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Interview With Craig Saner Of Burnt Shadows

The Seattle, Washington music scene may be still a barren ghost town compared to the way it used to produce one big Rock band after the next, but what I find most satisfying is knowing that from the ashes of Cobain and Staley, now rises a downright sickening hardcore/thrash metal band like Burnt Shadows. This band sounds very Slayer-esque at times, yet somehow still manage to carve out their own brutal musical identity. They are quickly making a name for themselves in their local area and that momentum doesn't seem to be slowing down at all. I was able to get some questions in recently with one of their two guitarists, Craig Saner.

Rocket: So are you originally from Seattle, Washington?

Craig: Well, basically, I did most of my growing up in Federal Way. Didn't really see much of Seattle until I was in high school. I think my first trip to Seattle was for Hempfest in '98.

Rocket: When did you start playing electric guitar? And did you ever take any lessons?

Craig: I picked up the guitar when I was in 8th grade. I started my first band when I was a junior in high school. The band name was F.T.C., Fuck The Cops. Right!! It was highly punk influenced, thrash driven, skate music. We sucked, but that was the point. As far as lessons go. I took some for about a month and a half at the age of 15. I wish would have stuck with it but other things were more important at the time like weed, beer and girls.

Rocket: Haha. That's metal for yah! What kind of guitars are you playing on?

Craig: I always play on Jacksons. My first one was the Jackson Kelly. Jackson has always done me right. I might pick up a Schecter one day. I like the solid body and the wood grain look to them.

Rocket: What kind of amp set-up?

Craig: Crate Black Voodoo 100w head- -Ampeg 4x10 speaker box w/ 8ohm Celetion Greenbacks in it. It's thick.

Rocket: Do you play with any pedal effects?

Craig: Hell No! Straight head distortion.

Rocket: Right on. How did Dimebag Darrell's onstage murder in 2004 affect you?

Craig: I really didnt believe it at first. How could some dip-shit jump on stage and shoot Dimebag Darrell? He was a fucking god among men. One of the most influential and charismatic players I have ever seen hit the stage. Metal will never be the same.

Rocket: Who are some of the other bands you've played shows with recently that impressed you?

Craig: Mortal Remains, they're from the Tri-Cities area. These kids are all fifteen and are fucking death. Strigoi, a killer band from Kennewick, we played with them at the third annual Metal/mudFest in Idaho. Lahar, a strong hardcore band from Tacoma. Corporal Mortification, another young death band. Their from Maple Valley.

Rocket: Yeah, I've heard of those names too. And you're right, there are a lot of young bands tearing the scene up hard right now. So does the songwriting process for this band start with you on the riff?

Craig: It starts with the riff, turns into a song. Gets reworked about five times into a different song. Most of the time it ends up back to the original way it started.

Rocket: Haha. So what's the funniest thing that's happened to you on the stage?

Craig: Nothing too funny. Besides dressing up on Halloween as horror characters/killers. We stabbed each other on stage with tapped up machetes to Reigning Blood over the PA. I (Craig) was Michael Myers, Dan was Jason Voorhies, Tony was Hannibal Lechter and Brandon was Leather Face. It was fucking awesome. Dave wasn't with us then.

Rocket: Sounds like he missed out. Haha. What's been your favorite new metal album for 2006 so far, bro?

Craig: The Despised Icon / Ion Dissonance split MCD. Some heavy ass shit. Check them out.

Rocket: Hell yeah! Let me ask you, do you enjoy answering your fan mail on MySpace?

Craig: Yeah, it's cool. Brandon looks at most of it.

Rocket: What are the next upcoming shows for the band?

Craig:Jul 15 2006 5:00P The Old Shipwreck Tacoma, WA, Sep 1 2006 7:00P All Ages@ Studio 7 w/Suicide Silence, Light This City, All Shall Perish Seattle, WA Sep 26 2006 9:00P Maggie O' Toole's::. Project Independent Tour w/ I.R.A.T.E. Lakewood, WA.

Rocket: Thanks for chilling and giving us the scoop from your part of the world. Go ahead and give a shout out to your biggest supporters.

Craig: My girl Tina. All my good friends and family. My cousins Dave and Dan. My brothers Brandon and Tony.

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