Sadistic Intent - Rick Cortez

How does it feel to be back in Europe playing live again? I believe its your first time back here in something like 4 years?

Yeah its been a little while, I kinda forget exact dates to be honest with you, its been a good 3 or maybe 4 years at least but its really great being here. We arrived here last night and saw a lot of the gigs here. We really like everything about the whole festival, its been really great.

Yeah its a really great little festival with a great atmosphere and there's something different about it compared to some other European festivals

Everything has been really smooth, the weather is great, the organisers know what they are doing and there's been a good turn out so there is nothing but positives from Sadistic Intent so its an honour to be here.

What made you choose Steelfest to mark your European return?

Well to be honest with you we got invited. If we get a decent offer to play somewhere then we usually do it. We are an underground band so it makes it a little bit harder for us to do so many shows compared to the bigger name bands on the big labels because they are already a big name but for bands like us its harder. Sometimes some promoters just wanna look for the big booking agencies with the big name bands and they don't know the underground stuff so they are like "I'm just skipping that" so that just the reality of it. We are pretty fortunate to have done quite a few festivals in Germany, Norway, Finland, we even went to Australia where we did the Evil Invaders out there. We are actually going to be in South America a little later this year for a festival in Peru so that'll be our first time in that country, so for an underground band I think we have done pretty well I think.

Well for me its my first time at Steelfest and my first time seeing Sadistic Intent and it certainly has been a weekend to remember. Your sound was so loud, heavy and crushing making you the best band of the day.

Well thanks very much man. Its appreciated. You know its hard when your on the road man as you don't generally have your own amplifiers or your own drum set, we just have to take what we have there and make the very most out of it but these guys here have great gear. Its just one of the challenges of being on the road man, back home I have my amp and stuff and if I could I'd bring it on tour with with me as its already dialled in for my sound. Its the same thing for all of us. When we are on stage it sounds different from what the crowd are hearing so its all about teamwork with the band and the sound guy that was out there must have done a good job so we are thankful to him too. It seems as if it went down pretty well last night though.

Since your debut demo 'Conflict Within' in 1989 your discography is mainly made up of EP's, how come we haven't had more full length albums from you guys?

Yeah I think it was released in February 89 actually. I'll try to make it quick as its a long story but in the beginning we were a little bit quicker you know. We had a tape that came out in 88, then the demo 'Conflict Within' in 89, then 'Impending Doom' in 1990 and then we did another EP in 91 and then our singer left the band so we are out of commission for a while so then our drummer left the band. By the time we tried to get the line up together again it wasn't until 1994 when we got back with 'Resurrection' which was kinda like the beginning of a new chapter as my brother took over the vocals and then after that we did 'Ancient Black Earth' which was 96/97 I believe and then we did another EP 'Eternal Darkness' the year after. Then we went into the studio and we actually recorded a full length, its was all tracked and all done. In a nutshell we trusted the guy in the studio who we recorded 'Ancient Black Earth' with and we really like the sound from the studio compared to 'Eternal Darkness' and it cost us a lot of money. The record label gave us some money but that ran out so we had to borrow a lot of money which would only cover a few weeks. The guy in studio was getting what we thought was good money but he actually wanted royalties too so thats when things started going wrong and became a mess as he started hiring lawyers etc.

That seems a shame because if you guys were a massive band on a big record label then maybe you could understand it but you guys were and still are an underground death metal band.

Thats exactly what we thought. The way it happened was that the guy had this laptop and one day he decides to do a search on Sadistic Intent and he see's that all these people like us from around the world so he starts getting dollar signs in his head but you know its underground man. We've been around since before the internet, when it was all pen and paper, there was tape trading, so our name went around the world that way but this guy thought he was going to make a shit load of money but he looked at it different, we trusted him too much and it was all a big disappointment as we didn't like the sound or anything so we looked at it as a big waste of time and it really knocked the wind out of us. Then we started having issues with band members so we had to change drummers etc, there was lots of things going on so we decided to put the record on hold. Once we had the new band members in place we wanted them to get used to playing our old songs and making sure everything was in place before we committed to a new record. We put out 'Reawakening Horrid Thoughts' in 2014 I think it was just to wetten your appetite so to speak and that was a unique experience for us because it wasn't really new music to us but we are proud of it.

Where do we currently stand on hearing some new material from Sadistic Intent?

So with the new Sadistic release it will be out this year. Its not actually going to be a full length, its actually a split EP with our good friends in Pentacle. The songs are just about to be mixed by Bill Matoyer who has done bands like Slayer, D.R.I. but he wants to work with us so we are really honoured. We tracked the EP ourselves, recorded it ourselves. We went to his studio to do the drums where he got all the sound dialled in etc and then we went to our studio over at Dark Realm Records so we just tracked it all there ourselves. We've been around so long that we know what to do and what we want.

Will we see you become more of an active band now with a new release due? Over the years shows have been limited I suppose especially in Europe so could we even see you on tour over here?

Well the plan right now is to come back to Europe in December for a tour. There's this guy who ran the Killtown Festival in Denmark who books tours too and he's currently getting the word out for a tour so he's putting that together right now. Im not sure of the exact details right now as he is still putting the pieces together but yeah if things go to plan then we will be back on December 9th and be here until early January.

Do you have any idea if those plans involve a trip to the UK as you guys have never played there before.

Yeah man we really want to come to the UK. We once had a show planned for the UK and it was looking good but we got detained at the border at the ferry crossing. There was this guy who had a really fucked up attitude and he said that he had already seen bands coming through and didn't like it. He seemed to go out of his way making phone calls etc to stop us getting in the country but hopefully we can make it over this time.

