ARMORED SAINT TO RELEASE “PUNCHING THE SKY” ON OCTOBER 23RD, POST VIDEO FOR THE FIRST SINGLE, “END OF THE ATTENTION SPAN”
On October 23rd, Armored Saint will release its eighth full-length album, Punching The Sky, through Metal Blade Records. For a first preview of the album, a video for the new single End Of The Attention Span, directed by Robert Graves, can be seen below.
Bassist Joey Vera comments, “We’ve teamed up with video director Robert Graves for our first single, End Of The Attention Span. Robert got the lyrical content right away and together we delved into society’s ongoing fascination with electronic devices and the insidious disconnect it creates. The irony is that most of us feel connected together through our phone and computer screens, but the reality is that we have created a wedge between ourselves. Our human interactions have been infected with an intense need for information. We’re always ‘looking’ for more. The end result is a very damaged attention span.”
Leaders and stalwarts of the American heavy metal scene since the early 1980s, Armored Saint’s Punching The Sky sees them returning hard. A diverse, attitude-drenched collection, it’s everything the band’s faithful have come to expect from them while pushing their signature sound forward.
“The goal is to write really good music. I know I’m stating the obvious here but that’s about the size of our agenda,” says Vera. “We’ve been able to shed a lot of expectations that sometimes plague a band like ours that has been around a long time, and we’ve recently moved into a comfort zone with just being ourselves. We have this kind of freedom now that we didn’t really have early in our career, and we can take some chances and make the kind of music that we want to hear. This record is a reflection of where we are at, right now.”
Exploding to life with the crunchy, rousing Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants and not letting up until the closing ruthless riff of Never You Fret, the record is possessed of an urgency and vigor which very much places it in the right now, but could only be the work of Vera, guitarists Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan, drummer Gonzo Sandoval and vocalist John Bush.
“When you’re a band that began four decades ago, you really have to push yourself harder than ever when it comes to making a new record,” states Bush. “The last thing you ever want is for it to appear as though you were going through the motions or that you’re just putting a product out to do some touring. The records are immortal. They’ll be here long after us. Every one needs to count in its own individual way.”
Punching The Sky features a few guest musicians further expanding its sonic palette, the whole thing kicking off with the sound of Uilleann Pipes, Vera finding player Patrick D’Arcy in Los Angeles and recruiting him to the cause. Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed also contributes, Vera giving both him and D’Arcy some general directions and letting them loose, both of them delivering strong performances. The band’s own Gonzo Sandoval plays an American Indian flute on Never You Fret — a first for Armored Saint and their drummer. Also Jacob Ayala, the son of a childhood friend who is a drum major in high school, added some marching snare on one of the tracks, which really stands out.
With the band’s place in the metal scene firmly re-established with Punching The Sky, they are staring down their four decade anniversary, which Vera reflects on.
“Part of me feels like I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for that long. It’s kind of incredible,” Vera says. “So I feel pretty damn lucky really, that we’ve been able to have the support from fans and our record company for all these years. Without this support, we really couldn’t do any of this. So this is the big part of what has kept us going, and when I stop and look around, I am humbled that we’ve had this opportunity to make music and tour for such a long time. That’s what our initial goal was back when we were just 18 years old.”
Punching The Sky track listing:
1. Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants
2. End Of The Attention Span
4. My Jurisdiction
5. Do Wrong To None
6. Lone Wolf
7. Missile To Gun
8. Fly In The Ointment
9. Bark, No Bite
11. Never You Fret