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There are many who try to revive the eighties metal, there aren't many who succeed to create the same sound and vibe. Canadian Savage Blade actually does! Their debut "We Are The Hammer" hits the mark hard. Bass player Chris Rand is the one who gets us acquainted with his band.


Well for starters, can you give a little introduction of the band to our readers?
Along with other bands and projects, Eric and I played together in a Scorpions tribute band a few years ago. When the Scorpions project folded, Eric and I knew that we wanted to continue playing music together. We had become good friends, and both shared a love of traditional metal, so we began writing and arranging what would eventually become our debut album, "We are the hammer". Our only focus at the time was to record the best album we could, and leave any decisions about a live/touring band until after the record was done.Initially, when it came to vocal duties, we weren't sure what to do. Enter Nikko Forsberg - an ex-Mormon "wild child" that had been playing music in and around our region for some time. Nikko approached us, and quickly let us know that he was the singer we were looking for! We were impressed with his confidence, and immediately brought him into the studio to see what he could do. We recorded a cover version of Saxon's classic song, "Dallas 1PM", and Nikko absolutely killed it! We knew without a doubt that he would be the frontman for Savage Blade. He brought an instantly recognizable voice and identity to the band, and made it complete.

Your debut "We are the hammer" was first released by you guys as a self financed LP and as a USB stick. Cool and original, but I guess this was pretty pricy?
Yeah, the cost to put the album out on vinyl LP was quite a bit, but we really wanted to spare no expense when it came to the quality of the release. And I'm sure glad we didn't cheap out - the artwork, packaging and LP are top quality, and our fans seem to really appreciate that. The USB Flash drives aren't nearly as costly, and are a cool new way to release music - you can pack a lot more content in with the album - lyrics, photos, ringtones, bonus tracks, etc. More Blade for your buck!

Those cool USB sticks are sold out for a while, will you get new ones towards the future? How did or does the LP version saleswise?
The USB drives have been a huge success. Currently, we're looking into a new manufacturer for the drives as we got a few new ideas we want to try with them. We'll definitely have more available in the coming weeks. The LP has also been a great success - the limited edition is pretty much sold out - only a handful of copies left at this point. We were really surprised to see the amount of sales coming in, especially from Europe, even before we signed with Pure Steel, or had any significant promotions going on. A testament to the strength of the underground metal scene.

Now you signed to PURE STEEL records, they just released the cd version! Why did you pick them and why not the cd by yourselves aswell?
Once we completed the album, we received offers to release the album on CD  from a number of independent metal labels. We chose to work with Pure Steel as they're very committed to traditional metal, and are committed to developing and supporting us, as we move forward in all our efforts. They have a great distribution network in place, and they're good guys and easy to deal with!

Savage Blade is a cool metal name, any particular reason?
Yeah, it was definitely a calcuated decision. We wanted to choose a name that represented the classic style of metal that we are about. Savage Blade sounds like a band you might have heard of in the 80's, but you're not quite sure!

Eric Hoodicoff played next to rhythm and lead guitars also the drums. How come? Looking for a permanent drummer?
As Savage Blade started off as a project between Eric and I, we wrote, arranged and recorded everything ourselves. Eric's a kick-ass drummer and guitar player, so we just did what we needed to do in order to get the songs tracked. We currently in the middle of assembling and rehearsing the live/touring band, and we will be making an announcement soon revealing the 2 new members of the Blade!

With "We are the hammer" you wrote a real metal classic (at least according to us), do you feel the same way?
Chris: Wow... we're very thankful and humbled  to know you feel the album is already a metal classic. We're extremely proud of the songs - we put in every last bit of sweat, blood and beer to make the album as strong as we possibly could, and it's great to hear all the positive reviews it's getting so far.

"Stallions of the highway" and "The eagle has stranded" are two examples of clear allusions to Saxon, in the title that is. Fans? The musical influences are less obvious though?
We're huge fans of Saxon. Maybe the most under-rated, under-appreciated heavy rock band of their time (at least in Canada!). The allusions to them are made with the utmost respect. Maybe their influence on our music isn't completely obvious, but it's definitely an important part  of the 'melting pot' of old-school metal, that makes Savage Blade what we are.

You guys are from Canada, it seems like a lot of cool bands are active there! How the underground scene there according to you?
There are  a lot of great metal bands from Canada. Obviously, there's the major bands from the past and present like Annihilator, VoiVod, Razor, and Sacrifice. But there's also some great underground true metal bands emerging - Cauldron and Striker are two bands I really like. Canada's scene is quite small though, compared to other countries and regions. Touring in Canada is also very tough - the country is so big, and the distance between major cities makes it a tough haul! Canada has great metal fans, but the scene here is definitely not like the scene in Europe, South America or Japan!

Any touring plans for Europe? Or will that be difficult (read too expensive)?
Our number one plan is to tour Europe! We're going to get a bunch of shows under our belt here in Canada this fall and winter, and hope to get to Europe for shows and festivals by early next year. And we don't give a fuck how expensive it is!



Nico & Pow

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