Conjuring Noise: The Great Sabatini Interview

thegreatsabatini_web

Having inflamed like so many others, our passions with their blistering intensive and thrilling album Matterhorn, Canadian noise metallers The Great Sabatini returned earlier this year with an even greater mouthwatering proposition. Third album Dog Years is a masterful tempest exuding virulently destructive and invasive sonic devilry; an enthralling examination and manipulation of the senses. Not needing to be asked twice, we rifled questions at Sean from the band to discover the depths of The Great Sabatini, talking about origins, lyrical intimacy, musical magick and much more…

Hey Sean good to meet you and thanks for giving over some of your time to chat with us.

Tell us about the birth of The Great Sabatini and the time leading up to the uncaging of the band in 2007?

Hey, nice to meet you too. It’s our pleasure to talk a bit about our dumb selves. All of us came together when bands we were previously in collapsed. We all decided to start moving away from the kind of things each of us had been doing with past efforts, musically. It seemed to come together easily, naturally. We just kind of went with the flow.

How did the four Sabatini’s meet?

Rob and I have been playing music together since we were 15 or so. We’ve played in bands together since that time. We knew Joey from other bands around town, and even shared a jam room together years before we started playing together. We met Steve in Sudbury, 2004 at a really crappy weekend fest that both of our bands at the time were playing. We became fast friends, and the rest is history.

Did the band start out with a specific intent and is that still the same driving force now or has it evolved with your music?

I think the only intent really was to move away from our previous musical comfort zones. Rob and I were used to writing more technical metal things in standard tuning, so there was a focused effort to distance ourselves from that. We bought baritone guitars and started slowing things down naturally, due to the nature of the much lower tuning and feel of the instruments. You can’t be as busy sometimes when you’re playing in a lower register, so riffs start slowing down for clarity’s sake. In regards to intent, it’s the same as it was from day one; keep challenging ourselves to create music that subverts our own comfort zones as artists. It might not be a huge leap from record to record, but there is movement, and growth, with every new project we take on

You sound is a unique brew of noise, sludge, doom, progressive rock…and plenty more. How would you describe it to simplify things?

As a kind of inside joke, we refer to our sound as “swamp trench arithmetic”. Maybe it hints at a sludgy math-rock vibe… Usually I describe us as a sludge band, because for all the variety rolled into our songs, all of it is pretty grimy or sludge-based. The end result is sort of wrapped up in this sludgy package.

We discovered you through your second album Matterhorn, a startling and riveting treat to our ears. How would you say your music and 1964881_815898598424769_284230856_ncreativity has changed and evolved from your first days, through that great album and onto the just released Dog Years?

I think that, as songwriters, we focus on making things simpler; communicating ideas in a simpler way. Part of that is recognising our strengths, and reining them in. We want to include a myriad of ideas and influences into our sound but feed them through our creative process in a way that results in more a more cohesive end result. I suppose one might call it “nuance”… Not something that most folks associate with brutal, loud music, but I feel that there’s more and more depth and nuance to our songs as we go. Matterhorn was the first time I really felt like we’d accomplished a certain level of that in our music. The songs are relatively simple in structure and riffing, and seem straight forward production-wise, but there’s a subtle balance of feels and ideas stitched together throughout. I think Dog Years employs this much better. Taken at face value, it’s a loud, raw, angry record, but there’s a lot going on in the songs, in a way that isn’t like an overt genre mash-up kind of thing.

We feel the brilliant Dog Years, and it is, is less cruel and destructive than its predecessor but has a more intensive and precise examination of the psyche which makes it just as exhilarating and threatening. Is that something you would agree with?

I do agree. Matterhorn was about cruelty and violence and the harshness of life, ‘cos that’s what I felt when I heard the music we were writing. Dog Years, musically and lyrically, is kind of exploring the things that drove us to play music initially. It has some throwback moments with the punkier parts, and maybe it rocks out a little easier. I still feel like it’s a punishing, loud, angry record but maybe you picked up on the focus of the record. It’s hard to tell sometimes, as the creators of the music, how much of what we’re saying is obvious and how much is completely buried in the end result, but Dog Years is more of a look inside OUR heads and our history, to some extent.

