Saviours - Foot On the Accelerator
By: David E. Gehlke
There may come a time when the retro metal revival runs out of steam. Actually, it probably will given that everything in metal gets fat and bloated, then bursts, so the time is nigh for a band like Oakland's Saviours to strike. Their instantly-identifiable blend of Maiden-meets-Motorhead metal is a tough horse to slow down, with 2009's Accelerated Living and this year's Death's Procession emerging as two of the finer options from the field. And if there was a band that could potentially outlast the inevitable fallout from all things retro metal-related, Saviours would be our pick. They simply rock too hard. With that in mind, we snagged not-so verbose drummer Scott Batiste for a round of questions. Here's what went down...
Blistering.com: Bring us up to speed on everything that happened since Accelerated Living.
Scott Batiste: Accelerated Living came out in October 2009. Since then we toured the US and Canada four times, Europe three times, Japan, wrote a new record called Death's Procession, recorded it, and now we're doing it all over again.
Blistering.com: Clearly, Accelerated did a lot for the band. It also helped you establish yourself as being more than just a stoner metal band. Do you think that tag was ever right for the band?
Batiste: No, we don't really subscribe to the micro-labeling of every music genre. It's a boring task for boring people.
Blistering.com: You also did some dates on Ozzfest. What was that like? Would you do it again?
Batiste: It was awesome. They took great care of us and we got to play for a ton of new people. We'd do it again for sure.
Blistering.com: There was quite the spate of touring for the last album, so is that something youíre prepared to do again for the new album?
Batiste: Yes it was and itís how we've always done it. We are currently in week four of a 14 week tour and its going great.
Blistering.com: Do you think the constant touring the band does comes in handy when writing for an album?
Batiste: In ways it is, as far as how we play together, but to get in the mindset for writing we'll learn a few covers just to get ourselves in a different creative mindset. Then the riffs start flowing.
Blistering.com: Whatís your relationship with Kemado like these days?
Batiste: It's great. They have made a lot of cool stuff possible for us and they let us do our own thing completely.
Blistering.com: Are you finding it increasingly hard to stay afloat considering how rough the music industry is? Or is the band good at finding some kind of balance?
Batiste: The music industry is a mess these days but we manage to make it happen I guess. We definitely pick our battles more than we used to - jumping on every tour is not something you'll see us do. Too many bands, too many bad bands saturating the music world, make it all unappealing, killing good clubs, promoters, labels, shops. It's a shame.
Blistering.com: Going into Deathís Procession, what was the goal?
Batiste: Just to make a ripping, cohesive album that we would want to hear. Not much like it out there these days.
Blistering.com: I love the sound of the album; itís very vintage and raw. Were any albums in particular used as a sonic reference point?
Batiste: [Black Sabbathís] Mob Rules, [Motorheadís] Iron Fist mostly. We like it too, no gloss or fluff.
Blistering.com: The cover art is certainly unique, especially for metal. Whatís the story behind it?
Batiste: Our friend Derrick Snodgrass, a tattoo artist, did it. It's an expansion on our ongoing interest in hell, heavens, the unreal, the real, the unknown, space, time and ultimately the end.
Finally, whatís on the agenda for the rest of 2011?
Batiste: First show of the "Earth's Possession & Death's Procession World Tour" was August 31, last show is December 9, so that's about it... tour! Well into next year as well.