Interview With Sacrum
Memphis, Tennessee is famous for being the home of the man with the dangerous hips and velvet-lined voice, Elvis Presley. I knew the first time that I came across Sacrum's music profile on Myspace that I was looking at the future of heavy music when listening to their down home, ass stomping brand of metal. They have now really started a serious buzz for themselves, and I'm not talking about their partying activities either. Sacrum has a lot of great people surrounding them at this point in time and the members of the band are some of the most intensely driven musicians I've ever witnessed. I have nothing but the utmost confidence in this group really staking its claim in metal over the coming years. This interview covers a lot of exciting ground and I'm pleased to be working as closely as I do with them.
Rocket: I love the new song The Eyes. What's it about?
Brad: It's based on a belief I have that sometimes the eyes see what they want to see, and not always what is real. The eyes can play tricks with your mind but also can strip away the false traits of people right in front of you. Deep, huh?
Jeff: Musically, it's one of our more technical songs and Harvey goes crazy behind the kit. If anybody hasn't watched the DVD footage on myspace "The Eyes" is on there and it's as tight as a dolphin's ass.
Rocket: Haha. So Harv your drummer is still in England and won't be back til July, right? Is that when Sacrum plans to get back out performing again?
Jeff: Yeah, Harv has actually been in law school the last 4 or 5 years. It has been hard on the band and extremely fucking frustrating, but in the end it has worked out for the best. It has made us want it more, and being on hiatus every year makes you use the time you do have more effectively; And we always come back with more fury.
Rocket: So let me ask you about this recently posted Sacrum live video performance up on your MySpace profile. What song is it for? Who recorded it?
Jeff: It is actually just edited footage of us playing live in January 2006. It's raw man, no fuckin' frills, which is our element. I've seen so many metal bands that sound good on record but live, they're shit. We like playing live more than anything. The footage is 5 songs but we have 4 more from the same show coming soon that are unreleased. And it was all shot and edited by the 5th member, our video guy, Mike D.
Rocket: You said Sacrum plans to play shows in Texas. Is this the furthest you plan to venture out from your hometown?
Mike D: No way.. the band plans on playing anywhere and everywhere that want to hear us... We have people on our site from Germany, Mexico, Canada, and Australia, to name a few, who send us emails every day asking when the band is coming to play live. Our main goal is just to play for as many people as possible and spread the word, because if anyone sees the band live they will become fans, if not already.
Rocket: What other new songs are you guys working on that you can tell us about?
Brad: The new songs are, (and I don't use this term lightly) extremely brutal. We've stripped away alot of the storytelling and really focused on our own lives. Poverty, neglect, personal hatred, and success at any cost are just some of the subjects.
Rocket: Sounds pretty killer to me.
Jeff: The first 2 albums are written completely on guitar. The new stuff is more technical and progressive; a little more brutal. It's definately the next step up for us, because we are tired of because we are tired of weak-ass, cookie-cutter metal bands.
Rocket: How's the reaction been lately on Sacrum's Myspace page? You guys still seem to be drawing a lot of attention.
Mike D: The response from people all over the myspace world has been overwhelming. The kind words and comments have kept our spirits up during this latest hiatus, and we will never forget the ones who were there for us in the beginning. We respond to every email we get because we truly appreciate anyone who takes the time to support us.
Rocket: Is it just me or has this been one of the slowest years for metal so far, in terms of good new album releases? Unless you're a Tool fan...haha... and to me, they're about as Disco now as Korn. Any new metal albums that you guys have been digging?
Brad: A lot of the bands we grew up with are trying to make comebacks and we all know it just ain't there anymore. The only 2 albums I own from the last 2 years are Iced Earth (The Glorious Burden) and Beyond Fear (Ripper Owen's new band). Everything else is either watered down or emo garbage.
Jeff: Man, you ain't fuckin' kidding. The only recent metal album, which is older now, that I dug was "Ashes of the Wake". I met those guys twice when they have been through Memphis, and I actually gave John Cambell, the bass player, a blunt while he was fighting with his wife on his Blackberry. I have had it with the state of metal and am ready for our fucking album to come out.
Rocket: I wanted to say how much I enjoy the new look of your MySpace profile page. It looks like you guys are putting more effort into it. Do you guys hire someone to do that or just handle it yourself?
