Coming off the release of their latest studio album, Savage Messiah are proving themselves to be one of the best metal bands the UK has to offer. We caught up with frontman and guitarist Dave Silver ahead of their Leeds show supporting Cradle of Filth.
Noizze: So you've just released your 4th full length studio album Hands of Fate, can you tell us a bit about how it differs from your previous records and how you chose to approach it?
Dave: So the biggest change is that we consciously decided not to write any songs that were completely thrash. We felt stifled and bored with that direction and we decided we wanted to do something fresh. In terms of recording we were approaching it in the same way that bands like Def Leopard approached Pyromania, really detailed production: thats what Scott Atkins our producer is really into.
Noizze: Do you have any favourites from the album?
Dave: I really like all the songs on the album for what they are. We were very focussed in terms of each song, we had an inspired idea behind each one and when I listen to it, I hear the original intention. I really like the song 'Solar Corona' and the last song on the record ('Out of Time') because we co-wrote that with a guy from a band called Tesla, which was pretty cool.
Noizze: Some big news came in August this year when you announced that you'd signed a deal with Century Media Records. They have some brilliant artists on their books, what does it mean to be included alongside them?
Dave: It's really great yeah. We had been signed to Earache for a few years and that relationship had come to an end. We, the band, were really the driving factor in that, which is kind of unusual and we requested to have our contract terminated. They were very gracious about it and agreed to let us go, so then we started from zero: we wrote the album, recorded the album, self financed it, took it to labels. When Century media and other big metal labels made us offers on it, we felt we made the right decision.
Noizze: You've been on tour with some big names, gun to your head, which tour was your favourite?
Dave: Amon Amarth hands down. They were just the greatest guys and really nice to us. It was a long tour and really big shows, it was great.
Noizze: Keeping on the tour theme, you must have some great tour stories. Bearing in mind we're on the record, can you share one with us?
Dave: Well...We once nearly killed our guitar player by mistake when we administered a larger than recommended dose of laxatives post-show. That was when we toured with Trivium, it was the last show and we collectively decided it would be funny. It's not funny, don't ever do it!
Noizze: Over your 10 year span as a band, you've done some amazing things, what would you consider a career highlight so far?
Dave: Pretty much everything surrounding this record really because we've been in complete control. A lot of the time in the past we'd make a record, give it to the label and just kind of be like “O.K. There you go”. But with this we had a plan and it's been really satisfying to see it come to fruition through following the steps that we had already mapped out. But you know, there has been loads of cool stuff that we've done, going to play in T Tokyo...
Noizze: Oh was that last year when you opened the main stage at Loud Park Festival?
Dave: That was Loud Park Festival yeah, it was amazing. It's the second biggest indoor arena in the world and so there was like 25,000 people there. Those are the gigs where, when you first strum a chord, it's like when you listen to Iron Maiden and have a flicker of “wow. Could I maybe...?” Of course there is a gulf in reality between what we did, playing Loud Park, and Iron Maiden. But for that split second we experienced what that felt like. So that was a career high and something that I'm quite proud that we were able to do.
Noizze: How well were you received by the fans? The Japanese fans are notorious for being really passionate about the bands and artists they like.
Dave: Yeah it was crazy you know, we sold every single item of merch. We had like 400 people turn up to the meet and greet and it's so funny in Japan because everything is so strict on time. We had like 35 minutes, but time came and went and at the end, there were still people left. So we said “We'll stay, we'll stay. We don't mind” but they were like “Nope. Signing session is over.”
Noizze: So going back to the new album, it was recorded at Rockfield Studios. There's so much history there, do you think it had an effect on the way the record came out?
Dave: I think so. We went there predominantly just to do drums and one of the coolest things about Rockfield is that it is one of the very few studios left in the world that has actual reverb rooms. So all the drums that you hear on the album are real hits on a real drum. The reverb is a real reverb and completely unique to that drum kit.
The history there...when you're actually there you tend to forget but then the people who run it will go “Oh thats the piano that Freddie Mercury wrote 'Bohemian Rhapsody' on” and you're just like “Oh wow, nice.”
Noizze: What goals do you have set for Savage Messiah now that Hands of Fate is finished and out there?
Dave: Just to tour really and take the music to the people. It's interesting, we've done lots of touring in the past but it's always been a little bit start-stop. Now we've started the cycle for this album and we're touring with Cradle of Filth. It might seem completely bizarre on paper for us to be touring with them, but it's great because it's putting us in front of different fans. What we're finding is that most of the people that we're playing to don't know who we are and I think thats great because what we want to do is reach a broader audience: We've toured with Amon Amarth, Trivium, Testament and those sorts of bands and it's more or less a similar audience. We know if we were to do our own show, that is the pool of fans we would be drawing from, so to play to a totally different audience is great.
Noizze: So, given it's not your usual audience, what has the reaction been like from the Cradle of Filth fans?
Dave: It's been great yeah! It's been really good.
Noizze: Who is your favourite band to listen to right now?
Dave: I like that band London Grammar. I think she's got a really cool voice and she captures this kind of complete melancholy in her voice. But yeah I really like them at the moment.
Noizze: So the albums name, is it a reference to the film Manos: The Hands of Fate?
Dave: It's not actually no. It's about this concept I read about called the locust of control; which is how people subjectively interpret what happens to them in their own lives. Not necessarily where they place blame, but where they place responsibility. So if you're somebody that goes through life and when you reflect on everything that happens to you, you think “Well it's because that person did that” or “I could've if it wasn't for this”: that's considered a very external locust of control. But if you're somebody that really takes responsibility,“I messed that up” or “I achieved that because I did that, that and that”, you're said to have a really strong internal locust of control. So it's a juxtaposition of an idea that the Hands of Fate: Is it in our hands or is it beyond our control?
Noizze: So we've talked a lot about your music, what do you like to do away from music?
Dave: Well, I don't really know. I seem to live it every single day. I live in Italy at the foot of the mountains in Verona, so I like to go up into the mountains, I like to go to lake Garda which is really beautiful. I've just decorated my house, I like to do that kind of stuff. Ooh and football, I like football.
Noizze: Ahh ok, who's your team?
Dave: Everton, I support Everton. So the less said about them at the moment the better.
Noizze: Thank you and good luck with the tour!