Savage Blade bass player Chris “Itchy” Rand was playing in the tribute band BCDC when he attended a Nelson rock show at what is now Busaba restaurant. The band playing that night was called The ****sticks, and their lead singer and rhythm guitar player was named Eric Hoodicoff.
“They were like a Motley Crue meets the Ramones meets Tenacious D type of outfit out of Castlegar. Excellent band. We saw Eric and right away said that’s our guitar player for our Scorpions project,” he said.
“Long story short, we put together a Scorpions tribute band for a couple years and that was a fun thing to do on the side. When that ended Eric and I had made a connection over our love of 80s heavy metal and classic hard rock, and we looked at each other and said ‘wanna start a band?’”
But what kind of band would it be?
“We wanted to be an 80s style heavy metal band in the vein of Iron Maiden, Metallica. The late 70s early 80s scene, especially a lot of the bands from Britain like Def Leppard and Diamondhead, they captured the power of arena rock, grand huge heavy metal.”
That’s what they’re bringing to the Royal on Baker Friday, along with the rest of the members of their band: Nikko Forsberg, Chris Killeen and Marc-Andre Hamelin. And they’ve been having a kind of a big year — they recently signed a distribution deal with Sony Music International.
“It came as quite a surprise,” Hoodicoff said. “I received a phone call a few weeks ago from A&R representative Kyle Kennedy who I knew from his work with my former Band Lillix.”
Hoodicoff said the deal came together very quickly.
“The way the music business and economy are these days, there’s a different approach to artist/label relationships than the traditional ‘record deals’ of the past. CD sales are at an all-time low…Our deal with Sony allows us to release a single on the Internet, leverage their support, measure its success, and (hopefully) move forward with more songs and recordings through Sony Music.”
And Kennedy believes they’ve got big things ahead of them.
“A few months ago I heard their unreleased track ‘The Crossing’ and was immediately impressed. I see both the short term and long term potential of this band crossing over to radio, not just locally but on the global stage…Savage Blade has finally arrived.”
“The Crossing” is a nine-minute showcase of Savage Blade’s intensity, and is now available for download online. There’s also a four-minute radio edit available.
Rand is stoked about the upcoming show at the Royal.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been together to play a show for the hometown, so we’re bringing in a big sound system and PA, with lighting effects. We’re going to do it up big for the hometown.”
The Royal concert starts at 10 p.m. Dealer will be opening.