Agentz

Agentz: Logo

Tell us briefly the history of Agentz. When were they created and by whom? Who were the initial members?

The band was started by me. I met Pat Dubs through a mutual friend. Pat was one of the original members of the band Savatage. There were several members of Agentz before the final line-up. The very first version was with Charlie Wang (Guitar) and Steve Romano (Drums). The final version was as follows: Patrick Dubs (Vocals), Jose Ferro (Bass, Guitars, Keyboards and vocals), Tommy Tindall (Keyboards), Jason Sabo (Guitar), and John Cappadona (Drums).

Do you have any demos/unreleased songs?

There are some un-released demos; I am reviewing them right now. One of the demos of Agentz material is with the last singer, Barry Calvagna. That would have been the third version of Agentz. He sounded much different than Pat. I am still thinking of what to do with that demo.

If yes how many?

I would say another albums worth.

Any plans of releasing them?

Yes, after my review of the material and quality. I may re-record some of the songs.

How did it happen and you cooperated with Dream Records - a label from France?

This was a very funny story. I was making some songs/demos in my apartment in New York with Pat. Pat had taken some of the demos and sent them to various magazines overseas (without telling me!). One day when I was working at Sam Ash Music, I got a call from a friend who said there was a great review of the new Agentz Demo. I told him he was crazy because we never sent anything out; I was VERY picky of what was to be sent out. So he said to look for the review in Metal Forces, the U.K. based in the magazine (issue #16, February 1986, Steve Hammonds reviewed it; Pantera was on the cover in the old style Glam look). I was very upset at Pat because it was a simple 4 track tape and I thought it sounded bad. But the review was great! I decide to start recording an album with my own money. I re-recorded the songs on the demo and then sent more of the tapes to other magazines. Metal Forces (issue #20 Sept 1986) reviewed it again (Dave Reynolds wrote the article) and gave us another great review. A few days later I got a call from someone named Jean-Claude at Dream Records. I first thought it was a joke from someone in the band. I was about to hang up before the person started speaking French then I realized it was not a joke. So the rest is history.

Do you have any relationships with bands from the same label (e.g ESP, St. Elmo's Fire etc)?

The only one I knew was Jack Starr from Jack Star’s Burning Starr. I have known Jack for years. I also think he put in a good word for us at Dream Records. The last time I spoke to him was about 2 years ago.

Did you have any proposals from other labels in the USA in order to release "Stick to your guns"?

I never pursued any labels in the U.S.; I was concentrating on Europe first.

Did you receive any letters of support and if yes from which places?

Yes, I did. Agentz received a lot from Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Holland and Sweden.

Which was the reaction of fans to the album?

All the letters were great! They all told us they loved the music!

Do you have any other official releases apart from "Stick to your guns"?

I have done several other projects. The last one was a Punk/Pop CD called The Lectric Chairs on Dionysus Records. The Main singer/songwriter is a friend of mine Marsh Gooch. He’s the Marketing Director for Tascam USA.

Tell us some things about your gigs. Did you play in any big gig supporting a famous band?

Agentz played with numerous bands such as Cinderella, Savatage, KIX, Adam Bomb and Meat Loaf in the US.

With which bands did you play and where (e,g USA, Europe)? Did you play any cover songs? If yes name some songs.

No.

Your songs featured some types of different vocals (some more melodic and some more raw). Where they performed by the same singer?

Pat did all the vocals for Agentz.

What purpose did those differences serve (musical or lyrical)?

I don’t really understand your question.

Which were the reasons Agentz split up?

Resentments, jealousy, egos, stupidity and pure laziness on the part of some the members. At the time I was the only one in the band who was married with a child. I financed the recordings, rehearsals and wrote all the songs. My wife, (who is the model on the "Stick to your guns" cover…a big secret until now!) Ellen did all the bookings and correspondence to all to magazines and the record company. I put myself under constant pressure to make Agentz to be the biggest band in the world while some people in the band just wanted to be "rockstars". I also believe there was a lot of mis-communication between Pat and myself. At the end, we were not going in the same direction.

When did it happen and what was the fate of the other members?

It happened about a year after the record came out. I know that John Cappadona had started his own project called Beggars Opera and Tommy Tindall started teaching piano. I heard Jason Sabo became a lawyer. I am not sure what Pat Dubs is doing. I have been trying to locate him.

Did they participate in music projects-(if yes give some names) or did they retire from music?

See above.

What feelings do you get looking back to the Agentz days?

Sometimes it bothers me, because if I knew what I know now it would have been a different story.

Do you miss those times?

Yes, but that was then, now is now.

Today your LP is sold by some dealers for 90-100$. Have any dealers approached you searching for spare copies?

I was told several time by my friends in Europe about how the album was selling for, I was amazed! No one has approached me about more copies. I know there was a bootleg (not authorized by me) on Racer Records, but I heard the pressing sounded like shit. That is why I decide to have the album re-mastered and re-release it.

Do you know in how many copies it was pressed?

I do not know how many DREAM Records made.

Do you have any plans for re-releasing it?

Yes, the album was re-mastered by Christopher James Roberts (Chris has worked with Chris Botti and Shaun Colvin) and Charlie Watts did the job at TechnoVoice Studios here in California. It sounds great! I am looking for some labels to re-release it on CD. I am also working on a new project called Screamin’ Lords. This band will feature Robin McAuley (MSG) on Vocals along with other guest artist like George Lynch, (Lynch Mob, Dokken), Bruce Kulick (Ex-Kiss), Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth) and Gus G (Firewind). Christopher will be engineering and mixing that project.

Are Agentz still alive today?

I have spoken to John about possibly getting together again but we cannot find Pat Dubs.

What are the plans of the band for the future?

As the Agentz song goes, "Time will Tell".

What were your main influences as a band?

We were all influenced by so many bands; it would take a few pages to list them all. I was mainly influence by ALL the great British bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, AC/DC and Judas Priest , just to name a few.

How would you describe the music of Agentz?

The main goal was for Agentz to be commercial, but be heavy. I think we did achieve that.

What music do you listen today?

I listen to a lot of the new bands. Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy, Firewind, one German band that did a few albums but never quite made it in America was Farmer Boys. They were great. There was one album, "The World is Ours", which was what I would have wanted Agentz to sound like! The guitarist Alex Schlopp is GREAT! I met him a few years ago, and saw him this past March in Germany. We are actually discussing working together on a project.

What does heavy metal/hard rock mean to you?

It means everything to me. I have had good times; bad times, joy and pain playing metal/rock music. But I wouldn’t trade all of my experiences for the world. I have this license plate holder for my car that my daughter bought me for my birthday, it says: Once a "Metal-Head" always a "Metal-Head". That really says it for me!

Interview done by Vaggelis Fotakis in May 2006 for ROCK BRIGADE FANZINE.