How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
A: Coming up with a band name is very easy (apparently you can be called things like “iwrestledabearonce”). Coming up with a great name is something else entirely. We spent a good deal of time thinking about our name, and through some intense Google’ing sessions I arrived at Impalers through the Dracula myth that originated from a guy, called Vlad Tepes, who was known to torture and murder people by impaling them. I thought that was just too brutal not to use, and it got me thinking that somebody was probably to do the impaling act itself. I don’t know if I’d consider our name “great”, though. It certainly isn’t as catchy as Slayer or Overkill. But I like it.
As I am new to your band perhaps a short introduction might be in order?
A: The band consists of four guys: Thomas Carnell on lead guitar, Rasmus Kjær on drums, Kenneth Frandsen on bass guitar and myself on rhythm guitar and vocals. I started the band in late 2007 with a couple of friends after seeing Sodom for the first time. Over the years I slowly built the band into what I originally envisioned (back when we started I had barely touched a guitar), and I’m happy to say we’re leaps and bounds beyond that.
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
A: At one point it can be a grueling and daunting process, but when things finally start to come together in the end it’s also incredibly satisfying and, indeed, gratifying. I generally start with a generation of ideas. I try to picture the album as a whole, and I think about what I want to say lyrically. Then I start writing riffs and building the skeleton for the songs. Obviously, the songs will often take completely different forms than intended once the writing process has begun.
When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
A: By itself, being in a band does not make me feel a part of a worldwide movement, no. Considering ourselves a thrash band, there’s more of that feeling, true, but I’d say the days of ’07-’08 are over. I’m always supporting other thrash bands as much as I can, one way or the other, but I don’t feel a part of a movement, per se, no. We did once, to some extent, but that was more a national feeling than anything else. When we released our debut album, “Power Behind the Throne”, it seemed like a lot of other Danish thrash bands started sprouting, and it felt like there was a kind of unity between us. Unfortunately, that has mostly disappeared by now.
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
A: If you’re singing about the brutality of warfare, the totalitarian enslavement of religion, the corruption and wickedness of certain politicians, etc. then you can’t be standing around in cargo shorts and Hawaii shirts wearing a smile. You gotta look the part if you want to be taken just mildly serious. When we play live it’s important for us that we and the audience have fun, but we still take things seriously enough to know when to goof around and when not to. When we do photo sessions for a new album, like “God From the Machine”, it has to be serious, because there are some important subjects on that album and we don’t want to lessen the value of the lyrical concepts.
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
A: I’m one of those guys that will always put the almighty riff above and beyond anything, especially lyrics. But if you’re gonna have lyrics, you might as well put some effort into it and write something great. I write about stuff that makes me angry, because it’s a way for me to vent. Primarily that would be religion. I try to shake things up for my own sake, so I try various rhythmic devices and rhyme patterns. I don’t want to sound like I’m singing [Slayer sang] in every song, like a LOT of thrash bands out there do.
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
A: Quite visibly, it is not, no. In general, the music business is first and foremost a singles market. However, since metalheads doesn’t have the attention span of a banana fly, they’re usually a lot more interested in listening to a collection of songs in a specific order. I don’t think digital has killed the album, no. Album pricing has killed the album. Of course album sales have gone down. Back in the day you had no choice. If you wanted music, you’d have to buy it. Now people finally have a way to say, “Fuck that, I’m not paying $20 for 10 songs”. They have a choice. And if the music industry hadn’t pushed it to the absolute limit for such a long time, I don’t think we would have seen a backlash as huge as this. Personally, I don’t buy music digitally, I like to have a physical product, but I totally understand people who don’t want to pay more than $1 for a song. That’s also why you’ll never, ever see an Impalers CD for more than $15. And that’s even pushing it a bit. Obviously, you pay the extra couple of bucks for the digipak and the booklet and stuff. Some people like that, other people can go to iTunes.
Where will the future of format end?
A: I’m sorry to say I don’t have an answer for that.
How much of a touring entity are you guys?
A: Not much, but not because we don’t want to. There is going to be a lot of that in the future, though. So ask me again in a year.
What lies in the future?
A: I would like to say world domination, but who am I kidding? Why stop there.