Deceased founder and vocalist King Fowley offered the following words about Castillo, his bandmate and – above all – friend:
“On Monday, November 12th, Deceased drummer and dear friend Dave Castillo died unexpectedly in his homeland of El Salvador. His sudden passing has crushed our hearts! Me growing up as singing/drummer in Deceased for close to two decades and being ridiculously loud and over the top, people became expecting of it a certain way, and then I stepped away from the kit in the early 2000s. Dave came right in and said, ‘These are big shoes to fill,’ but right out of the gate, he was spot on. His first show ever with Deceased was in front of 20,000 people at Wacken fest. The man mastered my oddities as a drummer and locked em all in. I always told him he was the better drummer – he was the drummer for Deceased! Slowly over the years, I think he started to believe me. On the latest record, Ghostly White, we have had the weirdest off-kilter time to practice the new material as a full band due to everyone’s schedules outside of the band (work/life/etc). Even up to showtime on recording the studio songs, we were editing and changing things and he had a nervousness that he wouldn’t get it right. Yes, I did sit there right by the kit and conduct each song to him on changes on the fly as he locked it all in. He’d play and look up and lay down the track. When you hear the record, you, too, will see he got it all spot on! The man always came prepared for recordings/jams/shows, and if you didn’t give him enough time to have it ready, he’d surely let you know. He wanted to impress you. He wanted it correct and not half-assed, which is the ONLY way music will ever come out of a band I’m a part of. It’s how he did everything in life. And my writing all the Deceased drum parts never bothered him a bit. He would just say, ‘You write it, man – keep it your wild Deceased style,’ and then he’d gladly learn it no matter how wacky I might havemade something. Dave will always be remembered as a great drummer, a great person, and a dear friend. Dave helped me in so many ways to keep the band moving forward with his talent, and for that alone, I’m eternally grateful. But he was so much more. Always there for my family in troubled times; the man painted my family’s entire four-level house after fixing 25 years of living-in/beat-up/need-to-be-replastered walls first, then did the sink fixes and all other loose ends, too – and all over a week span when we lost our house in 2000 and were basically forced out on two weeks notice. My mom demanded he take money for his time and efforts, but he wouldn’t take a dime. He thanked my mom for letting us all ‘wreck’ the place with years and years of big parties, telling her this was his way of saying thank you. At my hospital bed after I had a stroke, he sat all day with me and joked and made me feel better. He had your back always, even in our differences, and there was moments of this; we’d say our peace and then cool down and talk things out and make things right. Because that’s what real friends do. He was the real deal! And in the blink of an eye, his life was taken away from him.
“I preach all the time, life is for living because you just never know – here today, gone tomorrow! That’s the cold fact to it all! I love you, Dave Castillo – rest in peace, brother!” – King Fowley
Deceased’s long-awaited eighth album, Ghostly White, is out today via Hells Headbangers. It features Dave Castillo’s final performance with the band, and can be heard in its entirety HERE at Hells Headbangers’ Bandcamp. Cover art, courtesy of Raul Gonzalez, and tracklisting are as follows: