Heart of Steel: Interviews

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Interview With Nasty Savage
Interview By Luxi Lahtinen & JP

Interview with Florida's veteran thrash masters - Nasty Savage, about the newly-reformed group and their latest CD.


First of all, would you politely tell us the latest news from the Nasty Savage   camp? What´s up with you guys as far as your reunion thing with the original line-up, and new Nasty Savage´s full-length studio album?

Yes, we are recording a new CD with ten or so new songs - it's NASTY SAVAGE 2003!!! EXCLUSIVE NEWS: The big news about it is we have a producer that will produce this new Nasty Savage CD, and he is a legendary guy: Paul Curcio, who produced the first Metallica Album and has also worked with Slayer and Anthrax, as well as the Doobie Brothers and Santana to name a few. I myself saw the platinum Kill Em All record framed - actually there were 2 of them: one for cassette tapes and one for vinyl LP. Wow! We hope he can bring out something new in NASTY SAVAGE.



How did the idea to get the original line-up back together start? Was it kind of a hard task to contact to the rest of the original Nasty Savage members after all these years again, and to convince them that there´s still lots of demand for a killer old-school Thrash Metal band like Nasty Savage, what most of us old-school metalheads have always known you for?

Well in 1999, it was the Bang Your Head gig in Germany that got Nasty Savage together again. Curtis didn't go so Jim Coker played drums, and Richard didn't go but Fred Dregichan (Nasty Savage's original Bass player) made the trip. It was a unbelievable trip that I will always cherish - to go back to something I thought was totally gone from my life. Most of us stayed in contact over the years .We had a offer from Crooked Records to re-release Penetration Point CD. After that, we had a offer to record something with Crooked, so I said, "how about two new songs and the demo on a cd?" They said yes, and I called Curtis to tell him I really wanted him to be back with Nasty Savage and let's all do it like never before. Richard Baitman was back too, and he kicks major ass on bass, and wrote two new songs for the new CD. So if the demand is there for old school thrash metal , then we will have the supply they will need!

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You broke up some time at the end of 1989, due to some internal conflicts inside the band. Have those "conflicts" been solved between each of you - once and for all - presumably, correct? I mean, you have got all the original members to work together for Nasty Savage´s new coming, so those "conflicts" probably don´t haunt any of you anymore, and you are able to put full 100% from each of you into this band nowadays, right?

You can't live in the past. The only thing you are control of is your future and I think we are all 110 % into this band and music. You only live once, and how often can you go back 20 years into your past? It's unbelievable and thrilling too.


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I noticed that you had this new song called "Sardonic Mosaic" on the "Wage of Mayhem" mini-CD. You also had a song named by that title on Infernal´s mini-CD, but I assume that Infernal song isn´t any re-worked song on "Wage of Mayhem" mini-CD, ´coz it at least sounds very differed compared to that Infernal song. Besides that, the lyrics for that particular song on "Wage of Mayhem" seem to be very different compared to the Infernal song? Well, please sort this out ´coz to me this sounds relatively confusing anyway.

"Sardonic Mosaic" was a title I always wanted to use but never did. Then I did the project INFERNAL on Crooked Records so I wrote the lyrics used that title and recorded a super heavy song on the INFERNAL CD. When the NASTY SAVAGE deal went down, I just had to redo the song again with my real & only true band ever, NASTY SAVAGE! Some of those lyrics are the same and some are new; it's such a cool deep-meaning title that I had to use it with NASTY SAVAGE, and I did. There is one secret about this title on WAGE OF MAYHEM because it is spelled wrong and after the first pressing it will make this pressing a rare limited collectors item.



So, what could you tell about new material you have done thus far since the reformation of the band? Could you say that you have - more of less - tried to stay loyal to your original roots, so that your old fans would get back exactly the very same ol´ Nasty Savage that they have always loved and adored, because of how they sounded like on their albums in the ´80s?

I think we stayed loyal to our own hearts. We never really talked about what to write or how or what others would like to hear. We just started creating, writing, and trying to get a groove - whatever that may be. It's really the next step of NASTY SAVAGE - a progression of ourselves and our sound.


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What could you say are the biggest differences between the new stuff you have come up with since you reformed Nasty Savage, and your ´80s stuff? When you were coming up with these new songs, did you try to avoid updating your sound too much, like making it sound too polished and clinical, like all these modern studios can provide you these days? How much does it mean to you to stay loyal to your roots anyway?

This is like your last question. Loyal to your roots? Some things never change. When you use your heart in your work, it seems to stay more true. I really think a big difference is, the last time in the studio for Penetration Point is we had no cell phones. When we were recording WAGE OF MAYHEM I got a call and when I hung up I said, "That's something new: a cell phone in the studio." Wow, that was funny.



When and where will you record your next full-length album? And do you already have a couple of potential candidates in your mind that might well produce it?

The Red Room in Tampa, Florida. Paul Curcio will produce it along with NASTY SAVAGE. We go into start drum tracks, then everything else on 3/28/03.



As you now obviously signed a deal with Crook´n Records/Massacre Records, I was wondering what made you a sign a contract with them, and how many labels were there actually that tried to end up signing you in the first place? What made Crook´n/Massacre´s offer far superior and far more tempting than others?

After we did the BANG YOUR HEAD reunion show in Germany, there were labels that said, "Record a demo and we will listen to it." Crooked said. "Let's do a full CD and a mini CD." They made us an offer we couldn't refuse. Massacre is the company Crooked Records worked a deal with in Europe. The guys at Crooked are straight up motherfuckers: true, real, honest, and jarring Nasty Savage fans!


