CORNERS OF SANCTUARY...PHILLY'S METAL
CORNERS OF SANCTUARY to metal fans this might be a household name already. The band has been around since 2011 and quickly began the battle to make it up the ladder of notoriety in the metal music scene. Through the years they have achieved just that with label releases, tours, movie soundtracks and just metal fans uniting to get the word out about this band.
I recently just had a chance to learn about the band and had the privilege to get to know them a but as Mick Michaels (guitars/keys) was cool enough to sit down and answer some basic but very informative questions so I could learn more about them and let you my fearless readers learn more about this Philadelphia band.
Look out for the best band’s latest releasing hitting the streets July 26th entitled “Declaration of Metal,” and a heavy duty tour schedule to follow.
DESCRIBE TO PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR BAND WHAT YOUR MUSIC IS ABOUT
Mick Michaels: We are Corners of Sanctuary. We are a New Wave of Traditional American Heavy Metal (NWoTAHM) band from Philadelphia. NWoTAHM highlights the classic sound of Heavy Metal that dominated in the early 1980’s. It is a mixture of the British Metal Invasion (Judas Priest, Accept) as well as those American pioneers (Savatage, Anthrax) who were breaking new ground. On top of that, it has a modern element to it that brings the music full circle.
A majority of our songs play to two main themes: war/battle and self-empowerment.
The band is comprised of:
Frankie Cross – lead vocals
James Pera – bass and backing vocals
Mad T – drums and percussion
Mick Michaels – guitar and keyboards
WHAT DOES THE BAND NAME MEAN?
MM:“Corners of sanctuary” are those places that each of us can go to… where we can truly be who we are without the concern of being judged or ridiculed. These places can be anywhere or anything. It doesn’t matter. It can be a physical place but more so it can be a state of mind. As a band, one of our “corners of sanctuary” is music and we hope that fans can also find some level of sanctuary with our music.
YOU ARE FROM THE STATES BUT SEEM TO BE GETTING A LOT OF OVERSEAS LABEL INTEREST, DO YOU FEEL AMERICA DOESN’T GET THE MUSIC YOUR DOING OR IS THERE ANOTHER REASON YOUR CHOOSING TO GET TO GO OVERSEAS LABELS?
MM: Our record label, Metalizer Records, is headquartered in Germany. Our previous label also, was located in Germany. Prior to that, the label we were working with was from Mexico. I think the choice is more a matter of going with the flow rather than a conscious effort of us targeting a specific region in terms of being on a label. Exquisite Noise Records is the US label we work with in conjunction with our releases. Marketing today is done on a global scale because of the internet and social media outlets. No area is really off limits. However, some regions typically do better than others. Heavy Metal as a whole seems to be more popular overseas than in the US. That said, we do make a point to balance our US exposure and our overseas coverage. With our touring mainly in the US, a good amount of exposure is required. Even still, to maintain a presence Europe and the like an appropriate effort needs to be a regular focus.
IN THE PAST THE BAND HAS RE RELEASED ALBUMS, DID YOU GUYS ADD UNHEARD TRACKS ON THE RELEASES OR WAS CHANGES MADE TO CURRENT SONGS ON THE ALBUM?
MM: “Harlequin” and “Axe to Grind” were both rereleased in Europe with Pure Steel Records. This introduced our music to a whole new market at the time and gave the albums a second life – which in my opinion is always a good thing – someone will always be hearing it for the first time regardless of when it came out. We have also had EPs that included previously released tracks. These tracks, however, were always different in some respects including alternate mixes, new instrument tracks and most notably, new vocals sung by Frankie. When Frankie joined the band we had already had three albums released along with a handful of other songs that just appeared on an EP. We have been recording a portion of our back catalog over the last two and half years with Frankie singing lead. Again, it gives the music a second life and it’s always new to someone. The Special US Edition of our album “Metal Machine” included three bonus tracks: one that appeared on a demo previously and two never before released.
YOU HAVE HAD A SONG ON A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK HOW DID THAT HAPPEN AND YOU’RE THOUGHTS WHEN YOU WERE TOLD?
MM: It’s pretty cool to have your song in a movie, independent or otherwise. Movie music is a genre in and of it self and presents the song in such a unique medium. The song is not the focus, however, a major contributing factor to the flow and mood of the film. In 2010 James and I were involved in a short reunion project with the band Seeker. During that time we had negotiated a Seeker song to be included in a British film. Fast-forward a couple of years, we were offered the opportunity again and Corners of Sanctuary was already in full effect, so it seemed a no brainer. Our song “Wild Card” appeared in the film “Kane and Able”.
