Savage Messiah is a musical creation of Dave Silver – Vocals and Guitar; Joff Bailey – Guitar; and Stefano Selvatico – Bass. Currently, Savage Messiah is recording their third album with Scott Atkins (Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Sylosis), which is slated for an early release in 2014. Signed by Earache/Century Media Records, Savage Messiah will ravage and leave you in awe.
Author Marisa Williams: What is your home town, and is that where you live now?
Dave: I’m originally from Birmingham, in the United Kingdom; although, I moved to London 6 years ago, where I’ve been ever since.
Stefano: I’m from Pontevico, a small countryside village in Italy, but I moved almost 3 years ago to London, where I actually live.
Joff: I live down in the South of England, in a small seaside town called Hastings. Still living there.
Marisa: How did you get started in music? Did you come from a musical family? What were your biggest musical influences?
Dave: My dad is a major record collector and metal fan, so I grew up surrounded by music, and in particular, rock and metal. I used to sit in his music room, and he’d play me Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Genesis etc…so I suppose that shaped my musical taste.
Stefano: My brother was a bass player, too, and I grew up listening to whatever he was listening to, or playing; I started listening to Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Iron Maiden and all the other classic bands.
Joff: My Dad was really into bands like Sabbath, Deep Purple, Queen… you know, all that killer old school rock. I used to sit and listen to all his vinyl from a really young age, so it all started from there, really. Hearing guitarists like Richie Blackmore, Tony Iommi and all those guys was just mesmerizing to me.
Marisa: What instruments do you play, and how old were you when you learned to play them?
Dave: I started guitar at 13, so I’ve been playing for about 13 years now. I’ve also been singing for about 6 years and been working really hard to develop my singing voice. I can also play piano, keyboards, drums and bass guitar if needed!
Stefano: I’ve been playing bass since I was 13, about to become 14, when I was at the high school.
Joff: Guitar is my main instrument… Although I can bust out a mean rendition of Judas Priest’s “The Hellion,” or the Power Rangers theme on the piano, ha haaa! I started playing guitar when I was about 13.
Marisa: What was your first concert that you attended, and how did that compare to the first concert that you played?
Dave: My first ever concert was Steve Vai, and of course, he had an incredible backing band. My first concert was at my high school battle of the bands. All the kids from my year went mental, and I won the best musician prize of £25. I went out and bought Kill ‘Em All and Cunning Stunts!
Stefano: I can’t actually remember the first gig I’ve ever attended. I think Dream Theater in 2004, the same year as my first gig ever at the high school end of the year party, and I think there’s no need to compare the 2 gigs. Maybe only under an emotional aspect, ehehe.
Joff: The first band I ever saw was MotorHead at the White Rock Theatre in my home town in 1998. It was awesome! Literally blew me (and my hearing!) to smithereens! Watched the whole show, stood right in front of Lemmy. Couldn’t hear right for days! The first show I ever played was at school for all the parents and shit. I’d only been playing for a couple of months. We played Iron Maiden’s “Running Free” and a couple of originals… We were absolutely shit, ha ha!
Marisa: How do you go about writing music? What comes first for you: drums, guitars, vocals or something else? Has the process of writing changed for you over the years at all?
Dave: I used to just mess around with the guitar until I played something I liked, and would try and develop it from there. Now I tend to start with a title and a lyrical concept and write from that perspective.
Stefano: The writing process is just a matter of getting in a room together and show each other’s ideas, and then start jamming over them, and see what sounds good and what doesn’t really get the vibe going; and then start all together developing these ideas, but they could start from drums fills, vocal melodies, guitar riffs, etc…
Joff: I tend to just sit and jam at home, or at rehearsal, and see what comes out. Sometimes, I’ll have an idea, or I’ll hear something that gets me thinking, and I’ll try out some ideas based on it. I’ll take the ideas to rehearsal, and thrash it out with guys, and start developing them as a band.
Marisa: What is your favorite musical technique?
Dave: Air raid siren style vocals…it’s not always easy, and it’s very athletic, but it’s a lot of fun!
