The Black Saints

An interview with Mlwaukee's ode to classic hard rock, The Black Saints
by Mike Huberty
December 2012

The Black Saints

The Black Saints

Dirty, nasty, and incredibly fun, sometimes you just gotta go for that classic hard rock sound and Milwaukee’s THE BLACK SAINTS has been delivering the goods since 2009 in the vein of the genre’s 70’s and 80’s progenitors, GUNS N’ ROSES, MÖTLEY CRÜE, AC/DC, and AEROSMITH. Delivered without the smug irony and gimmicky attitudes that plague a lot of modern hard rock acts that callback to the Sunset Strip, THE BLACK SAINTS are coming out with their new record, Hellbent & Heartless on December 7th at Racine’s Route 20 Outhouse. We talked with vocalist, Drew Herdegen, and guitarist, Blackie Bishop, about the new record and their upcoming performances.

MI: What was the thing that struck you the most about hard rock, especially the classic 80’s variety?
Drew: You know, when I first heard hard rock, it really connected with me, something inside. It was as if someone had turned the key in the ignition to on. And when I first played rock music, it was just in a sense magical. It really drove something in me and made me want to have everybody feel what I was feeling. It was such an overwhelming feeling of euphoria. And the best part about it was that it was all natural. No drug can ever replicate that.
Blackie: The riffs, tasteful melodic leads and raspy vocals that grabbed my attention.

MI: What inspired the title of Hellbent & Heartless?
Drew: We had gone through a few different titles for this EP. “Hellbent & Heartless” just sort of stuck and made sense at the time as to where we were as a band. It’s also a line I use in the song “Rodeo”, so I don’t know, maybe it was some kind of foreshadowing.
Blackie: That’s easy! For me, past relationships with those jealous women who resented and were spiteful towards me for putting my musical dreams and aspirations to succeed as a musician as my priority first!

MI: What song do you think best represents your vision for the band from the latest recording? What inspired it?
Drew: I think “Top Notch Lady” is the one for me that best represents us from the latest EP. It was inspired by girl who was so “California”, a very LA-vibed song and the scene that went along with that. Pretty much just a song about having a great time out and about in the city.
Blackie: “Top Notch”… What inspired it? High-class hookers, Charlie Sheen is god!

MI: What’s been your favorite show so far? What happened there that made it so memorable?
Drew: There’s been a lot of great moments with this band for me. Opening up for Steel Panther at the Cubby Bear in Chicago was such a great experience and a very defining moment for this band.! I’d say the other great show was opening for Puddle of Mudd and Theory of a Deadman at Washington County Fair. After we played, the guitarist from Puddle of Mudd came into our tent and said we did an awesome job, and Theory of a Deadman gave us a shout out from the stage. I mean in our heads we are just a rock band, nothing huge, but when bands you’ve seen on TV, bands you’ve heard on the radio do things like that, it’s really refreshing and reassuring that what you’ve got is something and you shouldn’t ever give up.
Blackie: Too many to say really, I dug Washington County Fair. What happened there that made it so memorable? People, Ladies, were getting out of line to talk and have their picture taken with us rather then the Puddle of Mudd guys!

MI: What can people expect from a Black Saints live show? Give me the nasty details.
Drew: Our shows are driven on pure adrenaline. A high energy show where everything is left on the stage.  For me personally, I give everything I have at every show, whether it be 5 people in the crowd or a sold out show of 1200. I can’t help it. This energy in me is driven by the music and it has to be released. However, with that being said, if I feel the crowd is really into it I feed off that energy and give it right back to them. Energy in all aspects is reciprocated, whether it be me feeding off the energy of the crowd or the crowd feeding off the energy myself and the band put forward.
Blackie:  A straight-ahead, in-your-face, kick-ass set of rock n’ roll that’ll bring ya back to the days when rock was real!

And you can also get that pure adrenaline in person at Rooter’s in Waukesha on December 21st for an “End of the World” Party, where the SAINTS be opening for Chicago sleazemeisters, THE LAST VEGAS.

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