– Thank you so much for answering our interview. How is the band currently doing with the release of «The Cult of Vestal Claret»?

You are very welcome. We are very pleased with the response it has been getting with the critics and the listeners who have reached out to us.

– Tell us a bit about how did this album born, starting off with its title and cover artwork.

The title actually came last, as it was a collection of songs that we had worked on since we came back together as a band in 2011. The cover concept was taken from a drawing that was submitted into evidence in a trail here in the states where the defendants were believed to have mutilated and sacrificed three young boys. We both thought it was a disturbing and eerie image and employed Juha Vuorma of Finland to re create it. Some of the music was written for splits we had with other bands, Albatross & Ungod and was re-recorded partially or fully for this release.


– Digging into the songs, I have had the chance to listen to the album and I liked it quite a lot. Are you guys satisfied with the final outcome? Where did you record it and who helped you to produce it and so on?

Well to be perfectly brief, I do everything as far as the recording is concerned. I engineer it, produce it and mix it at my studio, UP Recording. This helps with the costs of making a record, and it’s a very large part of my job as a member of the band. I always feel I could have done a better job with a record when it’s finished, but that’s normal. I’m overall pleased with the recording, I am able to listen to myself and enjoy it.


– And about the songs; is there any parallelism between them? What does VESTAL CLARET sing about on this album?

The normal fare for Phil’s subjects in this project. Sacrifice, abduction, Perverted men of the clergy, Murder, dismemberment, orgies, Satan and powers of darkness are covered in our songs. There is no concept at work song to song, perhaps someday we can tackle a concept.


– The style follows the good old SABBATH pattern, but there are also details from bands of he NWOBHM, from PAGAN ALTAR to MAIDEN. Are you influenced to some extent by these bands or by any other NWOBHM acts?

I am heavily influenced by Iron Maiden. The first instrument I picked up was the bass guitar and I learned Rush and Iron Maiden songs to teach myself how to play. I generally don’t latch on to music unless it has an earthy sound to it. What happens to drums and bass in many recording studios these days spoils my enjoyment the music, so I still hold the music of the 70’s and 80 very high in regard.


– We can also find certain things close to the psychedelia, like those bands from the 70’s like FOCUS or BLACK WIDOW. There is a song entitled «Great Goat God» that, besides being my favourite one, I think draws a lot from that period.

Great Goat God has been listed as a favorite by many of the reviewers. It’s a pretty simple composition, and I definitely has roots in the 70’s. I grew up in the 70’s so It’s easy for me to relive some of that.


– Talking about the songs, you don’t either leave aside traditional Heavy Metal paces. I think «Piece of Meat» is a good example. And this being said, my questions is if you all cooperate on the