1989 Dreamweaver

last edited: 30/1/21

So on the new album, will you be retaining the same lyrical angle, the dark, mystical sort of stuff? Andy: “Well, our new album is sort of based around a theme, which we are not going to tell you about right now.” It’s a closely guarded secret then? Andy: “Yeah, it’ll still be along the same lines, but you know on “The Clerical Conspiracy” where there’s different characters in it, it’s going to be like that but all the way through, y’know, it’s gonna be a concept album, but not about drinking cups of tea and things.”

I see, weird?? So you’re well into all this mystical type imagery then? Fraser: “Oh yeah, different to all the rest.” Occult stuff maybe? Andy: “No, well we don’t go round claiming we’re Satanists or anything, it’s so clichéd.” Fraser: “I would call it escapism, like early RAINBOW, things like that, we like writing deep songs.” Andy: “I think people have had enough of that sort of political stuff, things of the moment, everyday things, and people want to escape really.”

So do you really think we’re maybe going back to Dungeons and Dragons sort of stuff? Andy: “Well, everything goes around in circles.” Fraser: “That’s it, yeah, I mean it’s totally different, metal at the moment is all street level, y’know, skateboards and jeans and that, so we thought, no, let’s do it another way.”

Have you got a title for the next album yet? Fraser: “Yeah, but it’s all hush, hush.” Martin: “We’ve got several in the pipeline, we’re just trying to think of one that goes best.”

Will it have a gatefold sleeve or anything? Fraser: “Yeah, should be.” So you’re into lavish sleeves then? Fraser: “Well, why not?” Andy: “It makes it more interesting for the person who buys it.” Fraser: “When we did the first album, you know we put little jangly bits in the river and all the birds and everything.” Yes, you do seem to go into a lot of details with your covers. Fraser: “Well, we wondered what had happened, cos it’s all alike, thrash, skateboards and that, so we thought let’s put an album out that’s slightly different and nobody has moaned. Everybody has been right behind us so we must be doing something right.”

Producer Roy Rowland has been sitting patiently throughout this interrogation, so I think it’s time to exercise his vocal chords. I asked him what he first thought of SABBAT and what were they like to work with? “It was very refreshing because it’s very rare that I come across something that is entirely different. A lot of musicians, in some respect, do tend to try to put something across in their music that you’ve heard once or twice before. SABBAT were completely original sentiment. I found it very creative working with them. For that reason I’m looking forward to the new album very much because it’s a definite progression from the last one.”

Why the change from Horus Studios to Skytrax to record the new album? “You mean Horror-sound Studios,” jokes Andy. “Er… because it was shit basically. It’s true. The old desk in there tended to turn into a microphone at times. The acoustics aren’t too brilliant in the mixing room. Noise own Skytrax so it’s a lot cheaper and a much better studio.”

“What’s also nice about the Noise studio is that they’re very open to the individual requirements of their own bands so you can create the right kind of atmosphere in there,” adds Roy.

“What he’s trying to say is that we can get the drugs in,” beams Andy.

Now comes their second album, the extravagantly-titled “Dreamweaver (Reflections Of Our Yesterdays)”, crafted wholly in Noise’s home city of Berlin, and produced, once again, by Roy Rowland.
“Dreamweaver…” has seen Sabbat achieve a new maturity: in their music, and through a hardening of resolve and attitude.
All but gone is the naïvete and youthful enthusiasm noted in previous dialogues, and in its place comes a realisation and acceptance of music business protocol.
But the learning process has been painful for Sabbat. At one point during my short stay with guitarist Andy Sneap and vocalist Martin Walkyier at Berlin’s Hansa Studios, Andy confided that things had gotten so difficult during recording that the band had become convinced that someone had put a curse on them.
At one point, Martin and Andy had even talked of splitting the band.

“Dreamweaver was more of a struggle,” says the Sneapster.”Martin and I were in Berlin for three months total, which was mind-numbing in the end. Simon jones [their newly recruited guitarist] was enjoying a drink or ten and Simon Negus had taken to throwing shopping carts out of fifth floor windows from sheer boredom. The band was becoming split with lots of misguided talk and false impressions.” Martin agrees, “It was a difficult time. Noise records weren’t exactly very fair to us considering how well the band were doing. What we needed back then was a really good manager who could be like a big brother and really look after us. Unfortunately, we didn’t have that.”

Andy: “It’s not so bad now, we have come to the mixing stage at Hansa but when we were laying the tracks down at Skylab in Berlin we had a LOT of equipment failures. At one stage it got so bad we thought the studio was haunted or had been cursed because every day something different would cock up and always when you’d least expect it! Noone really knows why the equipment let us down so badly, we were told it had never happened before, but what with the nature of Martin’s lyrics (which still it seems are not suitable for your typical BBC sitcom) the band seriously wondered whether it mightn’t have upset various supernatural elements. You see, we work all through the night and sometimes it can get a little spooky!”

What have you got to tell us about your new album, “Dreamweaver (Reflections of our Yesterdays)”? “It’s a concept album,” Martin takes up. “It’s based on a book called ‘The Way of Wyrd’ by an American author named Brian Bates. It’s about a Christian missionary in the North of England who, a thousand years ago, is sent down to the South of England to learn about the pagan ways and in doing so determine the best way in which they can convert the pagans to Christianity. Having taken on this mission, he travels down south expecting to find a guide waiting for him. The first night in the wood, where this meeting is to take place, no one turns up and he’s left there on his own.
That night he has a nightmare and that’s when the story really begins.”