Did you approach the writing and recording of your third album in any way differently to the previous release?

Well, we usually do a lot of writing together in the jam room but a few small bits were demoed separately and sent out via email to the guys, and then tweaked and moulded by each of us on our own time. The songs are totally malleable… they can change easily before we hit the studio. In the past, a lot of our material, especially the Matterhorn stuff, was played on the road a lot before it was recorded, so the songs adapted and changed a bit more, but almost all of the Dog Years material was written and then quickly recorded with less time to mutate. Maybe that gave it a bit more immediacy, or urgency.

I guess the studio and recording process is something always bringing new lessons and discoveries which can be used or avoided next time. Was there anything from Matterhorn which had that inspiration and any new things learned with Dog Years?

There’s always a learning curve. We’re always learning things and trying to apply them the next time around. I can’t think of any major things that happened with Matterhorn that wound up shaping Dog Years in an obvious way… we’ve always strived to make things sound more raw, natural or live-sounding on our records and Matterhorn was a nice step in that direction, but Dog Years, I feel, has a bit more of that raw thing going on.

How long was the new album in the making?

We started writing in earnest at the start of 2013. We spent a lot less time on the road that year and really just focused on writing. By December 2013 we were in the studio and by February of this year the record was mastered. It was a pretty quick turnover, for us.

Like a great many bands do you have to struggle and deal with obstacles of everyday life when it comes to creating and certainly recording a record?

Obstacles are always present. But we’ve been a band for almost 7 years and we deal with things together, in a focused manner, quite efficiently. Making records is something we’re always trying to get better at, but we’ve all been doing it for over ten years and our collective experience is constantly being employed to overcome any obstacle. Thankfully, we’re all really good friends, so we’re good at working together to accomplish our goals

There seems an intimacy at times to the lyrical side of your music which suggests inspirations often come from things close to home and personal experiences. Give us some idea of stories or situations to songs upon Dog Years.

Some of the songs relate to people or things in our personal history. Pitchfork Pete is about a guy Rob and I knew many years ago. Some of the songs deal with our rituals, our perception of our lives as romantic black-magick purveyors of the Almighty Riff. When the reality of being a penniless touring musician sets in, the thing that keeps us going is the magic. Music is total magic and we have fun projecting some kind of cartoonish self-importance onto the band. It’s much more fun to think of ourselves as traveling Riff-Warlocks spreading the unholy gospel of Satan through amplified guitar riffs than it is to see ourselves as the jaded, ageing heshers that we ACTUALLY are. We’re following our dreams. Dog Years is a glimpse into that world, we hope. Lyrically it’s all about that… the world we’ve created for ourselves, full of feral beasts, oracles, war-cries, Viking battle-lust and strange visions. But sometimes this kind of fantasy shit collides with the naked truth of our choices in life, and that’s where the “Dog Years” thing comes in. One day, maybe, we’ll be old men looking back on these times as our Dog Years, all that time we spent hammering away at our dreams.

487212_598817973466167_250606339_nHow does the creation of songs more often than not transpire in the band?

More often than not, Rob and I write riffs or ideas in our own time, and then, when we get together, the ideas are presented and everyone puts forth their own takes on the riffs and we arrange the structures together. There isn’t any one mastermind. Everyone’s fingerprints are on the end result.

Is there a particular moment or twist in Dog Years which gives you an extra inner tingle of pride or just satisfaction?

I think each of us probably has his own moment like that, but for me, Akela was one of those. I wasn’t thinking that would be on the record, but the guys heard my demo, and wanted it to be there. It’s a pretty naked thing, for me, to have a song like that on there. There isn’t any wall of noise to hide behind. I recorded that in my room at home and everyone agreed that to re-record it might ruin it. So, I feel pretty happy that Akela is on the final cut.

Tell us about the great ‘scary’ album cover.

