No. 9

JN : I'd like to begin by thanking you for this interview. Tell me how the new Delusion album The Temple Divine took shape.

PC : Well, let's see. I started writing the songs as far back as 2008, following a trademark dispute the band had been fighting since 2003. This reached an apex in 2010 when I began recording the tracks. I was looking to define a unique sound for Delusion that was missing from the last album, and listeners will surely find a great difference. When you hear the new album, it really doesn't sound like anything you've heard before, it sounds nothing like the modern metal dominating the airwaves. People may be turned off when they first hear it. They may have to listen through the album a few times to really understand it and grow accustomed to the sound. Once they get past this, they'll find an album full of great melody, memorable songs, and interesting lyrics. This is the first album that I recorded and produced myself. I wanted a more raw sound with less reverb than I've used on previous albums.

JN : You didn't record this album with engineer Drew Mazurek ?

PC : No, this time around I recorded and produced the album's tracks in my own studio and then went to Drew for the mix and master. There is still no project I have done that hasn't touched his hands in some way before being released. He really is a wizard at what he does and there is a reason he has been a part of everything I've done.

JN: What was your inspiration for The Temple Divine ? I found its overtone to be suggestively religious.

PC : I get that now. It didn't become apparent to me until after the whole album was put together and I was listening to all the songs together. It does indeed appear to have a certain religious overtone. I am not sure that was intended unless it was a subconscious decision. The album has no sequencial concept, some songs are symbolic or philosophic, some are about the state of the world, some are about mythology. I have done a substantial amount of historical research in my life, that certainly reflects in the ideas and lyrics on this album.

JN : In listening to the last Delusion album, there is a noticeable difference in direction between this latest album. What was behnd this change ?

PC : The last Delusion album The Tragedy of Regret was a collection of various songs I'd written over the years. In fact it was never intended to be anything more than a one-time recording project, but after its release it took on a life of its own with fans, especially those fans in Europe. The studio production was rushed on the heals of a trademark dispute and there was no real focus on the band defining a sound for itself. With this latest album, all the songs are written as an album, with focus on defining that sound for Delusion. I would say Temple Divine is much darker and heavier than the last album The Tragedy of Regret.

JN : In the band bio, I noticed that Clarence Osbourne of Mercury Rising was the original singer. Can you tell me about that ?

PC : It was a very short-lived prospect. Clarence had come aboard the production of The Tragedy of Regret and recorded the first single in the studio. Before we were even recording a full-length album, his band Mercury Rising signed to Noise Records and Clarence left to pursue that contract and tour. All of the members of Delusion were from other primary bands who came together to make a Delusion album with no real obligations other than delivering the studio recording.

JN : You mentioned a trademark dispute and I see here that the band went through a legal action over the name Delusion that stalled the bands last album. How did that happen ?

PC : During the production of the first album The Tragedy of Regret, another band called Dillusion began appearing nationally on the Osbournes show on MTV. This other band had been contracted through Sony Records to release an album and our publishing company was contacted for the releases. The continued airing of that band on the Osbournes show led to a host of confusion where we had fans contacting us inquiring on our signing to Sony Records. Both the Osbournes and MTV refused to stop airing episodes promoting this other band and it ultimately led to a very costly legal battle over the trademark of the name. I was wrapped up in that case for nearly five years at the expense of nearly $10,000 and suffered substantially loss in album sales as we were unable to further promote the album after it became a legal case with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The evidence in favor of the name Delusion was overwhelming, dating back to 1995. They never stood a chance, but the red tape and slow workings of the USPTO led to it being dragged out for years until it was finally resolved in our favor in 2007 with the band Dillusion abandoning their claim for trademark and ceasing use of the name. I came away from the whole thing rather bitter, as one of the defendants in the case representing the band Dillusion was a TV actor named Greg Evigan, that I had respected since a child, who turned out to be an arrogant bully. He knew he did not have the evidence to support his claim to the trademark, but still tried to steal my rights to the very end, hoping he could drag it out long enough to bankrupt us and we'd give up the pursuit in his favor. He was wrong, I stood my ground, and I can only say shame on you Mr. Evigan. [laughs]

JN : Delusion did a great cover of the Iron Maiden song "22 Acacia Avenue" ? Tell me about that.

