Saturday, February 13, 2016

Posted by \m/ The Power of the Riff \m/ | File under :


 
WHAT CAN BE SAID ABOUT SACROSANCT THAT HASN'T BEEN SAID BEFORE AMONG THE LEGION OF UNDERGROUND FANS WHO STEADILY OVER THE YEARS HAVE PICKED UP ON AND DISCOVERED THE BANDS AMAZING LEGACY OF FORWARD THINKING AND THOUGHT PROVOKING METAL, WHICH THEY LEFT BEHIND IN THEIR ALL BUT TOO SHORT CAREER. IN SPITE OF THEIR SHORT LIFESPAN, MUSICALLY THEY ACHIEVED WHAT IT WOULD TAKE OTHER BANDS DECADES TO DO, AND ALTHOUGH THEY NEVER MET WITH THE RECOGNITION OR FINANCIAL SUCCESS WHICH THEY DESERVED, THEY STILL PLOWED ON WITH THEIR CRAFT EXPANDING UPON THEIR CORE SOUND AND TAKING THE LISTNER ALONG ON THEIR MUSICAL JOURNEY. HERE IS A BAND WHO EVERY METALHEAD SHOULD BE AWARE OF ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO LIKE TO GO A LITTLE DEEPER INTO THE BEAST IN SEARCH OF BANDS THAT MAKE TRUE METAL WITH PASSION.  SACROSANCT'S MUSIC BELONGS AMONG THE KIND OF TECHNICAL DEATH THRASH METAL RIFFS THAT MANY BANDS OF THEIR ERA WERE CHURNING OUT, PUSHING THE LIMITS OF WHAT COULD BE DONE WITHIN THE METAL FRAMEWORK. BANDS LIKE DEATH, ATHEIST, PESTILENCE, NOCTURNUS AND CYNIC TO NAME A FEW. I HAD THE GREAT HONOuR AND PRIVILEGE TO PUT MY QUESTIONS TO FOUNDING MEMEBER AND METAL GUITARIST LEGEND RANDY MEINHARD.

TPOTR - How did the band come into being, did you all know each other before forming Sacrosanct?

RANDY MEINHARD - Yes and no. Marco Foddis joined us from the beginning, and as you know he went back to Pestilence after a while. Michel Lucarelli was already active in the Dutch Metal Scene and Milan our first bass player was living over 200 km ago. Nowadays not a problem but you can imagine at that time it was a killer for our plans.

 TPOTR - What were your intentions with the band starting out?

RANDY MEINHARD - For me it was important to live a dream and so it was my priority making music with people that have the same ideas and visions.

TPOTR - What were your influences in the beginning?

RANDY MEINHARD - Oh well, we all had the same taste in music. We were influenced by a lot of Bands and music styles, like Kiss, Guns and Roses, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Queensryche, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Voivod, Infernal Majesty, Death, Venom, Possessed, Testament, Exodus, Metallica, Slayer, Venom just to name a few. So we put our hands on all the big and underground stuff!!

TPOTR - What got you into metal music in the first place and what was it about the sound that attractted you as a quitar player?

RANDY MEINHARD - Space Ace!! I love his character in Kiss and his playing! Later all the great guitar duos you can hear in Queensryche, Exodus, Maiden and so on. Also Players like Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnik or James Murphy but I guess all these influences are hard to hear when you listen to Sacrosanct. But anyway I also love Chucks playing (Death) and his music in general. But there are a lot more to mention…

 TPOTR - The progressive element has always been present in your music since the start, how important was it for you as a band to push the boundries of what was considered metal music?
RANDY MEINHARD - Very important and looking back today on this aspect it sometimes was in parts too much of it. We all often hit our borders of  ability playing some of these parts. Of course thats the way you can develop yourself as a musician, and thats fine. But it was more like we have to prove ourselves and that´s not always a helpful way. Music is not magical because of it´s complexity or it´s musical talent. If it would be like that Players like Marty Friedman. By the way it was an electrifying moment hearing his playing on Dragons Kiss and of course later with Megadeth.