Like all genres, death metal has had its ups and downs, obviously it kinda exploded and peaked in the 1990's when it went massive but where do you feel death metal is at at the moment? Do you feel its in a stronger or a weaker place?

We've been into this music for a long time so we've kinda seen all the ups and downs. I remember the early 90's when it blew up, MTV were playing videos so its was really popular but the thing is is that a lot of the fans back then were liking it because it became trendy but as soon as it started going back down again these guys abandoned ship so to speak but as for death metal today, the die hards are still playing it and I think now that its coming up again. I think metal in general is kinda in a better state and I think metal now seems a little more unified. I've seen the scene go through changes but now its seems as if the fans are actually really into metal, whether it be black metal, death, grind, doom but I think the fans seems a little more open now instead of being stuck into just one genre.

So which death metal bands do you listen to at the moment? Which bands to feel are pushing yourself to produce new music?

Its kinda hard for us now as we've been around a while but I do enjoy listening to other bands. You know we sometimes play with some bands and we are like "oh shit these guys are good" you know but as far as bands we like that we've shared the stage with I have say obviously Pentacle, Repugnant, Grave Miasma, Necros Christos, Interment, theres so many bands and these bands actually like our band as well.

The main thing for me about bands that are underground is that they stay true to their sound and style, how do you feel about bands that venture away with their sound as if they are being manufactured by their record labels?

You know man, we have been through ups and downs but honestly we've had guys say to us that we haven't changed our sound, that we are stuck in the old days or whatever but we've never given a shit. We like it and thats all that matters to us you know. We feel the music when we are playing it, theres this energy you know and thats never gone away. Whether its cool to the public, or if its the current trend, we don't give a fuck. We do what we do and we like what we do.

I like it that you guys have stayed true to your sound and thats how it should be but if you compared yourself to say like Morbid Angel who have changed their sound, those records have become less popular and when you see those bands live you can tell and see a dip in the crowd when those songs are played as they just want to hear the old stuff.

Thank you man. Well we like the music and we wouldn't want to change anything. We like the old school stuff that we grew up with and we just feel like that if its not broken then why change it. We aren't going to try and reinvent ourselves as we like what we do.

How are things now between yourself and Jeff Becerra? Obviously Possessed were due to play here this weekend but cancelled. How do you think things would have gone down?

Honestly, I'll tell you the truth. We haven't spoken in years now. He called once after the split but I feel a little strange talking about that or Possessed in general. I realize it’s a part of our history and these questions tend to come up and stuff. However, I’d rather not drags things out with Possessed, the fact is, we are no longer members of that band, and although it ended in major disappointment, I have no regrets. I’m just glad that we had Sadistic Intent to keep us going because without that, it would have been depressing.

Do you think that if they hadn't of pulled out of the fest that you guys may have hung out and had a beer etc?

Honestly, we’d have to be there in the moment, that’s a two way street so to speak, but I don't think that’s ever going to happen again man. That is done and dusted. My conscience is clear.

I'm not saying this in a bad way but I'm kinda glad that things didn't plan out as I may not have got to hear any new Sadistic Intent music or got to see you play live.

Well yeah thats true man. Honestly, it was taking time away from Sadistic. We were not concentrating on new material for Sadistic Intent as that was being concentrated on for Possessed so as far as new ideas etc that had to be focussed on one band as it takes time to put everything together. Sadistic Intent would have still been around but there would be no new stuff for a while.

So were you glad that it all ended then so you could go back to your roots and to your own band?

Well yeah, in a way you have to make the best of it but in that sense yeah as as soon as it was done we came out with a new MLP on the way via Iron Pegasus Records (Germany) and when we listened to it and we are like "oh fuck" so I hope the people who like Sadistic will enjoy it because we certainly enjoy it but as for being out of Possessed then yeah its good as we've put all our focus back into Sadistic. Plus we now have a new drummer in the band which has given us a new lease of life, new blood, so its making this progress in a good way.

Earlier you mentioned Dark Realm Records, so how are things over there nowadays?

Well we started back in 1994 at the original location and in 2000/2001 we got kicked out for being satanic believe it or not so we had to move. Technically this would be the third location as the very first place we had we never got to open it but we stayed there until 2012 and now we have a new place again. For some reason when we moved a lot of people thought we had gone out of business. The city gave us a really hard time. They gave us a bunch of things that we had to change if we want to open like the electrics, heaters, architects so it was basically a mission for us to open up again and it cost us a lot of money so it took a year and a half to get everything straight so people thought we had gone out of business. People have been coming in excited that we are open again but some people have also moved on so its been difficult. We've had enough people coming to break even but its been tough you know. Its hard for record stores nowadays with downloading and the internet and its changed the industry. We are thankful to the support from our families as without them we would be fucked. We aren't rich from doing this but we love metal and its a metal store. We are dedicated to metal. Whether its death metal, heavy metal, punk with bands like Discharge etc, black metal we have it but we are still there and its not over yet man and we have enough people who love it there and want to help keep it open. It kinda all started with Sadistic Intent as we were in contact with bands from all over the world whether it be magazines, fanzines, bands so we get given magazines or demos or whatever

I'm guessing that you get plenty of people come in wanting you to listen to their demos etc, are there any upcoming bands that you can recommend?

One band that comes to mind straight away is Maledict who are pretty cool, they are like black/death. Theres another band called Diabolis, Sacrificer, Horrid, Execution, these are some of the L.A bands that come into the store so we are like ok cool man but if its something I Dated The Prom Queen or something like that then it ain't going to happen.

Well thanks for your time man, Its been a pleasure and I will see you later in the year on your European tour.

Awesome man. Thanks and see you soon.

All photos courtesy of Dawid Krosnia