This interview is with Cypriot metal band Lethal Saint. Here the band speaks about their history going back to 2007, their influences and their music.
Hi Andreas. Could you tell us about the early days of Lethal Saint, around 2006, when you released your first EP? How was the band promoted - how did you get the bandís name out there?
A > Hi John. First I would like to thank you for this interview, it really helps the name of the band to spread even further.
Back in 2006 the scene in Cyprus was pretty rough, it was like the early 80ís in the UK or USA or maybe Germany, where most of the things concerning the bands had to be DIY (concerts recordings, promoting, etc). Our first demo was self-released, we made the recordings, mixing and mastering with the little knowledge we had about these matters, and everything was done in our small studio in the hot summer of 2007 when it was also released. I will never forget how much we sweat before we completed this record.
Then we continued with concerts to ensure the name of the band in the local scene, until we had our first ten tracks ready to be recorded. We won a contest in Cyprus as the band of the year 2008 and the prize was to record a full-length album at a local studio, which we did. When the recording begun in January 2009 everything was going well, but sooner or later we realized that the studio engineer didnít have a lot of experience with the studio work, so we found ourselves trying to understand all the equipment being used so that we could release a good record. It took us up to a year to finish it due to this circumstance and misunderstandings with the producer, and the result unfortunately was not exactly what we expected. This record was then released by a local label named Pitch Black Records in February 2010 and the album title was ďLethal SaintĒ. He did a really good job on promoting the band outside nailing some interviews on the radio in New York, magazines in EU and US and we also got fairly good reviews too.
Next, we started doing local gigs again to promote the album and we managed to spread our tunes well on the island. Then on September of 2010 I came to London to study and at first we found it hard to keep the flame alive, but on Christmas of the same year when I went back to Cyprus we decided to record a three track single with totally new songs where half of the recordings were done in Cyprus and the other half in London. The artwork of this single was done by the well known French artist Chris Moyen. This record was fully self-released on the 24th of May 2011 and it was limited to 300 copies with title ďSaint Strikes BackĒ. These first three records are sold out now.
With the help of the single we manage to promote ourselves a lot in EU and with the help of a Greek friend Panagiotis we were booked for Up the Hammers festival in Athens. After a few good gigs we preformed in the summer of 2011 in Cyprus, on September we flew to Greece to support Helstar in Athens and Thessaloniki, they were the first gigs we did outside Cyprus and we got really great feedback from the Greek crowd and they totally support every move we make - they are among the best fans!! A few months later we managed to close a deal with the French label Emanes Metal Records (which is also our current label), to release the single on a 7-inch vinyl in corporation with another two labels, the French Under Sieged and the German Dying Victims Productions. The vinyl was released a couple of weeks ago including a selection of two songs (Remixed, Remastered) from the single and its limited to 500 copies, so hurry up and grab one!! At the moment we are promoting this release and we are planning for our future shows!
The band recorded a song for the Metalucifer tribute album - could you tell us about this?
A > Yes, we got an offer from the producer/promoter Bart Gabriel, who works with great names in the scene (Crystal Viper, Lonewolf, etc), to record a Metalucifer song of our choice for a tribute album that he was in charge of, so we selected Heavy Metal Drill. At that time we were in the middle of recordings for the single and I was in London and the rest of the band was in Cyprus. The way we handled this was that the guys recorded their parts in Cyprus and I recorded mine in the UK. We managed this communication with the help of the internet, and then we sent the final track to Bart. This record was released at Keep It True festival in Germany on April 2011, and it was limited to 500 copies.
Necromantia hails from Greece as you guys do. Is this a band that you follow?
A > We are open to any kind of good metal as we get lots of inspirations from each band. Of course we follow such bands and we donít see the reason why not to.
Who are some of your influences? Could you name some albums that you think are great, either hard rock or metal?
A > Hmm, tough question! My personal influences are Accept, Heavens Gate, Helstar, Vicious Rumors, Hittman, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Helloween, Tokyo Blade any NWOBHM, German Heavy Metal and US Power Metal. I am also influenced by blues rock and a bit by classical music as well. Great albums for me are:
Accept - all the albums, MASTERPIECES
Heavens Gate - Living In Hysteria, Hell for Sale, and their demos
Helstar - any album
Vicious Rumors - Welcome to the Ball (not that the other albums are bad, but this is my favorite)
... and almost every album from the bands I already mentioned, and many more. This can go forever!!
Could you tell us about playing at "The Up the Hammers" festival?
A > This was an experience that we will never forget! We met lots of great people, both fans and band members, and they were all really kind. As far as our performance goes, I think we did a great job. We got great feedback from the live reports and fans and we heard from trusted sources that we were one of the highlights of the fest, which is amazing news for us and we really appreciate it!! Every band there gave their best and we all felt like a big METAL family!!!
What bands are popular in Greece now?
A > Popular but also good bands in Greece and Cyprus at the moment in my opinion are: Suicidal Angels (GR), Released Anger (GR), Convixion (GR), Crimson Fire (GR), Strikelight (GR), Dark Nightmare (GR), Spitfire (GR), Dead Congregation (GR), Arryan Path (CY), Hardraw (CY), Vomitile (CY), Necrosadist (CY). These are some bands that I think are great and their names deserve to be known.
Do you think many bands from around the world are looking back at the early days of thrash metal and at the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands?
A > Yes this is quite an often phenomenon that I partially agree with. We have to stick to the old school roots because I think it makes you understand how to impart your true feelings in your music, but at the same time lots of present day bands are trying to copy what has already been done a thousand times. They have to realize that by doing it they will just be another band, nothing special. They have to take all the goods that these genres have to offer and along with their own ideas create something unique, otherwise their music will not last through time.
As a fan I would prefer to listen to the band that originally thought about a certain idea rather than a thousand copies. Just like all the great bands that we listen to today did back then, they created something special. Thatís what we have to aim to do in our work!
What does the future holds for Lethal Saint?
A > Our future plans is to record our second album and this time we will do our best to make it a killer one! Then we will try to hit as many concerts in the EU as we can and hopefully, if everything goes well, start touring eventually. Thatís our goal for now we donít have anything else in mind at the moment but if we think of something we will inform you guys through our webpages.
What are guys doing when not writing or recording?
A > When we are not writing or recording most of the times we work, try to finish our studies, drinking and fooling around with friends nothing special!
Are you inspired by Ancient lore and occultism?
A > I will say I am inspired a bit by Ancient lore, but not occultism. I donít believe in any form of religion. Mostly I am inspired by Ancient Greek history and culture, I really love exploring it and there are lots of things to learn both in terms of music but also life. Another great inspiration for me is traditional Greek music, for me it is mind-blowing. It helps me concentrate on any work that I am doing and itís one of the reasons that has made the philosophy behind my music to change and develop from what I was doing in the past, which is a great feeling!
Finally I would like to let readers know that they can find any information they might be interested in about the band at the following links:
If anyone is interested in buying Lethal Saint merchandise they can contact us at the following email: lethalsaintheavymetal(at)gmail(dot)com
Thanks a lot John for the interview, I wish you and the readers all the best!
STAY FUCKING LETHAL!!!