Monday, February 9, 2015

Sardu Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Baron Sardu (aka. Ionas von Zezschwitz) here, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist for speed metal punks Sardu out of Barrie, Ontario, Canada. We come from a local independent film/music group called She Died Productions, and everyone who’s played in the band so far is a core member (drummer Bone, bassists Maskab and Taso Loko). We are also responsible for the cult zombie film Walking Among the Dead, a lot of YouTube comedy shorts, as well as representing the all-female hardcore band Beaver Slap, and roots rockers Mickey Moone and Rebecca Wilde. Sardu is a project I began writing for back in 2009, with our first live appearance happening in early 2012. Currently I’m building a new touring lineup to support our debut record Standing at the Precipice, available now on tape from Fuck the Mainstream… We Are The Mainstream Records, and out on CD through Barbarian Wrath in April 2015.

2. On Halloween you had released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

The sounds you hear are a stew of 80’s extreme punk and metal sounds, ranging from Discharge and Amebix on the punk side, to Venom, Bathory et al, on the metal side. The list would be as long as my arm if I mentioned all the inspirations, but there’s also some 90’s black metal vibe there in the form of the Greek scene, and Norwegian stuff like Immortal and Darkthrone.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Thematically this album is a concept record in the tradition of Hawkwind, Rush’s 2112 and The Omega Man, a story about The Vagrant, a social pariah who witnesses the downfall of mankind and ultimately becomes the lone survivor of total extinction. The songs explore his spiritual journey beyond human consciousness as well as recounting his experiences during the end times. He is accompanied by a bird totem which guides him to his destiny as the Champion of Our Doom! I enjoyed pairing some proggish ideas with a really sleazy speed metal sound! I feel like it’s a modestly new spin on the black-thrash and metalpunk archetypes.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sardu'?

If you want to do some research, simply track down a copy of Troma Team’s 1976 grand guignol horror film Bloodsucking Freaks, which was shot under the title Sardu: Master of the Screaming Virgins!

5.The band members are the founders of a musical/film group called 'She Died Productions', can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Answered in #1

6. Has the band done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?

We have done a fair amount of live shows over the past couple years, mostly in our home province of Ontario, but we have plans to do some more extensive touring in the years to come. We’d especially like to tour Europe and South America, which is where we’ve picked up the most international support! It’s just a matter of finding the right people to round out the lineup.

7. The cassette version of the album was released on 'Fuck The Mainstream...We Are The Mainstream Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

FTMWATM Records is run by a metal punk maniac named Stefan Hertz out of Bautzen, Germany. He has put out a number of excellent tapes by like minded acts such as Whipstriker, Iron Fist, Motor, as well as our  fellow countrymen Iron Dogs! If you are a tapered, make sure to go check out his stuff!

We have also signed with another excellent German label Barbarian Wrath for the CD edition, which is very exciting for me as a fan of their work in underground metal. They are home to some great acts like MEGIDDO and COUNTESS!

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of underground metal and punk?

I’ve been quite humbled at the great feedback and support for the band and album from fans, other musicians, and writers. This band is very important to me, and I look forward to twisting some brains with every upcoming release!

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I already have an album’s worth of songs in various stages of completeness. This next record will break from the concept approach, and be more stylistically diverse, employing some more melodic (but still gritty as fuck!) speed metal, trad metal, as well as some simpler straight ahead punk stuff. Also the lyrics will be more grounded in my personal view of the world. Following that album, I’d like to return to another heavy concept, perhaps more of a sic-fi thing. Time will tell where the inspiration lies!

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I’ve already mentioned some of the more obvious influences, but I should mention that I grew up a punk/rock ’n’ roll kid obsessed chiefly with Bo Diddley, Motörhead, The Clash, American roots music and Jamaican stuff. I have wide ranging tastes, and all those influences affect my musical approach in subtle ways. It was only in my 20’s that I was introduced to more extreme punk and metal and fell in love, but one never really escapes one’s early loves.

These days, I listen to a lot of old heavy metal and prog, as well as keeping up with my fellow metal punk acts. The bands that I have probably driven my girlfriend half crazy with over the past year have been Rush, Iron Maiden and Scorpions, but there’s also a ton of more underground stuff in the mix. My favourite albums of 2014/15 off the top of my head are Zemial - Nykta, Satan - Trail of Fire, Scanner - The Judgement, Crotchmutt - And Now... EP.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I do a lot of art and design, both as the in-house guy at She Died and for metal/punk acts all over. You can check out some of my work at http://facebook.com/ionasart

Myself and my She Died brother Mickey Cardoni (aka. Bone, Mickey Moone) are also a dynamite filmmaking team, and we are currently developing our second feature film, which is a deadly genre cocktail that will definitely appeal to fans of Sardu!

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

I’d like to shout out my brothers in Crotchmutt, Germ Bomb, Iron Fist, Bonehunter, Whipstriker, King Humungus, Epi-Demic, Bomb Scare, Speedboozer (RIP), Fred Lake and all the MPDS sisters and brothers worldwide! Thanks for the opportunity to do this interview, keep it fast and loose! 

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