SATAN'S HOST, from Denver, Colorado, have a 25 year history and have just released a commemorative album, "CELEBRATION For The Love Of Satan", to, well, celebrate that. Through various transitions over the years, they still carry their torch high, delivering what would seem to be an endless supply of true metal music. I recently had an opportunity to talk with Anthony Lopez, Margar Garcia and Evil Pat Elkins about that very rich history, where it has brought the band, and where things may go.
ThrashHead: So, it's been quite a path since "Metal from Hell", what has kept it going so strong for so long? How long has this current lineup been together now?
Patrick:This lineup has been together since Jan. 2010. The passion, fire, our desire to push the envelope and what our talents can bring to us, there is nothing like the feeling of hearing back the songs we have created, and the exhilaration and euphoria that comes about.
Anthony: I think the biggest thing that has kept Satan's Host going all these years is the fact that everyone loves to play music, it's in our blood, I'm mean I've only been in the band since 2008 but I started playing in the bars when I was 13 years old and have been in bands since then, always gigging and writing music with many different bands and projects, and Patrick has always kept Satan's Host going throughout the years, the man is just full of riffs and music, it would be hard to imagine him without a guitar in his hand, lol.
This lineup has been together now since Jan. of 2010, we have a great chemistry, we all click, there is no drama or drama queens in this band, we all have the same inspirations and goals, so that alone is a major factor, once you're in a band where others have other agendas, then things start to become stressful.
ThrashHead: What inspired the band to re-release their earlier material into a historically chronological compilation?
Patrick: I think we really felt a need to unleash these inner demons from the past, and to erase some of the bad feels that were left after the departure of our former singer, with Harry we were able to capture the initial fire and vision of how I originally intended for the songs.
Anthony: Pretty much to commemorate the release of "Metal from Hell", it's been 25 years since its release, so instead of doing a re-recording of that album we figured it would be nice to do something a little more special and have Harry sing the era of songs that he was not on, since "By the Hands of the Devil" just came out we figured it would be a nice way to celebrate.
ThrashHead: Can you tell me how the "CELEBRATION For The Love Of Satan" album came about? Were there ever plans to release an album like this one before? What made this the right time?
Patrick: Well in our contract with Moribund we did owe them a compilation album, but in my heart I always have hated compilation albums, so I went to Moribund and explained my feelings on the matter and told them if we were going to do a compilation album of sorts I would rather reward the fans with all new versions of the songs and to unleash an album that has never been seen before.
Odin, our label manager, had a great deal of excitement and thought that was the best plan to move forward in regards to the compilation. Also it came to be the 25th anniversary of the "Metal from Hell" release, so what better way to celebrate the great accomplishment than to forge forward a celebration album.
Anthony: I think Patrick and Odin from our label had this one brewing in the cauldron for awhile, now was the right time being the 25th anniversary of "Metal from Hell".
ThrashHead: Do you have plans to release it on vinyl?
Patrick: yes of course, it is already available thought links on our website or on the Moribund website, or straight from the High Roller records website. They are going very fast, so pick up your copies while you can.
Anthony: Actually both "By the Hands of the Devil" and "CELEBRATION For the Love of Satan" have been release on vinyl and are available to order at Satanshost.com or at High Roller Records, in conjunction with Moribund Cult they pressed and released the vinyl versions of the two albums.
ThrashHead: Tell me a little bit about the inspiration for your lyricism, for example, "Witches Return".
Patrick: Well on Witches Return if you look back in history how so many people were accused of being witches, the inspiration came to me that all there unholy souls were ready to come back to our realm for revenge and malice upon the religious ingrates that persecuted and thought they had eliminated us, the Witches shall return, and you shall forever burn!
Anthony: From what I understand, Harry wrote the bulk of the lyrics and Patrick wrote the middle piece, I don't really know what the inspiration was about, lol.
ThrashHead: Collectively, as well as individually, you guys all have some musical miles under your belts; what other projects have you guys been a part of?
Patrick: The only other bands I have ever been a part of would be Psychronaut, which one day I may possibly release if the need ever be, and also I'm working on a solo project called Patrick Evil.
Anthony: I've been in many countless Metal bands in my life, plus I've played in many variety bands where I've played many other styles of music other than Metal. Before I joined Satan's Host I was in Torrid Flesh with Margar, and before that I was in couple of other Metal projects here in the Denver Metro Area.
I originally moved from New Mexico, and was a very high profile drummer in the New Mexico circuit, but I had to leave because there wasn't any true creativity there for me, I didn't want to stay playing shows and gigs in New Mexico all my life, I wanted to go around the world, so I left. I was also in many Metal bands in New Mexico like Extreme Agony, the original Dismember with Tom Gattis from Ballistic and Wardog, and MeatWaggon.
Margar: Just like any musician, I've been a part of several nameless groups and jam sessions, but the only other organized band I've been a part of was Torrid Flesh.
ThrashHead: Now, what are your plans for the future? Will there be any tours or festivals?
Patrick: Yes there will be, soon to be announced which I can't disclose at this time.
Anthony: We are in preproduction for the next album at the moment, the follow-up to "By the Hands of the Devil", we should be entering Flatline Audio with Dave Otero in the Spring sometime with a late Summer/early Fall release, as far as touring and playing festivals, nothing is set in stone at the moment, but we are ready to jump on something that is solid if the opportunity comes our way.
