Your fourth record Delusions of Grandeur was released last year and was acclaimed by critics. How did you perceive this welcoming ?
Well obviously we are very happy about the reception and the positive critics. We are quite satisfied with “Delusions..” our selves. What is most important to us is that we managed to make the record we wanted to make. But of course we are glad people like it.
Did you feel your popularity growing in Norwich, Europe and even worldwide ?
There`s certainly more attention around the band after the release of “Delusions.. I think it`s natural, as long as you deliver the goods as a band and keep putting out quality records, that the attention will evolve and you get more people interested along the way.
We have good support in Europe with a Germany based management. We have a good, solid record company dealing with the album in the states so this gives us more and more attention. That said we now need to work even harder to maintain the attention and stay interesting.
There have been Sahg I, Sahg II and Sahg III. Your last record is instilled Delusions of Grandeur. Why didn’t you keep the row in your records’ names ?
The discussion of a proper title on a Sahg record has been going on, I quess, from Sahg 2, and we now felt the time was right to brake the circle. The album being a concept album as well it was kind of obvious to us that this one needed a title. The title is also what we started out with when we developed the story behind the concept, so it came naturally.
Your last record is close to a Mastodon one, for example. Did you take that as a compliment to be compared to them ?
It`s always a compliment to be compared to good bands and bands we really like. Mastodon is one of the bands that inspire us. Mostly because they are one of very few bands today that really tries to create something new and exciting.
It`s impotant to us to be innovative and experimental and do things on the side of what`s mainstream. At the same time we use our influences from 70`s and 80`s, and even the 90`s as a foundation for the music.
Your first record sounds completely like stoner music, while Delusions of Grandeur sounds more like metal psyche music.
Can you explain why is there a slight change in it ?
Yeah the albums are different. But then again every Sahg album has been different from the others. And that is, for us, a natural part of the bands evolution. We want to challenge our selves and try to create something new when we write music. We want to keep on evolving and explore different musical landscapes. That’s what makes this interesting to us.
You only came 4 times in France. What are the reasons that can explain that to you ?
That is clearly not intentional. We really love france and the 4 times we`ve played for you guys have been awesome.
In the position we are now, we are doing support tours so it`s not like we can choose where to play. Every place we visit is highly important to us to play. We need to get out there and be visible and accessible. We want to get as many metalheads as possible interested in Sahg.
That said we really look forward to play France again. We will be playing Colmar on the 4th of November 2014 supporting Solstafir. Hope to see a lot of you there.
Is France late on metal music and its derived styles ? Or are Norway and its neighborhood more open-minded and lovers of this music ?
It`s hard to say. I`m not that familiar with the metalscene in France. We are huge fans of Gojira but other than that I don`t know much. Dagoba maybe, aren`t they French? I also remember a band called Trust from the 80`s. Nico McBrain was their drummer at some point wasn`t he?
I don`t think norwegians are more into metal than other people. As a matter of fact the metal scene in Norway is quite small and mostly everyone knows each other. But than again it`s a small country right?
You celebrate your 10 years of existence this year. What do you plan ?
That’s right. There`s probably gonna be a big party in our hometown Bergen at some point. Nothing is decided yet. First of all we are gonna celebrate with you on this tour with Solstafir and Obsidian kingdom. Starting 4th of November in Colmar, France and ending in Berlin the 14th of November. Then we are traveling to Harøy, Olav Iversen (Voc, gitar, frontman) homeplace for a gig the 15th of November. So there`s gonna be plenty of celebration in November. No serious plans beyond that.
What are your best memories on tour ? And your worst ones ?
We have a lot of good memories from touring. Travelling Europe in an old bus with a big SAHG logo on the side was a blast. That was a tour we did with Enslaved and Dimmu Borgir back in 2010 I think. Earlier this year we had the opportunity to travel with the mighty Clutch for 10 days. That was really great. Sold out shows every night in bigger venues than we are used to. Excelent! Now when we are going out with our islandic brothers in Solstafir again we have to mention the tour we did with them in 2013. Brilliant tour with brilliant people. So we look forward to meet our friends again.
We also did a small festivaltour in India back in 2008 which was spectacular.
Worst ones? Can`t think of any bad experiences, but of course you sometimes get involved in some absurd situations and not all of them are that pleasant. But it`s part of the game right? And it`s always possible to find a solution. Or you can always run for it.
Which projects are going on for you ? A fifth record or more tour dates ?
Yeah, as a matter of fact we are in the middle of writing the next album as we speak. We have started preproduction and have about 4-5 songs more or less ready. We are hoping for an april-may 2015 release. But that is if everything turns out the way we plan. But there is definitely gonna be a new Sahg album in 2015.
What have been the Sahg’s influences ?
Sahgs influences starts back in the 70`s with Kiss, Sabbath, Purple and Zeppelin. Through the 80`s and the NWOBHM and bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, 90`s and bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. and of course the trashmetal bands in between. Slayer, Metallica, Testament, Megadeth etc. But that’s just the foundation. Every member has a personal engagement for music and we like different things and get inspired by different music and musicstyles. So in the end we try to make music we like ourselves. Not caring to much about styles and references.
Which Norvegian scene bands can you recommend to us ?
Have to mention our good friends in Audrey Horne and Ribozyme.
Who would you like to collaborate with ?
Have to be some of the big ones. Mostly to get the attention it would give us. Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica? Yeah something like that.
Would also be interesting to work with some of the hot shot producers out there like Rick Rubin, Joe Barresi, Josh Wilbur, Machine or even some of the legends like Bob Ezrin or Fleming Rasmussen.
What can we wish you all for the future ?
We can promise you new music from Sahg within the next year, and hopefully we can do some more gigs in France, and other countries in 2015 as well. Just invite us!