The new Sacred Reich album called Awakening is coming out on August 23rd on Metal Blade Records. It is a great feeling to say “Sacred Reich’s new album” as it has been 23 years since we have we’ve had new Sacred Reich music to enjoy. As a fan, I had the extreme pleasure and honor to talk with Phil Rind (vocals/bass) of Sacred Reich.
We started our conversation by talking about how the band felt while they were recording the new album. Phil said “Man, it was really special. I don’t know it took a long time to get to that point. You know getting Dave back and the whole process of writing the record. And the way everything came together. And then being in the studio for the first time in 23 years. That first night we were sitting there tracking and I looked over at Wiley and we were giddy. Like is this really happening??”
I was talking with a friend of mine is a fantastic local band called S.N.A.F.U. about how most people assume metal is negative. Yet for us that love the music form, we find it peaceful. We find it reassuring and empowering. Most of lyrics on Awakening are very positive which may seem at odds with the standard impression of metal music. I asked Phil how he explains to people that may not get into metal how the music makes him feel. Phil replied “I think there are a couple of aspects right. There’s the music aspect which is very strong and powerful. And it’s invigorating in a lot of ways. Lyrically, lyrically it’s whatever you want it to be.” He later continued on the lyrical content of Awakening “People need some positivity and encouragement and that is what we wanted to do.”
The song “Death Valley” stands out on the new album. It’s a big open cruising song which gives you the sense of wide-open space. I was curious about what was the inspiration for this song. Phil said “The idea behind Death Valley is that we all live in Death Valley. We’re all going to die. It is the cheeriest song about death ever. So what does that even mean? What it means is that we should really appreciate being alive.”
The songs “Divide and Conquer” and “Revolution” have a strong political point of view. Sacred Reich has never been afraid to share their point of view. However, I wondered if they were every worried about alienating some of their fans. Phil laughs “Obviously Not” (more laughing). He continues “I guess the short answer is no we don’t care if people disagree with us. Of course, people might disagree with us.” Phil added “We are not going to stop saying what we believe in and what we think is true because we are afraid of losing some sales. We are not doing this to be the most popular band on the planet. We are doing this to create something meaningful and honest.”
I saw Sacred Reich on the Iron Reagan tour and it was pure bliss. I was particularly impressed with the new guitarist, Joey Radziwill. I asked Phil if having a young guy in the band pushes the rest of them. Phil replied “I don’t know if it pushes us. It’s just great to have Joey in the band. Joey is just an incredible guitar player, so let’s just get that out of the way straight away. He makes our band better because of his ability no matter what age he is.”
Sacred Reich just completed a short run in Europe with Testament, Death Angel, Iron Reagan, and Dustbolt. Where fans were happy to see Sacred Reich and were enjoying the new music. Phil shared a story of one particularly enthusiastic audience member who picked up the words to “Divide and Conquer”. Phil remarked “He was loud dude! So loud. Holy Sh*t”
Speaking of touring, be sure to check out Sacred Reich with GWAR, Toxic Holocaust, and my hometown favorites Against The Grain. This is a killer line-up. I hope you all are as excited as I am to hear the new Sacred Reich music from Awakening played live and loud.