Dead Rites / Blog

A weekend of shows

So usually, when I write something like this it means that WE had a weekend of shows but this was not the case. A couple of my friends, my gf and myself went to VA to spend some time watching some of my favorite bands. AFI/Ghost/Maiden. All of the bands were fantastic but let me tell you… Maiden. If you are a musician and you like Maiden what an inspiration they are.

I completely understand that they came out at a different time. I also understand that they have worked through some crazy times and some down times for some of their fans, especially when Bruce left. That was the moment that many people stopped listening. Which makes me crazy because I really love both albums that they did with Blaze Bayley but I am that fan who follows his favorite bands regardless of what they do and will continue with their evolution regardless of what that is. I am looking at you AFI!

However, very few bands out there have succeeded in doing things their way like Maiden has and even though their crowd has had their up and downs. (During the Virtual XI tour, they had announced a show in Puerto Rico and there were even posters for it done in a small billboard by the island and then Samuel one of my friends from the Island called me and said: “hey, Maiden is supposed to be here today.” Which of course prompted a quick dress up and travel to see where the fuck the show was, but the venue was dark and I saw the poster half ripped and my heart sank. No maiden for us.

Regardless of that, Steve Harris has always had a vision and he will not change what he wants or how he will get what he wants and that is something that no one can take away from them. In 2017, would it be possible for me to follow the same path that Steve took with Dead Rites? Nope. As old school as I am it is a completely different time but let me tell you things have changed so much since the first time that I started doing music with my previous band to today; so imagine, how much things have changed since before the first Iron maiden album was released. I am not stupid, but I can dream.

So seeing maiden made me want to go out and play shows, which is pretty cool because we are coming to see the east coast next month!

Many places that we have never visited previously and many places that we needed to return to this will be a great experience and it has been a while.

next week I will talk a little bit more about the touring and what we are doing In the meantime go catch Maiden if they are close to you actually go catch them regardless I traveled like ten hours for that show

The calm

Many things are going on with us and I am sorry that I have not been here talking more but you know that you can always get a hold of us on our Facebook page. (www.facebook.com/deadrites) We can use some likes in there… just saying

First, we are putting the finishing touches on our summer tour which will touch some of the Midwest and the east coast, we are booking weekends until the end of the year and I have the second annual Radu’s Carnival of Darkness which this year will be the asylum. I am excited with the headliners that we have right now, I am waiting to get another headliner, and then I will be able to release the first few flyers for that.

We have also achieved a personal goal of mine as we are currently working with Andy Reilley on our EP and it has been fantastic. If you are wondering why this has been a goal of mine for a while it is because Mr. Reilley has worked with Maiden and Bruce Dickinson which are singlehandedly with Glen Danzig the reason that I picked up an instrument and a microphone. Technically, Iron Maiden singlehandedly made me drop an instrument. When I tried to learn a Maiden song on the bass I stood dumbfounded asking myself how the fuck was I going to do this? I then decided that I was going to sing. I tried to do the flight of Icarus and decided that maybe I was supposed to just listen to music and not make any of it.

Later on, Glen Danzig and Chuck Billy showed me the way thankfully and I learned that I could sing things my own way and it didn’t have to be like Bruce Dickinson because by Cthulhu no one was ever going to be like Bruce.

We are also working with a fantastic artist for the album cover. Mike McMahon from Empyrean Tattoo studios is designing the album cover and inside art and I cannot fucking wait for that. (www.empyreantattoo.com)

So yes I know the silence we suck but on the flip side we are doing shit

This weekend I am headed to VA to see AFi on Friday, Iron Maiden, and Ghost on Saturday.

I shall have a report

Spoiler alert I will love every minute of it

See you on the road


All About that Bass Part 1

These past few months have been a whirlwind, mostly good. Last week we discussed by far the worst when we lost Paul’s Mom. The first bad one that rose in our way was the fact that our friend and bass player Zack Johnson had to leave us because of personal reasons. I first met Zack when Dead Rites was playing the masquerade in Purgatory the same night that Demon Hunter was playing upstairs. I was not stoked but alas, it was a great show. In addition, it was the first time that I ever saw sweetest Zack play. I remember Buzz liking him a lot (Who remembers sweet ass Buzz!!!) and this was the only show in the history of shows that we have played that we did not close the set with ritual we closed it with the Trooper from sweetest Maiden, It is no secret that Zack loves Maiden and he truly enjoyed himself that night.

What a great night after that the band that he was playing in sadly broke up I remember really liking their singer and their guitar player and I remember that they were talented and I did not meet Z again until I joined the Metallica cover band “And Justice for Y’all”. He was the bass player and from there he joined Dead Rites I think that on and off we have had Zack in the band for 3 years or more, he left once to go to Portland and do some stuff, it seemed cool and I did not think that he was coming back. He did return later and rejoined us and we continued doing our thing.

