Prior to SACRED REICH's May 17 performance in Toronto, Ontario (Canada), bassist/vocalist Phil Rind spoke with Metal Master Kingdom. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On why the group decided to make a new album, the forthcoming "Awakening":
Phil: "Songs. All that time [since we reunited], there were no songs coming. My friend said, 'Sometimes it's like a radio signal that just comes into your head,' so when the songs went away, we stopped playing. Then we started playing, and it was fun, and I just never had any songs. Then one day, the radio station opened back up again. It was, like, 'Oh, we have these songs, so let's make a record,' which is the best reason to make a record... You never know what the future will hold. If you had asked me three years ago if we were going to do a record, I would say, 'Absolutely not.' Here we are talking about a new record. You never know."
On how he expects the album to be received:
Phil: "We're really happy with the way it came out... It's nice that people want to hear a new record. We'll see if they really want to hear it when it comes out. It will be interesting to see what people's reaction is. The last time we made a record in 1996, there was no blogs, none of this internet stuff. It's kind of cool that you can just get immediate feedback. It has its good side and its not-as-good side, obviously. You get to hear people talk a bunch of crap about you, but that's how it is. To think that everybody would like everything you do would be foolish, so the fact that people get on there and complain? Of course they will. Not everybody's going to like it... I can't wait to play the new songs. We've been playing the same songs for a long time now. Every song on the record, we really like, so we'll have a lot of new selections to choose from."
On former drummer Greg Hall:
Phil: "It didn't work out. Everybody's got to be on the same page. If you're not on the same page, it's not going to work out. It's just that simple. Have you ever been in a relationship that wasn't working? There you go."
On what current drummer Dave McClain (ex-MACHINE HEAD), who played with the band from 1991-1995 and rejoined last year, brings to the group:
Phil: "When Greg wasn't in the band anymore, the question comes, 'Who's it going to be?' We talked about it — 'What are we going to do?' I thought, 'There's only one guy.' You can get a bunch of people you don't know in your band and hope it works out, but you don't really know them. When you're traveling like this together, it's important that everybody gets along and everybody likes each other and everybody is of a like-mind. It was like, 'Fuck — instead of getting a guy, why don't we just get the guy?' He was already in our band; we love him; he's a killer drummer. We talked to him a long time ago when he was still in MACHINE HEAD. I just called him up and was, like, 'Hey, Greg's not in the band anymore.' He's like, 'I want to do it. I want to do the record and tour.' I was like, 'That would be great'... As he was going through the tour they did, he realized he didn't want to continue, so it changed from him being in MACHINE HEAD and doing us as well to him just joining SACRED REICH. He's just an incredible drummer. Over the last 23 years, he's had so many incredible experiences recording and playing around the world, so be brings a lot of experience."
"Awakening" is tentatively set for a late August release via Metal Blade Records. It will mark the group's first full-length recording since 1996's "Heal".