From the time when Black Sabbath shocked the world with their heavy music and occultism based lyrics, heavy metal has been quite often associated with Satanism and the evil side of life – in some cases, like Black Sabbath and many others, just due to a unfair misinterpretation by society in general.
While it is debatable if acts such as Venom and early Slayer are for real or just a marketing stunt, many other bands fly the flag of evil or Satan, and continue to shock society and attract youngsters in doing so.
But heavy music also gave birth to acts that openly defended the other side: God, Christianity, and positive actions. From Stryper to Mortification, these bands were smaller in number, but never afraid to face the allegedly evil oriented heavy metal audiences.
Impending Doom from California falls into this category. Playing an extremely aggressive blend of deathcore and Christian gospel, resulting in what the band baptized as “Gorship”, or “worshipping God through our Gore sounding music”, they are adamant about their message, and don’t seem scared of the eventual rejection. As the band prepares to tour the world – including Australia for the first time – supporting their latest release Baptized in Filth, David Sittig (bass) took some time to talk to HEAVY.
”It is our best selling album so far, it’s been well received for sure”, he starts, when asked about the new album, “and it was a little different, more fun to do than previous ones, we got to work with a very good producer… so all around a better experience than ever before”, he completes.
This is their fourth album in only five years, a quite impressive achievement, and he believes bands have to get their material out everywhere possible: “ITunes and stuff like that are the future of the music…physical copies are going extinct, we’re fortunate enough to have been a part of it while it lasted” he goes, “The physical copies of our new album are selling well so people still care about them for sure. But he majority of or our sales are off iTunes”, he adds, adamant that a band can’t afford to place all eggs in one basket these days. “The music needs to be out there in all possible formats for the fans”, he completes.
But when asked if touring is really where opportunity is, he goes “definitely, we make the majority of our money from touring. Bands don’t get rich out of album sales anymore, but if it doesn’t sell and give back all the money the record label gave you to record it, the next time around the label is not going to give us the budget you need. I really hope we come to a point where fans start buying that stuff again… fans buying the album is what gets us to tour”.
So speaking of tours, the band is preparing to come to Australia for the first time in September. How exciting is that? “Very exciting, we’ve been wanting to come down to Australia for a couple of years, so we’re finally able to do it, and we’re ready to get down there”, he quickly responds, very enthusiastic. “We’re familiar with Parkway Drive as they’re like the biggest band from down there. But one time, when we’re recording our third record, there was a band that was staying at the same studio at the same time we were there and they’re from Australia, they are called Dropsaw. They were really nice guys, so when we go down there we hope we can hang out with them too”, he finishes.
Now what about the openly religious aspects of their music? Does that limit their audience at all? Not according to him. “We don’t really have any intentions like that with our audience or our peers, everyone respects us for our beliefs and we respect them for theirs. We like everybody the same, Christian or not. The majority of our fans are not necessarily Christians and we accept that and love that. We love every one of our fans, even if they say they worship Satan, they don’t believe in anything at all or are die hard Christians – we love them all the same. There are a lot of our fans that come to us and say ‘hey I don’t believe in what you believe but you’re my favourite band’. There are no fans that find out we’re Christians and then hate us for that”.
“There are bands like White Chapel for example. People come to us and ask ‘how can you tour with them, as they are so evil, they hate God, they worship the Devil and all that’… they really don’t! They’re some of the nicest people I know. I know there are bands out there that say they worship Satan as a marketing scheme, a gimmick to shock people. Others take it seriously, so you got to find out by yourself what you like and what you don’t like.”
And what fuels Impending Doom’s music? “Everybody from Slipknot to Cannibal Corpse, and As I Lay Dying to Korn. Those bands that we grew up with is where we take our influences from” he says, “as bass player, I love Justin Chancellor from Tool, and Cliff Burton [Metallica, deceased in 1986] – their bass playing got me where I am today. As a band we all have the same influences. We all like the same heavy bands, and we all like the same soft bands, like Radiohead.”
Well, all these influences made them one of the best acts around playing deathcore music, so be sure to check out David and his band mates Brook Reeves (vocals), Cory Johnson (guitars) and Brandon Trahan (drums) while on tour through Australia, and catch their “pissed-off music with a positive message” live!