World’s greatest CARCASS-copy, US-Deathers IMPALED, have a new album out entitled “Mondo Medicale”. It is definitely their best release so far and proves that there is more about IMPALED than gory artwork, a bad production and plain plagiarism. So I thought it was about time that I got in contact with the band and Ross Sewage (?) answered my questions quite fast. But enough preface talking, just take a look at the result below if you like IMPALED, and don’t expect a serious conversation
Hi Ross, you semi-professional pathologist, what’s been going on lately in the IMPALED morgue? I heard you have been busy touring???
”The IMPALED morgue has recently undergone a management change, and man, the new policies she’s installed are strict! No longer can we even have sex with corpses! I mean, c’mon, whatever happened to fringe benefits? Alas, day in and day out, we are expected to maintain "dignity" and "decorum" around the dead. I mean, I had to get a dictionary to see what those words even meant. Lately, I’ve been spending more time in the “Emergency Room” with George Clooney and Anthony Edwards… those guys are sick fucks, and much more my style. Yes, Impaled did recently finish a tour with Incantation, Decapitated, Vehemence, and DEAD TO FALL, great bands that we enjoyed travelling across America with.”
Also IMPALED went through some line-up changes before "Mondo Medicale", can you tell me the reasons, were there some really nasty scenes or just the common “musical differences"?
”Well, when we found that our old bandmate’s license to practice medicine was written in crayon on a piece of toilet paper, we asked him to leave the practice. I mean, the least he could have done was gone to Mexico and paid a couple of hundred pesos for a forged document, like Raul. Now that we have our new guitarist, Andrew LaBarre, we’ve really been experiencing some nasty scenes; e.g. his tendency to lose bowel control during guitar solos. It makes practice and shows a lot smellier, but we put up with it because the rest of us are untalented.”
A couple of months ago I heard IMPALED intended to produce the new album at legendary Sunlight Studios, but you did not do that. Please tell me why you changed Studios? Was it just a financial decision or had it to do with the latest productions at Sunlight? I think for example that the new NECROPHOBIC album sounds very flat and weak on bass, what do you think???
”Well, if we had taken the budget Necropolis Records provided, gotten plane tickets to Sweden and found lodging, we’d have had approximately thirty-six dollars which could have bought us five minutes of recording time at Sunlight Studios. Seeing as how the album is about 44 minutes long, this was not only financially not feasible, but against the laws of time and physics, as well. Instead, we took the money Necropolis gave us, called Sunlight on the telephone, and played our entire album live for them through the receiver, which they recorded on a dictation-cassette-recorder. I think the results are superb, and only cost us $15,000 in phone bills.”
In my opinion IMPALED did a big step forward with "Mondo…", especially in terms of song-writing and production, although the latter had been alright on "Choice Cuts" too. How would you describe your musical development since the debut "The Dead Shall Dead Remain"?
”We really wanted to smack people in the face with this CD. And after we were through smacking them around, they could even take the CD home and then listen to it. So far I’ve only been able to really put the beat down on this one guy in Springfield, MO. Anyway, there was a definite attempt to not write disjointed songs that were nothing but collages of CARCASS inspired riffs. Instead, we wanted to write memorable songs that were nothing but collages of CARCASS inspired riffs. I’d say we’ve easily become the best band on the planet, and maybe in the Solar System. THE BEATLES? Ha! Child’s play. The Rolling Stones? Utter garbage. Elvis Presley? A flash in the pan.”
Lyrically I think you stayed pretty much the same, except that you reduced some of those "medical slang" and by this made your sick, sick, sick humor a little bit easier to understand, at least for a stupid Kraut like me that is typically bad in English. Would you agree to that and what more can you tell me about your lyrics? Any message behind them or do just want to inform people how funny pathology and medicines can be if you use them improperly???
”I think Sean and Andrew would heartily disagree with you, as their tongues were tied into knots trying to wade through our profundity of medical terminology First they berated me for writing so verbosely, and then they finally just beat the shit out of me. There was, however, an effort made to write songs that were more than a clinical reading of an anatomical diagram and much more than a digression on the advantages of a smelted vagina versus a healthy one. These are stories, hopefully, with a beginning, middle, and end. No longer content are we to make you just vomit, we want to make you laugh, cry, and then vomit.”
At the end of Track 9 on "Mondo Medicale" you perform some perverted operation on a living patient. I listened to it three or four times and could make out most parts, but sadly not all of it. Please tell me exactly what the hell you are doing there with this poor guy???
”Oh, that was recorded during a surgical demonstration at St. Julian’s Hospital, our place of work. We were showing a group of potential investors from Gatorade how to acquire ingredients for their latest X-TREME sports drink. You see, we concocted a formula, that when administered, leaves a patient paralyzed, fully conscious, and able to feel. As we amputate their limbs and proceed with unnecessary surgery, they feel all of it, which increases their heart rate, filling their arteries with super-oxygenated blood which we siphon off for rich athletes. Also, their fear and panic stimulate gland and endorphine secretion which we also collect, using the cranial screw-top method, which is also a natural stimulant for athletes and / or drug users.” (Cool, I think you couldn’t call using this product to run faster “doping”, couldn’t you??? – Stefan)
When your debut came out IMPALED were often called a simple CARCASS-copy with a bad production and no one can deny that you are strongly influenced by them, but how does it feel to be called a "copy"? Did it create or increase IMPALED’s will to escape the shadow of CARCASS and become more individual? Or haven’t you grown tired of this comparison and the accusation of plagiarism?
