Sabretung are a young up and coming thrash metal band from Newcastle, Australia. I had nice little talk with their frontman Doug about what the guys have been up to leading up to and concluding with the recent release of their debut full length "Conquest"
Good afternoon Doug! I understand Sabretung have been gigging around a bit and working hard to get your full length “Conquest” out, but I really don’t know too much else about you fellas! Would you mind giving myself and my readers the skinny on Sabretung? Who’s in the band, what type of metal you play, how you got started and how long you’ve been active so far?
I'm guitars and vocals, and there's Yates on Drums, Ty on bass and Dan on guitars as well.
We play aggressive thrash metal in the vein of Kreator and Sepultura.
I began to form the band in 2005 and we started gigging in 2006.
What are the bands' main influences, and what do you listen to in general?
Each member of the band has very different inspirations to each other and honestly not much of it is thrash at all.
For me personally my favourite acts are Judas Priest and Slayer, but I've also been listening to some not so brutal death metal recently too like Morbid Angel and Morgoth.
Cool stuff mate. What's the scene like up there in Newcastle? Do you play many shows? Are there any bands we should know about from the area aside from Sabretung?
In Newcastle you can play to a larger crowd than Sydney, but you do need to make sure that you secure a good local head liner, like us hahaha.
We try to play no more than once a month as it can really spread the crowds thin if you play more often than that.
Other great Newcastle acts are Cerebral Contortion and War Faction.
I'll definitely keep an ear out for those two bands.
You released your first EP, entitled "The Price Is Pain" back in October 2006 but have been pretty "dormant", so to speak, since then up until recently when you finally released your debut album "Conquest" just this month (7/March/2011). Why did it take so long for you to release more material? How has Sabretungs' sound "matured" over the couple of years in between each release?
Being dormant release wise wasn't by choice, but by finance. In fact, tracking for “Conquest” began in mid 2009 and it hasn't been until now that we have been able to get it out there.
The Price is Pain came about very early in our journey as a band and we still hadn't quite identified what we wanted to play. It has much more melodic elements to it than what we do now.
Have/are you or any of the other guys in Sabretung played with any other bands before, metal or otherwise? If so, what were/are they and will/did they release anything?
I did some muck around high school stuff as did Ty; separately. Yates I know played in Hanz Blixx and Abstraction and Sabretung is Dans' first band.
What are some of the bands you have shared the stage with over the years? And what was your experience like playing with these bands?
We've played with The Amenta, Daysend, Lord and Frankenbok and they were quite approachable.
When we played with Paul Dianno it was get off the stage and keep out of the way.
Back to the subject of “Conquest”, I noticed you have a paid download option and are also including a download for people who order a physical copy of “Conquest” through your website so they can hear the album before they receive it in the mail. I think this is a fantastic idea, what is your opinion on marketing your band on the internet? Do you feel that having a cheaper option to download the album ($4.50 for a download, $15.00 for a CD) will persuade more people to buy the release instead of pirating it? And do you think it will allow Sabretung to get their name out there to a broader audience?
The added bonus of this download is that you can choose your format; mp3, FLAC etc... plus it's cheaper than iTunes.
I see downloading as the modern equivalent of tape trading. True fans will make the effort to buy the real album and support you.
I'm with ya there mate, totally agree!
What have some of the ups and downs of Sabretungs "career" so far? Got any funny or memorable stories that you would like to share?
Getting to play at the Newcastle Civic Theatre was a big highlight for us. We've got the three songs we performed up on youtube too. You can see how excited we were, hahaha!
The downer was we hired cheap wireless units and it impacted the sound of the guitars in a negative way.
Now that Sabretung has unleashed "Conquest" upon the world, what's next for you guys? Do you have any shows or tours coming up? Any plans for merchandise? What about future releases, have you been working on new material?
We have shows in Newcastle and Sydney coming up and are keen to get down to Canberra as well as interstate if we can find promoters prepared to pay up front guarantees.
We are definitely looking into other merchandising options like patches and stubby coolers.
We are working on new material for a new release (EP or Album) that will come out hopefully before the year is out.
Exciting stuff, mate. I'll definitely have to grab a stubby cooler if you put 'em out!
Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview. Any last words?
Support your local metal gigs, even if you're not a fan of the bands, your patronage encourages the venue to keep hosting events.
Into “Beneath the Remains” and “Arise” era Sepultura? Into Bay Area thrash metal? Then you’ll definitely be a fan of what Sabretung have to offer!
The album opens up with the track “Suicide Terror” which pretty much sets the mood from the get go. What we have here is straightforward, no fucking about, old-school thrash metal. Neckbreaking and catchy riffs, speedy drumming and shouty-Max Cavalera style vocals are what these boys from Newcastle have in store.
Every song on this album is catchy and full of catchy hooks and riffs to keep any thrasher happy, and I mean, could you really ask for more from a band such as this?
All of the songs here pretty much hold up a similar standard, which isn’t really a bad thing. There’s a lot of cool ideas in some of the tracks; some great soloing, interesting slower sections, as well as a few “groove” orientated sections (the none-boring kind of groove), catchy as hell choruses, intense “gang” vocal parts and a genuine attitude here. You can tell this band is a bunch of mates having a good time cranking out the jams.
These guy’s clearly aren’t going to change the world with their brand of old-school thrash metal, but what they will do, is cause you to bang your head along to their chugging riffs and slam a few beers down while destroying your mothers’ basement.
I couldn’t really choose any stand-out songs here, but my personal favourites would probably be “Bloodlust” and the closing track “Eliminate the Weak”. I would definitely recommend “Conquest” to anyone looking for some good friendly violent thrash to chuck on at their next BBQ and crank up to 11 with no hesitation.
Generic? No. Formulaic? Maybe, but it’s not a bad thing.
BUY IT here: http://sabretung.bandcamp.com/