 
 
TPOTR - What was the biggest challenge for the band during your time together?

I guess the same problems most bands have. Money and from time to time personal differences.

TPOTR - After the first album Truth is..What is, there was a major lineup change, what happened and how did this affect the writting and sound of the second album 
Recesses for the Depraved which came out the following year, it seemed nothing could slow the band down as the momentum kept building at least on the music front.

RANDY MEINHARD - Thanx a lot and that´s great to hear. The only constant in the line-up was me. Thinking about this fact…it's maybe not throwing the best light on me as a person. On the other hand in my main business I was responsible for hundreds of people. For me personally a good atmosphere and fairness is above everything, but that will not exclude our personal mistakes. In fact a band is mostly a (serious) hobby and you can decide playing in another band for different reasons, as long as the band is not paying your bills. So of course I still understand all the decisions that lead to the fact of leaving a band.
And to answer more or less your question I have personally enjoyed playing with all these cool people and musicians. Every personnel change had its positive aspects. So that also leads completely by itself to new aspects and influences in the music.
 


TPOTR -  Recesses for the Depraved came out more polished and focused to my ears was this intentional or was it just a natural evolution?

RANDY MEINHARD - Hard to say I guess the truth is in the middle. We developed as a band, we had new members, and it was my wish to let it sound more dark but still thrashy. For that I am still thankful that we had the chance to use one of his great Artworks. R.I.P. H.R. Giger.

TPOTR - Can you give us some insight into the song writting process and how songs were written and developed into what we eventually heard on the albums.

RANDY MEINHARD - I guess like most of the processes at that time. Writing riffs at home, recording these stuff on a tape, rehearsing a lot and putting all these elements together. I came up with most of the riff ideas, and in the beginning also with the lyrics but that developed later. While doing the writing for Tragic, Collin, Michael, Christian and Haico took a big influence on it. Still I had written most of the riffing, but the songwriting itself, soloing, Twin vocals, Bass lines and so on we always did as a band. At that point I like to say that I still have a great contact with Collin and Michael and that everybody has my deepest respect!



 TPOTR - Michael Lucarelli left after Recesses for the Depraved and you brought in Collin Kock for Tragic Intense what were the reasons for the change?

RANDY MEINHARD - To be honest looking back at that time, even if I forgot all the details splitting up, it was surely hard for me, because Michel was a really good friend. On the other hand it was getting clearer that his voice was perfect for singing the Truth and Recesses stuff, but maybe not for singing new songs we did at that time. And before starting writing for Tragic we did 2 completely new tracks called „Quarantine“ and „Mental reincarnation“ and these songs were more or less an in between step, but already showing that we need a more flexible voice from now on.
 
 
TPOTR -  Tragic Intense saw another progression but this time in the music itself with songs becoming longer, slower, darker and all around more moodier, what influenced the change from fast paced thrash to the new more doomier sound showcased on Tragic Intense, did the sound predict the beginning of the end?

RANDY MEINHARD - Yes it was more or less our own prediction. ;) Even if I am doing a bit funny about that you are maybe not far away from the truth. The sound had developed with all the changes of course but also it was clear to us that we would give our best on that album doing something different, also with the look on the whole scene at that time. We got great reviews that still make me proud but on the other hand the album was too far away from what the scene was expecting at that time. Again we had managed sitting between all these chairs.

And today I am proud that you, the fans and even Record Labels come to us and show their respect. Thanx for that!!

 TPOTR - The album was almost a pinnacle for the band were you really started to hone your song writting skills. The album recieved great reviews when it was released but in the end you decided to call it a day, what were the main reasons for this?

RANDY MEINHARD - See some details in the question above. To say it short, we all were a bit sick of the business, and at a certain point you have to make a decision. We all were starting different main jobs that we needed for paying our bills, it just fell apart at one point. And then it´s better to bury a thing than keep it alive artificially. And looking at my personal situation it was a hard but still the best decision.

