“One of the coolest things you could ever do in your life is play music.”

The resurgence of ‘old school’ metal bands cannot be easily explained. Is this our music coming full circle or a bunch of old men going through a mid-life crisis? Regardless of the reasons, this unforeseeable rebound has been nothing but good for metal. In a genre where stars have dimmed, a revitalization of the originators that put metal on the map will surly entice the young to revisit the old.

Sacred Reich was once a building block for thrash metal but the band had been dormant for over twenty years, an endless slumber that seemingly no note could reach. Nobody expected anything but back catalog re-issues from the comatose band but Sacred Reich has been awakened…

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sacred Reich bassist and front man Phil Rind. Please enjoy some excepts of our 9/17/19 interview where Phil talks music videos, album re-issues and playing music.

David Halbe: You’ve been off the road for years, what’s one thing you forgot you absolutely hated?

Phil Rind: Nothing.

Dave: Really? You like everything about it?

Phil: I mean, the only thing that’s really a bummer is leaving your family. I don’t hate anything about it, how else are you supposed to tour?

Dave: Makes sense.

Phil: I mean if we had tons of money, we could bring them (our families) with us but that would be another thing. Honestly, there’s nothing that I hate.

Dave: Sounds good. Knowing how many classic tracks the band has and the fact that your pushing a new album, was it hard to put together a setlist?

Phil: Nope. It was pretty obvious to us. I mean, we’ll play half the new record even more when we are headlining. We’re playing like five new songs tonight. We’ve been playing the other songs for a long time so it’s nice to play the new material. We’re not really pushing the new album, it’s just a great mix of the old paired with the new songs that we think people will like, that’s it.

Dave: What does the album’s title Awakening refer to specifically, if anything?

Phil: It works on a couple of different levels. The first one is the most obvious one, it’s hey we’re back. This is the first record we’ve made in over twenty three years.

Dave: Ok.

Phil: There’s also, you know lyrically, the theme of the record is about opening your eyes and looking around, finding out what’s important. On an even deeper level than that, it’s about what kind of awakening are we talking about?

Dave: Right.

Phil: It’s about what’s in your heart. What is the heart saying? The heart can only say one thing, the heart says love. The brain, it says all kinds of things, but the heart only says one. So, if we awaken to what our heart is telling us, how are we going to live our lives? Through love and compassion. The opposite is through fear, anger, division and hatred. So that’s the awakening, opening up to our inner compassion because that’s how we’re going to have the world that we want to live in.

Dave: That is a bad ass concept. What can you tell me about the “Manifest Reality” video?

Phil: We have a friend Mark (Pellington) who directed the “Independent” video back in 93’.

Dave: Holy shit, ok?

Phil: He’s a real director. He also did Pearl Jam “Jeremy” as well as videos for Public Enemy and Bruce Springsteen.

Dave: Ok. Cool.

Phil: So, we’ve been friends for a long time. When the record was ready, we went to him and said we want do these songs and he said I want to do “Manifest Reality” and I have this idea. We were like do what ever you want and that’s pretty much it.

Dave: Gotcha. So, I heard from Joey that there’s a third video in the works? Is that going to happen?

Phil: It’s done.

Dave: Can you tell me what song it’s for?

Phil: “Something To Believe.”

Dave: Kick ass! Considering all these live dates you’re playing, have you considered recording some of these shows?

Phil: Well, you know it was originally a live release that got us back together playing again.

Dave: Really?

Phil: So, I had a friend who asked me one day, ‘Hey did you ever go on Ebay and see what your records are selling for?’ And I was like, what’s Ebay?

Dave: (Laughs) No shit, so this was a while ago?

Phil: This was in 2006 maybe.

Dave: (Laughs)

Phil: So, I find out what it (Ebay) is and I go on there and look and I’m like holy shit fifty bucks! What a rip off and I talked to Brian (Brian Slagel) at Metal Blade and I said how do you feel about maybe doing a re-issue? I said if there’s anyone interested in buying Sacred Reich records, we should make that available to them, so they don’t have to get ripped off.

Dave: That’s awesome.

Phil: So, we all got together as a band and we pulled out all the old pictures and we put out a package and it became cool to like Sacred Reich again.

Dave: Hell yea.

Phil: Then we were like hey, if we wanted to do some shows again do you think anyone would care? I got a hold of the people who run Metal Blade in Europe and of them was the guy Thomas who books bands and he was like come play Wacken (Wacken Open Air Festival – Germany) and we’ll set up a tour and I was like Wacken? What’s Wacken?

Dave: Holy shit!

Phil: I really didn’t know what it was so anyway, we wound up doing a performance there and it was in a way, the start to all this.

Dave: Well, that performance is legendary now, I’m glad you did it. I know your mascot “OD” was created at Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona back in the day. Was it important to have ‘Our Dude’ on the new record’s cover?

Phil: Oh yea. You know, I think he’s really only been on the cover of Surf Nicaragua and I’m like how stupid are we? I mean, we have this great mascot in ‘Our Dude’ (OD) and he needs to be on the cover and Paul (Paul Stottler) was like yea we’re dumb, so we did it.

Dave: So, did Paul do that artwork and everything for Awakening?

Phil: Yes.

Dave: That’s bad ass. Final question, like a Phoenix rising from Arizona, will Sacred Reich continue past this new release?

Phil: Yes. Absolutely. We’re already working on songs for the next record.

Dave: Fuck yea.

Phil: We’re in man, do you know what I mean?

Dave: I do. Just look at this fucking crowd, it’s a Tuesday night! These people are here to see you!

Phil: One of the coolest things you could ever do in your life is play music.

Dave: Absolutely, I hope you keep doing it. Thanks a lot for you time to night.

Phil: No problem, talk to you soon.

Sacred Reich are:

  • Joey Radziwill – Guitars
  • Phil Rind – Bass, Vocals
  • Wiley Arnett – Guitars
  • Dave McClain – Drums
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