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I just a few short years, Louisville, KY metal band Savage Master has gone from fledgeling newcomers to top of the heap contenders in the NWOTHM movement. Savage Master has grown by leaps and bounds and shows no sign of slowing down. The band has gone from playing the seedy bars of Louisville to being a mainstage act at the legendary Keep it True festival in Germany.

Savage Master embarked on their first US headlining tour this year and lead vocalist Stacey Savage took some time out to talk with me before their amazing Atlanta show. We talked about Savage Master’s appearance at Keep it True, what she does to get in the zone before a show, and the hazards of being a member of Savage Master. It was so great to talk with Stacey again and I hope you all will enjoy this fun interview.

 

Stacey, thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview today!

No problem. It’s good to talk to you again.

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Now that Savage Master has been in the game a bit, I know you’ve been doing a lot of interviews.

Yeah. The biggest time for interviews was before our European tour. I think I did about 25 interviews. For me that was a lot.

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Now that you’re doing more interviews, do you find yourself getting more comfortable doing them?

A little bit but I think it’ll always be one of those things where your mind goes everywhere and you don’t know what to expect [laughs].

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What question do you get asked so much that if you get asked it again you’ll rip their head off and drink from their skull?

[laughs] Oh, I don’t know. It’s kind of good to get asked some of these questions because it gives me time to think of a better answer to give them each time. I get asked a lot about being a female in metal. My first response is usually more reactionary but then the more I think about it the more I can give a more elaborate answer that’s more of what I really think and not just me being annoyed at the question.

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So just to touch on that topic a bit, does it really annoy you when you get asked that?

Yeah, sometimes it does. Sometimes I’m glad to be able to talk about it but other times I don’t feel like I should be speaking on the behalf of women. It’s interesting to think about. You can think about it as much as you want but there’s no real answer. My perspective is from being a female but I don’t have anything to contrast that to because it’s not like, I was a male and now I know the difference [laughs]. I have nothing to compare it to so it’s kind of hard to answer those questions sometimes.

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The last time we talked, Savage Master was about to release With Whips and Chains. Now that the album has been out for bit and you’ve had some time to sit with it, is there anything you’d do differently?

I’m actually pretty happy with it to be honest. For me personally, this is my first band so it’s only the 2nd album I’ve ever played any part on. I never expected the first band I would ever be in to get this kind of reaction and it’s something that I can get behind and really feel by putting my own emotions into it.

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I know that a lot of bands pretty much start working on a new album once an album has been released. Is that the case with Savage Master?

Adam (Neal; guitarist) is the main songwriter. He writes a little on the road sometimes but we’re going to be putting out a 12” single EP. He’s been working on a couple of songs for that and he’s let me listen in and I haven’t yet but I need to start writing lyrics. He’s about halfway done with the four songs. Once we get home we’ll have to start hitting it hard and he’ll have to finish those songs and I’ll do the lyrics so we can knock them out in the studio.

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Has Savage Master ever thought of doing a covers album or something? This seems to be a popular thing for bands to do these days.

Nah, we’re pretty much set on doing original material. There might be a cover on this new EP. Usually when we do covers it’s because we’re doing one live or if we’re doing something for a covers/tribute album and use it for a b-side. The b-side of our Black Hooves single was a cover of the Riot songs “Swords and Tequila.” As of now, that’s how we handle the covers.

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Did you ever hear from Riot as to what they thought of your cover?

Actually, no, we have not [laughs]. That’s a good question. Covers can sometimes be the most nerve wracking thing because you want to do justice to the original. You want to honor it and not do a bad job on somebody else’s work.

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The last time you guys were here you were dealing with a sudden lineup change. Is the line up right now where you feel it needs to be?

As of now, yeah [laughs]. It’s kind of like, we have to play it by ear. We can hope that everybody wants to stick around and that it works out but sometimes people just have other priorities or for other reasons things just don’t work out.

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The anonymity of the band, wearing the masks, does help to kind of keep a sense of consistency to the band. I mean, as long as they’re all playing well you can’t really tell.

