Every now and then you bump into a band, which is special from the moment you hear or see them. This has been the case with SAVAGE MASTER for us. US Metal performed by male musicians, that look like the new millennium brothers of THE MENTORS. However, fronted by a female singer, that stands proud among her companions. Her voice is the perfect mix of Betsy (BITCH), Kate (ACID) and Leather (CHASTAIN). Her looks that you can only dream of, easily will beat all competitors. Their debut album “Mask Of The Devil” was already impressive and with its successor “With whips And Chains” their star is rising even faster. America was taken by storm already with their dynamic live shows. Europe will be next on the list. All the more reason to introduce you to the band SAVAGE MASTER. Metal Maidens teamed up with Stacey Savage. The band was wearing the masks of the devil, while Stacey was torturing us with her whips and chains. Here’s the story of amazing newcomers SAVAGE MASTER. Beware and warn your children not to come too close, because this band is vicious!
When was SAVAGE MASTER founded and how did you meet up with eachother?
Stacey: “SAVAGE MASTER was founded in October of 2013, when Adam and I met after having some discussion online about his want for a female vocalist to front a heavy metal metal band he had wanted to do and my search for a heavy metal band to play with. I sent him some rough recordings of myself singing a JUDAS PRIEST song “Starbreaker” and WITCHFINDER GENERAL's “Invisible Hate”. I think that kind set off the realization, that we had similar ideas and influences. Adam had a lot of connections with musicians in the area, so he gathered the rest of the band from people he knew.”
Did any of the band members play in other bands before SAVAGE MASTER? And if yes, did they record anything with these bands?
Stacey: “Adam Neal has had many bands before SAVAGE MASTER and has written, played and sung on tons of recordings. Larry Myers has a few records out with his other band, where he plays drums. Brandon Brown has had a few bands and projects, the most recent being MURROWIND. Zach Harris has not been featured on any recordings prior to SAVAGE MASTER, and nor have I.”
Please introduce the band to us and tell us which instrument(s) you play.
Stacey: “Larry has been with us from the start on guitar, Brandon has been on bass, since we have been touring and Zach has been drumming with us, since we started writing our new album “With Whips and Chains”.”
Brandon replaced your old bassplayer Steve Curtsinger. How did you get in touch with him and did he play in other bands before he joined SAVAGE MASTER?
Stacey: “Brandon played guitar in a heavy metal band, so when we needed to get a serious bassist, who would be willing and able to tour and who has a passion for classic heavy metal and NWOBHM, we sent him a message asking if he'd like to play bass with us.”
Stacey, how did you get involved in the metal scene in the first place? Did you have any musical family members or did it just grow on you?
Stacey: “My main exposure to heavy metal began in high school when friends would let me borrow their heavy metal CDs. As far as musical involvement in my family, my grandfather on my mother's side writes and plays country music, although he is very secretive about it, so I have not heard much of it.”
Did you have any singing lessons? And who’s your biggest example, when it comes to metal singers?
Stacey: “When I was in high school I took choir class, because I loved to sing. I thought it would be fun and help to develop my singing, which it did. I owe a lot to my choir teacher, Terry Sanford, as he was amazing and taught me so much about singing. As far as heavy metal influences to my singing, I would have to say my biggest are Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford and Doro Pesch.”
Who can we see as the biggest influence for SAVAGE MASTER and maybe you can also point out some of the influences of each band member individually?
Stacey: “We all have tons of influences. You know my influences already now, but I will say that Adam and I were thinking mostly about PILEDRIVER and W.A.S.P, when we came up with SAVAGE MASTER.”
Adam: “TED NUGENT and Ritchie Blackmore.”
Larry: “My favorite bands as a kid included LYNYRD SKYNYRD (a favorite of mine as well) and ZZ TOP, then LED ZEPPELIN, PINK FLOYD, BLACK SABBATH and JETHRO TULL. My ELP – “Brain Salad Surgery” tape got a ton of play. Early METALLICA was my intro to metal and favorite for a while, and is probably the biggest influence on my playing and the guitar tone I am going for with SAVAGE MASTER. These days I'm loving more the DIO, RAINBOW and first JUDAS PRIEST records more than I did as a younger man.”
Brandon: “Influences for me honestly change from day to day. I’m always finding new things that make me want to keep going. But the main influence (musically) for me has always been BLACK SABBATH and the first few solo albums of OZZY OSBOURNE.”
