The demise of Sword by the end of the 1980s came after two albums, leaving singer Rick Hughes looking to start a new project. Wanting to stick to his metal roots but with more mainstream accessibility than with his previous outing, he and guitarist Stephane Dufour began writing material for the still un-named new project.
Hughes was still under contract with Aquarius Records, and with session players to round out the recordings (which included former Sword bassist Mike LaRock and Hughes’ brother Dan – another ex-Sword alumni on drums), they recruited Aldo Nova as producer, and Saints & Sinners was born, borrowing their name from a Johnny Winters album.
They released their self-titled debut album in the fall of 1992 shortly after rounding out the lineup with bassist Martin Bolduc, California-native Jesse Bradman (who’d previously done time in Aldo Nova, UFO, and Nightranger) on keyboards, and drummer Jeff Salem.
The majority of the songs were written by Hughes and Dufour with Nova, but Jon Bon Jovi, Skid Row’s Rachel Bolan, and Night Ranger’s Brad Gillis also contributed. They were on the road when “Walk That Walk” was released as the first single, followed by a pair of power ballads – “We Belong” and “Takin’ My Chances.” Although nothing made the top 40, critics generally praised the band’s ability to shift gears from the latter two singles’ melodic rhythms to the powerful straight out metal arrangements of the lead-off “Shake” and “Wheels of Fire,” as well as their nine-minute cover of Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein.”
They toured for a few months and hitched a ride on Bon Jovi’s Canadian dates, but the band was on the caboose of the hair metal train, and with grunge coming in at the same time that Aquarius was having some financial problems (hence little push from the label), it spelled the end. Their only album was re-released on compact disc in 2005, but contained no bonus material.
Following the band’s demise in ’93, Hughes bounced around in a few different bands, then released his solo debut in 2006, a French rock album called TRAIN D’ENFER. Remaining in Montreal, Salem freelanced as a studio and touring musician, and also became a drums instructor. Bradman later formed Jesse’s Powertrip with ex-members of Aldo Nova‘s touring entourage, as well as with former members of Bad English and Giuffria. Dufour released a pair of solo albums, then he and Bolduc went on to play with Eric Lapointe, argued as one of Quebec’s best exports in recent years.
In 2011, Hughes reunited with Sword for a series of shows around the Montreal area, which in turn led to some metal festival dates in Europe. They wrote a few songs together again, and one thing led to another, and they decided to reform full-time, and a new album is expected in 2013.