Yeah, the masks do help [laughs].

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Savage Master was over in Europe doing some pretty amazing shows including the Keep it True festival which must’ve been like going to summer school or something. What did you take away from that experience if anything?

It was pretty crazy. I’m still processing it months later. It was really overwhelming but it was awesome. It was definitely the biggest show we ever played and probably the biggest show we’ll play for a long time. We got to see a lot great bands like classic band like Rock Goddess, Tokyo Blade. It was just amazing to see all those bands. Instead of teaching me anything new, it really gave me more encouragement to keep doing what we’re doing. It also gave me the chance to be a fan and watch some of the best bands. It made me want to strive to be better and to keep working to do something great. You see some bands up there in age putting on better shows than people even younger than me. It’s all about the passion. I don’t think there’s a point where you really need to give up. If you’re still doing it well, keep doing it. I think it keeps some people alive.

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I love the visual/theatrical concept behind Savage Master but what I love even more is that the music is the definite focal point of it all.

Thanks. Yeah, that goes back to one of those common questions about our image and referring to bands who may have a good image but the music doesn’t hold up. I just don’t think there’s any reason to be in it unless it’s for the music but if you can also pull off an image, why not? Music is the most important part, though.

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Stacey, let’s dream big for a second. Let’s say Savage Master was headlining an arena. What would the stage production look like for a Savage Master show?

[laughs] Wow. I don’t know really. Going back to the Keep it True festival would probably be what it would look like. I don’t know. It would be a blast though [laughs].

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You posted on your Facebook page recently that people have been literally asking you for “discounts” on merch. Is this really a thing?

[laughs] I don’t know what happened. We played a couple of shows that were kind of right behind the Black Sabbath tour where we were playing like one or two nights after Black Sabbath had just played. I’m hoping that people just spent all their money there and that it’s not a trend. There was one night where every person except a person in another band asked for a discount. I was really unprepared for that. We don’t sell our stuff expensively at all. We sell our CDs for 10 bucks and shirts for 15. We try to do old school pricing as much as we can and we try to make it affordable so people can have it. Every once in awhile someone might come up and say, “I only have 7 bucks” and we’ll give them a CD and that doesn’t bother me. A couple of times in a row, someone will ask me for a deal and then they’ll pull out a huge wad of money to pay for it and then I’m like “what the fuck?” [laughs] Personally, I could never do that. If I didn’t have enough money I wouldn’t even walk up to the booth.

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Lately, everyone from Jay Jay French to Kerry King are saying things like, “There’s no more guitar gods” or “Nobody’s going to carry the flag for us when we’re gone. As I sit here talking with someone who’s in a band that proves this statement ridiculous, what’s your opinion on this?

Didn’t you write an article about that too long ago?

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I sure did.

Yeah, I really appreciate you writing that letter to the elders. I think part of it is that sometimes a lot of the older bands don’t that much to say about who they tour with. Some bands do try and check out younger bands. Bands like Manilla Road are out there checking out the bands, talking to other bands, watching their shows and there’s other bands who just want to sit in their vehicle all night until it’s their turn to play. I’m not judging anybody but I do think that there is a disconnect. Again, I like that you addressed it and I’d like to see some sort of positive outcome from it. All of the elders of metal came from a time when record companies gave a shit about metal which is in stark contrast to now. The whole music industry has changed and it’s very different. You can go on YouTube now and listen to an entire album for free so it changes the whole game. I think it’s harder for the elders to know about these new bands because there are no major record companies pushing them like back in the day.

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If you could send the elders of metal who feel this way a message, what would you say?

Well, I personally don’t like to tell anyone how to live their life or what to do. My goals it that when I’m older, if I’m ever in a position where we’re successful enough to make money and be bigger, to keep my ear to the ground and help other bands because that’s what it’s all about. If you’re not helping other bands, it’s kind of like you’re not helping the whole scene grow and I want to help it grow. There’s all kinds of music out there that’s yet to be written and bands yet to be found out about. That’s one of my biggest goals and hopefully others will feel the same.

