Interview with vocalist Don Doty
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: July 11, 2016
The name Eliminate does not necessarily ring a bell right away, does it? But when you find out Eliminate features some experienced musicians from bands like Dark Angel, Hirax, Devastation, Subversion and Whiplash you are undoubtedly a little curious to find out more about them, right? Eliminate was formed in 2013 and it's safe to say they know how to thrash. How could you possibly go wrong with all the experience Mr. Doty and his band mates have brought into this band?
The five men (Don Doty on vocals, Henry Elizondo and Scott Owen on guitars, John Signorelli on bass and last but not least Joe Cangelosi on drums) have been working hard and are proud of their accomplishments so far, something the rest of us can hopefully witness soon. Hopefully this act will live up to its name and "eliminate" all of us, metaphorically speaking, of course.
Don Doty took some time to reveal a thing or two about Eliminate for the readers of The Metal Crypt. Read what he had to say below...
Luxi: First off, how's life Don? Feeling great to be making new music with Eliminate?
Don: Yes indeed. It feels great to be back and to have all the support of the fans.
Luxi: I really don't want to talk about the unfortunate episode between Dark Angel and you during the reunion but do you think all the "messy" public posts on the Internet fired you up to get a new band going to prove that your passion to thrash is still there? Do you believe this negative arm twisting between Dark Angel and you helped the formation of Eliminate?
Don: Well, truth be known, I knew that Gene and I would bump heads. I did try to bend but there was no winning. I thought it would be cool for the fans to see both singers; that doesn't happen very often. The good news is I did get to start Eliminate and that allows me to do as I like and not be stuck doing the same thing over and over.
Luxi: How did you end up choosing Eliminate for the name of your band? Does the name describe the more aggressive and violent nature of the stuff you are creating?
Don: I'd like to take the credit for it but I can't. My good friend Sasha Horn threw the name out and I just did not want any other name. As for the aggressiveness, I can say we are going to be on the front of a new area. I believe Eliminate can make a difference or an impact on the Metal world.
Luxi: How much stuff have you written for Eliminate since the band was formed at the end of 2013? Are you planning to put out an EP to give fans a taste of what's to come or are you aiming to write some more new songs so that you can record a full-length right off the bat?
Don: I have written a few but they are no longer mine. I present them to the band just as all the members do and we all go over them to make the changes or even cut them. All material is done by group effort. Let's face it, there is a lot of talent there so we should and do work off each other. We plan on going old-school with it. Make a demo, maybe have it leak out and take it to the record companies and see who wants to join in on the ride. We have some killer ideas for the fans.
Luxi: All of you are seasoned musicians with history in well-known bands so obviously there's no lack of ideas when it comes to the songwriting process. Would you say that you have one or two members who contribute most of the useful and killer ideas, maybe as they did in their bands before? Whose songwriting pencils are sharpest in Eliminate?
Don: Again we all put in ideas and each of us does our part. I think it is a really good mix. It is where I like to be and I can listen to the music over and over again.
Luxi: Do you guys make songs the old-school way, i.e. gather together for a rehearsal session and then start jamming ideas or do you take advantage of modern technology and record your stuff at your home and send it back and forth to each other as MP3 files?
Don: Yeah, this was new to me and took a bit of getting used to but we are doing it the new way but with the old-school flare.
Luxi: In the early lineup of Eliminate you had Mitch Harris of Napalm Death heavily involved but he became very busy and had to leave due to other commitments. I am curious to know if Mitch's past involvement in Eliminate can be heard the earliest Eliminate songs. Did he bring some of his own ideas for the band's songwriting process perhaps?
Don: I am lucky to have Mitch and his songwriting abilities. He did write a song for Eliminate and it is really good. I would enjoy having Mitch come out and play it for the fans. I just did not feel right playing his song without him. So we put it aside for the time being. So yes he has had an impact on us and again I thank him and all the others who have helped along the way.
Luxi: You had Sasha Horn in the band who was also forced to leave for basically for the same reasons as Mitch. Sasha's replacement behind the drum kit was no less than Mr. Joe Cangelosi (ex-Whiplash, ex-Kreator, ex-Massacre). What kind of process was it to find him for the skin-bashing job in Eliminate?
Don: Sometimes we are in the right place at the right time. Eliminate has had two of the top drummers play. They both bring a piece of themselves when they play and Eliminate has grown because of it.
Luxi: How much of his magic has Joe brought to Eliminate? I would guess a veteran drummer like Joe has certainly helped to shape Eliminate's songs into the mold where they should be, right?
Don: Joe brings a lot more than one would think. He is also very good at writing lyrics. His input is well taken and used by the band.
Luxi: Marco Barbieri of Salem Music, who's a true veteran in the music business, is taking care of managing Eliminate. How did you get in touch with him and how would you say he has helped Eliminate in terms of getting the band's name out to the right audience?
Don: I really like Marco, he is very wise. He also knows just about everyone and if he doesn't know you, he will soon. He is a long time fan a Dark Angel and when he heard about Eliminate he looked me up. We talked a few times and I felt that we were both on the same page so we agreed he would be the right man to manage Eliminate. He is doing a great job.
Luxi: Now talking about playing live, one of the biggest events Eliminate has played so far was this Grindcore festival that was held in Los Angeles on November 6th and 7th, 2015. How was it for you? Did it go as well as you hoped and was it a true trial by fire for Eliminate? Undoubtedly you had a great time being a part of this big event...
Don: It was kind of a do-or-die situation and I am pleased to say we did rather well. Don't get me wrong, we had our hiccups, but all in all it was all I remembered and more.
Luxi: The whole event was filmed for a future DVD release and Scott Owen from Eliminate was also a part of the film crew, obviously doing his best to get some killer footage. Is there any news as to when this DVD will come out? Have you personally seen the material that is going to be used for this DVD release and if so, what are some of your initial thoughts of it?
Don: I have not seen the entire piece. What I have seen I did like, so I'm looking forward to whatever comes of it.
Luxi: What shows have you already set in stone for 2016 and do you believe that you might even do a mini-tour in your own country later this year?
Don: Yes, that is the plan, to get out there and play. Whatever Marco books we will play (small or large).
Luxi: Looking a bit further into the future, Europe has many great festivals going on all the time so do you believe Eliminate will set foot on European soil at some point, maybe as soon as you have the debut studio album out?
Don: The festivals are on my list so yes we will be playing them. I want to go to South America and there is a long list of other names. The more places we go, the more the fans get to hear us.
Luxi: Just one more question and then we are done. What's your personal life philosophy that you can share with all the young musicians that want to make their living by playing Metal music? Get to know the right people right away in order to not get cheated and ripped off, eh?
Don: I'm going to tell them to listen to their soul. Play what needs to be heard. If this is your passion, then dive in and don't hold back. There is a lot of new talent out there along with some damn good old-timers. I don't think age has anything to do with it. Now to answer your question; get your music down first, do your research. Ask around. There are all kinds of people out here that have been around the block. Hit someone up. You will find we all have a lot in common.
Luxi: Thank you Don for your time and all the best to you and Eliminate with all of your future endeavors. If you have anything that you'd like to share with both the Eliminate fans and readers of The Metal Crypt, now is the time.
Don: I can't thank you enough Luxi as well as all the 'zines out there who get the message out to the fans. I want to thank the fans for all their support and understanding. Eliminate thanks You! Cheers, we will see you in your town very soon.
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