SATHANAS – Interview with Paul T.

SATHANAS entered the extreme Metal scene in the eighties with their Satanic Death Metal demo Ripping Evil with Paul Tucker and Mike Smith, the first track Jaws of Satan became a favourite with Death Metal listeners. Problems with rehearsals caused SATHANAS to dissolve shortly afterwards, with Mike Smith going to ACHERON and Paul Tucker going with BATHYM.

BATHYM released the Into Darkness demo in 1990, which was followed shortly afterwards by the Demonic Force 7″ EP, on the French label THRASH RECORDS. With interest waning in BATHYM, Paul Tucker once again conjured up SATHANAS, since people were asking about the group and mentioning that they should reform the band. Adding new bassist to the group Bill Davidson which is still present today in SATHANAS, Paul took over as lead singer, and the added Jim Baker on drums. They recorded their 1995 debut full-length Black Earth for AFTER DARK RECORDS. AFTER DARK RECORDS went bankrupt and the band switched to METAL MERCHANT OF CHICAGO, USA with whom the re-recorded Black Earth, with three extra tracks, later that same year. METAL MERCHANTS also went under.

The band contacted PULVERISED RECORDS and they were interested in an MCD. So they recorded their Cruentus Diabolos 2001 MCD at the AUDIO LOFT in Ambridge, PA. Which now will be released by DRAKKAR RECORDS of France. Since PULVERISED also had money problems, BLACKMETAL.COM showed interest in SATHANAS and signed them on for a full CD Thy Dark Heavens, which was released in July 2001. BLACKMETAL.COM also released the unreleased 1996 Black Earth CD which AFTER DARK RECORDS was supposed to release.

Discography:

Ripping Evil demo (1988)
Rehearsal (1993)
Ripping Evil EP (REAPER RECORDS)
Promo (1993)
Black Earth CD (unreleased – for AFTER DARK RECORDS – 1995)
Black Earth CD (unreleased – for METAL MERCHANT RECORDS – bonus tracks – 1996)
Armies of Charon CD (CONQUISTADOR RECORDS – 1997)
Blood of Christ (1 track promo – 2000)
Cruentus Diabolos MCD (to be released by DRAKKAR RECORDS – 2001)
Thy Dark Heavens CD (BLACKMETAL.COM – 2001)
Jaws of Satan CD (SOLD SOUL RECORDS – containing the demos, rehearsals and live material of both SATHANAS and BATHYM)
Jaws of Satan LP (DISPLEASED RECORDS)

The Black Earth CD was supposed to be released on the Belgian AFTER DARK Records, but they went bankrupt. How do you look back upon this fact? What do you think of ANCIENT RITES who also has history with AFTER DARK RECORDS?

I would not say they ripped us off since they paid for the recording. But I spent a lot of money promoting it on my own, so it was not a total loss. Also I like ANCIENT RITES a lot. I have been pen pals with the guitarist Erik back when he was in INQUISITOR. ANCIENT RITES are a good band and deserve the best.

The Ripping Evil EP was released on the Belgian label REAPER Records. I bought it at the Belgian distro BOUNDLESS Records. And Black Earth would have been released by the Belgian label AFTER DARK Records. What caused the relation between SATHANAS and Belgium? Could you elaborate on this aspect?

I tried some American labels first and they did not seem to be interested, so I had seen an  AFTER DARK RECORDS flyer actually for the Diabolic Serenades from ANCIENT RITES. So I contacted them. They replied quickly with a contract for 2 SATHANAS CDs. So I agreed. That was that.

The Dutch band OCCULT covered Jaws of Satan. Do you consider this as an honour? What do you think of OCCULT? Jaws of Satan seems to be THE most popular SATHANAS song. Why is that, do you think?

Yes. I think that is really cool that OCCULT is spreading the word of SATHANAS and the song Jaws of Satan. OCCULT also was in contact with SATHANAS for years. Which I am in contact with again. I think that Jaws of Satan was a popular song due to its simple but heavy sound which most other Black Metal bands did not have at the time. And most still do not have. So it is original in that aspect.

Mike Smith left SATHANAS to play in ACHERON. What do you think of ACHERON? Are you still in touch with Mike Smith? Any comments about Vincent Crowley’s organization?