AT THE END OF THIS MONTH A BRAND NEW DISC IS COMING OUT FROM YOU GUYS WHAT KIND OF PROGRESSION HAS THE BAND MADE AND WHAT IS THE ALBUM ABOUT?
MM: We will be releasing a ‘best of’ compilation on July 26th titled “Declaration of Metal.” The compilation will include remixed tracks from all of our albums including a brand new track titled “Hyde No More” which features new drummer Mad T. The release will also be accompanied by two music videos as part of the promotional campaign. The compilation offers listeners a cross section of the COS catalog along with a glimpse of what’s to come. “Declaration of Metal” will serve as a great segue way into the next Corners of Sanctuary chapter as we plan to go into the studio later this summer to begin working on our next all new, full-length album.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION TO COME UP WITH MUSIC?
MM: I find inspiration in almost anything. Lately, I often find it comes at the strangest times: watching TV, driving, even in the moments of waking up in the morning. I do my best to take advantage of when the inspiration hits, though, sometimes it is not always possible. I think the best inspiration comes from the subtle things in life. Knowing that, it urges me to be more aware and take nothing for granted.
CHOOSE ONE: WRITING A GREAT SONG OR PERFORMING A GREAT SET?
MM: Writing a great song hands down – a great song is timeless!
DO YOU GUYS FEEL TOURING IS THE BEST WAY TO GET YOUR NAME OUT TO THE PUBLIC AND DO YOU GUYS DO A LOT OF OVERSEAS OR JUST STATESIDE TOURS?
MM: Taking the show on the road is essential for any band looking to cover ground. It’s the personal connection that makes the big impact. People are prone to remember seeing a band live and that’s key for building a fan base. It’s all about connecting. We have yet to tour outside the United States, there is plenty of ground to cover here, but we are looking to perform in Europe in 2017.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT TOURING LOOKING LIKE AFTER THE CD RELEASE?
MM: We have a short New England tour starting at the end of July which kicks off with Marc Rizzo of Soulfly. We still have several shows left performing on this summer’s Metal Eternal Fest Tour and we return for some New England dates in the Fall. The remainder of the Fall will be geared towards working on the new album.
YOU GUYS HAVE PLAYED WITH A HUGE GENRE OF BANDS, DO YOU LIKE BEING ON A TOUR OR AT A SHOW THAT IT’S A NEW CROWD TO YOUR MUSIC AND HAVING THE CHALLENGE OF WINNING THEM OVER? AND WHAT SHOW HAVE YOU PLAYED THAT YOU HAD TO DO THAT?
MM: We find that regardless of the show we are on, there are always people there who are new to our music. Performing with a variety of bands always offers us an opportunity to break new ground and connect with new fans. It is exciting.
When we recently performed with Butcher Babies, we found that the crowd was much younger then we have grown accustomed to - most of them were not very familiar with Corners of Sanctuary. The energy that night was electric and we went with it. By the end of the second song we had them hooked. So much so, that when we played “On the Hunt” the entire place was chanting the chorus. It was amazing!
HOW DO YOU BRAINSTORM TO PICK A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF SONGS FOR A BEST OF DISC?
MM: The choices for the compilation seemed to have picked themselves - songs that have resonated with fans over the years were the ones that made it on. I think we all have personal favorites that we would like to see included, but it is not about us, it is about the music.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL THE METAL SCENE OF CURRENT IS MISSING THAT THE OLDER CLASSIC BANDS HAD?
MM: Thank you Stephanie for speaking with me and giving us the opportunity to share with your readers some info on Corners of Sanctuary. We also would like to thank all of our friends and fans who have supported us - we are so very grateful!
A special thanks to our COS Staff: Billy, Nina and Seth, as well as to our labels Metalizer Records and Exquisite Noise Records, and to our sponsors Coldcock Whiskey, Sinister Guitar Picks, George L's Guitar Cables and Explore Apparel.
Take care - COSnROLL! \m/\m/
JUST A GIRL WHO LOVES MUSIC BEING CREATIVE AND WRITING, THAT IS HOW THE EAST COAST ROMPER BECAME WHAT IT IS FOR THE MODERN ROCK WORLD