Hey, it has been sometime since I have written a more extensive article. Bad time management on my end resp. a lot of things going on. I am extremely delighted though to finally get a chance to write a bit of an article on D-Railed, managed by the wonderful Ladies from Vodoo Queen Management! I am sure you guys have seen a small piece on D-Railed before on my website – now it is time for more. I was quite moved by the background information provided by the ravishing Kimberly Brown and the amazing Vodoo Queen Yvonne Loveland. It is also important that I get a few things that I got wrong in the first place straightened out so here we go Metalheads!
Tricky to make a start – so let me introduce first of all the members of the band. Tim Standridge is doing the lead vocals, Deedz is the power behind the bass (and according to their FB page he seems to have a fog around him at all times, know the feeling Deedz….), Brian Casanover takes charge of beating the shit out of the drums, Louis Menkhausen is on rhythm guitar and Kyle Luttrell on the lead guitar. However, D-Railed also has a permanent 6th member – R.I.P. Wolf who unfortunately passed away a few years ago due to a blood cloth in his lungs. Wolf was not just band member but also a graphic artist, promoter and sound man. So in case you hear about the Wolfpack, you know what it stands for when it comes to D-Railed.
As a consequence to the passing of Wolf, D-Railed - who have been together since 2005 – released the track “Gone” as a tribute to their former bandmate and friend. A beauty of a beginning with a bit of a church bell in the background and some decent ambience. A start with some fairly emotional guitar play which repeats itself throughout the track, accompanied by solid work on bass and drums. Initially quite relaxing on the vocals, this song turns into a decent Metal track though once the refrain kicks in. Heavy and fairly aggressive guitars, controlled screaming in the background and obviously some grievous lyrics. A wonderful track and whilst the occasion is a sad one, it is also a celebration of Wolf’s life in my humble opinion.
At the same time – this information I obtained from an article in the St. Louis Sinner (check it out it has pictures…) – the band had apparantly some issues themselves. No need for details, you got the link, read it up if you’re nosy enough (this is not the National Enquirer). Nevertheless, with their song “The Fallen” D-Railed hit several radio stations around the U.S. and even got to the top of the radio charts in some of these markets.
“The Fallen” highlights once more the great variety Tim brings along with his vocals – this has already impressed me on “Gone”. Even though the job is really well done on all instruments, I enjoy the bass in particular. My view of course. The two tracks just mentioned beforehand are part of D-Railed’s EP “The Fallen”. The third track on this disc is “Frontline”: Dominated by the power of the guitar and vocals, this piece is about war – against war. Not having found the lyrics online but listening carefully, I believe it is from the point of view of a tired soldier who is basically sick and tired of the war and simply wants to return home. In a different article I read online it says that the guys from D-Railed actually worn dog tags on stage that were sent to them by soldiers who were moved by this track.
Now, I need to go a few steps back as the line up I have mentioned before is not the original one. Whilst normally I would not bother with all the details, I believe in the case of D-Railed it is fairly important. At the very beginning there were also Justin Ruesch (rhytm guitars), Pablo De Pacas (lead guitar and vocals) and PJ (on bass). Despite the success of their song ”The Fallen” trouble was not far away as PJ had reached his breaking point with D-Railed.
Nevertheless – and this is quite unusual in this industry – he agreed to record the mentioned 3 piece EP with the band, leaving them on good terms! As no replacement for PJ was found, it almost seemed that this was the end of D-Railed, especially because Pablo took more and more distance between himself and the other guys. When saying distance I mean it literally – Pablo moved to New York to persue his career as a website programmer. However, he never officially left the band and he was only replaced due to his long distant living arrangement.
There has been a bit of turmoil and it did not look good for D-Railed, especially seeing that Justin and Brian at the time created their own project with Sonic Recoil – eventually joined by Tim as well. Funny enough though, D-Railed were just then offered a record deal! An opportunity to work everything out! And they did. The guys sat down with each other and talked it out. Even though PJ did not stay with the band for a very long time, a replacement was found quickly this time (with Deedz who took over the bass duties).
While driving around in the past, we may as well take a listen to one of the above tracks: Gone!
D-Railed is a hard working band who started by playing in small venues around the St. Louis area. They are known for great live shows. The heat built up further with word of mouth propaganda and tireless self-promotion. They have shared the stage with many well known national acts such as Breaking Benjamin, Seether or Psychostick – just to name some of them. All of their songs from ”The Fallen” EP were picked up by various radio stations.
With this success in their luggage, the guys went over to Boston in 2010 to record their next extended play: D-Railed. They worked together with well known producer David Adam Monroe (not the one from the Monroe Republic guys) and the result is amazing. I agree with what it says on the Vodoo Queen Management website: These are the band’s strongest tracks to date and you can notice the huge progress the guys have made.
Some people suggest that the different backgrounds and influences of the band members would be a winning formula to create something unique. I have to disagree. It is almost impossible to create something unique in the music industry and even though I very much enjoy their tunes, there are frequent reminders to other bands. Those who read here frequently will know that I don’t really compare artists though as at the end of the day, the credit always goes to the musicians that I feature.
To me the sound of D-Railed is somewhere in the area of Nu Metal with some old school elements here and there. This is nothing negative and by no means any kind of criticism as I believe that many well known gigs would struggle to achieve this level of performance. What matters even more to me is the fact that D-Railed has a story to tell with their music, they did go through a lot of shit in the past which brings me straight to the amazing track of “Burried Inside”.
When I featured that video a few months back, I refused to show the video as I am not fond of seeing people shooting up. Having seen too much of this when attending school in Zurich (the infamous Needle Park), I simply did not appreciate the grim reminder of this sad chapter. Luckily, people do read my blog and Yvonne Loveland left a comment. The woman in the beginning of the video represents Tim’s mother, a sad but unfortunately true story. This is also the background of this song.
Tim has made it through all these terrible things that happened in his life and for that he earns not just a few pounds of respect but a few hundred tons. For many people such traumatic experiences would simply be an excuse to do it the same way and to blame their childhood for whatever goes wrong with their lives. Not Tim – he has found his passion in music and he has come through.
So what has the self-titled EP to offer apart from Burried Inside?
For starters I’ll Be There! Tune in and you know what I meant with “old school elements”. If you don’t get it, give me a shout! Great lead and rhythm guitar, a catchy melody (you know that this is quite important to me) and the drumming comes through in particular. Less noticeable for once is Deedz but listening carefully it is quite the pleasure to see how well the bass blends in. Quasi incognito this time round. Tim keeps impressing with his vocals and shows us an even bigger variety.
The New Anthem – also the track featured at the end of this article is my favorite. We have parts that are seriously anthem like, there are also fast paced and rhythmic parts. Different elements throughout, quite the melting pot that would bring to light the various influences by each and every band member. Enough talking, take a listen. If you like it, which I know you will, give the guys at least a LIKE on their Facebook Page and send some flowers or a few bottles of champagne to the lovely Ladies at VQM! Watch this space Metalheads as D-Railed will be releasing some new music around may 2013 and I will make sure to write about it!