Friday The 13th Dublin Death Patrol Re-Emerges From The Bay Area Thrash Scene!!!
The collaboration of long time friends and members of the Dublin Death Patrol (DDP) Testament Vocalist Chuck Billy originally teamed up with fellow Dublin California ragers; Willy Lange (Rampage, Laaz Rockit), Steve ZETRO Souza (Original Testament Vocalist/Exodus Vocalist) and three of the Billy Brother s as well as some other local Dublin boys. The seeds were planted in or about 1980 with a bay area thrash band called Rampage featuring neighborhood kids from Dublin California, Chuck Billy with his brother Andy Billy, Greg Bustamante, Ernie Boehm and Willie Lange. The guys were about 18 years old and had all known each other since they were about 5. The guys grew up listening to a variety of bands from Zepplin, Kiss, Aerosmith to The Dead Kennedys and The Sex Pistols; and were influenced by the sounds of the late 70’s and early 80’s. This time period was a great time for a bunch of kids who lived out in the burbs, and the boys from Dublin with their long hair and their naïve attitudes would go to the clubs to rage and see The Dead Kennedy’s and whatever punk shows that trails through the Bay area. Willie Lange recalls, “ We learned quickly that people in the big city were a little different”. The boys from Dublin got into more than a few fights before any reputation was established and hence the Dublin Death Patrol was born. Most of the guys that comprised the “Patrol” were big boys with quite an edge to them. Willy states, “We were out to make a name for ourselves and word spread quick that we were not to be fucked with!
One legendary incident that gets brought up (and laughed about) is the time that Willy Lange was playing his first gig with Laaz Rockit in the early 1980’s and The boy’s from Metallica were doing a radio show with Ron Quintana on a college station, Willy remembers, “ Everybody used to listen to Ron on KUSF in the beginning of what now is known has the famous Bay Area Metal scene of the early eighties. Ron was talking about our show that night and the fact it was my first gig with Laaz. Lars and James were making fun of my name calling me Lilly Wang. People were calling me and telling me this. Word got back to James and Lars that the “Patrol” were about to inflict maximum damage on them”. One day Chuck Billy and Greg Bustamante and Willy Lange were kicking back at their apartment when they received a call from Lars and he was begging that the DDP didn’t fuck them up because they didn’t mean any disrespect and didn’t have insurance. Willy told Lars, “We never had any intention of fuckin with them and that we were totally cool. That was the kind of reputation we had.”
Willy Lange remembers, “Backing up a bit when we first started Rampage it was Andy Billy, Ernie Greg and Myself but we needed a singer; we already had 2 full Marshall stacks a bass rig and drum set but no singer. Chuck Billy looked like a good fit— a big, tall monster with an attitude, so we asked him to try. Chuck was playing guitar at the time but said “what the fuck let me try”. The first song we wrote was ‘Circumcise Me’ it fuckin killed and off we went from one backyard or barn to the other playing our newfound trade on the unsuspecting suburbanites.”
After about a year or so a band called Diamond wanted Willy to play bass for them and they were fairly popular in the Bay Area scene at about the same time Chuck was having doubts about his ability to be a front man. One night Chuck, Greg and Willy were sitting on the side of Chucks house smoking weed and talking about their band Rampage, when Chuck said he was giving it up that he thought he was a “Clown” we tried to convince him to stay they had just got into the battle of the band a couple of months earlier and we thought he kicked ass but it seemed his mind was made up.
So Willy left Rampage to play with Diamond and Lange muses, “I guess Chuck wasn’t a “Clown” after all. Zet was our main Roadie slash biggest fan plus he had a car he new all the bands in the area and it seemed all the bands new him. He was also best friends with Phil Demmel and his brother was friends with Troy Lucketta. Little did we all know that from such a small little town 30 minutes east of San Francisco would supply such a powerful mix of Metal Legends. Chuck Billy lead singer Testament. Steve “Zetro” Souza lead singer Legacy and Exodus. Phil Demmel lead guitar Violence and Machine Head. Troy Lucketta drums Tesla. And the bass player from Laaz Rockit whatever his name is”.
In the summer of 2005 Laaz Rockit got the offer to play a reunion gig in Holland at the Dynamo open air the festival all of us had played before. When Lange heard Testament were on the bill it was a no brainier so Laaz Rockit dusted off the old gear and headed over the pond. Lange was blown away how many young kids were clamoring for “Old school Metal” Lang states, “I was talking with Chuck over there about the possibility of getting our old crew together and play some killer tunes we had wrote but never recorded some 20 years ago. The new version of the Dublin Death Patrol was born then and there. From that point on to this day this project has been a labor of love, fun, and brotherhood.
