Interview: Saul of Tarsus
Last week, I got the chance to talk to the Christian "Crust-Grind", as they call it, (which you'll read in minute). Let's get on with it!
The Beard Dragon: Who am I speaking to? (For the readers)
Saul of Tarsus: Anthony Marquez, guitarist of Saul of Tarsus
TBD: Could you give a quick background of the band?
SOT: I had the vision of starting a Punk/Metal band with a Christian message. I was inspired by bands such as Mortification and Crimson Thorn. I wanted to do something that was stylistically diverse in terms of sub-genres but also have strong lyrics that would present the gospel clearly. This vision goes back to early 2009, I started writing and recording songs on drums, bass, guitars, and vocals.
TBD: That's a pretty inspirational description! You also pretty much answered another question I had, which was "Are you guys a Christian band?" Are you guys working on new music?
SOT: We are currently writing material for our second album.
TBD: Nice! What's SOT's full discography?
SOT: Our first album 'Road to Damascus' was released on SkyBurnsBlack Records last November. We also have a single released, The Last Jihad, from the album
TBD: Oh that reminds me! You guys are the first band that I've interviewed that's currently on a label. I don't know anything about SkyBurnsBlack Records other than that you guys and The Synics Awakening are on there. What's it like being signed?
SOT: They (The Synics Awakening) are such a great band. SkyBurnsBlack is an awesome record label; Joshua Sky has worked really hard to help us reach our vision. The best part is being able to have our music go out and to be able to convey the message of Christ in a creative way and then to have feedback from people living in other states and other countries.
TBD: I guess I'll have to do some research on that label then... You guys are based out of California right?
SOT: That's right. Riverside, Ca.
TBD: Isn't that where Impending Doom is from?
SOT: I believe so.
TBD: Well that sorta leads to my next question. What other Christian heavy bands are from your area?
SOT: In our local Christian scene, were playing with bands such as Wicked's End, Anschluss Amor, we've also played with punk bands including Infirmities, CPR, A Broken Line. Consuming Fire is also from Riverside.
TBD: I don't think I've heard of those bands. Consuming Fire does ring a bell, but I think it's lyrics in a Living Sacrifice song.
SOT: Wickeds End just recently signed with SkyBurnsBlack, they are a solid Death/Thrash band. We play with them every chance we get. From what I've been hearing these days, the best Heavy Christian bands are kinda spread out over the map.
TBD: Yeah that's true. I'll have to look into them. How would you guys describe your sound?
SOT: Our sound is blend of Crust-Grind and Thrash. Down-Tuned guitars, high pitch vocals, some growls for contrast and lots of blast beats and double bass. There's also a grove element in our music and it's becoming more prominent especially in our newest songs.
TBD: I don't think I've ever heard Crust-Grind. That's interesting. You guys are the first I've listened of that genre I guess.
SOT: Yeah, it's not really mainstream and it's not new but I think we've approached it with a fresh perspective.
TBD: What's your guys lineup?
SOT: Our first line consisted of some friends I played with in other bands and each person was kind of going in different direction. In taking my vision Craigslist to seek new members, Rod Crowell joined on bass guitar, Tracy Steiger joined on vocals, and mid album Carlos Valdez joined on Drums.
TBD: You mentioned other bands. What were those bands called? And have the other guys been in any other bands that people man have heard of?
SOT: These were local bands to name a couple, As Heroes Fall & Corporate Genocide. There were some recordings but nothing that was released
TBD: As Heroes Fall is a great name! Awesome! So do you guys intend to tour? Or you just going to play locally?
SOT: Well, in order for us to tour God would have to open some doors. We're all married and we work full time. Taking care of our families is top priority. So, only if it's part of God's perfect will for our lives and our ministry.
TBD: Alright. Where can people find your music? I saw a box of CDs on your guys feed, which excited me, cause I love CDs.
TBD: Ok. Is there anything else you want to say? (For the readers)
SOT: One day everything will fade away and only the things we do for Christ will last. As this world becomes darker and the love of many grows cold, we as Christians, need to keep our eyes on Jesus. He came to this world and lived here; he faced all the trials we do as humans. He lived perfectly and he was nailed to a cross. His purpose was to lay down his life as a sacrifice so that anybody could be spared from Hell. If you confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
TBD: Alright thanks for talking to me man! I enjoyed talking to ya! It was fun!
SOT: Thank you, it was an honor!
The Bearded Dragon