2015 Savage interview with Chris Bradley and Andy Dawson
More than three decades after Chris Bradley and Andy Dawson recorded the debut Savage album, Loose N Lethal, the Mansfield, England-based duo continue to create formidable traditional metal. This month the band dropped its seventh studio album, aptly titled 7 along with a new live album, Live N Lethal. The former represents the present and future of Savage, while latter celebrates the fans and the band’s legacy. This week, Metalholic caught up with Chris and Andy to chat about the new records, the band’s place in the history of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the impact of Van Halen, and much more.
Savage has since a resurgence in popularity since it released Sons of Malice in 2012. The current line-up includes Chris on bass and vocals and Andy on guitar, as well as new drummer Mark Nelson, and guitarist Kristian Bradley who is Chris’ son and Andy’s nephew. With 7, Savage continue to evolve, combining the dark weightiness of Sons of Malice with the band’s early, hard-driving speed metal roots.
Savage emerged as part of the last wave of NWOBHM, featuring a more dynamic and speed driven sound than most of their contemporaries. A young Lars Ulrich became a fan, convincing Metallica to record a cover of Savage’s “Let it Loose” in their fledgling days. The band’s own influences not surprisingly include the likes of UFO and Thin Lizzy, but it was an American band that made a big impact with the guys:
“‘Let it Loose’ has got a massive Van Halen influence which nobody really picks up on,” offers Dawson.
“Purely and simply it’s [Eddie’s] guitar playing. It was huge,” states Bradley.
“A huge impact,” continues Dawson. “I remember listening to the first album–I was still at school. And it just kind of blew everything away. So you couldn’t help but pick up on that influence.”
Despite the NWOBHM label, Chris and Andy do not really consider themselves a NWOBHM act.
“We got lumped into it, to be honest, I think” shared Chris. “We never felt a part of that movement. We came along towards the back end of it anyway, but we were listening to old school bands. That’s what we wanted to be like. Then obviously the Van Halen thing. So if you take Deep purple and all those other bands like UFO and Thin Lizzy and sticks some Van Halen in, that’s where we were going.”
Chris and Andy also talked about other bands from their era they liked that they thought were overlooked, as well as digging into the new record and their decision to record a live version of their entire debut record. Check out the full Savage interview below as well as the addictive new single, “I Am the Law”.