Interview by Tony Cannella
Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, the band Savage Master formed in 2013 and released their debut album, “Mask of the Devil” only a year later. They have recently released their sophomore effort, “With Whips and Chains” and let me tell you, it is a metal feast for the ears. The band’s sound is as metal as it gets with more than a nod and a wink to the 80s – just pure, classic heavy metal. Savage Master is comprised of Stacey Peak (vocals), Larry Myers (guitars), Adam Neal (guitars), Brandon Brown (bass) and Zach Harris (drums). There are many good things happening in the world of Savage Master and recently Stacey Peak was kind of enough to talk to Femme Metal and fill us in.
Your second album, “With Whips and Chains” come out in May. What can fans look forward to when they hear it?
If you’ve heard our first album it’s a little bit more fun, but kind of a stronger sense of the direction we want to move forward but at the same time it’s not much of a deviation, style wise. The singing might be a little more on the melodic side, still with a lot of gruffness but a little bit more melodic than the first one. Many of those catchy songs that you can sing along with. We just played our second show with this new material last night, and it’s been good receptions and people are saying they really enjoy it more than the first album, that’s something we’ve heard consistently.
What inspired Savage Master lyrically on this record?
Our lyrics have always been inspired by occult topics and satanic topics, a lot of our own personal philosophies in life like, not letting other people define you, doing what you want to do, having fun, carving your own path in this world.
“With Whips and Chains” is excellent. It has an unmistakable 80’s metal influence. Was that the intention?
Oh yeah, absolutely. All of our favorite music is 80’s, early 80’s heavy metal, like a lot of New Wave of British Heavy Metal, even some of the stuff that the other guys listen to which was like late 70’s classic rock and hard rock. So yeah, that’s definitely what we’re going for.
Who are some bands that you would consider an influence?
We’ve got all kinds of influences. I have a lot of Judas Priest influence, personally, in the way I approach singing in a kind of visual way. I love the band Acid; we really were influenced by W.A.S.P. We just have a plethora of influences.
I have watched some YouTube videos of Savage Master and I must say that the band has a striking visual presentation. Are there any plans to film a video for one of the songs from the record?
Oh yeah. We’re talking about doing a video after the Keep it True festival, which was in early April. So probably after, we’ll start working towards that, getting that together, and getting that out.
The song “With Whips and Chains” is probably my favorite song on the record. What are some of your favorites?
That’s a really good one. My favorite songs on this album are “Ready to Sin” and “Looking for a Sacrifice”.
The band has a unique image, with the musicians wearing something like executioner’s masks to hide their identities. How did that image come about?
That image is inspired by the movie “Black Sunday”, which has an alternate title, “Mask of Satan”. The name of our first album was “Mask of the Devil” so it’s obviously influenced by that. That’s where we kind of came up with the whole idea.
Savage Master is on the “Metal Massacre” 14 compilation. How did that come about?
We got pretty lucky. Our manager – is the guy who runs the label we’re on, Skol Records – got that worked out for us. We are really, really excited to be on it. We’re very honored.
You’re re-issuing your debut album, “Mask of the Devil”. Will there be any extra stuff on it?
No, we won’t be adding any extra material to it. A European label put out our first album, we kind of sold out of it in the U.S. pretty quickly, and that’s the reason we’re doing the re-issue to help make sure everyone who wants our first album is now able to get it. We’re also in a partnership with High Roller Records, so anywhere you can buy High Roller Records, you can buy our album, that way we won’t be running into that issue of running out of CDs and our fans here in the States not being able to find them anymore.
Any ideas of what bands you will be playing with when you do tour the States?
I am not exactly sure yet about that. I hope that many of the bands we have played with before and many new bands as well.
What can fans expect when they come see you live?
We like to give fans what we get out of seeing our favorite bands play. We want to put on a good show that’s really visual, but also the crowd can be involved. There is a lot of singing along and kind of like chanting along with the songs. It’s just a good time, a lot of energy.
One thing I’ve noticed is the songs seem made for a live setting. I can just imagine the fans singing and chanting along to the songs.
We’re always thinking about playing the songs live. We want to make a great record, but we always think about how it will come across live. We don’t want to put anything on the record that we can’t play live.
I’d like to talk a little more about the new album, if I may. Can you talk about the writing and recording process for “With Whips and Chains”?
The writing process always starts with Adam will come up with a good powerful riff, and then we’ll get together and work out the chorus. We’ll get kind of like a skeleton structured song. We’ll go in – we always practice Wednesday, Thursday nights – and Larry will play some guitar solos and Zach will add some cool drum parts and then we’ll kind of put it together and if anyone has any ideas we’ll try them out. We kind of just finish the process there.
We’ve come to the final question, Stacey. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. I really love “With Whips and Chains” and feel that anyone who loves classic metal owes it to themselves to get this record. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans to wrap this up?
I hope everybody loves the new record as much as I think they will. Like I said before, it is getting an even bigger response than the first record and it’s not even out yet, so that’s a good sign. I just hope everybody enjoys it and has as much fun listening to it as we had making it
Stacey’s single by Edward Neary Low
Band Photo by Hayley Fawn Hall