It’s the summer of 1974 and 21-year old Dawn Emerson has only three things she wants to do: compete one last time in the Ellensburg Rodeo, win back her ex-boyfriend Ryan, and become the best damn music journalist at Central Washington University. But all her plans are left in the dust when she’s contacted by Creem magazine to go on the road with one of her favorite groups, the up-and-coming metal band, Hybrid. At first the assignment reads like a dream come true. Not only will Dawn land some much-needed credibility as a female music journalist, but she’ll finally get to experience life from the other side of the stage, and maybe crack the drunken, enigmatic code that is guitarist Sage Knightly. Instead, Dawn finds herself on an aging tour bus filled with ego-maniacs, band politics and a whole lot of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. When monsters start showing up in dressing rooms and some of Sage’s groupies become increasingly strange and dangerous, Dawn discovers the band is not only going places – they’re going straight to Hell. And Dawn has a backstage pass.
The following is a radio transcription between guitarist Sage Knightly of the band Hybrid and Barry B
from KRO 98FM San Diego’s The Rock Show. Air date: May 19th, 1974
Barry B: Hi everyone, I’m your host the baaaaad Barry B, thanks for joining The Rock Show tonight. I have a very, very special guest here, a man we never thought would agree to do a radio show given
his phobia of the media. Not to mention he’s a man of few words when he does actually speak. You all
know him as Sage Knightly, the guitarist of the metal band Hybrid. I now know him as this extremely
tall dude with bad-ass snake and skull tattoos on his arms that all the women in the station are now
drooling over. Welcome Sage, thanks for popping your radio cherry with KRO.
Sage: You’re welcome.
Barry B: Now, off the bat, I must comment on your tattoos. Many people would consider these works
of art and tattoos are getting more and more popular as they spread into mainstream. Even women are
getting them now. Can you talk about your tattoos to us?
Sage: Well, the skulls are done after the Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. My mother was
Mexican, God rest her soul, so the sugar skulls are of great significance to me. The snakes represent the
python I’m packing in my pants.
Barry B: Oh golly, well we can’t say we weren’t prepared for a rock star response! You mentioned your
mother being Mexican though. I can see you’ve got quite a dark complexion. Some would say exotic.
I think this is the first time I’ve heard you admit that you’ve got mixed blood. Why haven’t you said
Sage: My mother was a wonderful woman. She died when I was a teenager. It was a real blow and took
me right off my feet. The only thing that saved me, at the time, was music. Until lately though, I realized
music had replaced her and that wasn’t fair. It was time to embrace where I came from, even though it
meant embracing the loss.
Barry B: Is that why your latest album, Molten Universe, has such a Latino tone to it? I mean, many
songs have a faint Mariachi sound, which is a brave thing to do when you’re a metal band. For the
record, I loved that slant of things. Totally groovy.
Sage: Yeah, that’s pretty much it. And thank you for liking it. I was trying to experiment with different
sounds and genres. I don’t think Hybrid needs to fit in one category, in one neat little box. We’re a metal
band, but we’re not Led Zeppelin and we’re not Black Sabbath.
Barry B: But you’d like to be.
Sage: Who said that?
Barry B: I’ll just take a look at my notes here, but I believe it was your singer, Robbie Oliver.
Sage: Yeah, well Robbie’s often oxygen deprived, I wouldn’t believe a word he says.
Barry B: Oxygen deprived?
Sage: His face is usually buried in BLEEEEEEEP
Barry B: Oh my god, I hope that got bleeped. You can’t say BLEEEEEEEP on air, Sage.
Sage: You just did. Maybe if we talked about getting more BLEEEEEEEEEEP it would happen.
Barry B: Maybe for rock stars. My wife would kick me out. Anyway, back on track. You’ve been the
leader of Hybrid since you were in your teens. Who do you owe your success to?
Sage: Excuse me?
Barry B: Well, most musicians who have made it on the scene say they owe their success to something
or someone. Maybe a lot of hard work, maybe it was a lucky break, or a radio DJ ahem that took a
chance by playing one of their songs on the air. Who or what does Hybrid owe their success to?
Sage: They owe it to me.
Barry B: And who do you owe it to?
Sage: I don’t feel comfortable answering these questions anymore.
Barry B: Whoa, whoa, whoa, Sage. I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I believe you when you say the band
owes their success to you. Without you at the helm, writing most of the songs and pushing for a new
sound, the band wouldn’t be what it is today, about to take part in a cross-country tour this August,
playing at festivals and large arenas alike. I was just curious to see if you owed all of this to anyone…if
Sage: I owe no person anything.
Barry B: Can I read into that answer?
Barry B: OK, from the way Sage just glared at me and stormed out of the station, I’m going to assume
that the interview is over. Thanks for listening everyone. Maybe this guy just needs some BLEEEEEP
Karina Halle is a music journalist and all around wino who resides in beautiful British Columbia. When she’s not rocking out or taking a nap, she can be found writing her ghost-hunting Experiment in Terror Series.