COURTESY PHOTODeath Angel plays a Christmas show at Slim’s this weekend.

Death Angel lightens up with new holiday tradition

Christmas means many things to Filipino Bay Area native Rob Cavestany: heartwarming gatherings with friends and family, traditional island cuisine such as lumpia and pancit, makapuno and halo-halo pints from Mitchell’s Ice Cream parlor, and opening presents with his wife and 10-year-old son (Junior be surprised this year, he laughs, Santa-like). But in 2014, it signifies something more. Calling Saturday’s show at Slim’s “the first of our annual Christmas concerts,” the Death Angel guitarist, 46, says, it’s “a tradition we’re starting that we are not taking lightly – we’re making sure that everything is just so.”

Will Death Angel be playing any Christmas carols?

Let’s just say we have some surprises. We have stuff that we never normally play, and other stuff that wouldn’t be played unless it was Christmas time. But one of the reasons we decided to start doing this was, back in the ’80s, we did at least one, if not two, Death Angel Christmas shows at the Stone in San Francisco. We didn’t make it an annual thing then, but it was always a hit, and it allowed us to do a lot of fun stuff. But we’re the thrash band that also likes to have a lot of fun and not take ourselves so seriously. We’re not brutal and evil. We’re humorous guys, and we like to inject that into our music if we can.

Do you attend church with the family?

No, unfortunately for all the church-goers out there. I don’t want to let anybody down, but when I was younger, I did. I went to church with my parents and attended Catholic school and all that. But they didn’t force that on me, so when I got older, I learned to have my own relationship with the higher powers. I’m not too turned on by organized religion. But I like tripping on churches for their architectural structure, and visiting cool cathedrals when we’re on tour around the world. And then when I’m in there and checking out the history of the place, I’ll say my own personal prayer, my own words to God in my own way.

What is the weirdest location abroad you’ve spent Yuletide?

The oddest thing is, I can’t even remember having to do that. I’ve missed half my kid’s birthdays, being on tour, which has been pretty hard for us. But just do not miss Christmas at home. I’ve flown home from Europe on Christmas Eve, just to get back in time for Christmas. And New Year’s Eve? We’re still home, because it means so much to us.

IF YOU GO

First Ever Another Death Angel Christmas Show

Where: Slim’s, 333 11th St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. Dec. 27

Tickets: $24 to $26

Contact: (415) 522-0333, www.slimspresents.com

artsDeath AngelFirst Ever Another Death Angel Christmas ShowPop Music & JazzRob Cavestany

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