"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Armored Saint

Formed: 1982
From: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Armored Saint News

Below is our complete Armored Saint news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Seven Witches Playing Shows With Armored Saint

Seven Witches will be supporting legendary metallers Armored Saint on three special East Coast dates beginning tomorrow at Ollie’s Point Bar in Amityville, New York. The band will be supporting the "Call Upon the Wicked" full-length released in North America earlier this year by FrostByte Records.

"Call Upon The Wicked" (reviewed here) was recorded at Lickman Studios by Frost with co-producers Mike LePond and Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning), who also mixed the record. The band's upcoming shows with Armored Saint are as follows:

11/30/2011 Ollie’s Point Bar – Amityville, NY
12/02/2011 Crocodile Rock – Allentown, PA
12/03/2011 The Studio at Webster Hall – New York, NY

The Seven Witches touring lineup (for AS dates):

Alan Tecchio (Hades , Non Fiction, Autumn Hour ) – Vocals
Paul Marciano (Die Hard Till Death, ex- Belladonna ) – Drums
Mike Lepond (Symphony X) – Bass
Jack Frost (Bronx Casket Co., ex-Savatage, Lizzy Borden, Belladonna ) – Guitar

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Armored Saint Announces Show Dates In U.S.

Armored Saint announced that they will be playing some dates in the U.S. with Seven Witches in support. Confirmed dates are as follows:

11/30/2011 - Amityville, NY @ Ollie's Point Bar
12/02/2011 - Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock
12/03/2011 - New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall

Bassist Joey Vera said of the shows: "In July, we held a poll asking fans to choose their favorite Saint songs and we compiled a list of the top 10. At recent gigs in Los Angeles and in Germany, we would allow fans to come up and choose one of the top 10 songs for us to play, right there on the spot. We did this three times during our set. It was such a good time that we’re going to do this again for our tri-state shows. John Bush will stop the show at three different times and choose someone from the crowd to come up and pick what song we play next. So come down and be a part of choosing our set list for the night!"

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Armored Saint Announces Upcoming Shows

LA's Armored Saint will be performing the band's first, and possibly only, shows for 2011 this summer. On July 9th, the band will once again be hitting the Sunset Strip in Hollywood for a show at the Key Club with Hirax. In August, the Saint plans to head overseas for several European appearances including the group's first ever Norwegian appearance at the Lillehammer Rock Festival with Thin Lizzy, Hammerfall, UFO and more.

Armored Saint's "La Raza" was released in March of 2010 and debuted on Billboard at #49 on the Hard Music Albums Chart, #18 on the Heatseekers chart, #52 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and #2 on the Hard Music Core Stores chart. "La Raza" also entered the official German Album Charts at #96.

The band's upcoming shows are as follows:

07/09 Hollywood, CA The Key Club
08/11 Cologne, Germany Werkstaat
08/12 Hamburg, Germany Knust
08/13 Lillehammer, Norway Lillehammer Rock Festival More...

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Armored Saint Announces Signing Session

Armored Saint will be playing at The Avalon in Santa Clara, CA on Saturday, October 16th. To make this event even more special, Armored Sinat will be doing a signing at the venue from 7:30pm until 8:15pm. Fans can bring their Armored Saint albums and memorabilia for the band to sign.

Joey Vera adds: "We know we said that our Los Angeles show in May was going to be our only show this year, but some things changed with John Bush’s availability so we decided to play a show for our Bay Area brothers and sisters. Come on out!"

The details are as follows:

October 16th, 2010
The Avalon Nightclub
777 Lawrence Expy
Santa Clara, CA 95051

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Sunday Old School: Armored Saint

Often in the Sunday Old School articles, we tend to focus on the sub-genres of heavy metal such as thrash, death and black metal, amongst others. This week we take a look at a great example of traditional heavy metal in the form of California's Armored Saint. Armored Saint was formed in 1982 by brothers Phil and Gonzo Sandoval, who played guitar and drums respectively,along with friend Dave Prichard who also played guitar, whilst students at South Pasadena High School. Soon after their formation the band recruited bass player Joey Vera and lead singer John Bush. The name of the band was suggested by Gonzo while the band were watching the movie Excalibur and a five song demo was recorded not long afterwards, that included the song, "Lesson Well Learned," which was featured on the Metal Massacre II compilation. After releasing a self-titled EP through Metal Blade Records in 1983, the band signed to Chrysalis Records the next year. Their debut album, "March Of The Saint" was released that year and earned the band a minor hit with the song, "Can U Deliver?," as well as critical praise. A second album entitled, "Delirious Nomad" was released in 1985 and, like the first album, earned the band critical acclaim.

