Wiley Arnett – Sacred Reich / The Human Condition

Interview conducted by HannTu
Live Pics by HannTu

I did an interview with Wiley Arnett, guitarist for Sacred Reich and The Human Condition in July, right before the show in London and Wacken. Apologies for its lateness, but it was a truly amazing experience to be able to talk to Wiley, who was really humble and appreciative of the fans, as well as being immensely talkative about everything from coffee to political issues to families.


Hey Wiley, this is my first interview for Metal-Rules.com, and my editor EvilG says that you were the first person he interviewed for Metal-Rules way back when the site first started.

I’m honoured!

Shall we start with the end of Sacred Reich, how did it come about, and why did it happen?

Well we’d been playing for a lot of years, 10, 14 almost 15 years. We were 17, 18, 19 and 20, we toured, we did about 8 records. When we were done we were 28, 29, 30, 31. We were getting old on the road, we had hoped to earn more success, we were away from our families, we were getting a little older. Our priorities were changing, and it seemed more important to be at home for our families than to always be out on the road selling tshirts and stuff.

If you talk to Phil, he’ll tell you that he ran out of lyrics. He went to write a record, and it wasn’t there, and I think there’s a reason for that. His attention went to his family, and he could no longer think about the politics and the chorus and the verse. He only wanted to think about providing at home, and caring for his children. So you’ll get a different answer from different people, but I think the simple answer is that we grew up a bunch and we needed to prioritise at home.

Do you think it was a good decision to give up?

Yeah well, it was bittersweet, because we live in our youth, and we like to think that we’re invincible like we could just do it forever. But the truth of the matter is we needed to take a break, to prioritise. Now it’s been almost ten years since we’ve been together, and we’re all coming back in a much better position. I don’t know how viable some of these opportunities would be, playing at Wacken Open Air Festivals, some of these cool shows we’re playing now. They may not have been that interested in having us if we were playing every year, three times a year. I think it saved us as well. We’re all homeowners now, Sacred Reich didn’t do that for us. We went and figured it out once we stopped. Our kids are getting bigger, so I think yeah, we had important things to do.

Well, when you guys broke up, it was a changing time for metal, it wasn’t a good time to be making a living from metal, was that a factor as well?

You know, we always had a fair amount of underground success, but even when metal was selling big, we weren’t growing, we’ve always been kind of an underground success, and with the kind of music we were playing, we like that. If we had went platinum, it would’ve been a sell-out. It would’ve been like “wait a minute, that’s not us!” So it’s kinda bittersweet, you wanna be successful, we could’ve brought our families along, and bought houses, maybe we would’ve been around. But the bottom line is that we accept it the way it is, and that’s the way it turned out. So it’s just cool that we didn’t get mad. The truth is that we didn’t break up, we didn’t have an argument, we didn’t disagree. We AGREED to stay home for a while. We’re still great friends, we still work together often, and here we are now, enjoying traveling together, and I think tonight you’ll see that we’re well rehearsed.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure we’ll see the relationship among you guys, to come back as well, to take their decision to go back on the road.

Yeah it’s just great to have fun together.

*Here Wiley’s wife comes in to ask for his cigarettes*

Obviously family is important to you, all of you guys. And that was the main reason.

Absolutely, absolutely. Again, Phil will tell you that he just couldn’t think of any lyrics, there was no next album to record. But I think that it’s because his head was full of family, there was no room for this. It’s like “so how’s my kids doing, am I creating a future for these guys, or am I just gonna leave”. So the prioritising of the family meant that there wasn’t a lot of creativity left in Sacred Reich, but we had a blast, and we did it ten, fifteen years.

Speaking of the material, you broke up in late 99 early 2000, but your last album was the 97 live album, almost two years, what happened in that time?

We were winding down, we were still convincing ourselves that we didn’t have to do this, it was something we were allowed to do, that we don’t have to do, but it just felt like we had a responsibility. But in those two years, we were realising it’s okay. So we told ourselves, we’d do a live record to kind of put a bookend on our career. So we started out with IGNORANCE, and ended with STILL IGNORANT, and that was appropriate cos nothing ever changes. *laughs* So that was a fun live record.

