Interview with Savage Messiah @ Download Festival 2018: ” Ultimately it comes down to this, the fans choose the band, the band don’t choose their fans”


Savage Messiah are one of the best young bands in British metal. They meld old-school sensibilities with new school flair and have created a solid body of work for themselves. Having released a new album ‘Hands of Fate’ last year and going on a successful run supporting Cradle of Filth they closed out 2017 on a high with a firm eye on making 2018 theirs. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Vocalist & Guitarist Dave Silver,  and Guitarist Sam Junior to discuss the state of the band, their current schedule, their return to Download and what we can expect from them next.

2017 was a great year for you guys. You released the new album Hands of Fate, then you went out on a huge tour with Cradle of Filth, Played in Japan and then did a few other bits and pieces. What is the current feeling within Savage Messiah.

Sam: Ecstatic, totally off the wall, I feel like I’m about to backflip off this table right now. (laughs)

Dave: I feel like for the first time in our lifespan that we’ve turned a corner. We did our headline tour, we sold quite a lot of tickets and it was well attended, we really tried to be a headline band and we really tried to think about of the little things and the little details, and since then I think it’s been starting to build, and we’re starting to see rewards and progress, which is good.

I have to ask about the Cradle of Filth tour. You supported them on the one-off show in Portsmouth last summer, then you did the full U.K run in the winter. What was that like for you going out with a band like Cradle of Filth, with their heritage and completely different style but also with their dedicated fanbase.

Sam: It went well I thought.

Dave: Yeah, again on paper you might think ‘eh?’ but I think that is kind of doing a slight disservice to Cradle of Filth and their popularity In the UK because I would tend to consider them to be more like a Metal Hammer Mainstream band, maybe not in Europe and we didn’t do the European tour, but in the UK definitely, they are playing the main stage at Download, and because of that the particular subgenre of heavy metal that they play is almost irrelevant, because their mainstream in that respect so the diversity of the bill was probably more value for people, it must be kind of boring when you go to gigs and see five bands and they all sound the same, it;s boring. I understand why bands fo it sometimes and if it’s a heritage thing like Testament, Annihilator and Death Angel then that makes sense. Kudos to Cradle fo thinking to take us out.

There is the advantage also to playing to a new audience that isn’t yours. You can air new songs from the new album, and because the audience is largely unfamiliar with you they won’t necessarily new the material from the old so you can get a good gage on how good the new material actually is.

Dave: Yeah I’d agree with that. The set was heavily based around new songs, but then again a lot of it is psychological if you approach it with confidence it’s kind of that, that wins people over more than songs,. A concert is such a fleeting experience, rarely have I seen a band and remembered a song from the set, it has happened, but really it’s all about the overall experience and mindset, that’s the most important thing really.

In terms of approaching a set like Download which is only a small slot, how do you write a set for that. Do you go all in on new songs or try to do an even mix.

Dave: We’re only doing death metal covers. We thought we would really surprise people.

Sam: Death metal and funk covers. Death metal played funk…

Dave: We’re definitely setting the cat amongst the pigeons with that one.

Playing the Dogtooth stage which is one of the smaller stages as well, does that suit you as a band to be on the smaller stage where you can cram more people in.

Sam: We fit on any stage really, those songs work on any stage you put us on. For us we’re just so happy to be here and play, I don’t think the stage matters to us.

Dave: It’s all part of the same event and we don’t have a choice really anyway (laughs)

Let’s talk the new album Hands of Fate. It’s been out a little while now, and you have been playing those songs throughout this touring cycle. So how do you feel about the album now that you have lived with it for a little while.

Sam: We’re proud of it, but there’s always that idea of ‘Let’s push it forward, we can do better’ it’s proud but not satisfied.

Dave: I think it’s a great record. We achieved what we wanted to. It was a really transitional time for us in general, because in 2016 we took the very  brave step and severed our record deal with Earache and not many bands would sever their own record deal, we took the plunge, we got new management and we built the whole thing from the ground up , and then it was thinking about what kind of album we wanted to make, then we went and did it. We got signed to Century Media which is a bigger label, the band has really grown off the back of that and now we’re excited to do a new record, ideally, it will be out next year in February or March.

Do you find with the move to Century Media that you now have more label backing that you perhaps weren’t getting with Earache.

Dave: No, it’s just different. I’d never put Earache down because they are a great label and they do great things, look at what they’ve done for bands like Rival Sons, they are a very capable label, I think the things is they are based in the UK and the UK has always been very hard for Savage Messiah, Our label is based in Germany now and it makes much more sense for us.

It must be hard for you guys being a UK-based band and finding the UK market hard to crack. Is it difficult having to go further afield to find that fanbase.

Dave: No man, I’m British by birth only. I live in Italy, it doesn’t bother me, in fact, I moved around a lot as a kid, so I have not been to the place where I technically grew up in 15 years, I don’t care. I’m not denigrating the UK because I like being in the UK, but in answer to your question I also like travelling, but if we were massive here it would be great, but my ambition was always further on. Can you think of one homegrown band that got massive here first? Ultimately it comes down to this, the fans choose the band, the band don’t choose their fans if there are kids in Japan that want to see us then I’ll go to Japan.

Sam: Arch Enemy started their career in Japan, they got big there first.

You mentioned writing a new album so will that be the immediate plan for when this tour ends, to go straight into writing that next album

Dave: We’re on tour with Exodus at the moment so we’ve got a lot of shows, and we’re doing other festivals, we’re doing Hellfest on the main stage, Graspop, a bunch of other stuff, then we’re headlining in Europe in November, so that’s the window after the summer and before November, we might be back in Japan in October, but we don’t know yet, so that is the window to record, and with writing I’d say we’re about 75% done.

In closing do you have any final comments for our readers out there

Dave: Hail Satan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Simon Crampton View all posts by