You visited Europe earlier this year. Did the tour go according to your expectations?
We had a fantastic time in Europe this past spring! We saw a lot of friends we were hoping to see and also made a lot of new friends. It was definitely a blast!
Were any of the shows particularly memorable?
We played our first time at Hell Over Hammaburg and that was fantastic. Great crowd! It was packed and the fest was very professionally run. Thank you to everyone who made Hell Over Hammaburg 2018 possible!
Your music is clearly inspired by traditional '80s metal, even '70s hard rock I would say, but what about the lyrics? They're quite dark, sometimes occult or satanic? Where did this come from?
That is true. We are inspired by a lot of music from the '70s and '80s, even some '60s. The lyrics are inspired by a lot of that same stuff, (Coven, W.A.S.P., Warlock, many others), old horror films such as the Hammer films, and the Satanic Bible.
And what about the theatrics and the stage image? Was it all your own ideas?
The image of the band is heavily influenced by Mario Bava's "Black Sunday". In that film Barbara Steele plays a witch with control over hooded henchmen.
When I first heard SM I thought, "This girl must really like Cirith Ungol", because of your singing style reminding me so much of Tim's. Was it something you did consciously, or is it just a coincidence that your voice sounds this particular way?
Thank you. That's something I have been asked a lot about. I do really love Cirith Ungol and as with many of the bands I enjoy most I have definitely spent some time singing along with their music. That said, I never did think of trying to sound like Tim or anyone else overall in my singing style with our band. Overall my goal is to continue to always focus on what's right for the music. But I will take comparisons with a vocalist like Tim Baker as a high compliment any day!
Talking about inspirations, if you could get one person you're a fan of to do a guest appearance on your album, who would that be?
That's tough! I'd be beyond thrilled to have Rob Halford, Doro Pesch or Annelen Middendorf of the German band Carrie.
When it comes to song-writing, is it a collective effort in your case, or do you have a main songwriter in the band?
Adam is definitely the main songwriter. I do about half of the lyrics and Larry does his own solos. John and Brandon add their own style to Adam's drum and bass ideas.
The vast majority of your songs are quite short numbers, within the 3-4 minute range. Do you write short tunes on purpose or does it just work out this way? Were you ever tempted to write a complex, more epic song?
I think we see 3-4 minutes as about standard length. We don't want to unnecessarily drag a song out. We have written and performed a couple of longer, I think, 6-minute songs. We want to keep the songs fun rockers mostly, but we will always have a few longer songs as well, and sometimes faster ones also. Of course, you just have to chase the music, wherever that leads.
I've read somewhere that you record your stuff the old school way, on all-analogue equipment. Isn't it bloody expensive these days?
We do. We are fortunate enough to have a good friend in our town that records analogue. We have to try not to spend too long recording because it does add up.
How did you get the amazing Chris Moyen to do your cover artworks?
We are fortunate here too as our manager and owner of Skol Records, Bart Gabriel has a friend who does excellent album art. We love all of the art work Chris Moyen has done for us. Truthfully, I am not entirely sure how Bart worked it out, but we are very lucky he did.
Traditional heavy metal isn't very big in the U.S. thse days, yet you decided to go that route. So, how is Savage Master doing over in the States? I think your core fanbase is in Europe, isn't it?
Traditional heavy metal is now growing in the U.S. There are many bands such as Substratum, Sirenhex, Skelator? and that's just the West Coast bands beginning with "S". In the U.S. and Canada we have a lot more distance between cities compared with the places I have seen in Europe, so that is an unfortunate geographical obstacle that makes it that much harder for American fans to get together with their favourite bands, but so many of us still make it happen.
The only other metal band from Kentucky I can think of is Lethal so, how's the metal scene in your area?
Well, our drummer lives in Mississippi so we basically only get together for tours and recording. We don't play in Kentucky very often lately, it just has worked out that way but I do know we have a fair amount of fans here and if any band is passing through on a Monday there is a Metal Monday at the Highland Taproom which is a lot of fun to play as its usually got a pretty regular audience.
What do you guys do besides music? I'm sure you all have day jobs?
Of course we all work jobs. Mostly restaurant jobs. At the end of the day we still have to eat and pay rent just like everyone else. We are lucky when our jobs let us come back after a lot of touring.
OK, wrap-up time. You put out a new release every year since 2014, be it an album or a single or an EP. So, can we expect any new material out later this year?
Our next release is planned for Spring of 2019. We are in the writing process now. In Fall we plan to begin recording. Maybe it will have a longer song for you!