1. First of all, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. Before we really get rolling, please introduce yourself and can you please give us some information on your band and its background?
No problem man! Saintorment currently is represented by two (defective) minds: Romans and Desolation. Yep, currently there is only two of us, because the other were “fired” for their lack of input and interest in the band.
The background is as simple as ever: Romans and ED (he was our drummer) got together to jam and play covers of old-school Heavy metal and Thrash metal songs. Later on, another old-school metal enthusiast Dan (bass) joined the duo and soon enough, the second guitarist – Wolf – joined too. All of it was on a pure enthusiasm and love for old-school metal sound. After some months of performing merely covers, the band decided that it was the time to start composing its own original material. And this in a nutshell was how it all started…
2. Please describe your band’s style. Genre, similar bands, etc. What should a potential new fan expect upon hearing your music for the first time?
I am not tired of saying that this is rather a tricky question. The band started as a tribute to the classic Thrash and Heavy metal bands, such as early Metallica, Pantera, Motorhead etc. so there are definitely some elements of their sstyle and sound… but there are also other influences. And for us two, it will vary. Romans for example loves Children of Bodom and classic thrash, Desolation is no stranger to more modern styles of metal and electronic music. In the end I can say that Saintorment is a crazy mixture of Thrash/Speed metal (as Romans usually refuses to play anything slower than 200 BPM, haha) with some Heavy metal influences in some of our songs. The second album showed much more aggression and groove elements than the first one though, some of which might be those “modern” elements brought by Desolation when he joined the forces with Romans. The listener doesn’t need to expect something, but he or she should better be no stranger to high BPM-numbers, intensive thrashing and screaming, haha! This is pure raw energy pouring into your ears!
3. What other bands have you played in previously?
Desolation has his own musical projects, mainly electronic stuff, like Ambient/Drone/Dark Ambient music but he (for a short time) growled in a Death metal band which no longer exists.
4. What are some of your musical influences both in metal and maybe in other styles of music?
As we mentioned before, there is quite an array of various influences. For Romans – it is definitely more of the old-school metal/punk music – Children of Bodom, Suicidal Tendencies, Demolition Hammer, Carcass to name a few, while for Desolation it is everything from Nu-metal and Post-hardcore and Djent to Depressive Black Metal. Would you actually believe that when Romans and Desolation met in the studio for the first time to compose some tunes, they recorded a short Depressive Black Metal demo? See, we love to experiment, haha!
5. Can you please share with us your band's recording history and any interesting stories and experiences from the studio?
One of the funny facts has been mentioned above, the one about Depressive Black demo. Yet of course there are many more to tell about. For example, during the record of the first album, the road where our tiny studio is located has been under construction. The construction works started right before the recording started, so it basically rendered the process impossible because of all the noise of construction that was coming from the street. Romans then switched to “night-shifts” and started to record during the night. But when it came to vocals (and as you understand it is an extreme kind of vocals which means screaming, shouting and growling) – then security of the factory which is located right there behind the studio would come and ask/tell Romans to cut off the screaming. So this was a real struggle, hahaha! Another funny fact if you care was that for the second album we had really strange titles for our demos. It wasn’t something like “asdasdasd” or “qwerty01”, no, I mean we had real, elaborated titles, for example “Unclefucker”, “One tit” and so on… and the funny thing is that we actually memorized those names and even after we gave those songs their proper titles, we still referred to them by those strange dumb ones!
6. How about your bands live experiences? Any amusing or memorable shows you would like to share with us?
Saintorment gives absolutely energizing, uncompromised, raw and inspiring live performances (when they happen, which unfortunately is not that often). You simply should not judge about Saintorment before you actually see us live. You might not even be so fond of the music but the show itself will get your blood rushing and your head banging to the rhythm of thrash metal pouring into your ears and taking control of your system! We sure do remember the one when we played with those crazy Belgians Evil Invaders, that was a small but intense show with lots of good thrash! And then there was that performance in our hometown where the sound was just great, and everyone enjoyed themselves, even though there wasn’t a lot of people. Those who were there rocked (should I say thrashed?) all the way! We are yet to give some epic performance in front of 500,000 people…
7. We have all heard of the big 4 of thrash. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. It has been talked about in the past and critiqued quite often. In your mind, what are the Big 4? You don't have to just list thrash bands, lets open it up to all metal genres, past or present, what is the big 4 in your mind?
This will be individual yet again. Those ones you mentioned sure did many breakthroughs and touched upon millions and millions of hearts, earning their solid place in the history of thrash metal and music, but Desolation for example is not so fond of any of them (he does listen to some of their songs from time to time but certainly not a fan). If we take new kinds of metal from mid-90ies-to-early-00s then for Desolation the “Big 4” will read something like Limp Bizkit, Fear Factory, Korn and may be Slipknot. Those were the bands that he listened to while in his teenage years. For Romans it will be Pantera, Children of Bodom, Demolition Hammer, Carcass. But this will change from genre to genre, it is simply impossible to name the most influential and the biggest bands, you cannot even remember all of them!
8. What would be your dream supergroup? Again lets open it up to past or present musicians, what would be the dream band lineup?
There would certainly be such names as Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Dimebag Darrell Abbott on guitar, Alexi Laiho on solo-guitar, Alex Webster on bass and Tomas Haake on drums!
9. Now if you were to be a member of any band, who would you love to join up with?
Romans sure would have loved to play with such bands as Carcass or Pantera when Pantera was active and in its prime. Desolation would have certainly joined some more or less underground stuff like Apati, Lifelover, Woods of Desolation, Alrakis…
10. Now it’s time to get philosophical. What IS heavy metal?
It’s a metal that is not light, right? Ba-dum-tss. It is a music that one should take time to listen to, analyze and understand. The music that you need to resonate with in order to like. It is unlikely that someone will get into heavy metal right away, it takes some time to get used to. Many people complain that they get a headache when they try to listen to something that is, well, Heavy. There is just that many details and usually intense emotions, true-to-life or highly metaphorical texts which make your brain actually work – this is why it is heavy. It is the music to listen to.
