In early February, 3,000 metalheads (include photographer Jason Carlson and me) and 60 bands will board the Independence of the Seas for an epic journey from St. Augustine, Florida, to Grand Turk in the Bahamas. To say we are excited about the 120 performances that will take place on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise is an understatement. In fact, my dog is in constant panic about the bag that is already packed in my office. But that’s another story altogether.

We are, however, discussing what to take, what to see, what to do, almost on a daily basis, so we thought it would be fun to take a moment to chat wit a few bands who will be joining us to get their thoughts on the cruise. Fortunately, they were game, so we have asked each band the same five questions focused on the cruise. We now have what we are calling “Sea Legs: Tall Tales for the High Seas” and we are kicking it off with Michael “Vorph” Locher from Samael.

Swiss provocateurs Samael emblazoned their own shade of black on the metal world when they delivered their iconic debut, Worship Him, in 1991. Since then, they have been in a constant state of stylistic flux, evolving their black metal sound with the addition of industrial and electronic elements, while remaining true to their brutal roots. This year marks the release of Hegemony on Napalm Records.

What is your best “boat story”?
That would be to see two shows of Venom and two shows of Candlemass in a period of five days!

What is the must-have gear that you are packing for the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise?
My guitar.

What is your must-do activity on the boat or when in the islands?
Having a beer on the deck and crashing on the beach once in the island.

What song will you be singing for Karaoke on the cruise?
I’ll save my voice for the shows.

If the shit hits the fan and you end up on a deserted island, what is the one metal album you want with you?
“Back in Black” from AC/DC more a hard rock album than metal but I’ve been listening to that one for over 30 years and it straight make me feel home.

Listen to a Spotify Playlist featuring Samael below, and stay tuned for more “Sea Legs” installments coming soon!


70000 Tons

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