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Written by Fab   
Friday, 04 July 2008 17:45

- Hey Ozzie! Can you present the band ? When & where was it formed ? Is it your first band as guitarist or have you been involved in other bands before ? Which ones ?
(Ozzie) Hey Fabien!!! We got formed in Tochigi, Utsunomiya-city which is 100 kms in the north of Tokyo in March 2002. We got the band name from the Spanish horror movie “El Dia De La Besta” (“The Day Of The Beast“– killer one ! Ed.) after Ritti’s proposal. I played in minor rock bands for years with a lot of different members. Members of SATANICA are longtime friends !

- Musically, what are the bands you feel close to ? I suppose bands like Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden, Lizzy Borden, Venom and even Kiss in a way have been a huge influence on your music, right? Are your favourite bands exclusively rooted in the 80’s or are there newer ones that really kick your ass ?
(Ritti) Good intuition, the Mercyful Fate influence is huge ! All the 80’s bands are fuckin’great ! We love Angel Witch, Anvil, Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Venom… as for the recent ones… Bewitched, Hibria, Malediction and Wolf.

- Well, you also use make-up… why ? It has become very rare in the Heavy-Metal genre nowadays… Most bands using make-ups & corpse-paints are more into Black-Metal, any fear to be considered as a Black-Metal one, instead of wha you really are : an Evil Heavy Metal band !
(Ritti) It certainly drives people wrong, thinking we’re a black metal band. But the reason is we want to have more impact, that’s important for us that bands like this exist !

- I personally think your band really kicks ass ! Musically, it is really powerful & definitely in the 80’s metal spirit with an evil touch ! Could make me think of a cross between Mercyful Fate, Venom & Iron Maiden… But what’s the most surprising in your style is the vocals job ! Really very varied, always evil & close to a feeling of demonic possession ! Was it easy to get a singer like yours ? Where have you found that guy called “Jonn Universe” ?
(Ritti) Thank you I’m very honoured ! Is Jonn’s vocal style so surprising ? (Man, this guy is definitely not the type of monochord vocalist, that’s what is surprising and exciting !) Ed).Jonn’s was in the same band as me called Witch’s Kiss in the 80’s. When Satanica got formed, we thought that he was the only one for the vocal job ! Moreover we’re 10 years old friends and have been into the world of Metal for a very long time !

- What about the other bands members ? Where do they come from ? You all use incredible nicknames… that are also rooted in the 80’s style… "Ritti Danger", "Shee Lips", "Mad Butcher",
"John Universe" and you "Ozzie Alastor" … Is it a way to pay tribute to the glorious 80’s Metal?

(Ritti) I decided to have nicknames in 1979. It is clumsy to have Japanese nicknames (well, not that sure… Ed.). Therefore all fellows who experience bands with me have nicknames.
I’m Ritti, the band drummer, born in December 1964, my influences as drummer are Robb Reiner (Anvil), Cozy Powell, and Tommy Lee (Motley Crue). Favorite bands are Anvil, Bathory, Bewitched, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, The Rods, Saxon, Slayer, Venom, etc.
Jonn Universe is the vocalist, born in August 1964. Vocal influences are David Coverdale, Rob Halford, King Diamond and Ron Keel. Fave bands are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Whitesnake. He can play piano. He and I were in the band called Witch’s Kiss from 1981 to 1986 and left two demo-tapes.
Shee Lipps is the guitarist, born in July 1967. Fave guitarist are Randy Rhoads and Vinnie Vincent. Favorite bands are Belphegor, Coroner and Slayer. He was a friend playing in Power Lover in the 90’s, so we invited him to join the band.
Ozzie Alastor is playing guitars, born in April 1963. fave guitarists are John Sykes, Tony Iommi. Fave bands are Black Sabbath, Bewitched, Crimson Glory, Malice, Destruction, Dark tranquillity. We made acquaintance because he was wandering in a lot of bands too. Moreovern there’s a real Metal Spirit in him, so he was invited to join the band. Ozzie helped to multiply the voices first when Satanica got formed.
Bassist Mad Butcher has left after the recording of 2nd Album, to our regret. A new bassist has joined since, it is Behemoth O. born in September 1966. Fave bassplayers are Robert Trujillo and Rudy Sarzo. Fave bands are Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne.