Soon after the release of "Delirious Nomad," Phil Sandoval decided to quit the band, leaving Armored Saint has a four-piece. The quartet began work on their next studio album, which resulted in 1987's "Raising Fear." The album did not sit as well with critics as the past two albums had and many believed that Phil Sandoval's exit had shaken the band's confidence. The album did however garner the band another minor hit with the song, "Isolation." After "Raising Fear" was released, a live album named, "Saints Will Conquer" hit the shelves the next year but sadly these would be the final albums to feature guitarist Dave Prichard. Although Prichard participated in the writing and demoing of their next album, he unfortunately passed away from leukemia during the sessions. The resulting album, "Symbol Of Salvation" was released in 1991 and used the guitar solo Prichard recorded for the song, "Tainted Past." The album also featured the return of Phil Sandoval, as well as new guitarist Jeff Duncan. The record was seen as a return to form and perhaps their best yet by critics and fans alike but ultimately the band were unsure of a future without Prichard. During this period of uncertainty, John Bush was asked by Anthrax if he would be interested in becoming their new vocalist, replacing the recently departed Joey Belladonna. Bush's decision to accept the job proved to be the final straw for Armored Saint and they decided to call it a day. During the band's inactivity, other members kept themselves busy with various musical proects. Bassist Joey Vera found success as a producer, whilst also performing in bands such as Fates Warning and Lizzy Borden and the Sandoval brothers formed a new band together entitled Life After Death, which was more inspired by the likes of Thin Lizzy than the heavy metal influences of Armored Saint. More...

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Armored Saint Posts New Music Video Online

Los Angeles, California metal act Armored Saint has posted their latest music video online for the track "Left Hook From Right Field". The song comes off of the band's latest album "La Raza." The video was directed by Jeremy Schott of Mental Suplex.

The video can be viewed below:

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Joey Vera Posts Comments on Dio's Passing

Joey Vera of Armored Saint and Anthrax has posted the following comments on the passing of Heavy Metal Legend Ronnie James Dio:

"Ronnie James Dio.

His name shall be part of the very definition of the term heavy metal.

All of us in this community owe a big part to him as he helped shape our entire genre. And he did it with complete originality and sincerity. He is the real deal.

By now you've read much about him and how every person who'd had the pleasure of meeting the man use the words "kind," "nice," "humble" and so on. I can tell you that these descriptions are truly accurate.

I had the honor of being on tour with Dio on two occasions. Once on his "Magica" tour in 2001 while I was in Armored Saint and then later in 2004 while I was touring with Anthrax. I would watch Ronnie every night side stage and I was continuously blown away by his high level of performance. I must have seen over 40 shows from this vantage point and I never, ever saw or heard a single flaw. You always knew he was a great singer but It was then that I was convinced that he was a gift to us from some other place. Then there's all the times I saw him with Sabbath.

I can't even go on…

When you have the privilege of meeting someone like Ronnie — an idol, a legend — you almost expect a person like this to be overly confident, cocky, and they deserve to be, really. But Ronnie was the complete opposite. He really was the most humble, sincere and kind person you'd ever meet. He would always find time to stop in his tracks and say a few words to you. He was so down to earth and generous.

Through his humility he's taught us all that a man is not measured by the size of his wallet, or trophy collection, but instead by the size of his heart.

I myself am glad that he chose the profession of singing because even though his body has been taken from us, his voice will stay here for all eternity.

We're all trying really hard here, but Ronnie, we can't thank you enough.

Joey Vera"

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Armored Saint's New Album Now Available on Vinyl

Armored Saint recently announced that their new album, "La Raza," is now available on vinyl, as well as being available digitally and on CD.

The vinyl version is a 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Double LP with Double Gatefold LP packaging, and includes a previously unreleased demo version of the title track.

The vinyl version of "La Raza" can be purchased on Amazon.com through North America, Europe and Japan.

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Armored Saint to Play Just One Show This Year

Armored Saint announced on their MySpace Page that they will be supporting their newest album, "La Raza," with just one live show. Scheduled for May 28th at the House Of Blues Sunset Strip in Hollywood, tickets can be purchased at the box office or at Ticketmaster. Bassist Joey Vera clarifies:

"[The HOB show] is the first gig in support of our new record La Raza which was released on March 16 on Metal Blade Records. At this time, this will be the ONLY show the band plans on playing for the remainder if this year. You can plan on hearing several tracks from the new record at this show along with a list of classics. We are also putting final plans together for a video shoot for the song 'Left Hook From Right Field' which should take place in May."

