Three bright youths and a grizzled veteran have formed an elite team of reptilian metal maniacs in order to induce headbanging in no trifling amounts. That band is Children Of The Reptile….check out our interview with Ozzie Darden, vocalist and guitarist below:
XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Ozzie: We just put out a full length record called “The End” which you can get at https://cotr.bandcamp.com/album/the-end. Got a few local gigs with some new friends, and beyond that, just working on new music for the next one.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Ozzie: We really got started in 2010, with some peaks and valleys in terms of activity. Had to replace a drummer, and it took a long time to find the right guy, over a year. Right now we’re on a big upswing for sure, though.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Ozzie: In general, it’s just a creative outlet. If I’m not playing music with people I just feel completely unfulfilled and uncomfortable with myself. I love to write songs more than anything, and I can’t just sit on the couch and do that satisfactorily.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Ozzie: I’ve been playing guitar for 20 years now. I’m not a virtuoso or anything, but I’m not bad. Studied music for a couple semesters in college but it wasn’t really that fun in that environment.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Ozzie: When we started this band, I wanted to convey sword and sandals, Conan the Barbarian type fantasy metal. We’ve expanded some since then but that persists in our songwriting.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Ozzie: Put out another record, go on at least 2 or 3 short tours every year, and grow our audience.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Ozzie: We don’t really set long term goals. We try to be the best band we can be and put ourselves out as much as we can. We just wanna take it as far as we can, but it’s unfeasible for us to do touring across the country 6 months a year thing.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Ozzie: Honestly, probably the former. I’m a songwriter at heart and recording them feels amazing. Playing live is great too, but a lot more tiring and variable in terms of experiences.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Ozzie: All of them stem from either a fantasy or sci-fi base. I write most of the lyrics, and I tend towards writing from a more villainous or dark point of view, though I’m hoping to expand that perspective in future music. It’ll always be fantasy/sci-fi type stuff though. It’s just what i want to hear in metal.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Ozzie: Our tour stories are all pretty boring. Road life is a lot of waiting around and resting when you can. Our drummer, Chase, was trying to get with a girl while being cockblocked by pretty much an entire other band and he nearly pulled it off. Her friends seemingly got tired of dealing with it and got her out of there, which is totally understandable, haha.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Ozzie: One time a guy requested I let him replace me as the singer for the band!
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Ozzie: Yeah, they’re pretty supportive of it. They’re good people.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Ozzie: Probably “Halls of the Skeleton Lord” for me. We do an extended solo section at the end of it where everybody gets a moment in the sun.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Ozzie: Nirvana is probably the band that got me wanting to play guitar and play in a band, but Metallica was the band that really sustained me as a guitarist and musician in those early years.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Ozzie:Us, Visigoth, Slough Feg, and Manilla Road.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Ozzie: Probably our latest album. We’re all really proud of it, and the feedback we’ve gotten has been amazing and surprising.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Ozzie: Well, it’d be a stretch to call this a career. We try to break even doing this band, but the rest of us have jobs. Chris (Millard, guitar) and I work at mojotone, a company that makes amps and guitar pickups. Pils (Hufham, bass) works with the sound crew at a local venue. Chase (Kelly, drums) works on tugboats.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Ozzie: Marshall amps, guitars, drums, and a few pedals.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Ozzie: Metal is probably better than it’s ever been right now, honestly. There are some great traditional metal bands playing right now, and lots of good bands kind of moving it forward in weird, cool directions. There’s something for everybody. As far as the mainstream, well, it’s getting worse all the time!
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Ozzie: I guess the age ranges in the band, maybe? I’m 34, two members are 26, and our youngest is 23.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Ozzie: Thin Lizzy harmonies with classic Metallica riffs.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Ozzie: I’d just like to ask any fan of metal to check out our new record “The End” and to any fans out there, I’d just like to thank you. I’d be doing this even if people didn’t like it but all y’all that are down with what we’re doing make it a whole lot easier to keep hammering away on the forge of metal!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XSRock!