Hayley Leggs of TotalRock Radio conducted an interview with guitarists Jason Rainey and Wiley Arnett of Arizona thrash metal veterans SACRED REICH at this year's edition of Hellfest, which was held June 17-19 in Clisson, France. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked about the fact that SACRED REICH hasn't released any new music in twenty years even though the band has been playing sporadic shows for the past decade, Wiley said: "We made a conscious decision to walk away from it. And then, I think around 2004 was the first time I heard we were being invited to come play festivals. And we kind of talked quietly: 'What?' And then it was around 2006 that it started to make sense, and we started to talk about, 'Hey, what do you guys think? Three years in a row, they're asking us to come. Maybe we should go play this festival.'"
He continued: "We never hated each other. We just agreed to give it a break. We did it for a lot of years. NIRVANA got big. Metal was going away. We had a good run. 'Maybe we should go buy houses and raise our kids,' was kind of the thought process. That was cool. No one was hurt about it. It was just time to change. Priorities change. And then, a lot of years later, this opportunity came up, which was pretty surprising for us, the first time we heard it. And we thought, 'Oh, it's a one-time deal. We'll go out and play Wacken [Open Air in Germany] and we'll have a great experience. We'll take some pictures. And how cool was that?' The return created more interest, and then other people [said], Oh, you guys are playing? Come to our festival.' And it created this opportunity that brought us here today again."
Pressed about whether they think they could come have come up with a new album's worth of material if they had wanted to, Wiley said: "I think to date we could not, and that's why we have not.
"We have a discussion. In our band, Philip [Rind], the bass player [and] singer, is a main creative driver. [He writes] one hundred percent of the lyrics and oftentimes fifty percent or more of the music.
"Whenever we wrote songs, if we wrote ten songs, we recorded ten songs. When we recorded 'Surf Nicaragua' [in 1988], we had two songs, so we covered BLACK SABBATH and tried to create more material. But whatever we have, we record, and we never spent a lot of time wondering how successful it would be. We just thought, 'We have songs. We should record.' So we've been very fortunate that some of that stuff connected. It was the right time, you know, and it created these opportunities to sit here and talk with you now. It's pretty amazing."
Added Jason: "Basically, it starts with Phil, and unless he's on board, it's not gonna happen. But, like he says, never say never. But at this point, we don't have any plans to record any new material."
SACRED REICH's last studio album, "Heal", came out in 1996.
The band's "Live At Wacken" DVD+CD package was released in North America in November 2012 through Metal Blade. The set contained professionally filmed and recorded footage of the group's August 4, 2007 performance at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany in front of 60,000 heavy metal fans.