Armored Saint's most recent album, "La Raza," was released on March 16th to lots of anticipation. You can view Metal Underground's review of "La Raza" here, and other reviews of the album here.

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Armored Saint Posts New Song Online

Armored Saint has unveiled the cover art and the first single from their first new album "La Raza" The album's foundation was laid back in 2008 when Joey Vera and John Bush began writing new material for what would become "La Raza" and the album was completed in December at Tranzformer Studios in Burbank, CA. The album was produced by bassist Joey Vera, and engineered by Bryan Carlstrom and his assistant John Nuss. Recording was mostly done with analog equipment and the final album mix was delivered on 1 inch tape. This gives La Raza the most organic sound as possible. Fans can hear the first single, "Left Hook From Right Field," on their MySpace page.

To complete the package, the band employed photographer Stephanie Cabral and Metal Blade's own Brian Ames. Joey Vera comments further, “Metal Blade is doing a really cool digi pack package for us. We felt like the city of Los Angeles is such a big part of our fabric that we wanted to use that in the design of the artwork. So with the help of our good friend and photographer Stephanie Cabral and Brian Ames from the Metal Blade art department, we came up with a really cool package that represents our band and the music on this record. We also wanted to incorporate a 'green' action by leaving out the plastic CD tray and using recycled paper. The result is a classy and poignant package.” More...

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Armored Saint Reveals New Album Details

Los Angeles metal band Armored Saint has announced the tracklisting for the band's recently completed album "La Raza," the band's first new album since 2001's "Nod to the Old School." "La Raza" was recorded at Tranzformer Studios in Burbank, CA, was produced by bassist Joey Vera, and engineered by Bryan Carlstrom and his assistant John Nuss. "La Raza" will be available everywhere on March 16th 2010.

"La Raza" tracklisting is as follows:

01. Loose Cannon
02. Head On
03. Left Hook from Right Field
04. Get Off the Fence
05. Chilled
06. La Raza
07. Black Feet
08. Little Monkey
09. Blues
10. Bandit Country More...

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Armored Saint Reveals New Album Title

In a recent update, Armored Saint bass player Joey Vera revealed more details about what will be Armored Saint's first studio album in ten years including it's name and when fans can expect it. The message reads as follows:

"After six weeks, the new Armored Saint record is done. Well, not entirely….we still have to have it mastered which should be done in the next two weeks. So technically, there’s plenty of time for more arbitrary bouts of stress. But all of the tunes have been recorded and mixed. And I have the dark circles under my eyes to prove it!

"As the producer of the record, I did in fact work very long and hard on this. But I didn’t work alone. Everyone involved worked their asses off. Gonzo, John, Phil and Jeff all came in and gave it everything. Engineer Bryan Carlstrom and his assistant John Nuss were the work horses who kept up the pace in this session which for the most part meant putting in 12 – 14 hour days. I can’t say enough about Bryan, Nuss and Annette Cisneros from Tranzformer Studios in Burbank. This is a first class operation and to boot, they all gave heart and soul into the project which these days you just cannot even pay for. We are in much debt with them. Truly wonderful people.

"The result is just amazing, and I may be hasty when I say that this may be our best record ever. But all dopes in bands say that right? Well this time I think it’s true and although my reasons may be purely personal, I still deem it truth. The songs are great and it sounds great. The title of our new record is La Raza which means, The Race. More...

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Armored Saint Posts New Studio Video Online

Californian heavy metal outfit Armored Saint has posted a new video online which shows drummer Gonzo Sandoval tracking drums for the song, "Head On." You can check it out below. The band are currently recording their first studio album since 2000's "Revelation" record. The new album does not have a confirmed title as of yet but some of the songs scheduled to appear on the record include, "La Raza," "Blues," "Black Feet" and "Chilled" amongst others. More...

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John Bush Speaks On Rejoining Anthrax

In a recent interview with KNAC.com, Armored Saint vocalist John Bush spoke about a number of topics including the possibility that he will rejoin his old band, Anthrax. Some excerpts from the chat are as follows:

"The experience's been great (so far). And the band is sitting on (an already completed new) record (with Dan Nelson's vocals) that they're probably a little unsure what to do with, and we've discussed that, and we're trying to figure that out too. And I've listened to some music and it sounds cool.

