The Saviours talk about women with shotguns, Mordor, Mariah Carey and Japanese drum kits…

American (Stoner) Metal band Saviours played the Sonic Ballroom in Cologne on October 19th (check out some photos at my flickr-page). Right before the show, I was able to conduct an interview with drummer Scott Batiste and guitar player/singer Austin Barber.

Here we go:

Does R’n’R need a saviour?

Scott: Does it? I would say so. Would you?

Austin: Yeah, I would agree!

Or would you say it’s rather the business that needs a saviour?

S: I think all elements need it, you know… The business is trying to find an identity now: the record labels don’t make money any more and it’s naïve to think that you’re going to sell millions of records these days. You get ten thousands of downloads with no problems… The thing is: there’s more people than ever consuming music, but the means by which it’s acquired is the problem. Everybody wants everything for free right now! That’s crazy!

And as far as the music itself goes, I would say there’s really a lot of bad shit out there! (laughing all over place) It’s staggering how much bad shit there is!

After the accelerated living, you now participate in your very own death’s procession. What happened between the two albums?

S: I don’t know. I’m not sure if anything happened between the albums, it’s happening the whole time. Just different ways we deal with things. Accelerated Living was our fast record, like “fuck, let’s go fast!”, it’s one way of dealing with the fuckin’ end coming, and with this record (Death’s Procession) it just gets closer and closer, you know!

A: It’s like walking into Mordor, dude! It gets slower and the fuckin’ Ring gets heavier!

Scott Batiste

Now that’s a great phrase! Are you able to live accelerated?

S: Absolutely!

Do you have proper jobs, allowing you to go on tour for such long periods?

S: I wouldn’t say it’s the jobs that allow us to tour. The jobs keep us alive between the tours. It’s more a survival thing, putting some food in your stomach and keep a roof over your head! It’s just some bullshit we do between the tours, to keep us busy and out of trouble…

Same with me! How’s you live on the road?

S: Good, man! We’ve been out for seven weeks now in the US, with  Weedeater and Fightamp. We left LA on August 29th, now it’s October 18th and we have 40 days here in Europe. Then we go back to the East Coast, where our van is, and tour right across the US to California. But I’m in a lot better shape than I thought I would be at this moment!

Any cool tour stories so far?

S: Yeah! In the states you have to find a place to sleep, not like here in Europe. So we become what we like to call the “Hessian Diplomat”: you put on the Hessian Diplomat Hat and go out and find a cool long-haired guy who let’s you stay at his house and hopefully it’s O.K.! So we got to this guy’s house in Oklahoma City and his girlfriend got drunk and had a black out. When we woke up on the couch, she had a shotgun and went “Get the fuck out of my house!”. That was just one night…

Austin Barber

Allright… (again everybody’s laughing…) Well, you guys often get tossed into this Stoner Rock/Sludge thing. Is that O.K. with you? How would you classify yourselves?

A: It kind of doesn’t matter anymore. Call it what ever you want.

S: People say we sound like Metallica’s Kill ’em All, which is wrong. People call us Stoner Rock, but to me that’s stuff like Kyuss, so it’s wrong, too. I think it’s more traditional Metal, like Motörhead, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, stuff like that, you know. Fuckin’ Heavy Metal, that’s all it is!

Yeah. I’ve seen you for the first time at last year’s Stoned From The Underground festival, me and my friend got totally blown away, but the other guys we were with went like “That’s too fuckin’ fast, man! Too thrashy!”…

S: Exactly! We’ve always been too fast for a Stoner crowd, too stoney for the Thrash crowd…

How did you get Death’s Procession done?

S: I play drums in the band, but I also write most of the riffs. Sonny and Austin write some, too, but I do a good amount of it. When we came home from the last tour, after getting our butts kicked, I went into my room and started playing guitar. On these riffs we started jamming out and finally got stuff to go into the studio with. This time we did one song a day, complete with all solos and vocals. All live. That was actually different to the last recordings, where we did everything separately; all the drum tracks, then the rhythm guitars, etc.

A: That way you’re not listening to just guitar solos for three days! In the end you don’t know if it’s cool or not. Every solo starts to sound the same at some time…

S: With one song a day you get the feeling for just that song.

Can you tell me you about your very first and the very last records you ever bought?

A: My first one was Pantera’sFar Beyond Driven on tape when I was 12. I was at a store where people were listening to Mariah Carey, but me and my friend thought “Wow, this looks so cool!”. So I bought that! The last one was the Tyrant record Reclaim The Flame.

S: You got that?

A: Fuck, yeah!

S: The first vinyl record I ever bought was Talking Heads: 77. My mum was in some kind of a club where they sent you tapes, based on what you ordered. Some day she got Metallica’sAnd Justice For All together with Garage Days Revisited on a tape and gave them to me. The first thing I bought after that was Master Of Puppets. I had to work backwards! The last one I can’t remember…

How important is equipment for you?

A: Important, but it’s not all that matters. Years back everybody had to have JCM 800’s or JMP’s, but our gigs in Japan were what woke me up. The clubs provided the backline every night and you didn’t know what it was going to be, but every single night it was great! We played and realized that was always our sound, coming right from our own fingers, not from the equipment, you know.

S: It’s not the tools, it’s the craftsmen, you see? I went to Japan and all I brought was drum sticks and a bass pedal. No cymbals, nothing else. It was funny, because people in Japan are quite small, so were the drum kits! But it didn’t matter after all. We played great shows!

A: We’re Gearheads, but it’s not a mandatory thing.

Any future plans for the band?

S: Well, the next thing to come… When we’re back in the States, we have some months off, then we’ll start another tour and come back to Europe next spring in order to play Roadburn Festival in April. Then we will tour with Danava, a super cool band from Portland, OR, who are also on Kemado Records. Awseome 70’s sound with cool guitar playing!

A: Keep truckin’ and writing music! Same shit as always, dude! (laughing)

Alright. So the last thing: I say two terms, you tell em the first thing that comes to your mind!

Ozzy or Dio?

A: OR???

S: Both!

Cronos or Lemmy?

S: Cronos or Lemmy? Both!

A: Fuck! These are not decisions that man must make!

S: Someone asked us one time if we like Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, and we said: we live in a beautiful world where we can love both as much as each other!

A: You’re asking the tough questions here!

Exodus or Metallica?

S: Same as before…

Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash?

Both: Willie Nelson.


A: Impossible!

Beer or Whiskey?

Both: WHISKEY!!!

Thanks for the interview!

S: Thank you, man! Enjoy the show!

Me, Scott, Austin


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