Friday, May 2, 2014

The Great Sabatini Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Just getting the new album "Dog years", prepped for release and gearing up for some touring in may/june. The set list will be comprised of mostly new material so we're trying to get the new songs tight.

2.Recently you have recorded a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
This record is pretty diverse in terms of song writing but the feel and energy to the whole record is captured in the same direct way. We tried hard to make a record that was more straight forward, raw, live-sounding and abrasive than our past efforts, but also clearer, bigger and slicker than our other albums too. It's a fine line to walk t I feel like we accomplished our goals with it. 

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Most of the songs relate to our experience with this music in our lives, and the choices we made in order to take it outside of our parent's garages when we were younger. Some of the lyrics are about people we've known or characters who personify the music in one way or another. All of the songs seem to indirectly be about dealing with choices you've made. It's not too serious though... we try to obscure any overt significance to the words. If anyone bothers to read the lyrics, they are, for the most part, indecipherable. 

4.What is the  meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Great Sabatini'?
It is simply an inside joke with various meanings that a friend of ours came up with years ago. We'd prefer to keep the meaning hidden so that perhaps the music will speak more for the band than our dumb name. 

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We've played a lot of memorable shows. One that comes to mind is a basement show we did in Duluth, Minnesota a few years ago. I was pretty sick but it was a party and this tiny room was full of awesome energy. The P.A system took a shit so I just screamed into people's faces and they gave all of that rage and energy right back. We also played an amazing show in Hamburg last year. The reaction was crazy... it was another small room but it was full and people were giving us back everything that we were putting out on stage. Those seem to be the best shows for us. We always try to be as energetic as possible, because that's the place where the music is coming from. It's some kind of bottomless well of energy and soul in us. Even when I'm sick as a dog, that energy comes to the surface when we play. So, it's always great when people feel it and react in kind.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We'll be touring North America throughout May and June, and possibly in the fall. Some shows in Europe in 2015 might be on the horizon as well. 

7.The new album was released by Solar Flare Records, do you feel this label has been very helpful for the band?
Of course. It feels like a nice natural progression from where we were when we released our last record via No List in 2012. In fact, we were introduced to Solar Flare by Lee, who runs No List out of Winnipeg. We are a shrewd bunch when it comes to our music, and we won't let just anyone put their hands on it. We trust the Solar Flare folks with something very, very important to us. I know we're in good hands.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer material by fans of extreme music?
It's still early, but through touring and getting feedback from people via the internet, the reaction from people outside of Canada is always humbling. Sometimes it's hard to know where we fit among the insane amount of music out there which falls under the title "extreme", but we do what we do from the heart and when folks hear us or see us, they seem to recognize that and it's pretty awesome.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Who knows. We are pretty open to experimenting with the way we do things, and always have been. We have some ideas on the table but all I can say is that we'll approach writing new material the way always have... trying to hit it from a new angle and challenging ourselves to be better song writers, players and artists in general.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I was revisiting a lot of my favourite old punk and hardcore records while writing some of the material on Dog Years, and maybe that shines through a bit on Side A of the record. Just classics like Bad Brains and Black Flag and the Ramones, records I grew up with. So, that spirit was present pretty early on when I was coming up with riff ideas for the record. But we all absorb a ton of music and a lot of it finds it's way into our writing process. Lot's of genres and styles. Right now I am enjoying the newest OFF! record, The Dead Ranch record "Antler Royal", an Eric's Trip album called "Purple Blue", Metz, Ken Mode (all of their records), Kowloon Walled City... their last album "Container Ships" is real popular with all of us right now.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
We all enjoy movies, and comedy. Podcasts... podcasts about comedians and movies. We all relate to those things together... it's something we all chat about and listen to in the van quite often.

12.before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? 
Not much... just thanks to everyone for supporting us somply by listening and sharing our music among your friends. We love to play out ith our music and to make records. Any chance that we get to validate this ridiculous thing we've done with our lives by interacting with friends and fans is beyond our expectations. Thanks for being interested.

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