Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Philip Sayce & The Backstabber

Getting right to the point, out now, guitarist Philip Sayce’s latest single, ‘Backstabber‘.

“This is a song about fake friends and a ruthless music business,” said Sayce. “I think the lyrics speak loud and clear, and the weight of the track conveys the intensity of my feelings. It is a jungle out there; watch your back.

“This song also speaks to my life-long journey with OCD — named one of the ten most disabling disorders by the World Health Organisation — and this burden that myself, and many others live with every day.”

Hendrix-like bluesy riffs belt out amid a near garage rock wall of sound, a cool hook line and florid lead guitar lines that in the last minute take no prisoners as they scream their way to the song’s conclusion in a heady rush of biting sound.

You can stream the single here and check out the video right here at RAMzine.

The Wolves Are Coming is said to be Sayce’s new album is “more powerful, unique, and brash” than anything he has written or recorded to date. “These songs and stories came into focus during my darkest times,” he remarked. “The Wolves Are Coming represents a bridge — a connection between despair and hope — that invites broken spirits to be transformed and healed.”

Produced by Philip at Station House Studio in Los Angeles, engineered by GRAMMY award winner Mark Rains (Rival Sons, Shooter Jennings, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), mixed by Brian Moncarz (Fantastic Negrito, Alice Cooper, Ian Moore), and mastered by Brian Lucey (Lizzo, The Black Keys, Michael Bublé), it features Michael Leasure (Walter Trout, Edgar Winter) on drums, with Sayce providing the guitars, bass, and vocals.

On the new album, songs like ‘Oh! That Bitches Brew’ and ‘Backstabber’ “hit like hurricanes”, while ‘Lady Love Divine’ explores the light in contrast to darkness with an uplifting, foot-stomping, funk groove that it’s claimed “delivers hooks in all the right places”. Ballads like ‘It’s Over Now’ and the instrumental ‘Intuition’ round out Sayce’s signature fuzz tones and sledgehammer mountain-sized drum grooves with delicate, intimate, and dynamic performances.

Born in Wales, raised in Toronto, Canada, and now an American citizen, celebrated guitarist Philip Sayce returned to the United Kingdom for six exclusive dates last November. Back then, he issued ‘Lady Love Divine’, as a single. Its content explored the light in contrast to the darkness on his new album The Wolves Are Coming.

“It’s a funky, upbeat song about that feeling you get when you instantly fall in love with someone forever. Finding the courage to talk to this person and win their love.” said Sayce,

Opening with the lines “Sunshine in my pocket”, this is a fun singalong where the grooves rock out but with a curious melange of line dance meets hip-hop.

“The song represents a bridge — a connection between despair and hope — that invites broken spirits to be transformed and healed,” the guitarist further noted, and of The Wolves Are Coming itself: “These songs and stories came into focus during my darkest times.”

You can check out the video to ‘Lady Love Divine’ here at RAMzine and stream it here.

Prior to that, in September, ‘Oh! That Bitches Brew’, was his first new music to appear in three years.

The song turns out to be a musical interpretation of a memory that came flooding back to Sayce one day. “The song came together quite quickly one evening,” he recalled. “I was sitting on the couch and started playing the riff that became the song’s main riff. I dug it and thought, ‘What am I going to say about this? Oh, I know, I remember that time someone gave me a drink at a party called The Bitches Brew, and it totally fucked me up.’ And that’s what the song became.  It came together in about ten minutes.”

‘Oh! That Bitches Brew’ is taken from Sayce’s forthcoming new album, The Wolves Are Coming, due for release on 23rd February 23rd, 2024, on his own Atomic Gemini label, with exclusive license to Forty Below Records.

‘Oh! That Bitches Brew’ is available on all streaming services here you can also check out the official music video here at RAMzine.

The Wolves Are Coming can be pre-ordered here.

From a young age Sayce began touring internationally, first with Jeff Healey’s band, performing at the world’s most prestigious festivals. Shortly after, Sayce began recording and touring for four years with musical icon Melissa Etheridge, including performances at The Oscars and The Grammys, before launching a solo career and establishing a rabid fan base in Europe and beyond, opening shows for the likes of ZZ Top and Deep Purple. r.

In April 2020, Philip released Spirit Rising, his seventh full-length album. The timing couldn’t have been worse.  The release coincided with the reality that the covid pandemic was going to take its toll on the concert tour business and seriously limit promotional appearances that would traditionally follow the release of a new album. Undaunted, Sayce turned to Instagram and built on the relationship with his fans. He began posting daily videos that showcased his explosive and emotive playing, increasing his following by over 300%, and without touring, promotional visits, or radio play, Spirit Rising has eclipsed 13 million streams on Spotify alone – a remarkable feat for any independent blues rock artist.

Philip Sayce’s love of the guitar started at an early age when his parents introduced him to all of the greats, notably Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Albert King, Freddie King, Jeff Beck, and Jeff Healey. As a teen guitar phenomenon, he was plucked from the Toronto blues scene by the legendary Jeff Healey, who took the young guitarist under his wing and showed him the ropes, touring the world and recording as a member of Healey’s band.

In the early 2000s, a move to LA landed Philip a gig with Melissa Etheridge, that included numerous recording contributions, including the Oscar-winning ‘I Need To Wake Up’. While his time with her was jammed with touring, recording, and television appearances, he was able to find some time to get himself in the studio to record his first solo album, Peace Machine. Buoyed by guitar fans’ response to the album, he turned his attention to his full-time solo artist career, and subsequent releases garnered high praise in both the blues, rock, and guitar worlds. He has since released six studio albums as well as the incendiary live Scorched Earth, Vol. 1.

Philip Sayce has a full schedule of tour dates on the calendar through the rest of 2023, including a number of North American dates and a long-overdue and eagerly anticipated return to the UK and Europe. Joining Philip on the road are drummer Bryan Head (Roger Hodgson, Foreigner) and bassist Sam Bolle (Agent Orange, Donavon Frankenreiter), both of whom have played live dates with him for the past few years after having cut their teeth together as Dick Dale’s rhythm section.

“I am beyond excited to return to the UK – it’s been a long time coming, and it is a privilege to return to the country where I was born to perform,” expressed the guitarist on his imminent UK tour. “I cannot wait to reconnect with the UK audiences, who are always so gracious, supportive, and welcoming. We are going to light it up with everything we’ve got. Are you ready?”

Over the past two decades, Sayce has performed at the world’s most prestigious venues — from the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with Healey to a victorious night at the Oscars in the heart of Hollywood with Etheridge when she won best song for ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ where Sayce’s guitar playing shined. Sayce also worked with multi-platinum artist Uncle Kracker appearing on the album No Stranger To Shame. During this time, the powerful cover of Dobie Gray’s ‘Drift Away’ set a Billboard record for most weeks at #1 on any chart for a staggering 28 weeks in the United States.

Sayce’s heralded performances at Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, the Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada, the Dallas International Guitar Festival in Texas, and a devastating house-shaking appearance at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival in New York City have left audiences stunned and amazed. At a GRAMMY event, Jon Bon Jovi told the audience, “I want to give a special nod to Philip, who I immediately opened the programme and said, ‘Who the fuck is that guitar player?’ Pretty fabulous, Philip.”

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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