Kaine are a four piece heavy metal band, hailing from East Anglia in England, and have helped to keep the spirit of NWOBHM alive. I recently had the pleasure of being able to do an email interview with founder and vocalist Rage Sadler.
Hi, I’m Dawn from Ever Metal. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today. I hope you are well?
I have had just 5 hours sleep between shifts, got home a few hours ago and now I am back doing band stuff, a little tired but this beats the hell out of warehouse work that’s for sure!
Ok, for those who haven’t heard of Kaine, could you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
We started out in 2009, so nearly 10 years ago. Essentially, we formed in a scene of Metalcore with the ambition to try and rebuild the old school Metal scene and do music in the vein of bands from the golden era of Metal back in the 1980’s. We did very well, considering how little support we had when we started, and we’ve gone onto some huge things for an unknown band from East Anglia!
Your third album, A Crisis of Faith, was released on 1st February 2018. How is it being received?
There was a lot of hype and coverage, both positively and negatively, for the previous album, The Waystone, for example and a significant amount of sales, whereas with ACOF there hasn’t been the same hype but in terms of those who have followed and bought it, it’s been overwhelmingly positively received this time around.
I see how hard you, and the band as a whole, work to promote yourself and the album. Does it frustrate you when you don’t get the recognition I, for one, think you deserve?
Not as much as you would think really. I am a fairly realistic type of bloke and that’s why people often write me off as negative. The truth is I don’t expect a career out of my music either way. Some bands make it, and some do not, it’s a bit like a lottery in some respects. Yeah connections, hard work, image, quality sounds and songs will work in your favour but only a small percentage of bands will ever draw a living from music and it’s no shame in not being one of those who cannot because that’s the majority. The point I tried to make recently, and one I think that was misunderstood and wasn’t necessarily even solely relevant to my band was this, if you love any band’s music and want them to push on, buy a CD, T-Shirt and attend a couple of gigs. If the band’s sales go up and their gigs are attended then the industry will take notice because in their eyes that band is a draw and will make them money. It’s that easy!
How about when you do live gigs? I’ve seen you post that you have played to very few people at times. Does this not dishearten you?
Again, I highlight where things go badly to help better educate the wider audience about the struggle all bands go through, not just my band and it relates back to that earlier point. How can any band hope to make it when so many people will turn their noses up at a free entry gig to sit at home instead? Kaine is in a weird situation, sometimes we can play some bad gigs, usually due to lack of promotion and play to smaller crowds, but we can go on decent runs of shows averaging 50-100 people and earlier this year we played to around 3000. It’s bizarre, so while it sucks to play to so few sometimes after all the work and travel we are rewarded with the good ones too.
But you recently played HRH Metal at Birmingham. How was that for you?
Definitely a career highlight. I am not someone who gets nervous or worried about shows. If its 5 or 5000 I will usually deliver the same performance because it’s what I love to do more than anything else. We really did deliver that show well, it was incredibly well received. To be a main stage act and effectively support Grave Digger was huge for us. It may never happen again either, once in a lifetime.
Obviously, one of the biggest pieces of news coming out of the Kaine camp recently was Chris announcing he was leaving the band. How did this affect the rest of you?
It was a huge blow, certainly emotionally. Chris has played with me for 6 years, he was a 17-year-old kid when he first started in the band and we’ve literally been through hell together. It was a huge surprise given everything and how close it was to the album release. He just couldn’t afford to do it any longer without a huge band income coming in, and as I stated if bands can’t sell CD’s, shirts and people won’t show up to gigs then you’re going to struggle to keep members. Again, that’s not just us, many bands lose members every week because of this very reason and often to a very sad reception online, but if those people bought the albums it would never happen. We have enough Facebook likes that if people bought the record it would chart! The 2016-2018 Kaine line-up was a special one because we fought through the ashes of the old band to become something stronger and produce a world class album, we stood together and worked extremely hard to deliver that record and that to me is the tragedy of it ending so soon. It could have easily killed the band.
You found a replacement in Liam Etheridge. What made him stand out for you?
