Interview with guitarist Patrick Evil and drummer Anthony Evil Hobbit
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: July 17, 2012
It all started for them when "Metal from Hell" got released on a small label called Web Records in 1986. The record had Leviathan Thisiren, aka Harry "Tyrant" Conklin, as vocalist, who had joined this band after leaving Jag Panzer. We are, of course, talking about Satan's Host here; a Denver, Colorado-based Metal band that has come a long way since they were originally formed in 1977. In 1987-88, Satan's Host broke up after Harry Conklin left the band to pursue his career by joining Titan Force. It is well known that evil never rests too long - and in 1999, Satan's Host introduces L.F.C. Eli Elixir as their new vocalist. The next two releases from Satan's Host, In Articulo Mortis and Archidoxes of Evil brought the band into the deeper and darker side of Heavy Metal. The new, more Satanic era for Satan's Host had begun.
From those days on, the band released four more studio albums, which were more or less successful. Around the middle of 2009, Eli Elixir stepped out from the ranks of the band - and rather surprisingly, his place was taken again by the old demon Leviathan Thisiren. Satan's Host 7th studio album, By the Hands of the Devil, was released on Moribund Records in 2011 and it's safe to say another era for Satan's Host had begun. Also, the band decided to celebrate their 25th anniversary in the later half of 2011 by releasing an album titled Celebration: for the Love of Satan which included two new songs and 10 re-recorded songs.
Currently Satan's Host is working on their 8th full-length studio album, entitled Virgin Sails, which is scheduled to be released by the end of 2012. Both guitarist Patrick Evil and drummer Anthony Evil Hobbit were kind enough to shed some light on this hot topic, among other things, in the following interview for The Metal Crypt...
Luxi: According to some information, Satan's Host formed in 1977, so the band has been around for well over 30 years. I am curious to know what it was like for Satan's Host at the end of 70's when the idea of forming this band first started coming together?
Patrick Evil: I think at that time there was the unknown factor and excitement of creating something that few had done. When the band first started we knew what we wanted to do, to invoke that deep dark fire within ourselves to unlock the mysteries of left hand thinking and to forge Metal.
Luxi: Satan's Host's debut album, Metal from Hell, came out on an independent label, Web Records, in 1986 in a relatively small edition and, therefore, the original version of Metal from Hell is somewhat impossible to hunt down nowadays. Metal from Hell became an instant classic among the true Heavy Metal hunters and it's no wonder why it has also been bootlegged so many times. Could you tell us, from your own point of view, what was the Magick on that record that made it so special for fans of Heavy Metal all around the world?
Patrick Evil: I think what made that album so special was the feelings that we all had and the desire to unleash our sound upon the world. At that time there were no computers - no ProTools, just tapes and finding people to record our music was not easy. We scared all the engineers that worked with us. If you look on the inner sleeve of the Metal from Hell vinyl you can see how many different people were involved in recording us.
Luxi: Then there was this unreleased 6-track effort titled Midnight Wind which was also supposed to come out on Web Records but unfortunately the label went bankrupt before it got ever released. It has also been bootlegged several times so that begs the question: are there any plans to get it officially out some day? Wasn't Danish label Horror Records supposed to release it officially, if I remember correctly?
Patrick Evil: The album was released in very small amounts. The label was more into Hammers Rule at the time than Satan's Host so we were lucky it got out at all. Yes, there are plans to release Midnight Wind down the road.
Luxi: Midnight Wind features a cover of The Animals' classic song "The House of the Rising Sun". Whose idea was it to cover that song for this EP? Obviously some of you guys were fans of The Animals, correct?
Patrick Evil: I thought of doing "House of the Rising Sun" and started playing the riff and we all had fun with the song. I don't think we did it because we are fans of The Animals - we just did it for fun.
Luxi: In the beginning, Satan's Host were influenced by such satanic names as Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Venom and early Slayer, like so many other bands tended to be. Were there other, more obscure (satanic image-wise) bands that you could say had some influence on Satan's Host, guiding you stronger and stronger toward the Left-Hand Path?
Patrick Evil: I wasn't really influenced by other bands, per se. What interested me more and influenced me was my interest in the Occult and Satanism in general. I felt that was my life, so I wanted to incorporate my beliefs in my music, I never really pay attention to what other bands have done, I just concentrate on writing music that I would buy and listen to. There is a great deal of excitement when you start from nothing and create something that gets you excited and make you want to jump up and down.
