Death Angel‘s frontman Mark Osegueda recently opened up about the difficult process of informing his bandmates that he had joined Slayer guitarist Kerry King’s solo project. During an appearance on the Let There Be Talk podcast hosted by rock and roll comedian Dean Delray, Osegueda detailed the challenges he faced due to a strict non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with King’s team.

Osegueda explained: “Oh, man. With this one, it’s tough. I really had to respect the NDA. I really did. And it was eating at me. ‘Cause Death Angel has been touring consistently — we toured consistently when the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the world reopened, we went right back out on the road. And this was all happening.”

He described how he struggled to keep the secret from his bandmates, especially during moments of camaraderie on tour when he wanted to share the exciting news: “I was starting to do these demos during the pandemic, and then, after that, I was regularly seeing Kerry to do more demos for his debut solo album when the world opened. And Kerry‘s record was done for a year before it came out. And I’d be on tour with Death Angel. And there were some nights where me and Rob were in the lounge, just me and him, drinking, listening to music and just laughing and talking like we do. And it just took everything in me not to tell him what was going on. It’s so hard to not just say, ‘Look, bro. Look, bro.’

He further elaborated on the secrecy, noting that only his girlfriend, mother, and sister were aware of his involvement in the project, aside from those bound by NDAs at the studio: “This is one of those things that just, like it or not, some people will think I’m an ass about it, but I just kind of really promised — I promised Kerry and I signed the NDA. I promised everyone I wasn’t gonna let anyone know. The only people who knew were my girlfriend, my girl, my mom and my sister. We didn’t even tell my dad ’cause my dad has loose lips. So we didn’t even tell him then. So those are the three people who knew. And, of course, people who were at the studio when we were recording, and shit like that, who were all NDA people as well.”

Osegueda chose to inform his dad and his bandmates via email on the same day that the official announcement was made. He recalled, “It’s fucked up, but I waited and let him know through e-mail the same day that the official announcement of Kerry‘s new band happened in early February. And then shortly thereafter I talked to Rob and Ted.”

In his email, he acknowledged the potential shock, writing, “I said in the e-mail, ‘Look, this is the toughest thing for me to tell you.’ And how I worded it in one aspect to them was just pretty much, ‘This is gonna be either the most surprising thing in the world to you or, slash, the most obvious thing in the world to you.’ And I even said at the end, ’cause it was an e-mail to all the guys, and I just said, ‘Take some time to really process all this before you respond, before we talk. Let all this kind of sink in, and then when come together, if you wanna talk to me, then we’ll all talk.’.

During a subsequent call with Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar, the initial shock was evident, but they ultimately expressed support and happiness for Osegueda: “Shortly thereafter, I talked to Ted and Rob. And they were still a little sideswiped, for sure — for sure. I could see it in their faces… We did a FaceTime kind of Zoom call, the three of us, and they were both definitely still in kind of a state of processing it.

“But by the end of the call, after we talked for about an hour, they were supportive, for sure, happy for me. And they both did say, ‘Now that you mention it, man, it is kind of the most obvious fucking thing in the world.’ But it was tough, man. I’m not gonna lie. It’s tough, ’cause we’ve been through so much together — so much together — especially me and Rob.

“I mean, not to take away from… Shit, Ted‘s been in the band since 2001, and now Damien and Will have been in the band for well over a decade now. So it’s crazy. But, of course, me and Rob, we’ve known each other since we were in the crib. So that it was a tough one. But now, Rob is very, very supportive. Before the first Kerry King show, I got a text from him saying, ‘Have a fucking killer show, bro.’ And all this stuff. The Kerry King album release day, he sent me congratulations on release day. Ted as well. So, they’ve come to accept it. And I think it’s already brought a lot of attention to Death Angel. And it’s gonna keep doing that. But it was tough.”

“I’m excited about everything. I’m excited about everything ahead. But, yeah, for sure, it was definitely a delicate situation,” he added. “Even before it was happening, when I knew it was coming up, it was, like, ‘I’ve gotta choose my words carefully.’ It’s tough. But now that it’s out, I feel so relieved — so relieved — it’s out. And since then, we’ve Death Angel toured South and Central America together recently, and that was the first tour we did since the Kerry King announcement and some of Kerry‘s songs have been released. So everyone got along great. And it’s out. And it just feels so much better to be around the guys with them knowing. I just felt so odd them not knowing.”

Despite the challenges of navigating this secret, Osegueda emphasized that he is still committed to Death Angel: “I’m very much still the singer of Death Angel.‘ And, of course, when I was talking to Rob and TedRob was, like, ‘I was very happy to hear you say that.’ Like, ‘Of course, bro.'”

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