contact for the first time in many many years, and it's been great to reconnect with my old friend. Fortunately, I've remained great buddies with all the DFA [DARK Fucking ANGEL] guys after all these years, and we do try to stay in contact with each other and see each other when we can, especially since we are all spread out over the Western U.S.
"We are indeed discussing the possibility of a reunion, and yes, the DFA guys are well aware of all of my other commitments, such as TESTAMENT, DETHKLOK and the like. So again, we are moving forward s-l-o-w-l-y, with hopes to getting DARK ANGEL's wings off the ground for festival season in 2014."
Adds Doty: "Members of DARK ANGEL are currently sitting down for talks for a reunion. This will be for the year 2014. All are excited.
"I was talking on a radio show recently and had said that all members would be attending. This statement may have been misunderstood. Myself, Gene, Mike [Gonzales, bass], Eric [Meyer, guitar] and Jim [Durkin, guitar] are talking and when talks are complete, a statement will be given. We will know more in the months to come. We will let you know as it unravels."
Speaking to Uwe Harms of Germany's Radio Gehacktes on August 8, Doty stated: "Mike is still playing with one or two other bands, just as Gene is, but they're gonna go ahead and reschedule with the other bands so they can fit DARK ANGEL in. DARK ANGEL will come first.
"Gene is quite busy, as we all know, and he does have a lot of things going on [including TESTAMENT and DETHKLOK], but seeing this opportunity, he definitely wants to be on board, and he's very excited about this, as I am."
Regarding DARK ANGEL's future plans, Doty said: "We started to book some shows. I'm still waiting for our manager, Rob, to go ahead and see what he has in store for us. We're gonna take it one step at a time. [In addition to the Keep It True], there's gonna be a few other [dates] that are gonna be happening; I can't really release those yet."
Asked what he has been doing since leaving DARK ANGEL in 1987, Doty said: "It's a long story, and at the same time, it's a short one. I basically started a family and showed up to my last show [with DARK ANGEL] and told the guys, 'Hey, look, [I have a] baby [on the way] and I can't be on the road and do the family thing; it was just too hard for me. There were too many beautiful women in the world and there were too many other opportunities to go off the deep end, and I just could not do that. So with that being said, I took a step back and I told the guys, 'There will be a day and I will come back and we will finish what we started."
DARK ANGEL released two albums with Don Doty on vocals — 1984's "We Have Arrived" and 1986's "Darkness Descends" — before he exited the group and was replaced by Ron Rinehart (after a brief stint with Jim Drabos in 1987). The band issued two more studio LPs — 1989's "Leave Scars" and 1991's "Time Does Not Heal" — before calling it quits in 1992. Rinehart, Hoglan and Meyer reassembled DARK ANGEL more than a decade ago but were forced to abandon their reunion plans after health issues reportedly put an end to Rinehart's singing career.
Doty told Radio Gehacktes that his reasons for wanting to put DARK ANGEL back together are pure. "I'm here for the fans, because they've been there for me and it's their turn," he said. "Let's get back and let's have some fun."