When it comes to the Indy music scene, there’s no one else who brings the metal quite like Sacred Leather. Riffs, image, stage presentation – it all harkens back to the classic 80’s bands like Priest, Maiden, and Dio, But all the leather in the world wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference if the songs didn’t kick ass, and there’s no doubt about it – Sacred Leather kicks ass. But don’t just take my word for it; they’ll be at The White Rabbit Cabaret this Friday, Feb. 2, along with Wretch and Ward No. 6, celebrating the release of their killer 2-song single Chrome on cassette. Guitarist The Devil’s Hellion was good enough to answer a few questions for us ahead of the gig.
Indy Metal Vault: Hey, man. Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. We caught you guys when you played with Goatsnake/Pelican/Bongripper, and that set was a hell of a lot of fun – looking forward to seeing you again on Friday. So to start off, can you tell us a little about how the band came together? Was the goal from the start to play a sort of 80’s Priest/Maiden classic style of metal, or did your sound naturally evolve in that direction?
The Devil’s Hellion: Sacred Leather began with Jailhouse, Magnus Ironslut and myself (The Devils’ Hellion) a little over two years ago. We were determined to play heavy metal in a way which we knew was right… the rock and roll way! The way that the greats of THEN AND NOW play it and the way we will continue to do it! Regardless of specific band or genre or whatever the fuck ever influences, if it isn’t rock and roll it can’t be heavy metal and if it isn’t heavy metal; who GIVES A SHIT?! HAH! With time, the line up has changed, people and roles have changed, but, the vision has always remained. If you want to discuss what bands we are juiced on, well, that’s something that you may have to catch one of us or all of us at a heavy gig to discuss over a drink or three.
IMV: The video for “Prowling Sinner” is pretty fantastic and totally takes me back to the kinds of videos I’d see on Headbanger’s Ball when I was a kid. How did it come together? I know that your bass player Magnus directed it, but did you guys come up with the concept as well?
TDH: We absolutely came up with the concept with influences of various horror and biker club films. Magnus did a tremendous job directing it, The Highway had a lot to do with the production as well. Everyone had a serious input… we put our blood, guts and steel into the production of that video in order to give everyone a piece of our mind, visually. That is something you can count on from Sacred Leather, because beyond the songs themselves, if you come see a live show, you WILL realize this is much more than some ass-scorching heavy metal bangers, it is an entire visual performance that you can take with you past the show. The people at gigs deserve it and there just aren’t enough bands that care to give it to the maniacs who are paying to get into these shows. That really is a shame, you know? We are here to fill that void in every heavy rocker’s life.
IMV: So not only do you play a more classic style of heavy metal, your guitar and bass tones sound right out of the 80’s as well. What do your rigs look like? Are you using a lot of 80’s gear?
TDH: That is an aspect of the band you would just have to see in person. No matter what we are using, the gear is just projection. We will play the songs and it will always sound how we perceive is right for what we are playing.
IMV: Friday’s gig is the official release show for the cassette version of Chrome. I’m curious – why cassette instead of doing a 7″ vinyl? Any plans to release it on any other formats in the future?
TDH: We will be releasing cassette because it fit the aesthetic of what we wanted for these two songs. If a label were to pick these up and suggest a 7″ then we could go from there but as it stands it is a cassingle with a killer B-side, and this being our first release with our singer, Wrathchild, it seems to be going over great. We are sold out of the Chrome cassettes and we have a batch of red cassettes for the show. As for new formats, well we are ready for vinyl as soon as a label is!
IMV: What’s the rest of the year looking like for Sacred Leather? You’re hitting the road soon, right? Any new music in the works?
TDH: New music always in the works. Some of which will be played on Friday! Of course we have our tape release on February 3rd which will be accompanied by the absolutely crushing trio you know as Wretch and also opening will be Ward #6 whom if you are not yet familiar with you can take this opportunity to educate oneself in the art of absolute self loathing. After that we will be kicking off the SADO MASSACRE TOUR in Indy with the Blood Royale and Photian Schism on March 13th at State Street Pub and will follow with 8 dates east and south of Indy, which will be announced in the weeks to come. Beyond that a lot of plans already in the works plus things we can’t even predict, so all we can say is, stay tuned, STAY HEAVY STAY METAL AND DONT BE CAUGHT DEAD WITHOUT YOUR LEATHER !!!!
Clayton T. Michaels (Senior Editor) is a mild-mannered college English teacher by day, and a craft beer drinking, black metal and grindcore loving misanthrope by night. He’s also an award-winning poet and rabid Red Sox fan. Send him your promos at [email protected] You can also find him posting pictures of black metal cassettes and beer can labels on Instagram as @ironhops.