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Indulás: 2007-01-11
 
St. Vitus 2.

„Mournful cries” was the last album for SST Records, at which point did you leave them and how did you get in touch with German based Hellhound Records? Were there still any label interests besides Hellhound in the band? How much support did you get from SST at all?

We found out that SST was liaing to us, they said that no one was intrasted in us

 

During 1989 you recorded the fifth album which was simply titled „V”, how did you approach the songwriting for this record? How was the recording sessions as a whole?

As far as I know not much Dave wrote, we practes, we recorded, we played

 

Did the title refer to that it was your fifth album or was it the sign of victory?

It stood for our fifet LP and Vitus

 

Do you agree with that „V” offering is one of the most captivating, atmospheric, depressing and doom metal essential albums out there?

Yes.

 

It incorporates the true Black Sabbath dogma of super heavy music; expect slow to moderate tempos, resonating percussion, Wino’s patented croon, and a thick, pulsating recording where the guitar and bass tones blend together into one solid slab of churning mass, what probably the only flaw on the album, the bass tone is generally incredibly hard to distinguish from the guitar - to the point where it really doesn't even sound like there's a bass guitar there, how do you see it?

We were recording in Berlin, plus Dave and Mark did not have there amps

 

„V” is quintessential doom, sludgey, heavy and steeped in Sabbath influences and manages to maintain an atmosphere and sound throughout without sounding formulaic or samey and as well as being thick and heavy also has a groove resting in every song that gives the album a real infectious quality, do you agree with it?

Yes. Yes. It's mainly Dave. His writing style has progress over the bands history

 

What about the touring aspect in support of the record?

That may have been Hell Hound and Dave.

 

Your next effort was the „Live” (1990) album, which was recorded at Gammelsdorf in Germany during 1989, who came up with the idea of this record?

That may have been Hell Hound and Dave

 

Do you think, that the sound is as good as its going to get, the whole band sounds perfect, no instrument over powers the other?

Dave and others tryed to get all the masters but could not fine then. They were hopeing to release a longer LP in the U.S. Yes. We'll admet Sabbath is the main influense. We started the band the idea, what if Ozzy stade with Sabbath, what would they sound like? Heness Saint Vitus.

 

Would you say, that for people that never got to see you live, it gives a good glimpse into just how damn awesome you were and how you sounded live?

We loved play, so every show was good.

 

In 1990 you toured once more in Europe with doom metal legends Count Raven, how did the whole tour go? Did you get on well with the Count Raven guys?

When we first met them in the, land of the cafe houses. we stop to get our coffee and went to our hotel they were outside waiting for us and so was a reporter for a news paper who wanted interveiw us. We tolled them we needed to get our rooms and get cleaned up. We ran up stairs and made one of the rooms the party room. We were relaxing and reporter came up for the interveiw and by the time Count Raven came up, the room had nice green haze going. By the end of the nite, the reporter had drawen a line haf way in his note book and Count Raven had not smoked pot 3 years. We scrude that up.

 

What kind of goals did the compilation record „Heavier than thou” serve, which was released in 1991? Did SST want to earn some extra money or…?

Ya! More money for SST. We didn't know that Heavier Than Thou was out. We found out when a fan gave to us to autografe it.

 

Wino opted out to reform The Obsessed, what made him to reform the band? Did you part ways with him on a friendly term at the end?

Wino brought Obsessed tapes to Hell Hound for release. We got back to the U.S. and got ready to do a new LP. Wino never told us he reformed Obsessed. We found out trough somebody back east. We waited almost a year be for we knew he quit the band.

 

Did you follow Wino’s career after his departure from St. Vitus? Were you familiar with his other materials, such as Shine and Spirit Caravan?

I hered of them, never hered the music

 

Were you more successful with Wino in your ranks than with Scott Reagers or…?

Wino has his following, and Reagers has his.

 

Instead of Wino joined Christian Lindersson the band, was it unambigious for you to have him as a new singer of the band or did you try out other singers as well?

We had an other singer at the time. We practice with him and he had a good voice, we like him. But Hell Hound Records said that they did not like him and wanted us go with Christian Lindersson of Count Raven. We had wanted our guy but Dave said we should go with the record company. We were afraid they would drop us. How little we knew of our power at the time.

