ARMORED SAINT TO RELEASE THEIR EIGHTH ALBUM
One of my biggest accomplishments as a podcaster was doing an Armored Saint story tellers episode. In it Joey Vera and John Bush were gracious enough to chat about the band’s history, albums, and various tracks from their entire career. In the event that you want to listen to said episode you can do so here.
To say that I’m thrilled that the band is releasing a new album is an understatement. Given my age, Symbol Of Salvation was the first album that really got hooked on the band. They have been part of the soundtrack of my life ever since. The band has never disappointed since, putting out one strong album after another, culminating with Win Hands Down.
Back in 2015 when the album came out, I felt grateful for all of the great music they had given us as fan over the years. I thought well if this is it, they went out on a high note. The lead off single “End Of The Attention Span” really kicks ass. If it is any indication, Punching The Sky is shaping up to be a monster.
Check out the video for “End Of The Attention Span” off of the forthcoming Armored Saint album Punching The Sky:
Here’s what Joey Vera had to say about the video for “End Of The Attention Span”:
We’ve teamed up with video director Robert Graves for our first single, ‘End of the Attention Span’. Robert got the lyrical content right away and together we delved into society’s ongoing fascination with electronic devices and the insidious disconnect it creates. The irony is that most of us feel connected together through our phone and computer screens, but the reality is that we have created a wedge between ourselves. Our human interactions have been infected with an intense need for information. We’re always ‘looking’ for more. The end result is a very damaged attention span.
He goes on to say the following about the album:
The goal is to write really good music. I know I’m stating the obvious here but that’s about the size of our agenda, we’ve been able to shed a lot of expectations that sometimes plague a band like ours that has been around a long time, and we’ve recently moved into a comfort zone with just being ourselves. We have this kind of freedom now that we didn’t really have early in our career, and we can take some chances and make the kind of music that we want to hear. This record is a reflection of where we are at, right now.
Lead singer John Bush had this to say about Punching The Sky:
When you’re a band that began four decades ago, you really have to push yourself harder than ever when it comes to making a new record. The last thing you ever want is for it to appear as though you were going through the motions or that you’re just putting a product out to do some touring. The records are immortal. They’ll be here long after us. Every one needs to count in its own individual way.
The setup was the same as Win Hands Down for the album, Joey produced while the drums were recorded by Josh Newell at El Dorado Studios in Burbank, CA. Bill Metoyer tracked the guitars at Skullseven studios in North Hollywood, CA. With the vocals, bass and additional recordings being performed at Vera’s home studio.
The album was mixed by Jay Ruston, known for his work with Anthrax, Amon Amarth and Stonesour among others. Joey said this about Ruston:
I like working with people that I trust and have a good personal rapport with. It’s important to be able to work with people who understand what the end goal is.
Vera admits to probably taking on too many roles with the album, but is very happy with the end result of Punching The Sky:
At the end of the mixing stage, I always have a hard time walking away from the project we’ve been working on for so long. It’s hard to let it go. The end result is good though. Everyone played and sang their asses off and it shows.
The album features a few firsts, Gonzo Sandoval plays American Indian Flute on the track “Never You Fret”. Guns N Roses’ keyboard player Dizzy Reed and Uilleann Pipes player Patrick D’Arcy also appear on the album, as does Jacob Ayala, who adds marching snare to a track.
Armored Saint has been around for close to four decades, here’s what Joey had to say about the band’s longevity:
Part of me feels like I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for that long. It’s kind of incredible. So I feel pretty damn lucky really, that we’ve been able to have the support from fans and our record company for all these years. Without this support, we really couldn’t do any of this. So this is the big part of what has kept us going, and when I stop and look around, I am humbled that we’ve had this opportunity to make music and tour for such a long time. That’s what our initial goal was back when we were just 18 years old.
Here’s the track-listing for Armored Saint’s Punching The Sky:
1. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
2. End of the Attention Span
4. My Jurisdiction
5. Do Wrong to None
6. Lone Wolf
7. Missile to Gun
8. Fly in the Ointment
9. Bark, No Bite
11. Never You Fret