DARK CASTLE: Stevie Floyd emerges as a new high priestess
By Ben Balanoff
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Florida metal band
Dark Castle live at Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago.
After the show, vocalist and guitarist Stevie Floyd was
nice enough to grant us an interview. Enjoy…
Q: Having come from Florida, a region that’s
produced a lot of heavy and relevant metal bands in the
last few decades (as well as some interesting scenes), are
there any hometown Floridian bands, venues, etc. that you
were influenced by growing up?
There have been countless influential bands to come out
of Florida. Rob and I were heavily inspired by Death and
still are. They were so innovative for their time, yet so
rooted within the truest form of metal. I grew up in Jacksonville.
There was an amazing venue called the Milkbar where they
had shows almost every night of the week. I played my first
show there when I was 14. I used to sneak out of my window
on school nights to see shows all of the time until I got
caught. Rob is from South Florida- Ft Lauderdale. He was
also in bands from a super young age. I’ve seen videos
of him shredding and sweeping on guitar when he was 12.
He was definitely a child prodigy.
Q: Whats the best/worst/craziest thing you’ve
ever experienced while on tour?
Best…we were in Michigan and this amazing dude showed
up right before we were about to play with these necklaces
he made for us out of copper and bone…very detailed,
intricate, woven copper through these huge vertebrae bones.
We put them on immediately and played. Craziest... karaoke
involving Godsmack and Hanson.
Q: Currently, what have you been listening to?
Anything at present that you’re hooked on?
I listen to Death almost every day. I am and have been
completely addicted to Lurker of Chalice, YOB, Bathory,
US Christmas, Warning, Lifelover, Drudkh, Rwake, the newest
Burzum rules, old Scorpions, Dead Can Dance, Ministry, Soundgarden,
WovenHand, and the newest Alice in Chains.
Q: One record that changed your life?
Every Death album
Q: What direction do you see Dark Castle taking
in the next 5 years?
I don’t like predicting the future but I can say
that we are always growing musically, always putting everything
that we have into writing the most pure and authentic music
possible. It is all that we know and all that drives us.
Lots of touring I’m sure and never ending writing/recording.
We just finished recording a new album that we feel very
good about…and we can’t wait to play it live.
Q: What inspired you to be a musician?
I was obsessed with music since I was a child. My mother
sang opera and my father had an extensive record collection.
He introduced me to a lot of 70’s prog rock/metal.
I started making mix tapes and mix videos when I was 8.
My mother had me taking piano lessons by the time I was
5 years old. I absolutely loved classical piano…until
I got my hands on a guitar…then it was all over.
Q: How do you feel your sound has evolved since
first forming Dark Castle?
It took us a few years to really melt and mold our styles
and creative forces together. Amongst our differences, music
always brought us together. We were always incredibly inspired
by multicultural scales and intense time signatures. I feel
like with our demo and EP we were still trying to figure
out how to tie together all of our influences. Our last
album started to tap into what we were trying to convey.
It’s amazing how we’ve really slowed it down,
gotten simpler …yet more dynamic at the same time
I feel. This new recording I think is fully capturing what
we were meant to do musically and also vocally. All I can
hope for is to grow more and more, and to be open to all
inspiration that comes our way…and to then pass it
on through our music to everyone that listens.
Q: I understand you used to be a tattoo artist.
Do you still pursue your art when you’re not busy
with Dark Castle? (And if so, is there a link to your work
Yes, I’ve been tattooing for 9 years. I love it.
I have an appointment only studio in Florida. I stay pretty
busy when we’re not on tour.
Q: One thing you wanna do before you die?
Record an album with everyone that has ever inspired me.
Q: I’ve heard you described as “the
hottest woman in metal” and I’m curious- when
people say things like that, do you find it flattering,
or do you resent being potentially looked at differently
because you’re a woman in a scene dominated primarily
I find it very flattering, and I am honored. I feel like
as long as you are being true to yourself and writing music
from your heart and soul in its most honest pure form…always
pushing boundaries…always drawing inspiration from
endless sources…then how can it be a bad thing? I
am used to being around mostly guys, I always have been.
Yes I am a woman, but I’m just a human going through
the same motions of life as any man…we’re all
just here doing the same thing…trying to cope and
make life fun. All I can hope is for more and more girls
to push music past its limits, expand minds and horizons
beyond its present state.
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