Team TINAS’ newest recruit Greg Latham recently got the chance to put a few questions to Savage Messiah axeman Joff Bailey. They talked about the new Savage Messiah album “Plague Of Conscience” and it’s limited time free download, influences, their songwriting approach, dream festival line-ups, what the future holds for Savage Messiah, and much, much more.
For those unfamiliar with the band, how would you describe Savage Messiah in 10 words?
Solid British heavy metal! Big riffs… Big melodies… ‘AV IT!!! Haha!!
Who would you say are your biggest 3 influences and what makes them so significant to you?
Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Testament. We’re all heavily influenced by the thrash monoliths of the mid to late 80’s and that defiantly comes across on our sound. Iron Maiden… well… What can you say?? Biggest metal band of all time and for one very obvious reason!! They’re the dog’s bollocks… End of!! And Priest… Just listen to “The Sentinel”! That song had me by the balls at first listen!!
How do you feel you’ve grown and developed as a band with the release of “Plague of Conscience”?
The band has certainly evolved over the past couple of years. Both musically and in our knowledge of the business side of the industry. The move to Earache has been great too and we’re thrilled to be working with them. Plague of Conscience is the culmination of a lot of hard work and the evolution the band has gone through and we’re all really proud of what we’ve produced.
What are the main themes of “Plague of Conscience”?
Dave (Silver) likes to write about his view of the world. Corruption, power structures… He’s a very switched on guy! The final track on the album is based on a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Check it out and have a look… It’s so metal!! It pretty much sums up what the album is about.
When Trivium released “Ascendancy” it kicked me square in the face and proved what metal bands could achieve and helped pave the way for other more riff-based metal bands to break through – to me “Plague of Conscience” feels like an equally important album. My question is do you feel this album is the one to push you into the ears of the masses or is it simply “our new album” to you?
It’s certainly not just another album to us by any means. We’re all really proud of what we’ve achieved on this album and would be truly honoured should people hold with the same regard as an album like Ascendancy. But at the same time, we’re defiantly not a band that will rest on our laurels! As proud as we are of what we’ve done on Plague of Conscience, I know that we will keep pushing ourselves further and further to make the best possible music we can.
You released the album free online over at the Earache website 3 months prior to release, why did you decide to release it for free so far ahead of time?
It was a mutual decision between us and Earache. We wanted to reach out to as many people as we possibly could… “Free stuff… That should turn a few heads!” we thought!! Ha ha!!
Do you feel that by approaching the release that way helps bands have control of album leaks?
I’m not sure really. Even though the album was up for free download I’m sure it still ended up on a torrent site at some point! Again, we just wanted to reach to as many people as we could. The response we’ve had has been absolutely incredible! It’s been a real success in every way!
How do you typically approach song writing?
We start brainstorming ideas, stock piling riffs, melodies, lyrics, solo ideas… Absolutely anything really! We get together and work out what bits work where and get a basic arrangement together and then jam it out in the rehearsal room. Argue about who gets what solo and what bit should go where for a few hours and bingo! A song is born!
There seems to be a resurgence of Nu-metal brewing – where do you stand on that and how do you feel Nu-metal affected metal for the next 10 years?
I think it was a good thing. Some really major acts came from the scene. You can’t argue with Slipknot can ya! If there’s a new wave of bands gathering popularity towards metal then all power to em! The new fans will discover new bands (and older bands) through them and the whole genre will benefit from that.
Outside of the UK (obviously) where have you most enjoyed playing and why?
The Overkill European tour was really successful for us, but for me it’s got to be Devilstone Open Air in Lithuania! It was a really nice festival in a really lovely part of the country. The people were absolutely amazing!
What would be your dream tour to be on the bill for?
An old school Monsters of Rock type festival! All the heavy hitters of British metal on the bill! Maiden, Priest, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, White Snake, Saxon, UFO, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, our good buddies Evile, Hell, Beholder… And if there’s room for us on there too… Killer!!!
Your debut, “Spitting Venom”, came out in 2007 – how do you think the UK metal scene has evolved since then, if at all?
I think it’s gone from strength to strength! The UK metal scene is live and kicking these days!
Being a part of the recent thrash revival do you think that any bands from the current crop could or will reach the successful heights of the Big Four?
I sincerely hope so! Everyone works their balls off these days! They deserve it.
If you could have written any song what would it be?
Blimey! Ha ha! That’s a tough one! Aces high! No… For those about to rock! No… Blackened! No… It’s too hard damn it!
What does 2012 hold for Savage Messiah?
SM: It’s going to be a busy year by all accounts! We’ll be touring the album extensively throughout the year and delivering a good solid slab of British steel to the faces of the metal masses! We are also currently getting started on writing our next album. Keep an eye out at www.facebook.com/savagemessiahmetal for all the latest news and updates.
Thanks again for your time, I’m really hoping to catch you guys live somewhere soon and am keeping my eyes on your tour dates. Keep it heavy, keep it metal!
Been a pleasure dude! STAY SAVAGE!!! \m/(><)\m/