took them almost 30 years, before one of the greatest legends of Metal Underground finally visited Poland. Nevertheless, in this case we could, or even should, use the long ago famous catch-phrase ”It was worth waiting”. Sadistic Intent live show on the excellent second edition of Into The Abbys festival (9-10th December 2016) was a wonderful and magical thing. Bluntly speaking, this Californian band, creators of legendary EPs “Impending Doom”, “Resurrection” and “ Ancient Black Earth”, unleashed hell on the stage and under it as well, since the fans gave Cortez brothers much more than a warm welcome. The Cortezes, on the other hand, following the footsteps of the famous conquistador of the same name, kept conquering the audience with every minute that passed and every classic they played.


Knowingly or not, Sadistic Intent aroused their fans’ interest right before the European Tour, when they posted on Facebook a status, which a lot of maniacs considered to be the announcement of the end of their activity. Is it actually happening soon? You’ll see below. The European tour surely wasn’t for the Americans their farewell to the scene, but simply a promotion of “Invocations Of The Death-Ridden” split they have released along with with Pentacle in November 2016. Before they hit the stage, Bay Cortez, bass player and vocalist in Sadistic Intent, agreed to talk to us. That small and friendly musician was nothing like a beast, that roared as pure hell, waving his guitar around not even an hour later. As it turned out, Bay had several very interesting anecdotes to tell, some of them about music scene, and others about his and his brother Rick’s record store.



Let’s start with the question about the Facebook post, which your fans find pretty disturbing, while it suggests the future of the band is uncertain. Many considered it to be an announcement of the end of your career. Are you in fact planning to end your activity?


BAY CORTEZ (BC): It seems I must explain the whole thing, cause I can see a lot of confusion here. It was Rick who posted it and naturally he informed me what he was going to write before. However he never meant that Sadistic Intent was going to disband. It was more like suggesting that we’re not 20 anymore in the first place, and secondly, these are uncertain times and everything might happen. Like we could die tomorrow. What Rick wanted to say was “We’re still alive and playing, so don’t miss the opportunity to see us”. It’s a well-known fact that Sadistic Intent do not play live very often.  It is very rare thing for us to go on the European tour like this one. We’re not going to stop playing anytime soon, our fans can rest assured.


Shortly before the beginning of Sadistic Intent European tour I watched on the Internet a quite recent interview with you and Rick, recorded in the store of yours, Dark Realm Records. One could see a lot of great releases in the background. Are you, in addition to being an underground record store owner, a music collector?


BC: By all means! I collect records, have quite a lot of that stuff. I began as a young kid and enjoy it to this day.


Do you feel like a kid in a toy store, when you’re in your shop?


BC: You could say that, although now I belong to the narrow circle of kids, who own their toy store (laughs). Sometimes I happen to put on sale some stuff from my collection. When I see for example, that some stuff is unavailable for a long time, I can get rid of my own copy of a record or a t-shirt. I buy as well, to be clear (laughs).


When you and Rick were small kids, did you have a common record shelf, or each of you had his own?

BC: A common one. Our tastes were so much alike, that it made no sense to buy the same things twice (laughs). We saved a lot of cash thanks to this.


I would like to look back to your metal roots. How did you happen to fall for metal? I know your father is in some way responsible for your interest in music, but is your interest in metal his doing as well?


BC: Perhaps to some degree yes, however the music our father used to love was more like The Doors and other old rock bands and of course rock and roll with Elvis Presley above all. The more direct impact on our love of metal had the local kids loitering around, or even having in their own families guys who listened to bands like Black Sabbath. We were small bunch of friends. We started getting more and more into metal bands. One of us bought Ozzy’s tapes, the other one Iron Maiden, Rick and I totally freaked out for AC/DC so we kept buying their records. Our mom contributed seriously as well, since it was her, who bought us our first AC/DC album (laughs).


You must remember the first live show you went to, because you simply don’t forget things like that. Was it one of big names, or perhaps some local band? How did you feel soon after?


BC: At first Rick, our friends and I attended the shows of completely unknown bands, who played in the backyards and gardens. The first one was, if I remember correctly, the band of John Araya – Tom’s younger brother. Funny thing, it took place in the backyard very close to our home. Our parents kept us the tight rein at the beginning and didn’t let us wander around, so that we wouldn’t get into any kind of trouble, but that time they let us go. I remember it was complete madness, which Rick and I couldn’t quite understand. I stood in the middle and suddenly everyone went crazy, pushing each other around. I had no idea what was going on and at first I got a little scared, but then I really enjoyed it. I loved the music instantly. Rick and I were like “Man, it’s awesome, totally crazy!” (laughs). I remember, our aunt lived at the same street with Araya family.



