After a series of demos, EPs and splits, blackened doom/sludge overlords Sadgiqacea released their debut full length False Prism, a devastating album of raw energy and emotion. Evan and Fred found some time, while on tour, to answer our questions regarding the band and, most importantly, the origin of its mystical name.
Scene Point Blank: Hi guys! First of all, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Since you are quite new at the scene would you like to introduce the band? Where does the name Sadgiqacea derive from?
Fred: We formed in 2010 and with each new experience in this band we have grown increasingly fond of the scene in heavy music, especially when we get a chance to see what it’s like around the rest of the country. The name was primarily formed around Evan’s guitar tuning. ADGCEA. We wanted a name that stood out from the rest of the simplistic one-word-names we see in doom, sludge and the like, and one we would never have to worry about someone else using. There exists a universal appraisal within the name as well. SADG being reminiscent to SAGGITARIUS or the element of the cosmos, IQ is the human element, and ACEA can be likened to the word OCEAN, which completes the cycle. Consider it a stretch, but we enjoy the multiple meanings and love how it all fell into place.
"We must have caught people's attention because we were making honest music and playing it live in the heaviest and most emotional way we knew how."
Scene Point Blank: Your debut album, False Prism, was released a couple of months back. Looking back, are you satisfied with the end result and what has been the general feedback you received for the album?
Evan: We are exceedingly happy with the finished product of False Prism. Chris Grigg and Colin Marston did a fantastic job of accurately transcribing our sound and the fact that you can tell it was done live was exactly what we were going for. We didn't really know what to expect upon releasing this album but people have seemed to receive it well so far.
Scene Point Blank: You are currently signed to two record labels if I am not mistaken: Candlelight and Anthropic Records. How is it working with these guys so far?
Evan: It's great. Anthropic has always supported us from the very beginning, and continues to do so. The joint venture for the record was a very fortunate situation for Anthropic and Sadgiqacea to find ourselves in. Candlelight, although they are a larger label, has been extremely understanding and cooperative with our DIY touring preferences. We have no booking agent and they never tried to make us use one. We prefer to see it through ourselves that shows on tour are booked with bands and people that we personally know and trust.
Scene Point Blank: Since it is getting notoriously more and more difficult for newer bands to pen deals, what advice would you give to newcomers that are currently looking to get signed?
Evan: Don't play music with the objective of getting signed. To a certain degree, setting goals can make life less fun and if you’re not having fun playing music, reevaluate your life.
It was never our goal, or even an imagined possibility for us to get signed. In retrospect, we must have caught people's attention because we were making honest music and playing it live in the heaviest and most emotional way we knew how. We will continue to make honest music that is heavy both sonically as well as emotionally.
Scene Point Blank: Can you expand a bit on the lyrical subjects that you are investigating with Sadgiqacea?
Evan: With this record, we wanted to make a theme of, more or less, discovering that we're being lied to as people, and waking up answering to the call of creating, living life passionately, and achieving the most we can as humans in our short time on this planet. These themes tie quite literally to being in a band. We both had jobs we hated when we met each other and formed this band, and we decided to take our lives to a different place, so the record is autobiographical on the choices we are allowed to make in life, and who we want to become.
Scene Point Blank: I find it quite interesting that three of your songs start with the word “false” while the closing tracks starts with its opposite” “true.” Could you explain the idea behind that a bit further?
Evan: We wanted to convey the dichotomy of the opposing facets of modern life. We stress the nature of falsehood that we as people are constantly challenged to understand and overcome. When all of the veils have been lifted, there can only be the purest form of truth. True darkness is the real evil we all face, manifested in greed and hate, propagating negativity and paranoia. We included false in 3 song titles so we could expand on the idea of falsity in a few different ways. Each song takes the idea to a new dimension (segments, cross, prism) as we delve into the parameters of the concept.
Scene Point Blank: Since there are only two members in the band, I’m guessing that the recording process is more of a collaborative procedure than an individual one. Care to illustrate how the songwriting stage actually works in the band?
