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20 Questions with Ted Aguilar, 5/3/05




Remember when we hinted in last week’s 20 Questions that we’d have a big star coming up this week? Well here he is! It’s none other than…. Death Angel guitarist Ted Aguilar!


That’s exactly what we said. Apparently, Death Angel has a new box set out, and when we heard that someone from the band wanted to do 20 Questions, we said, sure, why not. After all, Death Angel comes from the primordial ooze of the San Francisco Bay area, birthplace of such thrash metal legends as Testament, Exodus, Heathen, Vicious Rumors, Machine Head, and of course Metallica.

So who from Death Angel stepped up to answer our world-famous 20 Questions? Was it any of their founding members like Mark Osegueda, Andy Galeon, Rob Cavestany, Dennis Pepa or even ex-guitarist Gus Pepa? Fuck no! They gave us Ted Aguilar, ‘the new guy’ in the band. But as it turns out, Ted is a big Sludgeaholic himself, which is why he wanted to do this instead of one of those other Death Angel guys. Besides, by the time we found out it was going to be Ted, we’d already agreed to the interview, so this is what you get. Try your best to deal with it.

Ted also wanted to do a telephone interview, and after much cajoling (and a small bribe), we were finally able to get 2001 Sludgeaholic of the Year Jim Bob Dwarf to agree to do it. So Jim Bob called up Ted, and what follows is the transcript to their conversation, which ends up being this week’s 20 Questions. Here you go.

Ted Aguilar1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.

I?m just hanging around right now, all the guys in Death Angel are just hanging out and sitting. Basically, everyone in Death Angel is enjoying family, you know. There?s 3 guys in the band who are fathers. So, it?s cool. So basically we?re just hanging out and writing music. Personally while the band?s in down time I?ve been doing other projects. Jamming out with some friends and keeping myself busy. Basically that?s it. We?re all lounging!

2. You came into Death Angel a few years ago as a fill-in guitarist for Gus Pepa, and have only recently been made part of the band. You?re not even an original member! We had all kinds of questions about Death Angel, but how can we ask you anything about Death Angel when you?re the ?new guy?? You do realize you?re about as useful to us as a wet firecracker, right? Why in the fuck are we even talking to you?

Why? Because I was asked! I was asked to talk to Metal Sludge. Plus, I?m a fan of Metal Sludge, know what I mean? I know I?m not an ?original member,? but, I?ve known Death Angel from way back in the day, and I know a lot of their history. I haven?t lived their history like they did, but I know a lot of the band?s history from back in the day. And when I joined this band, I was so stoked, ?cause growing up, they were kind of like ?my band? growing up. So I was totally jazzed when they called me up and asked, ?Hey! You wanna jam out with us on this reunion?? Fuck yeah, I jumped and I got my axe the same day. Rob called me, went to his house, and started learning some songs.

Death Angel
Death Angel, 2004

3. Why in the world would anyone want to buy a Death Angel box set? Here?s your chance to be a salesman. Give us three reasons why anyone should drop any coin on that product.

3 Reasons! 1) remastered with bonus tracks; 2) CDs s with unreleased songs that a lot of Death Angel fans would love to hear; 3) The DVD with footage that you?ve never seen before. And if I could add a 4th one: we?re broke!

4. Rate the following guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a broken-fingered hack, and 10 being a virtuoso.

Ted AguilarDan Spitz = Good guitarist! You know, an original member of Anthrax. I would rate him, a 7.
Kerry King = Good riffs, man. Kerry King. One of the guys who wrote one of the best thrash riffs around, being in Slayer. I?d rate him a 7 too.
Alex Skolnik = Ahh! Excellent guitar player, Testament. I?d rate him an 8.
Jerry Cantrell = Good song writer, out of the Grunge era, Alice in Chains was one of the best bands. I?d rate him a 9.
Marty Friedman = Cacaphony, Megadeth. I?d give him a 9.
Kirk Hammet = Man! That dude has one of the most most memorable leads ever. I?d give Kirk a 10.
Joe Satriani = Oh man, that dude?s bad ass. I?d have to give him a 15.
Gus Pepa = Man, Gus Pepa! That dude, he?s a really, really good guitar player. Him and Rob Cavestany, the other guitar player in Death Angel, they complimented each other well. There was a few times I had a hard time learning Gus? parts, so I?m going to have to give him a 9.
C.C. DeVille = C.C. from Poison. Woo-hoo! Wasn?t he in Samantha 7 or something? See, I know! He?s a good showman guy. For stage presence, I?d have to give him a 9, and for playing, I?d have to give him a 5.
Slash = Oh, dude. I?d give that guy a 10. And the top hat a 15.

