Zeff from Sanctity Interview

Even before the release of their debut album, Road to Bloodshed, Asheville, NC metal quartet Sanctity earned respect and recognition from two generations of heavy metal royalty. First, Trivium frontman Matthew K. Heafy saw Sanctity and was so blown-away that he helped get them a record deal. Then, Megadeth's Dave Mustaine caught Sanctity's performance during a show with DragonForce and immediately offered them a vaunted spot on the second outing of his Gigantour festival. "He came backstage and asked us personally to do the show," drummer Jeremy London recalls. "That was such a huge honor because we all love Megadeth and Dave has been one of our idols all of our lives."

When they supported Trivium at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cobie went along to have a word…

Cobie: So what's it like touring with Trivium?
Zeff: So for it's been pretty fun, the shows have been really awesome and the crowds have been really good. There's not been much of a problem with getting the show going, I know Annihilator had a couple of problems with gear and stuff, but for us, the shows been pretty sweet.

C: Any stories from the road you could tell us?
Z: Well I don't know if you've heard but we were in a car accident last night, we were driving, and I was in the bunk, and it was like "baaam", and our minibus got hit by a car, went off the side of the road, hit a lamp-post, then went into a wall. 20 minutes later, Trivium's bus came down and were like "holy shit" and so we got a ride over here. That's pretty much all that's happened so far.

C: Getting spotted by Matt Heafy and then getting signed to RoadRunner must have been a dream come true, what was it like, and do you think you had it any easier than other bands?
Z: Well, we're lucky, but I don't think it was easier, because that's how roadrunner discovers bands, through other bands they already have. So we've been told to tell them about any bands we see, and that's what Matt did for us. So we've been trying to help out bands that we really like. With us, they happened to like it, but it wasn't like matt gave them a CD and the next day they called us up, it was 6 months later before we got a call. Then we were told to make a better sounding CD, so we made a new CD and Monty said come back and 6 months, so we did that, and he came out and saw us about 6 months later. So it took about a year and a lot of talking with Monty before we got signed.

C: So it wasn't instant success then?
Z: Yeah, that's what a lot of people say, but we got a call in January, and then didn't get anything signed until the next year. So it was still a lot of hard work.

C: What's been the highlight of your career so far?
Z: I don't know… I don't think it's been an actually singular moment, but my favourite part is when we're playing a show, and watching the kids go nuts, that's why I keep going.

C: So not Dave Mustaine personally asking you to join his "Gigantour"?
Z: Well, that was neat, but, Jarod was a lot more excited about it. It was his big moment and Dave was just like "dude I know who you are" and Jarod was like "oh Mr Mustaine!" and Dave just said "Dude, don't call me Mr Mustaine call me Dave".

C: What were the best and worst shows so far?
Z: So far, my favourite to play was Manchester because of the size of the stage, but the crowds in Nottingham and Liverpool were awesome. I'm excited about tonight because we got a really big stage, and when we have a big stage we can all run around a lot more and make the show better, and that gets the kids going for it more.

C: How do you go about writing your songs? Is it a joint process or is it more of an individual thing?
Z: We all collaborate, we usually start out with me or Jarod with a main riff, and we figure out how we can make it better, then eventually we'll have a song, So we'll put it away for a couple of days and come back to it and rework it and rework and get rid of all the parts we don't like.

C: With bands like Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium becoming more and more popular, do you think metal is finally breaking through into mainstream music? What do you think the future holds for metal as a genre?
Z: Metal really never went away, I guess in the popular scene it did, but i'm happy that good bands are getting the exposure that they should get 'cause they're good bands. I think its great that more and more people are getting into heavy music because the people in metal can really play compared to other genres, or at least they show they can play. I guess metal we'll probably get bigger, I mean a lot of 70's sounding bands are getting more popular because of the way music recycles itself. So maybe in a year from now it'll be more like 80's bands, like old school Metallica.


Thanks to Kirsten Lane for her help with arranging this interview.