– First of all thanks for answering to our interview. How is the band currently doing wth the release of your new album?

Eveyone really seems to be embracing the record. We are very excited about it and looking forward to playing live.

– Before diggint into your new opus, tell us how has been to record a new album under the name of SANCTUARY again.

(LR) The entire process has been really great. There have been times of struggles but I think the end result really speaks for itself.


– The album is entitled «The Year the Sun Died». Tell us a little bit about its title and cover artwork. What does SANCTUARY talk about in this new release?

The artwork was done by Travis Smith. He is a very amazing artist. This record really is a story, a concept album so to speak I guess. It’s about a prophet of doom in the future that predicts the death of the sun and gathers a cult following. Really, when you read the liner notes it explains the story a little bit better, because there are little quotes between all the songs that kind of tell a little bit of the story. But at the same time the story is a bit vague, because I want people to paint pictures within their minds about what’s going on. The conclusion isn’t very positive, everybody dies. J


– Listening to the album I think this is an album with perhaps a more modern sound and more modern sounding riffs too, but at the same time you keep the essence of the 80’s USA Power Metal. Are you pleased with the final outcome?

(LR) Most of the process wasn’t really planned out. We knew we didn’t want to sound like Refuge Denied. We are all fans of that record but we felt that we have a more relevant voice as far as the song writing and production go. During the recording process you always feel like you need just a little more time. We are all guilty of being perfectionist but we are very pleased with the final outcome. Our producer Zeuss did an excellent job spurring the best performances possible from each of us.

– Has the songwritng process been a team effort or did most of the idea come from some of you in particular

(LR) The song writing process is much the same as it was before. Warrel and I do the majority of the writing. I usually work on riffs at home and sometimes I build the riffs into a song then present it to the band. Then it goes through an approval process of sorts. Since we don’t all live in the same city sometimes I would bounce ideas off a few friends of mine that I call the B-Team. A lot times I would pound out the basics with the B Team and then when the band got together we would shape and perfect the songs.


– What differences do you think there are between the albums from 1997 and 1998 compared to the new ones? Do you think is the proiper evolution, even thought the years of difference between albums?

(LR) We always try to do something a little different while still retaining our core roots. For us I do believe it was the proper evolution.


– On line with the revious question, nowadays and in part thanks to the easier access to music, your first two albums are considered cult pieces. Have you noticd thanks to all this a bigger interest for SANCTUARY during these last years?

(LR) We all feel very fortunate to be able to have this chance again .We are very thankful to our friends and fans throughout the world.


– Maybe the aforementined is one of the reasons we you are again back on track recording as SANCTUARY?

Yes it helps to have interest in the band again


– As I have the chance of interviewing you I would like you to tell us a little bit about your history. How did SANCTUARY BORN?

(LR) My cousin Sean and I started out the band together. We found a $100 dollar bill on the floor of a record store when we were out getting whatever the current release was at the time. We took the money across the street and bought a guitar. After that time we always talked about starting a band called Sanctuary and spent the next few years realizing that dream. It took us a few years and many different members before we had a solid line up. We were very ambitious . We built a giant stage that wasn’t humanly possible to even move but it looked cool in our huge warehouse that we practiced in. Finally when Dave Budbill joined the band he suggested we check out Warrel Dane. WD was in another band at the time but when he heard our songs he was convinced to join us. After WD joined we rehearsed constantly and eventually decided to record a demo that contained most of the songs on refuge Denied. Our demo was continuously played on the local college radio station. We needed some type of boost to get us to the next level. I remember telling the band I was going to take our demo down to the Megadeth / King Diamond show that was coming through town.I was determined to have one of my hero’s Dave Mustaine hear Sanctuary. I didn’t get to meet Mustaine at least not at the venue anyway. I had a friend with me and he was with two girls, we were waiting behind the venue and I remember somebody said, ‘Hey, Dave is staying at a hotel down the street.’ So, we went down there and walk the floors of the hotel listening for the loudest room. When we found the room the hotel door was still open. We pushed the two girls in first and were welcomed with open arms. Dave was sitting in the corner. He had a reputation that I worried about a bit. He locked eyes with me and said, ‘You! Come here!’ I thought he was going to throw me out. He was drinking Courvoisier. I had never had Courvoisier before. I don’t know why, but we hit it off. He was super-cool. We got to talking about music. Eventually, I said, ‘I got this tape. You gotta hear it! It took a lot of convincing, but I eventually got him down to my buddy’s car. We listened to it and he really liked it. He gave me his phone number and I thought, ‘This isn’t his real number. Dave Mustaine doesn’t give out his real number.’ Sure enough, I called it and on the answering machine was Dave. He called me back a few weeks later, saying he loved the tape and that he wanted to produce us. The rest is history. After that point we did a lot of touring with Megadeth. Dave was a great inspiration and mentor to us all.


– In 1987 you debut album came out, a gem called «Refuge Denied». What did this album mean to you and how were those early days already with a record out?

It was an amazing time for us. We were doing what we dreamed about. We toured consistently for a few years.


– In 1989 you unleashed «Into the Mirror Black», and this was the end of the band. How was the period like and what prompted your dissolution?

L.R.: We got to a point where egos where clashing and we drunk a lot and we partied a lot. It wasn’t about creating music as much anymore. And I think we kind of lost our way. Of course, a lot of people talk about that grunge thing. That was going on, but that didn’t have anything directly to do with us breaking up. We were really just a couple of dicks that couldn’t’ get along anymore, so we decided to call it a day and it was probably the best thing for all of us at that time. Eventually, we found our way back to being good friends and everything and we worked though some of our issues. Actually, we can still be dicks, maybe we drink a little more than we’re supposed to , but we found a way to be a little more tolerant and just work through it. We’ve grown up a lot since then too…


– And well, we all know Warrel and Jim were involved in NEVERMORE. Did you ever think during these years about recording again wth SANCTUAYR? How were those years leike?

I really didn’t expect us to be back together again and definitely didn’t expect to be recording with Sanctuary again. During that break I played in some local bands in Seattle and I also produced a few demos for local bands. Including the Dreaming Neon Black demo for Nevermore. We were all still friends even though we no longer in a band together.


– Coming back to the present days; how’s the tour situation to support the album live?

We have a US west coast tour in November and I believe we will also tour in Europe in March. This has not been confirmed yet but I do believe it will happen.


– Which songs do you think would work the best on stage? Which are your favourite ones to play live?

I think we are going to play the first 4 songs off of the new record. I would say my favourite are Let the Serpent Follow Me and Arise and Purify.


– And on a view to the future, will there be more albums by SANCTUARY? Is there anything you haven’t done yet but you would like to do? Or what are your future plans?

We do plan on recording further albums. I think we will continue as long as the chemistry is good and our fans enjoy the music.


– That’s all from our side, our best wishes and hope to see you in Spain and Europe soon. Thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. We are looking forward to getting out to Spain in the near future.


Paco Gómez


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