5. Here?s a somewhat serious question. Much like Exodus, the band ended their hiatus and came out of nowhere with ?The Art of Dying,? arguably one of the most solid records of Death Angel?s career. How did you guys do it? And what inspired Death Angel to reform and record new material after being away from the scene for so many years?

Death AngelIt was actually Chuck Billy?s benefit, ?Thrash of the Titans.? Chuck Billy was diagnosed with cancer. And him, Walter Morgan, and Tales from the Pit got together and wanted to do this benefit show and try to get these thrash bands from the 80s to get together and do this benefit for Chuck. Death Angel was actually the last band confirmed for that show. With those guys, when they broke up Death Angel in 1990-91, they broke it up for good. Throughout the years, these guys had offers to reform, play shows, and whatnot, but they all refused it. And actually, it was Chuck Billy that personally called Rob Cavestany and said ?Hey man, I really want Death Angel to play for this benefit.? So Rob talked to everyone and discussed it, and they decided it was a go. We only rehearsed twice, and when we went up on stage it was ? oh man, it was phenomenal! The crowd reaction was insane. The vibe on stage was incredible. And from there on, it just started to trickle. After that, the Dynamo Festival in Holland called, asking us to play a couple of shows out there? one show, headlinging, and the Dynamo, and after that, it started snowballing, and everyone was really into it. We went to Europe for a tour, and Nuclear Blast came out, and was really into having us on their label, and they actually signed us without even hearing a brand new song. So from there, we were just like, ?well, let?s go with it.? We just started writing, right there and then. The summer of 2003 is when we started writing for The Art of Dying.

6. Back in the day, the video for ?Bored? got a decent amount of airplay on MTV. How do you guys feel about that song now?

It?s still ? we still have a blast playing it. I personally love that song and I have a good time playing it. And just from watching everyone else on stage, the other guys, they have a great time playing it. They have a blast playing ALL the old tunes, it?s like they haven?t skipped a beat, you know what I mean? It?s a great song. It?s easy and it?s fun and the crowd loves it.

7. What ?rock star? deserves a smack in the mouth and why?

Oh, man. To tell you the truth? Axl. I mean, I don?t know when Chinese Democracy?s coming out, but you know, it seems like the guy?s got issues. I think he should just bury the hatchet with everything and everyone, and just get the original Guns N? Roses Appetite For Destruction lineup back together and just get out there and start rockin?, ?cause that?s when they were at their best. That would be huge? very huge!

8. Of the following, which do you prefer and why:

Death AngelTaco Bell or El Polo Loco = Taco Bell!
The band Death or the band Angel = I?d have to go with Death. After seeing Angel at the Bang Your Head festival, I?m not really a big fan. I respect what they do, but I?m a metal guy, so I?ll go with Death.
FAO Schwarz or Toys-R-Us = FAO. They have a? their building looks better.
Steve Perry or Huey Lewis = I?ll go with Steve Perry. That boy can sing!
Heathen or Machine Head = Oooh! I?d go with Machine Head. They had better songs.
Gary Holt or Rick Hunolt = Oh, man. 2 guys that I know the most. And they?re like? I?d go with, damn, this is a hard one, you know that? Oh man, I?d have to go with, since they?re both my boys and it?s really hard to choose?. woooooh! I?d have to go with? Kirk Hammet. Hahah!
Doritos or Cheetos = Cheetos
Manowar or Raven = Oh, man, Raven! Hands down!
The Pound or the Warfield = The Warfield.
Poison or Warrant = Ooof! You know what, I have to go with Poison. Better songs.

9. What hard rock or heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?

Oh, man! Shit. You know, I knew this question was going to come up after reading Metal Sludge for like 5 years. This is gonna be a hard one! I?m gonna have to say? nobody. ?Cause everyone?s in it, and some bands take it to the extreme. But if they enjoy what they?re doing, more power to them.

10. Last August, Death Angel was supposed to go on tour with Danzig and some Scandinavian bands on the ?Blackest of the Black? tour, but that was all abruptly cancelled. Similarly, you were supposed to take part in the ?Thrash Domination ?04? tour of Japan last year, and were also supposed to do some shows with the Deftones as well, but Death Angel ended up getting kicked off those tours too before they even happened. What?s the deal?

Well the Blackest of the Black tour, from what I heard, Danzig actually cancelled the tour. This is just what I heard. You might want to check with the Danzig camp to confirm. The Thrash Domination Tour, we actually did that one. It was us, Overkill, and Flotsam. Fucking ruled! Japan ruled? hands down, one of the best places I ever played. And the Deftones tour? From what I remember, in our camp, it was none of the band members, I guess it was just miscommunication on our part. We got it, and all of a sudden, we didn?t. So, you know, that happens. Sucks, because the Deftones are cool, and good guys. We would have loved to have been on that tour.

