Thursday, January 1, 2015

Savage Wizdom Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
STEVEN: We have been promoting the new album and playing shows. We have been practicing and working on new material.

2.In August you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ form the album you had released 7 years ago?
PABLO:  It’s quite different from the band’s debut largely because it really is a different band.  With the exception of our singer, the entire line-up has changed since the last CD.  Where No Time For Mercy was a really raw, riffy and thrashy album, A New Beginning is more melodic and upbeat.  We really felt that the album title was very appropriate.

3.This is the first album to be released in 7 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time period?
STEVEN: Since Savage Wizdom regrouped in 2008, we have been learning the “No Time For Mercy” songs as well as writing “A New Beginning”. Writing took us a lot of time because we are very particular with how we want our songs to sound. On top of all that we need to maintain our day jobs, so to find time to write is sometimes challenging. We have also been playing many shows and establishing a name in New Mexico.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
PABLO: Steve and I have different approaches to how we write lyrics as well as our choice of subject matter.  Steve is a very character oriented type of guy and he likes the story telling approach.  A song like “The Barbarian” is totally his style 100%.  It’s very Manowar like in it’s subject.  “Do Or Die” was another song that was fun to watch Steve work his magic on.  He just came up with this idea about a stunt driver who quite literally makes a living by cheating death.  “Trail Of Sorrow” is a two part song involving the perspective of two characters:  one being a serial killer terrorizing a town and the other the detective that is pursuing him.  “Let It Go” is about how people can struggle to remain decent people and how it can be difficult to take the high road when people are surrounded by so much negativity, greed and apathy.  Steve recalled the old scenario of the man with the angel and the demon on his shoulders except in this scenario it involved two demons whispering into the ear of this person who is trying to ignore the voices in his head.  My lyrics tend to be less character driven and more driven by subjects or concepts.  They are meant to be a little more metaphorical.  “Point Of No Return” is really just about accepting the end of one chapter in your life and embracing the beginning of a new one.  “Chase The Dragon”  was inspired by Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga but the lyrics are more about what I thought was one of the larger themes of those novels which is how people can be compelled to pursue paths in life that others may not understand but can become on obsession that people will pursue at all costs.  I guess it really is kind of the equivalent of Captain Ahab and his white whale.  

5.I know that the band name comes from the Savage Sword Of Conan comics, how does this name fit in with the musical style that your play?
PABLO:  Steve once told me that he wanted the name to convey both strength and intellect.  He wanted the music to be strong with a lot of punch and aggression kind of in the vein of Primal Fear, but he also wanted to be clever with the arrangements and have some substance in the lyrical themes.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
STEVEN: I think the Launchpad show that we did in December of 2013 in Albuquerque was one of our best shows. Everything about it was really good. The performance, the crowd response, the sound, and the vibe were all on point that night. Savage Wizdom is aware that when we are on stage it is for the fans. We enjoy ourselves more when the crowd is loud and having a great time.  It is important for us to be entertaining for the audience.
PABLO:  Steven really hit the nail on the head.  Paul Stanley often jokes that “Some people call themselves hams; I am the total pig.”  I think we all have a similar mentality.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
PABLO:  We intend to keep playing shows to promote the new disc at least throughout 2015.  Touring seems a bit unlikely for a band of our stature considering that we all have day jobs to consider, but we would like to get around the States a bit to promote more outside of New Mexico.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
PABLO:  No interest yet.  We shopped the new disc around to a few labels like Nuclear Blast, Pure Steel and Metal Blade but we didn’t hear anything back.  What we would really like to do is find a label that would be interested in picking up both No Time For Mercy and A New Beginning and getting another run of prints out there into the world.  We are very open to discussing deals with labels but it really just depends on the stipulations.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of power metal?
PABLO:  The feedback has been great.  We felt very confident in this album but you never really know how people are going to respond to it.  So far, we really haven’t heard anything negative.  The sales for this new disc have been better than I expected.  Most surprising though has been that we have actually sold more units overseas than domestically.  The album is going over really well in Greece and Germany.

10.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
STEVEN: I am working on a project in hopes to promote my voice. It is melodic and heavy with operatic, Bruce Dickinson style vocals.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
PABLO:  I am always listening to Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson, Stratovarius, Helloween, Winger, and Journey.  I tend to gravitate towards anything with a good melody.  Lately, I have been listening to a lot of Sixx: A.M. and I am really liking their new album; Modern Vintage.  I think those three albums that they have released have been really great albums and Nikki has really done one hell of a job re-inventing himself once again.  He really seems to have hit a new creative stride.
STEVEN: Helloween, Stratovarius, Avantasia, Manowar and more. When I am listening to these bands I analyze their song structures, their melodies, and their rhythms in order to write in this epic furious style.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
PABLO:  I enjoy traveling when I can, reading a good book, video games once in awhile.  I manage a bar during the week so I also enjoy being introduced to new beers and wines.  I have always been intrigued by shipwrecks so I tend to watch a lot of documentaries on that.  I am even considering taking lessons in scuba during the summer one of these years.
STEVEN: I try to work out when I can and I have dabbled in martial arts. These are things I would like to become more involved with. Other than these, not really.  It’s all about music for me.  I am even studying music at the University Of New Mexico.  

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
PABLO:  Thanks for the interview.  We are very much looking forward to what lies ahead for us in 2015.  Stay metal and keep in Savage.  

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