Satans Taint (USA)

Metal-Roos: Hey Bobby, thanks for taking this time to have a chat with me. As the founder of US thrash band Satans Taint, tell us about the dynamics of the band, and how you all came together?

Well, I’ve realized over the years that most bands don’t keep their original line up anymore. So, I wanted to base the band around me, people could come and go if they wanted to. I’ve spent too much time looking for the perfect band members. I played with Jim McCourt in a band before and he is a close friend besides so, we work great together. The other idea was just to use similar friends or musicians new and old.  Maybe they haven’t had the chance to be a recording musician.

M-R: Axe To The Head Of My Enemies was a brutal thrash album! Your debut for Satans Taint. You guys have recently released your second full-length album, Destruction Ritual, which brought another level of intensity. How successful has this album been for you so far? And how wide is it reaching outside of the US?

So far it’s been over the top as far as people’s reactions to it. They love it and love all the different songs. That’s a great thing. It’s available on Amazon so I’m sure it’s everywhere. The first CD has reached all four corners of the earth. I couldn’t be happier.

M-R: Satans Taint produces a sharp and heavy thrash sound there is no doubt and your themes are full of the hereditary thrash violence yet heavily themed around Norse Mythology & Viking themes, which is a little different for this genre of Metal. Where did these ideas come from? Does the band have ties to Norse culture?  

As of now, I’m the only Swedish player in the band. Jim and Rob Stokes (bass) are Irish. And Paolo and Dan are Spanish. So, we are across the board. I’ve always loved the Viking stories and felt I went a little deeper with songs like Asatru and Sumbel. I get most of the ideas from searching the Internet. So much info. Might even add a little Italian or German history in the next phase.

M-R: You guys have produced a great sharp and savage sound within Destruction Ritual. There is a lot of aggression within the lyrics, particularly in tracks such as Spit On Your Coffin and Sorry You Were Ever Born. Where do you come up with the lyrics for tracks like these and what are they about?

My lyrics are either stories explained from history or personal experience. With lyrics, I can tell a story much easier based on real events over fantasy. Sorry is about the inconsistencies that exist in the Bible. Even End Your Bloodline and He Who Wore The Crown’ was inspired by religion and the lies many believe. Where Spit is more like revenge on people who’ve done you wrong. Everyone can relate to that.

M-R: Bobby, you spent 8 years shredding and writing songs for Overkill, what were some of your best memories from your tours with Overkill? Any stories you can share with us?

Playing so much with Slayer and Motörhead. The Megadeth tour with both Daves. And a Halloween tour where we got stopped and put in a holding cell in Poland for taking pictures near a public building. Scared the crap out of us because I didn’t have my passport. But now when I look back I think it was the police just shaking us down for money. The photographer gathered up our cash before letting us go. 3000 Rubles. About 3 bucks American.

M-R: After Overkill, you played in metal bands such as Skrew & Grip Inc. When did your quest begin to put together your band and forge your path? And what were the biggest challenges you faced in doing so?

I started right away with I4NI. I was going to do a MOD album with Billy and Perry Strickland. I’ve tried other times along the way but I waited for when I thought the time was right. And the music business seemed very upside down in the 2000s.

M-R: You’ve been in the metal scene for a long time now, and have the well-deserved title of God Father Of Thrash for your incredible shredding & guitar skills, how have you seen the metal industry evolve since your starting in this scene, and has it been for better or worse?

It has changed. I went from LPs to CDs. Now the format of just downloading the songs. And from what I’ve heard now LPs are back and outselling CDs. It’s crazy. The information is quick but also burns out faster. I could sell and continue to make and sell my first CD just from Facebook and internet connections (that’s kinda cool), but everyone else is doing the same. The market and show area is very flooded. It’s harder to get out on tours. People only have so much money to spend on crazy ticket prices. So, that’s the downside.

M-R: You know I must ask, has the political correctness that is being imposed on a lot of extreme bands these days affected your band at any point, given you have the (dope) name Satan in the title?  And how have you got around it?

Well, I knew it would bring controversy. But I strongly believe that words shouldn’t affect people so strongly. We live in very emotional times and I’m going to take advantage of that. Be it the word Satan or Taint, I want to get verbal movement from people. When you ban something. You inevitably make it more popular. 

M-R: Tell me about the recording process of Destruction Ritual? What were the biggest highlights for you?

I love the studio. I just wanted it to be fun and quick. Part of the reason it was me and Jim on basic tracks. We set up the songs to a click. Jim played then I went in on all guitar bass and solos. I think the coolest part was when I mastered it and could walk out of the studio with a CD in my hand.

M-R: Is Satans Taint signed to a label? And if so which one? And what is your relationship with your label?

Yes. Megaforce. My original label, but with new owner, Missi Callazzo. We have been friends for 35 years and she is great. She is the only reason I’ve ever seen any money from my old days. So, I love her dearly.

M-R: How important is maintaining a good relationship between label and band? 

Very. I can’t control my mouth sometimes but I’m working on it. Like Missi said “you get more with honey than vinegar”.

M-R: Jim McCourt, Dan Ortega, Paolo Velazquez all contributing hugely to the brutality that is Satans Taint with Jim on drums and Dan and Paolo on vocals, which puts you on guitars of course and bass. Is there consideration for obtaining a bassist?  And what would it take to join Satans Taint if that was to happen down the track?

We have a bass player Rob Stokes. He’s a friend and plays in cover bands with Jim for fun. I have several friends I can call on for the guitar too. I’m open to record or play live with anyone. I think it keeps us fresh and interesting. I’m all over social media, so I’m not too hard to find.

M-R: Dan and Paolo, the two vocalists on Axe To The Head Of My Enemies and Destruction Ritual, both bring such a unique touch to the tracks they feature on and make for a very diverse listen throughout the albums. What was the vision for two vocalists, the intention so to speak?

Well, sometimes a singer is too high and just gets on your nerves (laughs) and other times they can just ruin a song because they aren’t heavy enough for the riff. I had 5 on the first CD but Paolo and Dan seemed to be the favourites. Jörgen has his band in Sweden Deadawaken so he just did me a favour with his death growls.

M-R: I know there would be many people who would love to see you back up on the stage thrashing this Norse brutality out. Is there plans for tours shortly now that Destruction Ritual has stained the ears of Satans Taint fans?  And if so, where and when might we expect this to happen?

I’d love to go out. I’ve said many times I want to play a big festival. But we need a booking agent and they all seem to be too busy. So, I’ll wait. The bigger we get the easier it will be. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve been doing this since my first live show at the age of 15.

M-R: Outside of Satans Taint, are there are other projects or endeavours you are working toward? And if so what are they?

Right now, I’m working on a line of hot sauces. Heaven and Hell. The artwork is done we are just going through the manufacturing process so I can’t say when it will be ready. I’ll probably do a package deal with merch because it will be Taint themed sauces with cool art.

M-R: Now that Destruction Ritual is boiling over to thrash metalheads, what can we expect next from Satans Taint?

Well, I have tons of riffs leftover, which I didn’t use. And I usually write a riff every day. So, I’m not stopping to take a break any time soon and I’m waiting for a tour. I’m writing new songs and hope to get right back in the studio. But only when it’s good enough. I don’t answer to anyone’s timelines and I don’t throw songs out just to hit the road. I care too much about what I release. Always have.

M-R: Bobby, I appreciate your time – is there anything else you’d like to say or tell the readers?

Thank you. Yes, if you want some solid metal check out my Taint. Yes, I’m a cheeky monkey people. You get it!!

Interview Date: 2019-09-27

Interviewer: Kelly Tee