Zach: “The first music can I ever remember listening to as a child was KISS and AEROSMITH and they both remain a major influence on me to this day. There are so many artists, who have influenced me both musically and visually over the years that I could spend all day naming them all, but some of the most important to me are MOTLEY CRUE, VINNIE VINCENT INVASION, KING DIAMOND, HALLOWEEN, PANTERA (the 80s glam era), PRINCE, MICHAEL JACKSON, DEAD OR ALIVE, DIVINE, TINA TURNER, NINA HAGEN, CINDERELLA, RATT, MISSING PERSONS, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, SPECIMEN, ACCEPT, U.D.O, WENDY O. WILLIAMS, DEATH SS, KAT, SSISTERS OF MERCY and SARCOFAGO, just to name a few. When I was a teenager I discovered Japanese metal and that really changed my life. I discovered bands such as SEIKIMA-II, X, AION, ROSENFELD, HARKENKREUZ, CROWLEY, DEAD END, SABBRABELLS, ROMMEL, COLOR, GARGOYLE and LUNA SEA. I was always heavily influence by visual and theatrical bands and the metal scene in Japan was filled with amazing over-the-top visual bands. That whole scene really had a profound effect on me more than anything else before or since. As far as drumming influences go, Tommy Lee is definitely my biggest influence and the reason I started playing drums. Discovering "Shout At The Devil" at seven years old was a life changing event for me and it remains my favorite album to this day. Not just his musical ability, but also his stage performance and showmanship had a huge impact on me. Many other drummers influenced my playing and style such as Eric Carr, Shinya Yamada, Masafumi Minato, Terry Bozzio, John Bonham, Mikkey Dee, Bobby Blotzer and Tommy Aldridge. I love any drummer, who is flashy and plays with a lot of power and groove.”
How would you describe your music?
Stacey: “We describe our music as occult heavy metal.”
What’s your favorite SAVAGE MASTER song and why? (my personal fave is the title track of the album ”Mask Of The Devil”, by the way).
Stacey: “That's tough. My current favorites are “Ready to Sin” and “Looking for a Sacrifice”.”
In a short period of time, your career has taken quite a boost. Among various highlights, you will be playing at the prestigeous Keep It True festival in April 2016. Are you looking forward to that and have you planned something special for the people in Germany?
Stacey: “We are definitely looking forward to playing Keep it True 2016. Now if we have something planned and we told you, it wouldn't be much of a surprise, would it?”
Who writes the songs and the lyrics for SAVAGE MASTER and what are they about?
Stacey: “Adam is the main song and lyric writer in the group. Although, we split lyric writing duties about fifty-fifty for our new album “With Whips and Chains”. The songs are about a lot of things, but mostly about embracing our animalistic behavior and being true to oneself.”
How did you get involved with Skol records (Bart Gabriel), who released your debut album?
Stacey: “Only five hours after we played our first show live, Bart contacted us having seen a video of us that someone had uploaded.”
Let's take a close look at your live shows now. What's the metal scene like in Louisville, Kentucky? Are there many clubs where you can play live and maybe you can name us a few bands that come from the same area?
Stacey: “There are several venues to play in Louisville. We always have a good turnout here at home. FATAL STEP (Louisville), SORCERY DIVINE (Lexington) and TOMBSTALKER (Lexington) are some cool bands from our area.”
What will people expect, when they come to see a live show of SAVAGE MASTER? Do you use any show effects (pyro, etc.) at all?
Stacey: “Expect to have a good time! We sometimes use a fog machine. We always want to up our stage show. Of course, it depends on what the venue will allow.”
Do you play any covers or do you stick to your own penned material only? Which covers do you play during your live sets?
Stacey: “We have played “Death or Glory” by HOLOCAUST , “Rainbow Demon” by URIAH HEEP and “Swords and Tequila” by RIOT.”
Which song is the most difficult one to play live and why?
Stacey: “The covers can be the hardest, because I always want to do them proper justice.”
What's the crowd’s favorite song?
Stacey: “It really depends on the crowd. Everyone seems to have different favorites. “Ripper in Black” and “With Whips and Chains” seem to always garner the best reactions though.”
I bet, you can tell some nice stories about ‘live on the road’ with SAVAGE MASTER. I hope, that you want to dig into your memory and come up with some nice stories for our readers?