Liam is a drummer I have known for about 5 years now. He was originally in a band called Asylum which gigged with us a few times as support back in the day. I already knew him well enough to know he wasn’t a total dickhead and I knew that in terms of his ability on drums he would be able to learn and adapt to our style with a huge potential to do even more. He turned up in one session and pretty much could play an entire set. In fact, he’s only having one more rehearsal this week before his debut on Friday, so he’s proving his dedication early on to the band. I prefer to find good people with huge potential to work with for the band rather than use established people from the scene. Liam is already a great drummer, but I can see him growing and becoming one of the best on the scene. It really is an opportunity for him.
I know you are not backward in coming forward about your views, so what do you think is the future of metal?
Metal will always be there in some guise or another. You have acts like Ghost who are essentially blazing a trail for that old school sound in the mainstream even though it may not to be everyone taste, I think that’s an incredibly good thing for Metal. Big riffs, epic chorus’s, evil aesthetic alongside those clean vocals. On the heavier old school front, you have Savage Messiah who are now really pushing on, for the old school scene Seven Sisters and Toledo Steel are making amazing progress of late, so while it may seems a little low at the moment there’s tons of bands out there who could potentially be the next big thing. We need rebirth and renewal in Metal music really. We have had the same acts for 30 years more or less holding onto those top spots and while there’s always a place for legends, we also need to have some renewal and regrowth for Metal to push through again, much like it did in 2000-01.
A lot of people don’t like a spade being called a spade. Do you think your outspokenness (if that is even a word!) affects your popularity?
I really don’t worry about it. There’s a lot of people who do not like me for whatever reason, but I can’t let that be my focus. Frankly they don’t always firmly understand my comments and make assumptions on what I’m trying to say based on their own predetermined prejudices about me. The most common thing I get when meeting people is “I was told you were a total c**t but your actually a really nice guy!”. I don’t need to be popular, Axel Rose isn’t well liked and he’s a millionaire!
I read the note you posted saying what the lyrics to the tracks on A Crisis of Faith meant. Was this a kind of therapeutic process for you as you state that they are a reflection of many issues you have dealt with?
I decided to write this album from the heart and deliver an emotional experience alongside the musical one. I have had an absolutely shocking few years in my life both inside and outside of music, and I am not sure it was therapy so much as trying to keep it real. The words are actual feelings, actual experiences, not just there to add music value to the song. If you sense sadness, hope, frustration, loneliness, anger, despair, and the like while listening than that’s a great part of the experience.
You are on the bill for the next Mearfest. Are you all looking forward to that?
We’re always happy to play Mearfest. Brian and Clare have been incredible to us these past few years and have done a lot for good causes by turning loss into legacy. I am immensely proud to have played a part in that process, especially given the background. When people work hard and focus on good they can do a lot of positive in the world.
And as festival season approaches, what festival would you most like to play and why?
We sadly haven’t been approached by any of them! If I was going to pick any, I’d love to do something like Wacken over in Europe and it would be cool to do a Download or something at home, but I don’t see it happening. It’s not something I really focus on. People have requested us at them all, but it falls at deaf ears, so I always say, come see us on the road, it’s far cheaper and much more personal!
So, what’s next for Kaine?
We’re going to blood Liam into the band, look to the future and record a fourth album. That’s it really, we’ll keep on going until there’s nothing left.
Well, thank you very much for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add before we finish?
Go and buy an unsigned bands CD this week! Any one will do! It will go a long way to helping that band push on, go to a gig this month that isn’t an established artist, get a t-shirt. Support the new generation! If people are yet to own our new record, it’s just £3 on digital or £10 on a CD. Vinyl is coming, so if you fancy helping an unknown band out, drop by our band camp and support our music!
Please note: Since this interview took place, guitarist Saxon Davids and bassist, Stephen Ellis, have also announced they are to leave the band. Please see the band’s website and Facebook page for announcements and press releases regarding this. We wish them all the very best of luck in the future.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
KAINE A CRISIS OF FAITH SELF RELEASED 8 out of 10 Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
When I hear the name Kaine, I always think of them as a new band just starting out, full of young guys wanting to make their mark on the metal scene. Now, while the “wanting to make their mark” bit is true, the band, itself, has been around since 2009.
