Geezer Butler Supergroup Deadland Ritual Ended When ‘Reality Hit’
The band also featured Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum and Apocalyptica singer Franky Perez. They released their first single in 2018 and later said an album’s worth of material was written, but they haven’t been active since the pandemic began.
“It was really difficult,” Stevens told Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM. “We went out and toured Europe. We're all seasoned musicians and we're used to a certain lifestyle, and here we were having to open. We did a number of festival dates and small club dates. Initially, everyone said they were willing to do that, willing to get in the trenches. ... When reality hit, and there was crappy food and crappy hotels and all that kind of stuff, I think people lost interest.”
Butler said in 2021 that the band was “dead” after Sorum decided to leave just before album sessions began, and then “everything closed down” because Stevens had a lung condition that meant the coronavirus posed an extreme risk to him. “We just didn’t revive it,” the bassist noted.
In the new interview, Stevens paid tribute to the other members and reported that they all remained friends. “From the first day of rehearsal, to walk in there and play against the sound of Geezer Butler, man, I would have paid just to be there," he added. "Incredible … such a unique and profound influence on music, those records and that sound that I grew up with, and there I am playing against it! The hair stood up on my fucking arms. I mean, it was incredible. … And the rhythm section of him and Matt was undeniable.”