Satan - Steve Ramsey

Satan - Steve Ramsey

Our beloved SATAN were back in the US for a second run after the short and most successful tour they did in 2014. Some hours before the Chicago show, METAL KAOZ talked to Steve Ramsey and learned that they are good things on the making from the SATAN camp, and also from SKYCLAD. It was a pleasure to once again chatting with Steve, although I have to admit cutting through his thick accent was a challenge... Read on.

Satan - Steve Ramsey

Steve, welcome in Chicago and METAL KAOZ! First of all, how is the tour going so far?
Really good, it’s been good.

Do you see any changes considering that SATAN had a successful tour in the US in 2014? I mean, do you see bigger crowds this time?
Not so much but we’ve played in some different cities this time. We were in Atlanta on Monday and I think that was the best gig of the tour so far. So, in new places, it’s all good.

After the US tour, you have two shows in Finland and then?
Then we’re gonna start working on the new album. This is our next plan.

This is where I was going to (laughs).

So, have you started writing something? Because I remember last time we spoke, you said you can write music while on the road or in between.
On the last album, we ended with fifteen songs and chose ten of them that sort of fit together the best. We all wrote down our favorites and we chose them from the lists that we all had.

You fought each other, right?
Yeah. So, one of my favorites, that Russ wrote, didn’t get in the album because it didn’t get voted for. So, this one will definitely be in the album. So, we’ve already got some material left over from the last one that we’re gonna use.

So, you have five songs that you’re gonna use them?
Yeah, we’ll use them in some form.

Ok. I was dying to ask you, I mean, the last album was amazing. So, how did you manage to keep pretty much the same sound, even though there was some time off before the reunion?
I think it’s just where we’re on now. I think it’s because we’ve grown up like that and we play together for so long, so it’s in our blood.

It feels like there was no time in between.
Yeah, it’s sort of all fitting together, like jigsaw pieces, you know.

And I understand that you can release an album and be really good, but then the second one being that good? I’m talking about “Atom By Atom” - so what’s the deal with you? How you do it?
We had some restrictions on “Life Sentence” because we wanted to sound like it was the follow-up for “Court In The Act”. For “Atom By Atom”, we didn’t have any of those restrictions, so it’s old time and stuff like that that we’ve used.

So, what about the upcoming album? Do you feel even more free now?
Yeah, it’ll just come the way it goes, you know. As I said, five of the songs were written with the batch that we did for “Atom By Atom”, and for the rest we have no restrictions.

Do you have the lyrics ready for those, too?


(laughs) Ok, your short answers mean that you cannot tell me, right?
Yeah (laughs).

You released also a live album, and you told me that you took some footage too, so do you think is there any worthy material to make a DVD release out of this?
Yeah, we had a few festivals filmed last year and we’re thinking about, once we finish all the touring, to see how it is. Maybe make a compilation, or do something like that. We’re gonna think about that after Christmas. Maybe if we feel like it.

That’s awesome. I was asking more about if it makes sense economically for the band because I don’t know who is buying DVDs nowadays.
Yeah, I think stuff like that people just don’t know at all. So you can’t really spend a lot of money doing stuff like that.

But the good thing is that vinyl is somewhat getting back, right?
We’ve actually sold more vinyl on the new album than we did CDs. It’s really strange.

That’s awesome!
Like thinking back to the old days.

Well, we’re far from it but at least there is a trend. I mean, do you see young faces in the live shows?
Yeah, a lot of young faces. It’s amazing how we’ve managed to get back in the scene. You’ll see tonight that there is a really big mixture of ages of people. We’ve had some shows where fathers brought their son and stuff like that.

So, what is the plan for the release of the new SATAN album? First of all, do you have any pressure from the record label or you’re free to do as you please?
We’ve actually finished our deal with this label - it was a two-album deal, so we have to renegotiate either with them or with another label.

Do you wanna change the label?
No, we’re pleased with Listenable Records and all they have done for us. I think maybe on the next album we’d like to make a video to promote the album - if we can get that in the contract.

So, is this the new thing going by something like two albums per contract or even album per album?
No, when we got back together and we wrote the material and sent the demos out to Listenable, they said that they wanted to make a two-album deal and I said “yeah, but we are going to make one” (laughs). And the label asked “will it be the same material?” and I said “yes” something that obviously happened. They believed that this would happen, they said “yeah, you’ll make the record and people will be interested for another one”. So, it wasn’t a deliberate plan for the two-album deal; it was just that they asked for two when we said we were going to do one.

What’s the deal right now? At least, what is in your mind?
I don’t know, we’ll have to see what we gets off, you know.

What your gut is saying?
You can sign a ten-album deal and do one, you know what I mean? It doesn’t really make much difference. But they were right to get us a two-album deal, they was right that we’d do another one.

Are there any thoughts of releasing any EP in the meantime?
There was an extra track - we recorded 11 songs for “Atom By Atom” and there is an extra track, so there is a possibility of putting it out as a single, something like a 7’’. Possibly, but still we’ve not even talked about that. We’ll have to finish this tour and after that, sit down and think about what we’re gonna do. So, there is the possibility of the live thing, the live DVD or the 7’’.

Well, the 7’’ will be awesome for us, I mean whoever buys vinyl, if you can make it. And I have, of course, one last question; what about SKYCLAD?
We’re in the studio at the minute doing the new album. It’s nearly finished, we’ll finish it before Christmas and it’s coming out on Listenable Records this April or May.

Nice! How many songs are we talking about?
I think we’ve got... I don’t know how many of them will make it in the album yet, but we’ve done about 13. We had a long time doing it. Some of the stuff there I wrote when we’re recording the last album, so I didn’t stop writing, just the whole band slowed down.

Is there any solid plan when to release this?
It’s supposed to be out in April / May 2017.

Do you have any working title?
Not yet.

Can we hope for a SATAN / SKYCLAD US tour?
No! (laughs)

I know that you wouldn’t be happy doing a double duty but it’d be great for us! You can also get BLITZKRIEG on the same billing…
We could actually just take all three bands and save lots of money on flights (laughs).

Ok Steve, thanks for taking the time to meet us and do the interview - again, it was our pleasure.
Absolutely, thank you guys! Enjoy the show.