Have you ever been to their house?


BC: Yes, many times, because Rick was a good friend of John Araya and his sisters as well. You have to remember, these were the pre-Internet times, so the new music and interesting bands weren’t that easy to find. Arayas had a lot of records and t-shirts, due to Tom mostly. Rick and John are of the same age, they were classmates, so my brother had a quick access to new albums, and so did I. We dropped in to John’s, watched metal videos together, sometimes recorded them. We’ve never got to know Tom better. He was a few years older than John, and such age difference was significant back then.


In one of his interviews Rick presented the origin of Sadistic Intent name. The impulse to choose it was the fragment of Slayer’s song “Angel Of Death”. Have you ever had an opportunity to tell Tom Araya about it?


BC: I haven’t, my brother probably neither. Of course I met Tom personally but can’t say I know him. You know, when I visited Arayas I always got the impression he wanted to be left alone. (laughs) So I kept the safe distance.


I examined the offer of your Dark Realm Records store. You’ve got a lot of vinyl records. In last few years since we observe the growing popularity of this format. Are you happy with this? Do you find the music  from the black disc better?


BC: I like this trend and I have vinyl albums in my collection as well. I remember very well, when Rick and I were kids, who saw the analogue for the first time. We were like “What the fuck is this?!” (laughs). There was a time when the phonographs were out of production, there weren’t even the right inputs to plug them into your audio aids. It‘s been clearly changing from some time, what pleases me. Of course the changes are due to the fact, that fans keep buying vinyl albums. We have a lot of customers who ask about analogue releases, but hardly anyone is interested in tapes. I myself buy vinyl’s from time to time. I’m from the generation, which enjoys looking at the cover, taking out the insert with lyrics and reading them while the music is on. And there is no denying that the music from vinyl sounds better. You can hear every detail perfectly. The price is the only downside. I noticed some time ago, that you have to pay a lot for analogues. Can’t do anything about it though. You want to have your music on vinyl and enjoy it, you have to pay the price.



I’m the happy owner of a book “Murder In The Front Row” by BrianLew and Harald Oimoen, which exquisitely documents the beginnings of Bay Area scene. Unfortunately there is no similar issue about your local scene, and this is why I would like to ask you, how do you remember the beginnings, how would you describe them from today’s perspective?


BC: Our scene was quite big as well. You must remember that it included Slayer for instance. Dark Angel is another big name. Then there were us and Terrorizer too. And a lot of other bands, that kept emerging and disappearing after some time. The truth is that there was some kind of war between our scene and Bay Area. Well, maybe not war, but a clear rivalry. Some crazy shit used to happen. I would say that today our local scene is doing quite well.


Both you and Rick were strongly involved in tape trading. Do you still have any of the demos, records, letters you received then?


BC: I still have a lot of it, although I can’t say I’m 100 percent sure what our collection contains. From the very beginning of our tape trading Rick kept every item he got. I did the same. I suppose I have about three boxes of materials I received those days. There are names, that became really big, there are some issues of magazines, that are very popular nowadays and then they were just breaking through. It worked more or less like this: we sent the tape to some magazine and after some time we received a xerocopy of the page with some material about it, and sometimes even the full issue of this magazine. There’s a lot of stuff from our fans as well. I guess I’m not mistaken, if I say that one of this boxes are just magazines.


What are your memories of your tape-trading times? Was it something you and Rick did permanently or after your daily routines or on weekends?


BC: Oh, man! It was like a ritual for us (laughs). Waiting for the mailman, buying the stamps, preparing the shipment. We were sitting in our room all excited and responded to probably everyone who contacted us. Every week there were loads of new letters in our house. We had a great deal of work with it, but it was almost like some holy ritual. We did it with pleasure and passion. The whole energy we had could supply a huge power plant (laughs).



With all these resources you and Rick could easily publish something like “Murder In The Front Row”.


