First of all, what's the history behind the band?
- SITHLORD began in 1998 under the name ENMITY, with Saundies (lead guitar) and Jason Dutton (drums) wanting to play the music they loved best - real 80's thrash metal. They had recruited a vocalist and bass player but they didn't work out due to differences in musical direction. I joined the band halfway through 1998 as the second lead guitar player and Saundies took up the vocal duties as well as playing lead guitar. A bass player, Gash, was included in the lineup and we rehearsed solidly. We played one show with Gash on the 22nd of May 1999, and we parted ways with him due to personal ifferences. Our current bass player, Jay joined shortly after this and we have been rehearsing, writing and playing very solidly. We recorded our demo MCD, "Labyrinth To The Gods" during July of 1999 I think, and one track was put on a compilation CD entitled "Under The Southern Cross". We have played shows so far with bands such as PEGAZUS, GOSPEL OF THE HORNS and ANATOMY to name a couple.
Sithlord? Sorry, but first I confused this word with “shitlord”. So, what the hell do you imply under “sithlord”?
- Hahaha. "Sithlord" came from the Star Wars saga. A Sithlord is a dark lord of the Sith. Darth Vader and Darth Maul are Sithlords. Hence the word Darth meaning Dark Lord Of The Sith. All of the band are fans of the Star Wars movies, and when we had to change the name from ENMITY our singer, Saundies, came up with the name.
What about those thrashy elements that may be discovered while giving a listen to "Labyrinth To The Gods"? You guys get high on thrash metal, I suppose?
- We all love the mid 80's thrash metal genre of music. We are big heavy metal fans in general. We listen to bands such as JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, WASP, DESTRUCTION, KREATOR, SLAYER, SODOM, VENOM etc. It all comes down to the music we grew up listening to. I personally can't stand all of this KORN and SLIPKNOT shit and the other members don't listen to that stuff either. We do listen to new material too, like EMPEROR, IMMORTAL, MAYHEM and so on. There is a lot of good metal out there.
What about your
relationship with Bleed Records? Do they appear as
the "official" label and company responsible for the publicity when it comes to SITHLORD?
- We have been good friends with Marty at Bleed Records for many years now. Jay our bass player also plays bass for Marty's band ANATOMY. Marty offered to distibute our demo MCD when we had it pressed and we thought it would be a great idea. Bleed are not really an official label for us as such but they have done all of our distribution so far, and done an excellent job at it. We are currently searching for a record label to release our material through, but we will keep our association with Bleed Records if it is possible.
You told me that "Labyrinth To The Gods" appears only as a demo work, not a MCD, why so? It looks and sounds like an album of the full value!
- Thanks for the compliment. We initially went in to the studio to record a track for the compilation, "Under The Southern Cross" and ended up recording four more tracks. The track that was meant to be on the compilation disc, "Dawning Of The New Millenium In Darkness" is on the demo but is not listed due to a poor performance. We really rushed the songs that appear on the disc and didn't think that the performance was quite good enough for an official release. A lot of people have commented that it should have been an official release, so when our official full length disc is released it will hopefully be far superior in quality to "Labyrinth...".
What separates SITHLORD from most of the other black metal bands in the genre today? Any comments on such notion as originality?
- We don't really regard ourselves as a black metal band as much as we do a thrash metal band. I think that the only thing that may seperate us from other bands in our genre of music is the style of thrash that we play. We are, unintentionally, more geared towards the mid-80's European style of thrash metal like early DESTRUCTION and early KREATOR. We do throw in other styles such as the more modern black metal bands like MAYHEM but overall we just play what we like to hear and have grown up listening to.
Besides that, would you like to state anything in regards to uprising folk / tribal music movement?
- I don't really listen to much of that sort of stuff. I have the STORM album "Nordavind" and thought that it was really good, but I couldn't listen to much of it at once. I didn't like SEPULTURA's "Roots" album very much either.
How would you explain the fact there's an enormous number of NS bands located in Australia?
- Sorry, I don't really know much about those types of bands at all.
I often heard people calling Australia as "Down Under". And obviously, I always wanted to know what is "Down Under" and why you guys (as well as foreign ones) call your country like that?
- Well the term "Down Under" probably came to seeing that Australia is so far south. I think it may have also come from the MEN AT WORK song "Land Downunder", which became a theme at the America's Cup yacht race in the early 80's. As for what is "Down Under", well there are some big cities full of high rise office buildings and shit, some really beautiful rainforests and a big motherfucking desert. There are also some really awesome bands down here that really deserve some international exposure. PEGAZUS are one of our bands that have really opened some doors for metal bands out here since they signed to Nuclear Blast Records. GOSPEL OF THE HORNS have also recently completed a 2 month tour of Europe which will hopefully open some more doors for some of our more extreme metal talent.
If someone offers you to go back in time, and particularly in early / mid-eighties would you agree? I mean, metal music as well as the metal scene was way different back then... Lotsa people consider it to be much, much better than the one we behold at the moment you see...
- I probably would take the offer up. The heavy metal scene here in Australia was unbelievably strong throughout the 80's and has really died off through the 90's. I think the fans of heavy metal were really die hard fans throughout the 80's, but since metal has become so popular throughout the 90's the fans aren't as full on. Here in Australia a lot of the crowd just stand back and watch the bands now rather than getting up the front and thrashing like mad. It is very rare that you see people moshing and stage-diving anymore which is a shame because that was part of the whole atmosphere of going to a live show.
What do you know (and think) regarding Russia? Any Metal bands coming from our lands that you've heard lately?
- I can't recall hearing any bands from Russia, but sometimes I don't take note of where a band comes from. I listen to music that I like, no matter where it is from. I would definately be interested in hearing some of the bands from Russia though so as I can get more of an idea as to what the scene is like over there.
That’s the point we have to finish the interview at. Any last words?
- I would like to thank you for your time and interest in our band and for doing this interview with us. The full length album will be coming out, but we don't know when yet as it is still to be recorded. If anyone is interested in SITHLORD, please check out the website or email us and we will definately get back to you quickly. Once again, thanks Kai - Keep the Metal Faith Alive!
SITHLORD contact -