"Doing shows is easy, for the most part. Remembering lyrics is the biggest challenge lately, and I've done pretty well with that at the two shows. I'm proud of myself. I guess all my memory abilities are still there, which is important. I haven't gotten early signs of Alzheimer's yet; I'm lucky. We even played a couple of songs at the Japanese show, like 'Catharsis', which we played once in the band's career, and we didn't even rehearse; that's a pretty awesome accomplishment, I think.

"That being said, I kind of wanted to (complete) the (new) Armored Saint (album), as far as creativity-wise, before I could enter a new area of being creative with Anthrax. And I've talked to them and I wanted to be super-straight-up about everything. More...

Read the full article at KNAC.com.

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John Bush Likely To Sing On New Anthrax Record

In a recent interview with Maximum Threshold, Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano revealed that, while nothing has been confirmed, former Anthrax vocalist and current singer of Armored Saint, John Bush is likely to be lending his vocal talents to the bands latest studio album, "Worship Music."

Caggiano stated: "I'm sure you guys know the whole story, but the record's pretty much... I mean, it was done... and now, it's not confirmed or anything yet... it's not official... but it looks like John Bush's gonna do the vocals on it. So we're all kind of keeping our fingers crossed and hopefully it's gonna go great."

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Armored Saint Enters The Studio

Californian heavy metal veterans Armored Saint has announced that they will enter the studio today to record their first new album in nine years. A message posted on the bands Myspace account reads as follows:

"Today is a BIG day for two reasons. First, Armored Saint will be hitting the studio TODAY to begin recording the follow-up to REVELATION. I hope to give you all updates as things progress, but the most current news will appear on the Armored Saint Twitter site, where the guys will be posting updates directly from the studio. For more information, come check out the blog I posted a couple weeks back.

"Oh, and the other reason today is a big day... it's Gonzo's birthday. So come wish him a happy one if you get the chance, either as a comment on the Saint space OR at his own Myspace page.

"Let the metal begn,


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Armored Saint Begins Recording New Album

Los Angeles, California based heavy metal veterans Armored Saint has announced that they will shortly be entering Tranzformer Studios in Burbank, CA to begin recording their sixth studio album. Tranzformer Studios is owned by Dave Jerdan, who previously worked with the band on their 1991 effort, "Symbol Of Salvation." Some of the song titles set to appear on the next record include, "Blues," "Black Feet," "Left Hook From The Right Field," "La Raza," "Chilled," "Loose Cannon" and "Get Off The Fence."

Vocalist John Bush says about the record, "About a year and a half or so ago Joey asked me if I'd be interested in writing some songs. I was in the right mind finally, so I said send me something. To be quite honest, I wasn't thinking in terms of Armored Saint but more like just writing rock music. I felt pretty free with that mentality and the ideas felt very organic. With every passing song things improved and next thing we knew we had about eight songs demoed. Although the idea of sparking something completely new was appealing it became clear that if it was Joey and I the reality was, let's not kid ourselves; this is Armored Saint.

"So here it comes. Embracing my inner R&B singer and coupling that with our influence of the great seventy's hard rock band's we grew up on.?" More...

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John Bush To Join Anthrax For Japan Show

American thrash metal legends Anthrax have announced that former vocalist John Bush (also of Armored Saint) will once again be fronting the band when they perform at the Loud Park Festival in Japan on October 17th. This is a good sign for all the Bush-era fans who have been awaiting a permanent return of the singer.

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Tales From The Pit: Joey Vera's Mosh Pit Flips

We've been talking to bands to get their best mosh pit stories. This one is from Joey Vera when he was on tour in 1986 with Armored Saint, opening for Metallica and WASP.

"Just about every night, whoever happened to be watching Metallica's set from side stage, got invited out to sing the 'DIE!' part at the end of Creeping Death. One night in Texas, there I was, hammered and waiting for my nightly invitation. Sure enough, I get the wink from my gracious host, Cliff Burton.

"On I go and give my best beer soaked "DIE!". After my part is played, I walk to the edge of the stage in front of Cliff's floor monitor, turn around to face him, and with all my strength I hurl myself in a back flip into the audience. Luckily the crowd takes pity on my poor aerial form and catches me. Then I find myself in a flurry of sweaty limbs as I begin to surf towards the front of the stage. Metallica's crew pulls my sorry ass out and back onto stage while Mr. Burton tops my score with a thumbs 'way' up. Good times."

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Armored Saint To Begin Recording In October

Gonzo Sandoval , the drummer of American heavy metal veterans Armored Saint, has announced that the band will be hitting the studio in October to record their first album of original material since 2000's "Revelation" album. The album is scheduled to be released next year through Metal Blade Records and more details will be revealed soon.

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