Sacrifice is back in the frontline
After a long absence, legendary Canadian thrashers Sacrifice are back with a great comeback album entitled "The Ones I Condemn". They were one of the best Canadian thrash bands of the 80's during which time they released three albums. Now back with their original line up and a great new album Rob Urbinati, vocalist and guitarist, took the time to answer a few questions about the band's past, present, and future.
Sacrifice has it's roots in the early years of thrash metal and has the reputation of being one of the greatest thrash bands to come out of Canada. How did the band initially come to be?
It was just four kids that were into metal and wanted to start a band. Our musical tastes were on the heavier side, always looking for the next heaviest band. When we started, the term “thrash metal” had not been used yet.
The decline in popularity of thrash in the early 90's was a devastating time for many thrash bands. Did that have something to do with your split in 1993?
It was definitely a huge factor in us breaking up. The early 90’s was a devastating time for metal in general I think. Sacrifice had stopped making progress and we just felt it was time to stop, as opposed to changing our style and sound to suit what was going on at the time.
You were missed when you split up. What did you guys do after the split of Sacrifice? Did anyone have other projects?
I fronted a band called Interzone for a while, Joe was in a few bands like Control Denied and Walls Of Jericho, Scott was playing more a classic rock style, and Gus stopped playing completely for years until he joined a punk band called the 3tards. Mainly, we just got on with our lives…we have jobs and families like anyone else our age.
Thrash fans are glad to see you join up again and are excited about the release of your album "The Ones I Condemn". How did you come to the decision to regroup and release another album?
When we did our reunion show in Toronto in 2006, it was a great time for all of us and although we were just focused on doing that one show, after it was over it didn’t feel right to stop. The decision was made to try and write a few songs, and see how they turn out. If the songs didn’t measure up, or not be true to the Sacrifice sound, we would not have pursued this.
This album really goes back to the roots of what thrash is about and has gotten great reviews. What is your overall take on the rawness and feel of the album compared to other bands who may use a more "synthetic" sound?
Personally, I feel like that “synthetic” sound is way too overused now. I love Arch Enemy, but I don’t want all metal albums to sound exactly like that. The whole drum triggering/editing thing has gotten really out of control too, I don’t understand why bands record with a real drummer if they edit the performance to sound like a drum machine. As a fan first and producer second, I wanted to us to be the ones to step up and record a real performance. Yes, we used protools, yes we recorded to a hard drive and not tape, but our performance was captured the same way as if we were recording to tape.
"The Ones I Condemn" could easily be your best work yet. How much time was spent in the studio recording? Were there any challenges to overcome in the making of this album?
Thanks very much. The recording time, although spread out over 3 months really translated to roughly about 10 days. The main challenges were balancing our busy lives with this, and just the pressure we put on ourselves to try and make this the best Sacrifice album yet. Darius our engineer and everyone at Rouge Valley Studio were incredible to work with and I highly recommend the studio.
There seems to be a re-birth of thrash metal. Many thrash bands who were alive and thriving in the 80's have recently released new albums. What do you think about this and how it relates to the timing of your album release?
It seems like a good time for thrash right now, so the timing seems good, but on the other hand, if you’re a thrash band putting out something today it has to be really great to get noticed. I’ve heard some of the older bands new songs… a few are good, but most disappoint me.
It takes a lot of work to practice and stay together especially when juggling other responsibilities such as family life. How do you manage it all?
When you’ve been playing thrash metal for over 25 years it doesn’t take as much rehearsing. We find that practising at home a lot makes a big difference. A lot of people with families have interests… some collect sports memorabilia, or play sports or whatever… we play in a band.
What are your perceptions of the metal scene now vs. the height of it during the 80's? Any drastic changes?
There isn’t really an underground anymore. The internet has changed things in good and bad ways. Fans in the 80’s seemed to be a lot more into it back then, now I’m not so sure about how genuine people are. Every single bands music is now at everyone’s fingertips in seconds, in our day, you REALLY had to be a fan. Sending tapes all over the world and buying photocopied fanzines to find out about new bands took a huge commitment; it wasn’t for casual fans like it seems to be now. On the other hand, metal is bigger than ever now and the internet is an amazing tool for musicians to promote themselves.
Lastly, your fans would like to know what does Sacrifice have planned for 2010?
See you soon at a festival in Europe!!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview. We are glad to have you back and wish you much success in the future.
Thanks for the interview, we are glad to be back.