Evan: While ideas for guitar parts are constantly being written and open to edits, drums are felt out accordingly and harnessed to fit with the progressions of the songs in a cohesive manner. We carefully craft and structure our songs until we can both stand behind them with lyrics laid on top to convey a certain mood or concept. Sometimes a riff will put us in a certain frame of mind for the premise of a song and we go from there. Other times prewritten lyrics point us in the right direction.
Scene Point Blank: The sound of the album is great, managing to have a dirty quality but still each element of the mix remains audible and is not lost. Where was it recorded, mixed and mastered and which sound engineer did you use?
Evan: Thank you for your keen attention to the production and we’re glad you like it. We tracked the album live with Chris Grigg of Woe at the helm of Gradwell House, a gorgeous studio with a great live room in Haddon Heights, NJ. We played the songs with all of our gear in the same room at near-performance volume. It was mastered by Colin Marston at The Thousand Caves in Brooklyn, NY. Chris Grigg did an excellent job at capturing our sound while still managing to give it that live feel with some grit. We have worked with him in the past and felt that he was the right man for the job for that reason.
Scene Point Blank: Are you guys involved in any projects outside Sadgiqacea?
Evan: I am the drummer/vocalist for the band Ominous Black, a cosmic/atmospheric doom 3-piece who also works with Anthropic Records. I am also a tattoo artist at Living Out Loud Tattoo in southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia. Ominous Black and legendary NJ black metal outfit, Krieg are doing a split 12" on Anthropic that will be out this fall.
Fred: I am a freelance illustrator and designer specializing in heavy art for heavy bands, small businesses, you name it. I do most of Sadgiqacea’s artwork, including the majority of the False Prism record. I am experienced in shirt/sticker/etc designs for screen-printing and offset printing. You can see my work here.
Scene Point Blank: How exactly do live performances work for Sadgiqacea? Since you are a duo and I guess you do not use an extra member for your shows, how do you manage to get your music to sound full and heavy on stage?
Evan: I always say our sound is a happy accident. All the equipment we use now was bought for super cheap from friends after our van and everything in it (all our gear) was stolen in broad daylight in south Philadelphia. I use 3 full stacks and 3 heads to achieve my tone, and about 8 guitar pedals that make it all come together.
Fred: I definitely have to agree with Evan about the sound being a happy accident. To achieve such heaviness he plays his guitar through both a full bass and full guitar rig. I use a Tama Rockstar from the mid ‘70s and play with low tuned heads. I use a Zildjian series of hi-hats and a 20” ride from the ‘70s as well. I play my ride like a crash and utilize the bell frequently. My crash symbol is actually a multi-disciplinary marching band symbol that does its job cutting through Evan’s huge guitar tone.
Scene Point Blank: You are going to have a monstrous US tour coming up in July with Hivelords. You want to share some of the details of the tour? Are there going to be any more bands supporting you in some of the shows?
Evan: [We’re] in the midst of our second week of this 6 week tour and we are very fortunate for how the shows have been going. Some great friends have helped make our dreams a reality for such an ambitious and rigorous tour and we are making new connections every day. We are definitely enjoying our time out. So far, Dutchguts, Ubasute, Haethen, VYGR, Eastern Spell, Zud, Dendritic Arbor, Before The Eyewall, Bridesmaid, Neverender, Panther, Pyroclast, Wartorn, Poney, Ambassador Gun and so many more have helped us on our trek out west and back. We look forward to the rest.
Scene Point Blank: Are there any new releases from other bands that you have recently discovered?
Evan: Haethen, Before the Eyewall, Woe, Ashencult, VYGR, Vattnet Viskar, Ambassador Gun, Atriarch, Nisroch, Neverender, Inter Arma, Lord Mantis, Sunburster, Occult45, Ash Borer, Poney, Wartorn, Pyroclast, Panther, Bubonic Bear, Psychic Teens, +HIRS+, and Sea of Bones are all bands that we look forward to hearing new releases from in the future. We highly respect these bands and they make fucking awesome music. Anthropic Records has a free compilation called Anthrosphere, the fourth installment of which is out now and can be ordered at their website.