Croatia’s SAGE has just recently released their debut album “Anno Domini 1573”. Answers by guitarist Branimir Habek. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-It was not so hard to choose. We have just agreed upon the name because for us it was neutral and it was not labeling us as a specific genre as much as it was giving us the creative freedom that we see feel and hear in the music we create.

How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
-For someone who hasn’t heard of us the best way to get to know us and our style is to listen to our songs. We see our style as a mix of heavy, power, progressive and hard rock yet still all of us had different influences and bands that we idolized while growing up, with the sum of it all you get our sound.

We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-There are a lot of bands and music that influenced us from the 60’s to the end of the 90’s but we don’t have a specific band that we see as the main influence.

What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-The Croatian music scene has a lot of great bands and musicians yet there is a problem with sharing it with the rest of the world while written in Croatian. Therefore we have decided to make an album with a historical significance for us Croats and share our story with the rest of the world written in English, so others could also experience a part of our history.

Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Taking into consideration, our songs take you in the distant history to be exact the year was 1573 when people rebelled against the cruel nobleman and the injustice that was brought upon them. The world has changed much and we have come far but some things never change there is always someone with greed that will stomp on the common man for his own gain. We are somewhat Utopist but still, we believe equality or even equity is possible especially now in today’s world when the common people have more power than ever to raise their voice for justice for all.

When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-For the cover of our first album, we hired one of the best graphic designers. We were very pleased and grateful for the hard work that Rajko Žigić did in presenting the Peasants Revolt that happened during 1573. It was important for us that our album cover was visually interlacing with our music and for that we thank Rajko for doing his work with such detail, a job well done.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-Sharing music is most important of all, yet still, hard cases are what we prefer probably because we got so used to them.

What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-We want to play at big festivals, so more people have a chance to hear our music, a tour with a bigger band would help a lot, we also encourage anyone that reads this article if you like us contact us. We love sharing our music yet playing live is what makes it all worth it.

When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-It depends on the audience, some see it as a party some as an event all we care about is giving the best of us and having a good time with the crowd.

What would you like to see the future bring?
-Hoping for more live gigs, as also we are making songs for our second album and looking forward to traveling as much as possible meet new people while doing what we love most playing LIVE 😉

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