ARMORED SAINT Singer: 'I'm Under No Illusion That We Have Some Legitimate Strong Fan Base'

Iann Robinson of Crave Online recently conducted an interview with ARMORED SAINT/ANTHRAX singer John Bush. An excerpt from the chat follows below.

Crave Online: It's been awhile since the last ARMORED SAINT album. What's been going on in that time?

John Bush: We seem to want to put records out once every decade. Obviously I was in another band (ANTHRAX) for 2000 and so that was my more prominent job. The other thing was that for a few years after I did leave ANTHRAX I kind of didn't want to play music for a while. I thought it would be a good time for me to focus on other things like a new career, I became a father, helped my wife out with her business, it was all good actually. I got to take a break from being the guy in a band, which was something I hadn't done for three years but for more like twenty-two years. There was nothing wrong and it wasn't any animosity towards music it was more like I'm just taking a break from this.

Crave Online: So why now for a new ARMORED SAINT album?

John Bush: When Joey (Vera, bass) proposed writing some new songs I said, "For what?" because I was really a little cautious as to what our objective was for this. It was really as simple as Joey saying, "You're my friend and let's just write some songs." Maybe deep down he had some ulterior motive but I think it was more just him wanting to work on some new stuff. At that point I figured, "Yeah, okay, let's work on some new songs."

Crave Online: When you have ten years between records, is there ever any fear about how people will respond to the music in a new musical climate?

John Bush: You have to remember this is a band that started in 1983, then disbanded in 1991 or 92, then resumed for one album in 2000 and now here we are in 2010 so I'm under no illusion that we have some legitimate strong fan base. I mean, I'm not undermining people who like or continue to like ARMORED SAINT and I'm very grateful, but none of that really matters. Obviously, we've had a relationship with Metal Blade and Brian (Slagel) since back in 1982. We're lucky that Brian's attitude is, "Hey, I'll still put out your records, you're my friends and I like your band" and that we have that outlet. So when it came to the new material we never lost the perspective, Joey and I, that we were doing this for any other reason than just to write music. I have no other pre-conceived notion or ambition with this at all. Record sales? I don't know, honestly. I hate to say this but it really doesn't matter.

Crave Online: There's been a lot in the early press for the album about how approached the recording process a little differently. The quote being you've "taken the computers out of the process." Talk about that.

John Bush: When we came to actually putting the songs down officially, we went into an analog situation and we used an analog board. We just thought it would be warmer and better for what we were doing. We're not opposed to computers, they're just part of how people make music these days. It was important for us that we didn't get into a situation where I sang one chorus one time and then just laid it in 30 times or we played a riff and literally just recycled the riff. That's just counter to what this band was founded on. That's not to say we didn't lay some stuff in and use that technology we just didn't want to rest on it.

Crave Online: When you guys got into the studio, was it business as usual or was their weirdness in being together again after so long?

John Bush: We didn't record this record the way we have in the past with all of us in a room together. Joey was really creative in writing the songs so he played bass, rhythms and programmed the drums and I sang on it. So when we got into the studio, we used that as a template. We never got all of us together slugging it out; we just didn't do it that way. By the same token everybody was able to get into the studio and add their own unique sound to the record. Gonzo came in for drums and Jeff (Duncan) played about fifty percent of the rhythms. It was a little different than what we used to do but we definitely wanted everyone's input and personality.

Read the entire interview from Crave Online.


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