First, could you tell us about your participation on the new Watain tribute album? What other bands are participating and are you influenced by Watain's music?
Michael Green > We are offering any band interested in being a part of it (that has the ability to come to our studio to record in Dallas, Tx) to be on the record. So far, we've had our friends in Verdict of Vengeance, Sincerely The Reaper, Brothers Highhorse and a few others sign on but we still have some spots open. We're still working on some of the details but anyone interested should definitely contact us via our Facebook page. As for influence, Bryan (Drums) and I are huge fans of Watain so there is definitely some influence in there.
When did Sparrows form and what was the first release?
Michael Green > We've been together, in one form or another, since the beginning of 2010. Our first release was a 4 song EP called Lightmass. It isn't currently available but 2 of the songs on that EP were re-recorded and put on our full-length, Rivals of Christ, which came out last January.
Have you played any live dates - metal festivals? What was that experience like for the band?
Michael Green > We've played plenty of shows but no festivals as of yet. There's an excitement to the unpredictability of playing shows that I think we feed off of and the crowd responses get better with each show. We've kicked around some ideas for a possible tour later this year but nothing is set in stone yet.
Are there any Sparrows side projects that you wish to tell us about?
Michael Green > Bryan and Jason (Vocals) have a couple of projects; Alduin and Inversion of the Holy Hour but they're not really a top priority at the moment since we just started writing the 2nd entry to the Mark of the Beast trilogy.
Who writes the band's lyrics? Could you name a few other influential bands in black metal?
Michael Green > Jason writes all of the lyrics but occasionally I'll throw a lyrical idea out there that sticks. He's a great writer so we generally just let him do his thing. Not all of our influences come from black metal bands but some of the ones that we draw inspiration from are Immortal, Dark Funeral, and Marduk. There are some newer bands like Eschaton and Ne Obliviscaris that have really gotten our attention, as well.
Are the band members interested in the Occult? What magic writings may inspire the band?
Michael Green > Bryan is the only one in the band to really explore that subject. Ryan (Guitars), Jason, and myself are atheists who are just fed up with religion. One of the original purposes of this band was to attack religious people from the other side of their own religion; give them a taste of their own medicine. Whether we successfully fulfilled that purpose or not, everything else just kind of grew from there. While an anti-religious stance will always be present in our music, I find it unlikely that it will continue to be the main theme for the band after the trilogy has been completed.
What other projects is the band planning? What lies in the future?
Michael Green > Right now, we're in the studio, writing the follow-up to Mark of the Beast: Indoctrination and working on the Watain tribute record so we don't have too much time for other projects. We had 2 releases last year and we might do that again this year. Regardless, we have a lot of work to do.