Joff: That’s a tough one really… I suppose one of my less obvious favorite things to do is picking out melodies and harmonies. Love all the shredding and screaming guitar solo stuff, too, obviously, but really like building and layering guitars up with cool melodies and interlocking parts. Guess that’s the Queen influences coming out!
Marisa: What's the coolest thing about your latest project, and what can people expect in the future?
Dave: The coolest thing about our current project is the level of collaboration has been awesome. There have been no massive creative differences, but everyone has been able to get across their ideas; and as a result, we’ve been able to come up with our strongest record to date.
Stefano: The coolest thing is that we are really close to each other, and what comes out of it is a really cool atmosphere during band activities, which makes everything work very well, even during difficult situations. People can expect from our project a really kick ass new album that we are actually recording!!!
Joff: The coolest thing about our latest project is that it’s shaping up to be an absolutely monster sounding record! We’re currently finishing up the recording of our new album. I’ve gotta say, it’s sounding epic as hell! Massive riffs a plenty! Heavier than a Norse thunder god gargling a fuckin hammer!
Marisa: What is the scariest thing about being on the road?
Dave: When you look at the itinerary, and there’s only a few gigs left of a tour…we could go on forever.
Stefano: The scariest thing is when you’re about to finish a tour, and go back home, and to the “everyday life”… Not that it is a bad thing, but being on the road is what I really love; every day is a new adventure!
Joff: Scariest thing on the road…??? Stef’s driving!!! Lunatic!!!
Marisa: Best or worst tour moment?
Dave: There’s no such thing as a bad moment on tour. Things go wrong, and sometimes it can be tough, but ultimately you have to realize how lucky you are to be on the road playing music for people. The best moment is always the drive to the first show; you can almost visualize the whole tour spanning out in front of you, and it feels like a massive adventure.
Stefano: The best moment of the tour is probably when I’m on stage playing, and the worst moment, as I said before, is when you’re about to finish a tour and go back home!
Joff: The sense of camaraderie on the road is awesome! Good times or bad, all for one and one for all! The Savage lads are on tour again… You just know it’s gonna be fun! Whether it’s sleeping under the van in the wind and rain, consuming your own body weight in beer or coming off stage after annihilating a crowd of pumped up metal heads… it’s all good!!!
Marisa: What's your favorite way to travel and why?
Dave: I quite like flying with the band; it adds to the adventure, and is generally speaking the most comfortable way to travel.
Stefano: My favourite way to travel is probably flying, so I don’t have to drive, and I can relax, ahahaha
Joff: I don’t really mind how we travel… so long as we get there! Ha ha!
Marisa: What's your favorite place to travel to, and is there anywhere you have not been to that you would like to go to?
Dave: I recently came to the United States for the first time, and did both East and West Coast, and it really blew my mind. I’d love to see the rest of the country. I like traveling around Europe and have visited almost every European country with the band. I’d love to see South America, Asia, Australasia and South Africa. They’re on my list, so we’ll see what happens.
Stefano: I don’t have an actual favourite place to travel to; I never been to USA, Australia, Japan or India, and I would really love to go there one day.
Joff: Best journey ever… getting home from a tour, drop my shit off at home, take a leisurely stroll down the pub! Crank the Jukebox with some Iron Maiden and sink a few beers with my friends. Would love to go to America or maybe a trip to South Africa to go diving with Great White Sharks!
Marisa: What's your biggest musical fantasy?
Dave: To be a totally self sufficient band, touring every year, putting out killer metal records and loving life.
Stefano: My biggest musical fantasy is to be able to tour every single corner in the world, and keep on making kicking ass records over the years.
Marisa: I have three personality questions that I ask everyone. They might sound like hogwash, but I promise there is a psychological basis to the answers ;-) First, if you were an unicorn, and you could be any color but white, what color would you be and would you have any special powers?
Dave: I’d be black with a red mane, and I’d have the power of flight!
