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ARMORED SAINT re-signs with Metal Blade Records

Photo by Stephanie Cabral


Legendary heavy metal outfit ARMORED SAINT has renewed its long-running partnership with Metal Blade Records with a worldwide multi-album deal. Metal Blade released ARMORED SAINT‘s 1983 eponymous debut EP and the band has called Metal Blade home since 1988’s “Saints Will Conquer” live album.

ARMORED SAINT singer John Bush comments: “ARMORED SAINT cemented our family relationship with Metal Blade even more by signing a new contract for a record due in 2025. There is nowhere else I’d rather be! I love (chairman/CEO] Brian (Slagel], (president] Tracy (Vera], and the staff. It’s home. What more can I say.”

ARMORED SAINT drummer Gonzo Sandoval said: “I’m pleased to say that in the year of 2024 we have re-signed a record deal with Metal Blade Records. Once again, I’m looking forward to making killer ARMORED SAINT music with Metal Blade as our record label. I feel blessed and appreciate the opportunity to be able to release a new ARMORED SAINT record in 2025! Stay tuned, ARMORED SAINT hooligans throughout the world and beyond, and spread the word. ARMORED SAINT for life!”

ARMORED SAINT guitarist Phil Sandoval stated: “ARMORED SAINT and Metal Blade have a long history and after all the incredible amount of trials and tribulations the band has been through, Metal Blade has been there for ARMORED SAINTBrian Slagel in particular was paramount in getting me back in the band to record ‘Symbol Of Salvation’ along with Jeff Duncan. And in 2024 we have a new deal. I just want to say, ‘Thank you, Metal Blade.'”

ARMORED SAINT guitarist Jeff Duncan said: “I’m so thrilled to sign a new deal with Metal Blade RecordsMetal Blade has been ARMORED SAINT‘s home for many years and I’m looking forward to another new and productive chapter with them!”

ARMORED SAINT bassist Joey Vera said: “We’re honored to continue our long relationship with Metal Blade Records with this new signing. Their staunch support for ARMORED SAINT has been one of the pillars in the band’s history. We cannot do any of this without them and we look forward to bringing even more new music this year.”

Slagel commented: “I am honored and humbled to continue our long-standing relationship with ARMORED SAINT! One of the best metal bands of all time! So happy to keep them in the Metal Blade family!”

ARMORED SAINT is currently on tour supporting QUEENSRŸCHE. The trek, which commenced on March 27 in Anaheim, California, includes several ARMORED SAINT headlining shows scattered throughout and closes with a very special hometown headlining show on May 22 at El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

In a recent interview with “THAT Rocks!”, the YouTube series hosted by Eddie TrunkJim Florentine and Don JamiesonVera spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for ARMORED SAINT‘s follow-up to 2020’s “Punching The Sky” album. He said: “We’re about midway through writing a new record and music, hopefully for a ’25 release. So that’s what we’re working towards. We also have a new single, with a video that we recorded in January. That should be coming out in June on Metal Blade. So, yeah, we’re still busy. So, lots of stuff going on.”

Regarding ARMORED SAINT‘s cover version of “One Chain Don’t Make No Prison”, which was written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter and was first released by PEOPLE in 1970 )it was also covered by FOUR TOPS, as well as SANTANA and THE DOOBIE BROTHERS),Joey said: “We kind of went for this ’70s retro R&B thing. There’s this tune called ‘One Chain Don’t Make No Prison’ by the FOUR TOPS, and it’s been one of my favorite songs forever. I always imagined it with John singing it, so I just did this demo, kind of like a more heavier version of the song. And then we did this demo, and we said, ‘Wow, this is, this is amazing. We should just do this as a one-off.’ Not really associated with a record per se, but just for fun, kind of. We’ve never done a single before. It’s always been, record 10, 11 songs, put out an album. So all the kids nowadays are doing singles. So we’re, like, ‘Let’s do a single.'”

Added John: “It’s cool. It’s a really cool version of the song. And I was trying to really pay tribute to Levi Stubbs (FOUR TOPS singer], who’s one of the best R&B singers from that era. He just has a cool soulful, powerful, almost a rock voice, and I think a lot of people — Glenn Hughes probably in particular — would admire his singing. And he just had this vibe. And so I was, like, ‘Okay, I’d better pull it out of me.’ But we did a great job.”

On the topic of the music video for ARMORED SAINT‘s version of “One Chain Don’t Make No Prison”, Bush said: “I’m kind of wearing these suits. It’s not quite campy, but it does look kind of cool and retro, and it just kind of shows a little different side of the band.”

Last month, Bush told Nikki Blakk of the San Francisco radio station 107.7 The Bone about ARMORED SAINT‘s cover of “One Chain Don’t Make No Prison”: “It came out really cool. It’s kind of a throwback. I love that sound from — especially (FOUR TOPS] in the ’70s was really cool. That’s when they got a little bit more edgy. The ’60s stuff was, of course, great, but Levi Stubbs, the main singer, was awesome. He had a cool, just soulful, powerful voice. So Joey had this idea of doing it. We did the song. I don’t know when for sure it’s coming out. We did a video for it that we’re all wearing suits. So it’s pretty funny. It’s a little different for us. It was really aesthetically looking pretty cool. We filmed it at somebody’s house somewhere here in Hollywood. The guy had all these crazy decorations inside of his house that he lived in. So, the director found it. And so we shot it kind of in a circle, which is really cool. It was fun.”

Regarding the progress of the songwriting sessions for ARMORED SAINT‘s next LP, Bush said: “We’ve already written a few songs — we’ve got probably about five or six, and we need to write a handful more. ARMORED SAINT notoriously doesn’t move too fast. It would be cool if we had a little urgency. Not that we’re lazy about it. We kind of work at our own pace. And when ideas come, they do. And then the ball starts kind of getting momentum and then we’re going. But in the end, I always say it’s better to make an awesome record. We’re never gonna be a band that had, like, 30 records — that just wasn’t our kind of path — but we can still have every record be great, and that should be the objective. Not that all bands with 30 records are just saying, ‘Let’s put out some crap,’ but sometimes I think a lot of people do things so they could just tour and that just isn’t really our M.O. So, if we could try to get it less than every five years, especially considering our age, would be something that would be good. But in the end, it will come when it does. But 2025, I think, is fairly realistic.”

Asked if ARMORED SAINT would consider making an EP instead of a full-length album, as a lot of other artist have done in recent years, John said: “I wanna make a full record because metal people still love records, metal fans still want to buy vinyl and CDs. It’s probably the one genre that people still wanna… I mean, of course people get it through different means — downloading or MP3s or whatever; if that’s your method to listen to music, do whatever it is that makes you happy — but I think that people still love the aesthetics of vinyl and record and CDs. Some people still have cassettes; I don’t know if they’re listening to them or if it sounded good in the first place. But people like having the product, and that’s really great. And we’ve always released vinyl from the beginning, even in our latter years on Metal Blade when vinyl was taking a big dip. It’s had a little resurgence now, but, yeah, I think it’s great that fans still want that. And I wanna make a full-length record.”

ARMORED SAINT was inducted into the Metal Hall Of Fame last July at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California. The event was hosted by 95.5 KLOS DJ Marci Wiser, and featured performances by WEAPONS OF ANEWSergio Michel and DECONSTRUCT, surprise guest appearances and an all-star jam.

Ten months ago, ARMORED SAINT‘s long-awaited documentary, Armored Saint: Band Of Brothers”, had its world premiere in the band’s hometown at the Harmony Gold Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Armored Saint: Band Of Brothers” celebrates the 40-year career of ARMORED SAINT and the 50-year friendship the bandmembers have shared from school in El Sereno, a Los Angeles suburb.

Many friends of the band have given interviews, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich from METALLICA tell tales of their early days touring, Scott Ian of ANTHRAX talks about seeing ARMORED SAINT in 1985, QUEENSRŸCHE members Eddie Jackson and Todd La Torre talk about the shared history. Key music industry figures and producers, A&R men, roadies, record label executives and family share thoughts and stories about the band’s 40-year history.

ARMORED SAINT‘s eighth full-length album, “Punching The Sky”, came out in October 2020 via Metal Blade Records.

ARMORED SAINT released the “Symbol Of Salvation Live” CD/DVD in 2021 via Metal Blade Records. The release came in celebration of the seminal album’s 30th anniversary. “Symbol Of Salvation Live” was a combination live album and video of the band playing the album in its entirety at New York City’s famed Gramercy Theatre during its 2018 tour.

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