”I am more hurt by the constant accusations of stealing THE CAPTAIN AND TENILLE’s material! I mean, really, I appreciate the duo as artists, and yes, I have all of their records, but I never once have stolen their riffs! Their style, yes. I just love wearing that ship captain’s hat. As for CARCASS… I’ve never heard of them before now! Maybe you can burn me a CD of theirs?”
Would you agree that on "Mondo Medicale" one can make out more Swedish Death Metal elements than on your previous efforts? Or has IMPALED simply become a bit more variable?
”Shit, you couldn’t tell which CD we stole the music from, could you? I sure hope not… As for our previous efforts, there was plenty of Swedish influence there, I think you just couldn’t hear it because we recorded while drunk and our engineer was high on coke for two weeks straight and therefore couldn’t hear properly, making the mix sound like the selfsame shit that we sang about. Kind of poetic, in a way.”
I already named the "medical slang" in your lyrics, but how do you know all those complex terms and descriptions, I don’t even know them in my mother tongue. Have you read special books about anatomy and so on or did your Mommy read medical journals to you at bedtime, when you were still a kid???
”Dude, I’m a doctor, or didn’t you get that? I had to go to TEN years of school for my medical degree, so I’d better have some knowledge about science and medicine, don’t you think? Uh, well, sure it was a degree in podiatry, but so what!!”
On your website (www.impaled.info) I saw this little animation where a journalist gets his head shot off. Have harsh critic on IMPALED and unpleasant interviews make you hate promotional work or is it just a "necessary evil"? I hope this one is a pleasant exception or else I will make you listen to Britney Spears for a week 24 hours a day!!!
”I love giving interviews, can’t you tell by the way I am honest and forthright with the truth? As for Britanny Spears, hell, I’d listen to her TWENTY-FIVE hours a day if I could! Oops, I did it again, mm-hmm, mm-hm, mm-mm…”
I think the US Black Metal scene is quite strong at the moment with bands like SUMMON, WIND OF THE BLACK MOUNTAINS and BLACK WITCHERY. Also the latest efforts of INCANTATION ("Blasphemy" is the album the year!) and DEEDS OF FLESH prove best that the US underground kicks ass right now. Would you agree? What developments and trends do you recognise or even despise in your national scene?
”As for U.S. Black Metal, I’d say the best band ever has to be LUDICRA. Their debut album, "Hollow Psalms" on Life Is Abuse Records (www.lifeisabuse.com) is the best I’ve heard, putting the Norsk to shame and calling them pussies! Yes, a new era of Black Metal has dawned with LUDICRA, who can be checked out online at www.ludicra.org and www.mp3.com/ludicra. The next trend I see is definitely men in fedoras. I just think its due for a comeback.”
How did you come along with all the bands you already played with? Are there any bands you think that are completely arrogant dicks or do you all support each other in the US and Overseas???
”Ahh-ha! You want me to talk shit so that I’ll get in trouble with other bands, don’t you! You little conniving jerk… I’ll have you know that IMPALED are the biggest completely arrogant dicks in the entire metal scene! No one can outdo our complete jerkdom!”
You sick Metal musicians are best known for your disgusting behaviour on tour. Do you remember a very ridiculous or repulsive anecdote that might be good for a laugh?
”Last tour, I paid Sean five dollars to eat a beetle off the ground at a gas station that was the size of his thumb. He did it. What a boob. Oh yeah, but then he paid me two dollars to eat my own shit. DAMN! I knew somehow I lost that one!”
What were the latest CDs you bought? Any underground talents you can recommend? If you like tell me something about your all-time faves as well!
”The new AT THE GATES "Slaughter Of The Soul" re-issue is a must have… INCANTATION’s "Blasphemy" is some of their best work, the BIRDFLESH and MACHETAZO CDs on Razorback Records are amazing and moshtastic, ENGORGED’s new one on Death Vomit is great, DECRYPT, The Red Chord (awesome grind), PHOBIA’s "Serenity Through Pain," and the coolest underground act I’ve heard of late is STUMP, who basically negated the entire early career of IMPALED by completely out-pooing us.”
So, I think these are far enough questions for today, you could have wrote three new songs in that time, but anyway, I would like to thank you for your cooperation, all of IMPALED for a great new album and I hope to see you grinding Europe soon!!! Just give me some last words, a short insight in your next steps and a message to all the maniacs out there!!!
”Ha! I did write three songs while doing this interview! You can’t stop the funk… Look for our upcoming splits with Haemorrhage and Machetazo, support Century Media’s release of our album in Europe, and hopefully we’ll come there soon and destroy your villages and have sex with your mothers. She wrote me, you know. Your mom. She’s totally into Impaled.”