In those years where you were winding down, you were still writing material, except it wasn’t at the rate you used to write, so…

It started slowing down quite a bit, the lyrics weren’t coming along at all. And the music as well. I’d always been writing, so I ended up joining a new band, called The Human Condition, and we’d been enjoying that. But I still got pulled to home, because I had grandparents who were dying, my mother was getting older and had open heart surgery, so I still felt the need to be home, but it wasn’t for the kids. So later, when things stabilised, grandparents passed away, my mother got better, I started feeling a little freer. So I started working with The Human Condition, which was great because it gave me the opportunity to be creative again. And honestly I was missing it quite a bit.

So it wasn’t a huge transition for you…?

It was a slow transition.

Well, we get to the reunion, or so-called reunion. I guess the burning question is, is this going to be permanent, or is it just a couple of summer festivals?

This is just a summer festival tour, we only have four shows. We talked about coming, and we looked at our schedules. We had an opportunity to do six or eight weeks, easy, we could’ve done several festivals. We could’ve been in Italy, and what we did was pick our favourite festival. Actually, there’s so many great festivals, that’s kinda unfair to say. We looked at what time of the year it was, and said okay we have this two week window. Okay Wacken, a great festival, it falls right in that window. If we could book a show in London, if we could book a show in Paris, we could have these beautiful days off, bring our wives, and then play our last show in Wacken Open Air. We just had the remastered IGNORANCE…the DVD set, it was an appropriate time for us to come. It was also a compliment, it’s been twenty years since this record, and it really didn’t make sense to us that twenty years later people would still be interested. We played a couple of shows in Arizona before coming here, and they were explosive. They were really good, like WOW!

Why should you be surprised though, your music…

Thank you very much. You know, you get so close to the fire, WE think it’s special, but we’re realists, you gotta step back a little and see the big picture. Tens of thousands of genius bands, and it’s been two decades separating us and the metal of today. So the expectations were low, but right away we’re feeling warm and fuzzy, there’s been a lot of great support, and it’s a real compliment to us to be here today, to be able to talk with you and the interest in us.

So you still haven’t really answered the question, is this going to be permanent?

No. We say nothing’s out of the question, but we’re not writing a record. We don’t have a date to go into the studio, we don’t have a date to go on a US tour. We have these couple of dates, and then we’re flying home again. And the last time that happened, it took us ten years. So I don’t wanna give anyone the false impression that hey, this is really going good. We wanna write a new record and come back for eight weeks, you know. That’s very unlikely. We also know that anything’s possible. If things move the right way, then there could be an opportunity for us to become a bit more active. But it’s unlikely to be the eleven months a year touring and recording that we once did, not likely.

Okay. Are you still under contract with Metal Blade, cos you signed a deal for five albums with them…

They have a first right option for Sacred Reich stuff. I think that may have expired after eight years. We didn’t do anything for eight years, I think it kinda created us to be available. But honestly, I’m not 100% sure. I’m under the impression that we could sign with anyone if we had a record, but we don’t. But I’m under the impression we could sign with anybody.

But obviously they’re still in the picture…

Yeah with the re-release. Well they own the rights to SURF and IGNORANCE, so there was no way to re-release them except with their cooperation. Now THE AMERICAN WAY on the other hand was Enigma, Capitol, and also Hollywood Records bought those rights. We would like to do something with that, but we can’t get the rights back. So that’s unfortunate, but we haven’t given up.

Yeah some of your old albums are quite hard to track down, even on Amazon, e-Bay…

They have been out of print for some time…

They have so I was going to ask if they’re still in print, or coming back into print but…

Well the re-release was an opportunity to do that. We saw SURF NICARAGUA on e-Bay for 46  dollars, and we were like, are you kidding me? That’s a four song EP, it’s such a rip-off. And the fans, we felt so complimented that someone wants to buy, we don’t want them getting ripped off. That’s never what we were about. “Take all their money!” That’s never been what we were about, we want to share something authentic and real. So we were pleased to do the re-release, that you can get delivered to America for 31 bucks. 26 dollars for disc, 4, 5 dollars for the shipping, less than ten dollars a disc, that’s a pretty good deal. And it’s chock-full of good songs, remastered, the DVD…

…that legendary performance at Dynamo…

Thank you very much.

How did it feel when you guys got together after all that time, and that first rehearsal, how was it, was it a trainwreck?

No no it was surprisingly good, I remember being really nervous, because Greg stays really active and plays drums, he’s played a lot with our local bands, complemented them with his talent. And I had been playing with The Human Condition, and I felt oh I’m playing well, it’s no big deal. But I hadn’t taken the time to listen to the CD, write down the setlist and prepare”. So I was kinda nervous, like “shit, it’s been two years, am I ready, am I gonna know what to do. And uh, Jason had NOT being playing in a band for several years, and Jason needed to borrow a guitar, get some amps together, and I’m like oh shit, I might be spending all my time showing Jason how to do this. The truth is he’s reminding me. So I went in with all this anxiety, but we had a great first rehearsal. Counting back, we only did eight rehearsals, which is probably one for each year we took off.

It’s like it never happened!

It’s like riding a bike! I hate to sound clichéd, but it is. Once you get on, you get your balance, and you’re riding wheelies again! It just makes sense you know, and I’m really proud of the guys, everyone’s playing well, and there’s a great integrity. There’s nothing like “oh we get to go to Europe for free, oh we’re gonna make some money, oh we get to bring our wives, whatever”. It’s more like “hey, this is an opportunity for us”. We were never about smoke and mirrors and money. We’ve always been authentic and have integrity about being good musicians, who love playing the songs, and I think that tonight, you’ll agree, that we’re gonna break the trend of reunion bands, who are all fat guys coming out on tour with bald heads to get some money. Now we may have gained some weight and lost some hair, it’s true, but I think that our authenticity and our integrity will separate us from a lot of what people are exposed to as “reunion bands”. At least that’s our intent. We discussed this, and we don’t want to be part of that stereotype, we don’t wanna leave each city we play, and leave people going “oh shit, can you believe those guys, they came out shit!” I hope you’ll agree, I’ll probably see you after the show…

I’m pretty sure London will be rocking tonight. Will there be a live DVD on this tour, are you recording anything?

With Wacken, it’s supposed to be video recorded and audio recorded, and there will be an opportunity. We’ll have to see how it sounds, what distribution looks like. We’re working hard to get THE AMERICAN WAY rights, we’d love to see that re-released, and might be fun to do an AMERICAN WAY with a single DVD of the Wacken 2007, and if we wait two years, it will be the 20 year anniversary of THE AMERICAN WAY…


Well I guess that would be back in 1992, maybe the 15th year anniversary, yeah I got it wrong, you’re right. So you know, we gotta figure out how to get these rights first, and we’d love to see that happen. And you know, maybe if we release enough old stuff, maybe there will be enough time and inspiration to write some new stuff. We never know exactly…

Well, never say never…

Exactly, well, we all agree on that, cos we didn’t know we’d be here today. If you asked us two years ago “2007, will you be touring in Europe for shows and a couple of festivals?” “Shut up, get out of here, crazy, you’re nuts!” So, yeah never say never is a great comment.

Okay let’s leave that behind now. Couple of random questions. Dave MacClain of Machine Head, do you guys still keep in touch?

Yeah, well not as much as I’d like, but we get an email or a Myspace message here and there, and we’ve been really excited to see him playing big league. He could feel that Sacred Reich was winding down, he was still winding up. We were so pleased to find him, such a great guy, making great music, and he’s such a talented drummer, and I think it was just recently they warmed up for Metallica…

Yeah it was at Wembley…

Yeah, what an incredible opportunity. We’re so proud of him for sticking with it and creating his own success. And here we are, 2007, and he’s really defined himself as one of the best drummers around…

But cut his teeth with Sacred Reich…

Oh yeah, we’re really proud of that…

*Here, Wiley’s wife comes in again to tell him they’re going for coffee, and then a discussion about the whereabouts of the coffeeshop ensues*

Do you get shit coffee back home?

