Interview by Dale Roy with Neil Dyer April 2008…

There is a new band you need to hear even though they play an old style. It is a great one and they are paying tribute to a great sound and great time in the Greek metal underground's history. Coming out of the fertile and revered Australian scene and boasting 2 men who have been or are currently in a bunch of notable bands (ala Misery's Omen, Grenade, Ghastly, Elysium etc...). I got to share a little conversation about one of fave subjects, that being old war history, check it out....



I see and hear (and like a lot) you have started a new band called Sacriphyx. How did this come about? Is playing in the old glorious Greek style something you have been pining (even lone pining) to do for some time now?

After leaving Grenade a few months before I was in the hunt to start another band. Playing in the Greek black/death style never really entered my mind though I love those old bands. When Anthony took a trip to my joint in the mountains one weekend, our conversation soon turned towards starting an old style death metal band as we have similar tastes in metal and soon enough amongst flowing beers and tobacco smoke, Sacriphyx was born. 

Did you arrive at this style after writing together or was it something that was predetermined ahead of time by yourself and Anthony? Did the early results match your initial vision or intent?

As I remember I basically drove to Anthonys house (some 4hrs drive) with nothing in mind but jamming together and see what happens. I was sure something would click as I knew Anthony to be a bit of a riff merchant from the other bands he is in. Things started happening really quickly and soon Greek sounding riffs started to creep in here and there. Works well so that’s the way it’ll remain. 

Was there a conscious effort not to sound like your past bands? In particular I would like to hear a little about Grenade and Stone Wings, are you still active in both? Do you think Sacriphyx will become your main band as it is mostly your creation is it not? Have you written lyrics in bands in the past?

The music style we chased was always going to be different from the above mentioned bands. Stone Wings is currently active for the time being though we are at the moment rehearsing for our final release. A split 10” with Mournful Congregation was released not long ago. As for Grenade, three of us out of the four original members left. Grenade as I see it is dead and buried. So yeah, I suppose Sacriphyx will have to be my main band! As for lyrics mate, I’ve never tried before Sacriphyx. 

Now please tell us a little about Sacriphyx’s “Lone Pine” demo disc? It seemed like the recording tried to also mimic in a small way the old recordings from Greece, is this true or am I just making shit up now? How has reaction been to the demo thus far?

The reaction to the demo was great, Anthony excelled at getting the name overseas whilst I concentrated on these shores. If anything, we didn’t make enough, only 200 were made and these disappeared real quick. It was recorded at Anthonys home studio, if you think it mimics old Greek recordings then that’s great but yeah cobber, I think you’re making shit up ha-ha. 

There seems to be a strong concept of past war and in particular Australian Diggers. Can you tell us a little about your interest in this subject and does the name Diggers have something to do with gold mining?

Yeah well the concept of Sacriphyx is about Australians at war. My interest in this as well as Australian history as a whole started for me at a young age. Some of my earliest memories are of me old man singing old Australian folk songs with his acoustic to send us kids off to sleep. He would also drag us along to Anzac Day dawn services to pay our respects for the fallen. Over the last say 6 or 7 years my interest has skyrocketed, now I can’t get my hands on enough books on the subject.

Good guess at your assumption of the word digger. It started being used commonly by Australian and New Zealand soldiers around 1917. The most common theory and the one I reckon most likely is it came about because they were constantly having to dig trenches, but there are others like a group of Western Australians believed they started it because they were gold miners in civilian life and another that it was started by the Kiwi’s who were once gum diggers. 

Tell us a little about the battle of Gallipoli? I have heard some outsiders say it is seems strange as it appears to be a celebration of Australia’s greatest defeat, what are your thoughts on this? Was this battle of attrition celebrated in honour of the brave men who fought at a large disadvantage rather than the achievement of the ultimate goal? “Lone Pine” is all about the early stages of this battle, correct?

Gallipoli was Australia’s first real chance to prove themselves to the world, being a young country and all. There was Australians In the Boer War earlier but not in the numbers here. So Gallipoli holds dear to most Australians for this alone. They were all volunteers and showed an eagerness for battle with a courageous battle.

The Gallipoli campaign came to be once the battle through the Dardanelles failed; this was suppose to force a supply route to the Eastern Front and in doing so hopefully capture Constantinpole thus knocking Turkey out of the war. So they tried fighting overland (Gallipoli) in a terrain that only ever suited the defenders.        

I do not see Gallipoli as a defeat, they were not pushed from the cliffs that they held with dogged determination. So many months after they realized it was futile they hatched a plan to trick the Turks in thinking they were staying when really they were leaving to go fight on the Western Front – France.

The Boer War and Gallipoli is where the legend of the Australian soldier was born, he grew into adulthood on the Western Front.

Hopefully this gives you some meaning of what Anzac Day means to Australians as it’s a hard thing to put in words let alone a few paragraphs. It’s a day now to remember the Australian fallen in all wars past and present.

Lone Pine is about one battle that happened on that Peninsula where as Victory of Withdrawal is about the leaving. 

Is there any resentment by yourself or many Australians for the British and fool hardy tactics in commanding the forces of Australia? The chosen landing and repeated charges at “Nek” come to mind here.

Of course there is resentment, not over the landing spot for this was a fuck up by the ships that put them at the wrong spot. Instead of the gentle hills they were to have they now had treacherous cliffs to climb and fight in.

But when it came to those futile charges made by those brave Western Australians and Victorians at The Nek, there is much resentment and anger. At the same place Turks tried to run across this stretch in numbers at night and coming downhill only to be mown down by the Vickers and Lee-Enfields . Why the fuck could Australians run upwards in daylight and not expect the same treatment? Also when the first and second waves were cut down before they could take 5 steps why were the 3rd and 4th waves made to hop the bags? Australians pushed for their own General since the beginning of the War and it wasn’t until late 1917 that things started to happen. But this battle was still nothing compared to the first battle Australians were put into on the Western Front, The Battle of Fromelles. Once again the stupidity of British Generals reigned supreme.

There is a great book by Australian author John Laffin called “British butchers and bunglers of the first World War” This book makes the blood boil. 

I understand you are not into “foreign” food. So can you recommend some Aussie cuisine we should all try? Is it true that Vegemite is the official food of all Australian metal warriors (heathens need to eat breakfast too!)? Tell us what is the “Tall Poppy Syndrome”?

Someones been telling you porky pies, I eat pizza once in a while. Some good Aussie cuisine, well you cant go past bully beef and anzac biscuits (thought id go along with the theme of the interview thus far). But really mate a good Australian pie these days are hard to come by unless of course you happen to be in Thirlmere.

I’d have to squash the theory of every Australian eats vegemite; personally I’d rather eat a shit sandwich though I’m not a fan of bread.. Baked beans in ham sauce mate, that’s the stuff.

The tall poppy syndrome is pretty much those who can’t stand others excelling at something so by all means possible they try to bring ‘em back down to their own level. 

Did you choose the name Sacriphyx as a tribute to your favourite band Asphyx?

Well we wanted to use the name Sacrifice as it would have fitted in perfectly with the lyrical content but of course there was another classic band named that, so why not just break up the name and join it to the end of asphyx. Looks good, sounds good, Hail Asphyx! (Excellent bands equals an excellent combination! – Dale) 

I understand Sacriphyx has signed on for some releases with the mighty Nuclear War Now! Records. How did this come about and tell us the details on these releases. It was your idea or the labels to plan more than 1 release? Will there be any “Die Hard” versions? Do you collect much vinyl personally?

Anthony sent the demo to Yosuke at NWN! Not long after we received an email by Yosuke who praised the demo, wanted to release it on 7” and asked us if we had other material that he could also release. Next releases are 12” split with Resuscitator and a 7” split with fellow Australians Stargazer. I know nothing about coloured vinyl being released or diehards as of yet. Though yeah, I do hope there will be for I am a vinyl maniac.           

How do you see Sacriphyx progressing in the future? Do you have plans to continue full time with releases or is it more of a 1 off type of project band? How important are the lyrics in Sacriphyx and do you both write them?

I think Sacriphyx will be around for a while yet, It’s not an every week rehearsal band as we live 4hrs away from each other but this works well. All music progresses somewhat but I can’t see Sacriphyx straying to far from its path. The lyrics to me are very important as I write all of them and they deal with my other great interest outside of music.  

Being a drummer historically in your numerous bands. This is generally not the position of the main music composer (I am under this impression, it is correct?). Is this something you find to be a difficult challenge and how do you go about writing? What usually comes first and I presume you have at least some rudimentary skills with guitar? How much does Anthony contribute and is it difficult to get him on the same page with what you want played?

Sorry mate, you made me sound like a guitar wizard but nah, I’m still confined to the drum kit as my rudimentary guitar skills are likened to that of a retard driving a forklift. I do however have some say in the riffs Anthony uses as does Anthony have a say in the beats I use. There are no ego’s in this band and things work well because of it. I will not rule out the use of my riffs as Anthony wants me to write but when you do hear them your reaction will be the same as seeing that retard driving a forklift through your house and over your LPs. 

Are there any plans for Sacriphyx to play live? Will you need some session members to pull it off? Do you play any covers in rehearsal or any you would like to do live? Do you enjoy playing live shows?

I’m not the biggest fan of playing live, to many bad experiences, shitty foldbacks etc: but I will not rule it out, though it would have to be a worthwhile gig. We would definitely need session musicians but that would not be a problem, unless of course I somehow manage to discover a way of playing bass and drums at the same time. But first I’d have to learn to play bass, fuck that. No covers yet in rehearsals but again I wouldn’t rule it out. 

Neil, many thanks, mate for the interview. Please send hails to your close contacts and let us know what your future plans are for Sacriphyx!?

Well thanks for the interview cobber, I like the way you rolled ten questions into each one ha-ha. Hails and cheers to me mates around Australia, NWN , USMG and the AWM

Expect a full length album around 08/09 Over and out.



The Sacriphyx Discography 

Lone Pine Demo CD, 2007

Lone Pine 7" ep, 2008

split 12" LP with Resuscitator, 2008

split 7" ep with Stargazer, 2008



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