In a most interesting year for music many bands have lost their way and sat on the sidelines waiting for the world to recover. Our new friends from Corners Of Sanctuary are NOT one of those bands. They kept busy and were even able to release a new EP.
We caught up with Mick Michaels of the dedicated heavy metal band to get a little deeper into what the band has been up to. Enjoy the interview:
First off, how did the name Corners of Sanctuary come about?
Mick Michaels: A “corner of sanctuary” is a place that we can go to be who we really are…a place without judgment and void of any ridicule or outside influence. It’s a safe place…some may even call it a “happy place.” It can be anything or any place, real or imaginary. For us, music is a “corner of sanctuary” and we want to share that place with others in the hopes that they too may find the music as their own “corner of sanctuary” as well.
How would you describe your music without any of the boring generic genre descriptions?
Mick Michaels: Corners of Sanctuary’s music is the “modern sound of Classic Heavy Metal.” We definitely have a throwback flavor to our sound and that is part of the genetic makeup of what Corners of Sanctuary is and set out to be…it’s a ripple effect of all our influences and the type of music we love to hear, so it makes sense it would be the type of music we want to write and play.
The music itself is straightforward and solid…it keeps the head rockin’ and the foot stompin’.
Which bands have had the greatest influence on you?
Mick Michaels: For me it has been Kiss, Judas Priest, Savatage, early Ratt, Accept…just to name a few. But influence comes from so many places, especially for an artist…it’s all around us; everyday. We just need to be open to it and become aware…from there it’s just a matter of taking it all in and doing something with it.
What is your songwriting process? How does a song come together for Corners of Sanctuary?
Mick Michaels: Since we are basically a guitar driven band, it starts there, with a riff. Allowing the riff to grow on itself and see where it goes…it’s an organic process. However, there are times when it is less organic and sort of construction mode kicks in. This is when you are trying your best to capture in real life what it is your hearing in your head…easier said than done I must add…more focus is needed. There are also those times when a lyric drives the song or the riff…those songs tend to be more musical or melodic especially with the vocals. No matter how many times you do it, the process is always unique in some way. To me, that’s the magic of music!
Tell us about your latest release?
Mick Michaels: Corners of Sanctuary has just released a brand new EP titled “Blood and Steel: volume one, and it’s now available on RFL Records. The EP is part of our 10 year anniversary celebration for 2021. We plan to follow up with a volume two this Summer and a third edition sometime in the Fall. We look to be busy all year long.
This EP is a bit darker and grittier for us and for what fans are accustomed to with Corners of Sanctuary. It’s a solid delivery and demonstrates that Corners of Sanctuary is still evolving, which I believe is a natural process for any band. There is some level of maturation that comes with being together for a number of years but at the same time, so does the need for experimentation…bands get braver with their writing.
We have always looked at EPs as a way to try something different…songwriting styles, tuning, sounds and tones, recording and production techniques and so on. It’s an opportunity to challenge ourselves and kinda see what we are made of. Like I said, music is like magic.
What do you hope that the listener takes away from your music?
Mick Michaels: Some sort of connection… We want them to feel like they are sharing a ride with us on a musical roller coaster; they go up, they go down, they go round and round with twists and turns. We strive to create that emotional fluctuation in the songwriting and the music delivered. Sure, it’s not going to be for everybody, but for those who do connect with it, we want it to be one helleva ride!
Share some advice for other hard-working bands striving for success in the new music industry?
Mick Michaels: For me, I believe you need to be true to yourself first and foremost, without that you don’t have a real leg to stand on. If you are willing to compromise your own beliefs, your own integrity, then it’s not about what your heart wants, it’s about what your mind thinks you want or what others tell you that you want. Be true to yourself and you will never have cause to doubt your dreams.
What does the future hold for Corners of Sanctuary?
Mick Michaels: In addition to the new EP and future volume additions this year, we have already begun work on our next full length album, “Vengeance of the Fallen,” which we are looking to release in 2022. Plus we are involved in a multi-artist project called Hear ‘n Now which has a new single coming out in April that will benefit the Save Our Stages Act in an effort to help music venues and booking agents weather the storm until things can go back to some kind of working normal. It’s great to be a part of such an initiative.
We have a few online streaming events scheduled including the Metal May I Fest on May 29th. We also have a live performance we are doing as part of the Metal for Autism Fest in late April here in the Philadelphia area. We are looking forward to being back on stage!
We’ve also begun discussing booking some additional one-off shows here and there throughout the Summer to get things rolling again on that front. But we will see how things pan out as we are taking one day at a time.
Thanks so much for talking. Stay strong, be safe and COSnROLL\m/\m/
Keep up with more Corners of Sanctuary here: