Impious - Interview
I guess bad luck doesn’t want to leave Impious; first, there were problems with the recording of "Terror Succeeds" then their (previous) label, Black Sun, didn’t want to put much effort into promotion and then it was I who lost the tape of my conversation with Valle Adzic (guitar). Fortunately the wheel of fortune took a good spin and everything seems to be getting back to normal. Impious just changed labels by signing a deal with Hammerheart Records, and mysteriously, a few days ago I found our tape. Well, I know, my interviews don’t make any difference in a band’s career but in this case everything turned out great and because of my little fuck-up I can show you our whole conversation. You’ll see what I mean when you get to the end, so enjoy.
Tell us a little about band’s History? How did it all start?
Well, it started with me... I was playing in a band, just for fun, and I felt that I wanted to start a real band. To get things going I put up an add in a local music shop and Martin, our singer, called me up, we started talking and we realized that we pretty much wanted the same thing. We started jamming, I think it was beginning of ’94, along with a drum machine and we made few songs and so on. We couldn’t find any other members so a good friend of ours started playing drums, not for real but just session drums ‘cause he was in another band and he didn’t have the time. Then we found the bass player and we recorded a demo called "Infernal Predomination" in ‘95 and then the drummer had to leave due to military service so we found another one but he also only played as a session drummer ‘cause he played in another band and couldn’t be our permanent one. Than we recorded another demo, I think it was in ’96, called "The Suffering" and right after it we found our real drummer whose playing today.
Do you think this is your optimal line-up? It seems like you went through a lot of changes since band’s inception.
Yeah, mostly because of the drummer thing, I mean here in Sweden the hardest thing is to find a drummer, a good drummer.
Are any members of Impious have any side projects or play in different bands?
Yeah... Actually maybe I should tell you that we just made another line up change… Martin, who played guitar and sang, he doesn’t play guitar anymore he only focuses on the vocals and our bass player Robin, he plays the guitar now ‘cause actually he’s a guitarist and he’s much better than me and Martin together. He’s a really talented guy. So, we have a new bass player, his name is Erik Peterson and he comes from the band called Enthralled. It’s a demo band but I think they’ll get a deal very soon. I’m also playing in a dark-gothic band called Red Skies Donning and our drummer plays in a cover band called Punchstar 69 and that’s pretty much it. Oh, and I also have a new project with the vocalist of The Crown, cause he quit the band and he asked me to do a demo ‘cause I have all recording equipment at home.
"Terror Succeeds" was released in Europe in 2000, what reactions have you received so far?
Reactions are pretty good but I must say that I’m very disappointed with our label cause they haven’t done too much. I haven’t seen any bigger ads or anything like it. Reviews have been great but nothing happened so far. They didn’t set up any tours, anything.
Actually I wanted to ask you about your relations with Black Sun Records and US distributor Century Media?
The manager in Black Sun is a really great guy. If it doesn’t come to business and so we come along really really well but when it comes to business and music I think he’s just too lame and I think he’s pretty much tired of running the label. With Century Media it’s very hard to say anything right now cause we don’t have any contact with them. I have no idea what they are doing for us.
It’s been 3 year since "Evilized"... what happened during those years? Why did you wait so long to release "Terror Succeeds"?
"Terror Succeeds" was recorded two years after "Evilized" but with all delays like CD pressing, printing the cover’s layout and booklet… don’t ask me, we’ve been so unlucky during that time, but I also have too admit that we are not the fastest band to write new material. Basically I’m the only one who writes all the material.
Actually that was my next question. How are you composing your music and lyrics? It seems like you are responsible for at least 90% of Impious’ compositions...
Yeah, and after "Terror Succeeds" I’ll be pretty much responsible for 99%. I don’t know why but when we are rehearsing and I want to do something my way and they say "No, it’s better this way" I’m pretty much like Hitler [laughs] I don’t give up. And then when we record the song they’ll say, "You know Valle, it’s better your way". So, I think I got a lot of confidence within the band and that’s why the next material will be mostly mine.
How did the recording process go? Any unusual problems?
We always have problems in the studio. The DAT’s recorded chewed the tape twice, on one track we lost all the drums, don’t ask me why... three or four guys got sick, they got fever and high temperature so it was a one big mess. At one point we thought that we wouldn’t be able to manage to record the album since we only had booked like three weeks in the studio. Fortunately it all turned out OK at the end.
How would you describe your own music?
I would say we are a death-thrash metal band. I must say that I’m a bigger fan of thrash than death and when it comes to black I don’t listen to it at all. I think you can reflect that it our music that we are pretty much into thrash metal. So, thrash-death with some melody I would say.
What are the main topics of your lyrics?
War, terror and all the shit happening around us.
Is the tank entering the gates of the city supposed to symbolize something more than the album’s title?
No, not really. Actually the cover was done before the lyrics were finished.
So, are you interested in war’s terminology, do you collect any military stuff like guys from Marduk or Peter from Vader?
I’m not really a fan of war. I just write about it cause I think it fits the music. You can’t write about flowers and sunshine when you play that kind of music.
What’s your opinion on Swedish metal scene? Do you think it’s over saturated or still there is a room for new bands?
I think of course there is a room for new bands but I think it’s much harder to get a record deal, to get noticed and so on. Another thing here, in Sweden, is a fact that it’s really hard to get gigs and once you get one 90% of the audience are actually musicians playing in their own bands. Therefore the audience is really bored; they behave kind of like music police just standing and looking at you. And if you play something wrong they’ll just laugh at you standing with their arms crossed. It’s really boring.
I assume there are already works in progress for your new release... any details you would like to share?
Sure, I can tell you something that you are not allow to write... we recorded a demo with four new songs and we sent them out to different labels cause we want to leave Black Sun. So far response has been really good and soon we are hoping to get a new deal. How do they differ from "Terror Succeeds"? Those new songs are more straightforward, more a punch in your face and maybe a bit less technical.
You guys have not been out on many tours and gigs so far; can we expect some more in the future? Any tour plans already?
Playing live is actually why we are doing all of this. It’s not because of the money or to get famous or whatever. It’s just because we want to tour and play live cause that’s what we really love and we haven’t done it too much before. All in all we maybe did 20 or 30 gigs here in Sweden and a mini tour in Holland and Belgium.
I assume this is the main reason you are looking for a new label...
Yeah, it’s definitely a main reason. And this falls under the things you also can’t write, but it looks like we’ll sign with Hammerheart. I know some bands on that label and they all have quite positive things to say. We’ll see, nothing is done yet, no contracts signed. There are other labels interested in signing us but I think it’s better to be with a medium label who will really care about you than being at the bottom in a big one.
All right, it seems I won’t have too much to print from this interview...
[laughs] All right, whatever, I don’t care. You can print it. It’s not definite yet.
Anything at the end that I can print?
Buy our album [laughs]
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