ThrashHead: Will this year bring new material from The Host?
Patrick: yes, we will be recording the follow up to "By the Hands of the Devil" due out this summer, prepare yourselves or die. I'm very excited for this new release because the lineup is really coming together and I feel very positive that the Legions around the world will grow to an unstoppable force.
Anthony: Yes, new release Summer/Fall 2012.
ThrashHead: You guys went to Germany last year. How was that?
Patrick: it was an amazing experience, the people over there have a great respect and fire that they bring to the shows, it was surreal and bit humbling to be such a large status and true rock godz over there.
The people came from all over Europe just to see us play, and my hands got very sore signing so many autographs, and we really appreciated their hospitality.
Anthony: Germany was a surreal experience, very humbling, we had fans come from all over Europe to see Satan's Host, when we hit the stage, I don't think you could have stuck another person in the venue with a shoe horn, lol, everywhere we went, we were constantly mobbed by fans, taking pictures, signing autographs, it was great, we have a very strong following in Europe.
We almost didn't think we were gonna make it, because at the time all the airports were close in Europe due to the volcano that was going off in Iceland, we got to airport early in the morning with no clue if we were going or not, but we got there and our flights were still on. We got to Frankfurt and they had cots set up all over the terminals, it was weird and very eerie feeling.
Margar: Germany was amazing. It was kind of shocking to go out there and see how many fans we had in Europe and have the chance to perform for them. It was literally a dream come true. I hope we get another opportunity to do it again.
ThrashHead: You also have your own website with a web store, don't you?
Patrick: Of course we do, the Evil Hobbit, he handles all that for us, and we are very fortunate for all his hard work.
Anthony: Our website, yes and you can get some merch straight from us or from the Moribund Cult webstore. It's a shame that many bands don't take the priority to create and maintain a proper web presence, everyone always relies on Facebook or MySpace, which are equally important, but when you have your own presence, it shows that you have that much more initiative in your music and your band, I don't take any new band seriously if they have no web presence, because it shows me they don't take themselves serious, they will be just a flash in the pan eventually, it happens all the time.
ThrashHead: How do you feel about your music being downloaded illegally with everything available online?
Patrick: I think it sucks in a way, and it's good in a way, on one hand you gain more fans in the process, on the other hand you lose lots of money that you could have put forth to have the band get out more to the greater masses so at least it seems there is no stopping this so what we have to do is be ahead of our game and create music that people just cannot do without.
Anthony: It's a double edge sword, it sucks because its money being lost from the band and label, but at the same time it's spreading your music and the name of the band. The record labels screwed up 10-15 years ago by not nipping it in the butt when Metallica brought it up, but now things are suppose to change, so will see.
Margar: I believe that no matter what the format music is in or how much it costs, in this day of instant access to anything in the world there will always be people finding a way to get it for free illegally. It's just a harsh reality of the world we live in. All we can do is cope with it the best we can and find creative ways of combating it.
ThrashHead: So, who's raising little metalhead hellions here?
Anthony: I've got little Metalhead Hellions, they are great, they support the band and they are always there to do what we ask of them, but at the same time they know how to distant themselves from band affairs.
ThrashHead: How is it being a part of SATAN'S HOST and raising a family at the same time?
Patrick: Satan's Host is my family, so I'm very fortunate and all other musicians who work hard and put all their passion towards their music, they are my family, all the fans, all the writers, everyone who supports true metal, they can be in my family too. Lol So I love you all!
Anthony: For me it's like anything else, I've always been good at balancing anything in my life, I'm the worst person to give excuses to, in the end you got to do what you got to do. I'm a Multitasking machine, lol, I'm always 2-3 steps ahead, it's just how I work, I'm detail oriented and very hard on myself, so when something goes wrong, I'm my worst enemy.
But, in all seriousness, I'm Satan's Host drummer, I do other internal aspects for the band, I work for the label, I'm a contractor, a husband, a father, etc., I don't have time to make excuses, I'm too busy trying to make everything work and making sure things run smoothly, we have goals in this band and I just try to do my best to do my part, we're in it together, and when we go as Satan's Host anywhere, it is smooth sailing, any drama that manifests is usually coming from some outside source, that's one of the biggest things about this bands chemistry, we just don't click musically, but we click on a personal level, it's brilliant!
ThrashHead: What message would you like to share with the younger generations of metalheads?
Patrick: find the roots of what you believe in and that will guide you unto understanding what it is you support, and never give up, look inside, find your true strength, valor and might, and find yourself, and always be free of constraint.
Anthony: Don't make excuses, do what your suppose to do, don't leave your band mates holding the bag and have them have to carry you, do your part and be dead determined, if not get out, no one needs baggage dragging them down. Be true to the true essence of your group, no matter how it plays out, if someone is the leader and has a bigger vision than anyone else in the band, buy into it, if not go make your own mark, just remember they are not shit without you and vise-versa.
Listen to other styles of music, inspiration and chops come from very different places, for an example a unique Death Metal band that doesn't sound like all the other Death Metal bands are not just scrutinizing Death Metal, they are gaining influences from other places, have an open mind.