We wanted the cover to reflect our childhood in some weird way. We were aiming for an image that looked borrowed, from another time, not from 2014. I made the puppet, and he represents a certain aspect of our collective personality. Rather than actually steal an old image that may have worked just as well, we opted to create this thing ourselves and hopefully imbue that aspect into it in a subtle way. Really, I want people to see it, react to it, and fill it in with whatever feeling they think is best.

The album has been released on the great Solar Flare Records. How did that come about and is it true that the equally brilliant Sofy Major has some inspirational input?

We met Sofy Major first in North America when they came here to make a record and tour a bit and then later when we played with them in France. Sofy Major/Solar Flare are the raddest dudes on the planet, so their interest in Dog Years is incredibly flattering. Those dudes have been through a lot and suffered it all with a smile on their faces so that alone is a huge inspiration to us. Their music is incredible… I don’t wanna butter them up too much, but getting to work within that particular family is a huge privilege.

What is the Montreal metal and rock scene like right now and specifically in regard to your style of creative mayhem?

Montreal is always a hotbed of awesome music. In recent years, more of the sludge, doom, noise-rock and stoner rock stuff has been surfacing, which is nice, but I feel like everyone here is reacting to their surroundings, in a nice way… nobody is trying to sound like anyone else, I feel. Everyone that I know kind of does his or her own thing and tries to blaze their own trail. Sometimes it’s hard to be heard among all the amazing bands and artists, but we have our niche.

What comes next for The Great Sabatini across the rest of 2014?

We’re just about to get home from the first stretch of touring. We’ll probably do a few small things this summer but in the fall we head out again to do some touring in the U.S and then get ready to hit Europe in the spring of 2015.

Once again big thanks for sitting down with us; any final words for us to contemplate?

Thank you for your interest and support. Final words? Ummmmmmmmmmmmm……

And lastly give us an idea of the biggest inspirations on you musically and individually.

Take your basic 80’s/90’s generation stuff, all the grunge, punk, metal and hardcore, and throw our dad’s old Beatles, Zeppelin, Sabbath, and King Crimson records in there too. We’re all just disciples of this great tome of Rock. Finding a nice balance is the hardest part when starting a band, but ALL of that stuff is in our music, and album covers, lyrics etc. You could get real specific and say things like Melvins, Today Is The Day, Helmet, Jesus Lizard, Napalm Death, King Crimson, or what have you, but there’s just too huge a range of stuff influencing us to make for an easy answer.

http://www.thegreatsabatini.com

Read our review of Dog Years @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/the-great-sabatini-dog-years/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

The Great Sabatini – Dog Years

Sabatini-promo-pic

It was with their album Matterhorn that Canadian noise metallers The Great Sabatini infected and infested our psyche, the release an introduction to the virulently destructive and invasive sonic devilry which exudes from the distorted imagination of the band. It was ‘a crippling, desensitising, and cruel intrusion’ which was exhilarating and riveting. Now the band returns with third album Dog Years, an evolution of its predecessor whilst thrusting the band into a new warped field of diverse sonic hostility and intensive imagination. The new ten track release is not as cruel and destructive as its predecessor in many ways but instead a more concentrated examination and manipulation of the senses and psyche casting a diversity in its venomous acts which is absolutely enthralling. It is a masterful tempest from a band which just gets more dangerous and impressive.

Formed in 2007, The Great Sabatini consisting of Steve, Sean, Rob, and Joey has been an uncompromising and creatively destructive force from day one, debut EP Burning Wilderness in their first year an attention grabbing notice of intent. Finding the darkest toxic seeds within doom metal, progressive rock, grindcore and much more to infuse into their unique sound, the Montreal quartet were soon recruiting feverish responses live too whilst first album Sad Parade of Yesterdays in 2009 put a wider focus on guard to the band. Live The Great Sabatini has left audience gasping alongside bands such as KEN Mode, Coliseum, Today is the Day, Fuck the Facts, Threat Signal, Psyopus, and Bionic. The No List Records released Matterhorn in 2012 drew even more eager souls towards their maelstrom of sound but even its success should pale once the Solar Flare Records unleashed Dog Years begins savaging the world.

