Four of WA’s finest live acts hit the lights at Capitol on Saturday, August 31 for a huge WA salute, in tribute to one of metal’s all-time greats in…And Metallica for All. Unleashing the battery of live sets loaded with Metallica classics, and their own works of homegrown metal will be Pathogen, Chaos Divine, Vanadium B.C and Tempest Rising. ANTHONY JACKSON spoke to local metal legends Pathogen’s bassist David Sandstrom about his favourite Metallica songs, eras, rumours of reformation and what we can look forward to on the night.
There have been Metallica tribute nights in the past, but with this line up this show looks like something else entirely! Who are the bands playing on the night and why were they chosen to bring the music of Metallica to life onstage?
The line up is Tempest Rising, Vanadium B.C, Chaos Divine and us, Pathogen. For why we were all chosen, I guess, each band has their own unique sound and style which can give an interpretation of what Metallica means to them. It will be a good crossover of individual metal styles that satisfy a broad range of fans.
Are the bands focusing on a specific album or era of Metallica or is it the greatest hits? How did you go about choosing what to play?
I can’t speak for the other bands, but we have decided to go play a song each from five of their early albums, so yeah, more greatest hits I suppose. We chose them because we feel they show our strengths as a band but still give justice to the Metallica legacy. Obviously we each had an idea of what we should play and had to whittle it down to a few that would work well with our set and keep the audience pumped.
Pathogen disbanded in 2011 and that seemed like the end, but then you reunited for Slayfest earlier this year in March. Now with this headlining spot on Saturday at Capitol, does this mean Pathogen are back?
The idea of doing some more shows has been floating around for a couple of years now, and when Slayfest came up, the stars aligned and we jumped at the chance. A lot has changed since 2011, with family commitments, other bands we each have going and the time had to be right for it to work. And work it did. Slayfest was a massive success and it reminded us of how good it was to play. So when another opportunity came up, well, how can you so no to playing in front of amazing fans again? As to whether we keep going afterwards? At this stage nothing is planned, but never say never, right?
I first heard Metallica back in high school and was instantly hooked and inspired to play guitar and join a band. How much of an influence did Metallica’s music have on Pathogen when forming the band back in 1995?
Yep, me too. I still remember taking over the school’s music rooms with my mates and trying to smash out Seek and Destroy at the loudest setting we had on our shitty 15 watt amps. By the time I joined Pathogen, I think we had moved on to other influences, but you can’t deny the impact they had on getting so many of us metalheads into playing music.
Metallica have had a huge career spanning almost 40 years, with an ever evolving musical style and some questionable haircut choices. What was your favourite era Metallica?
They’ve had many incarnations now and I love some and cringe at others. But for me it has to be the Cliff Burton era. The guy was just phenomenal and the three albums they released with him were the pinnacle of what the band was about. The raw, unabashed power and energy they played with was mind blowing at the time and still holds true today. But I must say that I loved the new one they did. It seems to capture an essence of yesteryear with their modern sound and vast experience.
Finally, favourite Metallica song and why?
There has been so many at different times over the years that I’ve loved, so it’s hard to pick one. But for the sake of closure I’ll go with Master of Puppets. It has everything. It’s fast yet technical, has mellow clean sections, harmonized guitars and shredding solos. What more can you want in a metal song?
And is that also your favourite to play? What are you looking forward to most on the night?
Yeah, I learnt it in high school and am still playing it today so that’s got to count for something. And the thing I’m looking forward to most, is that first power chord we play through the PA that will make everyone bang their heads and scream along with us. It’s going to be an awesome night.