Genre: Power / Thrash metal
Andrew D'Cagna - Vocals
Jim Dofka - Guitar
Stu Dowling - Guitar
James Babcock - Bass
Jeff Kalp - Drums
Toxic Wasteland - 1990
Wrecking Ball - 2008
Humanity Bleak - 2010
1. When was the band created?
Somewhere around 1989-1990 the first lineup was formed. For a short
time the band was re-named PSYCHO SCREAM. This newest lineup was created
2. Which are your main influences?
I listen from everything from Bach to KING's X to SLAYER, to MESHUGGAH.
Also all the classics BLACK SABBATH, DIO, DEEP PURPLE, THIN LIZZY, Frank
Marino. I'm a music fan just as much as I am a musician, so all of it has
some sort of impact or influence.
3. Tell us some things about the current members and about the bands
they have played in.
We live in 3 different states. Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Drummer Dr. Metal played in the 90s thrash band PHANTOM CREW. He really
is a Doctor as he has is Doctorate in music composition. He also played
in the Los Angelos based THROTTLE. When he heard DOFKA was looking for
a drummer, he moved back to Pennsylvania. He's been rocking with us ever
since. Singer Andrew D'Cagna is a man of many traits. He lives in Ohio
and is the owner of Sacred Sound Recording Studios. http://www.myspace.com/obsidiansoundstudio
4. Tell us with details about all the bands that you have played in.
When he first joined DOFKA he was playing guitar in WILDERKIN, playing
drums in COSMIC ENFORCER and also vocalist for the legendary ANGELRUST.
One very talented HARD working dude! Just prior to the DOFKA "Humanity
Bleak" release, Andrew recorded a cool split solo EP where he played every
instrument. Very SABBATHy and HEAVY!!! He's certainly a great assett to
the reborn version of DOFKA!
Bass player James Babcock and I have known one another for several
years. He resides in Pennsylvania. He played in the band THIS TORTURED
SOUL. Later James and I played in a BLACK SABBATH/Ozzy tribute show known
as BLACK SUNDAY. We were writting songs together during that time and a
few of them are songs on the DOFKA "Humanity Bleak" CD.
All the bands??? Wow that would take a few pages. I'll try and make
this as brief as possible but it's still going to be a long answer. 1986-1990
I played in SCREAMER. SCREAMER played an average of 25 shows per month.
We released several demos. This was my first experience with the underground
metal scene. I began sending cassette demos all over the world and before
you knew it, we were featured in all the major metal magazines. Labels
were soliciting demos and press kits. The music industry was so different
back then! Although SCREAMER had a few nice proposals, we were not able
to sign any of the deals. However, the demos are still floating around
to this day.
5. Which of this stuff is commercially available?
I was also in BRICK MISTRESS. We traveled and played shows all over
the East Coast, released a couple of demos and independant EPs. We had
a few offers as well, but the band members could not agree to go forward
with any of the record deals. One record company that kept coming back
was Black Dragon Records/BMG (Paris, France). Again we were not able to
sign a deal due to personal issues with the band members. Just like the
SCREAMER demos, the BRICK MISTRESS demos are still floating around. Over
the years with SCREAMER and BRICK MISTRESS, I was getting to know Agnes
from Black Dragon Records. Agnes said,Jim we're waiting for you, just go
in and give us a record! So we worked out the deal and I finally signed
with them for Europe. DOFKA's "Toxic Wasteland" was then released. We did
do some touring for that record. It sold fairly decent all things considered.
That was in 1990 when the grunge scene was becoming popular in the USA.
"Toxic Wasteland" was on an official label for Europe and we pressed it
our self just to sell at shows here in the USA. We went to Cleveland to
record the 2nd DOFKA CD. Our singer left the band, we hired another singer
and temporarily called the band PSYCHO SCREAM instead of DOFKA. The live
lineup of PSYCHO SCREAM did not last long and the band disolved...
There were a few other band lineups and recordings, but that brings
us to NOW. We decided to return to the name DOFKA and try and keep some
consistancy! DOFKA 2010 "Humanity Bleak" is here!
DOFKA's "Humanity Bleak" is available. Everything else is out of
print, both the European pressings and the USA releases.
6. Does the band have any old un-released material? If yes do you plan
to re-release any of it with or with remix and remaster?
Yes we recorded the DOFKA "Wrecking Ball" CD in 2005-2006. We are
thinking of doing a re-mixed remastered version of "Toxic Wasteland" and
including the "Wrecking Ball" sessions as a bonus CD. However, right now
focus is on promoting the new DOFKA release.
7. "Toxic Wasteland" is one of my favourite U.S. metal discs ever. I
liked your new CD even though I wasn’t thrilled with the vocals. Tell us
your opinion about the 3 discs that DOFKA have released and make a comparison.
Really? I think Andrew sounds fantastic on the new CD? I feel this
is the 1st release I've done that has polished vocals. I'm really happy
with Andrew's vocals, his melodies, writing and performance? This is also
the 1st record I've ever done where you can understand all of the lyrics,
hahaha... And that's no joke.
8. Why did decide to release your new album alone? Isn’t it difficult
to do all by yourself?