No…*laughs* Well not bad, but it’s unique here, the cream is very thick and foamy. We’re kinda using milk…


Well, not exactly soy, but the milk back home is like 2% fat, supposed to be more healthy than butterfat. But it’s just the same, just seems more enjoyable. Part of it may be the fact that we’re in Europe, and we know that everything’s a little darker, a little thicker…so you know, it’s a novelty…

Yeah, the beer here…

It’s great!

Is it?

Yeah, I’m not a big beer drinker, but last night we went out and had a couple of pints, just trying different stuff, usually locals recommend something with local flavour…

It’s weird cos I think it’s an acquired taste, like the ales and all that…

Sure sure, and I did make some faces! *laughs* Part of it is just the acceptance of being here and wanting to try their culture, more than it was like “wow, how delicious!”. It was more like “Whoo, different!”

Well, at least you didn’t stick to McDonalds or something…

I haven’t been to McDonalds since I’ve been here!

What you want to try next is steak and kidney pie, something really English…

Or a kebab!

Yeah a kebab! Okay…Your lyrics, they’ve always had a very political bent. If, IF you were still writing today, what kind of issues would you write about?

You know, there’s a lot of opportunity. Phil is responsible for 99.9% of the lyrics, and influencing him…I always felt very fortunate because I believe in what we’re talking about. There are opportunities growing up when we were able to do Rock The Vote, encouraging young people who just turned 18 to register to vote, and let them know that they can make an impact, so I’m really proud of that stuff.

Lyrical content today, I tend to think would be similar, or introspective possibly. Talking about maybe family, or the structure in the home. Like for example, “Who’s To Blame”, a great song about a guy and how the parents tend to blame the band. Which you know, we’ll admit, you can take a negative influence, from anything, whether it be a rap band or a metal band or death metal band. But ultimately, whose responsibility is it? We think the parents, and now that we are parents, we still believe it. It’s up to us to raise our kids in a way that they don’t want to swallow a gun, and they’re not taking all the negative influence from the world, and we can put things entirely right.

The political environment right now, terrorism, and George Bush, who’s quite frankly an embarrassment for a lot of Americans, including myself, it would not be hard to be inspired to come up with some politically driven lyrics again. I think we might mix it with stuff like “Who’s To Blame”, instrospective, looking through the person, who we are, how we become adults.

I wouldn’t say mellowed down, but it’s a more rounded view on life…

Yeah a little more mature, we’re getting older! Before, we were pretty much the kids angry about the adults. Now we’re the adults, there’s some embarrassment about our politics, and some accountability for our situation. So our perspective changes slightly, but I think it would still be in the same vein, just from a step to the left, you know, from looking higher down now instead of up. So I think you’d find a lot of similarities, but that was a good call, slight change in perspective.

Okay fair enough. Okay, what are some of your fondest memories from touring with Sacred Reich, any Spinal Tap moments?

Well we actually had a very Spinal Tap moment, where we were in Cleveland and we couldn’t find the stage. So it was like “Hello Cleveland!” Empty closet! Turn left and it’s the boiler room! It was quite familiar, it was amazing. It wasn’t the same building but we were literally lost backstage, holding our instruments. It was like “Okay it’s time to go on!” and we could hear the crowd. Opening the wrong doors, I dunno, try this way.

Other times would be our first time in Amsterdam, well most of our first times. It would just be so incredible that your guitars, your drums or your microphone brought you there. To see the Eiffel Tower, for a young American who dropped out of high school, didn’t really believe that I would have the opportunity but by looking at a history book, really weird, it was unbelievable. I have the feeling of really being blessed and gifted to have these opportunities, and that’s one of the special things that comes to mind.

Our first time at a festival, in excess of 10 000 people was electric, it was really amazing, and as we started getting more and more success, it always felt like a gift. So I remember feeling really thankful. And even now, I think it was one of the things I said to you early on, we’re just so thankful to be here, especially twenty years after. Back then, we recognised that what we were playing was not mainstream, and we didn’t expect that we’d be successful. In fact, if we could play local clubs and warm up for bands that we liked, well, we got it made. And we started to get attention, and Metal Blade put us on Metal Massacre, and then we got the record deal under IGNORANCE, and it was like “Oh my god, this is an incredible opportunity!” You know, we’re lucky. While looking back, I think we’re lucky AND talented *laughs* There are a lot of bands with talent, who would have liked to have got a record deal, but maybe they weren’t ready.