Mike D: We pretty much handle everything ourselves. I am in charge of daily maintenance and responding to emails, and Jeff does pretty much the same thing. Brad and Big John have been more hands-on lately, and Harvey is doing what he can while trying to finish school in England. Our man Fat Joe helped us with the graphics and some of the more "technical" web site stuff. Hopefully our Myspace gets big enough to hire someone, but for now we like the hands-on approach. Fans dont want emails from a hired hand; metal fans want to hear from someone in the band, which Brad, Jeff, John, and Harv have been doing all along. We read every single comment and every single email we get.
Rocket: So once Harv gets back what is Sacrum's next moves? You guys will be playing live shows again before summer is over, correct?
Mike D : Yeah, Harv will be back mid-July and that's when we plan on getting this juggernaut rolling. We have used this down time getting everything lined up. The myspace and the sickmetal.com contest (which we just entered the finals of) have been our main focus until Harv gets back.
Rocket: I know this has been an exciting month in May for this band, being that you entered the semi-finals for this metal band contest at sickmetal.com and now it looks like you're going to be advancing to the finals, right?
Jeff: It is now a done deal, man. Thanks to all our great fucking fans who helped us stay in the lead all month. We blew everybody's ass away, and we are on our way to the finals. We love each and everyone of you that voted, and those who didn't fucking suck. So many people took this shit lightly, but our die-hard fans are true man, and that is what this shit is about.
Rocket: Tell us more about the details of the contest? What exactly is the grand prize for the winner of the final round in June?
Jeff: The grand prize is a record contract and a video to directed by a guy that worked Spiderman 1 and 2. We also get a slot to play Minneapolis Mayhem in August, which we would love. We really wanna do that fucking gig. The judges for the finals include Lemmy, Don Dokken, and Jani Lane!
Rocket: Do you have any idea of who you will be competing against in this final round?
Brad: I don't really think it matters much. I've listened to all of them and if Lemmy, Don Dokken, and Jani Lane can't see that we're the best by a country mile, I don't know what to say. It's out of our hands now. None of 'em can touch us, and they don't have the love and the drive that we have.
Jeff: Yeah, we have checked 'em all out and I only see one or two besides us that can even be considered. We destroyed Unmaker and Abonos in the May voting but they were allowed to advance to the finals anyway. That kind of sucked, but Abonos has a 2 minute skin flute solo as their intro, and Unmaker wear undershirts doused with fake blood. And they are not even the worst; one finalist is a one man band who recently posted a blog on his site saying the was thinking about quitting music. Too bad that idea didn't come to him earlier.
Rocket: Haha. Classic. I know you guys have expressed your anger and frustration with your local Memphis radio station 92.9FM for not supporting Sacrum whatsoever, to help get the word out on this. You guys obviously blew away the competition in the semi-finals... what do you attribute that to?
Brad: Memphis radio blows as far as metal is concerned. The problem with 92.9 is that they don't listen to their fans. When you play a "Locals only" band who blows away any of your regular airplay selections, something ain't right.
Jeff: Man, those bastards didn't even give us a shout-out our even say the website. They didn't encourage a single fucker to go vote in May. We are used to dealing with haters in this city; nobody wants to see anybody but themselves make it. So yeah, just us hustlin' and having some fucking awesome fans has kept the word out. The songs we have recorded so far are all demos but it sounds so different from the other stuff on Memphis radio. Other bands who have money and better production don't sound as good as our stuff, but I guess you can't polish a turd.
Rocket: Can you give us an idea of what kind of music your local radio DJ is playing anyway? Give us names of bands.
Jeff: Think of the gayest shit ever... The Killers, Avenged Sevenfold, Yellow Card... should I go on? And when they do finally play Metallica, it's "Hero of the Day" or something terrible off "Fuel". No Pantera, No Megadeth, No Balls!
Brad: Garbage.... Top 10 metal (and I use the term "metal" loosely) like Avenged Sevenfold, System of a Down, and a bunch of terrible emo crap.
Rocket: Oh, man. It's makin me sick to my stomach. I know you guys were deadly committed to this sickmetal.com contest from early on. I remember getting a note from you saying that you'd been up two days straight with no sleep trying to get the word out over MySpace? Haha... that's hardcore stuff -- tell me some of the other countries outside of our own that you were getting great response from for this effort?
