Jeff Salgado of Sacramento thrashers Psychosomatic talks new music and line up changes.
From the depths of Sacramento California the crossover thrash metal, punk rock band Psychosomatic was twisted into form in 1988. Spewing forth chaotic blasts of jackhammer style guitar picking on top of super tight speed drumming, ripping fast bass guitar lines and ferocious vocals, spitting out lyrical topics ranging from anti-establishment social issues to horror and insanity. Lead singer/bassist Jeff Salgado took some time out of his busy work out schedule to answer some very important questions for us.
How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?
I was 8 years old in 1978. My uncle John. He had these weird posters all over his room. Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden. Those images drew me in like a magnet & the music was irresistible.
How did you become a singer or guitarist and are you proficient in any other instruments?
I just listened to bands and wanted to emulate their styles. My grandfather gave me an acoustic guitar when I was a kid. I still have it. I tried to be a singer in a heavy metal band when I was 15 (1985). I sucked. It lasted about a week. I started hanging out with some local punk rockers & skaters and we started a band. The music was easier to play. I started playing bass guitar because nobody else wanted to. I taught myself.
Were you forced to go to church as a youth, if so were you an altar boy or participate in some other ways?
I was forced to go to church……Catholic church. I remember looking at all these gory pictures of a guy nailed to a cross and everyone was bowing down in front of. I always wanted to snatch some cash out of the basket being passed around. Guilt was a big part of it. I read the bible. I was in constant trouble. It all seemed like total bullshit from the beginning. I felt it in my gut. I went to Catechism after school. I hated that too.
What was the local scene in like in the beginning , was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?
Growing up in Salinas had zero scene. My friends and I would caravan every weekend 2 hours north to the Bay area in the mid 80s. We used to go to shows at The Farm, On Broadway, The Stone & Mabuhay Gardens in SF. 924 Gilman St Project in Berkeley & The Omni in Oakland. We couldn’t get enough of them. I saw Thrasher Magazine’s Skate Rock show at the Farm in 86. I’d made up my mind that that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I moved to Sac in 98. Firepie ushered us into the downtown scene. We buddied up with the Nitz and the Diseptikons. Sac was a hard town to crack at first. We just kept at it till we were noticed.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
As far as bass guitar I was a huge Steve Harris fan. As far as song writing, Slayer & DRI.
How would you best describe your sound?
80’s thrash metal and hardcore punk whipped into a blender with some crack cocaine added for extra flavor.
How did the band meet and how long did it take to finalize this lineup? How many other musicians did you try out that didn’t make the cut? How stable is the current lineup?
Musical chairs lol. It started as friends. Then pieces left and were replaced. For the longest period it was Toby Swope & Justin Reyes. Justin left and we became a four piece. Dan Mills basically replaced Justin’s spot & We had a couple of other guys in the band…Vince Cassinelli from Human Obliteration & Joel Barera from Wastewalker. Toby Swope our drummer wanted to switch to guitar on the last album so his little brother Jared Klein played drums. We did a couple US tours with that lineup & it was the tightest. Jared now plays in Rivers of Nihl & Toby is back on drums. The current line up is Toby Swope on Drums, Dan Mills on Guitar & myself Bass & vocals. We are currently looking for a second guitarist.
You most recent record Clicking Sound Of Hammer Pulled Back came out 2015, how did the writing process and recording process differ from your last album Another Disease? What kind of obstacles did you have to overcome to get it out?
Toby wrote most of the album as he did on Another Disease. I would arrange the chords to fit the vocal patterns and wrote a couple songs. Dan and Joel wrote their own leads. On “Clicking” we intentionally wrote it to be a classic thrash album. All the songs having a relatively same style that flowed throughout the entire record. A Reign in Blood style album that was consistent unlike Another Disease that was different from track to track. We recorded it the same as Another Disease at Pus Cavern by Joe Johnston in Sac. Toby laid down the drums and rhythm guitar tracks. Dan and Joel recorded their leads & I did the bass and vocal tracks. Pretty simple.
How soon can we expect new Psychosomatic music. Will it be a continuation of the first album. Will you be releasing it on cassette and vinyl. Do you own a cassette player, are cassettes silly? Will it be released by BuriedInHell Records. What has BuriedInHell Records done for you that you couldn’t do yourself? Will you be recording cover songs for the new album?
We’re currently writing the new album. I wrote all our albums before Another Disease which were “Tales of the Unbelievably Cheap, Salinas Years & The Unquenchable Thirst” so I’m back on writing duties again. Feels good. I’m challenging myself. Toby and myself have very similar styles but this one will have a different feel to it. We don’t know if there will be a cover song on it. We’ve always been asked about vinyl & but I have no clue if it will be on it. Cassettes are ok I guess? More of a novelty. Buriedinhell Records was just a one album deal. Kenny’s an amazing friend & promoter who worked his ass off for years in the Sac underground scene.
What other bands are you guys in?
Currently none. I attempted to do a side project with the guys from Deadlands called “Dust Devil”. It had a lot of potential. But Psychosomatic is a demanding project that allows little time for other things. So it didn’t work out.
What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?
Everything that had an Iron Maiden logo on it. Anything Thrash Metal or 80’s style punk. I also listen to a lot of industial & 80s EDM. I would sometimes buy some remastered version of some bands I liked.
Do you follow President Trump on Twitter?
Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?
Tidal Wave festival w Exodus, Hirax, Attitude Adjustment & Havok in SF. 2500 in attendance. Shit was amazing,
I haven’t been nervous before a show in decades. But I still love it very much.
Out of all your songs which one gets you excited the most when you perform it? Are there any political or social issues hidden in Psychosomatic songs?
Our songs can be physically demanding so my favorite is Everybody Hates Me. Hahahaha. It’s super easy. There’s nothing hidden in our lyrics. We’re blatantly anti establishment.
What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want? What gear are you currently using, amps, effects, guitars?
I never tried to get endorsed. I should look into that lol!!!! I use multiple Ibanez BTB series bass guitars. SWR x750 pro rigs with 4X10 Goliiath & a 15″ Son if Bertha with a 300 watt Sans Amp rack mount. Thrash as it gets.
Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?
Havok. We did and I have. Hahahaha
Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?
Hmmmmm. These are weird questions. AC/DC. Highway to hell. I wanna be cremated.
Whats your next gig?
Summerfest in Watsonville, CA with Thy Antichrist. It’s July 15th. 2 weeks away.
Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?
I really appreciate everything Capital Chaos TV has done for the Northern California metal scene and I’m honored you interviewed me. See you all very soon when the album drops. Keep Thrashing \m/