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Savage Machine

Savage Machine uit Denemarken brengt met ‘Abandon Earth’ een zeer sterk album uit. De band is al een tijdje bezig en heeft eerder twee EP’s uitgebracht. Dit nieuwe alum heeft echter veel elementen in zich om uit te groeien tot een regelrechte klassieker. Zoals je in mijn review van het album, welke eerder al verschenen was op Lords Of Metal, kon lezen is het een zeer gevarieerd album geworden. Dit verpakt in een interessant futuristisch beeld heeft ervoor gezorgd dat we de band maar eens opgezocht hebben om tekst en uitleg te geven. Zanger Troels Rasmussen was zo vriendelijk om ons te woord te staan en zijn band te presenteren.

Door: Henk | Archiveer onder heavy / power metal

Hey guys, congratulations on your first full-length album. Since you were never interviewed before at Lords Of Metal would you be so kind to introduce yourselves to our readers?
Hi Henk, thank you so much. We are very happy people are taking an interest in our music. Savage machine is a five piece traditional/power metal band from Aarhus, Denmark with Jacob (guitar) Simon (rhythm guitar) Benjamin (bass) Martin (drums) and me, Troels (vocals) behind the wheel. The band was formed back in 2010 by guitarist Jacob and drummer Martin who knew each other from other musical projects.

Can you tell where the album was recorded and how you came to work with Tommy Hansen?
We recorded ‘Abandon Earth’ in Tommy’s Jailhouse studio in his hometown of Horsens. We knew Tommy from his work with Helloween and Pretty Maids. In 2013 Jacob was getting married and as part of his bachelor party we went to visit Tommy in his studio to share some stories and laughs from his time with Helloween (Jacob is a huge Helloween fan). We clicked immediately and a year or so later we went to record two songs, ‘Event Horizon’ and ‘Savior’, which are also featured on ‘Abandon Earth’. Tommy is a pleasure to work with and we loved his very clean and unique sound. So naturally we went back to record the whole thing.

The album tells the story of the war between men and machine. How did you came to this story and do you see it as something that could happen in the future.
‘Abandon Earth’ is sort of a sequel to our previous record, ‘Through The Iron Forest’. Only this time I wanted to write a story, not centered on earth, but mankind leaving earth behind, in search of a “brighter” future. The story revolves around a subject that I think, at some point, we are going to have to address. Overpopulation, starvation, global warming, are all warnings of a choice we need to make. If mankind are to survive as a species we have to find a new home at some point.

Are there any plans outside of the album to do with the story? Can we expect something in upcoming videos maybe that will support the story?
If it were up to us we would do an entire movie, based on the album. Unfortunately we don’t have that kind of money (laughs). But a music video or two? Absolutely!

Without spoiling the excitement of hearing the CD for the first time when our readers buy it, can you go through the songs starting with ‘Exodus’?
‘Exodus’ starts of the record with a lovely, almost melancholic piano intro before Jacob and Simon’s guitars light everything up. This is where the rockets take off. An all hell breaks loose kind of track.

‘Age Of Machines’ allows you to stay behind on earth just a little while longer, dealing with the subject of our man-made friends, inheriting earth. Fast riffs, heavy drums and a melodic chorus is what make this song work so well.

‘The Hunter’ is about the greatest hunter that ever lived, Orion. This is where everything explodes. An all-out “fuck you” from start to finish.

‘Time Traveler’ starts of gloomy, with a mix of beautiful guitars and stunning vocals. This is a track that keeps progressing, ending in a solo of epic proportions!

‘Behind The Veil’ is the odd song out. Featuring only guitars and vocals. A kind of different ballad from what we have done before. A beautiful track about the masters behind the curtain.

‘The 4th Dimension’ tells the tale of death and what might lie beyond. An edgy guitar riff sets this song in motion, slowly building towards an upbeat chorus and a screaming end.

‘Fall Of Icarus’, this is where the bass gets funky, starting the song with an intro that shows just how skilled things can get.

‘Event Horizon’, this is where you get to bang your head, but hurry, the song weighs in at just over two minutes. Like a good fast kick in the head!