- OK, you have released so far two albums…. “Knights In SatanicService” & “After Christ, The Devil Comes…”…Can you tell us more about them? Are you pleased with them? What about the reactions they have received ?
(Ritti) The first album “Knights In Satanic Service” didn’t get a high budget & recording material, but the sound is satisfying (yes, it really is ! ed.). "Hail To Satan", "Return For Victim", "Razor Holocaust"… Those tunes are popular and you can notice the appearance of the word “Satan” in each (a bit like on Slayer’s first album hehe – ed.). We arranged the tunes that Ozzie brought in the band. The album title is a hint to a KISS bootleg. It was surprising & impressive because we got echoes from Germany, France, Austria and South America !
The second album “After Christ, The Devil Comes” was released in March 2007. We got a better studio and better sound. That’s what we were looking for, a studio with a better equipment, we finally found one in Tokyo. Also, we got a better circulation for this release on the Japanese market (but on foreign ones as well), thanks to the label that have connections with the metal shops in the major cities.

- Those albums are now getting hard to get… from what I know, they’re about to be soon sold-out… Don’t you plan to repress them ? I’ve heard there will be no repressing, why ?
(Ritti) Nothing has been decided yet… If there’s an interest from the Metalheads, maybe there will be…

- I must say I’ve struggled like a dog to get some copies of your albums for the Inferno Distribution…. Why is it so hard to get Japanese releases ? That’s the same with Hellhound… I didn’t get the chance to catch some…
(Ritti) I think this is because the means to overseas circulation is not clearly understood. I think it is better for us than for HellHound because of their contract situation with their European distribution label.. I hope the situation will improve after this interview !

- Well, what is the band currently doing ? Are you already composing for the next album ? If so, how do you think this new album will sound like ?
(Ritti) We’re currently writing for the third album. 5 songs are now complete. Should be something between the first and the second album… Old-school and true Metal tunes.

- Are you playing a lot live in your country? Is it easy for a metal band to get live-dates?
(Ritti) We don’t play much live, there’re not lots of metal bands where we are located. Sometimes it is better when we’re invited by bands that are able to organize a gig in their district. Playing live is not difficult, it is limited.

- From the SATANICA videos I saw on the net, a live-performance from of your band is something not to miss ! How do you feel on stage when playing your evil music ? What about the crowd ? I’m sure it gets mad, right ???
(Ritti) Thanks for watching our videos ! It is always great to stand on stage and stand for Satan, but it is not always easy to be welcome… But we’re glad when there’s an enthusiastic audience.

- Back to your scene… Japanese bands are numerous but it is really difficult for them to get recognition abroad… What are the reasons in your opinion? I mean apart from Bow Wow (later known as Vow Vow -- or was it the contrary… ?), Loudness, and more underground ones like Sigh, Sabbat & Metalucifer, one cannot say they are very popular or known in Europe, except maybe for the most die-hard metal fans…
(Ritti) Is it because of the situation of metal in the Japanese music business that is bad ? Maybe because it is difficult to start on a major label. By the way, we think the underground existence is good… we keep playing for TRUE metal heads, LONG LIVE METAL !!

- What are the bands you could recommend us? Do you know SOLITUDE and MAVERICK, they’re also part of the distribution catalog… ? Are you good friends with them? Those bands are all musically different, but they really kill in my opinion ! You know HELLHOUND as well ?
(Ritti) SOLITUDE and MAVERICK are friends. We played with MAVERICK this year. About HellHound, please listen to them haha !!! Playing drums on stage like HellHound’s drummer does is something you can’t perform twice !!!! Bands we recommend are HELLHOUND, HERITAGE, HYDRA and MAVERICK.

- Ok, what are your current plans?
(Ritti) First the songwritings and then rehearsing for live shows in May.

- Last words are yours, thanks for taking the time to answer those questions… I hope this will help you getting more recognition from abroad !
(Ritti) Thank you for interviewing SATANICA. The day when SATANICA will be known in France will be great, ‘cos many of my favourite bands comes from France : Trust, Sortilège, Warning, Malediction. Look for our third album that will be released by the end of the year ! We’ll play in France as soon as there’s an opportunity for !
(Ozzie) Thank you very much for interest in SATANICA. I am really glad that I can interchange with people loving heavy metal, I am fortunate.


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