Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Entertainment Worldwide, we are here today with a new band stepping into the spotlight. I am sure you will know a few of the members. We have the honor of speaking to Sean Tibbetts, founding member of the hard rock metal band Sault, and also bassist for Kamelot. Thank you Sean, for taking the time to do this interview with us here at Metaltitans.
1. First tell us the story behind the name of the band.
I came up with the name originally after my wife and I were watching the movie Gangs of NY. One the characters in the move asked "do they have the salt of the dead rabbits". Implying tough or strong. I thought how cool let's go with salt. That name was already taken so we put a 'u' in it. It sounds like you’re from Jersey when you pronounce it slowly haha.
2. What made you decide to branch out and form your own band?
Kamelot tours for 4 to 5 months a year giving me to time to work on other things. I always wanted to write some hard rock / metal that was closer to my personal vision. I purposely wrote the songs in a different genre as to not compete with Kamelot. No sense in making a Kamelot-lite haha.
3. Tell us how you acquired the other band members:
Curtis Jay (guitars):
I was receiving a tattoo from my buddy Bisquette and I was bitching about how I can't find any guitarist who can write to my bass lines. At that point I had already been through 3 guitarists. For guitarist, the way I write is backwards. Usually bass writes to the guitar. He said I know a killer guitarist. I said who? He pointed across the room to Curtis who was tattooing someone else. Curtis said let me give it a shot. I sent him the demos and what he sent back blew me away. We both knew we had something here with the music. We started looking for the rest of the members shortly thereafter.
Benjamin Riggs (vocalist):
This band was not an overnight process. I was writing with Curtis between tours since 2014. During that time, I had been asking everyone I know in the industry if they knew anyone who might be interested in singing with us. One of the people I spoke with was Kimberly Freeman of the band one Eyed Doll. She had a friend (Riggs) who she thought I should call. I got in touch with him he wrote and sang on a few demo songs and sent them back. Curtis and I both agreed that Riggs had a unique quality in his voice and it was exactly what the lineup needed. So we said hey bro how about it? He said let's do this!
Casey Grillo (drums):
I have been playing with Casey for 10 years now and we are really dialed in to each other's playing and style. Truthfully, I can't imagine anyone else playing on it. When I wrote the scratch tracks on the drum machine I would think to myself 'how would Casey play it '? So anyway I asked if he would play on , and here it is .
4. What was your inspiration for Sault being a hard rock band?
I have done many genres of music over my career but I have never done a hard rock band so I thought let's give it a try. And Sault was born.
5. Who writes the lyrics for the band?
There has been several writers contributing to the lyrics on the album. Jeffry Garner wrote on the song Fragile, Kole Kruger wrote on a few songs and the rest were all written by Riggs. Riggs will be doing more of the writing in the future. Riggs was not in the band yet when the other writers were used.
6. So you must be excited, you have a new album about to be released, what can people expect from your first?
Excited is an understatement! This has been something I've been slowly chipping away at for years. Finally bringing it to a conclusion is not just exciting but a sense of relief and accomplishment.
What can they expect?
Great musicianship and song writing. These guys are some of the best I've worked with.
7. How many songs will be on the album?
12 songs with 1 bonus track is the plan at the moment... unless we get a hair up our ass and write another one haha.
8. When you were putting it all together, did Casey do the drum work, Curtis the guitars, or had someone put it all together and everyone learned their part?
I wrote the meat of most of the songs. Then everyone was given artistic freedom to put their own writing on it. Did we tweak and re do some parts? Of course. As a professional you have to be able to look at the end product and say " would I buy this song "? If it is anything but " hell yes" you need to fix or scrap it. Curtis and I probably wrote 20 songs before settling on the ones we have on the album.
9. Do you have a name for the album, and can you reveal it to us?
Yes, we do the name will be 'The Seeds Of Power'
10. Tell us where you did the mixing / produced of it?
We all recorded our tracks separately in our personal studios then sent them to Oliver to produce it in his studio in Germany. Some of the vocal tracks were tracked in Colorado and in California.