The best thing about Zack was his stage show, he was pretty fun to have on the stage, it was awesome to come off stage, and every time we played a show, he came out with a “This is amazing” and “we kicked ass” always a very positive time to be on stage with him. We made friends in Macon of course because MACON!! They loved Zack, they still do, and they always will. I think his favorite moments that I can think of are every masquerade and 120 tavern show that we played but most of all the masquerade show that we did where he played Anesthesia for the first time and of course every show that we played in Macon.

Off stage, he liked wrestling and it was wonderful for me to see him and Paul just go insane over things that they saw on the network that drove me insane when it happened live it’s the greatest thing about having younglings in the band.

We knew that the time was coming for Zack to leave us because he had many things on his plate and we were moving in a very different direction. I knew that he was happy to some degree but not completely and he could have done more if he just moved on. No one wanted to see him leave so we just allowed him to make up his mind on his own. I got the dreaded call on my work break when he said that it was painful but he had to leave. I completely understood this is a marriage and in any relationship, you have to allow whoever is there with you to be happy you want them to be the best that they can be. He offered to cover the remaining dates that we had until we found someone and he graciously paid for the last month at the practice space. So we have NO ill will for him and I can sure as fuck say that he has shown none towards us. We had a great time but it was time to go and we all had to go our separate ways. We will always have wrestling….. And maiden

Support his current project the Groove moose… I will place the link next time I get here because I did not get to search for them.

Bye Za ka ka you shall be missed

In the meantime…

What were we to do? Well that is a story for the next time

See you on the road


Janice Catapano

The first time that I met Paul I knew that I would forge a relationship with him. I walked into a practice space where he and some folks who at one point became friends of mine in their own way practiced. They were a band called Driven, they were looking for a singer, and I was looking for something to do while I searched for direction. I had just taken a hiatus after the death of my father and I did not know what I wanted to do with my life: Did I want to continue making music? Did I want to just leave Georgia and disappear? I was unhappy, angry and not at all pleased with where my life was.

After rehearsal that day I knew that they wouldn’t hire me. The drummer said: “You’re an original singer not a cover band guy.” His name was Dave, and he was right. Dave right now drums for one of my favorite bands out there Bishop Lake (www.facebook.com/bishoplake). Regardless when I spoke with Paul later on weeks later even when we discussed the whole singing for that project thing not coming to fruition we spoke about the possibility of us doing something together sometime and I gave him a couple of our cd’s and I said: “People like to listen to this sometimes but they don’t necessarily want to play it… we have no breakdowns” He listened on his way home and he called me immediately and said: “I’m in”

Over the years, I have worked with Paul on many things and I have gotten to know him and his family very well, they are very caring and for some reason that I cannot fathom their daughter seems to like me.

The day that I met his mother, I was nervous. I am not good with parents. People don’t really know how to deal with a foul mouthed 200+ pound puertorrican who looks like a mix between a rock star and a prowrestler and not in the Chris Jericho way either.

She was cool, calm and motherly and she spoke to me like a long lost son. Very respectful and who would have thought she was a fantastic cook. Either per the conversations that we had, she taught Carrie (Paul’s wife) how to do some of Paul’s favorite food or she helped some. I do not venture in these conversations because it is dangerous to pit a mother in law with the husband’s wife in any department let alone the cooking department. My memory is never the best when it comes to other people’s stories. In addition, Carrie still invites my fat ass to eat occasionally. Carrie is the best there was, the best there is and the best there ever will be when it comes to cooking. Carrie “The Hitman” Catapano.

We had some conversations after that and I saw her once or twice when she stayed with them for a little while she was great with their daughter and most importantly, she raised one hell of a standup guy in Paul. I can tell you this because I have worked with him for the past couple of years and you will not find someone who is more into second chances than he is. I am not. He is. Great person with an amazing personality and funny as funny could be. These things do not just happen. You must raise someone to be this awesome and Janice did a great job with him.

The last few months had been touch and go for her health and even though they were preparing for the possibility there was no way that they could be ready for it. You are never ready to let go no matter how much you prepare. Even when at the strongest and you go through the whole process this is something that changes everything in your life.

I was very fortunate to spend some time with Janice and I will always remember those few hours that we spent together. She was cool, chill, and caring, of course, she loved her grandkids and she loved her son. I am very sad to know that she has left us.