As for comparing the releases, "Toxic Wasteland" was an album that
was written, recorded and released in 4 weeks. I had a very short time
to write and record that record. I felt I had to impress the world with
guitar madness and played like crazy on that release. It was certainly
a great stepping stone for me. It was a "guitar focused" CD. I'm still
guitar focused but I now feel I'm more into the SONGWRITING as a whole.
If there's a place I feel I need to go guitar crazy, of course I'll do
it,but now I really take pride in the songwriting.
With "Wrecking Ball" we really worked hard to make the vocals the
forefront, there's definitely guitar shredding going on, but the vocals,
vocal melodies and the vocal hooks were the prime focus. That release will
I think the new DOFKA CD "Humanity Bleak" is a much more pure, organic
release. We wanted to make sure everything was very focused, clear and
articulate... but not stale. I truly feel we achieved just that! This record
was geared towards musical craftsmanship amongst all the members in the
band, it's not just a guitar-wank record.
Umm? I am learning about those difficulties right now, hahaha. To
be honest, We never bothered to shop it to the labels. We had a vision
musically and didn't think about the labels. We didn't want anyone controling
the direction of the band or the band's music. We did everything by ourselves.
We recorded, mixed, produced, mastered, packaged and paid for everything
ourselves. As much work as it is, I'm really glad we did it this way.
9. Have you heard any new good releases in the classic hard rock/heavy
metal genre? If yes give us some basic info about these bands including
their musical style.
A few labels caught wind of this release, they asked what we planned
to do and asked if we were interested in having them release it? We still
thought it was best to do ourselves.
Most people purchase music through digital download or steal it
through the Torrents. This really limits the amount of CDs that are sold.
The labels and record companies are hurting. They are not giving the bands
the tour support they need. There's practically nO metal magazines left?
There's plenty to do on the internet to promote your music. There's some
great webzines like Bravewords and Metal Maniacs, all former print magazines.
So many of the old magazine editors and writers have come forward to help
us with this release as they know we did it all ourselves.
We have it available at all the digital download distributors, and
most major metal CD vendors as well as through our website. Anyone who
wants the DOFKA "Humanity Bleak" CD can certainly aquire it without much
trouble finding it. In this day and age,there's not much that a label can
do that we can't do ourselves?
ICARUS WITCH's new "Draw Down The Moon" CD rocks! CROWN THE LOST
released an amazing thrash CD just last year. ARGUS released an amazing
Sabbathy doom style CD... I'm also recording the new AFTERSHOK CD at my
studio, great melodic hard rock! I am sure this will be their best release.
I liked the last JON OLIVA'S PAIN CD too! The new ARSIS is pounding METAL!!!
Just finished tracking and co-producing a band called VICIOUS CYCLE, very
cool melodic metal!
10. What should we expect from the band’s live concert? Any plans for
some gigs in Europe or around Greece?
Well it's different everywhere we play. For example, we played our
record release show in Wheeling last week and played a 1 1/2 hour set.
Sometimes we play a short 45 minute set. Depends on the situation. Most
of our shows, we headline. We usually have an opening band or 2 opening
bands, we then play a long set with material from the band's life timespan.
AS for Europe, we planned to come to Czech Republic and Poland last year
but the CD was not released yet. We were invited again this year, but our
singer informed us he was planning on starting a family and could not travel
out of the country at the moment.
11. Do you believe that the somehow complicated material of your first
album is it easy to be played live?
I'm so anxious to get over there, but it will most likely not be
in support of this CD as it was released in February and after just a few
months, it's considered an old release by the industry. So maybe after
the next Dofka CD, we'll come to Europe.
With the old band lineup, we used to play all of the "Toxic Wasteland"
CD. And yes, it was hard to play. With this lineup we only play 1 of those
songs, an easy one, "There Is No More" and we've simplified the drum parts.
I wouldn't mind revisiting some of those old songs for the future live
set. However, the thought of learning those songs is intimidating.
12. Even though you’re a really good guitarist and active for many years
your name is not so known in the underground “system” (at least here in
Greece) in comparison to band which had one or two releases back in the
‘80s and then broke-up. Make a comment about that.
Well due to the length of time with DOFKA releasing new CDs, I can
understand that theory. Now I have a great hard working lineup, and I hope
to release CDs more frequently. I think that will certainly be part of
the solution for making that change! To be honest, we receive great response
from Greece. We have more vendors, distributors and CD shops from Greece
ordering the new CD than places such as Germany and France.
13. Tell us how you see the Cleveland Cavaliers this year? Will they
manage to yet the ring this year?
Haha, I am not a sports fanatic, and I think the Cavaliers are a
basketball team? But I can't even tell you that for sure? You want to talk
sports, our bass player James Babcock will blow out your eardrum talking
about The Pittsburgh Steelers and The Pittsburgh Penguins. I watch a game
now and then, but I am not obsessive with sports like so many around me...
14. Thank you for the interview. Leave a comment to our readers.
Thank you for the support and the interview. You can always find
us and any news on www.dofka.com
Please help spread the word about DOFKA and the new CD "Humanity
Bleak". True Metal Lives!
Ioannis "Knight of the Light" Kaskamanidis