Death Angel11. It was recently announced that Death Angel was added to the lineup of the BWBK 6-pack weekend in Cleveland this coming May. How long do we have to wait before we find out you won?t be playing that gig either?

Oh, man! You guys are really pokin? really bad. As of today, we?re playing it. Unless something really serious comes up beyond our control, then we won?t. But as far as I know, we?re 100% playing it.

12. Rank the following chicks on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a bucket of Chihuahua piss, and 10 being the full enchilada.

Paris Hilton = Not a big fan, she?s kinda dingy, so I?d have to give her a 4.
Britney Spears = She?s hot man, I?d nail her like Jesus. I give her a 10!
Jessica Simpson = Another dingy, but she looks cool. 7
Jennifer Lopez = Beautiful ass. I?d give her ass a 20, and I?ll give her a 7.
Carmen Electra = Well, she goes out with a killer guitar player, so I?ll give her a 10 for that. And for her whole look I?d give her a 7.
Christina Aguilera = She looked good before she dyed her hair, so I?d give her an 8.
Kylie Minogue = Kylie Mingue! She?s alright! I?ll give her a 7.
Salma Hayek = Oooh, man, she?s hot, dude. 10!
Yoko Ono = Negative 10?
Shakira = Shakira?s a 10.

13. When Death Angel were at the height of their popularity, most people thought they were like a Loudness side project because everyone sort of looked Japanese. Does that still bother those other guys today? Or don?t you care?

Uh, no one really trips off it. Hahaha! A Loudness side project! I gotta tell the rest of the guys about that one.

14. A good number of those other Death Angel guys are related in one way or another. Does that ever make you feel left out?

No! Actually, those guys treat ME like I?m a cousin. I?ve known them before I joined them waaaaaaaaay back in the day, and I?ve seen them at shows and hung out and stuff, but ever since I joined the band, they treat me like a cousin.

Death Angel15. Yes or no, has Ted Aguilar ever:

Worn eyeliner = Nooooo
Barfed on a cable car = No
Been mistaken for a member of Menudo = No! Hahahah!
Been asked for your autograph = Yes
Seen the inside of a tour bus = Plenty of times
Shit your pants on stage = Close!
Picked tomatoes with Robbie Crane = Uh, not yet!
Witnessed a donkey show = Only on TV!
Had sex with a transvestite = Never!
Drove drunk = Nope.

16. When can we expect The Organization to reform for an album and tour?

You?re gonna have to talk to Rob about that one. I think that band, I don?t know, I think that band?s laid to rest, but you can never say never.

17. How do you pay the bills?

Umm? I manage to get around somehow. Put it this way: I have a ?sugar mama.? Ha!

18. For a tax-free $1,000,000 in cold, hard cash, which of the following would you do (and you have to pick one):

a) Slice open your ankle and swim in shark-infested water for a full five minutes;
Death Angel b) Spend the night in general population at a maximum security prison after the guards announce you?ve been convicted for child molestation. First thing in the morning, they?ll announce they?ve made a mistake and you?re the wrong guy, but for the entire night, you?ll be on your own.

Which will it be?

OK. Uh, man, I?m gonna have to go with B. I think I?d have a better chance of surviving that, so? B!

19. The Last of Ted Aguilar:

Last book you read = ?The Dirt? by Motley Crue
Last new CD you purchased = Trying to remember? I think it was? Green Day?s ?American Idiot?
Last movie you saw in the theatre = Uh? ?The Incredibles?
Last concert you watched from the audience = Scorpions and Tesla
Last fast food drive-thru you hit = McDonald?s
Last tour you got kicked off of = The Deftones. Hahah!
Last time someone called you ?the new guy? = Oh, man! Last time would be, the other day, from a friend.
Last time someone asked to see your green card = Never! Ha.
Ted AguilarLast gig you played with S1FT = February of 2003? wait? yes, 2003.
Last time you lied = Oh, man. The Last time I lied. I think it was yesterday, to my sugar mama. Haha!

20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name, and you give us your thoughts.

Nikki Sixx = Excellent songwriter
Lars Ulrich = Good businessman
Gene Simmons = Another good businessman who gets hella chicks
Paul Baloff = Legendary vocalist? ?Bonded by Blood?
Alice Cooper = Snake!
Chuck Billy = Strong, strong man
Glenn Danzig = Short man
Dan Lilker = Tall and scary man
Rob Halford = The Metal God
Scott Ian = Riff man!

There you go! Yet another stellar interview from your pals at Metal Sludge. Thanks to Ted for answering our deep and thoughtful questions, and of course to Jim Bob Dwarf for taking time out of whatever it is he does all day and conducting our interview.

Want more information on Death Angel? Well who wouldn’t! So go check out their official Web site at www.deathangel.com.

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