And Now For Some -More- Gore...
CoC interviews Leon del Muerte of Impaled
by: Aaron McKay
For many reasons, interviews are a favorite charge on responsibility list for Chronicles of Chaos. This e-mail discussion with Leon del Muerte from Impaled is a prime example. Following a less than glorious review of their latest CD, _The Dead Shall Dead Remain_ [CoC #48], Leon and I began conversing. Due to an error on my part in the review, I asked if I might have the opportunity to clear the matter up and Leon graciously allowed the interview. When I tell you this conversation was a lot to conduct, I mean it. Leon's answers were informative and often very humorous. I believe that you will get as much out of this, on many levels, as I did. Speak to us, Mr. del Muerte!

CoC: To begin with, Leon, thanks for granting this interview. I appreciate you taking the time to enlighten the CoC readers regarding Impaled.

Leon: Hey no problem, especially after that VICIOUS SLANDERING OF OUR CD, YOU DIRTY CANADIAN! [See issue #48 -- and being American, I hope no Canadians take offence at Leon's humorous, good-natured assumption that I was from Canada -- Aaron]

CoC: What was your impression of the Milwaukee Metalfest this year? I noted that you were playing early on in the evening across the hall from Fleshgrind.

L: It was cool, actually. This year was better than the last few I've been to. More bands that I wanted to see, in general. A few disappointments (i.e., Katatonia... good music, super boring stage show). Yeah, we played at 6:05, which is about an hour after the slightly bigger bands start, according to Don Decker. We were a bit nervous about playing opposite those guys, since they're Metalfest favorites, but much to my surprise the small Necropolis room was so packed when we played that someone told me they had to watch from the outside just to see anything. I know that sounds like a lie, but hey... it is!

CoC: I was curious how the new Impaled material from _The Dead Shall Dead Remain_ went over in a live setting to the Metalfest crowd.

L: It went well. The sound was awful, of course, as is expected for the Metalfest, but there were a few people up there singing along and stuff. I was most stoked to hear that all the Ravenous guys watched our set (they were the best band of the fest, hands down), and Mark from Impetigo, and the fellas from Cianide. Color me surprised and chartreuse.

CoC: In my review of the new release, Leon, in Chronicles of Chaos #48, I mistakenly stated that track four was "Spirits of the Dead" when it is actually "Trocar". I apologize. The thrust of that portion of the review was to emphasize the incredibly strong riff about the four minute mark in the song. What is you opinion about that track? A favorite?

L: Well, because I am a total ego jerk-off, and sheister, I must admit that is my favorite track on the CD. I also wrote the entire song. I actually wrote it in the time it takes to play it, and we learned it in the time it takes to play it, and therefore, it sounds as though someone wrote it in five minutes and learned how to play it in five minutes. My apologies to anyone who actually paid for this piece of crap. Amazingly enough, that riff is also the simplest on the entire album, and yet it always gets mentioned in reviews.

CoC: It seems to me that Impaled is more of a guitar driven band, than say Cryptopsy's drumming. Would you agree?

L: Yeah, I would. We're riff-happy. Raul is a great drummer, but everything revolves around the riffs. The next album should have a bit better of a mix, and people might actually be able to tell that Raul is not playing some primitive stone/stick setup.

CoC: Broadly speaking, for the most part, I think it could be said that bands like Slayer try hard to cater to their fan base by not altering the group's sound drastically. Other bands like Ulver seem to fluctuate their style almost unconsciously. This in mind, how would you personally categorize _The Dead Shall Dead Remain_ as it relates to _From Here to Colostomy_ [CoC #46]?

L: Well, good call. As far as we go, there's not much difference between the two, since three of the four songs on _FHtC_ are on the album as well. Things happened very fast for us: we cut the demo, then we were signed and recording the album in literally less than a year's time. Now we've had a chance to catch our breath and sort things out, the new music is a little different. Not a lot, but so far a little faster and more aggressive, I suppose. It'll be strange to see what happens next.

CoC: Is it your opinion that Impaled's subject matter in any way limits the direction the band might want to proceed toward in the future or is it more like the perfect variety for what Impaled intends to accomplish?

L: Well, to be honest, the question is sort of moot for us. The lyrics aren't really all that important. Sean does write some amazingly complex and humorous stuff, and I really like what he writes, but we're really a band that just is concerned with the music. Some of the lyrics, (viz. "Faecal Rites", et al) were actually written in the studio just prior to recording the vocals. It probably does limit our appeal, but we're not too concerned with that, either. We're too arrogant for that.

CoC: Can you tell us a little bit about your excursion with your former bandmates in Exhumed recently and expand on some tour possibilities since the cancellation of the September tour with Nile, Incantation and Hate Eternal?

L: It was fun, it was really my first tour experience. I can only hope that our November tour with Nile and Incantation goes at least as well. I was only with them for two weeks (eight days of the tour) but we had a lot of fun, especially in Florida, where in the south we met up with friends who bought us loads of alcohol, and in the north we met up with the legendary KAM FUCKING LEE and did a Massacre song with him onstage.

CoC: Speaking of touring, I was happily surprised to see Impaled with Yellow Machinegun and Enslaved early this month in California. Did the show go off without any snags? What is you impression of Yellow Machinegun?

L: We've actually played with Yellow Machinegun before -- they are awesome, definitely my favorite hardcore band. They really super kick ass. Enslaved ended up not playing in favor of a bigger show in SF a few days later -- not that I blame them at all. Another group that is really good, and are really swell fellas. The show itself was great, we play at the place it was at pretty regularly (or used to), so it's just like a practice basically, except sloppier and slightly less drunk.

CoC: Winding-up here a little bit, you and I talked some earlier about European bands verses US based groups -- who would you list as a couple of your favorite of each type? Any monumental influence on you musically? Engorged?

L: Well, my favorite European bands have all either wimped-out or broken up, i.e., Carcass, Dismember, Entombed, Carnage, Unleashed, Grave, etc.. Carcass is the biggest influence on us, obviously. As far as US bands, I really like Engorged and Vulgar Pigeons, Hideous Mangleus and stuff. It's nice that two out of three of them are on the same label with us.

CoC: Well, again, Leon, thank you for this interview and good luck to the band. If you would like, please feel free to add any parting words you might have, for instance, Impaled's particular, soon-to-be-famous finale phrase, "FUCK OFF!"

L: Well, that's very rude an insensitive! I guess this one will just have to live without! GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!!

(article submitted 20/11/2000)

5/13/2001 A McKay 5 Impaled - Choice Cuts
8/12/2000 A McKay 4 Impaled - The Dead Shall Dead Remain
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