Willy Lang states it clearly, “I think what we have done with this project is a true reflection of our influences from our first time together. The covers that we picked are the bands that we emulated at the time. The originals have stood the test of time and with Vincent Wojno our honorary brothers help at the controls we are all very proud of what we have accomplished. Like Chuck Billy says all the time; “ if we wanted to put out the heaviest album of all time we could have. But putting out a “Machine Head” type album just wouldn’t reflect our true beginnings.”
The last thing to do now is go out and crush audiences all over the world and show what a tiny little town with an attitude profound has to offer.
Vocalist Chuck Billy recalls, “I remember moving to Dublin California in 1965 driving through a little town that didn’t have much to it one high school a few supermarkets. Everyone knew everybody in town through school or after school sports. I started playing guitar in 8th grade and stuck with it through high school. Back in late 70’s I remember going to barn parties watching the local musicians get together to play some of our favorite covers. I wanted to play so bad and be in the music scene we started our first band called “Rampage”.
The guys were young and competitive to start with wanted to play in town like the other guys were. Chuck remembers, “We thought we would be the rough ones with attitude almost like we were punk rock or at least what we thought punk rock stood for. We used to drive to Oakland to Willy’s truck yard to practice in the back of a 45 foot trailer. It was always a party booze and weed mostly. We played some local house and barn parties and began our own little metal cult.” “We left our mark where ever we went leaving the word Rampage or just the page as we called it all over town. All the local musicians knew who we were. Steve Sousa was my younger brother Andy’s best friend and was always at the Rampage rehearsals. I was there as support of the band when one day they said why don’t you give it a shot so I did and I was the new singer. After discovering the bay area notorius venues, Ruthies and Keystone Berkeley scene we brought our attitude along as well.”
“We all went different directions with our music. Willy joined Diamond which was an up coming band and then moved on to join Lazz Rockit and then almost Metallica. I went to college and took some music theory, vocal, and guitar classes. Andy keep playing with local musicians. Greg went to work for Willy. Ernie started working in the family business. I also took private lessons at night. I started a few bands with friend until I got the call from Steve Souza who had just left his first band called Legacy to join Exodus. Zetro suggested I call Alex Skolnick and ask for an audition. That day has changed my life forever.
After the success these individuals had on our own over the past two decades in their various bands; the sound of getting together with all the old gang to revisit some old songs we wrote sounded cool. They invited anyone from Dublin who wanted to get involved with the project to hop on for the ride; all are welcome. The word spread fast.
STEVEN “Zetro” SOUZA recalls how the idea to resurface the ultimate DDP ‘trash gang’ of their youth, came to him, “Originally it was Willies and Chuck Billy’s idea. The first I heard of getting this project together was at a Raider pre-season game in 2005. Willie was telling me his idea of DDP and getting the old Rampage guys together. But this version would have Chuck and I singing on every song and include different musicians that grew up in Dublin to play on this record. Well, I was right in”
They had their first meeting at Hooters in Dublin to discuss what the plan was.
After 6 months of writing, arranging and restructuring songs new and old . The guys went into record the DDP album through strains and pains with Vinnie Wojno (a tour side), Steve Zetro Souza boldly claims, “this is what we have to give to the metal world, a kick ass straight up aggressive and in your fucking face album of music by guys just from Dublin California. Represented by members of Testament, Legacy, Exodus, Vio-Lence, Laaz Rockit, Tesla, Heist and a group of headbanging Dubliners that deserved status.”
“For fans of the Bay Area Thrash who I love and will always; I hope they dig what Chuck and I have done vocally on the DDP project.
They got together and started by playing some cover songs and a few old originals. The songs sounded good they decided to write some new songs. The songs came together pretty quick and sounded even better than they thought. At that point they made the decision to record and release the record. Everyone involved gave their all to the recording. For some this was the first thing they ever recorded. It a great feeling to see our friends get involved as they were so vital in the scene then to have them involved now made sense and brought it all full circle DDP 4 LIFE!
Dublin Death Patrol is :
Chuck Billy-Lead Vocals
Steve Souza- Lead Vocals
Willy Lange- Bass
Andy Billy-Rhythm/lead guitar
Steve Robello- Lead/ Rhythm Guitar
Greg Bustamante- Rhythm Guitar
John Hartsinck- Lead Guitar
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