Recorded with and mixed/ mastered by Sean Pearson (Cursed, Shallow North Dakota), the album is as raw and caustic as anything the the_great_sabatini_dog_yearsband has done, though as mentioned earlier it is not as grievously nasty as its predecessor. That might be simply because there is an element of knowing what is going to corrode the senses this time around if not in the design it will come in. Dog Years certainly leaps out with starter The Royal We, its insidiously addictive rhythmic coaxing and snarling riffs at the start primal bait before which defences have their hands up within seconds. It is a spiteful virulence which even as it is expands its intensity and weight never relinquishes its grip. Eventually the lure has a more merciful intent though the heated vocal squalls more than make up for any drop in antagonism. It is a vindictive number which just as hungrily relishes charging with nostrils flaring or crawling over nerve ends with a predation glee, and a stunning start to the album.

The following Guest Of Honor is just as voracious and twisted in its sixty seven second long web of sonic enterprise and vitriol. Bestial in its rampage and serpentine in its enslaving grooves, the track is a blistering assault of noise and hardcore intensity which makes way for the mischievous swagger and pungent sonic binding of Nursing Home. The track whips around ears and senses with a dervish like energy but takes sludge bred breaks in between each outburst to further impose and encroach on the psyche. With disorientating rhythms, nagging riffs, and abrasing venom to its veins, the track is a bewitching protagonist which seduces as its lashes the imagination, a structure employed again in its own unique way by Periwinkle War Hammer. The new song is initially sinister in its breath and stalking but the sheltered intimidation is soon open as rhythms launch a thumping upon ears and vocals a grazing squall upon senses. There is a slight stoner-esque twang to the stride of the song which with a portentous dark breath to its climate makes for another distinct and appetite igniting foraging of the mind.

Next Reach comes with a rapacious sludge metal suasion to its lumbering, riffs a primal animalistic bait along with rhythms whilst grooves and vocals bring a lighter yet no less ruinous colour to the sonic swamp. It is a heavy handed consumption but one with a magnetic radiance which tempers some of the pressure conjured by the band and its intensity, something certainly not an issue with the following Akela. To completely wrong foot thoughts and emotions the track is a countrified croon, a bluegrass like caress which tantalises as much as it, in a good way bemuses. Whether a respite, a smile inducer, or a slice of madness, the song is an absorbing twist to the album which is soon back in full rabidity with the excellent Munera. It is another track where the heat of its passion and fury burns with every sonic note and searing groove, whilst hostility is represented by animosity fuelled rhythms and vocal friction. Contagion though seeps from its every pore and feuding note to create a fury you just want to be savaged persistently by.

Pitchfork Pete is much the same, though again it is an individual in the schizophrenic beauty of the album. Almost satanic in its vocal narrative and pestilential in it’s even paced and tempered gait, the track growls and prowls with a doom clad hunger which once more is part seduction and part malignancy. Transfixing from start to finish, it sinks down to a crawl and subsequently a sonic piercing before the wonderfully deranged intricacies of Ditch Diggers Unlimited jumble up ears and imagination. It is only the appetiser though to a darker manipulative sonic toxicant which worms under skin and psyche to chain the passions before infusing a crushing weight of riffs and intensity into its slow seducing.

The album is completed by the unforgettable Life During Wartime, a track with the quaintness of forties melodies and the predatory ferocity of a thousand conflicts. Its initial presence is raw and uncomfortable but respectful in its evocative presence yet as the track grows its narrative and descriptive resentment, it fuels a fierce and compelling landscape. It is an immense end to an outstanding release, without doubt the finest ravaging from The Great Sabatini yet and you still feel there is more to come from the band, scary!

