Into The Inner Sanctum: More With Sacrum
Picking up where we last left off with one of metal underground's freshest new talents, Sacrum, out of Memphis, Tennessee, I wanted to see if we could get the Williams brothers to shed some more light on what's been going on lately since our last conversation. I do this as a way to help show other upcoming metal acts that where there's a will there is a way, and I think that's what is so cool about this group is that they are full throttle in their commitment to making it in the music business on their own terms.
Rocket: So tell us what's the latest and greatest with Sacrum? I understand you guys are starting to attract some indie labels, correct?
Jeff: Yes indeed, we have a few labels interested, but we are really concerned with finding a label that will focus on us and push us. Bigger labels tend to sign alot of bands and you have to fight to be promoted. We want a label with strong distribution and that will know how to push us, as well as trust our artistic integrity.
Rocket: I know you told me the other day that you had received a very cool message from a certain well known metal musician. He was digging on Sacrum's cover of The Romantics tune Talking In Your Sleep, correct? I hated that group with a bloody passion but I have to admit that I very much dig the way you cats throw that song down. The vocals sound like Burton C Bell is singing.
Jeff: One of my favorite guitarists is Jake E Lee, he had the baddest band after Ozzy called Badlands. Ray Gillen was one of the strongest throats to ever grace the stage. Their bassist hit us up and really loved the originals but particulary liked "Talking In Your Sleep" He said he never really cared for the original version.
Brad: Yeah, Greg Chaisson from Badlands. Alot of people havent heard of them but they were comparable to Led Zeppelin. Anyway, he was loving the cover of T.I.Y.S. , a song, yes, originally done by the band named the Romantics. We chose it as a song to cover because it was so non-metal but the lyrics had a very dark overtone. Pretty much a stalker song. I was really going for a serial killer vocal approach, like Richard Ramirez. I thought about how he broke into houses when women were asleep and sometimes would actually lay beside them. Sort of a sick bedside manner.
Rocket: Right on. Yeah, that dude was gruesome for sure. And a heavy metaler! I think that's one of the things that gave metalers a bad stereotype after he was caught and was known to listen to AC/DC in his car while on the hunt. Anyways, man, I'm a big Badlands fan. Ray will go down as one of the best metal vocalists ever! So what's going on with more new material for Sacrum. Is that coming soon?
Jeff: Our new song, "The Eyes" is getting mastered and will coming to MySpace next week. It's pretty fucking sinister, I really like the vocals and the drums on this one. I feel sorry for Big John, that shit is hard on bass! The new material or album ..2 is going to be devestating. We are really finding our definitive sound. We are also doing a tribute to the metal band Nitro, featuring Harvey on lead and rhythm skinflute.
Rocket: Haha... you said skinflute. So have you guys been out playing any local shows recently?
Jeff: Unfortunately no, Harv is in England getting an ear operation and will be back in July. But believe me, we will more than make up for time lost. We are a live band, always have been. But Brad has been in a John Parr cover band playing the bar circuit.
Rocket: Back to doing cover songs, because I think you guys know what the hell you're doing in that respect. Are you going to do anything else like that?
Brad: So many covers, so little time. I can't tell you exactly which ones but there will be several being played on the road this summer. I'm trying to convince the rest of the boys to cover Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog". I think people would love it.
Jeff: Of course when we go to Texas this summer we plan on doing several Pantera covers. Megadeth's "Hanger 18" or "Holy Wars" would be fun, I know Harvey's with me on that one. Maybe even some King Diamond off "Conspiracy". We could be an Avenged 7X cover band called "Iron Gaymen". But we would need 8 more people for background vocals.
Rocket: Does Sacrum have any equipment sponsors yet? Or any sponsors of any kind?
Jeff: Yeah, Radio Shack. No, Rocket, but if any are reading this I only play Gibson, I like Line 6, John is an Ibanez man, Harv is Mapex all the way. One day people will give us free shit, at least I hope so. My bro is endorsed by Wendy's 99 cent value meals and Grizzly chewin' backy.
Rocket: Haha... dude, you kill me. I notice Sacrum's MySpace profile is kicking some major ass. How's that feel to be getting so many fans so quickly?
Jeff: It's awesome. Much love to everyone for adding us and leaving cool comments and messages. Me and my boy Mike D do myspace. Mike D has been a huge asset to the band; he films our shows and he and I edited our DVD. He is a music buff like us, his input is greatly appreciated.
Mike D: It's great. We've almost tripled in size just in the last 2 weeks. We've been getting alot of good comments and emails from people all around the world telling us how heavy the music is and asking when we are coming out on tour. It's a great avenue to meet and gain like-minded fans.