This is the mothership. ‘Savior’ tells the tale of what mankind is capable of believing in order to fill the gaps, so to speak. It is inspired by the various religious sects around the world, including the famous Heaven’s gate, mass suicide. This is a gloomy, powerful, monster of a track.

‘Welcome To Hell’, marks the end of our journey. This is where the rhythm section takes over and carries this one all the way home.

In my review for the album I described your style as mix between Nevermore, Iron Maiden and Megadeth. Any thoughts on that and what would you say were the biggest influences for your band?
Well it sounds to me like we are in great company then! (laughs) But honestly, it is hard to pinpoint what exactly inspires us. We all listen to tons of different metal and, obviously, when it comes to my singing I can only speak for myself. I used to rehearse a lot of Judas Priest, Queen, Iron Maiden, Metal Church and Artillery. As a band we’ve always liked to compare ourselves with the monsters out there, Maiden, Helloween and Priest.

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The songs ‘Event Horizon’ and ‘Savior’ were already released back in 2016. Did you re-record them for this album? Were they already part of the album's story back then or did you build them in?
‘Savior’ and ‘Event Horizon’ served as kind of a test run, to see if we liked Tommy as our producer. Back then we had already started work on Abandon Earth and had a pretty good idea of what the record was going to be about. The two songs were not re-recorded, they were re-mixed and remastered though.

Why did you decide to release the album yourselves? I can imagine with the quality you bring there must be some labels that are interested.
Of course we have had our fair share of talk with labels. That is one of the reasons it took so much time to get the record out there. We released ‘Through The Iron Forest’ and ‘A World In Ruins’ ourselves and, we knew that it was an option with ‘Abandon Earth’ as well. We had a talk with our manager Axel (Rock N Growl) and knew that the label had to be of a certain size, for it to make sense and we did have a lot of bites, but we just couldn’t get behind certain points in the contract. So we decided to say fuck it and do it ourselves!

In 2015 you guys played already at Wacken. I would say a great accomplishment without having the support of a label or a full album in your pocket. What was the story behind that?
Ah yes, WOA in 2015. Well, we joined the Metal Battle circuit here in Denmark, and won the chance to represent our country at the WOA finals. Twenty-nine bands each get a twenty minutes set to show what they can do and besides the fact that heavy rain actually caused a power outage in the middle of our set, we managed to finish fifth. Something we are very proud of. Wacken Open Air is a hell of a festival and we would love to come back someday soon, maybe even play a little bit longer.

Can we expect some touring activities from Savage Machine as the album is released? You already toured here in the Netherlands, any memories on that?
We love touring as much as possible and of course we want to cover as much ground as possible once the record is out. Yes, I believe we played two concerts in the Netherlands, supporting Lords Of Black. The first was at this big beautiful venue in Zoetermeer, de Boerderji, I believe it’s called. We stayed at a bed and breakfast outside of town with some very nice people. Don’t recall the name of the place I’m afraid. That was actually one of the nights we decided to cut loose a little. We got like four hours of sleep and I remember being very hungover the next day. But it was a great night! We are hoping to put together a small tour south of the border when the album is released. We would definitely love to play the Netherlands again!

If you can pick a band that you would like to go on tour with, which band would that be?
Well we have got the obvious bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween etc. If could choose a scenario that might actually happen sometime sooner than later, then it would be with Hammerfall. I think we would be an awesome fit!

How do you see the future of your band and the future of metal? Do you think there will be a market for heavy metal for years to come?
I’d like to think that one day Savage Machine will walk the footsteps of our heroes. Nowadays a lot of the mastodons call it quits, and because they have been around for so long this is going to cause quite the void. But I think once that space is available, someone will grab the chance and occupy it. As long as people listen to metal I believe there will be a market for it. And I think people will listen to metal for a long time to come.

Thank you for taking the time for the interview. I hope we see you guys soon somewhere nearby. Any last thoughts or something that would like to mention to our readers? The stage is yours!
I would like to encourage people to support their local artists. We don’t make a lot of money doing what we do, and it’s you guys keeping us alive. It means the world! Also if anyone would like to see us live in your town, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We love playing new places. See you on the road!

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