A Year After Battle For Ozzfest, A Dozen Furies Still Fighting For Respect

Winning last year's contest has not made all of the band's dreams come true.

A year has passed since Dallas quintet A Dozen Furies defeated North Carolina's Cynder to win the first Battle for Ozzfest contest/reality show and secure a coveted spot on Ozzfest 2005. In that time the band released its debut album, A Concept From Fire, and toured with Disturbed, Gwar and DevilDriver. And, starting February 4, A Dozen Furies will head out on a club trek with Throwdown, the Red Chord and Still Remains.

But while A Dozen Furies are grateful to Ozzy and Sharon for all the attention they received in Battle, they consider the experience a mixed blessing that yielded as many disappointments and aggravations as triumphs.

"While we were doing it, we figured, 'Wow, we're on MTV. We're gonna meet all these people and go to all these parties. It's gonna be crazy all the time,' " guitarist Marc Serrano recalled. "It wasn't anything like that. And we couldn't tour while the show was on because we needed to be on call for the show — and none of us have jobs, so touring is how we make our money."

Perhaps worst of all, while many suddenly knew who A Dozen Furies were, there were a large number of naysayers that hated them just for being a part of a popular reality show. "Some people assumed we weren't even a real band, like we were something that was just put together for a television show, even though some of us have been playing together for 10 years," Serrano said.

Rather than let the negativity defeat them, A Dozen Furies became more resolute than ever, confronting adversity with more piercing screams and roaring guitars. Some of the songs on A Concept From Fire, which came out last September, were even a direct response to the destructive criticism.

"We were like, 'Yeah, well f--- everybody,' " Serrano said. " 'We're gonna make a killer record and tour our asses off and put on the best show we possibly can. We're not even going to give anyone a chance to say we suck.' And I think we've been doing our job of winning people over."

A Dozen Furies wrote most of the album between September 2004 and February 2005, during the time they weren't allowed to tour. Then, in April they entered the studio with producer D. Braxton Henry to start recording. Three months later, they were out with Ozzfest, performing on the second stage, and as soon as the tour ended they returned to the road. "We must have only had four or five days off during that whole time," Serrano said. "It was just one show after another, but that's cool. We want to get out there and keep showing people what we can do.

In the month or so between now and the Throwdown tour, A Dozen Furies will be back home, working on new songs for their next album, which they hope to finish in time for a 2006 release. Serrano said that anyone who likes A Concept From Fire will dig the new stuff, and he's planning to incorporate previously unexplored elements to gain new converts from both sides of the metal spectrum.

"The record will feature all the good stuff from the first one, but even more to the extreme," he said. "The brutal parts will be more brutal, the technical parts will be more technical, and the singing and choruses are going to be even bigger with more harmonies. I really enjoy our first record, but none of us wants to make the same album again. We really want to step it up."

For more on A Dozen Furies, check out the Battle for Ozzfest site.