Hamilton, Ontario. A City that has produced hard men, and like the steel produced in its Foundries, a rich musical history that is beyond heavy. However, the one Band who is determined to succeed as it’s the greatest Champion of all time is Sarasin.
With the release of their brand-new CD entitled “Raise the Pain,” Sarasin are poised and ready to lunge at the jugular veins of music lovers, not just in Canada -but throughout the World. I recently had the privilege to speak with Roger Banks (Drums), who was more than enthusiastic about sharing the latest and exciting news in Sarasin’s universe with the Readers of Ball-Buster!
Mark St. John: Roger what separates “Raise the Pain” from your previous release?
Roger Banks: With Fabian Bortolotto (Lead Vocals) back in the Band and Les Wheeler (Bass) thoroughly entrenched, it feels like a new Band/beginning. We specifically wanted this release to be our most massive most aggressive effort to date. Everyone is on the same page, which is much easier said than done at times …and the group vision, camaraderie, and enthusiasm combined to make this record out best yet! We feel we have found the magic mojo. The Band is on the same page -united. The songwriting is very strong and the direction very focused. But I can’t ignore the fact that we have found a Producer that had equal passion and enthusiasm to bring this all together and mold into the final sound you are hearing. All the pieces are finally in place!! (LOL) “Raise the Pain” is much more substantial than anything we have done start to finish. Our previous albums have had some strong songs and were heavy at times, but there is a sense of increased …anger for lack of better words throughout this one. The fidelity of this release is just incredible!
MSJ: What caused your previous Vocalist, Michael Wilson, to leave Sarasin and how did the reunion with Fabian come about?
RB: Fab was brought back in the fold after Mike left due to health issues. We were writing but hard to focus without knowing who is going to front the product. Greg Boileau (Guitars) by pure luck, ran into Fab at a Jam. They played together, and Greg immediately started freaking out when he heard how good Fab was singing. He approached him, we got together and BAM!! Instant chemistry. Fab’s just a blast of a Guy to be around who makes everything we do fun and he is an absolute monster Vocalist!
MSJ: Julius Butty produced “Raise the Pain” at ARC Studios in Hamilton, Ontario. I’ve seen him front Straitjacket numerous times back in the 1990s. Since then he’s gone on to become a Juno Award-winning Producer. He’s an extremely talented individual who must have contributed elements to further strengthen not only Sarasin’s sound but also their potential. Would you agree?
RB: 1000 percent! “Juice” is an absolute BEAST! Such a pro and I have never met anyone with ears and attention to detail like him. He heard our demo’s and was stoked to work with us. Greg had worked with Julius in the past, and I only knew him peripherally. Happy to be able to call him a Friend today. I can’t say enough about him. A great guy, uber talented and passionate. All the ingredients for success! His new studio The ARC is a top-notch, world-class Facility, we affectionately refer to Juice as our “5th Beatle”!
MSJ: Hamilton has brought forth some of the greatest names in Canada’s rock and metal histories, such as Teenage Head, Brighton Rock, Sven Gali, Forgotten Rebels, Varga, and Ray Lyell -to name a few! What’s the “Steel Town” scene like in 2019?
RB: Never a shortage of talent lurking about the streets of “The Hammer”! Like most Towns, the live music scene is muted as far as Venues go -but it still has great talent without a doubt.
MSJ: Early days yet, but what’s the response been like to “Raise the Pain” thus far?
RB: Thus far overwhelmingly high! We are #1 on the N1M charts both Locally and Nationally, plus we’re nearing the Top 10 Globally! I am away to close to this to be unbiased. But truthfully if you are a fan of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Dio -in general, heavy music with melody, then I think you will love this release!
MSJ: Any plans for a tour or video in the works?
RB: Working in Europe as we speak. Our first show is on April 27th at Hamilton Place Studio Theatre. It’s nearly sold out and will undoubtedly be a great evening!
MSJ: So, what does the future have in store for Sarasin afterward?
RB: We are hammering out negotiations with Record Labels for release of this Beast we’re proud to call “Raise the Pain,” so need to keep it hush. You will be first to know Mark as soon as the dust settles! Lots of great things lay ahead Brother, so stay tuned!