Vince and I go back years as well. I like ACHERON and I think it is an original band and hope that they stick around for future blasphemy. Mike Smith I have not seen in a couple years. He went to jail for all kinds of things. And he is still in there. As for the C.O.S., most part I got from it that it was a organisation that promoted the worshipping of thy self. I do agree with some of Anton’s theories, but I am not a member. But yes, most of the ideas I get for SATHANAS have to deal with the occult: S@t@nism, demons attacking the holy angels!!!

Thy Dark Heavens and Black Earth has been released by BLACKMETAL.COM, COM being short for commercial. Can Black Metal be “commercial”?

I do not think BLACKMETAL.COM is commercial. They have treated us great, got our releases out on time, support SATHANAS totally.

Tell us more about Thy Dark Heavens? How are sales going?

They have just started selling so I am not sure. But I know a lot of people and distributors are looking forward to it so it should sell very well.

The cover of Thy Dark Heavens is drawn by the Belgian (you just cannot deny your link with Belgium…) artist KRIS VERWIMP. How did you get in touch with him? Was it via BLACKMETAL.COM? Did you give him instructions for the cover or was he free to do his will or did you take it from one of his works? Do you know his comic ODORIC? What do you think of it? How should people contact him? Could I be so impolite to ask how much an artist like KRIS VERWIMP charges?

KRIS VERWIMP was introduced to me from AFTER DARK RECORDS. Since they got him to do the cover. Ever since I have been hooked on his art. He does some of the darkest work I have seen. I did give the idea for the new cover and it was right on. His art for ODORIC is very good. Also he might charge differently for everyone, but since I have known him for years and he supports SATHANAS we pay him with CDs. It is like 12-15 copies.

In October SATHANAS will be touring Europe! What do you expect of it? If SATHANAS is playing in Belgium, what would you like to visit here? And in which Belgian clubs are you going to play?

Good time, promoting the CD, playing with some killer bands, drinking of course!! We are playing at the KNAAK CLUB in Berlin with ABIGAIL, WITCHBURNER and BLIZZARD. We are doing some shows in Holland with our friends’ band ACCELERATE. As for Belgium nothing for sure yet. Should know soon. Possible shows with CENTURIAN, ANCIENT RITES. Hopefully ENTHRONED.

SATHANAS is/was looking for a drummer. How is this quest going? Place your advertisement here!

We have found a drummer. His name is Dr. Vent. And he is a great drummer. We are very fortunate to have hooked up with him. Actually our friend Belial from the Black Metal band LETHAL PRAYER introduced us.

You are from New York, a place I link with Wall Street, Hard Core and baseball. Not really with Black Metal. How is it like to be a Black Metalhead in NY? What is your opinion on NYHC and baseball?

I am from Pennsylvania. I lived in New York 15 years ago, before the music started.

As far as I know, there are not many American Black Metal bands in comparison to Europe. ABSU is probably the most important one. I also like THY INFERNAL. What do you think of pre-mentioned bands? Is the scene growing? CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR, are they also boycotted in the USA? What American Black Metal bands would you advise?

I know and have ABSU music. Very evil and great music. For the other band I have not heard their music yet. The scene is growing. A lot of commercial is involved. A lot of CRADLE OF FILTH wannabees. I have nothing against those bands. But try to be original. I am not totally up to date with new Black Metal bands from the U.S.A., but I like ABSU, THORNSPAWN are very good. I also like SOMNUS.

In my opinion, there is a geographic pattern in Black Metal, for instance Scandinavian Black Metal does not sound like Greek Black Metal or Polish Black Metal. Do you agree? And does American Black Metal also have some recognizable style-factors?

Yes, they all have sounds from the major bands from their country. It seems some American Black Metal bands try to get that European sound but there it is different. Probably over there they have more knowledge of what the basic Black Metal recording sound.

Compose the ultimate album:

vocals: Quorthon of BATHORY

lead guitars: Trey of MORBID ANGEL

rhythm guitars: Richard Brunnel of MORBID ANGEL

bass: Ross of IMMOLATION

drums: Mike Smith of SUFFOCATION

logo: CHRISTOPHE SZPAJDEL

label: BLACKMETAL.COM!

studio: AUDIOLOFT

medium: CD (LP version)

What is your opinion on: the fact that demos are released on CDs nowadays instead of on tape?

I still like demos on tape. But CD is cool too. It has helped SATHANAS majorly

Is internet a good or a bad thing for the underground?

Mail is a lot quicker!

Anything else you want to say?

Support SATHANAS. And get the CDs you will not regret it!! Hail Metal!!!

G: Thanks, Paul & SATHANAS! (September 6th 2001)

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