PC : Yeah, that all happened like a whirlwind. Delusion had songs on two compilation releases in 1998, then In 1999 Energie/Adrenaline Records contacted us for to do an Iron Maiden tribute album they were producing where one of the bands had backed out. It was a last minute thing. I got the call and we literally had three days to produce a master and deliver it to Italy. I couldn't get a hold of our drummer Doug Readmond and made the last minute decision to call Rick Johnson, drummer from my former band Desolate Angel. With no rehearsal, we showed up at the studio with a copy of the Iron Maiden song, gave it a listen, and recorded it. "22 Acacia Avenue" was always one of my favorite Maiden songs so it was an honor to make it happen. Our singer Walt Downey did a haunting job recreating Bruce Dickinson, and while it was rushed and hardly perfect, it turned out sounding real good. The song got a lot of recognition, we were labeled a Maiden band for some time, but that happens.

JN : Any plans for another Desolate Angel album ?

PC : [Laughs] I knew somebody would eventually ask me that. There were some songs I wrote for another Desolate Angel but they never came to term. There was some talk of a reunion show a few years back, but the band members really didn't have interest to make it happen. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the No Apology release. That was a great sounding album and I'd like to see it re-released on CD, as there are only a few remaining out on the market, but the masters are owned by the record label. I'd say a reunion is unlikely, but maybe one day I'll record those remaining songs and surprise everyone.

JN : Who are your influences as a guitarist and songwriter ?

PC : I like a lot of different music from the 60's to present day. I have been influenced by the Stones, Cream, Sabbath, Zeppelin, The Police, Billy Joel, Dokken, Dio, Queensryche, Metallica, Pantera, Machine Head, Fates Warning, Dream Theater, Symphony X, and everything in between. Strangely, I had hated the Doors when I was younger and couldn't see people's fascination for their music, but as I have gotten older I have gained an appreciation for their music and style.

JN : Who kind of equipment do you use ?

PC :I have had a Laney 100 watt tube head with a matching 4 x 12 cabinet with Celestion speakers for the longest time. My rig is barebones, I use a POD Pro XT and BBE Maximizer. For guitars, I prefer my Jackson Concept 6-string. It has one of the thinest and smoothest necks I've ever played. I also have two Kramer Baretta's with custom paint jobs that are great playing guitars but mainly just for show as collectibles now. I also have an 8-string ESP LTD that was custom painted for me [shown in the picture above]. I prefer guitars with a single humbucker pickup and all my guitars have locking Floyd Rose tremelos. All my guitars are outfitted with Seymour Duncan pickups through endorsement of their LiveWire and Blackout series.

JN : Can you talk about the lineup change for this new Delusion album ?

PC : The trademark dispute the band went through took so long that the interest among the band members was low. It was difficult to get everyone to return to work on a new album. I tried to get the original members to return but it just didn't happen. I had wrote the songs for he new album with these musicians in mind, so its a shame it didn't happen. Finally I had to make the choice to seek new members to make the new album happen. A local drummer I had been booking shows for came to work on the drums and a new singer was sought through Craigslist. The production was in the making since 2010 and it wasn't until 2012 that I finally connected with Nick Horner and began the vocal production. It is an interesting dynamic that Nick brings to the group, his having a background of jazz, R&B, and more ecletic music. It was his first metal project and he brought a dynamic the group didn't have on the last album.

JN : I notice there are no shows scheduled yet. Will Delusion be touring ?

PC : Probably not. Everyone is in different locations of the country involved in their own businesses, families, and projects. Nick is in New York working for the MET and Trevor is in his first year of college in California. If a big festival offered a gig where the pay was good enough, it might be considered. There would have to be substantial money to justify approaching the band members to tour before that would ever happen. This might lend itself useful in pushing the band to do a few select shows to produce a live DVD in the future.

JN : Any good stories from your past ?

PC : Where would I begin to describe the Spinal Tap like incidents I've experienced as a musician ? Being stranded, showing up at a cancelled show, being booked at a family restaurant, um [pauses], on the road waking up to a deer landing on the windshield at 65mph, getting to a club in clear weather and coming out of the club to 2 foot of snow. I could go on. I think my favorite memories were back in the 90's playing the circuit in New York, the Lion's Den, the Scrap Bar, CBGB's, driving around Manhattan like a real New Yorker, cutting people off, giving other drivers the finger, expressing choice words, and making the rest of the band nervous. I loved hanging out in Greenwich Village and having some New York pizza.

JN : Where does Delusion go from here ?

PC : I would need a crystal ball to tell you that. The original contract with Ravenhurst was for two albums which has now been fulfilled. The industry has changed greatly and is much less profitable. I suppose sales from this new album will determine where this goes. It usually takes a few years for me to produce an album anyway, our drummer Trevor is in college for the next four years, so time will tell.

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