Stefano: I’d be brown, as my hair colour, and my power would be stopping the time!
Joff: I would have to be red with a black mane and black horn, and I would use my powers would be infinite!
Marisa: If you were yogurt, would you be mixed fruit, fruit on the bottom, what flavor and why?
Dave: I’d be fruit on the bottom and strawberry flavor. Fruit on the bottom always adds a little mystery and a sense of satisfaction when you combine the flavours!
Stefano: I’d be mixed fruit Mango, Papaya & Passion Fruit, because that is what I had for breakfast earlier today, and I love it, ahahaha.
Joff: If I were yogurt… I’d really be making a mess of this laptop right now!
Marisa: Describe yourself as a dog, a cat or a cartoon.
Dave: Cats are king, so I’d want to be a cat, sleeping 18 hours a day and being worshiped by my human guardian, but totally on my terms!
Stefano: I’d definitely be Goofy the Disney Character, who is also a dog! Ahahaha.
Joff: I would be the love child of Ren and Stimpy, for sure!
Marisa: Do you collect anything?
Dave: Musical equipment, I suppose, but not consciously. I like to collect travel experience first and foremost; nothing beats the excitement of crossing of places from your list.
Stefano: I collect all the tickets, passes and wrist bands of all the gigs I attended or played!
Joff: Not really. I keep stuff that means something to me, but that’s about it. My house ain't full of Russian dolls and shit like that, ha ha!
Marisa: What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
Dave: Major sweet tooth.
Stefano: Food in general!
Joff: Chick flicks!
Marisa: Do you have any hidden talents or special skills?
Dave: I can speak Italian to a pretty strong conversational level, and generally I pick up languages really quickly.
Stefano: I can cook really well!
Joff: That’s for me to know… Ha haa!!
Marisa: What's the most important thing to remember?
Dave: Enjoy life, and never compromise for arbitrary reasons like what an authority might think about you, be cool to other people and remember that “do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
Stefano: We have only one life, live it!
Joff: Your keys!
Marisa: What was your most influential moment?
Joff: Buying my first Iron Maiden record changed my life forever!!
Stefano: When I was watching Metallica and Maiden videos online, and I decided to start playing bass.
Marisa: If you were not doing music, what would you be doing?
Dave: I’d probably get involved in politics or something.
Stefano: I don’t honestly know, probably I’d be doing my old job and having a boring life, ahaha.
Joff: I’d be a door to door salesman!
Marisa: What are three things you must have with you when you are on the road?
Dave: Guitar, Amp, Stage Clothes…everything else I can live without.
Stefano: My gear, passport, stage and normal clothes.
Joff: Guitar, amp… clean socks!
Marisa: Any advice for musicians starting out?
Dave: The advice Jason Newsted gave to me recently which was “Chase it!!!”
Stefano: Be patient, never give up and eventually, one day it’ll happen; just trust in yourself and in what you’re doing!
Joff: Like Dave said, the advice we got from Jason Newsted… “Chase it!” If it can be done, do it! Don’t stop; carry on through all the hardships and shit! Never quit… EVER!
Marisa: Where can people find your music?
Dave: You can find us online at www.facebook.com/savagemessiahmetal and our music is available worldwide through Earache Records in Europe and Century Media/Earache in the USA.
Stefano: People can find my music online like on youtube, reverbnation, spotify, itunes, facebook, on the earache webstore or even in the music shops.
Marisa: Closing thoughts and additional comments?
Dave: Thanks to anyone out there for reading, and if it intrigues you enough to want to listen to our music, more power to you! Thanks to you also Marisa for an interesting interview! It’s been my pleasure
Stefano: Thanks to everyone for your time and checking out interview, I hope to see and meet you all out there on the road! And, of course, a special thanks to Marisa for your time and interest, too!
Joff: He’s not the Messiah… He’s a very naughty boy!!! Many thanks to all you metal hungry heathens out there! STAY SAVAGE!!!
The author of more than 100 books, Marisa Williams earned her Master's in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University; for more on Marisa, visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz.