EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SAVIOURS’ DRUMMER SCOTT BATISTE
Saviours have had one hell of a ride over the past year. They released Accelerated Living towards the end of 2009 and then followed it up as follows: they toured the U.S. with St. Vitus, toured Japan, toured Europe, played the Scion Rock Fest in Columbus, OH, played a shit-ton of other headline and support dates, and most recently just wrapped up their run on the 2010 edition of Ozzfest. Crikey! But drummer Scott Batiste doesn’t seem to mind; in fact, the self-described “nomad” hasn’t been home to his new house in Oakland this year but for three weeks in April, and he’s having the time of his life doing what band dudes do best, making and playing his music.
After the jump, peep my phone chat with Scott from a couple of weeks ago, while the band was in the middle of their Ozzfest run.
How’s it going, dude?
It’s one of those days or something.
This day has been a weird day but pretty cool.
Where are you guys at?
Cool. What’s been weird about it?
I don’t know. We never did anything like this before. We’ve never done anything this big before. It’s fucking nuts. [Laughs]
“This big” as in this tour?
Yeah, man. There’s a fucking lot of people coming out for it and shit. It’s fucking heaven. I’m pretty stoked on it.
That’s awesome. I know you’re doing a few Ozzfest dates but is that part of a bigger tour?
Well we’re just doing the Ozzfest dates, and we’re doing some off-dates with DevilDriver, Kataklysm and Skeletonwitch and we’re doing one tour with [Inaudible].
Oh, okay. So it’s really the Ozzfest tour and then . . . the rest of it is kind of just to fill it in.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly. We do some headline shows on our way back.
What’s the Ozzfest experience been like?
It’s rad, man. They treat us really well, and they’ve been really accommodating and nice. The sound is good and everyone’s been helpful and shit. We got a couple of friends here like the Goatwhore dudes and Skeletonwitch and Kingdom of Sorrow. Everyone’s been fucking cool. Ozzy is rad. Mötley Crüe is rad. I like it. Halford is killer.
How many dates have there been so far?
Just one in L.A. We drove 32 hours straight to Chicago. I don’t know why the route is how it is, but . . . Yeah it’s a fucking haul man.
What was the L.A. date like? What kind of time slot do you guys have?
We played before Exodus, like 4th or 5th. There were a bunch of local bands that played. Then it was Skeletonwitch, Kataklysm, Goatwhore, us, Exodus, Drowning Pool and Black Label. It was a good slot. It was fucking nuts. I was like “wow. There’s like 15-16,000 people listening to us. Jesus Christ.”
Wow. Have you ever played to even close to that many people before?
No. We played Hellfest in France and it held about 8,000. That was fucking crazy too, but this is double that. It was like “wow.”
Do you get a little nervous going up there in front of so many people?
Nah, it’s cool. I just try not to look at them. I just think about jamming. It’s kind of weird when Tom Hunting from Exodus is sitting there on a drum riser watching you. You’re just like “oh fuck.”
How did you guys come to be invited to be part of Ozzfest?
Someone involved with it went to all our shows for the last 3 years in L.A. They called our agent and were like “I fucking love these guys. Can you call them to come on tour?”
Awesome. Is it the kind of thing where, like in years past, you pay to play? Do you guys have to pay to be on or are you actually making money?
No, we didn’t pay.
Well that’s good. [Laughs]
Yeah, yeah. I don’t think anybody did this year. I’ll look into that.
Are you guys getting paid?
Uh . . . not terribly.
Fair enough. I know there’s only been one show so far. How were the merch sales on that?
It was interesting. I think that as far as the metal crowd, especially the L.A. show, people are more into thrash. There was death metal and shit for the first part of the day, and it was kind of surprising how heavy the turn out was for all that stuff. Then all the Mötley Crüe types came that night. It was cool. We kind of stuck out. It was a weird like . . . I don’t know, like Motörhead thing and a bunch of death metal and then thrash and shit like that. It was an interesting contrast. It was cool though.
Are people digging it?
Yeah and the results have been good. We already played today and the show was fucking nuts. It was fucking cool.
Are you finding any people in the audience know who you guys are?
Yeah. There are people coming to the fences and shit buying CDs for friends. It was shocking. I was like “whoa, dude. What the fuck?”
Well that’s great. It’s been a pretty cool year for you guys on the whole.
Yeah, we’ve done a bunch of cool, interesting shit. Every year we try and do one weird thing that we wouldn’t ever do just to keep shit interesting. Iced Earth tour was interesting. It was pretty odd for us. It was a weird world.
I remember that tour actually. I went to that show. So you have the new album out this year, and you guys did the Scion Rockfest as well, right?
Yeah, we did the Scion thing, we did shows with Saint Vitus in January, we did a Japan tour in February, we played a trip out to Texas and did a couple of festivals out there and in Louisiana, and then we went to Europe with Weedeater and Black Cobra, and now we’re on this.
Wow. You must have barely found any time to be at home. How’s that treating you?
I’ve slept in my bed in April for 3 weeks.
Are you the kind of guy who loves to be out on the road or do you miss home a bit?
I like my house. Last year I was homeless for a lot of the year. We were out crazy last year too. From June to fucking December I was just a nomad. It was pretty fucking weird. I got to the point where I got uncomfortable asking people if I can stay at their house to stay warm. I didn’t want to be that guy. Now I have a killer house in Oakland that everyone fucking likes. There is one thing in Oakland that I do like though.
Why is that? Is it just a rough town?
I don’t know, man. It’s crazy, man. It fucking gets to you. It’s just fucking negative.
Are you guys going to keep this touring schedule up at this pace?
I don’t know. We toured so much last year that this year we were like “let’s just take it easy.” Then all this cool shit keeps coming up so . . . I don’t know. Probably. If things keep up the way they are then I guess we’ll continue.
It sounds like you don’t mind it too much.
No, we don’t mind it. It’s cool. We’ve been out on the road 6-10 months a year every year for the last 4 or 5 years.
Yeah. That’s what you signed up for.
Since 2006 we’ve been out on the road pretty much nonstop.
That’s great. That’s awesome. It definitely feels like you guys are making an imprint on the metal scene. People are really starting to learn about who you are.
Yeah, it’s cool. It’s not all suddenly in vain. It’s so weird touring these days because there are so many fucking bands. It’s so saturated. All these bands from all these different eras are all active now. No one’s back catalog sells anymore. It’s really interesting time for the music industry. It kind of makes me want to chill out and fucking stay at home and record a bunch of EPs. You know?
Yeah. There’s no money to be made that way.
Yeah, I know. On the other hand the touring industry is beaten down so badly too. It’s like fucking half of what it was.
So what the fuck do you do?
I don’t know man. This is what I do. I got to find a way to make it work. It’s all I’ve ever fucking done.