Luxi: Only a few people seem to be aware of the Chicago, Illinois-based psychedelic, Satanic and occult Rock band Coven that was formed in the late 60's and released three albums from 1969 to 1974. The band's debut album titled Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls, was the most controversial record from them, even containing a 13-minute track of chanting and Satanic prayers called "Satanic Mass." I assume you have heard the record at some point of your life? What do you think of that record and did it have any influence on what you wanted Satan's Host to be about, at least image-wise?
Patrick Evil: I had heard of them and purchased the album. I really enjoyed what they had to offer, I'm not sure I would say that was a big influence on how I write music or image-wise, but it did show me that there were others out there that had the same beliefs that I have, and that makes it easier to attack the music with more strength and valiance. Their style of music was, per se, the direction I wanted to go. I wanted to bring something new and more aggressive to what I believed in.
Luxi: Staying with this topic of unreleased Satan's Host stuff, some sources claim that Satan's Host recorded a full-length album in 2002, titled Legions of the Fire Age, and it was even released in very strict quantities. What's the truth behind this one? If it really was released, what songs were on it?
Patrick Evil: Legions of the Fire Age was actually a lot of songs that were never released or officially recorded up to the standards of what Satan's Host would want to represent ourselves. There were some really great songs so we decided to do a limited production of them, mainly for ourselves to listen to so all the time we took to create this music wouldn't be lost. We made copies for ourselves and few other people and now it is bootlegged like everything else.
Luxi: What about this unofficial Satan's Host live album that was supposedly released in 2001? How much truth is there in these rumors, if any?
Patrick Evil: Yea, that album is called Evil Live. We recorded it the day of my father's funeral and it seemed that there was a lot of emotion involved so we printed it ourselves so that we could enjoy the energies that were released. It wasn't a big release, just a small run, and it was actually the last show we did together with Anthony Chavez on drums.
Luxi: Okay, on to more current news. Celebration: For The Love of Satan was your latest release, containing two new songs ("For the Love of Satan" and "Convictions") and 10 re-recorded songs from the band's early works. The album also celebrated Satan's Host 25th anniversary, offering the fans something a little extra than a lousy and cheap compilation of songs that were already available from your other releases. Supposedly this was the main idea when you started making plans for celebrating the band's 25th anniversary: to show your respect toward your loyal fans by giving them a whole package of unreleased songs. And, at the same time, giving something back to yourselves in the spirit of old times; kind of refreshing all of your memories of the fun and sheer enthusiasm you guys shared when you gathered together to record certain albums. Does this all sound correct, sir?
Patrick Evil: Yes that is correct. I've never been a big fan of compilation albums so when the time came to do something for the 25th anniversary of Metal from Hell, I thought it would reward the fans more if we approached the release as a brand new album. We reinvented the songs with the energies that Satan's Host has with the lineup from By the Hands of the Devil featuring Harry, Marcus, and Hobbit, 'cuz in my opinion this is the best lineup and it was probably one of the best experiences in recording an album I've ever had.
Luxi: This leads me to talk about Satan's Host's new material. You just recently told me that you're preparing to record a new album entitled Vaporus of the Blood. Could you share more detailed information with the readers of The Metal Crypt, like how many songs you are planning to record for it, which studio you'll use for the recordings and so forth?
Patrick Evil: Yes, this new album was tentatively called Vaporus of the Blood but we changed it to Virgin Sails. We wanted to dig deeper and go farther than we have in the past. I think it has been frustrating for us that we get so much great press but it's hard to get promoters and labels, etc. to take notice, so we just keep forging ahead doing the best that we can so when people get to hear Satan's Host it is instantly recognizable beyond what others have to offer.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: Actually we changed the name of the album, though "Vaporus of the Blood" is a track off it. We have eight full tracks and a couple of Patrick Evil's famous interludes that he has done on past records. The whole spirit of the album is very angry, full of piss and vinegar. It's like By the Hands of the Devil but more menacing and angry. We went in with Dave Otero at Flatline. He is like the 5th member of Satan's Host and we just have such a great working system with him. This time we went in and laid all the tracking in no time at all. We went in, not only on a mission, but with a full-out combat campaign. We looked back at our processes and just refined it a bit more and took it to a much higher level. Everyone was well beyond prepared and we just went in and beat the crap out of it. That's our mission, to outdo what has been done in our past and to show the industry we are not fucking around. There is a demand for Satan's Host around the world, and we invite every promoter and anyone else in the industry to jump on the Satan's Host Hell machine. We have the goods, and we have a lot more in store; this is just the beginning.
Luxi: Would you say to all Satan's Host fans around the world that, music-wise, you'll continue from the same place where you left off on By the Hands of the Devil? There won't be a drastic musical changes regarding your upcoming material? Why change an already working and tasteful recipe to something else; it would be rather pointless, right?
