INTERVIEW: Jon Allen of Sadus

INTERVIEW: Jon Allen of Sadus

On November 17, 2023, Sadus released their sixth album and first studio record in 17 years "The Shadow Inside."

A surge in interest from the metal community has coincided with the album's global success, allowing new fans to join the band's ranks and remind the established ones of what makes Sadus such a unique force.

Recently, we had the opportunity to connect with Jon Allen (Drums) to discuss the band's relationship with Nuclear Blast Records, the state of the thrash and death metal genres, and how the pandemic impacted the recording of "The Shadow Inside."

TDIM: You have been with Nuclear Blast for a year. How supportive have they been in welcoming you into their roster of artists, and did you feel any pressure while completing the record?

Jon Allen: There is always pressure when completing an album because of deadlines and trying to keep a no-rush feel in the music. Nuclear Blast is a great label to be a part of and we are excited to be working with Monte Conner again.

TDIM: Did Nuclear Blast approach you to sign with them, and can you speak a bit about how the partnership developed?

Jon Allen: When we finished a few tracks, Juan our engineer sent them to Monte to show him Sadus is back with new material. Monte gave us feedback on how he loved the new songs. we had worked with him back in the day with Road Runner. So you can say we’ve worked together a long time ago

TDIM: Are you surprised by the album's positive reception given that it was released in a completely different musical landscape and after a 16-year break between studio albums?

Jon Allen: We are excited that people love the rawness and aggressive sound we put out. We definitely went back to our roots on this and I think the time right now is speaking of the old days of thrash and it’s a good time for sadus.

TDIM: Do you see any similarities between the 1980s and the present regarding the fervor of the genre's followers and the surge of new musicians raising the standard today?

Jon Allen: I think there’s a big wave in life and everything runs on that wave. The 80s sound of thrash is coming back and the new generation of thrashers are riding that wave also. I think the way recording has advanced and musical influences have multiplied gives our time now a big injection of musical steroids. There is so much music to dive into, it’s an endless pit.

TDIM: There has been a resurgence of thrash/death metal bands in recent years, such as Dark Angel, Possessed, and Morbid Angel. What about this specific music genre makes people react so strongly emotionally to the songs and artists?

Jon Allen: Well, I think this style of music, for instance, the lyrics content is serious the aggressive play is as real as it gets and the iconic logos of that time make for a complete package of music. It’s like uncovering and driving a 1970 ss Chevy and playing murder on the road!

TDIM: The seeds for the new record were planted in 2017. Did you have a framework or album structure in mind, and was the intention always going to be a complete record?

Jon Allen: Darren had riffs at that time and I was living in Texas so it was taking a while to get the ball rolling. We wanted to write the music but it was going slow so I moved back to Cali and Darren and I got a jam room and cranked it up to get that old-school vibe going again. That’s really the only way Sadus operates. Loud, fast and aggressive in the same jam room

TDIM: Did the pandemic challenge you to find different ways to collaborate in and out of the studio setting? (Ie Virtually)

Jon Allen: I was actually living with Darren when the pandemic hit so we couldn’t separate that much and I think it was more positive for us to write the album together that way. Obviously, we did get sick but at exactly the same time so our downtime was easier to deal with.

TDIM: How did it feel to get back into a room and write together? Was there any anxiety about whether that creative fire still existed?

Jon Allen: Getting into a room and jamming out loud is what we do best. It took a few weeks to shake the sadus rust off. I’ve been jamming with D for almost 40 years so the creative nature we have is always there, I feel it’s easy knowing where each other is going with the song nowadays so our chemistry is on point.

TDIM: What do you think were Juan Urteaga's biggest contributions to the finished record, and when did he join the project?

Jon Allen: I believe Juan’s biggest contributions are with recording vocals, him being a singer himself helps tremendously. We came into the studio when we had 6 songs ready to go, the others we did on a second session months later.

TDIM: We’ll end with a loaded question. Will we have to wait another 16 years for another Sadus record?

Jon Allen: Haha!! I can say Nuclear Blast is asking the same question!! We are currently working on new Sadus material as we speak!

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