“Generation”…(insert bassline here)….“Clash”. For those that have no clue what I am referring to in the previous sentence then you are missing out on one of the coolest songs from one of the most underrated albums to come out of the eighties. “Generation Clash” was the lead off single and video to Accept‘s 1989 Eat The Heat album. The video for this song was my introduction to vocalist David Reece who stepped in as replacement for one Udo Dirkschneider. Stepping up to front an already established band, especially in the metal genre can often be a daunting task and much like the Corabi fronted Motley Crue album, Eat The Heat has always polarized Accept fans around the world. I myself loved Eat The Heat and I would urge anyone that dismissed this album back in ’89 to dust it off and crank it up. Sure it was a departure in style from previous Accept albums but one thing can’t be denied, David Reece delivered a “paint peeling” vocal performance on that record that still gives me goosebumps in 2017.
To be completely honest, David‘s vocals fell off my radar when he and Accept parted ways in 1990. Unfortunate for me as David soldiered on to quite a career in bands such as Bangalore Choir, Tango Down and most recently fronting Bonfire. I am making amends for this oversight and diving into an amazing back catalog but what I am most excited about is the introduction of a brand new band and a brand new album entitled Sainted Sinners.
As the story goes, after things went sour with Bonfire, David was approached by Bonfire guitar player Frank Pane. Frank had a number of songs that he thought was perfect for David‘s vocals and the result is the debut album from Sainted Sinners to be released on February 24th courtesy of El Puerto Records. Reece and Pane recruited keyboard player Ferdy Doernberg (Axel Rudi Pell) and the rhythm section from Pane‘s Purpendicular band, on bass Frederick Burkert and on drums Berci Hirleman to complete the lineup and the results are in a word…HUGE!
If you enjoy Deep Purple and vintage Whitesnake then make sure you pick your copy of Sainted Sinners on the 24th. From the opening chords of “Knight Of The Long Knives”, the tone of the album is set in stone. Big guitars, soaring keyboards, and Reece‘s unmistakable vocals take you back to a time when blues was the biggest influence on the rock n’ roll. “Beauty In The Beast”, “Maybe She’s Got Balls” (could have been on Whitesnake‘s Slide It In) and “We’re All Sainted Sinners” all continue with that high energy riffing blues metal. Sainted Sinners. This really needs to be available on vinyl and preferably with a record sleeve all worn looking to give it that vintage look that the music feels like.
“In Need”, the 8th track on the album takes a turn into ZZ Top territory with Reece‘s vocal delivery morphing into a Texas drawl. With some insane guitar work, this is a brilliant and fun tune. “Evangeline” is probably my favorite track on the album, pumping with energy and a vocal melody to die for, this one needs to be a single. On second thought, “Shine Diamond Girl” might just make a better single! Oh hell just buy the whole album and enjoy it in its entirety like we did in the 70’s and 80’s when we bought Burn and Slide It In. Let’s just say that I will be very surprised if Sainted Sinners doesn’t end up on my Top 10 of 2017.
I was fortunate to get the chance to chat with Sainted Sinners vocalist extraordinaire David Reece and he was kind enough to answer some of my fanboy Accept questions as well as some insight on the new band and record…
Wally: Sacred Child, I recently heard the song “Chariots of Fire” and learned you had recorded some demos for this band. If you could, tell us about Sacred Child and was Accept the reason this album was later recorded with Astrid Young on vocals?
David Reece: Chuck Rosa (Sacred Child‘s guitar player) exploited those recordings for that exact reason. I was never into that group, to be honest or the way he handled things so that’s why I left. He obviously used Neil Young‘s sister as another means of getting it out there.
Wally: Moving on to Accept. A story that I either do not recall or possibly have never heard, but how exactly did you end up with the gig in Accept? Audition?, Cattle Call?, How did they find out about you? Where you aware of any other vocalists in the running?
David Reece: I knew a woman named Lucy Forbes and she knew Dieter Dierks, so they had a guy named Robert before me and it wasn’t working. So Dieter asked her if she knew anyone? I had actually left California and was in Colorado when Hoffman called. It was weird I didn’t believe it was him at first? Long story short they flew me to Germany and after recording for 6 weeks we set up a live gig in Cologne as a final audition and I got the gig.
Wally: Eat The Heat, it always fascinates me the fan reaction whenever a successful band makes a major lineup change. I totally understand the emotional attachment one can have with a band but I have never understood the “closed minded” mentality to not give an artist a chance to evolve. What was it like in the studio during the recording of that album?
David Reece: I was pretty much clueless? I learned what real work was recording with them. Accept wasn’t truly ready for the change so it was doomed from the start I suppose? The old fans weren’t happy and new fans were so? But I can say I am grateful for the experience because it opened lots of doors for me.
Wally: I was fortunate enough to have witnessed the 1989 W.A.S.P./Accept/Metal Church Tour when it came to Toronto in ’89. I have heard many interesting stories from bands that have toured with W.A.S.P. Any interesting road story from that tour you would like to share?
David Reece: Well? I made a lifelong friend in Chris Holmes, he wasn’t being treated very well by Blackie and I wasn’t being treated very well by Accept so we bonded.
Wally: Sainted Sinners! Your new project and the reason we are chatting today. Who and what are Sainted Sinners?
David Reece: After the nasty split with Ziller, I went back to my home in Italy and thought, now what? Then Frank Pane called and asked to come visit me. We buried the hatchet and he asked if I would be interested in doing a new group. After I heard his first musical track I was hooked! We wrote what is now “Truth is a Lie” in about 10 minutes! Sainted Sinners the name is his idea. The bassist and drummer are from his previous group Perpendicular and he knew Ferdy Doernberg from Axel Rudi Pell.
Sainted Sinners is what I have always wanted to do musically, I was raised on Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Bad Company so it’s perfect! We don’t write baby, baby, whoah, whoah lyrics and we try and write songs that are melodic with groove and feel.
Wally: I will say that the album totally reminds me of those vintage Deep Purple/Whitesnake albums. Big, blues influenced heavy guitar rock with the keyboards right up front in the mix. Totally vintage but with a fresh feel as I don’t hear many bands delivering this type of rock. Was this a conscious effort or is this just how the songs evolved?
David Reece: It’s strange because writing the lyrics to Frank‘s music just came really natural and organic to me. I suppose it’s how you said, it’s fresh with that vintage feel we were raised on. I am so very happy with this group and album I feel it’s my best work.
Wally: With eleven tracks to pick from, what is your favorite track to cover live from the album? Personally, I would love to hear “Evangeline” if and when you get to Toronto.
David Reece: We actually play “Evangeline” live electric and acoustic! It’s a great song! But my favorite is “Did You”. It has such a Zep-style chorus and Frank really shows his guitar playing ability on it.
Wally: What are your intentions for Sainted Sinners? I ask this from a completely honest place, I am so tired of the multitude of “projects” that are constantly released that I often fall in love with, only to find out it’s a one and done with zero chance to ever see them live. Sainted Sinners is too good not to be a touring entity.
David Reece: Well I couldn’t agree more! I am so tired of projects and to be honest, yes this is a real band! We are touring Europe now and are working on Canadian and American dates as well. I feel the same that it’s too good not to tour on.
Wally: If touring is indeed the plan, what might we expect to hear at a Sainted Sinners show? Strictly material from the new album or will you be digging out some gems from your career to fill out the show?
David Reece: We will play an Accept song from Eat the Heat and we do some Rainbow and Bad Company songs along with pretty much our whole new album. So it’s chock full of real rock and roll.