 

To which extent were you familiar with Count Raven’s material? Did you like their first album „Storm warning”?

Hell Hound introduce us to Count Raven as a warm up band to tour with us by playing Storm Warning. We like them.

 

Did he assume the vocal mantle as „Lord Christus” for 1991’s „Heavier than thou”?

Heavier Than Thou was a greatis hit album from SST records. He only sang on Children Of Doom. We thougt he sounded like Ozzy.

 

You recorded a two tracks demo featuring „To be a soldier” and „Chameleon” in 1992, did the label ask you to hear newer material or did you only want to check out how the new tunes sound in a studio situation with Christian’s vocals?

First of all, we never recorded a " demo " in the band history. Me I never heared To Be A Soldier or Chameleon not that I remember. But that could be that green haze I was talking about

 

Your next album was „Children of doom”, what about the recording sessions?

We had a habbit of writting songs per album, that way we never had any leftovers. We recorded at Don Dokkens studio. We had a great time.

 

Do you think, that this is classic Saint Vitus record, great soloing follows, as usual and Dave Chandler is in top form again?

No, we could not get the feelling from Christian we wanted. So I would say it was our lease populer LP

 

Can you give us still details regarding this record?

All I can say is, Dave wrote the music and lyrecs except Planet Of Judgement. And we recorded it. And got drunk and stoned. That green haze again.

 

Do you agree with that musically, this album is akin to your classic „Born Too Late”, perhaps a little less heavy and a little slower?

Thats right, we never went out of the way to change our style. Dave wrote and we'd played. We had a likeing for Black Sabbath

 

Do you think that Christian had an Ozzy type voice what totally fitted to your music although he’s not as good, as Wino, or Scott Reagers?

At the time we were going for a comercule sound, we were dum. Thats why we got Don Dokken to produce. Plus me and Don went to high school to gether. Who new

 

The production leaves a bit to be desired, in the heaviness department and Don Dokken was chosen to produce the record, how did he come in the picture exactly? Was he the perfect choice for the job, since he wasn’t familiar with doom metal materials?

At the time we were going for a comercule sound, we were dum. Thats why we got Don Dokken to produce. Plus me and Don went to high school to gether. Who new

 

Was it the first experience for Don as producer or…?

I don't remember. Green haze

 

How do you see, that doom metal came into the fashion at this point? A lot of doom bands started popping up, such as Winter, Revenant, Upside Down Cross, Sorrow etc. what were your views seeing that doom explosion?

I really don't know. At the time all we knew is we wanted to play what we wanted and if people like it, great. We only new of Trouble and Pentagram at the time. Green haze.

 

You would fold after the releasing of the album, what led to it? Why did you decide to break up? What did you do until you released „Die healing”?

At the time, we felt nobody was intressed in us. So we did Die Healing as our last LP. We practis. We recoreded and went on tour with Scott Reagers.

 

What about Scott Reager’s return to St. Vitus? How did it happen?

We still had a contract for one more LP. So insted of looking for a new singer, Dave ask Scotty.

 

Do you agree with that he is the ultimate singer of the band and nobody can/could replace him? A kind of trademark of St. Vitus so to speak…

Since it would be our last LP, we figured not finish with first singer. A lot of people liked him.

 

Did you start writing the songs for „Die healing” after Scott’s comeback or was the material ready when he rejoined?

I think we had some songs written, but I'm sure Dave and Scott worked together on it.

 

How did the recording sessions go with „Die healing”? Did you feel the same vibe like by the first album?

I believe it felt even better

 

The sonic nature of the bands earlier recordings is somewhat restored, that being the gloriously fuzzy and spectral aura that adorned their earliest work and partly to credit is Scott Reagers himself, as his odd, quavering, snarling voice is the perfect foil for the bands loping pulse, what do you think about it?

I liked how it sounded, the only difference was we recorded live for my drums. And every body else over dubbed there parts. I missed out on Scott's recording. I fell asleep.

