Interviews: Dean Wallace & The Black Flames

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Heavy Rock band Dean Wallace & The Black Flames from France. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, did you plan it or come out just like that?

In 2014, when I decided to turn the project from a band to a solo project, I wanted an international stage name that merges the names of two of my heroes. I chose Wallace after William Wallace, the Scottish war hero. After spending weeks trying to find the right first name, my eyes got caught by a Dimebag Darrell poster (Pantera guitarist) in my bedroom. He was playing Dean's guitars, so I created Dean Wallace. The Black Flames is a name that came very naturally to my mind lately, everyone loved it, so it’s Dean Wallace & The Black Flames.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

When I was 7, my brother was playing guitar in a Metallica cover band, but I wasn’t such a fan back then. But many years later, I fell in love with Metallica overnight, by accident, when I came across a documentary on MTV. I ran to my brother, who passed me on his record collection and lent me his guitar. I’ve never stopped since then. I need a certain level of energy to enjoy playing music, so heavy metal is perfect for that.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

In 2022, after a 6-year break, when I decided to put this project back on track, I needed to recruit some musicians. I’m a professional guitarist, and I have been playing for 2 years in a three-piece cover band, so I got these guys aboard. We know each other pretty well, as we play about 50 gigs a year together. And finally, I met the second guitar player after an ad I’d published online.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Dean (singer, lead guitar): Metallica

Neil (bass): Black Sabbath

Thibaud (drums): Pantera

Pit (rhythm guitar): Guns'n'Roses

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

For writing the music, I’m inspired by my emotions. I always try to find a riff that sums up the way I feel at a certain moment. For the lyrics, I’m very inspired by what’s going on in the world. I love to watch people’s behavior or reaction when something important happens. I’m also inspired by the challenges I have to overcome in life, mostly the ones I failed.

6. Where was your last gig?

It was in France, near Chamonix (in the Alps), in a place called Le Toi Du Monde.

7. Where would you like to act?

Every venue in the world is a place we want to perform at. We work hard to make this band big enough, so we can tour Europe, America, Japan… As I said earlier, we all chose gigging as our main source of income, we just want now to play our own material, and play it around the world. We don’t run after streaming charts or Instagram followers, touring is our main goal.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

If we get to play with a huge band, I guess we hope to meet some musicians with a kind attitude and benevolent attention. Guys like Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth), Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats), and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) seem to be very humble and very nice, on top of being incredible musicians. I'm naming some famous rockstars here, so everyone can understand what I mean.

9. Whom not?

On the other hand, there are some apparently bully and arrogant guys that would be scary to play with, like Gene Simmons (Kiss), Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple).

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Yes, I did suffer a lot from stage fright. Before my very first show, at the age of 19, this fright lasted 2 months, it was horrible. But the more often you get to play, the more you learn how to tame it. It's also pretty random, some shows would deserve a good fright, but you're not scared at all, and sometimes you're frightened to play a show for no apparent reason. My advice would be to imagine the worst scenario possible (breaking a string, messing up an intro...) and ask yourself: would it kill me? The answer is obviously no, and you realize you don't risk much going on stage.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

It's Metallica. I listened to Metallica's discography on and on when I was a teenager, not willing to discover any other band. I like the other guys, but Hetfield had a massive influence on me. I do the job that I do and play the music that I play because of him (or thanks to him). Great singer, one of the best rhythm guitarists, a great lyricist, and a songwriter...

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Nothing too weird so far, except some requests to play at some strange family gatherings or at totally inappropriate parties.

13. What do you think of your fans?

As an artist, you are absolutely nothing without your fans, so we only think good about them. We are very happy to see that our fans represent a large diversity of people, with different backgrounds, tastes, looks, and ages. Even though we play some heavy and intense songs, we are not ourselves some metalheads per se. We just like metal and rock music, but we don't necessarily want to embrace the whole metalhead way of life. I remember driving back from the office, when my brother and I were working in an estate agency, blasting some Pantera in the car, dressed up with shirts and ties. We were somehow the invisible metal fans. I think our fans are, in a way, a bit like us.

14. What do you think of our site?

Your website is very cool, you give the chance to a whole lot of artists to speak up and promote their music, so it's pretty awesome.

15. Something add?

Everything we do has one goal, get our music heard. We are going to release 4 singles within the next six months. The first single is already out: [link], and the next one is gonna be out on December 15th. We will gather these 4 singles on an EP that's gonna be released in April 2024 through our label The Animal Farm. Some music videos will come out along the way. We would like to tour as much as possible from now on, and a full-length album is very likely to come out in 2025.

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