11. Has the artwork for the cover been done?
Yes, it has been and it is stellar! I am not letting it out until the album comes out. It was done by an amazing artist named Gustavo Sazes who has done some of Metal's biggest acts album covers. I fed him some ideas and he took it from there.
12. Have you played at a venue yet to showcase your songs?
We have not we are all seasoned musicians so that is not a concern.
13. After the album is released, will you be doing a tour to support the album?
Yes. I have spoken with booking agents and everyone is ready to go. They are just waiting for me to pull the trigger.
14. Do you think it will be hard to find the time to work Sault and Kamelot, as Kamelot always seems to be so busy on tours.
As I stated earlier Kamelot only tours 4 to 5 months a year so that leaves plenty of time to get Sault out around the globe.
Rita: "Just want to add a comment here: I must say I have listened to 3 songs, and I am so impressed, the songs have great beats, words are easy to sing along to, especially after only listening a couple of times, just what I think everyone is looking for these days, something phenomenal to listen to, to enjoy and put our voices into singing along, all amazing feel great rockin’ songs."
Well thank you that's a huge compliment. That's what we were shooting for I guess we hit our mark.
15. When the songs are written, what determines how you put it together? "(I must say, I have been listening to these 3 songs over and over, and I am having difficulty concentrating on writing this interview). That’s a great thing.'
Riggs and Curtis both wrote songs on the album but I can tell you how it works when I write. Generally I start off writing it the way I think it sounds cool with a drum program. Then it goes to Curtis and he put his tracks on it and I generally form the song. Or at least that's what Curtis and I think. Then we send it to Riggs and he tells us it's all wrong and he gets out a big meat cleaver and chops my beautiful masterpiece up into little pieces and put it back together like a Frankenstein and Shazam you have a beautiful piece of work. Then we can re-record the whole thing and send it to Oliver.
16. What do you hope people will get from the album?
Honestly, I'm not looking to get anything from it other than pure joy of knowing that this came from us and that people like it. When people say they like it just makes me smile ear to ear. This album is about as pure as you can get from us. If it ends up paying for itself and we can do a second album that would be glorious and would make my day or year or tour or cycle haha.
17. When you were growing up, did you have anyone in particular that really inspired you to pick up a bass?
My biggest inspiration was my uncle Richard Dolan. He is actually a sax and flute player. Inspiration wasn't so much to be a bass player as it was just to be a musician after seeing him play. I remember the first time I saw him play and I knew I was going to be a musician. I remember the exact day and moment I was six years old in my parents living room in Fort Lauderdale. I would say my two larges influences besides that would be John Paul Jones and Geezer Butler. I know they're not Jaco Pistorius or any of those crazy million note guys but they're a great songwriters and players it's not about how many notes to play it's about what you play. A friend of mine once told me musicians play but song writers make money. I don't want make it sound like it's about money for me because it's not. But being able to pay the mortgage and feed my family is important as well. You can't give it all away in the name of love.
18. Can you tell me who you think is an outstanding bassist these days?
Kamelot just did a tour in Europe and the opening act was called Withem. Their bass player (Miguel Pereria) is one of the sickest bass players I've ever seen. I stopped trying to be the baddest kid on the block long time ago. I just want to write good songs. But that guys a badass. Seventh wonders bassist Andreas Blomqvistalso makes me want to throw my bass in the wood chipper and say fuck it. I am a musician to my very core so that won't happen but those guys are amazing players.
19. Tell us something about Sault that we would not know.
Too much Sault in excess can lead to high blood pressure and becoming a fan. While Sault is not a narcotic Sault can lead to and may have addictive qualities. Please check with your doctor recommended dosage. Oh, and Riggs is 6 foot 4 3/4".
Thank you so much Sean for doing this interview with us, we appreciate it very much. I would also like to wish you much success with your debut album, but I know this one is going to be a great success, people are going to enjoy this rockin’ sound.
I want to thank you for your interest.
Thanks so much , we really do appreciate this opportunity. :)