NEIL TURBIN (Deathriders) – Sing it like you mean it

NEIL TURBIN (Deathriders) – Sing it like you mean it

(…this interview is in English…)

Neil Turbin, mannen som var vokalist i Anthrax før Joey Belladonna tok over. Han var i realiteten bandets tredje vokalist, men da det var Neil Turbin som gjorde vokalen på debutskiva "Fistful of Metal", blir han regnet av de fleste som bandets første faste vokalist. Turbin stod også bak vokalen på de 2 siste låtene på CD utgaven av EP-en "Armed and Dangerous" som kom ut i 1985, faktisk etter at han hadde forlatt Anthrax. Neil Turbin har flere sterke meninger om både det ene og det andre. Han anbefaler for eksempel nye vokalister å heller kopiere enklere låter med "enklere" vokalister enn å begynne å prøve å kopiere Dio eller Halford. Her er The Deepthroat Series med ex-Anthrax vokalist Neil Turbin, nå vokalist i Deathriders.



When did you start doing extreme vocals (What year and at what age)?

Right when I came out of the womb, the doctor slapped my ass! And I was screaming ever since!!!!

What made you start to do extreme vocals? 

I was always inspired by great vocalists that pushed the limits.

Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using? 

I’m using the "sing it like you mean it" technique!

Has your technique changed during your career? 

No, I always sing hard power vocals and I never hold back! I give it 1000 % the entire time.  My vocal skills have expanded due to my passion for singing different genres of music.

Have you ever hurt yourself by using a "wrong technique"? 

No, but it is possible to hurt yourself in a number of ways. For example if you are not warmed up and you’re going to be using and abusing your muscles, which would include vocal cords.  You need to warm them up, get the blood going, and get the upper and lower registers connected by singing through the notes, scales and vocalizing the vowels that are usually held out in belting it out and in screams. Would you go to the Superbowl without warming up before the big game?

Is there something you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?

Some people think that practice makes perfect. If you are repeating the same thing incorrectly over and over again, you’ll be very good at doing it all wrong. I believe Perfect Practice makes perfect. If you want to become really good at something, you have to do it for at least 10,000 hours. You need to understand the voice and exactly how it works. Getting rest is very important for the voice. It is the only way we heal. 

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Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals? 

People who sing incorrectly can damage their voice in many types of music that are demanding on the voice, not just extreme vocals.

What is most important for you – to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms, or to have a clear diction/pronunciation? 

I don’t give a fuck about either of those. I just want to kick ass!!!! And hit you hard in the chest!!!! When I sing it is very physical!!!!

Do you think that extreme vocals can be made into a science, like "this is how it works for everyone, to make this sound you have to do this etc"? Or is it more intuitive and individual how to do it?

No, but you need to do your homework if you are serious about it. You need to understand how your instrument works and how to best leverage your voice. Everyone has a unique voice, but not everyone has developed it to the fullest potential. It is not a science project or cookie cutter. What it is is an art and that’s how it should be approached. It takes great discipline, talent and perseverance in art to be outstanding!

Some folks interpretation of Extreme Vocals may differ from mine. I consider Extreme Vocals to be using the voice like the Extreme Instrument that it is. Not growling and clean voice which is like using only two strings on a guitar. You only have growl and non-growl. That’s only two modes. I consider the use of the entire super modal dynamic range of notes, octaves and scales with vocal power!!!! To be Extreme Metal Thrashing Mad!!!! Vocals.

Do you have any advice to people who wants to start doing extreme vocals? 

Yes, start singing along to vocalists that you admire, but are somewhat attainable. In other words trying to sing like the best singers on the planet is not going to be easy, so better to start with songs that are not that demanding at first. You can’t expect to sing like a Halford, Dio, Dickinson, right out of the gate. If you want to be a cookie monster, watch Sesame Street daily! And say Hi to Big Bird for me!

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Mention three extreme vocalists whose style you admire, and explain your choice. What specifically do you like about the styles of those three?

Rob Halford, The Metal God!!!! I‘ve heard his raw vocal tracks against Bruce Dickinson raw vocal tracks. Halford sings very hard while Dickinson has a more rounded approach.  Halfords vocal tracks are extremely devastatingly heavy. Listen to "The One You Love to Hate". 

Ronnie James Dio is dynamic and a remarkable iconic voice. In his years with Elf, Rainbow and Black Sabbath he was a supreme vocalist above and beyond mere mortals, not to mention his great career as a solo artist with the band Dio. So extreme of a heavy metal singer that he was fashioned by Doo Wop of the late 1950’s and had records out before The Beatles.  Freaking amazing where he came from and where he went. I attended his memorial service at Forest Lawn in May 2010. Dio was a crooner like Frank Sinatra and was to heavy metal, what Elvis was to Rock and Roll. Ronnie James Dio is the King of Heavy Metal! 

Who else can hang with these big dogs?  Well my vote goes to:

Bon Scott who has pure conviction and style as a vocalist who sang hard and truly invented the nasally raspy tearing vocal style that influenced so many.  Bon Scott’s vocal delivery is fierce and precise with a wicked sense of humor.

Also mention three vocalists (not necessarily extreme vocalists) which you have been influence by, and explain in which way you have been influenced by each of them.

Paul Rodgers, the master of soulful rock singers. He is the blueprint of what vocal integrity is. Kind of like a Dio of Hard Rock.

Glenn Hughes is master of soulful funk, blues and rock with first tenor soprano screams
with great finesse. I was actually close friends with Glenn back in the 1997 to 1999 years. Glenn is like the Halford of Hard Rock and Funk.

Stevie Wonder is a super extreme vocalist and has influenced so many. The thing that is really amazing is he innovated it right from the beginning when he was only a child.

Honorable mention: Enrico Caruso. His powerful voice would fill and reverberate a huge Opera House before there was amplification. His incredible finesse and dynamic delivery is unmatched even today. He brought people to tears in his Italian Operas through expressions of sadness and beauty through his vocals. He was a vocal monster of his time

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Who do you want to challenge in this series? (Who should be the next extreme vocalist to answer these questions?) Give a brief explanation for your choice.

Jonny Lindqvist of Nocturnal Rites. He strikes the perfect dynamic balance between super range melodic and powerful vocals.

Check out and Stay Screamin’ in 2011 m/><m/ 

Best Thrashings!!!! and Cheers!!!! /Neil T