Dog Years is available digitally and on vinyl via Solar Flare Records @ http://solarflarerds.bigcartel.com now!

http://www.thegreatsabatini.com

9/10

RingMaster 02/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

The Great Sabatini: Matterhorn

The new EP from Canadian grind metalers The Great Sabatini leaves a dirty big permanent indentation on the senses and psyche that is as welcome as it is destructive and intrusive. Matterhorn is no release to get your quick fix of infectious and undemanding pleasures from for it is a crippling, desensitising, and cruel intrusion that is far more rewarding and extensively satisfying. The EP leaves one grasping for a safety point, a ledge to use for some resemblance of security but the  eight tracks that make up the release only whip  away the balance and sure footing time and time again. It is not an easy listen but it deeply exhilarating and worth every single violation it delights in swamping its recipients with.

Formed in 2007 the Montreal quartet of Steve, Sean, Rob, and Joey (Sabatini) create sounds that have found themselves drenched in or pulled from the combined might of grindcore, math metal, sludge, noise rock, and progressive metal. They then twist them into a precise yet seemingly chaotic and openly oppressive dehabilitating corruption or as they call it and themselves, “swamp trench arithmetic.” Their first year saw the release of their debut EP Burning Wilderness and plenty of shows plus a coast to coast Canadian tour the following year, early evidence of the band work ethic. First album Sad Parade of Yesterdays arrived late 2009 supported by a North America tour, the band all the while picking up a formidable underground following and acclaim. Over the past years they have supported the likes of Coliseum, Today is the Day, Fuck the Facts, Threat Signal, Psyopus, and Bionic gaining further momentum if not yet the breakthrough their sounds deserve. The 7” single Napoleon Sodomite of last year accompanied what is an insatiable gigging regime the band seems to have but it is with Matterhorn that one feels they might at last find their deserved place in the attention and thoughts of the bigger musical world to stand nearer to the likes of Unsane, Today Is The Day, Botch and Converge.

Released through No List Records, Matterhorn attaches itself to the ear with rumbling riffs and a predatory bass in the opening City Limits. Soon it sidesteps in pace and tone into a caustic and intimidating questioning of the senses. It is a thick and muggy assault that takes its time like a jabbing boxer, finding the weak spot and bruising it with a towering intensity and seismically sonic probing. The vocals are coarse and intrusive to combine with the not so much brutal but heavily demanding sounds.

Zacios follows with again an opening fingering and teasing of the already inflicted wounds. Once inside it quickens its energy with concussive rhythms and a groove that winds tighter and tighter around its victim. It is raw with the baritone bass licking its lips as it prowls the song and the guitars cutting through with direct and intrusive melodic acidity. Nothing is clear cut in sound or intent with everything coated in feedback and filth dripping distortion but nor is it impossible to hear and enjoy the individual elements that make up the tsunami of intensity, the production perfectly appreciative and understanding of the sound.

The band throws one off kilter a little with Invisible Door, or rather lulls one into a sense of relief with its ambient soothing and beautiful yet disturbed atmosphere. With an emotive piano leading the way with estranged sampled voices and a marvellous distressed sax in the background the song takes one to a back street world, a place of shadows which then suddenly lurch out from the brilliant Null And Void. The song is the highlight of the release, muscular, threatening and opposingly vibrant, the track a persistent aggressor that leaves a breathless and grinning wasted wreck in its wake.

The closing duo of songs Wagons and Sad Parade of Yesterdays finish things up just as impressively. The first introduces itself with an ethnic like beckoning before expanding into a scorched mesh of incisively cutting guitars and overwhelming impactful energy. The closing ten minute Sad Parade of Yesterdays is the most impressive if not the favourite on Matterhorn. The track reflects the EP title in its massive heights of quality and invention from the band. The most progressive and stirringly open song it brings all the impressive elements of the band to a full and breathtaking journey.

Matterhorn is accompanied by free digital release The Royal We EP produced by Topon Das of Fuck the Facts which offers more of the same excellent and challenging sounds. The Great Sabatini takes your senses and thoughts to leave them floundering, whimpering and enthralled not to mention deeply satisfied.

RingMaster 21/04/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.