2008. december 29., hétfő

the story continues with Sardo - Phil Sardo

The next formation of this new and blistering form of Metal came through the inception of SARDO, which was a continuation of the original SCEPTRE but which had seen co-founder Phil Sardo, as drummer, move to being guitarist, how did it happen?
I started on drums at the age of 6; and I started on guitar at around age 12... I had been playing and writing songs well before this transition when we formed SARDO. All of the elenments were in place; and I felt that this was a transition that was nesessary.
In Phil’s own words, „it was a better way to express myself as a songwriter”, why?
In my situation, it was a better way to express myself as a songwriter because I was writing a lot of the lead parts as well... this was something that not all guitarists were open to. For example, in „Steel Heat”, the bridge lead, (guitar and bass together), after the solo, was written as a finished section and is basically a lead break... another example is in „The Omen”; I constructed this solo also as a finished section. At times, it was hard to present a finished solo to a guitarist. It is logical that most guitarists would want to construct their own solos. It was then that I decided to switch to guitar full time.
The line up became complete with the addition of singer David Ash and drummer Dave Dickerson, how did you find them and did you perhaps try out other musicians as well?
We did audition some drummers before finding Dave Dickerson... again it was mostly through the Recycler publication in finding musicians. David Ash is a cousin to Tony and I; and we just stumbled upon his ability to belt out some harsh screams. He had a strong stage pressence and his vocal style was harsh and raspy. He was a perfect fit for the line-up, as was Dave Dickerson on drums.
What about their musical past?
Dave Dickerson was previously playing more mainstream metal but quickly adapted to our style. David Ash was formerly a boxer and only realized his vocal ability when Tony and I discovered it when he came to a rrehearsal on night.
You released the first demo in 1986, how did the recording sessions go for this demo?
Well, actually we did not release this demo. It’s purpose was only to get us a deal. I don’t really know how it got into circulation... it is a bit of a mystery. Anyway, the sessions went well for this demo.
Can you perhaps tell us details regarding this demo?
We recorded it in Van Nuys, CA and was finished in 2, ten hour blocks. Both sessions were done over the „graveyard” shift. The studio was the best we had been in at the time, but the end product was not exactly to our expectations.
You expressed yourself, you did well, by penning the next wave of speed, brutality, and technicality with songs like „Steel Heat”, „The Omen” and „Nausea”, to name a few, how did these songs sounded like compared to the SCEPTRE material?
The new songs were composed with the same ideals as the SCEPTRE material, (to remain heavy as possible and be techinal in nature), but were written with a newer form of aggressivness and speed.
Did you write more brutal and faster stuff than with SCEPTRE?
Yes, this is the aggressivness and speed that was introuduced with the SARDO material.
Would you name it as a natural progression or a logical continuation of SCEPTRE?
Well, actually it is both. It was a natural progression because we felt that in order to proceed with those same ideals we had in SCEPTRE, we had to write songs that were continually pushing the envelope. It was also a logical continuation because in SCEPTRE, we were noted as a contributing force in the creation of Thrash, and also in being techincal musicians who took quality very seriously. SARDO was a continuation of SCEPTRE because it shared all of the same charictaristics, but with a newer sense of aggressivness.
With an appearance on „The Rock with Daryl Fields Show”, (an L.A. based music commentary), and the reputation as being the loudest Metal band to ever play the Hollywood club circuit, SCEPTRE/SARDO were well on their way in playing a leading role in the creation of a newer, more brutal sounding form of Metal, how do you explain this?
It was in those days that Metal was heading in a new direction. We had seen the formation of Speed and Thrash Metal, Black Metal, and some whimpy forms of „so called” Metal as well. We wanted with SARDO, as in SCEPTRE, to always create something new. Our sound was definitely more brutal that many of the other Metal bands at the time and was newer because we were using different, and odd, techniques in our playing styles. For example, We started using „blast” beats in some of our material; I was also experimenting with guitar tones and volume levels that were just insane.
1987 was released your second demo, what about this material as a whole?
This demo contained: „Steel Heat” and „Temporary Confusion/Psalm 18”. That demo, much like the first SCEPTRE demo, was actually never officially released. It was meant to land us a deal with a lable and that was it. The material is great and we feel as strong today about it, as we did back then! This is why we eventually would create THRUSTOR... to present the material in its purist form.
Was it a better representation of the band? Did it sound closer to what you wanted to achieve with SARDO?
Yes, it was a great representation of what we were trying to achieve. It was recorded in Hollywood, CA in 1 session for both recording and mixing. We were very happy with the final product!
How much did you promote the demos at all? What about the sellings of the demos?
We didn’t promote or sell the demos at all. We were recording for the sole purpose of landing a deal.
What about the L.A. scene at this point? How did you view those bands –so called the second wave of thrash- that were popping up, such as BLOODLUST, BLOODCUM, VIKING, RECIPIENTS OF DEATH, SILENT SCREAM etc.?
We actually played a show with Viking at The Waters Club in San Pedro. All cool bands, but not too familiar with any of them.
It was not too long after this time, though, that internal strife was beginning to infect the current line up of SARDO and it was soon realized that in order to proceed with the same principles that the original SCEPTRE/SARDO were created, it was necessary for founders Phil and Tony Sardo to take an extended break from performing and collaborating with other musicians, what happened exactly?
In that year, 1987, we signed with new management 2 times and were not happy with either of them. Ash was flaking off, and it seemed the band was just falling apart. It was definetly time for a break to clear our heads from all the internal strife.
Did you remain in touch with those musicians (John Cyriis, David Ash, Dave Dickerson and Butch Say) with whom you played with earlier?
No, not at all. There was one occasion that I met with Butch Say in an effort to start something up again... but it was to no avail.
Considering the breaking of SCEPTRE and SARDO, did you part ways with the other musicians on a friendly term at the end?
Well, I cannot really say that it was friendly, but we all understood very clearly, that it was time to part ways.
You, soon thereafter, decided to record, mix and produce an album relying only on you, so as to capture the true essence of what SCEPTRE and SARDO actually were, can you tell us more about it? Does it mean that you started recording a full length SARDO record or…?
After taking a long break, Tony and I decided to take our material from the SCEPTRE and SARDO days, and record it in a way that we felt it should be done. We started rehearsing for what would eventually become THRUSTOR-„Night of Fire”, EmanesMetal Records. We did not want to collaborate with other musicians on this because we felt that the only way to present this material the right way, (the way we had originally intended), was for Tony and I to do it... just us! It would not have made sense to have outside musicians; the material needed just us, to present it properly! We did so, and we created the new project titled THRUSTOR.

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