She left this world but she left behind some amazing memories and at least one amazing son. See you guys on the road Keep the memories alive


Two sunny weeks

I almost called this blog “Sunny days”. If you get that reference then I love you; alas, I went with this. Therefore, it is no secret that I am one of the biggest wrestling fans in the world and I have been watching wrestling for centuries, which is the best thing about being a vampire. On Friday march 31st, I flew to Tampa for WrestleMania weekend but NOT to go to the show but to go to some independent shows around the area that happen every year when the WWE comes around for their annual event. It had been over 6 years since the last time that I saw Joey and Gwen who are one of my best friends in the world and they have always been one of the most gracious hosts in the world and let me tell you time has not changed them at all. They were great, and they treated me better than anyone has ever had in their home, granted they only had to deal with me for a couple of days (I am sure that I get old fast, no pun intended). Pool time and things like that ensued and I ate way too much for someone who is supposed to be getting leaner but that was a lot of fun and we saw some great ass independent wrestling. The only thing that I did not do was go to the beach because we had such a tight schedule that we were not able to get through to everything that we wanted to do.

Thankfully, right before I got on the plane Mike from Dead Reckoning (www.facebook.com/deadreckoning) sent me the following message: “Deland FL has a festival happening next week and we are playing and I told them that they should book you too. And just like that by the time that I landed in Tampa Dead Rites was booked at the Deland original music festival. Once the band knew of the date, we all began making logistic measures for the trip. I had ulterior motives, I found out that Daytona Beach was the closest thing to the festival and that is where I was headed to, because I needed some beach. We had to divide ourselves into two vehicles because of space issues so I decided to drive myself and Zach became my copilot. Poor kid had to listen to me sing badly to all things ranging from Adele to Rob Zombie to Metallica to AFI for 7 hours. He deserves a medal or something. Saturday morning we made it to the beach and I was a happy guy.

Paul on the other hand did not experience as smooth of a ride as ours was. When they made one of the gas stops on the way up they noticed that one of the tires of the U-Haul they were pushing was peeling itself. By the time that he met us at the hotel, the tire was dead and we could not move, we had to wait to get the tire taken care of and that made us late for the event but I will say the following: U-Haul was fucking fantastic! They changed the tire and they were very gracious at the fact that we did not bitch because of the issue we have no issues with them and we will use them again as many times as we possibly need to!

What was the reason that we went there again? Oh yeah the show! Outside festival with a sweet outside stage in front of as many people as possible!

And that is how it was for many bands but not for us. On the pro side we had a fun show and I had a lot of fun looking at the faces of the patrons and fucking around with them as we played. On the flip side our set was played in front of the bathrooms and in true spinal tap fashion people were walking around us to go take a shit or a piss….. ………………

There was also a beach and I felt recharged. The drive back was not as fun as the ride towards Florida and to tell you the truth getting back to the day job on Monday was not a lot of fun but not because I was tired but because I just wanted to play another show.

My dogs loved me as I am sure everyone else’s family did.

Shout out to my lady for babysitting that weekend for Paul and lots of love to the band for making everything run as smooth as possible in the travel and setup and what not.

I would like to be playing more shows and doing less busines but I like music business shit

see you on the road



So in 2012 I did that first post and I found myself not posting anything else until now. I also found myself NOT coming to reverbnation all that much. I did enjoy it a lot when it came out but as of right now I seem to not find the use for it.

I do think that this; like a lot of things in life is because of the energy that you put on it and I will put in better energy into this and see if I feel like this gives us something more than before.

As a band I think that we have made me lots of strides in the time that we have been here. The most notable ones were opening for my friends in Moonspell and last year as a whole. Even though a lot of people thought that 2016 was the shits I have to say that 2016 was a great year for us as a band. I feel like we finally went over the hump of putting together a plan. The hardest part of an independent band is usually keeping things going when all of it is self financed and I can tell you that being self financed has been a bitch. Last year I think for the first time since 2006 when we did our first tour of Japan we found the means to NOT have issues with money. I think all of this working and constantly putting on the best show that we can has been very beneficial for us.

We have an album out, its called Bereavement if you haven't heard and we are very proud of the songs even though I always want something that sounds better and like a wrestling match you don't know how good the final product will be until you can sit back and watch said match. In our case we do not know until we have the final product and I do not mean the demo. Sometimes I like the demo sound better than the final product,. I will be talking a lot more in here kind of like a tour diary of sorts, I have a flight to Tampa this weekend and I will see if I can get the writing done on the plane.


Do not fret, I will be using reverbnation a lot more and not using these platforms to me seems stupid and I will not let myself fall into that again.

In the meantime we are cooking a Japan tour and we are cooking a summer tour.

We will talk more I promise

See you on the road


A work in Progress

I thought that on this new year... this final year as everyone seems to think it will be we would come out with a bang! So now I am working on this reverbnation site and we will see where this takes us. I will be working on this on a daily basis and I invite you guys to come in and take a peek and share your thoughts with me.

See you on the road