Patrick Evil: I don't think you can approach writing an album trying to recreate what you have already done, I think what you have to do is write songs that you love and believe in, and every album you write takes on its own entity and life form. If we try to write in the formula of By the Hands of the Devil then there wouldn't be a big difference between the two albums. I think what music lacks in this day and age is creativity and fear of the unknown causes so many bands find a formula and rehash the same thing over and over. Satan's Host strives to always move ahead and create something new and different for every album.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: Satan's Host is the same, but different (*LOL*) - we grow, we have our signature sound, doesn't matter what styles we meld together, because in the end its Satan's Host. We do it all, Black, Death, Traditional, etc., and Harry can do any Metal vocal style there is out there. There aren't that many vocalists that can do that in the industry. We just grow and play straight from the heart and when we write, we are not thinking "oh we need a Death Metal part here, we need a Black Metal part here...", it just comes out because we have been doing this before all these categories came out. We are Metal - and when Metal is done right it comes from the heart and you feel and execute what the song calls for, we write for the song and ourselves, not any predetermined formula or whatever. We have the freedom to do it and we do it well, naturally. We are the real deal.
Luxi: Has the idea of trying out some special guest musicians for this forthcoming recording been discussed between the band members?
Patrick Evil: It has crossed my mind a few times, but trying to organize times and spots for guest musicians just never seems to happen. On this album there are a couple of guest guitar spots from our producer Dave Otero because he had a lot of excitement and energy involved in the project so it just came naturally for those moments to occur within the songs.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: No, we are really not interested in that, but never say never. If some opportunity came up with someone who has the same amount of conviction entered into the Magick, then naturally I think we would do what would be natural for us at the time. We work fast, so we are mainly about warranting and pleasing the Beast within ourselves at the moment.
Luxi: What about a possible release date for Virgin Sails? Can we expect to get it to our hands sometime during 2012?
Patrick Evil: Yep, we are working on a late summer-early fall release so the album Virgin Sails will be available in 2012 for all our fans. My goal is to have a new album every year for the fans, just like all the great bands I grew up with in the past.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: We are hoping for a late summer-early fall release, that's about all we can say at this point, but yes we want this album out before the winter.
Luxi: Your previous studio album, By the Hands of the Devil, which was released on Moribund Records last year, featured your old vocalist Harry Conklin making a very successful return to the Satan's Host legions. The album received many raving reviews all around the world and I bet the band just couldn't be any happier to the current situation. How much of an impact do you think, honestly, Harry's return to Satan's Host as vocalist has had on your current success? Everybody surely knows what Harry is capable of doing vocally...
Patrick Evil: It's been amazing to work with Harry again after all these years. There's no limitations in what Satan's Host can do; whatever we can dream of, we can bring into fruition. It makes the band more versatile and strong having more options and what we can create.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: I think Harry is the most underrated vocalist in the industry, no one can touch him, he can emulate any Metal vocal style. We can really stretch out our writing abilities with him in the band. At the same time I think the Power~Purity~Perfection... 999 album and the past albums with Eli were awesome, too. No one can touch him as far as Black/Death Metal vocals. Eli was on top of his game on the P.P.P.... 999 album and did a phenomenal job. Eli was a unique force in Satan's Host during the years he spent in the band, and he broke a lot ground and wasn't afraid to sing and conjure up real evil forces with his style. I don't see anyone out there doing it to that level. But with Harry in the band it's given us the chance to hit bigger markets.
Luxi: Do you feel that Harry's strong influence on the rest of the band, on his so-called "'comeback record," By the Hands of the Devil, had a positive effect on your songwriting process for that record? Maybe inspiring the whole band inspired and, in a way, like having a fresh start and being able to do things a bit differently for Satan's Host in general, with some phenomenal results?
Patrick Evil: I never really looked at By the Hands of the Devil as Harry's comeback record. I thought that was supposedly why Jag Panzer did their last album when we did B.T.H.O.T.D. Harry was still in Jag Panzer and we never asked Harry to leave Jag Panzer it just happened that Satan's Host wrote music that allowed Harry to take more advantage of his vocal style and offered more room for him to create. I know deep down inside that Jag Panzer wouldn't be able to continue on after the release of B.T.H.O.T.D. because Satan's Host, with Harry's vocals, is an unstoppable force.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: Yes, having Harry in the band inspired us in certain ways, but Patrick is always inspired and always writing riffs. Making music is addicting to us and whatever path Satan's Host takes will always be productive, the passion is too strong and it has to be done, no matter what position the band is in the inspirations and the desires are always there.