BC: Without a doubt. The problem is a constant shortage of time. But the fact is that we have quite substantial documentation, which covers the scene of Los Angeles and the surrounding area. Sometimes I hear the postulates that the local scene is dead, that nothing’s going on and then I get completely mad. Then normally I say “You must be mistaken. The scene’s doing great, there’s lot of things going on. All you need is to make some effort and search around”. Rick and I did a lot of our own researches to disclose to the others what was going on with our local scene. Naturally now one has Internet and this makes it so much easier to access the information.

All the more I will try to encourage you to commit the publication on metal underground of Los Angeles. When I was reading “murder In The Front Row” and I saw the old photos of Jeff Becerra, Slayer, Exodus, gigs in “The Stone”, “Ruthie’s Inn”, it felt like real magic.


BC: I know what you mean. By the way, we used to play in those clubs as well. Not many times, but we did. In “The Stone” it was just one time, I believe. At the beginning of the nineties. Just when Metal Blade got interested in Sadistic Intent. The label agent appeared during our show in this club. But the contract came to nothing in the end. The guy told us something like “You are cool, but unfortunately unstable” (laughs).


Unstable in terms of lineup, am I right?


BC: Yes, this is exactly what he meant.


But after all, Sadistic Intent lineup hasn’t been changed so much. Especially in 30 years perspective.


BC: You’re right. But in fact then it was so, our vocalist kept leaving us and coming back after some time. I think it was three times he did a thing like that. It didn’t look very well from the outside. This was why we finally decided it couldn’t be like that anymore and he left the band (Note: Bay means Enrique Chavez). It slowed us down for a while. For someone from the outside it might look like we altogether disappeared. The truth is we played on, but did a very few live shows.


Not so long ago your split with Pentacle “Invocations Of The Death-Ridden” was released. You were working on it in studio with the legendary producer Bill Metoyer. Could you please tell me what kind of experience was working with someone who has actually been present in the business since the day the extreme metal was born? Did you learn something new? Did he surprise you in any way?



BC: Bill turned out to be an extremely nice person. Actually we started working on this material in our store. I mean the small studio we had built on the back. Then however we had to move, because the neighbors couldn’t stand the noise and since we worked mostly nights, they really freaked out (laughs). Rick and I were wondering “Where the hell do we record our drums then?!”. We decided to hit Bill Metoyer. We got lucky, cause there was this guy coming to our store, who was pretty well-connected in the music business. He knew Axl Rose for instance. The other guy worked for Rockline Radio. Interestingly, both guys were buying from us some truly extreme stuff, so I guess they are really into harsh metal underground. For me and Rick it was a complete surprise. Thanks to these two guys we reached Bill. We contacted him a week after talking to them, in fact Rick did, and Bill just said “All right, drop by to my studio and we record the drums”. Our record producer was supposed to be our friend from Germany, Michael, who plays in few bands as well. We came to Bill to set things up and he asked who was going to produce the recordings. We told him about our friend from Germany and Bill said he wanted to do that. We were like “Bill, are you sure? Our budget is pretty tight” (laughs). Bill told us not to worry about money, but he also wanted to be our producer. To make his job easier, I told him that some of the tracks would be recorded with our equipment in the back of our store. We did this to avoid the unnecessary remakes and waste of time, especially because the remake usually turns out worse. So in fact we recorded the guitars, bass and vocals in our store and sent tracks to Bill Metoyer to mix. He sent us back what he had done. The time was short and we wanted to make some changes. The man of Bill Metoyer’s reputation is always very busy. Finally we mixed the material by ourselves and Bill did the mastering. Still thanks to him we got some better understanding of many technical features, he gave us some valuable clues. Very nice man, always supportive.


You mentioned those two gentlemen well-connected in show-business, who visited your store and bought some extreme metal. Could you disclose, if any of well-known mainstream musicians happen to come and buy similar extreme goods, and you could hardly expect them to be fans of metal underground?


BC: Hmmm… There were some people like that. Shit, I don’t know if I should reveal the information like this (laughs). Well, one day the guy from System Of A Down dropped by. The one who plays the guitar.


Daron Malakian.


BC: That’s the one. He came with another musician, I guess it was someone from Christian Death. He prowled around the store for a while looking around and then he started to put whole stacks of CDs on the counter in front of us (laughs). Man, I’m telling you, he took far more than 200 pieces! I looked at him and asked politely but somewhat scared “Do you want to listen to all of this?”. And he said no, he wants me to total and pack them up for him (laughs). He bought real loads of stuff. Left a lot of empty space in our store (laughs). But seriously, he looked like he knew exactly what he wanted. Besides he’s a really nice guy.



