Psychomania: motorcycle deviants Satan’s Satyrs rape Daragh Markham’s ears!

Roaring out of Herndon, Virginia against a malevolent milieu of saturated hues and Technicolour terror, a strange and savage sound arises…mustachioed misanthropes fuelled on rage and dope ride in, fired up by “horror films and Black Flag 45s at 33rpm.” Behold, the frenzied doom-punk of Satan’s Satyrs.

Since begetting a steady rise to infamy in 2009, these rowdy and raucous bastards, these worshipers of fuzz ‘n’ scuzz, have been causing straights to cross the street to avoid them. But hordes of losers and outsiders are pledging their allegiance to the ever-growing cult; it could be your town next. “I never wanted to be the ‘local heroes’ [of Herndon],” proclaims bassist/vocalist and mastermind Claythanas. “I’ve been focused on a global audience since the beginning.” By his will, the ghastly gospel is approaching those international frays. Earlier this year, Satyrs played two sets at the Netherlands’ premier freak-fest Roadburn (one of which was comprised entirely of Blue Cheer covers) after being personally selected by Electric Wizard. That the setting was more than fitting for the Satyrs’ first show on these shores is not lost on Claythanas: “I can’t think of a better way we could have debuted our live sound to a European audience. It really was the perfect gig for us.”

After the reverence-inspiring release of a demo and EP in 2010, Satyrs’ debut full-length, 2012’s recently reissued Wild Beyond Belief!, boasts an irresistible, orgiastic carnage. Beneath what recalls the throbbing speed of Electric Wizard’s We Live and Dopethrone’s all-consuming heaviness, there lies a debauched foundation of ‘60s garage rock/proto-punk, inspired by the MC5 and the Stooges, and a gnarly Venom/Hellhammer-esque bite. Claythanas explains the concept behind this sinister slab: “I thought to myself, Fuck it – just make that Black Flag-meets-Electric Wizard record you always wanted to. I wanted the unwavering speed and attack of Damaged with the wall-of-fuzz guitar sound of Dopethrone. I really had nothing to lose, so I went for it. That record just sort of exploded outta me; I needed to get it out of my system.”

Following the departure of a guitarist, known only as the Ghoul, in its earliest incarnation, the current lineup now includes axeman Jarrett Nettnin and drummer Stephen Fairchild as fulltime live members. “This band was always meant to be a power-trio,” assures Claythanas. The unholy trinity would not be completed, however, before Claythanas was forced to handle all the instruments and recording for Wild Beyond Belief! by himself. “I didn’t have much choice but to record on my own,” states Satyrs’ chief visionary. “I was the only musician I knew of that was competent enough to carry out what I had envisioned. The album was recorded in my basement on an 8-track Tascam porta-studio type thing and was completely self-produced. I did my best with what little resources and knowledge I had. It’s a totally fucked production, I admit, but it’s an honest production.”

A new LP is already being conjured and should be unleashed early next year. But a lot has changed since the filth that was summoned on Wild Beyond Belief!, says Claythanas: “We’ve got a different sound now. I feel like we have a deeper connection with our ‘60s/’70s influences. Maybe we’ll gain some new fans; maybe we’ll lose some old ones. Who knows? All I know is I never had any intention of making Wild Beyond Belief! Part 2.” With greater ties to one of rock music’s most satisfying eras, does Satan’s Satyrs’ rock ‘n’ roll roots run deeper than their more extreme ones? “On Wild Beyond Belief!, the vintage vibes are done in a really crude and barbaric way. I suppose that’s why people hear it as equal parts Stooges and Venom. I can’t deny the influence of some of the more ‘extreme’ bands, but despite that connotation, I’ve always wanted Satan’s Satyrs to be a real rock ‘n’ roll band, not just a novelty for metalheads.”

[origin herndon, virginia, usa, formed 2009 band url facebook.com/pages/Satans-Satyrs/144416545612439 label bad omen records current release satan’s satyrs/ohmwar split]



This feature was originally intended for publication in ZT issue 055. Things got bumped about at the last minute and this deadline casualty is now available here, exclusively. Spread the word! 

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