37 Years Ago: SAINT VITUS record Saint Vitus

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37 Years Ago: SAINT VITUS record Saint Vitus

SAINT VITUS completed recording their classic debut album on this day in 1982. Due to a contractual dispute between their label SST and distributor MCA / Unicorn Records - which lasted until late 1983 - the album would not be released until February 1984.

We were playing as many shows as we could at clubs, and house parties, usually for no pay. We were doing a show at a local club and the SST band Overkill came to our show to pass out flyers for their upcoming show. They were trying to be a punk /metal cross over band (they would have been one of the first). They were looking for bands to play with them and knew that we had a tiny connection to the punk rock scene because Scotty was friends with the original bass player for the Circle Jerks. They asked us if we would open for them at a couple of shows and we said 'Sure why not?' They booked a show with us, and being a Black Flag fan, I asked if there was any way that they could get someone from Black Flag to come to one of our shows. I didn't think anyone would, but I was just curious to see what their opinion of us would be if they did show up. It turns out that Greg, Chuck and Henry came out to the show.

Dave Chandler / Saint Vitus interview, Hammer Smashed Sound, 2010
Saint Vitus - Saint Vitus (Live, Ontario, Canada, 20 December 1984)

After our set was done, Chuck approached us and said that they liked us, and asked us if we would like to do a record with them. Of course we said yes and right away they booked us to do some punk rock shows, and the first one was with them (Black Flag). We did this, along with all the normal parties and shows we did on a regular basis, all the way up until 1982 when we recorded the first album and it was supposed to be released that year. That was during the time when Black Flag got into their infamous lawsuit (around 1982) putting a halt to any SST releases, including their Damaged album, until the lawsuit was settled. Within those two years, we just did shows up and down the west coast and Arizona with punk and metal bands. When the record was finally released, in around November 1984, we went on our first national tour supporting Black Flag (Dec. of '84).

Dave Chandler / Saint Vitus interview, Hammer Smashed Sound, 2010