Getting Unholy With Sacrum: The Deadly Interview
The furious sounding thrash/black metal band, Sacrum, from Memphis, Tennessee, recently hit me like a thunder strike right between the eyes upon first listen . Brothers, Brad (vocals)and Jeff (lead guitar) Williams, along with Harvey Waldman on drums and Big John on bass are quickly finding popularity in the underground metal scene. I wanted to help us all learn more about this heavy music act and the brothers were more than happy to oblige.
Rocket: Tell us how Sacrum came together. You had initially started as a hard-hitting rap outfit in the Memphis, Tennessee area called The Dirty Dirty Boys, correct? How in the hell do you go from rap to a brutal thrash metal band? This is some fascinating stuff.
Jeff: Well, I along with Harv and John played progressive hard rock behind 7 rapping frontmen (including a brother and cousins of 3-6 mafia). We had been jammin on Pantera, Megadeth and Dream Theater already, and I overheard my brother singing Iced Earth, and I was like, "Fuck, you should sing for us", and so it all started there back in late 2002.
Rocket: I noticed from reading your band bio that all of you guys have been through quit a bit of life adversity over the last couple years. Tell us more about this. Is that where you draw most of your inspiration from?
Brad: Being 12 hours from death will really put things into perspective. Our new song Through The Machine draws directly from that experience.
Jeff: Our dad died when we were still young of lung cancer. He was a non-smoker. Harvey's step brother at only 15 died in a car wreck in which Harvey was driving. John almost choked to death on the way to a King Diamond show. I have had so many stiches from various head injuries its insane. Not to mention countless friends murdered, suicides, and drug casualties. We put all this in Sacrum.
Rocket: I listen to a hundred new metal bands on MySpace each month doing research, and I have to say that when I heard Sacrum's The Haunting for the first time, I was utterly blown away by its brooding, dark tone. How does the band go about writing songs? Is there a chief songwriter?
Jeff: I write the music, then show it to the rhythm section. Harv has an uncanny ability to play an inventive beat to a riff that makes Sacrum swing, and Big John is as solid as a motherfucker as it gets, always in the pocket.
Brad: The majority of the lyrics are written seperate from the music, I bring a brutalness, that takes those bad ass riffs to another place. This shit is our life. I want to be heard cause there is a meaning behind every track.
Rocket: I have to imagine that you guys have been getting some killer reaction on The Haunting from the fans off your MySpace profile page, right?
Jeff: Yeah, Crate on 92.9, a local Memphis radio station has been playing it alot, alot of good response even from non-metal heads, anybody reading this who hasn't heard it go to our MySpace and let us know what you think.
Rocket: Are you one of those bands that actually interacts and answers your fan emails to get that kind of feel?
Jeff: I have been doing the MySpace thing. My brother ain't got no fancy book learnin'. He can't even turn on the computer.
Rocket: Haha, man, u got a way with words. Okay, tell me about the band's main metal influences, in terms of who you have studied the most to help create the Sacrum sound. You cite Dimebag and Pantera as the big one, correct? Who are some of the others and why is Pantera so important to Sacrum?
Jeff: Pantera was the band to refine what metallica refined from black sabbath. Hands down the best metal band ever, their chemistry inspired us to be the sick 4 piece we became.
Brad: Each member has their own individual favorites but the general consensus is King Diamond,Old Metallica, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Iced Earth and Testament. Also, any 80's metal with a good guitar player.
Rocket: What is your current recording process? More specificaly, give us more on the equipment you are using. I'm very impressed with the professional level you have achieved so early on.
Jeff: We have done all the recordings ourself with the help of Rob Fascelli, a friend and former bandmate from our prog metal band Turbulence. Rob has helped us be cost effective, but still deliver good product consistently.
Rocket: Does Sacrum have an entire album's worth of material ready to go if you are to get signed soon?
Jeff: We have 2 bad ass albums, the debut and follow-up, along with 2 more albums locked in my mind and hands, stored away in the endless riff-box.
Rocket: You guys have made it clear that you plan to do some summer touring in Los Angeles and Texas, right? How is that developing? I would love to see you heads stomp through the Hollywood Sunset Strip scene.
Jeff: Well, we have a contact in TEXAS, who is hand delivering our DVD to Lemmy from Motorhead, and also the owner of The Whisky and The Rainbow room. We are thrilled about coming out there, there is not a metal scene where we are from, and to play where GUNS N ROSES and The Crue came up, we would definitely shit ourselves, but we wanna play Texas and Florida too.
Rocket: What is the main message you are trying to put out there with your music? Is it all doom and evil, the ugly side of life...or is there something more positive you're trying to say as well?
Brad: Coming from the bible belt people think we are satanists, which couldn't be further from the truth. They hear that dark, intense shit we do, and it scares some, but we got a fucking sense of humor about everything, the music is all we take serious, that and putting on a killer fuckin show. Hopefully folks can relate to some of the lyrical content of the album, cause I know I ain't the only one tired of this day to day bullshit, 9 to 5, well fuck that. Maybe that is what inspired our live favorite, Fuck The World. It's our love ballad.
Rocket: Phil Anselmo has always said that the true pulse of metal lies in the underground. Who are some of Sacrum's favorite underground metal acts?
Jeff: Epoch of Unlight are pretty cool, I like fellow Metal Den alumni, Perdiem and Stryk-9. They fuckin jam!. Also Rufus T. Firefly, and anybody I can drink a beer and fuckin jam to.
Brad: Any band that doesn't gay out come chorus time, I hate FAGGOTY CHORUSES!
Rocket: Oh man, I think we just lost our San Francisco audience. Umm...haha... anyway, man, all of us true metalers are still seriously trying to come to terms with losing Dimebag back in December/2004. Do you recall when you heard the news yourself? How did you feel?
Jeff: I was lying in bed, my friend Andy called and said Dimebag was murdered, and my immediate reaction was "you have got to be fucking kidding". I cried like a fucking baby and played my guitar for a few hours, praying for Vinnie and the Abbott family, for his bandmates, crew and friends, and his undying loyal fans, I still havent made sense of it. This is rocks biggest fucking tragedy, fuck John Lennon! We were supposed to meet Vinnie and DIME when DAMAGEPLAN came to town, their father had a heart attack and they had to cancel, I had dank blunts rolled up to smoke with my heroes, and once again I said, " You have got to be fucking kidding me."
Rocket: Sorry, I'm still laughing inside from that San Francisco comment. Alright, finally, what well known metal act would be your first choice to tour with as the opening act? And why?
Jeff: I would have to say OZZFEST, the chance to jam and interact with all the different bands and not to mention a big crowd, even opening the main stage, would be a dream. I wanna meet Zakk Wylde and OZZY, but once again I would probably shit on myself.
Brad: Us opening for Priest (HALFORD) and Iron Maiden (Dickinson) somewhere in Europe -- or a triple bill with Loudness and Stryper in Pittsburg. (LAUGHS)
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