Sacred Oath Interview #2

Twenty five years what could possibly be any better than having been in a band doing what you love to do for that long? Sacred Oath is one of those types of bands that absolutely love the thing they do when creating music and first getting together in 1984 in the icy depths of Danbury, Connecticut. Rob Thorne, Kenny Evans, Bill Smith, Scott Waite have formed and succeeded with unleashing upon the masses a powerful but aggressive style of music that all; metalheads will surely enjoy. Front man Rob Thorne took the time to talk to me about the upcoming release of their newest installment the band's first self-titled debut with brand new material engraved all over it. It surely shall not be a disappointment in any way possible. Here's how the interview went down....

1. Introduce yourself, and give a brief summary on Sacred Oath for those not familiar with the band.

Rob: I’m Rob Thorne one of the founding members of Sacred Oath first formed in 1985 when I was in high school and our debut album was released in 87 by Mercenary Records it’s called “A Crystal Vision,” and we’re back together again because that album began to take a life of its own. Especially in Europe and more recently has something going for it in the States and here we are we our fourth studio album out.

2. Your self-titled album should be hitting come next month, thoughts?

Rob: Well actually I need to correct that the third studio album the fourth album was actually a live album. What are my thoughts on the new album coming out? Well I’m super optimistic because the album actually came out last week exclusively on iTunes they have a pre-release on it and it’s been doing very, very, really well, so with the reviews that have come out so far and release of the video on MTV, overall the reputation on it, has been so positive that I’m not nervous I’m excited actually.

3. Who did the artwork, title, and lyrics for it?

Rob: I write most of the lyrics and we decided to self-title the album because it’s in many ways an album that’s a rebirth of the band. It’s the first album in the last couple of years with entirely brand new material. And I think it definitely establishes what Sacred Oath really is. Not only back together and active again but stronger than we ever have been. The cover art, was conceptually and design wise put together by IOANNIS he goes by one name, he’s done a lot of different things he’s done about hundred album covers from Extreme, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Almond Brothers, Fate The Mourning, we started working with him for just this record and he went over our lyrics and he came back to us with this concept of this pilot on a mission for the front of the album. We liked the concept and he came back with the painting and we were just blown away and it seems up the whole mood and lyrically concept of the album really well. We were really happy to pair up with him and it’s been a really cool package deal, and everyone seems to love the cover and we’re really happy on how it defines the album.

4. Why the name Sacred Oath, what does it symbolize?

Rob: Well ya know I think we’ve always been fascinated with spiritual and occult themes in our lyrics and Sacred Oath the name sort of conquers up the spiritual condition but it can be either way we are fascinated between the whole fight sequence between good and evil and we thought that name rather sort of leaning towards any particular direction it sort of I don’t know if you’ve seen any of our logos, where we’ll have the angel on top and the devil on the bottom it seems to work out, it seems to work lyrically and also sounds cool and what our originally bass player thought of while we were washing dishes at the Sycamore Restaurant at the age of 15 and plus we were huge Mercyful Fate fans at the time and still are and “Don’t Break The Oath,” had just come out and anything with the name “oath” is cool by us.

5. What are the upcoming plans for Sacred Oath in 2009?

Rob: Well there’s a lot going on for the band right now, I mean more than there ever has been. So right now we just came through for that pre-release of the album which we had a huge push for of reviews and interviews for the press and internet stuff and right now we’re focusing on the European release on May 22nd and U.S. release on May 12th. I think once the album is release we’re going to go out on tour, and start off in Asia and probably go to Europe and then wind up in the states and then definitely start the states in Los Angeles. We’re looking forward to touring and playing the new material on the album and are totally awesome to see the new generation of metal heads and younger kids coming out to our shows, and making it their own sound and style which is great and who we are, which is good for us. They are the most fun types of people in the audience and just eat it up, I love playing it for those kids over and over again.

6. What are the largest and smallest crowds you've played in front of?

Rob: That’s probably the second time I’ve been asked that question, well everybody has probably had one show in their life where they’ve played for like 10 people, (Laughs) luckily that hasn’t been too recently, I’m trying to think of what show that might have been if our drummer were here he’d be able to give you all the details I have a very poor memory. The largest show we’ve played would either have to be Keep It True Festival in 2007 in Germany where our live album was recorded that was also the opening night of our tour. Or back in the 80’s where we opened for Warlock where they were at the height of their frame, and there were thousands and thousands of people at that show that was a cool experience they were huge at the time.

7. What was the first show you guys played?

Rob: (Laughs) The very first show we played was the Devils Café in Norwalk, Connecticut and I remember that because I was 15 and we played a biker bar and just being in a bar alone was so cool and to top it off and have twenty hardcore bikers in front of us shaking their heads to “Welcome Princess Of Hell,” by Mercyful Fate it was very cool a small dive, but that was fun and that the first show I played with Sacred Oath. The first show I ever played in my life was a 6th grade Valentine’s Day dance that wasn’t Sacred Oath though. (Laughs)

8. You admire Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom, why him, what’s your favorite Bodom song?

Rob: Well that’s interesting because he’s not my favorite guitar player but one of the current guitar players that I enjoy and I only say that because I went and saw them live, I’m not a huge fan of their discs I have like 2 or 3 of their discs but don’t really listen to them. When I went and saw them open up for Megadeth at the Hammersteam Ballroom he came out because he is a singer/guitar player he came out with such a furious high energy instated both on the guitar and vocally and I know what it takes and he was such a performer and so magnetic and he had that whole room blowing up and that’s what impressed me the most about him. I don’t think I have a favorite Bodom song, mostly because I’m not the biggest Bodom fan but I’m a fan of him and what he’s doing.