I wonder how someone like him found out about your store?


BC: I think I know how. The guy who came with him was not from Christian Death, but from Amen and his name is Casey Chaos. You could say, he’s our good customer. I believe it was him who told Daron about our store, because they seemed to know each other very well.


This is a recurring question in almost every interview with you or Rick and I’m going to ask it anyway. Is the full length debut something you really think about, or after all these years on stage releasing the album doesn’t matter to you so much anymore?


BC: I fully understand that every fan wants to know our answer to this question and have no problems talking about it, neither does Rick. Actually our next goal is recording a full length album. We’re starting to get on with it soon. It gets on my nerves when people tell us we’re lazy or we’re not up for it. They know nothing about how our lives really look like. We’ve got families we need to support, jobs that are important to us. Believe me, a lot is going on. And not all of it we want to discuss.

The album will be released, but I don’t know when. We’ve got the rule not to release anything we’re not one hundred percent happy with. This is why I’m sure, we are going to take a closer look at everything, like under the microscope, we take care of every smallest detail. Our last split was a great satisfaction. This is how Sadistic Intent should sound. This is much better than our previous release (note: “Reawakening Horrid Thoughts” EP). Actually those pieces originally were intended for Possessed, but at the end it never came to this. Still we keep meeting people who tell us: “Don’t release the album! You’re going to kill the mystery around it” (laughs). But we’re going to record it anyway.


The question has just popped in my mind. Before I came to this interview, Motörhead gig had been shown on club bar TV. Who was your inspiration as a bass player?


BC: Of course one of my favorite bass players is Geezer Butler, cause he’s from Black Sabbath and Rick and I simply adore them. His bass passages, all those tricks… Man! He’s awesome. He and Tommy Iommi are the perfect match. I like heavy metal bassists in general. Steve Harris is great as well, but I also like Bill Wyman. I have a big respect for Bob Daisley, the bassist from the first lineup of Ozzy Osbourne’s band. Not so many bass players used their pick in those days, and he did and was really good at it. These guys are my greatest bass idols.


Did they teach you music at school or did you learn to play by yourself?



BC: I’ve never took a single lesson, have no idea how to read notes (laughs). First I tried learning to play the guitar. And I was supposed to be the second guitarist in Sadistic Intent along with my brother. However we couldn’t find a proper bass player, it was really difficult back then. Finally I told Rick “All right, I’ll play bass” (laughs). I sold my guitar and all the gear and focused on bass. Singing occurred much later and in a pretty unexpected way. When we lost the vocalist I told you about before (note: once more, Enrique Chavez), Rick told me “OK, you do the vocals now” (laughs). I freaked out and said something like “Come on, me?!”. Then I said I could try, and so I try to this day (laughs). It was to our advantage. That guy caused problems all the time. He kept leaving, then coming back, then leaving again. We didn’t have time for this kind of shit.


Besides the technique and brutality, Sadistic Intent brings unholy, obscure, devilish atmosphere. How did you and Rick fall for the dark side? Through the books, movies and music, or was there something more?


BC: Everything you said. It began definitely in the early eighties, in our case with horror movies and their soundtracks. I can still remember the impression that “The Exorcist” made on us when we watched it for the first time. And the impression still stays. We went through lots of zombie movies as well. And the masterpieces of Italian horror, especially Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci pictures. We experienced every movie also in terms of its backing music. Our whole world changed when we heard Slayer for the first time. “Holy shit, it’s out of this world” - that’s what we said to each other. Then the completely different dimension has opened to us. There were Venom, Destruction, Mercyful Fate and many more excellent bands.


Before this interview I once more listened to your records and I must ask you about one thing. Wasn’t Rick inspired by John Carpenter soundtracks when he composed the opening number for “Resurrection” EP? I must say, every time I listen to it, my head projects the first “Halloween”.


BC: Man, when I hear it, I simply freak out! (laughs). I can see myself wandering through some cemetery full of open coffins (laughs). But you would have to ask Rick about his inspirations. I wouldn’t be surprised, if the Carpenter’s music was one of them.


If I remember correctly, when you and Rick supported Jeff Beccera in Possessed, you had an opportunity to tour the USA with Danzig. Have you met Glenn? If yes, how is he like as a private person, because the opinions are extremely different?


