Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera is featured in a new interview with For Bass Players Only. He discusses the band’s longevity, their latest album Punching The Sky, his playing technique, and more. An excerpt is available below.
FBPO: What’s the secret to 40 years of longevity for a band?
Vera: “(Laughs) Well, if I could answer that, I’d make a lot of money! I don’t really know. You have to define what that is, what success to you is individually, I suppose. I’ve been lucky to be around a lot of talented people and also a supportive situation, with people in my personal life and professionally. I’ve been able to stay in this business, as crazy as it may seem, for 40 years. One person’s definition of success is different from another, but I think that, as long as you as a person, as a musician, really enjoy and love what you do, then you are succeeding at it. No matter if you’re doing it in front of two people or 200,000 people, you’re doing it. That’s what success is, to suit to each person, I think. So, as long as you’re happy and enjoying what you’re doing, again, you’re going to succeed in doing it.”
FBPO: Tell me about Punching The Sky. I guess you had a little more time than expected to work on it last year.
Vera: “Well, to be honest with you, as far as Armored Saint goals are concerned, we tend to be on this five-year cycle of releasing records, and Punching The Sky fits within that time frame. It’s really not by design necessarily, but it’s just the way it landed. We began tracking drums in December of ‘19. The record was already done by the time Covid hit us all. We kind of dodged that bullet, as far as our working pace was going. I’d say it takes us about 16 to 18 months to write a record. Then we have some pre-production and recording, and that lasts about another four to five months total. We were just beginning the mixing stage in March of ‘20, so we were technically already done making the record. The mixing stage began right during lockdown, which of course is easier to deal with because we share files and approvals over emails, so it wasn’t like it really affected us. We were done mixing in April of ‘20, and then the record came out in October.”
FBPO: What else is keeping you busy these days?
Vera: “Well, music, and getting ready to go on the road. I’m starting to look forward to getting back out and playing again in front of people. I just finished working on a live DVD with Armored Saint. We recorded one of our records called Symbol of Salvation, which came out in 1991. In 2018, we toured and recorded the whole record in its entirety and videotaped the show. We just finished working on that packaging and everything. So, that’s finally in the can and it should be coming out in October. Armored Saint also has a new production video for a song called ‘Lone Wolf’, which is on Punching The Sky. That’s coming out at the end of July, so that’s exciting. Getting ready to do some dates at the end of the year with Armored Saint. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time. Also, the Motor Sister record is all done and mixed and we’re getting ready to do the packaging for that. I got to start picking my bass up because, I have to be honest, I haven’t been playing it much. I’ve been so busy with kind of tech stuff with mixing and overseeing editing and stuff, I haven’t paid much attention to playing. I miss my basses so I got to go back and start playing again.”
Read the complete interview here.
Punching The Sky tracklisting:
“Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants”
“End Of The Attention Span”
“Do Wrong To None”
“Missile To Gun”
“Fly In The Ointment”
“Bark, No Bite”
“Never You Fret”
“Missile To Gun” video:
“Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” video:
“End Of The Attention Span” video: