Interview with guitarist Patrick Evil and drummer Anthony Lopez
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: March 14, 2015
Colorado-based, diabolical-sounding Heavy Metallers Satan's Host have come a long way since the band's inception in 1977. Pre-dating god Parts 1 & 2 represent the band's 9th and 10th studio albums and so far the sales have been insane; almost 10,000 units so far, which is a pretty good number for an underground band like Satan's Host.
On Pre-dating god Parts 1 & 2 Satan's Host have got their creative juices flowing so well that it is already being considered their best album to date, even better than the band's classic debut album Metal from Hell, released in 1986.
The Metal Crypt contacted Satan's Host to find out a bit more about these magickal opuses and both Patrick and Anthony were there to reveal some things about these masterpieces. Read on...
Luxi: Pre-dating god Parts 1 & 2 are your ninth and tenth studio albums and your most ambitious to date. Obviously your creative juices have been flowing well with respect to Satan's Host's songwriting process over the past 5-6 months or so, right?
Patrick: Yeah, on these albums the ideas just started coming and it went very smooth, almost as if the hand of the devil guided our way!
Anthony: To me it's one album. We had so much material that it just transpired as two parts. We are always writing. The songwriting process is always an on-going thing in our camp and we are already writing new material for upcoming releases. We have so much fun developing songs and ideas that it is always an ongoing process. We don't plan when we will write, we like the spontaneity of it. Pat is always developing material on his own and when we are in the rehearsal space he tries out his riffs with me and it just goes from there.
Luxi: Pre-dating god Parts 1 & 2 could well give people the impression that it is a concept album. Is that the case and what is the concept?
Patrick: The concept explored on the albums is that human DNA was manipulated at some point in history. As you listen to the album you go from the point of view from the creator to the point of view from man and there are many other hidden messages. The best way to grasp what is within is to listen to the albums and read the lyrics together.
Anthony: There is always some underlying concept within our albums, but it's difficult to say or explain this one. It's basically the same kind of feel as By the Hands of the Devil, looking at what's behind the veil of life and reality, trying to get the listener to think out of the box and look for truth in existence, trying to expose lies, etc... and how it connects to ancient history, how we have been lied to all along so that the powers that be can continue to enslave us, stuff like that. Satan is there; it's for the listener to discover.
Luxi: Was Pre-dating god Parts 1 & 2 a demanding record lyrically?
Patrick: Not really. We have a great chemistry between all the members of the band and when we write together it just comes to us quickly.
Anthony: No, not really, it just comes naturally for us. Patrick brings new song ideas and structures and he has titles and knows what the song is about and we just go from there. The lyrics and the melodies just flow out of us very naturally. We have such a magickal chemistry and are on the same page that most times we are all thinking the same thing.
Luxi: The albums were recorded between July and September 2014 at Flatline Audio and it was produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Dave Otero. What kind of studio spectacle was it for you to get this album recorded? Would you say you paid more attention to little details this time around?
Patrick: This was probably one of the smoothest albums to record we have done to date. We had a vision of what we wanted and we made sure that our ideas for sound and concepts were brought to the forefront. No matter how hard it may be to capture on tape we just make sure we are prepared and unleash the demons within ourselves.
Anthony: All the tracking was done at the end of July and beginning of Aug, the rest of the time was mixing when Dave had time. He had other things going on at the same time. We really don't waste any time and our goal is always to do immaculate tracking, straight from the heart with fire and as much perfection as possible. We have so much experience tracking and recording that at this point it is second nature for us. Plus we have done so many albums with Dave that we have a good understanding of what is expected, what is going to happen and what we want to improve on that it is just a flawless working relationship and we just go in and deliver the goods. We enjoy every aspect that goes into this band and we are very fortunate to have the chemistry we do. We are a very non-dramatic band and we don't like inner turmoil. It is counterproductive and we just have so much fun doing what we are doing and we enjoy each other's company. Life isn't perfect and we roll with the punches. We are able to regroup and carry on if anything is a barrier. That's about all you can do; learn from it and hope that whatever the problem was we steer clear of it in the future. There are always some little problems but we don't like to stew on it and we just push it aside or rectify it and press on. Life is too short.
Luxi: Did Dave Otero, your producer, have more of a role with this new record than being the producer? Was he somehow more involved with this record than he was on Virgin Sails, for example?
Patrick: I would say we got more involved as there was time for us to be there at the end. Sometimes in the past things that were out of our hands kept us from finishing and we had to rely on others to finish. We like to be hands on throughout the process and this time it was easier for that to happen.
Anthony: No, it was basically how we work all the time with him. It's a team effort. Everyone knows their role in the project and each one of us, including Dave, goes into the project with the mindset to outdo the last effort. Everyone knows what their job is and is expected to take it to a higher level than the last time whether it is performances, creativity, and professionalism; every aspect and essence of Satan's Host is to take it to a higher level and to come out with a brilliant product in the end. We had some unforeseen things happen with Virgin Sails and the album still came out brilliant. Regroup and carry on.
Luxi: Does this latest Satan's Host's opus give you more satisfaction compared to the all other albums that you have recorded so far?
Patrick: I love every album we have done. The greatest part of recording is hearing it finished. It blows your mind listening to the finished product knowing you started from nothing. That is very exciting and rewarding!
Anthony: I think we achieved what we always set out to do with each album, but this one felt more special, this one has a new magickk that I've never experience with Satan's Host. Each album is magickkal in its own way, but this one has a special flair to it.
Luxi: What are some of your favorite songs from Pre-dating god Parts 1 & 2?
Patrick: I love all the songs on this album. It is hard for me to pick one song over another. I love playing all the songs live and it just makes it harder when we play live because we have so many stellar songs!
Anthony: I don't like singling out certain songs; they are all powerful to me. We don't believe in a "filler" song and every song we record we can reproduce live. If we can't produce it live and enjoy it, it gets scrapped from the album. I've never experienced that playing with Patrick; every song I've produced with him since I joined for Power ~ Purity ~ Perfection...999 we have played live or have played in rehearsals. Not every song makes it to a set list for a performance and we have so many killer songs, it would be impossible, lol. Each song on Pre-dating god has a spirit of its own, its own voice and life.
Luxi: One of those things that I have always admired about Satan's Host is your ability to create strong atmospheres within your songs. How do you do it? Where do all those strong atmospheres come from?
Patrick: I think it comes from the way we write music. We love aggressive epic music and we write as fans and create the music we want to hear and would go spend our money on.
Anthony: That is just part of the magickk of Satan's Host. It all starts with Pat, he is the Master!
Luxi: It seems like ever since Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin rejoined the band in 2010 there has been a boost in all your doings, like nothing could stop you now. How much do you credit Harry's input for the growing popularity of Satan's Host among the Heavy Metal community?
Patrick: I think it's all a part of our legacy and having Harry in the band gives us the true spirit of where the band came from so many years ago. It shows the chemistry that Harry, Anthony and I have. The energy and chemistry we share makes writing music a blast and I think that shows in the music.
Anthony: I honestly think Harry and Satan's Host haven't gotten their due from the Heavy Metal community. Who out there is doing what Harry has been doing with Satan's Host since By the Hands of the Devil? We took Metal to a whole new level with the release of that album. For the most part we have gotten high praise from all the underground outlets and we appreciate everything that they have done for us but the larger magazines and outlets continue to ignore us. Some have told us it's because of the name but we aren't going to change a 30+-year-old name. Some say it's because of the Satanism but I see a lot of more well-known Metal bands that are bluntly Satanic. We are constantly told by people from all over the world that they don't understand why we are not a forerunner Heavy Metal band. We have fans all over the globe and they write us all the time and ask us to come to their country and perform for them. We are working really hard to make that happen and we have the goods and the desire to go all over to bring the Legions what they want. It's a difficult world. I think that Harry and the band haven't been getting the credit we deserve, especially Harry. No one can do both traditional singing with a large range and sing Death and Black like Harry can. All the voices you hear on the album are voices that he is projecting; there are no effects to create his vocals. All that is done is the basic reverb and delays that are used in the final mix like anyone one else would use but for the initial voices, it is all Harry. The real scary demonic voices are all Harry and that holds true for all the albums that he has done with us.
Luxi: It's well known what Harry is capable of vocally but somehow it feels like his vocal arsenal is now fully in use on Pre-dating god Parts 1 & 2. I am sure you are very proud of what Harry has accomplished on this new Satan's Host record, right?
Patrick: Yes indeed we all are proud of Harry's vocals, my guitar playing Anthony's drums, my bass playing; each moment requires us to push ourselves harder and go where we have never been. The music takes on a life of its own and it demands our very best!
Anthony: Harry can do anything vocally. I think he is singing at his best right now and he is always up to new challenges. That's what we all strive for in this band; challenges but at the same time knowing our limitations. It has to be natural in delivery. It is fun writing lyrics and harmonies for Harry because you know he can do anything that is required and then he performs it and surpasses any expectation. It's awesome! From talking to Harry since we received the final mix, he is truly happy and proud of this one.
Luxi: Do you feel like you have outdone yourselves on this new Satan's Host album?
Patrick: I always end up feeling like I have to do more I am never satisfied. I listen and think I could have done this or that. In the end you have to capture the initial spark of why you wrote a song or it gets lost. I think we did a great job doing that.
Anthony: To some extent there is always room to grow and that's how we look at it. I feel we surpassed the previous albums but the goal on the next effort is to surpass this one. That's just how we look at it. Every new album is a new adventure, why would we want to go backwards?
Luxi: What made you decide to cover Grim Reaper's legendary song "See You in Hell" for this album? Is there a love in the Satan's Host's camp for Grim Reaper?
Patrick: Actually we needed a song for the Keep It True tribute album and we didn't have much time. Harry knew the vocals already so I listened to the song and we played it together and it came out great!
Anthony: We are a "Keep It True" festival alumni and the festival makes a CD every year of bands performing songs of another band that has played the festival. They asked us earlier this year if we would like to do that so we recorded the Grim Reaper song. There is another version of us performing the song on their CD and we liked it so much we decided to do again in the P.D.g. session and add it as a bonus track. Plus the song goes over great live and we have all been Grim Reaper fans since the original See You in Hell album came out. I was 13 years old when it came out and I still have the original cassette somewhere in my boxes of old cassettes and magazines. I save everything like that, lol!
Luxi: When we spoke last time, Patrick mentioned that you are working on new songs that will probably end up on Satan's Host next release. You seem to be in a very fruitful and creative phase of life. Can you explain what makes you as incredibly creative as you are?
Patrick: I think what happens is I love hearing new music and in the old days there was so many great albums coming out I had to set my sound apart from others. I love playing music and now every-time I play music I get new songs and ideas that I need to unleash from within. So I never rest on albums or ideas. It's a never-ending process that will only grow as we travel down the roads.
Luxi: Are there any plans to support the release of Pre-dating god Parts 1 & 2 with live shows yet? Is Europe on your list?
Patrick: We are always working on playing live whenever opportunities present themselves. The music industry is in a hard place for independent bands because it costs so much to travel and tour. It gets harder and harder to do it all on our own so we keep pushing on, writing and recording, knowing the music will take us where we want to go. There is nothing that can stop the Satan's Host machine!
Anthony: We are in planning mode at this time. News will come out when we are able to confirm something solid.
Luxi: What do you expect from touring? Meeting people, meeting fans, seeing new cultures, etc.?
Patrick: To me it is rewarding having the fans singing along to the music and their energy. Without the fans we would not exist!
Anthony: I love to travel and see new places. I've been a globetrotter since I was a kid and I love to meet new people, see historical places, etc. I love meeting new fans and playing out. That's what we want to do. Plus, you always make great new friends and allies everywhere you go. That is one of the biggest reasons why I took up playing music; I love to play in new places for people and it is a great thing.
Luxi: Is it basically same for you if you play at small clubs or big festivals? Which one do you prefer?
Patrick: I prefer playing for the most hardcore fans. They have a madness in them that makes us want to keep pushing ourselves. It is also great when someone that may have never have given you a listen says afterword you blew their mind.
Anthony: Well the bigger the audience, the bigger the rush for me, though I love playing the smaller places where it is a bit more intimate. I love it all so both for me.
Luxi: What are your predictions for Satan's Host in 2015? Do you expect to do a lot of gigs and even play outside of your home country more than ever?
Patrick: When you do this for as long as we have your expectations are neither high nor low. What keeps this band going is our ability to create new music. We just keep pushing ourselves like we always do.
Anthony: I predict success for us on many levels in 2015. We work hard every day to keep building up the band so I would expect many new things to happen for us in the future.
Luxi: In 2017 it will be 40 long years since Satan's Host was formed. Have you talked about planning something special for that year?
Patrick: Yes there are some big plans for that and the 30-year anniversary of Metal from Hell. We want to make it special for all our fans and to do things that reward them and ourselves. This industry is cut throat yet here we stand proud and true!
Anthony: Not much talk has been happening. We've thrown some ideas out here and there and I'm sure it will be something special. We'll have to wait and see.
Luxi: I want to thank both of you for taking some time with my questions and I wish you the best of success with Satan's Host. If any of you have any closing words for your fans and the readers of The Metal Crypt, then be my guest... ;o)
Patrick: Thanks for always supporting us. To all our fans, World Wide 9 and to everyone who keeps Metal alive, let us reign in this unholy place!
Anthony: Hails to the Legions World Wide 9! Thank you for your support! Thanks to The Metal Crypt and Luxi for always believing in us and supporting us with every effort. It is greatly appreciated! Hope to see everyone in 2015!!!
|Other information about Satan's Host on this site|
|Review: Burning the Born Again... (a New Philosophy)|
|Review: Power ˜ Purity ˜ Perfection...999|
|Review: Metal From Hell|
|Review: By the Hands of the Devil|
|Review: Virgin Sails|
|Review: Virgin Sails|
|Review: Pre-dating God - Part 1 & 2|
|Interview with Eli Elixir (vocals) on October 15, 2009 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)|
|Interview with guitarist Patrick Evil and drummer Anthony Evil Hobbit on July 17, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)|
|Video: Metal From Hell|
|Video: Satanic Magisterium|
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