11. What has heavy metal done for you thus far both in music and in your personal life?
Heavy metal surely helped us through some difficult times in our lives, that’s for sure. This kind of music is always there to support you, teach you something, tell you something or even kick you in the ass when you hesitate. It has grown to be a part of our lives. It is so refreshing when you go somewhere you have been a thousand times already and you just turn on some new tunes or even the ones you know by heart and suddenly all around you changes its color and the vibe changes… it is a pure magic. And we also love when we are there, composing new riffs and suddenly feel that it “clicks” and sounds awesome. Indescribable feeling! It is better than any medicine sometimes, you get so engaged that you forget all your trouble!
12. If you were not playing in a metal band, what do you think you would be doing currently?
Oh no, this is too depressive to think about, haha! Well to be honest, we cannot afford to just devote our whole time to the band. We would love to, but it is impossible… Romans once said that he would have just drunk himself to oblivion in that situation. Desolation would have possible just continued to focus on his projects and taking pictures…
13. What is your heavy metal dream? I am not talking about goals here, I am talking about going to bed and dreaming...what is the dream you are having? Or is it a nightmare?
A good type of dream would of course be our world-tour with Metallica or Kreator as our supporters, incredible fame and performances in front of millions of people who know our songs and make mosh-pits to resonate with them. And no financial or any other type of worries! Nightmares…well it is vice-versa then. No shows, no public, just a limbo and faded ambitions with no future opportunities. Man, this is in fact almost describes our current situation so let us switch topics before we sink in this cloud of negative thoughts, haha!
14. What is your view on the current state of heavy metal?
There are many sceptics who reject newcomers in the genre stating that they just beat the same old-long-dead-horse. While they are not 100% wrong in their statement, we would say that there are still many bands and many songs to be discovered, heard and loved. The thing is that nowadays basically everyone has access to technology to record their material and call themselves a band, which makes the overall quality so much lower than it used to be when all you had was basically your skill and talent. Many bands rely on technology too much in their chase of “the perfect sound”… This type of synthetically-clean-perfect sound makes all bands more or less equal with no individual properties of their own – this is what we dislike about this situation. We will surely try to create the sound that might not be called “perfectly clean” but it will be ours own, which will help Saintorment to stand out.
15. What are your thoughts concerning the digital era of metal. I am curious what you think of digital downloading, recording in the modern era and anything else that has changed since the early days of the industry.
In this situation you basically gain some and you lose some at the same time. Digital copies save you physical room, it is not difficult to keep track of what you have, you do not need to worry about losing something if you move for example, or if your CD gets scratched and stops playing. You can also think that you help the nature by not spending paper and plastic on physical CDs. It might even be easier to organize your collection and to create your own ultimate playlists to listen to in our car for example, without the need to pick another CD every time you feel like listening to something else. On the other hand, there is that extremely satisfying feeling of holding the actual physical product in your hands, to smell the booklet, to hear how the CD spins in your CD-player or CD-ROM. There are people who cannot let go of that feeling and so they choose physical over digital and we cannot blame them. But we do not hold any open grudge against digitalization. This is how it goes. The only thing that we are kind of against is the excessive use of electronic means to produce music, - if I want to hear guitars, I want them to sound real, if I want to hear drums – I want them to be real and sound natural, you know? We want the music (especially metal) to sound natural, even if it is not perfect. Desolation however loves to hear various mixtures of electronic music with the real thing, but in good proportions. All of it goes along with what we said before, that the technology gives everyone this possibility to record some stuff and call themselves a band.
16. Heavy metal has gone through some changes since the early days. New movements have come and gone as has its overall popularity. With that in mind, what direction do you see heavy metal going in the future?
In Heavy metal we trust, so we believe that there is still room for new bands and fresh ideas! It becomes extremely difficult for bands to stand out because of the above-mentioned reasons, but if you are lucky and skillful enough your music will be spread in no time, thanks to the almighty Internet!
17. Several musicians have gone on record to say that the full length album is dead. That with the digital age there is no need to produce a full length release. What are your thoughts, is the full length dead or still viable?
Yeah, we keep hearing about this too. It might be so because new generations prefer to be entertained or hooked instantly, they basically do not have time to listen to the full-length album thoroughly enough or even a couple of times to get it. Personally, we still love it when we see a full-length piece of music, so the opinions may vary. It is better to say that as long as musicians will work hard on every song and not just try to squeeze some feeble drops of music in order to pack more songs on their albums, the full-lengths will live on!
18. Okay time to talk and promote your band some more. What is the current news coming from your camp. Any new music, tours, festivals or anything going on?
Nope, unfortunately it is pretty quiet right now. But Romans and Desolation are starting to work on new songs. It always starts really slow but then picks up, so stay tuned for news!
19. What are the immediate short range goals for your group?
First of all to find new musicians for the band who will actually be there for the idea of composing new tracks and playing them for the people, so that we could start perform live again. And of course we won’t let our bar to fall down – the third album will be a challenge we are looking forward to!
20. What about ultimately any long range goals?
To find our own sound (which we mentioned before) and stand out from the stream of similar bands so that people would actually go “Hey, I know them, this is Saintorment!”. To compose our ultimate hit, something like “Master of Puppets” by Metallica, which is known and recognized literally by everyone.
21. Finally if you have any last words you wish to express to your fans and the metal community in general please do so here.
Thrash till death! Have faith in metal! Use technology properly, do not let it make you a slacker and lose your natural skill!
Answers by Desolation and Romans.