I can recall talking to you at the beginning of last year when you had just started to read “The Way of Wyrd”. I can remember you enthusing about it then. So how long has this concept been on the boil? “About a year,” says Martin. “As soon as I’d read the book I knew it would come out in some form of our music.”

“Originally we were going to spread the concept over one side,” adds Andy. Have you had to fit any songs into the concept? “No. They were all written with the concept in mind,” answers Andy again.

I think it would be a good idea to talk us through all of the songs. “First track, side one is ‘The Clerical Conspiracy’,” states the singer. “That deals with the monks in the abbey deciding who they’re going to send on the quest. The next track is ‘Advent of Insanity’ where the missionary departs for the South by ship and as he’s sailing along he’s thinking about was he’s undertaken and wondering if he’s equal to the task that has been set for him. Seeds of doubt are sown in his mind. Third track is ‘Do Dark Horses Dream of Nightmares?’ and this is where he arrives in search of his guide in the woods. It also deals with his bad dream where the spirits come to him and in effect they’re checking him out to find out how he’s going to use the information he gathers.”

In relation to the album concept, what exactly is this information going to be used for? “The spirits try to work out whether he is trying to destroy the old Gods,” Martin explains. “The story asks if he is trying to impose the new religion upon them. The next track is ‘The Best of Enemies’ where he finally meets his guide the following morning. The guide who’s name is Wolf, tells him of the pagan ways and starts to rebuke the ideas of the missionary. He asks ‘By what right do you come here to impose a new faith upon people who have been living like this for thousands of years?’ There’s now a questioning, why do Christians want to change the ways of nature and the way people live in this part of the world? In this song the guide tells him if he really wants to learn then he can’t just tell him about the spirits and the spirit world, he has to encounter that for himself and has to meet the spirits face to face. He says that the spirits will give him all the knowledge he wants, but only if he has the conviction to go through with it. He has to actually risk his own death in meeting the spirits, that’s the end of side one.”

And side two… “‘How the Mighty Have Fallen’ is the opening track on this side,” Martin continues. “This track is basically the spirits having a good moan about how they’ve been forgotten and that they know that they are about to be replaced. Their days are numbered but they won’t go down without a fight. This is also where the priest first encounters the spirits. The next track is ‘Wildfire’ which we’ve been playing live for quite some time now.”

“‘Wildfire’ is when the priest journeys to the spirit world. The next one is ‘Mythistory’. The guide tells him of the preparations he must undergo to meet the spirits, but he deviates from what he’s been told and the spirits come too soon, stealing his soul. He has two days in which to recover his soul or his lifeforce will ebb out. In fact, he journeys to the spirit world before he is ready to do so. In ‘Mythistory’ he encounters his own soul which is a woman. He doesn’t know that he has met his own soul and tells the woman he has come to learn the way of the wyrd and the power of nature. She tells him to look no further for she is his soul and on returning to the material world he’ll know anything he wanted to know.”

“The last song is a short one called ‘Happy Never After’ which is a basic conclusion to the story. At the end the priest decides not go back North but instead to travel and learn about the pagan ways.”

Do you find lyrics are always the last thing to get finished on the album? “It always is,” Andy tells me. “I get the music together with the rest of the band and then Martin has to fit lyrics to it.”

“I’ve tried different ways of working,” offers Martin. “The best way though is to sit on my own with two packets of fags and write.”

DREAMWEAVER – REFLECTIONS OF OUR YESTERYEARS

JAN 22 1989 SABBAT FLEW TO BERLIN TO BEGIN RECORDING DREAMWEAVER AT SKY TRACK STUDIOS

MAR 26 1989 – MARTIN + ANDY FLEW TO HANSA STUDIOS BERLIN TO MIX DREAMWEAVER

RELEASED MAY 1989

TRACKS:

The Beginning Of The End [intro]

The Clerical Conspiracy

Advent Of Insanity

Do Dark Horses Dream of Nightmares?

The Best Of Enemies (Wulf’s Tale)

How Have The Mighty Fallen?

Wildfire

Mythistory

Happy Never After [outro]

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sabad1

Unused cover artwork for Dreamweaver

ON VINYL:

German LP testpressing 1989

German LP 1989

Scandinavian LP 1989

US LP promo testpressing 1989

US LP Promo 1989

US LP 1989

South Korean LP 1991

ON CD:

German CD 1989

US longbox CD

US CD 1989

Don’t be taken in by this fake of the US CD

US CD CRC Club Edition

CD unknown

CD also unknown

?Dreamweaver CD Scandinavian?

 

ON TAPE:

German Cassette 1989

German Cassette ?

US Cassette

South Korean Cassette 1991

Malaysian Cassette

Thai Cassette 1989

FEB 27 2007 – EXPANDED CD EDITION RELEASED
[ORIGINAL PLANNED RELEASE DATE MARCH 26]
CONTAINING BONUS LIVE TRACKS RECORDED IN EAST BERLIN MAR 4 1990

ON CD:

Expanded Edn EU CD 2007

Expanded Edn US CD 2007

Expanded Edn CD Brazilian 2007

ON VINYL:

UK black vinyl testpressing 2LP 2008

UK 2LP Blue vinyl 2008