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Sacred Steel - Sacred Steel are dead. Long live Sacred Steel (Gerrit P. Mutz) - Online Jan 2007


Quite some time has passed since the latest interview with the Power/Speed Metal heroes of SACRED STEEL. In 2002, Ralf conducted it with vocalist Gerrit P. Mutz on the occasion of the “Slaughter Prophecy” album. Now it is time for a new interview which I e-mailed to the band.

 

You released a neat record in “Hammer Of Destruction“.

Thanks for the flattery. It’s always nice to read/hear that there are people who like the album as well.

 

Before I ask you about the new album, let’s first talk about your release show in Ludwigsburg in November.

Why did you only play for one hour there? I was hoping for an at least two-hour killer set. Something like the show on the “Live Blessings” CD/DVD.

I think you are the only one who expected such a long show! After all, 7 (!) bands played in Rofa that night. A Thursday night, mind you. Beginning 7pm – end of the show 1am. As the presenters, we wanted to offer each (!) band enough time. The best compromise was to grant each of the 3 headliners one hour.

 

You had the set or parts of it filmed with a camcorder. Are you planning a new DVD or did you record it just in case? Whatever, I hope that I’m on it, too. *smile*

Unfortunately, the audio-engineering destroyed our plans that night. We basically have very good video footage without an equally good sound. It’s a pity. Otherwise we might have used the show as bonus footage for the next CD.

 

So why did VICIOUS RUMOURS and BEYOND FEAR play after you? After all, it was your night! You should have played until 1am without inviting the Americans.

We love VICIOUS RUMOURS! We absolutely did not want to miss the opportunity of playing with them! BEYOND FEAR were touring with VC, so they were aboard as well. Personally, I found BF to be alright, but not essential.

 

When can we expect a really long set again? I think at Swordbrothers festival in May it will probably be an hour or so.

I think we will play about one hour at Swordbrothers festival. On our recent gigs – except for the Rofa show – we always played about 90 minutes or longer. In case we are the only headliner and the curfew does not stop us, we will play as long as possible.

 

When did you start writing songs for the album and in how far were Jonas and Kai involved in the creative process?

We started writing songs after Keep It True in November. Jens had already written some songs and Jonas came up with lots of ideas, too. Everything worked smoothly. Kai wasn’t able to contribute anything except for a few bass lines, but Jens and Kai divided the song-writing in a wonderful way, so it’s questionable if more input from Kai is necessary. If Kai came up with an idea or a song, we would certainly try it, though.

 

All of the spoken samples are interesting. Where did you get them? Especially the screaming of that American girl on the “Impaled By Metal” intro. Where did you find that shit?

Matze took that sample from the video „Decline Of The Western Civilisation“. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ll do that as soon as possible! The other samples were taken from various movies. The beginning of “Plague Of Terror” was featured in an old Italian slasher called “The Beyond”, for example.

 

So when were the battle cries of the fans on “Sword & Axes” recorded? Bochum or Würzburg this year? In that case I would be on it as well, hehe…

When we were watching „Live Blessings“ in the studio, I proposed to put the audience from the beginning of the DVD show before „Sword And Axes“, as that song would certainly become one of the next crowd favourites. I still think that it fits the song quite well.

 

Please comment on the individual songs on "Hammer Of Destruction“. Especially on the lyrics.

The lyrics were written extremely spontaneously this time. I basically worked very little on the original idea and stuck to the basic idea whenever that was possible.

The record was meant to be very spontaneous and straight-forward. I think we managed to do that.

Some of the songs glorify Metal or describe the unparalleled atmosphere of a HM live show, such as the title track, „Where Demons Dare To Tread“, „Sword And Axes“ or “Impaled By Metal”. Others, like “Black Church” or “Plague Of Terror”, tell typical horror stories. The common thread that runs through the entire record is the use of the same song titles and similar quotes. “Blood And Thunder” tops it all of since its lyrics are almost completely made up of SACRED STEEL song titles. I love recycling!

 

In my review, I mentioned the LP-simulating effects at the start and at the end of the CD. Who came up with this ingenious idea?

