Interview by: Pam and Mark Schaff
MGM: What was the catalyst to get The Obsessed back up and running?
Dave: Basically, Brian had joined Spirit Caravan and after a short stint with Eddie Gulli, the first drummer of The Obsessed, not the very first, actually the first drummer was Dave Williams, Dave Flood which is Dale Flood’s brother. He’s on the 1983 45 with Iron and Stone and Sodden Jackyl and Ed followed after that. He’s on most of the recordings you hear, the old recordings, and he’s on the purple record obviously, and of course everybody knows about that. Then there was the incarnation with Scott Reeder, and Mark Lowry was on bass for all that. All the old stuff and then there was Scott Reeder, Greg, and Wino, they were kind of like the second incarnation of The Obsessed. They recorded the Lunar Womb Record and the Hellhound sampler stuff. Then obviously Scott Reeder went to join Kyuss. And Wino continued with Guy Pinhas. That line up made The Church Within album. Shortly after The Church Within The Obsessed Kind of dissolved.
MGM: When did you and Wino first start working together?
My first involvement with Wino was when we started Shine which turned into Spirit Caravan. We did Spirit Caravan from about 96-2002 then the band busted up and we got back together again in 2014 and we toured heavily as Spirit Caravan after Wino was back from touring with Saint Vitus. So he came back and we were going to play this Doom fest. We toured extensively with Henry Vasquez on drums.
MGM: Spirit Caravan played last year’s MD Doom Fest how did that go?
So then we had Eddie on drums and played the first Maryland Doom Fest last year. It went so well we took it on the road. We did a tour as Spirit Caravan all over the United States. Which was really successful and cool. But it just had something lacking . It’s not any of the members or anything like that. It just didn’t have the same feel as it did when we played Doom Fest so we got back and we were a little bit disappointed. Not saying anything bad about anybody. We just came to a decision that Eddie wasn’t going to be the guy.
MGM: How did you guys get involved with Brain Costantino?
Now Brian Costantino was Eddie’s roadie for all through the years he was in The Obsessed. He’s known Wino since he was like 14. And was actually there when Wino wrote some of The Obsessed songs. I mean he was Eddie’s roadie, and was actually at The Obsessed, Slayer and Corrosion of Conformity show way back in the day. There’s a picture going around on Facebook where you can see Brian standing behind Dave Lombardo, he’s young with spiked hair and some make up on and wearing an Obsessed shirt. So that was for the Slayer Show No Mercy tour. So Brian’s been around the band from way back. One time he played a song off of Jug Fulla Sun, he played No Hope Goat Farm. And this was just while Eddie was taking a little break. He got up and played the song perfectly. We didn’t think nothing of it you know really but Wino kind of took notice.
MGM: So Brian was on Wino’s radar?
At first he just wanted to do a jam and so me and Wino went over to Brian’s to do a jam. He lived only ten minutes from me. Wino saw his ability. Brian’s been playing drums for a long time, mostly cover bands, and he’s a really good drummer. I think at one point he was ready to quit playing drums altogether. But then we did this thing with Eddie and Brian started to come back around and he was helping out. His work ethic is just relentless, and so we went over and jammed with him. After we finished jamming Wino said your the guy for Spirit Caravan. He had all the songs down like immediately. We’d come over for practice and he just had them tighter than fuck! And he was just great at it. Then we dabbled with some Obsessed songs which he knows basically like a computer program from all those years of being around Eddie. He’d seen the stuff Greg Rodgers had done and was used to hearing it the way it was originally played. Not saying anything bad about Greg. But those were the original way the songs were written. That’s the way the original songs should be played because that’s the way Wino wants them played. The songs that Greg created with Wino were brilliant. And that’s his thing. And that was the way that Wino accepted it. But the older tunes were a little different. Which every drummer is going to play them different. You know but, Brian just sticks to the old school way the songs were originally done.
MGM: Would you say Brian was the reason The Obsessed is back?
Basically over the years people would keep telling Wino you have to get The Obsessed going again. Wino really had no interest until we started jamming with Brian. We just thought Brian was the perfect guy for the job. And Pellet was saying you should get The Obsessed going, and Brian was also for changing the name from Spirit Caravan to The Obsessed and going back to our roots. To see Brian wanting to be a part of this late in the game is great. Like he’s never really been in the scene like me and Scott per say, you know like hard touring or recording. In saying that we embraced the name The Obsessed. So we went to Benzotti Radio and announced it on his show so we are now The Obsessed. So that’s how that came about. So we are the latest incarnation of The Obsessed. I’ve worked with Wino for many years and me and him are basically suited for each other. So now with Brian we have the crucial piece of the puzzle that was missing to make this thing really, really good.
MGM: How has the response been since you guys announced the reformation of The Obsessed?
It’s been great! We hit the road for a over a month. We went all around the country and just tore it up! We kept getting good reviews every night. Everybody that’s in the scene that comes to the shows that likes The Obsessed, Wino, or my music, were all just like head over heels, impressed and loved it. We were the number one pick of the week in LA Weekly. We played in LA and the club was packed. It was cool that friends of ours like Nick Oliveri and Greg Anderson came out to see us. This all came along because we signed with Relapse Records. On our fifth show of the tour we went to Philadelphia, where the main headquarters is located and we signed with Relapse. It was really, really cool. We’re about to go into the studio to start recording a new album It’s going to be called Sacred, and we’re going to play one of the songs tonight. They released ‘Be The Night’ demo that Rob Queen did for us. He’s a really good cat and a great musician. Actually I brought him over to originally do my other band Weed is Weed.
MGM: Speaking of Weed is Weed when can we expect the new album to be out?
Going to release the Weed Is Weed on Hankenstein Records and it’s going to be called ‘The Bong Remains The Same’ It will probably be out later this year. It’s going to have five songs on it called ‘Puff’, ‘Reign In Bud’, ‘The Bong Remains The Same’, ‘Kleptis Butanis’ about stealing peoples lighters, and ‘Drop Wax’.
MGM: You’ve been in so many great bands over the years like Earthride, Spirit Caravan and now The Obsessed. What would you consider to be one of the highlight’s of your musical career?
We toured Europe as Spirit Caravan, and played with Sabbath at Hellfest. It was magnificent and a dream come true. I mean what musician doesn’t want to play with Black Sabbath. It was like a similar experience when we were Shine and played with Deep Purple. We opened for them and it was a dream come true. What musician in this genre of music wouldn’t want to open up for Deep Purple and Black Sabbath?
MGM: When can we expect the new Obsessed album to be out?
We hope to have our new album out in February and there should be a video to go along with that. It’s going to be really good. This is a really good deal we got with Relapse, we got to keep our publishing which is very important to us. It’s a one record deal but you never know what could happen. So basically what I’m saying for The Obsessed the moon, the stars, and sun they’re all lining up for us. Yeah so that’s the plan for The Obsessed, we’re just going to work heavily on this record in like 10 days from now, and we’re going to use Frank Marchand which is great he goes way back with Relapse. So the three of us and Frank are going to create a doom masterpiece!