 

The material is up to snuff as well; the somewhat forced sloth of the Wino years being somewhat cleared away: „Dark World” opens the album with an insistent slow, though not lethargic pace, leaving that style to „Let The End Begin” to embrace, which is does with wonderful nihilistic aplomb, „Sloth” is another super-slow tale of horror, reminding one of elder band classics like „Burial At Sea” or „The Psychopath”, whilst „Just Another Notch”, a tale warning of the dangers of addiction mixes things up with a faster tempo, and fuzz master Dave Chandler handling the vocals, what would you say to it?

Dark World is one of my favorites.And Sloth, Dave wanted to do real slow song on some thing that moved real slow. And if we do any more shows I'd like to do Burial At Sea and The Psychopath. Just Another Notch, Dave wanted to tell the story.

 

Would you say, that this album is really heavy and represented Saint Vitus at its best?

I would say Die Healing was our last and we hoped our best

 

The producer of the album was Harris Johns, did he do a good job? Were you satisfied with his work?

It was different for him, we like working with him. We got the sound we wanted

 

Then you broke up again, Christian Lindersson re-emerged in Terra Firma, Dave Chandler created Debris Inc. with Ron Holzner, but what about you and Mark Adams at this point? Were you involved in several bands as well?

Mark is not interested in any project now. He had to deal with a death in his family and he want to get a job. Me, I'm in a band call Dirty Red. I have a female singer/writer. kind of southern rock/doom. We are on a combo LP from England, Catacomb records. You can get to it on myspace dirtyredrocks, and we have three songs on the site. Also go to the Catacomb icon and look for Gentlemen Make Wars. Also we are looking for a guitar, bass and maybe a keyboard player. For me this is only project I've done.

 

Did you keep an eye what’s going on in the underground scene?

Not really. I lost interest after we broke up. Not until we did the reunion shows and met my singer Jennifer Starr

 

In 2003 you appeared („Born too late” era) on the With full force festival, any memories about that gig? Why didn’t Scott take part in the reformation?

The first Europe festival we ever did. It was nice to play a big stage. Every body was cool back stage. We were tolled people wanted to see Wino. Give the people what they want

 

Was it only a one gig reform or…?

We did a show in Chicago be for going to Germany. It was the first sold out show in the U.S. we ever had. There may be plans for festivals in Europe

 

You played a gig on the 1st of July 2003 at the Double door in Chicago, how was this show? How did you feel standing on stage and playing the Saint Vitus classics?

It was great! I met people from New York, Louesyanna, Arkansas even Germany. All I know is that my drum solo was better in Chicago than at With Full Force

 

Southern Lord Records wighed in with a re-release of „V” complete with a DVD of Wino’s first ever and entire show with the band, how deeply were you involved into the making of this material? Are there any plans as far as the re-releasing of the Saint Vitus records?

That was Dave and Ron's gig. All I get is royalties from it. I hear there may be a Die Healing in the works.

 

A Saint Vitus tribute album „A timeless tale” was released by Ravenmoon Records in 2004 respectively Swedish death metal band Grave covered „Burial at sea” for their 2004 record „Fiendish regression”, how did you like these materials? Does it mean, that these bands have a great respect to the band and they wanted pay an attention to you?

First of all, they said they would send me a copy, I ain't got shit. Other then that I liked what I heard. I also like to hear how some drummers do double bass drums with one. I like that some body remembers.

 

Do you think that St. Vitus always remain classic, but at the same time away from the almighty shadow of Sabbath?

I like that were considered classic, and Sabbath is the reason why we played. To tell you the truth I wish we were still playing.

 

Many doom bands owe a lot to St. Vitus, as you were doing the ultra-slow, first-album-Sabbath dirge long before it became fashionable, do you agree with that?

We played what we wanted, and if people like what we did even better. The fact that we helped start a new style great. My name will be remembered other than a police blotter

 

Would you say, that your sound was quite raw in places, particularly on the early albums, where the production was occasionally a bit primitive and you developed soundwise from record to record?

Yes. We liked the idea Of the raw power we had, It was more fun then. Even tho we did the over dubs on our last LP.

 

Is the band’s name still big and it’s in people’s minds?

Ya! I still run in to people how like Vitus. Some one tolled me some kid about 16 years old was lessening to Born To Late On his Ipod.

 

Armando, thanks a lot for your answers, anything to add what I forgot to cover?

Thanks Q & A. Don't for get me. I wish I was still Playing

 
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