This could had been a blast from the past if I had cared about ATTACKER when they first got onto the scene. But as they say, better late than never. Answers by Mike Sabatini (drums). Anders Ekdahl ©2013
You guys have been at it awhile now. What is it that keeps you going?
-That’s an easy answer… our love for all things metal. This music is in our blood and I don’t know what it would be like to not play it and live it. It’s been so much a part of all our lives and that will always continue to be the case. The fans of our music are also a major part of what and why we do it. Knowing that so many people appreciated what we did all those years ago is a great feeling and makes us want to keep moving forward.
What was it that made you start ATTACKER in the first place? How true are you today to the ideals you had when you started?
-Back in 1983, I was a huge fan of all the great metal bands like Priest, Maiden, Scorpions, Accept, Riot, Anvil among others and I had just started playing drums in 1982 and thought that after a year of practicing on my drums, that it was time to start to create my own music and that’s how it all started. I had friends in bands before I was playing an instrument and seeing them play motivated me to want to do what they were doing. I think our ideals are exactly the same as when we started. It’s all because we love what we do, it gives us a sense of satisfaction and it’s like a form of therapy for us that keeps us sane!!!
How different is the scene today compared to when you first started out? What is the greatest difference?
-Unfortunately, there really is no scene, not like it used to be. The world and music have changed so much. Back in the 80s, you had no internet and people had to actually interact, no downloading, just going to the store to buy an album. Shows were much more well attended. I guess age has a lot to do with it. 80s fans are older now and don’t go out as much and some younger fans of metal like the new kinds of metal more than the classic stuff. It’s just the way things in life go, change happens. Luckily, we have all the great European festivals where true metal people can gather from all over to appreciate the music that we all love.
What was it like back when you played your first gig? How much of a united scene was it?
-That was in 1983 at a little bar called “Backstreets” in our area and it was a very exciting time. We were of course extremely nervous! It was great though, we had all of our friends there and it turned out to be a great time and a success. The music scene in general was pretty united since there were so many clubs, tons of bands playing and so many people attending shows. It was all happening as metal was getting huge here at home. It was perfect timing to be in a metal band.
What is it like to play live today? Is there any difference?
-It’s actually more fun today since we have a greater appreciation for the music and the fans obviously are much more mature. The difference is I think we are more popular now than even back then. Maybe because there are less bands to compete with than we had in the 80s. Either way, it’s great to get on stage and deliver the goods!
You have a new album out now. How does this new album compare to your other catalogue?
-In our estimation, we feel this is probably our best album to date. We have been getting the same reaction from the press who are amazed that at this point in our musical career, we were able to put out such strong record. I don’t know how we did it, but we seem to have topped all previous releases. “Giants of Canaan” just happened and we could not be more pleased with the outcome.
Is it easier today to record an album with all the accumulated experience of everybody involved, is it easier to get the right kind of sound because nowadays people know what you are talking about?
-It’s definitely easier since we have all these years of experience and have developed our own sounds which we know how to get in the recording studio. We also do our own recording at our studio. It’s very cost effective and we don’t have to rush to get an album finished, when it’s done, it’s done.
What kind of interest has there been for ATTACKER over the years? What part has internet played in keeping the band’s name alive?
-Attacker was pretty much dead throughout the 90s until 1998 when we had been contacted by Denis Gulbey of Sentinel Steel Records. He did the re-issues of our first 2 albums and that kind of sparked interest again. With the internet becoming a major force around that time, it was a huge boost to us to be able to communicate with so many people so instantly and it has been a great tool for us ever since.
I’ve never been in the position where people remember what I did 10 – 20 years ago. What kind of feelings come to life when you realize that the stuff you released ages ago is still being treasured today?
-That is the most important thing to us, that people still today remember and enjoy what we did 25-30 years ago. It’s crazy for us to believe this but it makes us feel good that all our hard work from back then was not in vain and it still brings a smile to people’s faces.
What future do you see for ATTACKER?
-We just want to continue making music, playing live for as long as our bodies will let us! As long as we all still have fun doing it, we will not stop, we might have to take a break here and there, but we will not disappear!