Long before the early 2010s, before the legions of Sabbath-worshipping bands emerged from their caverns with lava-lamp font logos and denim vests, there was Saint Vitus. Along with bands like Pentagram and Candlemass, Saint Vitus pioneered doom metal in its manifestation as a distinct metal sub-genre.
This fall, the band responsible for albums like Hallow’s Victim, Born Too Late and Mournful Cries has a new live album and is on the road with The Skull and Witch Mountain. The following is a brief Q&A with guitarist Dave Chandler as the band was prepping to play the venue…Saint Vitus…in Brooklyn, NY. Extra special thanks to Enrique Sagarnaga from Season of Mist for delivering these questions to Dave at the venue.
What made you decide to do this live album at this point in your career? What do you think the value of live albums is to fans?
We always wanted to make a second live album, and for this one we felt like we actually had a good representation of how we have sounded over the last 6 years, so we decided to say “yes!” and put it out. The Marbles in the Moshpit is a bonus for us as well, since fans had kept asking the band about it and the album cover when we play out.
A live album can capture a great moment in band’s career, and its a great way to share that moment with those that weren’t in attendance, even years later.
Check out this live “moment” where Scott and Wino played “Born too Late” together in Philly:
You’re currently on tour with Scott Reagers, your original frontman, how did you guys end up getting in touch to re-unite for this tour?
We had committed to a handful of festivals overseas and people were asking for Scotty so it seemed like the right time to exercise that option. It was simply a matter of getting him on the phone, laying the plan out, and soon enough, there he was. He seems excited, and the fans are going crazy at the shows, so the change is welcome.
You guys pioneered the creepy and hazy doom metal sound back in the 1980s, how does it feel to see so many new bands crop up during the last few years that are inspired by this sound (if they don’t ape it all together)?
We think its really cool to see younger kids getting into what we are doing. It took a while for it to catch on in the beginning. When we first started playing, we wanted to make music that was what we wanted to hear, not necessarily trying to go off someone else’s sound. At first we’d get booked with punk bands during the SST days, and I think people didn’t know what to make of us. Its good to see that so many years later, this thing finally caught on, and its definitely showing on this tour. Everyone is digging The Skull and Witch Mountain too.
To that point, what are some newer bands that really inspire you today?
(Henry Vasquez jumped in for this one)
Its good to see bands doing there own thing with no regrets instead of rehashing off of other bands. Some bands I’ve been checking out are: Mos Generator, Budos Band, The Shrine and The Sheepdogs.
Does Saint Vitus have any new material planned for the future?
We are taking our time but things are definitely brewing in the Vitus camp. With the new lineup place we want to see what we can do as band with Scott. Lillie F-65 was received with open arms so we hope that the next one will be too. With Scott, we just have to take this one step at a time and see where this lineup takes us.
Also, I can’t help but ask. Is it funny for you to play a venue in New York that bears the same name as your band?
We love to play there and its really cool that we have the same name! Our show tonight sold out and we can’t wait to see everyone there.
Here are the band’s remaining tour dates w/The Skull and Witch Mountain:
Oct. 11 Madison, WI @ High Noon
Oct. 12 St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Oct. 14 Missoula, MT @ Erosion Fest
Oct. 15 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
Oct. 16 Portland, OR @ Star Theater
Oct. 18 Sacramento, CA @ Starlite
Oct. 19 Oakland, CA @ Metro
Oct. 20 Costa Mesa, CA @ Wayfarer
Oct. 21 Los Angeles, CA @ Viper Room
Oct. 22 San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick
Oct. 23 Tucson, AZ @ Southwest Terror Fest