While everyone is crying their 2002 emo-ridden hearts over a Midtown reunion, I’m sitting here going over this interview with Dave of Savage Messiah. They’re a metal band from London who like to stick with what works, but aren’t afraid of cutting loose ends when necessary. The guys recently headed across land and sea to attend this year’s NAMM and are getting ready to release their next album, The Fateful Dark, on March 18th.
It doesn’t matter if you like to headbang or not, the following is a must read for music lovers of all walks of life, so check it!
Kendra: I think a lot of people would agree that bands are like romantic relationships, plus or minus some certain aspects. So how have you guys managed to keep it together and keep things fresh after seven years?
Dave Silver: Definitely! This current line-up has been together for 3.5 years, so it’s still relatively new even though we’ve done two records together. It’s really grown into a partnership, and like all partnerships we don’t always agree on everything, but there’s enough trust and mutual respect that we don’t have too many problems.
Kendra: Scott Atkins produced the last record, and is back for The Fateful Dark. Was it an easy decision to work with him again?
Dave: Absolutely, we didn’t really consider the possibility of working with someone else. The Plague of Conscience recording was fraught with so many issues that we almost felt like we owed it to him to give him something with a bit less drama, and that’s exactly how it worked out. It was more or less plain sailing from day one, and even though we ran into a few minor hiccups like any recording, we had great momentum with this record. Also, we consider Scott to be almost like a fifth member, and his ideas always take our material to another level.
Kendra: Why do you think you all work so well together?
Dave: We all have the same goal, which is to make this band as successful as we can, and because everyone is on the same page, that makes things a lot easier to focus. We also get on well socially, so we don’t have any major issues touring, or spending 24/7 in each others’ company.
Kendra: Metal albums always have some of the most interesting cover art. Did you give ideas to Peter Sallai or just let him go with whatever he thought fit?
Dave: Nope, it’s 100% his idea and concept, the only thing we consciously asked for was to keep the character that he created for Plague. It usually works best to give an artist a blank canvas and let them do what they think will be best. The band and label always have the final say, but it’s important to give the artist as much space creatively as possible.
Kendra: Back to the music, it’s the same team on the new record. What can fans expect, as far as clear differences between this album and the last?
Dave: I think it’s certainly a lot more refined, and a lot more of a definitive statement in terms of what we want Savage Messiah to sound like. This came about as you mentioned due to the stability that we’ve built in the band, which is something I’m very pleased with. I’ve always wanted a solid line-up, and the earlier changes were always disruptive, albeit necessary. It’s like a lot of bands; it takes a while to put together a line-up that ticks all the boxes because there are so many variables that need to be taken into account.
Kendra: To elaborate on that, if you had to compare The Fateful Dark to a place in London, where would it be and why?
Dave: I suppose you could say it’s got an air of Whitechapel, East London in a sort of a Jack the Ripper kind of way!
*Note: Dave became my favorite person when I read that, love Jack!
Kendra: You guys say you’re 100% metal, but have you ever toyed around with other genres while rehearsing? Like, any covers of Rihanna we should know about?
Dave: Absolutely, I’m not sure we’ve ever played a Rihanna song, but we’re always jamming on some blues or a country thing. Our guitarist Joff is really into banjo licks on the guitar so you’ll often hear him reeling off banjo sounding things, which is pretty cool.
Kendra: Will fans be seeing you on the road in 2014?
Dave: 100%, we wrote this album with the intention of every song being a live song, and the only way we can put them to their best use is to get on stage and let rip. We’re working hard to bring the band back into mainland Europe as well as the States. We’ve also got our mind on Asia and South America, so hopefully we can get some bookings and give everyone the best Savage Messiah show possible.
Kendra: If you’re in the far future and already went to NAMM, how was it and what’d you fill your days there with? If you are still in the present and haven’t gone yet, what are you looking most forward to at NAMM?
Dave: Mostly the Californian weather! As well as hopefully getting to meet some cool people and hang out!
Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape of five songs we’d be shocked to find on your iPod, what would be on there?