Could we start with how the band formed how did you guys meet in the early 1980s?
Graeme English > Wow, seems like such a long time ago. Basically Russ and Steve went to school together and started learning guitar, they had a school mate on bass at that time and Andy Reid on drums. I was dating Russ's sister at this time and the lads asked me if I could play bass guitar. I hadn't played it until then, but I was ok on classical guitar and thought "how hard could it be?"
So, that's how the first line up came to be. It took a little while to actually get good on guitar and also to work a few songs out. We added Trev [Trevor Robinson, vocals. -ed] and this is the line up that we recorded the Guardian Records -demo with.
Steve Ramsey > I remember Russ getting a guitar and me going around to his house, and he played some Motorhead and Ramones-stuff. We decided then to form a band - even before I got a guitar. I think we had come up with the name and then I drew the logo soon after that.
What was the first record that you released and how was the band marketed?
Graeme English > The first record we did was the Guardian Studio stuff. We did four songs in a day: two were released on the Roxcalibur-sampler/compilation, and we did a thousand copies of the Kiss of Death 7" single. We then did a few more demos and finally got a deal with Roadrunner Records in Holland. We recorded the album "Court in the Act" for them in '83 and it sold well. The album was marketed well, but was just sold as a metal album, it wasn't really marketed with any references to devil worship.
Steve Ramsey > Black and death metal weren't really around or popular then, so it wasn't a problem.
Who writes the band's lyrics and what inspires you writing?
Steve Ramsey > Russ [Tippins, guitar. -ed] writes most of the lyrics with Brian [Russ, vocals. -ed] and myself writing one or two. Sometimes they are a joint effort. We use anything that represents evil in the world. History, news, etc. War plays its part. We like the audience to listen first and get their own perspective about the content. Then we can discuss it with them if they want to.
Are any of the band's members occultists? Does occultism inspire the you?
Graeme English > I think this is a popular misconception of the band... We have never been into the occult and have not written songs about it. We just thought the name Satan was great for a metal band.
Steve Ramsey > It's a bit of pain that the name lends itself to the band members being into that stuff. It's the reason we changed the name a couple of times to try and get away from that. We've had christians turning up and protesting before shows in the past. Nowadays it's not so weird to be a metal band called Satan. To us the name is just a representation of all the evil in the world.
Any bands today that you think are worth looking at?
Graeme English > I'm into an Australian band call Karnivool at the moment, well worth checking out if you're into stuff like Tool.
Steve Ramsey > I like a band called Breed 77 who play a style of music termed flamenco metal.
Is there one band member who keeps a record of the band's history?
Graeme English > There isn't really one member who has done this, but we all have bits and pieces of the history with photos and press.
How is the the heavy metal scene of the 1980's different from that of today?
Graeme English > The metal scene in the '80s was great, so may bands coming out around that time and so many original sounding bands doing there own thing.
The scene now seems a bit less original, and a lot of the bands seem to be clones of each other. I think record companies seem to want sound-alikes now. It's quite mad, now when we play live the audience is normally made up of young kids who weren't even born when we were first around!
Steve Ramsey > It's great to still make and play music that is cool to a younger generation.
Any band side projects that you wish to tell us about?
Graeme English > We all have quite a few things going on... Steve and I have Skyclad, Russ has his blues stuff and Brian still has Blitzkrieg and his other band Metalizer. We all just like to play music.
What lies in the future for Satan?
Graeme English > At the moment we are just waiting for the new Album "Life Sentence" to come out, and then we have a few festivals booked for the summer. Just looking forward to getting out there and having a bit of fun... see you all soon!
Steve Ramsey > We're getting to play places and countries we didn't get the chance to visit first time around.