Rocket: Are you guys currently getting any underground metal radio play? You should be. The internet is booming with killer metal radio shows like DJ Shaggz Metal Massacre at rezerrection radio.net. This is such an awesome way for unsigned acts to get exposure.
Jeff: We are just now trying to find ANY underground metal stations or magazines. We are trying to explore any avenue of promotion, so if anybody has a contact for us, please hit us up on myspace. The underground is definitely where it's at for metal, the true fans, the die-hards.
Rocket: What kind of subject matter are you guys going to be tackling on the new material?
Jeff: This one is all Brad, from a musical standpoint a little more progressive with some really powerful riffs. Riffs have always been the most important to me, they have to be memorable.
Brad: Darker and deeper subject matter definitely. I really want to go inside the mind of a tortured individual. I'm sick and tired of these bands like System of a Down that feel the need for this political kick. Let me explain it to everybody right now: Go ahead and vote, but the electoral college decides it anyway. They'll put who they want in the White House. Don't fight what you can't change. We are all at their mercy. Plus, they are talking shit about the country they are flourishing in; alienating the country who's kids shell out money for CD's and concert tickets.
Rocket: In terms of your MySpace music profile, Sacrum seems to be one of those bands that answers its fan mail. Am I correct? What's that been like? What are some of the things they ask you guys about?
Jeff: I'm gonna let Mike D do this one, I gotta roll this blunt.
Rocket: Haha... roll on then, my friend.
Mike D: We definitely try and write as many emails as we can because we don't want to just add someone, or have them add us and just leave it at that. We want to be different than alot of bands that just want numbers: we want to build a genuine fan base so when we do get out there touring, we have people who know about us coming to the show. As for the things people ask about, they ask about tour schedules, first CD status, or for the most part just letting us know how much they love the music. We hit people up all the time who either don't accept band requests or who say that all new metal is lame, and they add us and leave comments like "Your music is badass, love the sound, etc." Like it has been said before, it's an incredible way to promote your music to people who truly love metal and metal fans have always been the most loyal yet exacting fans around, so to see what good progress we've made already is encouraging. I say "We" although I am not in the band I have tried to help out any way possible because I believe Sacrum is truly the best new metal band out there.
Rocket: What are some of the future show performances Sacrum will be doing?
Jeff: We've got some contacts in Texas, we are getting a little following down there. San Antonio has a huge metal scene. But mainly, we are trying to get booked at the Whisky and the Rainbow. Our contact knows the owner and believe me, if they give us the opportunity we'll tear the roof off that place.
Rocket: Speaking of getting signed to a record deal. Who are some of the indie labels you respect?
Brad: Trustkill, Cleopatra, Prosthetic, Nuclear Blast, SPV, and Century Media.
Jeff: I respect anyone with the balls to start their own label. One day we plan to start a label and not only do our records but find other bad-ass bands like us that are stuck in ghost-town metal scenes. The Memphis metal scene is deader than dead, their are a few good bands but little or no support. This is a sterotyped city, hip hop, blues, Stax, Elvis, but we plan on changing that.
Roket: Does Sacrum have any band merchandise available yet? Shirts, cofffee mugs, you know the good stuff.
Jeff: We are working with some graphic artists to come up with logos for shirts and shit. As soon as we get big we are gonna go "Gene Simmons" with this thing, putting Sacrum on anything. Sacrum staplers, Sacrum toilet paper, Sacrum thongs, all that shit.
Rocket: Haha... bro, you're on fire today. Outstanding. Okay, closing the door on this bad boy, if you had a chance to meet face to face with M Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, would you shake his hand or break it?
Jeff: I'm not gonna advocate violence, unless Mr. Sevenfold was talking shit. I guess I respect the fact that they are making records, even though they are records I personally would never jam on. I actually listened to "City of Evil" but I'm not a 14 yr old girl so I didn't buy it. Just because your guitar players learned some sweep arpeggios and you try to do Maiden-esque twin guitar it doesn't make you metal. Plus I read somewhere they call themselves "Goth fashion-core", what the fuck does fashion have to do with metal? Goth faggot-core is a little more suitable.
Brad: Rocket, I am so glad you asked me a question like this; I don't want to come off as a redneck, pissed-off, anger driven guy, but by-god I am. I don't know too much about him personally but I've heard and seen enough to know what I concieve him to be. He is NOT a metal singer but he's in a metal band. I don't need a 1,000 effects on my voice to sound heavy, it comes naturally to me. It has to come from the soul. Tattooed two sleeves, mascara, and a girly T-shirt doesn't qualify you as metal. He is no competition to me; stand him on stage next to me; you'll not only hear the difference you'll see it. To answer the question, I'd shake his hand as long as he knows don't fuck with me and I won't fuck you up. Journey called they want their choruses back. See you on the road.
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