Witchkiller Guitarist Talks About Band's Classic 'Day Of The Saxons' EP
Dragonight.de has published the first-ever online interview with a member of the classic Canadian heavy metal legend WITCHKILLER. Guitarist Kurt Phillips answered questions about the band's deal with Metal Blade Records, recording the legendary "Day of the Saxons" EP and band's history, most of which was a mystery to fans. An excerpt from the question-and-answer session follows:
Dragonight.de: What were you guys doing after the band split up? Are you still in touch with other band members?
Kurt: I know only a little bit, but will share with you what I know. I am still friends with Todd Pilon. In fact, in May of this year (2006) I visited him in Ottawa and we caught up, although we have been in correspondence throughout the years. He still plays, though not so much as he has a great son and a demanding job. As for Steve [Batky, drums] and Doug [Adams, vocals], there was a great estrangement between us three, and that saddens me. I know that when you are young and hot-headed, and not so good at conflict resolution, words can be said and deeds done that are very improper and hurtful. I, myself, have been guilty of that. I have tried to contact Doug Adams in Toronto, with no results. He is the president of a world-renowned company that does pyro for mega bands (METALLICA, KISS, BRITNEY SPEARS, SHANIA TWAIN, etc.) and has done so well for himself. A record label also released a limited-to-500 edition of the original ACEIUM record. Steve Batky moved to L.A., changed his last name to Napoleon, and had moderate success with a band called I, NAPOLEON. He is running a leather goods company somewhere down there and also is doing well. Earlier this year, Todd and I left a message with Steve's father to contact us but again, no result.
Dragonight.de: I know you started the WARHAG band... Can we say it's kind of WITCHKILLER's continuation?
Kurt: Well, I never lost my love for N.W.O.B.H.M./ European-style which was the foundation of WITCHKILLER's starting point. So, yes, it is a continuation of what I would have brought to any new WITCHKILLER songs. WARHAG is a continuation of that, plus it lends itself a bit of theatrics and epic story-telling. As I have become a better player and more mature, there are SLIGHT elements of prog, or unusual stuff for a bit of flavour. I am interested in pushing the boundaries but not so much that it becomes something too different. I also write music that I want to hear and hopefully the fans want to hear that, too. Basically, I have always enjoyed the metal I listen to as a mini-orchestra, and so it needs to contain certain elements, including but not limited to, composition, technical excellence, strong singer and well-produced. These are very selective element. What I like, maybe my friend Mike Kischnik (EMPYRIA, THOR) and his wife, Tracy, both metal fans, maybe doesn't.
Dragonight.de: You re-recorded the WITCHKILLER cult song "Day of the Saxons", here as the "Saxons' Return"... I would say it was like a gift to your old fans...?
Kurt: Yes, it would be a gift for the old fans, and a calling card to new fans. I thought if people recognize the song, and we really have a blast playing the song, [so] why not?? Some people have enjoyed the small bits we did to it, some not. But really, I want them to hear what we are doing now, so if that helps attract them, then I'm in.
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