Hi! Please introduce Sanhedrin to the readers.
We are Jeremy Sosville ( Guitar/Vox ), Nate Honor ( Drums ) and Erica Stoltz ( Bass/Vox ).
Tell us more about “A Funeral for the World” re-issue. It’s pretty difficult to find the label for album RE-issue but you get a luck, haha!
N: Much to our surprise, our self release of Funeral generated a lot of buzz seemingly overnight. A lot of this came from the power of the internet, and a few glowing reviews from the states and abroad. We were contacted by Enrico from Cruz Del Sur about our next record, and he offered a re-release to sweeten the deal. Over all our dealings with Cruz and Enrico have been amazing, and we are really excited to be working together.
E: We are grateful for how the self release was received and through some real deal metal fans in Germany we were connected to Cruz del Sur. The business of the album is in their hands now and we can get back to writing the next album.
When did you start writing music – and what or who were your early passions and influences?
E: I started writing in my early 20’s in a band called Lost Goat. My early loves were Motorhead, Judas priest and Black Sabbath. Early on I got Vocal training in classical and choral formats.
N: The Idea of Sanhedrin started sometime in 2012 when Jeremy and I started jamming again after our previous band broke up. It wasn’t until 2014 when Erica became involved that we started really writing music. I personally started playing drums 20 years ago. I grew up listening to obscure European punk bands, thrash metal, funk and soul. I began studying music at the Drummers Collective in NYC when I was about 16. I draw my musical influences from drummers like Tommy Aldridge, Vinnie Appice, Zigaboo Modileste, and Tony Williams
What are your main impulses to write metal music?
N: We like to write music that is dynamic and that speaks to us. The “metal” side of things seems to come naturally from our collective influences and backgrounds.
E: I write and play different kinds of music from Dark ambient to garage and psych but what keeps me playing metal is my savage humanity.
What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments and pieces in your musical work?
N:It all starts with a “Riff.” Jeremy will pull something out of his hat, and it will go on from there. For me, in “No Religion” it was the pre chorus, for “Die trying” it was the intro, for “Funeral” the particularly ignorant bridge riff. Writing music with Jeremy and Erica is simply effortless. An Idea comes to the table, a structure is built, and then from there its just refining it. Some songs take longer then others, but the process itself is probably the most gratifying part of being in this band.
E: On this album I like the vox and lyrics on No Religion. I’m really enjoying writing lyrics for this band.
How would you describe and rate the music scene of the city you are currently living in?
N: New York City is a tough place to live in this day and age. Everyone is killing themselves just to get by, and time is a luxury. That being said, “the scene” here is more like several small scenes. On any given day there are 10+ shows, events, parties, or things to do, so getting people to come out can be challenging. That being said, the people here, and the bands here are amazing.
E: I was lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 80’s and 90’s where clubs like the Omni and the Stone were metal havens. New York’s metal scene is Getting better all the time but we lost some great venues over the years and nothing has come along to replace L’Amour or the Ritz. St Vitus is holding it down.
When it comes to be musician, what are your criteria for quality? What are currently your main challenges and ambitions as a musician?
N: Music is art, its subjective, its expression and its personal. I strive to be consistent, creative and compelling in my playing. I choose to carry myself and my craft with dignity, and treat the work I do and the others I work with respectfully. That being said, who am I to judge what other musicians should be?Managing time is probably the hardest thing for me. As a drummer in a densely populated city, finding time to practice in a place that won’t bother anyone else is a difficult proposition. I’m also not as young as I used to be, and with a career that involves physical labor, keeping fit and limber is a constant challenge. I strive to maintain what facility I have, and to be able to play what’s best for the song. As far as ambitions, I want to tour the world and play venues like Madison Square Garden.
E: Sincerity is a big deal for me. I’d rather be in a band with someone who plays with conviction that someone who is technically proficient and plays like a robot. That being said I’m practicing to stay in shape for Sanhedrin, there is no room for slop.
What do you usually start with when working on a new song or lyrics?
E: Each song is different, some of them write themselves some are best laid out in the recording studio. Overall, I think we are always trying to take the listener on a trip with our songs.
Tell us a bit about the selection process for deciding on what to write about, please. What sources will you draw from for research purposes and how much time goes into research, gathering altogether in general?
E: Lyrically, it runs the gamut from autobiographical to sci fi fantasy and mythological fiction to sociological/ anthropological analysis of the human condition to just fun rock n roll stuff.
As more and more people are producing and releasing music, there has been an exponential growth in promotion agencies. What’s your perspective on the promo system? In how far do you feel it is possibly undermining musical freedom?
E: We don’t write for them we write for the fans and for ourselves.
N: As of now, most of our promotion has come by word of mouth. Personally I don’t feel stunted by anyones words. We write music that speaks to us, if people like it then that’s an added bonus.
Metal scene have changed considerably over the past century. What, do you feel, could – or should – be new forms and formats for music? And, should we save old-school spirit or just go forward together with musical ‘evolution’ (‘degradation’)?
E: You can’t fight progress, music is evolving. Were purists but we aren’t going to start writing nu-metal thats for sure. I’m a fan of old school spirit.
N: I think its important to understand and respect your roots, but to also keep an open mind. Music is a form of expression, it’s forever evolving and changing. What may be compelling to me, may not be to someone else. Personally I don’t identify with a lot of the newer styles of heavy metal, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with their process, or think they should change.
Music-sharing sites and blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are killing music. What’s your view on this topic?
N: Without music sharing sites and blogs we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. In this digital age music has never been more attainable. Yes, it has destroyed things like artists royalties, and the construct of the “major label,” but not everything about that is bad. As an artist in this day and age you have the ability to be creative about how you release music, how you target your audience, and the ability to think about how you can grow and profit from the exposure thats available to you. As a band from Brooklyn, with no initial support or PR machine behind us, the reaction and reception we’ve received from this record has completely smashed all of our expectations.
Please recommend two bands to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
E: Hellfire from S.F. and Insect Ark from Brooklyn
N: Castle from San Francisco, this Female fronted three piece band kicks major ass and takes no prisoners. Their live show is simply electric, between Liz’s haunting vocals, Mat’s killer riffs, and Al’s heavy hands you’re in for a real treat.Walpyrgus, our new label mates from North Carolina. These guys are incredible, super tight and polished. Totally blown away, and can’t wait to see them live.
What are your plans for near future?
N: We are well into writing and pre-production on our second full length record, which will be released by Cruz Del Sur sometime next year. We have a short run of shows booked with Sabbath Assembly over the summer, and a tour in the works for Europe early next year. We are on the warpath right now, and are looking to take the world by storm, so keep your ears open. We would like to take the time to thank our amazing fans.Whether you’ve bought our records, played our music for your friends, come to our shows, or spread the word in any other way, we are humbled by you, and cannot begin to express our gratitude.