INTERVIEW WITH DAVID AUSTIN OF BLOOD DIVISIONS
Date: September 17, 2015
BLOOD DIVISIONS IS AN EXCITING NEW PROJECT BY NASTY SAVAGE GUITARIST, DAVID AUSTIN, WHICH BRINGS TOGETHER SOME OF THE BEST HEAVY METAL MUSICIANS TO ORIGINATE FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN THE US. BLOOD DIVISIONS HAVE RECENTLY RELEASED THEIR DEBUT TWO SONG EP WITH ALL OF THE PROCEEDS GOING TO THE CHARITIES, ‘ROCK & RESCUE’ AND ‘WARREN COUNTY TENNESSEE HUMANE SOCIETY.’ SLEAZE ROXX CAUGHT UP WITH AUSTIN TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BLOOD DIVISIONS PROJECT AND WHAT THE FUTURE ENTAILS IN THAT REGARD.
Sleaze Roxx: What made you think of starting the Blood Divisions project and what prompted you to approach the various musicians that ended up playing on the record?
David Austin: The start of Blood Divisions was basically an accident. I was in Florida working at the time. Myself and Ed Aborn — who produced, engineered and played drums on “Top Of The Bill” — decided to re-record an old Scorpions tune for the fun of it. Since I am a fan of them from back in ’78, I wanted to record “Top Of The Bill.” After we decided to do this, Chris Jericho — a long time friend of Ed’s — called him and wanted to sing it. I said “Sure! Sounds like fun.” Jericho also did some vocals on the Nasty Savage release ‘Psycho Psycho’ [back in] 2004. So after that, I decided to re-record “The Morgue” for the hell of it. That’s the only Nasty Savage tune I wrote both music and lyrics [for] so I know there would be no bullshit from former members. So I talked to the rest of the guys — Butler, Gall, Santolla, Meyer, Owen and Mahoney — about doing an extended version, and they said “Hell yes!” I’ve known all those guys for 30 plus years.
Sleaze Roxx: How did you end up choosing the two songs that ended up on the Blood Divisions EP?
David Austin: Jericho is friends with Brian Slagel of Metal Blade so it was Jericho’s idea to take it to another level, since those songs were almost finished and had to go back to Tennessee. We went with those two. If I had known the plan earlier, I most likely wouldn’t have chosen those tracks, but I’m happy with the result.
Sleaze Roxx: Why are there only two tracks on Blood Divisions’s debut EP? Even by EP standards, that seems kind of short.
David Austin: That’s the reason it is so short because I basically ran out of time.
Sleaze Roxx: You are best known for your work with Nasty Savage, which is really a thrash metal band. However, I would say that the two tracks on the Blood Divisions EP would not fall into that category. Do you agree and if so, was it a conscious decision to move away from the thrash genre?
David Austin: Actually, Nasty Savage’s first record is more power metal in my opinion so I really don’t think we moved away from the thrash genre.
David Austin: I was on my way back leaving the studio and the idea of a charity just came to me after thinking about people arguing about money. So I talked with Metal Blade about it and they liked the idea — 50% to them, 50% mine.
Sleaze Roxx: I didn’t comment on this in my review of Blood Divisions’ debut EP but I really like the cover showing presumably the state of Florida. Who came up with that idea and what is the significance behind it?
David Austin: Since all these guys are long time buddies, I thought the idea was great, and none of them were on tour at the moment so it was good timing.
Sleaze Roxx: How has the reaction been to Blood Divisions so far and are you surprised by the overall reaction to date?
David Austin: The reaction has been good so far for what you can expect for a two song EP. I should be hearing from Metal Blade soon about a contract for ‘Blood Divisions 2.’
Sleaze Roxx: You have recently asked Blood Divisions fans for their input on the continuation of the Blood Divisions project, namely whether they would like to see a full length album or a series of three or four EPs in the next year. What are the short-term and long-term plans for Blood Divisions?
David Austin: Jericho had the idea of doing a series of EPs throughout the year, which is good. It kind of keeps the fire lit so to speak instead of doing a full length in 11 or 12 months from now.
Sleaze Roxx: Is there anything else that you would like to add that we have not covered?
David Austin: I’ve noticed a lot of articles mention a portion goes to charity. That’s not true 100% goes to charity. This is for a really good cause and there is not one person making a dime off of this.
Sleaze Roxx: Last question! What are your top three all-time favorite albums and why?
David Austin: KISS’ ‘Alive!’ mainly for the influence to want to just get in a band. Second is Scorpions’ ‘Virgin Killer’ simply because Uli Jon Roth is my all-time guitar hero. Third is UFO’s ‘Obsession’ because they made me want to play better. There are so many others of course.