Dean Wallace and the Black Flames

Our A-Z challenge is a fun way to get to know the many bands and artists out there. Here it’s the turn of Dean Wallace of Dean Wallace and the Black Flame to tell us all about themselves!

A song that made you want to make music?

One, by Metallica. I heard the very famous breakdown on MTV, the one where the kick drum sends some machine gun bursts. I didn’t know the name of the song, and we had no Shazam back then, so it took me days to find it back on my brother’s record collection.

Best rider you’ve had?

We played a festival in France in July, called Quai des Sons, and we had everything we needed, without even asking. We had our own tent, and a common area with a bridge full of wine, beer and softs. That was great.

Craziest moment you’ve had in the band?
We played in a music and wrestling festival in Geneva. It’s been a total disaster. The stage was stuck behind the ring, so the 12 people attending the show were even able to approach the stage. And the delay was caught up on our set, so we actually played 4 songs. Hopefully it was ridiculous enough to be funny.

Deepest lyric one of your songs features?

The lyrics of our forthcoming single “See what I’m All About” are quite deep actually (to be released on December 15th on every platform). It deals with a guy being arrogant upon divinity, saying he has every power God pretends to have. The delivery is quite surprising…Easiest song you wrote?

“Our only chance” ( I don’t remember anything from the writing process on that one,like it has been written by someone else and handed to me.Favourite song in your set?

It’s a song which has not been released yet, called “…To Hate”. It’s the second part of a short rock opera, and it’s very cool to play live, because it has some interesting time signature changes. It’s a good challenge

Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?

Marty Friedman. I really love the solos of this guy. What he did on Megadeth’s albums is genius.

Hardest thing about being in a band?

To please everyone. Being “Dean Wallace and The Black Flames” makes things easier I must say, we know who holds the reins. But I don’t want to act like a dictator and be hated by my bandmates, so I get their opinion on almost every decision, and it’s very hard to please everyone.

Interesting fact about one of your members?

When I was living in the UK, I was close to a place called Biggleswade. And when I met my bassist (who’s British), I asked him “where are you from ?”, and he said “there’s no way you know the village I grew up in”. It was Biggleswade. And a few years later, when we met our new guitarist, he and the bassist realised they had worked in the same company 15 years ago. Our drummer toured Europe, China and Brazil with a jazz quartet. He actually met his wife in Brazil.

Jokes you have in the band?

We are very much into stupid dad jokes. And we are currently into a period of “That’s what she said…”. For example, if one of us is changing batteries in his guitar and says “That one’s too big”, the first one who says “That’s what she said…” wins.

Key to writing a song?

Discipline. You can find out some great riffs while jamming, but only discipline would turn these riffs into great songs. I personally listen to my demos again and again, and try different arrangements, structures, and stop only when I’m fully satisfied.

Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?

Few hours drive, to Lyon (France) oand Lausanne (Switzerland)

Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?

Our drummer is very inspiring actually, because he can play every genre. We have a cover band together, and sometimes play some Steve Wonder or Prince classics, and his groove with ghost notes on hi hats and snare is amazing.New band you’d recommend?

Not really, I mostly listen to old stuff.Opening for this band would be ideal?

Our style is quite close to Metallica’s. And they have been quite innovative throughout their career, so their fans are open minded.
Our style being close and innovative, it would be great to tour with them (it’s a dream, no worries).

Place you’d most like to tour?

Planet Earth.

Quote you’d like to pass on to our readers?

“This is just us, doing what we do” – Cliff Burton, 1986

Reason for the title of your recent/forthcoming release?

Our latest release is entitled “New World Disorder”. I read that some influential people were willing to create a new world order during the pandemic (maybe they still are). I don’t know at what stage of their plan they are, but when I see what’s going on on the news, it looks more like a disorder to me.

See us live at?

Bookings are being made right now, but we cannot confirm any date at the moment. We are trying to organize a tour of clubs in western europe next year.

The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?

Yes I agree. Artists were actual musicians and singers. You had no chord libraries in your computer, nore any pluggins to correct your vocals. Which means artists we had in the old days were actually very good, and spend their lives on the road. Only the best could break through, and as a result, the quality of the music was very high.

Unusual merchandise?

No, not really. We only have t-shirts and CDs.

Variations you’d like to do on any of your songs?

Since the first album, I’ve improved a lot on my singing, so it’s a bit hard to listen to it now, but I would change a thing. As I said, I only stop working on a song when I’m fully satisfied. And recording a song is a way to say : “stop, this song is done, we’re not taking it anywhere else, let’s freeze it”.

What do your fans mean to you?

I’m very grateful, because I’m very honest in my songwriting. I’m not using any strategy to please anyone or to have a hit song, it’s only coming from my heart. So when a person loves my songs, I’m very proud and grateful. I treat them very respectfully, if anyone contacts me on social networks, I gladelly have a chat with them.X-rays or any treatments needed for band related injuries?

Talking. We sort everything out by talking. When you leave a frustration behind, it will explode in your face sooner or later.You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?

Mine. I’m very professional and respectful, but I have serious trouble figuring out the time I need to get somewhere, and therefore, I’m late pretty much all the time. Not very late, but late though.

Zoo animal that next describes the personality of your band?

Wolf, maybe. They work as a pack, under supervision of a boss. They are fierce and aggressive, but classy and nice looking.

Elizabeth Birt

January 3, 2024

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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