BC: To be honest, Glenn didn’t leave his dressing room very often and didn’t socialize much with other bands. Yes, I have seen him few times behind the stage, but he seemed lost in his thoughts, so I didn’t want to bother him. Once we happened to talk for a while. I don’t remember exactly the city or state, but it was when I was carrying the gear into the hall we were going to play in. There was Glenn standing in the entrance. I deeply appreciate his old albums, so I thought I could talk to him for a while. I was like “Hi Glenn, how are you?”. He shook my hand, asked me how I was and if there was everything alright on the tour. I said yes of course. “Great, that’s how it should be. We’re all supposed to have great time here” Danzig said.

It was a short conversation, but Glenn was really nice to me. After that he patted my back. For me it was huge. However I know that Glenn can be a real pain in the ass to his techs. The minute I saw them backstage with their heads down, I knew their boss had seriously told them off. The only guy Glenn left alone was John Araya, who also was on this tour. John has a strong position as a tech, and he’s Tom’s brother of course.



What is John up to these days?


BC: I’ve heard he has a band, but I guess that most of his time he’s doing the tech jobs. He was a bass technician back then, so he worked for me as well (laughs).


Recently Glenn played a few gigs with Misfits, I guess in California too, and the drummer was Dave Lombardo. Have you had an occasion to see them?


BC: Sadly no. Although I’d give a lot to be there. The tickets were pretty expansive and, no surprise here, they sold out at once. By the way, Dave is a great guy too.


Do you know him well?


BC: Well, we sure know and like each other, we smoked great deal of weed here and there (laughs). Dave came to some of our shows. He was backstage, talked to Rick before we hit the stage and asked him if he could watch us from behind the scenes. And then he mentioned us in one of his interviews. I have it somewhere at home. We learnt about it from one of our friends and immediately ran to buy the magazine. It was very nice of him. It’s a shame how it turned out with Slayer, that Dave isn’t with them anymore. In my opinion he had a strong influence on the sound of this band. Their new album sounds too flat for me. They wouldn’t have recorded something like this, if he would be behind the drums.


One more question about the album. Do you plan to release it at your own expense, or are you searching for a label?


BC: To be honest, we haven’t thought about it yet. Well, there were some offers, some of them even from big labels. They want to release the album, some box and stuff. From what we already know, what they offer is not worth the trouble. It’s not about giving people anything with Sadistic Intent logo to put on the shelf. When our new material is ready, we can start to talk. The new numbers we have written are much more brutal than those on the split. For now only Rick and I know them, even our two other musicians haven’t heard them yet. They still have to learn them. These numbers will bring Sadistic Intent to a whole new level, I’m sure. But first we need to finish our tour, come back home and then we will start working on the new songs. If nothing gets in the way, the album will come out in foreseeable future.



I must ask half-jokingly. Both you and Rick always stress, that you hate trends and stay away from them. Tell me, which one of the current trends pisses you off the most?


BC: Hmm… What pisses me off are those bands sounding so fucking heavy and hardcore from the start and then, in the middle of the piece, the guy starts to wail with his clear voice (note: Bay tried to perform this manner in a funny way). And these band names, like a part of some sentence, a phrase. Bullshits like I Killed The Prom Queen, Arsonists Get All The Girls. It pisses me off that this is considered to be metal. These groups steal the patents from the underground bands, make some kind of hybrid and sell it to the people as metal. Let them do whatever they want, but don’t call it death metal. They’re neither metal, nor hardcore. But it’s their albums you can find in big stores and they are strongly promoted. And their moronic dancing all over the stage… The kids come to our store asking for I Killed The Prom Queen albums and stuff. We always tell them, that there’s a shopping mall round the corner and they can buy it there, but not a chance we’ve got it (laughs). You can only buy a real music in our store. Maybe we could make a fucking more of money selling stuff like that, but we pass.



The last question. 2017 is the 30th anniversary of the rise of Sadistic Intent, I mean it’s been 30 years since you have come up with the name. This is a big jubilee. Are you preparing anything special? Live shows, a release?


BC: We played a special quarter-century live show, but I must say we haven’t even considered this anniversary. Actually it would be great to come up with something. If only our energy, health and time allows, I don’t mind. We could invite some of our friends to our anniversary gig, like the guys from Grave Miasma and some other underground bands whose hearts are in the right place. I do feel like it.



Thank you very much for this conversation.

Interview  b i Lesław Dutkowski

Foto Live Leszek Wojnicz-Sianożęcki

Poprawiony (sobota, 04 lutego 2017 13:40)