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Savage Master recently has been put into this genre of NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal). That must be kind of cool to be considered as contenders in this somewhat rogue movement of metal.

Yeah, it’s really cool. Honestly, we only had a vague awareness of that when we first started. We’re from Louisville, KY. You can imagine there’s not much of a metal scene there [laughs]. There’s a lot of fans but not a lot of bands. We just want to play music that you chant and sing along with. We love music that makes you feel something. A lot of older people come up to us after shows saying, “You all made me feel like I was 20 again.” That’s what we want. For me, I just want to write and play music that I thought was badass when I was a kid. I want impress my child self and to hear that from others is just great.

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Ok, What is your favorite tour junk food?

Gummy worms [laughs]. My little brother actually would get the cookies and cream bar and put a piece of each together and eat it. It’s fucking delicious [laughs]. It’s really good. That’s definitely one of my favorite snacks.

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What song do you say, “I wish I wrote that one” every time you hear it?

I’d probably have to say “Stargazer” by Rainbow. That’s the kind of thing that when you hear it, it’s just unreal. It’s like God’s wrote that song or something. It’s hard to imagine that something that good will ever happen again.

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Do you have any kind of pre-show ritual to get yourself pumped before going on stage?

I don’t really have a specific ritual. I guess you could say that getting changed into our stage gear by default is our ritual just because we have to do that before every show but it does do something to us. We don’t do a lot of dress rehearsals but when we get a new member, we will do one just to make sure that that person knows, “Hey, that fucking mask on your head… it’s no joke. You’re gonna die in this thing” [laughs].

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That’s why you’ve had so many lineup changes. Nobody wants to wear that fucking mask.

[laughs] Sometimes I really wonder about that, especially with the drummers because drumming is already so much work. The mask is terrible. The mask is a death trap and I’m lucky I don’t have to wear one [laughs]. We try to wash them in between shows but sometimes they don’t get washed and you’ll pull it out and it’s been with all the chains and everything else and it’s got corrosion and these webs of mold on them. You just look at them and say, “Oh well. It’s time. We just have to wipe them off, put them on, get on stage, and try not to die. You cannot have a mold allergy if you want to be in Savage Master [laughs].

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If Hollywood was to make a movie about your life, what famous actress would play you?

I think just to make it the most entertaining movie I would have to pick Liza Minnelli. She’s just like the best. She would put on a great show. She just never misses a beat and she has so much energy.

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Who are some of your favorite current bands that you feel are doing some great metal out there?

We played with a band called Serpent that was really good when we were on the west coast. They were just old school heavy metal. They kicked ass. I also have mention Substratum. We played with them in Seattle. For how kick ass they are, they are pretty unknown but damn they are so good. Their frontwoman, Amy Carlson, is just one of the most badass chicks you’ll ever meet.

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If you could have dinner with any musician alive or dead, who would it be and what would you have?

Dio for sure. What would I have? Honestly, whatever he’s having [laughs]. I like to try all kinds of new things whether I love it or hate it. Maybe we’d just have steak and seafood [laughs].

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What’s left for Savage Master in 2016?

We’re going to be home after this tour and we’ll work on that 12”. We may try to do another tour either late winter or early spring of next year. We just want to recharge a little bit as well.

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Stacey, thanks so much for interview number 2! This was a blast as always.

Thank you, Don. Thanks for having me. You make this fun.

 

For more on Savage Master, check out: https://www.facebook.com/savagemaster666

 

 

About Don de Leaumont

Don (aka. The Brainfart) has been a heavy metal fan since hearing it for the first time in 1983. Don is also repsonsible for all of the typos, shitty grammar, and kick ass content on this site. Don likes cheap beer, whiskey, Coca Cola Icees, going to shows, and hanging with his kick ass wife, two cats and dog. He originally wanted to name his dog Shandi but his wife said, "No fucking way."

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