So all of that, our first open air festivals, I think that was the first time we played 30 000 people, and it was great timing. It was like 1988, so our records were relatively new, it felt like our crowd. Since then, we’ve played larger festivals but a smaller percentage of them were interested. So you know, you’d be playing to 50 000 people, but it was only the 10 000 people in front, who know the lyrics, wearing the shirt. When we played that first Dynamo, it just seemed like all the way back just Sacred Reich fans, holding up banners, Tshirts, Sacred Reich shirts to the very back. And in between songs, in fact you can hear it on the live record, Phil goes “Okay fuckers, which song you wanna hear?”, and at the same time 15 000 people yell “DEATHSQUAD!”  We all just got the goosebumps, looking at each other, like “Holy shit, this is amazing”. You can play big shows, but you’re just part of the daily event. There was a connection that day, that felt like “wow, this is our crowd, and our time”.

*Wiley’s wife comes back to tell him she’s going for coffee, and that the rest of the band have gone shopping*

Just a couple more questions, and the rest on The Human Condition and we can wrap this out. Do you still follow metal today, like any new bands that you really like…

You know, I’m not…there used to be a time when I would search for music. Now I’m constantly running into bands, through The Human Condition, through Sacred Reich, playing locally in Arizona. Playing tonight, I expect to be exposed to bands I haven’t heard before, and I’ve been really enjoying, like kinda step away from it, and I’m not taking a lot of influence these days from what a lot of other bands are doing. So I have some that I enjoy, even Velvet Revolver, I was getting a kick out of them. Obviously not  really metal, but some cool mature guys playing thoughtful music with great melodies…

And no Axl…

…No Axl *laughs* Obviously a big plus right there. So I haven’t really been keeping the pulse of it, but I’ve been enjoying many fresh new bands that I’ve never heard of, kinda like “oh, that’s what the kids are doing these days, very cool”.

Okay, The Human Condition. Quickly, how did you get involved, and what are your goals?

After Sacred Reich, we needed to take a break, I’d been sitting around a couple of years, playing acoustic guitar on the side, keeping my fingers working but not really going to rehearsal. I had a friend of mine, his name is Patrick Flannery, aka Puppet, and there was a band out of Arizona called Saint Madness, more recently they did a little touring in the States, and been getting some popular attention. They did some cool stuff, they call it carnival music, where they wear some make-up and they’re kind of nuts, and there’s a stage show, with hatchets and blood, and have a great time. He’d asked me “hey we need a guitar player, would you like to come out and join our band”. I really respected what he was doing, but I couldn’t get authentic about make-up and blood, or singing about vampires and churches…

Can’t really see you doing that…

Yeah it’s just not really me! Totally respect it, and I’m watching him be successful, and I’m proud of him for having a lot of fun. It’s just not the way I choose to express myself. I always like it a little bit simpler, just black and white lights, not a lot of make-up, smoke or mirrors, just kinda rock out metal, just play hard and mean it. He kept trying to get me out, and I told him, you know, it’s just not my cup of tea. Okay, he said, “Screw it, we’ll start a new band. Do you have any music that you’ve been working on, maybe Sacred Reich didn’t use, or you just got music lying around?” I’m like “Yeah I do…” and he said “Well, make me a CD, just give me a coupla days with it”. So I did, I made a CD with some riffs, some acoustic stuff. More than anything, I wanted him to leave me alone for a few days! He was really being persistent, knock knock knock, “Hey Wiley, you ready?”

So I gave him a CD, and a few days later he called and said “hey I got some stuff going for the music you wrote, wanna check it out?” Okay, so he came over, and he had wrote lyrics to all the music I’d given him. And I liked it, it wasn’t about vampires and the church, it was things that I could relate to, and I think he kinda picked up on what I was wanting to do.

