Well, could there be a more underrated US Metal band than The Rods? Surely not …
Along with Yesterday And Today (first album 1976), Riot (»Rock City«, 1977) and Anvil (first album under the name of Lips, 1980) The Rods laid the groundwork for future generations of American Metal bands. When David Feinstein (vocals, guitar), Carl Canedy (drums) and Steve Starmer (bass) issued their legendary, totally self-financed »Rock Hard« album in 1980, it marked the beginning of a new era.
David Feinstein himself, however, the cousin of Ronnie James Dio, had been in the music business for a few years by then. Together with Ronnie he had been in Elf (playing guitar on albums such as »Elf«, 1972, »Carolina County Ball«, 1974, and finally »Trying To Burn The Sun«, 1975). In the following years David Feinstein was working under his own name. The obscure »Midnight Lady« 7" Single appeared on the little-known DMR label in 1978.
The first two Rods albums, the self-titled debut in 1981 as well as »Wild Dogs« in 1982 (both issued on Arista), are widely regarded as US Metal classics. The band toured extensively in the UK and made a lot of friends in continental Europe as well. Drummer Carl Canedy also worked as a producer for bands such as Anthrax, Exciter and New York's own Overkill.
David “Rock” Feinstein knows about his band's legendary status: “The Rods were definitely forerunners of the new wave of Heavy Metal back in the 1980s. I guess you can say it's just the situations that occurred that prevented us from making it big. Management problems, agent problems, and basically 'the business' part of the whole thing got to be a drag on us. Unfortunately, as The Rods could have been a much more dominant band in the market. We never got reports from any of the labels, so it is hard to tell from this end what our best-selling records were. I know we just did two dates in Brazil, and we had many fans that we never knew existed. Some of the best fans in the world, I must say.”
With different line ups (and varying success) The Rods continued to release albums throughout the 1980s, calling it a day towards the end of the decade. David Feinstein made a comeback in 2004 releasing the wonderful »Third Wish« album (under his own name). “The Rods hadn't re united at that point,” explains David Feinstein, “that's why the album was not released as a Rods album.” “And the music was slightly different than the Rods also. A different drummer, and mostly all other instruments were played by myself.”
»Vengeance« is the name of the new Rods album (originally issued on CD in 2011), teaming up David “Rock” Feinstein (guitars, vocals), Carl Canedy (drums) and Gary Bordonaro (bass). The record features the last ever vocal recording of Ronnie James Dio (on a number entitled “The Code”). David Feinstein knows all the details: “We were recording »Vengeance« and Ronnie had told me that he would either sing a song on one of my solo albums, or a new Rods album. I had written a song called 'Metal will Never Die', and Carl had written a song called 'The Code'. Ronnie recorded the two songs at my studio in Cortland N.Y. with Carl and I there. As it turned out, 'Metal will Never Die' came out on my solo album »Bitten by the Beast«, and the song the 'The Code' ended up coming out on the »Vengeance« album. Unfortunately, two of the last songs he ever recorded.”
“The reaction from the fans and press towards »Vengeance« were really great,” comments David Feinstein on the reception of the latest Rods album. “It had been a long time since our last recording, so this album was very much anticipated. Good reviews, and good comments on the record. Looking back, I am very satisfied with »Vengeance«. It has been a long time since we had recorded anything as a band, so it was very rewarding to have completed a new album. We look forward to recording the next one, and are currently working on a new single.”