Full in Bloom Music recently conducted an interview with ARMORED SAINT/FATES WARNING bassist Joey Vera. Joey talked about the early ARMORED SAINT days, as well as current reunion news and the possibility of a new release from the band. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Full in Bloom Music: Let's go ahead and get this one out of the way. Will there be a new CD release by ARMORED SAINT?
Joey: "I don't know. We have started talking about it but we haven't gone beyond that. I'm still in my solo record mode at the moment. I think we'd all like to, but we have to make the time and dedicate ourselves to it first."
Full in Bloom Music: Why hasn't there been a reunion up to this point?
Joey: "I think there sort of was when we did 'Revelation' back in 2000. We did some touring for that and it was really a good time. But some of us still have other groups we play in and to make SAINT our one and only is a big commitment that none of us are willing to do right now. SAINT is kind of like something we do when we have time. There's a ton of pressure that goes with having something be your be all, end all and we'd rather keep SAINT a fun thing rather than a big serious thing. We already did that."
Full in Bloom Music: How many dates have been added for the new tour? Will there be more future dates added?
Joey: "So far SAINT is doing three shows in California and seven shows, including two festivals, in Europe. Then we're doing one festival in Italy in July. There's a slight chance we might be doing a few more before the end of the year."
Full in Bloom Music: You were good friends with Cliff Burton [late METALLICA bassist]. How would you describe him.
Joey: "Cliff was a very down-to-earth guy who had a personality unlike anyone I've ever met, still to this day. He was a character for sure. He was very cool and funny. He'd always carry this little ball-peen hammer in his inside pocket of his denim jacket. He'd keep it there in case he needed to protect himself. Funny thing is that he was not a violent guy at all, it was just funny. Bedsides the fact that I never thought he'd actually use it. Well, it was just a little ball-peen hammer! As a musician, Cliff was beyond most of us. He was a bigger influence on METALLICA than most realize. It would have been interesting to see where the band would have gone musically had he not been tragically taken. We used to talk about some of our favorite influences from THE SUBHUMANS to Stanley Clarke."
Full in Bloom Music: Any good Cliff stories that you would be cool enough to share?
Joey: "Some of us use a saying he said once. We were playing in El Paso, Texas and we were just about to go on. Cliff comes in our dressing room and we ask him, 'How's it look tonight?' He says, 'Weakness is emanating from the crowd!' We thought it was hilarious. I still use that quote."
Full in Bloom Music: How did you feel, at that time, when John Bush joined ANTHRAX?
Joey: "After 'Symbol of Salvation'  was out for a year we started to have problems in the band. We also began to have more problems with management and a general sense of more stress was in the air. We were at a point where we were not sure if we could keep going. Then John got the call. He originally said NO. But they called him back. He had to reconsider and he and I had many conversations about it. I felt that he might regret not taking the offer if our band just fizzled out so I gave him my blessing to make a move. Once he did, I was quite relieved as I was so tired of the frustration surrounding SAINT. It was time to move on."
Full in Bloom Music: How would you describe John Bush as a musician, friend, bandmate?
Joey: "Aside from my wife, John is my best friend. We've known each other really well for over 30 years. He's my brother. He's also one the best singers in hard rock, in my opinion. Nobody sounds like John - he's an original and in my book that makes a great singer. He's got his own style, and trust me, these days that is a huge asset. As a bandmate, he's great. We get along really well, and although we maybe don't always agree, we work really well together. We understand each other, and we've learned how to communicate in the musical language."
Read the entire interview at www.fullinbloommusic.com.