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Sacrosanct's Randy Meinhard: "…Maybe we were a bit ahead of time releasing "Tragic Intense“ back in the day. I do not feel sorry for the decisions we made. Most bands have their "Tragic Intense“ album in their back catalogue..."

Interview with Randy Meinhard from Sacrosanct
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 May 2019, 11:07 PM

The Dutch Sacrosanct, similar to a chosen few in the late 80s, was a promise that could have evolved into a juggernaut. However, time and fate had different plans and the band was disbanded into the 90s. A little while back the band resurfaced, even wrote and recorded and new album in the process. With an agreement with their local Vic Records, Sacrosanct's early discography was reissued in various forms, giving a chance for the Metal scene to get to know a past prodigy. Steinmetal had a chat with the band's mastermind, Randy Meinhard, regarding the reissues, coming back and a few memories  

Hello Randy, it is an honor having you for this interview for Metal Temple magazine and also officially welcome back to the Metal scene with your Sacrosanct. How have you been?

Thanx a lot, it´s my pleasure!! Oh, I had a great time. Even though I was not really active in the metal scene music-wise I was always quite close to everything due to the fact I was working at EMP Merchandising. 2016 started everything again but I guess I am able to tell you more about that later…

Though the band released a new album recently, we are here for a different reason. Something old, something nostalgic and beautiful. Through the Dutch label, Vic Records, the band’s early 90s discography is about to be re-unleashed in a remastered form. I have to say that it is quite an occasion and a smooth sailing back in the fold. How do you feel about that?

Yes, we released „Necropolis“ on the 30/11/2018. That was also the digital release day of our complete back catalogue via ROAR Records.

I am happy that all the work now results into some great physical releases via VIC. "Truth Is- What Is“ and "Recesses For The Depraved“ were already released on the 16.11.2018 and the CD remaster release of "Tragic Intense“ took a bit longer. For me it was always clear that it must be something special. So I really worked hard on all the remasters and had a great support by Roel (VIC), Max Morton (who did the remaster versions) and Wouter Wagemans who worked on the booklets.

Was it you who initiated contact with Vic Records about reissuing the albums? I have the feeling that you know Roel Van Reijmersdal, owner of Vic Records, for quite some time.

Nope, to be honest Roel was the guy who started everything all over again. We were chatting every now and then and we became friends. He was also the one who started the Sacrosanct Facebook page.

Any particular reason why not reissue the albums right when those were out of print? Or was it a strategic move in order to get Metalheads to listen to your old stuff right before dwelling on your new material?

Yeah, let me please explain how everything developed. As Roel contacted me the first time, I told him that I am not interested in doing those re-releases. I already had a vision how everything should be realized then and it was clear it would be a lot of work. Not talking about the costs or getting any money back later. So it took a few more years!

In Summer 2016 I met Roel and also Collin and Mike (Kock, both on "Tragic Intense") to talk seriously about the Remaster idea. At that time I also started recording first new ideas. We sadly had some delays on the remasters for different reasons and so the funny thing is that "Necropolis" could be released almost at the same time.

Other than the albums’ tracks being remastered, in order to provide a contemporary touch, what can you tell regarding the reissues? What is in store for your early fans and new listeners?

Well, of course it´s primarily for the fans. We also received a lot of requests from that side. But it was also a personal thing. My vision was to bring those tracks to 2018. But without cranking everything up and mess around with digital filters and stuff. Of course it was clear to use the digital possibilities but not in that way. For me it was clear that we would treat the old stuff with respect. Max Morton was the perfect guy for this job. We already worked on "Necropolis" at that time and I asked him if he is also able to work on the remasters with me. He directly understood my wishes and he did a great job. So we never touched the original idea, but worked on the tightness and also on some frequencies. Talking about the booklets we also took the chance to redesign everything to make the cover artworks shine and we also could tell the Sacro-story. Thanx to Björn Thorsten at that point for writing down everything from his point of view!

Through the albums in question, what can you tell of the band’s musical progress? While sounding like raw Technical Thrash Metal, which reminded me of Artillery, to a slightly groovy, but still in terms with progression, only later to dive into a form of Doomish Thrash Metal. Was a natural process due to influences, or were you merely experimenting?

Mhh, that’s hard to say. Just listen to the bonus tracks on "Recesses For The Depraved“. We recorded "Quarantine“ and "Mental Reincarnation“ quite a time before we did " Recesses For The Depraved“. We always had a lot of melodic influences, while most of the bands tried to play faster and more brutal. That was never our idea of making music. Of course I still love the old Death Metal stuff  like Death, Possessed for example or bands like Dimmu Borgir and lots more but I am also a big fan of the classic metal tunes or more progressive stuff like Fates Warning and Threshold. Including "Necropolis", I would say it was a totally natural process.

Which of the early albums are your favorite I wonder? What did your chosen album mean to you?

In my opinion they all have their great moments. "Truth Is- What Is“ is so special because it was our first one. I love "Recesses For The Depraved“ for its darker moments and Tragic for the sadness, tragedy and the cool songwriting process. "Tragic Intense" is much more song orientated and so is "Necropolis", but again this one goes a few steps further.

Looking back to the old days, would you have done anything different? Maybe make better decisions regarding your music and career progress?

Well, I am still happy how everything developed. I had great jobs and still have so that I am now able to work on the things I like. That also includes the rest of the guys who did "Necropolis" with me. Let’s see what’s coming next.

Would you care to share fond memories of the band’s first period? What made things tick back then?

To be honest I am a guy who is always looking forward. Not back. But talking about memories the Dark Angel tour was very special to me personally. We had great moments.

Sacrosanct parted ways with the Metal scene back in 1994. I know that you have been asked about it a lot, but in light of your comeback, would you care to remind the readers what happened back then? I believe that you guys could have been something, even in the hardships of the 90s.

Thanx man. You know, it felt like sitting between two chairs and maybe we were a bit ahead of the time releasing "Tragic Intense“ back in the day. But hey, I do not feel sorry for the decisions we made. Most bands have their "Tragic Intense“ album in their back catalogue. And to be honest by writing "Tragic Intense“ we had such a great focus on the songs and the structures…I´ve learned a lot by doing this. The album also received great reviews but we lost our energy and interest somehow. It was also a very intense time. And the band couldn’t reach a sovereignity because of line-up changes, label issues and so on. Then you have to make decisions.

With the new album out, are you guys planning on supporting it live or merely keep it as a studio affair?

"Necropolis" was purely planned as a studio project! Kees and Richard mentioned it somewhere along the way that this should also be performed on stage. Actually first hand picked gigs are confirmed.

Randy, it was a pleasure having you for this interview. Blasting with history was just what the Metal scene needed, and I am glad that you made your past journey available once again. I wish you all the best of luck with the new album

Thanx my friend, my pleasure!! Greetings from the guys and Stay Tragic!!
 



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