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A Dirty Dozen with DERRICK BRUMLEY from CONQUEST – May 2024

According to a recent press release: “Veteran Midwest metal outfit Conquest return with their latest album, Paradox, on Friday, May 10th. Available as two vinyl records or a single CD (plus available on all streaming services), the album continues in the same direction as their previous studio offerings, as evidenced by such standout tracks as “Walking Dead” and “The Writings on the Wall” (both of which have already been issued as music videos), as well as a cover of the Rainbow classic, “Man on the Silver Mountain.” Comprised of Derrick Brumley: Lead Vocals and Guitar, Mike Crook: Vocals and Guitar, Rob Boyer: Vocals and Bass, and Lee Skyles: Vocals and Drums, Paradox was also produced and mixed by Derrick (and engineered by Adam Long), the band’s latest album is getting rave reviews via metal media.” We get Derrick to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Sure I`d love to talk about the record. Paradox, our new record, just came out May 10th through Dark Star Records. I gotta tell you, I feel it’s our best work to date. I would say that the record is very, very deep in its material, Lots of different peaks and valleys that you might miss on the very first or second round of listening; maybe even in the third spin of the 16 tracks. A lot to digest. Like I said, very diverse in the world of hard rock and heavy metal. Hope you check it out. There are some very, very interesting changes, melodies in the harmony guitars. I think diehards of the band will find this to be very cool and some new ideas as well with the piano on a couple of the tracks. Lyrically, it’s very, very, very deep without being but real. Lyrically we try really hard to keep things in a positive format and still touch on some very, very dark, and deep portions of society.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

What got me into music? Well, as a little kid, my older brother, was seeing this girl, and she happened to leave her Black Sabbath record at our house. I went and grabbed it out of his room and put it on my record player. That pretty much sold me hard on rock and heavy metal. When did I realize I was gonna play music? Well, I would say at that point I got really, really enthused with it, which led me to pursuing a guitar. I was a kid who played a lot of street hockey, and I was over at a buddy’s house, and I traded a hockey stick for my first red guitar way back when.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Being introduced to hard rock and heavy metal through Black Sabbath, I immediately gravitated to a lot of bands, such as Judas Priest, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, and Rainbow. Then along came Rush and a few other bands. That made me realize that this is what I was gonna do. Music kept me sane. As far as a record that really took me somewhere. I’d have to say Sad Wings Of Destiny by Judas Priest. That Changed my whole perspective on music.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Well, I’m gonna cheat and say that I need to do two. I would definitely bring Edward Van Halen back from the dead, because that would be an all-time favorite of mine on the guitar. I’d love to work with him in some songwriting. If we go over to the heavy metal world, I would find myself back in the Judas Priest camp with Glenn Tipton and Rob Halford. That would be fun for sure.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour? What do you like to do to unwind?

Pretty good question really to ask but I do a lot of music. Things that relax me hanging out with my friends, hanging out the pool, few cocktails here and there. A little fishing time relaxation, a riverbank that kind of stuff. Definitely like to make it out to the ocean from time to time. Breathe the fresh air, toes in the sand, you know.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would describe Conquest as a hard rock / heavy metal band that has sprinkles of thrash metal throughout it. We try really hard when it comes to writing music to make it heavy, but with a lot of melody and a lot of guitar driven melodies. I don’t know about the other question I don’t like comparisons in general. I prefer to try to keep things about the band itself, but I do understand that music has many flavors and it’s very important that your influences show up in your music, because that’s what draws people to like it. I’ve heard people say we sound like Testament, Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer. I’ve heard people say we have a hard rock vibe from time to time, so who knows, right? All I can tell you is that Conquest has been writing songs since I was 13 years of age and I really have never really stopped. So that’s about what I got to say on that, ha.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

One of the main parts of the band is obviously the road crew. Scott would be in charge of getting the food prepared and getting it all together. He does a good job at, I might say, along with Mr. Anderson, who would fetch the food and Scott would cook it on the grill. It might be a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but it’s always good times and always a lot of fun. That’s for sure. As far as busting out the guitar, that would be Mike. We’d all jump in singing along some kind of stupid nonsense I’m sure.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Well, I was never really a starstruck kind of person, but I could tell you that I had the pleasure of meeting a few people in my past. I loved meeting Ronnie James Dio. Meeting people on the road while touring was always fun hanging out with those guys. I appreciate what they bring to the table because I love music, but the star part of it’s not really my thing.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I think the best part about being a musician for me is the actual writing process, recording, and putting it together. That is my favorite part about music. I do like the live stage application, but at the same time, I must say that what drives me is the actual writing of the tunes. It seems in my history of writing that I find myself doing a lot of history based lyrical kind of stuff. Interacting with Mike while working on guitar parts is real fun for me. Bouncing out the drums with Lee is always a blast because he brings so many different ideas to the table. Rob has quite a few different melodies wrapped up in his brain when it comes to playing the bass. We come up with some very cool passages through the different parts of the tunes, which makes it very cool. A different job… I’d probably be a music engineer. I love producing. I’ll probably play guitar till I die, so we’ll see how it all goes.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Well, you got a hard job… asking a bunch of different people the same question over and over again hoping for a different answer. Probably not the most fun thing to do in the world. I would say my least favorite question is how did the band get started. Everybody knows how a band gets started. Four guys or five guys or six guys get together in a room and there it is, you make some music or some noise at first anyway. My favorite question though is always about what makes you want to do this. Like I told you earlier on in the questions, it’s just who I am when it comes to music, it just comes out. I don’t know what else to do, to be honest with you.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

No, I would say that I don’t look back, so I don’t really have regrets. Regrets are things that bog you down. If you’re having a regret, that means you’re looking backwards. You can learn from mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you have to drown yourself with regret. So anyway, my take on it, don’t look back move forward always something new to look forward too.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Wow. Deep question, but cool. Like I said, I would say, Sad Wings Of Destiny, because that’s what really got interested in how that all worked when it comes to recording. About the time when I had my first little 4 track recorder and you know it was all brand-new technology at that point and a little cassette deck, right? So I would have to say Sad Wings Of Destiny. Again, one of my favorite records of all time. A driving force in my songwriting and my desire to play music.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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