Brad: Jeff can answer this, I'm not computer literate.
Jeff: Oh man, it was all over the fucking place like Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Mexico, Germany, and the Netherlands. Literally all over the world. That really says somthing of an unsigned band. We're as underground as it gets.
Rocket: My big question is what were you taking or drinking to help you stay up for so long? Ha! Was it just a steady flow of Coca Cola or energy drink?
Jeff: Man, all it took was will-power, and some swisher cigarillos full of some good. That's all I needed, and I couldnt sleep thinking those bastards were creeping up on us. I have to give it to 'em for not quitting, but I fucking hated them during the contest.
Rocket: Haha. Sounds like it. How many hours a day would you say were spent in front of the computer on average trying to drum up support for this contest?
Jeff: Between me and Mike D, at least 10 to 12 hours a day and I don't have a computer myself except at work. We sent so many emails out, we were exceeding myspace's limit for messaging every day. It was re-god-damn-diculous. But shit, looks like it paid off. If we would have lost then we would have felt pretty bootleg.
Rocket: So what else have you guys been up to besides this contest? I know when we last spoke you had just finished the song The Eyes. Have you been working on anything else that's new?
Jeff: Yeah, I have been preparing our next record while Harv was gone. When he gets back we will jam a couple of weeks, attack Memphis, then we are getting the fuck out. We love this town and it's our home, but the scene here sucks more than Anna Nicole at a retirement home.
Rocket: Haha... well she can suck on Rocket all she wants, that's for sure. Now, I'm sure like everyone in the extended metal family, you guys watched the Pantera Behind The Music program on VH1. A lot of people came out of that hating Phil Anselmo even more... what was your guys take on it? And I imagine being such big Dime fans as you are, that some of that shooting footage was really difficult to watch.
Jeff: Man, am I glad you are giving me a shot to vent, Rocket; you read my mind.
Jeff: First off I want to say I feel for Vinnie and Rita so much, and my heart and deepest sympathies go out to them and their family, God Bless them. That being said, FUCK VH1; they didn't focus on the strengths of Pantera, the fact that they single-handedly redefined Heavy Metal, and dominated stages all over the world. Instead, the focused on the Goddamn Bullshit. The hype that the media force-fed people like the drugs. Fuck, I have said horrible things about my own brother but that doesn't mean I don't regret it. Words are merely that, words... not something to live and die on . Those guys were brothers, they changed the world together, and that is what VH1 should have shown; the good times. Fuck those metal mags; blame those fuckers for fueling a goddamn neurotic psycho like Nathan Gale. And blame Nathan Gale's mom for buying this marine discharge a gun. Don't blame Phil, blame media hype bullshit! I lost it when they showed Dime's dad... I cried like a baby. Dime is the best ever and we truly love Pantera.
Rocket: Right on. You hear that, Dimebag. We all love and miss yah from the true underground of metal, dude. And Philly, we have your back! So what happens next with the contest that we can make everyone aware about? Does it just start right back up again on June 1st? And we should all just be ready to go to sickmetal.com and get our votes in?
Jeff: Well it's in the hands of the judges now. We have done all we can do. Just keep us in your thoughts... hopefully we will fuckin' win.
Rocket: Brothers, I have a real good feeling about this one. Go ahead and give some words of thanks to all the people that voted for Sacrum and helped push you into the final round.
Brad : Well, have we got time to thank 5,000 people? Rocket, I'm not going to make your job harder. We thank everybody who voted even just once for us. But if I could name a few people I would like to thank Psycho Bitch, Megadeth Maiden, Gothabella, Rising Force, Big, Bad and Sexy, Cemetary Gates, and Fat Joe. Also thanks goes out to all our fans across the lake. We love you all... Jeff: We sent out countless bulletins and we fuckin' love each and every one of our fans; they are why we do this. I wanna thank my girl Emmers in Florida (probably my favorite fan) and her sister Kimberly. These girls are the fucking shit! Gotta shout out some Memphis folks.... Phil, Maria Lane, Drew, The Abis', The Replays crew, and everyone who responded to our random messages and voted. Everybody who voted, and you know who you are, we are gonna do this shit real soon. If not by this contest, then some other way. Cheers and Stay Metal! Sacrum and The Metal Den in '06 !
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