Saga Trusted Michael Sadler In Album Sessions
Michael Sadler is impressed by how much trust Saga put in him when he returned to the band to lay down vocals for new album 20/20.
The Welsh-born frontman left the band in 2008, to be replaced by Rob Moratti – but he came back last year, by which time the Canadian outfit were well on their way to completing the record.
Sadler tells Noisecreep: “I wasn’t actually a member when the started writing the material. Rob had some scratch vocal ideas already down but he was barely into the record.
“I was handed 20/20 pretty much finished, which was very different for me. In the past I’d been so hands-on in the writing process.
“But as a vocalist I had a great time. I love how everything came out. The guys didn’t even hear a note of my singing until I had finished everything. That’s trust!”
Saga’s 21st album is on sale now, but Sadler knows it won’t sell anything like the numbers they achieved in the early years of their quarter-century career.
The singer says: “If the radio landscape today was like it was during the time when programme directors had more freedom, there are several songs on this new album that would have easily made it on air.
“Unfortunately there isn’t a platform for bands like Saga any more. Classic rock stations won’t play anything new from bands like us.
“We’re going to be out on tour in the States and many people will react with: ‘I didn’t know Saga was still around.’ But that’s just because there isn’t a commercial outlet for music like this.”
Meanwhile, guitarist Ian Chrichton has recalled the nightmare of keyboardist Jim Gilmour suddenly being taken ill during Saga’s European tour with Marillion last year.
Chrichton tells Guitar International: “It’s one of the worst things that has happened to us. He had eye surgery a few months before, and two weeks into the tour his lens detached from his eye. He had to go into surgery right away in Cologne, Germany.
“We had one day off and the next we had to play in Berlin. We had one day to fill the vacant spot in our lineup.
“We got the hottest player in Berlin and we rehearsed from nine in the morning to seven at night. Saga’s music has a lot of keyboard licks, so we taught him all the chords and then I played all the licks myself. And we got through it!”