That created the opportunity, we worked together for couple of weeks, and then we realized we were going to need a drummer and bass player, and we started looking for a jam space, where you gotta rent and set up your gear. Fortunately I kept all of my gear, and we loaded it into his room and we started looking for drummers and bass players, which is a pain in the ass by the way, living in Scottsdale, Arizona, we got Phoenix, Mesa, couple of cities near by. We ran an ad in the paper, see what happens. We saw a lot of dummies, and a lot of people who were really talented musicians with no equipment, we saw some really poor musicians with all the equipment in the world, and finally we found the guys in the middle. Talented guys with appropriate gear, who wanted to play.

So, slowly, Pat, he missed playing live, and the more we worked together the more he realised this isn’t for me. It’s almost like when he joined with me to do something different, it’s like if I were to have given in and joined with him, I wouldn’t have been happy, it wasn’t where my heart was. So consequently, he felt the need to get back to Saint Madness again, they’re doing quite nice now, and we got a new singer now, Ry.

So now the solidified lineup would be Brian Muley plays drums, Scott Twitty plays bass, we call him Twitty and then Ryan Chester, we call him Ry, he’s on vocals and of course I play guitar. I’ve got a CD in the van back there, I’ll give you a copy, look forward to share it with you. And we’re really excited about it. Some Sacred Reich fans have been a little bit disappointed because it’s not real fast, but I’m 39 years old, I don’t regret what I’m having. I’m doing what I’ve always done, I’ve being authentic about being myself, and hoping that other people will enjoy it. If they don’t, I don’t care because I’m freeing myself, it’s about me expressing myself musically. So it’s not quite as fast, some people may be disappointed, but I challenge them all to listen to it, and ask themselves “hey, this is no fake, this is the real deal”. I think the authenticity shows up. It’s still heavy! It’s just not fast.

Well that’s kinda disrespecting the other guys in THC cos it’s a different band…

Well I think people here, they never heard of THC, so Sacred Reich is injected into the conversation, and once it’s there, then there’s an expectation, “Oh Sacred Reich, underground, 80s, 90s, fast, political, aggressive, fuck you”. Well not quite, we have some really heavy verses and some big choruses, almost like Killswitch Engage, where the singer has melody, a lot less thrashing. It’s a little bit more thoughtful and melodic, and the lyrics are kinda introspective, and we like that as well.

Has THC done any tours?

No we haven’t moved out of the state. We’ve been playing Northern Arizona, Southern Arizona, played in Tucson, Flagstaff, all around Phoenix, Mesa, but we haven’t left on the road, and at this point, we’re trying to get a little bit more momentum, we’re waiting for the CD, we’ve done two previous CDs that we were displeased with. The first one had Pat on vocals, uh, no regrets, he was great, I’ve gotta be happy he’s part of Human history as we say. And the next CD was our first CD with Ry, it had a lot of music that we worked out with Pat, that was kinda difficult. When we were done with it, we were proud of it but we weren’t pleased. We were like this could define who we are, can we get our sound and identity, and now with our most recent CD, this is who we are. It’s a demo tape essentially, we’re not signed, we’ve been working on this on our own, but I think it’s the best demo you’ll hear for a while *laughs* I think it’s well recorded, it’s well-thought through, and the musicianship is talented…

…and experienced…

Yeah, well I look forward to sharing it with you, maybe later you can send me an email or something with the link to the review, yeah an honest review, that would be great.

Do you play any Sacred Reich songs with THC?

I have, we played “Independent” and “One Nation”.

Do fans like yell out “Independent” or “American Way”, and piss you off?

*laughs* Well yeah a couple of times. Usually it takes a while for them to figure it out, and then it’ll be like “wait a minute, I recognise that guy”, but we were kinda downplaying it. Just before we left, we made a big deal out of it, because THC played with Sacred Reich in Scottsdale, we warmed up for Sacred Reich. So we did some cool stuff with flyers, like “The Conditions are Reich”, and then it had the letters T, H and C off to the side, kinda mixing the two together. So at that point, everyone is like “wait a minute, he’s from…oh!” and then they did the math, and then I saw people yelling “Play Independent!”