Hailing from East Anglia, Kaine is a four-piece set up with influences from bands such as Iron Maiden and Saxon, which they have mixed with the thrash element I so love and have produced a fresh take on an older genre. Their site states they “combine traditional / NWOBHM with thrash / speed metal” and, despite not being the biggest NWOBHM fan, as you will have come to know by now, this is a combination that I have grown to love.
So, for those of you who don’t know much about the band, and if you don’t where have you been for the past nine years, let me tell you of some of their achievements so far.
They have supported some of the biggest names in current heavy metal, such as Alestorm, Evil Scarecrow, Savage Messiah, I-AM-I (which features ex-Dragonforce and current Skid Row singer ZP Theart), The Wild Lies and Absolva (a band that features members of Iced Earth!) and they have also shared the stage with legends such as Diamond Head, Praying Mantis, Tygers of Pan-Tang, Grave Digger, Holocaust, Lawnmower Deth, Annihilated, Tytan (ex-Angel Witch) and Onslaught.
On top of this, they were also voted GMA Breakthrough UK band of 2013 and in 2017, the band’s website was recognised as the 87th top metal blog in the world by Feedspot.
So, what does this band have to offer? Well, in my opinion, absolutely everything! With four fantastic musicians, excellent song writing abilities and a work ethic that’s second to none, this band should be bigger than what they are!
A Crisis of Faith is the band’s third album, officially released on February 1st, 2018, and having reviewed the previous one, The Waystone, I can see how they have grown as a band. I stated in my review then that they had “taken a great, big pot, thrown in some traditional heavy metal and a handful of NWOBHM, while adding a bit of thrash and a pinch of prog.” This album takes it all to the next level and feels a lot more ‘proggy’ to me than the last. This, however, doesn’t take away from the heavy crunching riffs and pounding drums that are still present, but it does show just what this bunch of guys can do.
I have always been an admirer of vocals that stand out from the rest, because let’s face it, who wants to listen to a band whose singer sounds just like any other band? And that, for me, is one of the things that makes this band a bit different to the rest. Rage Sadler’s vocals are somewhat quirky and will maybe not appeal to everyone, but I think they add character to the band. And he can actually sing, a trait that not too many bands deem important these days!
The other thing that stood out on this album for me was the bass playing. Being mum to a budding bass player I am starting to notice the bass lines in songs more and more now but the playing on this album just blew me away. I have seen Kaine live a few times with Stephen Ellis on bass now and he is simply a phenomenon. I never knew bass player’s fingers could move so fast! And with Saxon Davids on guitar (what a player!) and Chris MacKinnon on drums (and a lot of other stuff!! Versatility, now that’s the name of the game) these guys are everything a band should be!
Stand out songs for me were Fall of Jericho (check out the bass!) which I think is a favourite among a lot of other fans too, and Alone (In My Forgotten Rage) although I don’t think there is a bad song on the album.
I know that the music of Kaine doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I think they have been overlooked by a lot of people. They work extremely hard and endure personal hardships to do what they do, and, for this, I think they should be applauded. If you give just one unsigned band you may have discounted a listen, then let it be this band!
Get yourself a copy of A Crisis of Faith (and at just a couple of quid they are a steal) and see for yourself!
Note: Since the recording of this album, drummer Chris Mackinnon has announced he is leaving the band. While this is a mighty blow for the band, here at Ever Metal we appreciate Chris has his own reasons for doing this. We would like to wish him all the very best for his future musical endeavours and hope he achieves what he is looking for.
We would also like to wish incoming replacement Liam Etheridge the best of luck with Kaine and look forward to many more years of music from a great bunch of guys.
On the 3rd May 2018, it was also announced that guitarist, Saxon Davids and bassist Stephen Ellis, were also leaving the band. We at Ever Metal would like to wish them both the very best in what they choose to do and we also hope Rage Sadler can salvage the band and come back bigger than ever!
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.