HHM: How long have you guys all known each other?
Ed: I’ve known Jay for about twelve years, since the first band we were in together (Headwreck). Mike about eight years, when he joined that band. Everyone else since I joined Soul Sanctuary in 2008 I believe.
Luke: I’ve known everyone apart from Ed pretty much since high school, but since the formation of Soul Sanctuary I’d say we’ve almost become family, at least that’s the way I see it.
HHM: Did you all play in bands previously to Soul Sanctuary and how did you end up coming together for SS?
Ed: Yes, I suppose here it’s the band bio lol. The more metal version of Soul Sanctuary started when Mont and Paul asked Luke in. Then Jay and I joined and subsequently Mike was invited by myself and Jay soon after.
Luke: A whole string of bands, all of them sucked. I wasn’t around for the original formation of Soul Sanctuary, but since I joined Mont and Paul, we all kind of just fell into the band one at a time.
HHM: How much of a boost does it give you to have the original line up back together again?
Ed: A massive boost! It always was the best line-up, both as individual musicians and the way we all gel when we play.
Luke: I’m 100% agreed with Ed, as I said we are like family. When Paul and Monty left it just wasn’t the same. The spark from our live shows had just gone. So to have them back is very important to us, and we hope it stays that way.
HHM: In 2011, you released “Lest We Forget” to benefit the Japanese Earthquake of 2011. That’s a pretty stand up thing to do. Are you guy’s conscience of the world around you and consider yourselves as at least partial activists?
Ed: Activists perhaps not, but sometimes often there are more worthwhile subjects to write about than love all the time and some of that other inconsequential drivel that pop music artists tend to shoot out.
Luke: I do what I can; I’m probably more “activist” than the other guys in the band. I donate to charity on a regular basis and usually front the ideas like the Japan fund raiser. The rest of the guys are happy to be a part of it though and they help support what we do. I get a real buzz out of trying to do some good in the world. It means a lot to me. I only hope that one day Soul Sanctuary has the pulling power to make a real difference. It’s hard to move mountains at this stage of the game.
HHM: What are some of the worldly issues that you feel are worth attention and action?
Luke: The issue that I’m most concerned about currently is the world economy; the people in charge seem to be cashing in before the business goes bust, so to speak. The whole world of politics needs to be rethought.
I’m also fairly environmentally conscious. I don’t believe the planet needs saving or some crap like that. The fact is I’m worried about our own asses. The planet will be fine after a couple of million years without us. I’m worried about the world that my son is going to grow up in; I want the world he grows up in to be one he can be proud of, where the world’s beauty isn’t some long lost memory on a postcard. I’m not dumb enough to believe if I do my small part, by putting all the recycling in the right bins and making sure every little thing that can be recycled, is. Because while it’s a nice thought, it’s too idealistic, unless a significant portion of people on this planet live like that it just doesn’t make a dent in the real issues. I had a flat mate who used to insist every wall socket and appliance in the house should be turned off if not in use. Even the 1 watt LED light on the cooker. You can’t expect people to live like that. I’m much more inclined to deal with the bigger issues in a way people will actually adopt on a large scale.
HHM: How much do you feel that the music industry has a duty to support such issues and attempt to make changes?
Luke: The music industry? None. It certainly helps when Individuals who have a voice in the media speak out against the wrongs in the world. But they aren’t in anyway obligated to do anything about it. If there are any industries that have a responsibility to make changes, it’s the industries with the problems, like the banking industry and the oil companies.
HHM: It’s been a little while since you released “Afterlife”, how anxious are you to get a new full length release under your belts?
Luke: Extremely, the line up changes have really knocked things back a lot more than they should have. This album should have been out ages ago. We released sample songs from it as far back as 2011, but an unfortunate series of circumstances have just made the process difficult. But to make up for it, we want the third record to come out much quicker. By the time we finish this record we will certainly have enough spare material for another album, maybe two.
HHM: How far a long are you on the new material for the next full length?
Ed: Quite a few tracks in the bag already and plenty of ideas.
Luke: I’ve lost track of how many project I have saved in our studio’s DAW folder. There are dozens of works in progress, at least an albums worth that are very near completion. The delay has been more due to the bad time scale of the last record; we lost a lot of opportunities because we rushed the first album’s release date. I’m glad we got it out, but a few extra months would have really helped in terms of setting up proper media exposure. I just hope that we can do that this time round.
HHM: Afterlife was well received by the music scene and media outlets, does that give you added pressure to somewhat push the envelope with a new record?
Ed: I think the second album is always a test of a band’s writing ability. For a lot of bands, the lead up to the first album is quite long and they have a lot of time to bin any duff songs, and keep writing until they have the right ones. Very often they are then faced with the massive task of producing similar results against a record company stipulated deadline, some fail, some succeed.
Luke: I guess so, but I feel from the sounds this project is already producing, it blows the last album out of the water by miles in terms of production, musicianship and quality of the song writing. So any anxiety we may have had at one point about how it will compare to the last album, is pretty much null and void, it’s just a case of finishing the last few pieces of the puzzle.
HHM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Luke: Thank you to all our fans, new and old, your support has meant so much to all of us in the band. We hope to see all of you at shows in the future and hope you enjoy the new record when it comes out, no matter how you get your hands on it.
Ed: Thank you to anybody who’s taken the time to read this interview, and thank you to Hellhound Music for having us. It’s been a pleasure.
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