9. Have you ever run into the same questions for an interview twice?

Rob: (Laughs) all the time and its funny that the questions you get asked over and over are the ones you hate to answer in the first place and when you end up coming up with an answer to that question and the next thing you know you’re just spitting out that same answer all the time. People are always asking me what are my favorite albums of all time and I keep spitting out the same answers over and over and I start to think last week those were but now I like this set of albums.

10. Do you ever get tired of hearing the same questions from Journalists?

Rob: (Laughs) No not really honestly I think it’s awesome that anyone is still interested in what Sacred Oath is doing and take the time to find out and take the time to write it down and I love to talk.

11. You guys just shot a video for "Counting Zeros," what was that like?

Rob: That was filmed on location in Connecticut in February and I know you haven’t been to Connecticut but in fact I know you haven’t been anywhere, where it gets really cold. It took 14 hours to shoot outside and we had 14 degrees out and we were freezing and our faces were like clenched against the elements and it was a great experience because it had actors kids in it and we had no idea what it was going to be like. It was difficult to be out there that long in the cold, but it was awesome the kid Andrew Burn starred in the video he took direction well and is a student of mine and I was really proud of him and in the end we were really happy on how it turned out When it came out and had it premiere on MTV’s Headbanger’s Blog was like the icing on the cake.

12. "Till Death Do Us Part," was the bands first live album, what was that experience like?

Rob: That was a great experience not only did we have a great night that night but was the first night of our first European tour and it was very respected traditional festival in Germany the metal capital of the world and on top of all that we didn’t have a clue we were recording a live album. So we didn’t have any of that self-consciousness of you know you’re being recorded and that album really truly is a pure live Sacred Oath album and not focused on how we were playing but for the fans and to find out after the show that the engineer had recorded it and had made the tapes available for us was awesome and when we got back the tapes in the states and listened to them in my studio you know what there is a lot of energy on recording that its totally Sacred Oath. So we mixed it and put it out. The funny thing is that people told us to not put it out the people in the industry kept saying to us that live albums don’t sell nobody is interested in live albums and just going to waste time and I didn’t wanna hear it so we went ahead of it on our own and a step away from Sentinel Steel and that’s when things started to take off for the band.

13. Will we be seeing a live DVD on the next tour round-up?

Rob: That’s the second time I’ve been asked that one before too, (Laughs) we you know it’s funny because that is becoming the new thing every time a band tours they make a DVD because I guess the album sales are down and DVD sales are up but we have no plans on doing a DVD during this tour, but you never know we don’t have anything planned if you wanna see the band you gota come to the shows.

14. When you look back on when Sacred Oath first started up until now, what do you think?

Rob: What do I think? I can’t believe that we’re still doing this and that its still so much fun and we played with so many bands in the 90’s it’s a real privilege to be able to come back together and make a good album and do a tour and have a successful live album and then have another album be our best work yet I’m the happiest guy in the world, I’m on top of the world right now.

15. Are you the main interviewer when it comes to interviews?

Rob: Yeah I don’t think anyone else has done any interviews, I got start spreading that out, and I’m losing my voice I won’t be able to sing (Laughs). We do, do radio interviews where we all get together and crash the studio, and tear it apart but generally for this album I’ve done, most of the interviews.

16. If you had a chance to go back in time, where, what, and why?

Rob: Well I really don’t live with many regrets to try not to, the past is the past and I’m really happy with everything I have I don’t have any complaints but if I were to go back I would go back to the very beginning with Sacred Oath when w e were having difficulty with our label and probably handle things differently at that time, but we were punk kids at that time, and the way we reacted we’d just walk away. But if I did have a chance I’d would have handle things a lot differently.

17. What are you doing in L.A. came down for a business trip?

Rob: I have some meetings for distribution the new album nobody knows this but the release date for the new album May 12TH will probably be pushed back a few weeks since the iTunes release was successfully as it was it cracked the top 15 and turned our world upside down. I have some meetings here and how that goes we may have to change it in a few weeks, and doing a few interviews here and enjoying the 100 degree temptations because its 40 degrees in Connecticut.

18. What are you currently listening too right now?

Rob: I like that question I’m a vinyl junkie in fact right after this I have a meeting down by Amoeba I have but I’m going to hit there first, I listen to a lot of music is music I listen to 30 years ago I picked up the reissue of Judas Priest’s “British Steel,” great album listen to Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Motorhead, as for the new releases I listen to a little Trivium, I like Slayer, but don’t listen to them a whole lot. Being a singer I enjoy listening to the metal genre where the singer sings melodically. “Say No Mercy,” and “Hell Awaits,” are my all time favorite Slayer albums. A very melodic feel to it I dig into it.

19. What guitars do you own and is there one that you want to own?

Rob: I love the guitars I have right now every guitar I have is a nice guitar. I have a 71 Gibson Les Paul which is my main studio recording guitar. I have a 1984 Gibson Flying-V another main studio guitar and ones I use when playing live. I have a 1981 B.C. Custom guitar and the only one I use because of the whammy bar which I use a lot. A 1978 navigator ES copy which is a great sounding guitar but I used it which is metal, what guitar would I like to own? There are a lot I’d like to own. Oh man, uh no because I can walk into any store right now and be like, “that one,” and then go into another store and then “no this one.” I love playing my Flying-V it’s easy to use and not too heavy on my shoulders. I’ll probably be looking around while here in L.A.

20. Thanks for doing the interview, anything else you'd like to add?

Rob: As always I’d like to give a special thanks to the Oathbangers what we call our fans the ones on the West Coast, we defiantly plan on going on tour this year and not only see the Oathbangers but see other fans that have joined the ranks of the metal world. Thank you for coming out and doing this; nice of you to do so.

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