That was me, of course, hehe. I originally wanted both sides of the CD to be coated, o you would have to turn the CD halfway through, but unfortunately that was too much to pay…

 

So is the sound that raw and scratchy to make it all sound more like an LP, for as far as I know there is no LP of “Hammer Of Destruction”. Why is that?

We wanted to have an old school yet timeless sound. That’s why we chose Harris Johns as the producer. My current ex-girlfriend Jeanette wanted to release the album on LP. However, since we agreed to break up, she needs the money to move etc. That does not mean that we abandoned the plan, though! We are currently looking for a label that is willing to release the disc on LP.

 

The “Pounding Inferno“ bonus disc is really great, too. Especially the title song is a cult tune. To my taste, some bands are missing in the lyrics, though. BOLT THROWER, ICED EARTH, RUNNING WILD, TANKARD and CANNIBAL CORPSE, for example.

Well, I had to stay within the phonetic constraints, also you can’t fit too many band names into a single song. Above all, one of my absolute favourite bands is missing: WITCHFINDER GENERAL! But I like all of the bands you mentioned, too – although the only RUNNING WILD album I really enjoyed was the debut. Why don’t you just write a song about your favourite bands, hehe.

 

Please comment on the other songs on “Pounding Inferno”.

The first 4 songs are recording sessions with Harris. Quality-wise all of them would have fit on the album. As everyone in the band had different favourites and as we didn’t want to cram the album, we had an endless discussion and opted for the EP solution. The song “Unholy Majesty” is one of my favourite songs, for example. I would have liked to have it on the album…

Besides, the EP contains 3 songs that were featured on 7” records or sold-out samplers as well as 3 rumbling cover songs which were recorded in a very old school manner.

 

Gerrit, I saw you 3 times this year (Bochum, Würzburg, Ludwigsburg) and each time I stood on the right side in front of the stage. I was only able to take one good picture of you because you are always standing on the right side of the stage. Is that a habit of yours? Will I have to stand on the left to get a good picture of you? *smile*

I didn’t notice that. I always thought that I stood in the middle, haha. Why don’t you just change sides. You have a lot more room to move down there!

 

Well, I wasn’t referring to your position on the stage, but rather to your posture!

There is a video clip for “Maniacs Of Speed” (a real killer song!). Where did you shoot it and how did you like working on a video? Will you do things like that more often now? Maybe with lyrics turned into a video?

We shot the clip with our buddy Heinze at Rockfabrik Ludwigsburg.

Without any budget and with a very small technical effort. We finished the whole thing in one night. On the one hand, is was quite fun, but it was rather exhausting too! I would like to do a video for the next record, too. How ever, I’d like to do that WITH microphone next time! Posing without a mic felt kind of strange, hehe. Creating a video based on the lyrics isn’t too easy with us, after all I often only use catch phrases, such as on “Maniacs Of Speed”, for example.

 

Yeah, but that would be the funniest ting about the clip, hehe!

You went to Greece recently. How did you like it?

Just like it has always been in Greece: GREAT! The fans over there are insane. It reminds you of why there HAVE to be barriers…they’ll go completely mad there! Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to really care about the country and the people due to the extremely tight schedule…but – we will return. I hope that will happen soon!

 

What do you think about „The Metal Observer“?

I’ll have to take a closer look at the site to answer that question properly. I’ll do so as soon as I have access to the internet at home again. At least I don’t have any bad memories, and that’s a positive thing, isn’t it?

 

What do you want to tell your fans and our readers?

Support real bands – Ignore the trends! Heavy metal to the end!!

 

Thanks a lot for answering my questions and I hope we’ll meet at Swordbrothers Festival. Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to talk to you in Bochum, Würzburg and Ludwigsburg.

Yeah, see you at Swordbrothers, Chris!!!

Thanks for the interview,

Gerrit

Discography:

 

1997: Reborn In Steel (CD, Metal Blade)

1998: Wargods Of Metal (CD, Metal Blade)

2000: Bloodlust (CD, Metal Blade)

2002: Slaughter Prophecy (CD, Massacre Records)

2004: Iron Blessings (CD, Massacre Records)

2006: Live Blessings (CD/DVD, Massacre Records)

2006: Hammer Of Destruction (CD, Massacre Records)

Chris Kraemer



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