Prior to that we were kinda under the radar, and just trying to be THC, but in the few weeks leading up to this tour, the re-release, the shows in Arizona, we did take the opportunity to cross over. Which is great for THC, like for example right now, if I plugged THC, you probably wouldn’t have interest in it. Not because you’re not a good guy, you just wouldn’t know. And Sacred Reich has created this awesome opportunity for me to introduce my new music.

So I’m really thankful for it, because I do understand, when I get back, the likelihood of Sacred Reich doing a record and going out on tour again is very low, but with THC, I still reserve an opportunity to shoot high, keep my expectations up, and all the best. It’s like playing the lottery, if you don’t play, you can’t win. I figured that as long as I’m in a band and following my heart and being true to myself, there’s an opportunity to arrive at a level of success, which would be great. I would love to achieve a gold or a platinum success, and take that same integrity, and FAMILY, on the road. As long as you have to leave your family to be on the road, it’s not viable.

So that’s a pre-condition…

Pre-condition? Yeah you’re catching on! The Human Pre-Condition *laughs*

I’ll have to admit I didn’t think of that *laughs*

Yeah The Human Pre-Condition! I mean yeah, you have to keep your expectations high, as you get older your responsibilities get larger. We’d really love to make it, but at the same time as I mentioned earlier, if we fail, then we’re blessed with the camaraderie, and we still have a social life, no one’s lost anything. But if we’re serious about it, I think we still have an authentic chance of connecting with people, and having a new opportunity to do things on a larger level. So, there’s no guarantees in life, but part of the fun is just playing, so that’s what we’re doing.

This has been a unique opportunity for me to be here with Sacred Reich, I love these guys, they’re my musical brothers, I’m so proud of our past. A lot of my integrity comes from Sacred Reich, so to be here now has been a real blast for me. And then you add the opportunity to introduce my new band to old fans, I’m just walking around on clouds, just can’t believe it. And then my beautiful wife’s here. All the times I’ve been to Europe, I don’t know, 29, 31 times, never brought my wife. Because we’ve always been…playing 6 nights a week, on this bus we have ten crew members sitting on each other, it just didn’t make sense. So now, it’s our third day in London, the first two days were off. To just be able to be a tourist, and get our camera, go to all the cool spots, it’s such a joy, such a privilege.

Awesome. Okay a quick gear question, and then we’re done. What kind of gear do you use?

I’ve been using ESP guitars, since about ’87, and I haven’t changed, they still take really good care of me, make the best guitars in the world as far as I’m concerned. Recently I did do a conversion on amps, I had been using Marshall amps my entire Sacred Reich career. There’s a company called Krank amps, I have them here tonight. They’re out of Tempe, Arizona, but it was only in the last couple of years that they’ve really started to get bigger and bigger. They’re an amazing tube amp, like a Marshall, 4 x 12 stack, with a head on top, all tube…

Classic setup…

Yeah it’s the TRADITIONAL setup, but it’s a new company who comes across really different. These guys, instead of building their cabinets out of plywood, they use solid wood, so they’re also slightly wider, a little bit more distance in the speaker. They use an American made speaker out of Texas, like a traditional Celeste, and they’re kinda looking at the wiring a little differently, and I actually give them a lot of credit for bringing my tone into the new millennium. There’s something really classic about the old Marshall sound, well maybe if I could put my Sacred Reich tone into my new band, it would be a special new thing. Then the more I did it, I listened to records and new stuff coming out, and my tone seems OLD and in the past, and I wanted to freshen it up. And one cord, one guitar, plug it in, “holy shit!” You know, in the past, I’d had to use multiple effects units, stomp boxes to get the distortion, the sustain, the fat bottom end. With these amps, you just need a cord, a guitar *snaps his fingers* and then it sounds fricking great!

Okay cool, right I think that’s it! Thanks for the interview, I’ll see you tonight and in Wacken hopefully!



Thanks to Wiley for doing the interview, and Andy Turner from Metal Blade for setting it up!

Bands’ websites:

Sacred Reich – www.myspace.com/sacredreich
The Human Condition – www.thehumancondition.us



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