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When Nasty Savage was put on ice for over 10 years, you guys were still very active in music with such bands as Infernal, Lowbrow and Gardy-Loo. Now when Nasty Savage has been dug up from its old grave - and that will obviously be your main band from now on - I was wondering whether you still might have any intentions to keep any of those other bands active on some level, or are they all destined to cease to exist?

For me Infernal was only a project I always wanted to do - that's it. I feel NASTY SAVAGE may have a chance like never before, and you only live once so make the most of it. How many times can you go back into your youth like this? For now, my only musical goal is to stay together with NASTY SAVAGE. I think its very important to be focused on your goals to make them a reality.



After Nasty Savage broke up, you formed Infernal with Josh Sweeney, who played all the instruments on the Infernal mini-CD. But weren´t you also supposed to have a full-length studio album from Infernal out through them as well? What happened with that one? Please, enlighten us a bit.

Infernal was me and Josh, who I thought was a very off-the-hook musican. He kicked ass and I liked him, but he got caught up in his hometown band up north Michigan or something. He lived with the drummer and his brother was the singer, so he felt it to be hard to make it down with the guys to do the album at the very last minute. I felt caught up in a betrayal system. I was betrayed! I think the record company (who I found) signed his band and never did the INFERNAL. I guess you never know - when people wear their masks...? Hmmmm, what record company was that?



Which Nasty Savage album would you say you are most proud of, and for what reasons? My favorite is INDULGENCE, as that's one heavy and thrashy slap of bombastic metal straight between your legs. That shit really hurts.

I would have to say this next NASTY SAVAGE release here in 2003. I never would think this could happen again and it is a sensational challenge almost dream-like and the songs I am writing lyrically are like short stories of life and reality in a abstract way. Here and no life is a great indulgence.



Do you honestly believe that also this new generation of metalheads know who Nasty Savage were? What Nasty Savage did and achieved for themselves in the ´80's? As time flies, since the ´80s Thrash Metal genre, we have gone through Death, Doom, and Black Metal genres - and nowadays such genres of Power and Gothic Metal seem to be very ruling amongst metalheads, especially here in the Old Continent. Do you still have faith left toward younger metalheads, that even if some of genres come and go, they are still kind of open-minded people to other genres of metal? And presumably are ready to accept and like Nasty Savage - the way as we older metalheads did and are still able to remember them to sound like they did in the ´80's?

I think everything goes in cycles. When play dies it becomes a game. Listen to the silence in the space between the words. Proper promotion and marketing can create power and open you up to a whole new even larger audience and market to deal with. If not the old school will be there teaching the younger ones how to create the wage of mayhem while NASTY SAVAGE is playing live onstage.


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What kind of tour plans do you have for 2003? I suppose you are going to tour a little bit in the States, but I was wondering if some of your touring plans include coming to Europe any time soon?

For now, December 2003 we will tour Europe if not sooner. Hey promoters:  give us a call to set up a tour! Go to www.nastysavage.com and contact us there and sign our guestbook.



This new millennium seems to be an ideal time for reunions of some classic ´80's Thrash Metal bands. We have got Exodus, Dark Angel, Death Angel back. and now it was your turn to come back to the limelight and start kicking the asses of metalheads once again. What´s your opinion about all these bands that once broke up and have now come back to the metal scene again? Some of them are obviously there because of making some extra income - but on the other hand -  some do it from their full hearts because of their love and passion toward this type of shit.

The future will only tell. There is no sinner like a young saint.



What do you overall think of the metal scene nowadays? Do you think we have kind of reached the peak? The metal scene is sort of a bit too over-saturated by, lets spit it out by a bit exaggerating way - "zillions and trillions" of both old and new bands? And what do you think of some of the currents trends in metal? Do you find some of these bands from those particular genres appealing to you?

I really don't listen to too many new bands these days because it doesn't matter NASTY SAVAGE will do our thing and keep moving forward. I hope we get a full bus load of everyone who wants to have fun at the old school.



What are some of your fondest memories from the early Florida days?

Having to pave our own way. There were no other big bands for us to open up for and get noticed so we did it ourselves. It seems like it all flew by way too fast. I guess the contract for the 1st LP, to get signed, the 88 tour in Europe, the people and fans, and shows you can never forget because they are etched into your brain.



Do you have any outrageous/legendary tour tales you can share?

Tour tales? Too many to mention... Looking forward to the future ones, because that's what we are here for: the future of NASTY SAVAGE.


When writing lyrics do you draw inspiration from personal events, or fantasy and imagination, or a bit of both?

When writing songs I get inspired from my notes that I always keep for song writing and lyrics, books, and reality. It takes research and time. For me, it's from my heart with passion. I love to hear the whole song with the guitar solos then they take me to another level because I try to feed off the passion of the music - almost hypnotic at times. I get totally focused and alone, then I create. It's also abstract writings that can be taken in different ways. To me, it's a blank canvas and time for me to paint a painting for all to see, hear, read, and feel. I wrote ten of the twelve songs lyrics on this new LP.



Has the business aspect changed or improved at all from the early days? Can you describe an average day for the band getting geared up for the new album?

The business never changes - it's best to stay on top of it. We are done with all guitar parts including solos so now in a few weeks. I will do the vocals, then we mix and master .We all live our own lives with families, jobs, and such. So, when it's time we are there ready to take care of business. Each guy did great in the studio, and in writing and working together on this Nasty Savage 2003 project. I think we will have a very heavy , very solid LP.



Are there any plans to remaster and reissue the first few releases?

You never know. We are talking about a few options we have next. I think a DVD would be cool.



Any final thoughts?

Last words: check out www.nastysavage.com. Please sign our guestbook and let us know you are out there. Email us and we will write you back. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !! See you on the NASTY TOUR!


Band Website: www.nastysavage.com
Label Website: www.crook-drecords.com