 TPOTR - I've always been a fan of the artwork for each album and if you could shed some light on each album cover for example how you came to use some Giger artwork for Recesses for the Depraved.

RANDY MEINHARD - I truly don´t know any more how that developed. Christian made the first call and had the honor to talk to H.R. Giger personally. What I can say is that he was really nice to us and supporting our idea at every point.

 TPOTR - How do you think the metal scene has changed from those early days do you think things would be different for the band if you started now?

RANDY MEINHARD - We definitely would never have written Truth, Recesses and Tragic…For over 24 years I also was in my main job very close to the scene, and by the way my taste in music has never changed but of course it developed. As you say not only the scene has changed but also the way of consuming music. Even if the possibilities are maybe better today in relation of publishing, recording or what ever the whole business is much harder. We sold the amounts on demos that some bands are selling today on a whole album. On the other hand our record sales at that time also lead to the
split-up…thats an irony.






 TPOTR - As the main songwriter within the band are there any songs or parts of songs which stand out that you are really proud of?


RANDY MEINHARD - Yes, from Tragic…At least pain lasts, The Breed within and Gathering of the tribes. Still getting goose bumps, very emotional and authentic. Listening to Truth and Recesses…these albums are also
full of cool riffs and we did a lot of weird shredding things on that. Still love it even if its hard pointing out one ore more songs.

TPOTR -  Is there anything you would change on the album if you could?

RANDY MEINHARD - Ah yes, the production on all the albums, and maybe rearrange some parts here and there. And of course the cover on Tragic… ;)

 TPOTR - How did the lyrics tie in with the music and was there any underlining themes or message you tried to convey as a band?

RANDY MEINHARD - Oh, we always had our eyes open in reference of what was going on in the world. And it will mostly does not need a deeper look finding very dark things in our behavior as humans and our history. On one hand I am a very happy person, I love what I am doing but that does not stop me from being very critical in relation to my environment and the society as such. In that sense Stay Tragic! ;)

TPOTR -  What have you been up to musically since the band called it a day?

RANDY MEINHARD - We did a band called Submission, in the beginning together with Martin van Drunen. Death Metal voice, thrash riffs, doom parts and very cool lyrics by Martin. After the he left the band joining Bolt Thrower for a while we were looking for a new singer and developing our style. We signed a Deal with We Bite Records and recorded the „Weltschmerz“ Album but after the insolvency of the label we never had the chance to finish or release the album.

 TPOTR - Are you working on anything musically at the moment?

RANDY MEINHARD - Actually I a playing in a band called The Escape (www.the-escape.de) but thats a Goth rock Band. Quite dark and I am mostly responsible for the rock influences, haha. To be honest its great working with Ingo, he is a great guy and musician, we enjoy playing and our situation that we do not need it for our living. We do live 200 km apart so I am happy that the music is quite simple for me guitar-wise and that we do not have a drummer that would automatically lead into more rehearsing. In the Gothic Scene playing without a drummer is not a problem.

 TPOTR - Have you ever thought about reforming?

RANDY MEINHARD - Yes, of course. But what would be the goal? I am now 48 and I do not want being constantly on the road.
And also it would keep me away from developing my main business. But doing it for fun could be a different thing. We are actually talking to some labels about doing a Re-Release of all the albums. If we do that, we will pack a great bundle for all the Sacros that are still out there. I would love to remix all the albums, but actually we just can get our hands on the Tragic Tapes and on the „Mental Reincarnation“ and „Quarantine“ Recordings I mentioned above. Maybe there is a chance of getting also the Recesses Tapes, but I guess the Truth is tapes are lost somehow. Lets see what we can do!


Stay Tragic and for updates on the band by liking and checking out their offical Facebook page!

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

0 comments:

Post a Comment