SACRED REICH Frontman On 'Awakening' Album: 'We Definitely Wanted To Not Forget Where We Came From'

August 25, 2019

Chris Akin of "The Classic Metal Show" recently conducted an interview with frontman Phil Rind from Arizona thrash metal veterans SACRED REICH. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether SACRED REICH never got its "just due" in the thrash metal scene:

Phil: "I was talking with someone the other day and we were talking about what was going on when we were coming up and this explosion of thrash bands, after bands like METALLICA and SLAYER kicked the door open. We always felt part of that. I always felt like we were fortunate to be at the right place at the right time, to be part of the scene and something that was new and interesting and cool. But I think we were also somewhat apart from it, being from Phoenix. We weren't from the Bay Area or New York. We always had our own kind of take on things that was maybe less affected just because of proximity. For better or worse, that's all just all somebody's judgment. I just figure people take it for what it is. It's still the same. It's still the same now. We just do our thing, whatever that thing is, and hopefully people dig it."

On SACRED REICH sticking to its core sound on its first studio album in 23 years, "Awakening":

Phil: "It was interesting, even thinking about what we sound like now. It's, like, 'Well, what do we sound like?' I have a friend and he's, like, 'You sound like whatever you do. Just write the songs and it's SACRED REICH.' I'm, like, 'Yeah. I guess there's no reason to get all confused about everything.' We definitely wanted to not forget where we came from and all the people who have been with us since 'Ignorance' and the people who have supported the band and allowed us to be in this position. We didn't want to forget about that. We definitely wanted to add new things to what we're doing and just keep moving forward, so I think there's a nice mixture of songs on the record, and I think hopefully people will like it."

On what prompted SACRED REICH to record a new album after Rind previously stated the band had no plans to do so:

Phil: "We started playing live again in 2010, and we've been going to Europe to play festivals. That was pretty much going to be it. We just didn't have any songs. One day, it just came back; the songs started popping in our head. It was a sign. [Laughs] It's, like, 'Wow! We have these songs. Looks like we're going to go make a record.' It was just pretty natural the way the whole thing happened. I don't know why. I don't know what changed, but something changed, so we're like 'Cool.' We're going to go with it. We're not going to think about it too much, and that's all."

On the importance of drummer Dave McClain (ex-MACHINE HEAD) rejoining SACRED REICH:

Phil: "We already had a record contract with Metal Blade [Records] and we knew we were going to go make a record. We already knew that we were going to do that. When we split with Greg [Hall], it was, like, 'What are we going to do?' I was, like, 'Who knows?' We don't know. But I knew there was one call I was going to make for sure, and I talked to Dave: 'Greg's out of the band.' He's, like, 'I wanna do it. I wanna do the record. I wanna do the tour.' I was like 'Cool!' He was still in MACHINE HEAD at the time, so they were going to be busy for a year, year and a half, so we kept working. Even when I spoke to him, he was still in MACHINE HEAD, then as time progressed, he realized he didn't want to be in MACHINE HEAD, but when we originally spoke that wasn't the deal. It all worked. I mean, we couldn't be happier. Dave's such an awesome drummer and brought so much to the record. He's been quite busy the last 23 years and has way more experience doing things than we do. It's nice to have this perspective. He's just such a great guy. When you're traveling together very closely, it's important everyone gets along. We're really fortunate."

On whether the era of social media has made attention-grabbing headlines more important than the interviews themselves:

Phil: "Some people will get it. Some people won't get it. Then as far as SACRED REICH is concerned and the vast majority would say, 'Who?' You know what I mean? That's the honest part of it. Look, the people who like our band like our band. The people who don't like our band don't like our band. The people who like our band will find reasons to like it. The people that don't will find reasons not to. The vast majority of the people on the planet have no clue who we are. Let's be realistic about stuff. I remember when Blabbermouth posted 'SACRED REICH is doing a split with IRON REAGAN'. The first song is called 'Don't Do It Donnie'. Then I saw the reaction come in about a song that no one's even heard yet. They're just basing their opinion on the title. I just had to giggle because it's hysterical. People want to overreact — go for it, man. It's not my business. What other people want to do, that's their business, not mine. Someone said a long time ago, 'Other people's opinion of me is not my business.' I just always laugh and I think there's a lot of truth to that. We'd be foolish to think that everybody's going to like everything you do. That would be silly. Don't feel that way and you won't be disappointed."

"Awakening" was released August 23 via Metal Blade. The album was produced by Arthur Rizk, who has previously worked with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, POWER TRIP and CODE ORANGE, among others.

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