Stacey: “We have met so many amazing people on the road. From the nicest fans to Heavy metal legends, that we have admired for years. We met the mighty OSTROGOTH in Chicago. One of America's finest heavy metal bands, MANILLA ROAD on the west coast. I got to have a chat with the lovely Leather Leone of CHASTAIN in California. And most recently, I got to sing along to “See You in Hell” with GRIM REAPER. There are so many good times!”
What do you think of the metal scene today, are there any bands that you like to hear in particular?
Stacey: “There is a lot of new blood flowing through the heavy metal scene, that I am excited about. I personally really enjoy ENFORCER, AMULET, BLACK TRIP and SPEEDTRAP (and since this is a hard rock and heavy metal magazine, I must also mention HORISONT).”
Can you tell us something more about the new (second) album? We already ordered the ”Black Hooves” single by the way, which will be released first up, I think.
Stacey: “Our second album “With Whips and Chains” will be out April 22, 2016 in Europe and May (Friday) 13, 2016 in the U.S. and Canada.”
Aren’t you afraid, that people will judge you by your occult image, rather than your musical qualities? It could work against you, as they are so many short sighted people on this f***ing planet, who like to judge first before really listening to something.
Stacey: ”We write music for anyone who shares our love of heavy metal, the occult, and horror movies. I see occult influences in heavy metal since the beginning. It could never work against us, because this is what we believe in. This is us. If we wanted to appeal to someone else rather than being ourselves, that would be what was working against us. We work for us and for those like us.”
How important is the internet for a band like SAVAGE MASTER? And where can we find your website?
Stacey: “The internet has definitely helped us gain support and contact with a lot of wonderful. You can stay up to date with what's happening in the world of SAVAGE MASTER, including show dates, release dates, what merchandise is available and where to get it and much more through our facebook, which we regularly update. http://www.facebook.com/savagemaster666/ or follow us on twitter at: twitter.com/savagemaster666.”
Our magazine is dedicated to all the female musicians in the (hard) rock and (heavy) metal. Do you feel you still need this kind of recognition?
Stacey: “I respect and appreciate that your magazine gives recognition to female musicians, although I never have felt the need to personally be recognized as a female musician. I am only concerned with being a musician. To me, it is only about the music.”
Metal Maidens is based in The Netherlands. What more do you know about our country besides the fact that we have beautiful windmills and colourful tulips?
Stacey: “I admit I know very little about the Netherlands, but I know the band PICTURE is from the Netherlands! We will play Holland on May 1st and we can't wait!!!”
We strongly believe, that the metal scene has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past few years. Do you agree with that?
Stacey: “Oh yeah, I definitely agree. A lot of great bands and strong support from fans and promoters.”
On the other hand, the music scene has changed a lot, too. It seems to be all about the money nowadays and not if you have any talent or not. What's your opinion about that?
Stacey: “I don't know of many bands that make money to speak of. If a band is making money, good for them, but it's just not likely. It takes a lot of money to run a band. Creativity and feeling in music is most important to me. Technical skill is important too, but I don't really understand about the money part. I don't see a lot of bands having money. Maybe I am (blissfully) unaware of bands that do have a lot of money but no talent, because I only focus on the music. Money comes and goes. Heavy metal is forever!”
Do you have any hobbies or interests besides singing in a heavy metal band?
Stacey: “I like to draw. I have been slowly learning to draw and to play guitar, when I have time. I am also interested in seeing horror and art films and documentaries and of course listening to music!”
Are there any touring plans outside of the US already (besides KIT in Germany) and when will you come over to visit the Benelux?
After the Keep it True festival, we will play the following dates:
May 01, 2016 @ Little Devil, Tilburg, Holland
May 02, 2016 @ MTS Records Store, Oldenburg, Germany
May 04, 2016 @ Bambi Galore, Hamburg, Germany
May 05, 2016 @ Cortina Bob, Berlin, Germany
May 06, 2016 @ AJZ Club, Erfurt, Germany
May 07, 2016 @ Schlachthaus, Dornbirn, Austria
May 08, 2016 @ Coq d'Or, Olten, Switzerland
Afterwards we will start a U.S. tour on May 13th. We will be joining HOLY GRAIL from May 5th through June 10th, 2016.”
The famous final words of this interview are for Stacey and SAVAGE MASTER.....
“If you listen to fools, the mob rules!”
Visit the official Facebook page of SAVAGE MASTER at: www.facebook.com/savagemaster666
or follow the band on Twitter at: twitter.com/savagemaster666