Luxi: What are some of your own favorite songs off of By the Hands of the Devil, and could you briefly explain why?
Patrick Evil: I wouldn't say any favorite song, per se. I think the entire album is amazing and the energies we executed come to life. If I had to pick one song I would probably pick "Revival" only because that was the first song we started working on with Harry and it got the ball rolling for the band to create many more albums to come.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: My favorite is "Before the Flame"; that song sums up the band. If I ever had to pick a song to correctly justify the essence of the band it would be that one, but the whole album is powerful and I love all the songs. There is a different love affair with all of those songs, our whole catalog in fact. Each song is unique and has its own life. I get bored with many bands because they can not accomplish that with their music. Some albums sound like one big long song, they don't take me anywhere. We take you many different places with our music.
Luxi: Why did Harry leave Satan's Host in 1986 to pursue his career in Jag Panzer? Was there any hostility between the other band members due to some inner conflicts about something which eventually made his final decision to step out from the Satan's Host legions?
Patrick Evil: Harry and I tried to continue Satan's Host back then. We lost our drummer and bass player at the time and we couldn't find any other guys willing to work with us so we parted ways on a good note knowing we still had unfinished business together. We didn't know when the moment would be but we did know that when we got back together again it would be something very special because we both vowed we wouldn't do it again unless we could do it the way really felt how it needed to be in our hearts.
Luxi: Satan's Host also has a DVD out called Assault of Evil... 666, which Moribund Records released in 2010. Have you any further plans to get some more Satan's Host material into a DVD format in the near future? I am thinking, specifically, of the show you did at Iliff Park Saloon on June 6th, 2006, supporting Deicide. That show would be really cool to get out in a DVD format, but obviously the problem is there's not quality live footage available from that show... or is there after all?
Patrick Evil: We definitely have plans in the future to do a bigger DVD. I was not really happy with the A.O.E. DVD, but our label wanted to put it our anyways, so I feel a need to do a greater DVD with better quality and a better representation of the band.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: We plan for more DVD projects in the future. I think the footage of that show that is on the DVD is the only footage of that show.
Luxi: What about some touring plans for Satan's Host in 2012? What is on the horizon and do you have plans to get some gigs booked outside of your home ground, the U.S.A.?
Patrick Evil : We definitely want to go out and tour for our albums, we are just waiting for the right people and promoters to get behind us. It seems people are scared to work with Satan's Host.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: We are ready and want to go out but we are just waiting for the right opportunities. We invite all promoters to hit us up; we have the goods, and we are ready to unleash it for the fans.
Luxi: Satan's Host has played just once outside of the States; in 2010 when you played at the "Keep It True Festival" in Germany. Since that experience I bet you have been dying to bring Satan's Host to some known and very well organized European outdoor Metal festivals again. How are things standing for those plans at the moment? Has anything confirmed (un-)officially yet?
Patrick Evil: There is definitely a great demand for Satan's Host all around the world, it's just up to the promoters to make it happen. It pisses me off seeing some of these lame ass bands out there getting support in a way that would go a lot farther and effectively with a band of the caliber of Satan's Host.
Anthony Evil Hobbit: We are available and want these promoters from these festivals to hit us up. We would be honored and will not disappoint!!! The Keep It True festival was amazing and Oliver, the organizer of the festival, is a great guy, completely professional and he showed us a great time in Germany.
Luxi: I guess that was it this time. I want to sincerely thank you, my friend Patrick, for your time for getting this interview done for The Metal Crypt. Lastly, I wish you all the best with Satan's Host. May your path be full of all positive things of life, and hopefully we will get a chance to meet each other at a Satan's Host show some day. Let the last words be yours now...
Patrick Evil: Thank you so much for your support over the years and thanks to all the fans who support us and demand Satan's Host all around the world for together we shall conquer all that opposes us. Buy all our albums and merchandise and let people know your love for Satan's Host.
|Other information about Satan's Host on this site|
|Review: Burning the Born Again... (a New Philosophy)|
|Review: Power ˜ Purity ˜ Perfection...999|
|Review: Metal From Hell|
|Review: By the Hands of the Devil|
|Review: Virgin Sails|
|Review: Virgin Sails|
|Review: Pre-dating God - Part 1 & 2|
|Review: This Legacy Will Never Die|
|Interview with Eli Elixir (vocals) on October 15, 2009 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)|
|Interview with guitarist Patrick Evil and drummer Anthony Lopez on March 14, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)|
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