Starting tomorrow, rejuvenated NWOBHM heroes, Satan make a return to North America for a series of tour dates that haphazardly criss-crosses the continent over the course of the next couple of weeks in support of their new live album, Live Sentence. Recorded on their first and only tour of the colonies last year in support of their 2013 comeback album, Life Sentence, Live Sentence encapsulates a partial history of the band (to the exclusion of their 1987 album, Suspended Sentence) which spans back to 1979 with a variety of stops, starts, name and member changes made along the way. You, me, them, we all probably are most familiar with their 1983 classic, Court in the Act, but there are other studio/live/compilation albums out there and now the band is back and arguably better than ever. So, here’s your opportunity metal-ville. Who the hell (yeah, pun totally unintended) ever thought there would be the chance to see Satan live on North American soil? Do it. In the meantime, here’s a short interview with…actually, this was done via email and, come to think of it, we were never informed who specifically answered the questions! How very black metal of them!
What was the reasoning behind going with doing a live album in the first place? Where was the material for the new live album culled from?
We just wanted to document our first tour in the States. The material is from the two albums with Brian and the early demos.
There have been many starts and stops for Satan since you first came together in 1979. What brought you back together this time around? How has it been different and what are you doing to ensure that past problems are being nipped in the bud as best they can?
We were basically hassled by Oli, the organiser of the Keep It True festival in Germany, for about five years non-stop to reform and play the show. It all kicked off after the success of that show. The past problems were caused by bad press, us naively listening to them and changing what we were doing. We were given the impression we were doing the wrong thing. The press is great now but we wouldn’t care anyway as we love what were doing.
How have the reactions been to your return? With nostalgia, reunions and the NWOBHM being big deals in metal these days, do you find the public’s thirst to hear the old stuff conflicting with your desire to write and play new material?
No, for us it has been even more successful since the release of the latest album. I think a lot of bands struggle to recreate there old gusto but it came natural for us. Unfinished business.
What do you think of when you run into or see the same dudes on the tour/festival circuit today that you saw in the pubs and venues of the 80s? I’m guessing that a lot of what goes on backstage is reminiscing about the old days, who dodged cirrhosis of the liver and bitching about ex-wives?
Yeah, there’s all of that. It’s great to see old faces from the good old days. We’re also getting to meet bands from the time that were fans of Court in the Act, like Death Angel who we are fans of too.
What would you say the demographic is at a typical Satan show these days?
It’s wide spread, but there are more new young fans than the old brigade especially since the release of Life Sentence. It’s so great to still be cool enough for young fans to listen to and love our music.
What are you expecting from this upcoming North American tour?
We hope more of the same like the reaction we got on the East Coast shows. The fans were fantastic.
Judging by the routing, it looks like you’ll be spending more time in the air than on the ground. Was this deliberately planned this way as opposed to doing a city-to-city circuit van tour?
No, it was just how the shows came in. We took what was offered. We have some nice days off in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle too, which is a real bonus.
Are there plans afoot to record any of the stops on this tour?
Maybe. It just depends on transporting the equipment; like you said we’re flying a lot this this time.
What did you learn from the process in creating Life Sentence that you’re applying to both the upcoming tour dates and future recordings?
Just like the festival name that started it all off….. Keep It True! It’s all from the heart and has nothing to do with financial gain or a lust for success at all.
From someone who’s been involved in both the pre-digital and digital age of technology as it applies to music, what have been some of the more surprising pros and cons about the way things are today when compared to the past?
Obviously, the cost first and foremost. The Life Sentence album is the best sounding any of us have ever made in any band but it was also the cheapest! The negative is that the sales aren’t there any more due to downloading. I think bands have there own voice more now though due to the Internet.