ARMORED SAINT singer John Bush spoke to the "Shockwaves Skullsessions" podcast about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's new album, tentatively due in late 2020 via Metal Blade Records. The follow-up to 2015's "Win Hands Down" is being tracked with veteran producer/engineer Bill Metoyer and bassist/producer Joey Vera at the helm.
"We're still finishing the musical parts," John said (hear audio below). "I'm still singing. The way we do a lot of demos, and we have for a couple of years, and it's just really productive — Joey will make these pretty elaborate-sounding demos, doing things with drum machines and guitar and bass and then record it. And then I'll go to his house and I'll record the demo versions of the vocals. But when we do it, sometimes with vocals, you'll capture something on a demo that you may not even capture on a record again, because it's just a vibe thing. So when I go in and I sing on these demos, I give it everything I've got. And sometimes you're kind of working parts out, so it kind of sounds like that. But in the end, I hope to keep a lot, so I don't have to redo a lot. And that's what we're doing now. So now we're going back and redoing things that I did on the demos, but we seem to keep a lot of things. Obviously, if something's out of tune or it's something we can make better, we do, but sometimes you'll sing a section of a song and it just was captured in that demo that you never have to redo again, because it's there. So that's what we're doing with the vocals. We've already done most of the guitar work. He's doing some bass stuff over again. And we're hoping around March 1st, we'll give it to Jay Ruston, who mixed the last record, 'Win Hands Down'. He's gonna mix this one again. He's amazing. And then he'll hopefully take it to a whole other level."
Bush went on to say that he is "super proud" of the music ARMORED SAINT is making. "We've written songs that, I think, again take it to a whole other level," he said. "It's not just rehashing what we did on the last couple of records. We're always trying to grow.
"The thing about SAINT is that we kind of feel like our boundaries are limitless and we can do whatever we want," he continued. "I always make the joke that we're not gonna do the ARMORED SAINT folk, trip-hop metal record; that's not what we're gonna do. I'm certainly not gonna give the fans something and have them go, 'What the hell is this?' But at the same time, I do wanna challenge our fanbase. I wanna have them be able to get stuff and go, 'Wow! I've gotta dissect this a little bit and let it grow on me,' and then once they do, I think they'll be blown away. And that's what is fulfilling to me, and it's fulfilling to Joey — to write stuff that isn't just old hat. 'Cause that's just not good enough."
Speaking about the musical direction of the new ARMORED SAINT material, John said: "There's a lot of different things. There's a lot of, again, versatility and diversity through the music and ups and downs. It's a record, so you want a lot of peaks and valleys. There's some really powerful, typical ARMORED SAINT headbanger-type songs, and then there's more moody things on it that show the broadness of our musical style. There's a lot of cool bluesy things. There's a song called 'My Jurisdiction' that has kind of a bluesy feel to it which sounds a little AEROSMITH-y, and then there's a song called 'Lone Wolf' that is really cool and sounds very different from something we've done before. So I think people will dig it. I'm real proud of the songs and I can't wait for people to hear it."
According to John, the first video from the album will likely be a track called "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants". "It's a little bit of a longer song, so it'll be a challenge," he explained. "But it's just a rad tune, and it has such a rad vibe to it. It has a cool bagpipe intro. It's got a lot of moody changes in it and a big chorus. So that's what we're talking about doing immediately — maybe in March."
More recently, Bush and Vera have been working on a song called "Unfair" which the singer describes as "a slower song, but very, very moody. It's a different type of ballad, if you will, for ARMORED SAINT. It's awesome," he said.
"Win Hands Down" was released in June 2015 via Metal Blade.
ARMORED SAINT's latest release was a live album, "Carpe Noctum", which came out in February 2017.