This was one of the best concerts I had gone to in a very long time. I had never seen IMMOLATION play live, and I must say it was a very intense show. I had the privilege to talk to bass / vocalist Ross. Here we go kids.
The Outcast: So how is the tour going so far?
Ross: Good, this is uh, we have one more show tomorrow and that ends this part, this is primarily the east coast part, even though were kinda out mid west. Then uh, at the end of January we start the west coast with the same line up. It's been going really good man, good turn outs, good responses, it was definitely a good tour.
The Outcast: Any fucked up stories you could tell me?
Ross: Uh, I mean, every tour has its own share of weirdness, nothing really worth mentioning.
The Outcast: So how's the new album selling?
Ross: I'm sure it's doing good....
The Outcast: Better than the last one?
Ross: We don't know yet, I mean we haven't received any statements. From what we've heard it's doing really good. All the touring we've been doing has really been helping.
The Outcast: Andreas Marshall did the artwork for both albums, will you be using him for future albums?
Ross: Yeah, we'd like too, he doesn't really do album covers any more, but since we've known him for so long, he makes an exception here and there. So if he's willing to do it, we want him to do it, we'll see what happens.
The Outcast: Is Metal Blade treating you better than your previous label?
Ross: Yeah definitely, without a doubt....
The Outcast: Supporting the band a lot better?
Ross: Um, for the most part, I mean we feel they could be doing a little bit more than they have been, you know, but uh, we're not a #1 priority right now, we don't intend to be, but you know, we hope with the next album, we'll see a little bit more effort on there part. So far it's been good though, no complaints.
The Outcast: How do you see IMMOLATIONS progression since the "Dawn of Possession" album?
Ross: I think we've progressed a lot musically. I think we've fine tuned the IMMOLATION style more on this album you know, and I think by the next album it will be much more.
The Outcast: Will IMMOLATION be hitting Mexico on this tour?
Ross: Yeah, actually were going to be doing something possibly with IMPALED NAZARENE.....
The Outcast: Oh no shit!? When is this?
Ross: We don't know when, we just got in touch with a guy down there who wants to set it all up.
The Outcast: You guys have played there before right?
Ross: Yeah, a couple of times.
The Outcast: Was it really...
Ross: Oh, it was intense.
The Outcast: That's where I'm from.
Ross: Oh yeah, Mexico City?
The Outcast: Yeah.
Ross: Our sound man is from Mexico City.
The Outcast: Cool. Actually from what a lot of bands say and from what I have seen, Mexico City is one of the best places for extreme bands to play.
Ross: Yeah, I would have to agree.
The Outcast: Is the scene in N.J. and N.Y. still pretty cool?
Ross: N.Y., not to much Jersey, but N.Y. is good.
The Outcast: What do you think about David Vincent leaving MORBID ANGEL?
Ross: Well you know, not something we like to see, (That's for damn sure!) but uh, I'm sure they'll be fine, they'll move on. CANNIBAL C. replaced Chris Barnes, ( For the better in my opinion!) so that shows no one is irreplaceable you know what I'm saying? If C.C. can do it, I know M.A. can do it.
The Outcast: I heard a rumor that Abbath from IMMORTAL was going to replace Vincent?
Ross: Nah, just a rumor, they've got some guy from Ohio trying out.
The Outcast: Oh really?
Ross: Yeah, that is what I heard, but I don't know who he is.
The Outcast: What do you guys listen too on your spare time?
Ross: All kinds of stuff. We listen to everything from MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE, TYPE-O-NEGATIVE, to Tori Amos...
The Outcast: Oh really, I think she's pretty cool as well.
Ross: Oh yeah?
The Outcast: Nah, I hate the bitch, no I'm just kidding. I saw her in concert a couple of times. It was all right, but I just hate sitting there watching a band play, I'm used to slamming.
Ross: Yeah, she's fucking great.
The Outcast: A while back you guys were interviewed by a christian zine called "The Narrow Path", you stated that you couldn't believe christian metal existed. You stated it was a contradiction, why do you think it is a contradiction?
Ross: It is because, what metal is about goes against what christians believe. It totally contradicts itself. The whole life style, the whole matter of expression and feeling. Anybody can see it is a contradiction.
The Outcast: Did it freak you guys out that they came up to you for an interview?
Ross: It didn't freak us out, if they want, or anybody wants an interview with us, that's fine. I mean the whole concept of christian death metal, that's total contradiction.
The Outcast: You've never heard of MORTIFICATION, LIVING SACRIFICE, or PARAMECIUM?
Ross: I've heard of them, but I mean, to me it's just a contradiction, so you know...
The Outcast: What exactly does the new album cover portray?
Ross: Well, if you read the lyrics to "Hear In After", you'll get a pretty good idea of what is going on. It's supposed to be a vision of what Hell would be like. Our interpretation of what Hell would be like. Since we really don't believe in a heaven or a Hell, we took the christian vision of Hell and we kinda changed it around to, instead of being only the christian belief of that only evil will be in Hell. In our interpretation, it shows everybody there. Realistically speaking, you could almost look at our lives now as a heaven or a Hell, depending on which choices you take in your life. It is showing everyone there, not just the evil, but good and evil. Showing that everybody has a dark side in there life. Everyone has the potential of being good or evil.
The Outcast: So you wouldn't call your selves Satanists then, even though your lyrics are so strong against god and christianity?
Ross: Not at all, we've never portrayed our selves to be Satanists. We've used Satan in our lyrics since we started, but it's just a personification of evil, just like we use god as a personification of good. We don't believe in a god or a Devil, you know what I'm saying?
The Outcast: Oh, exactly.
Ross: But they represent those two forces of good and evil to us.
The Outcast: That is one thing I've noticed about your lyrics, is that you didn't have the typical "Fuck me Jesus" type lyrics. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)
Ross: Nah, the new album basically focuses on religion and it's just basically has our feelings since we were all brought up as catholics.(Same here.) We have somewhat of a religious background, not an extreme religious background but you know, we've all been to church and to some sort of religious school, so we know what it is all about and we can take from those experiences and relate to it in our own way you know. Our feelings about how we feel about religion, and if we feel that way about that one certain type of religion, that means we feel that way about all types of religion. We don't feel people should use religion as a crutch to lean on...
The Outcast: A scapegoat to lives problems.
Ross: Exactly, and most people do, that's what we write about. Since we were brought up as catholics, we focus our lyrics more on Jesus Chrust and the christian views of religion, rather than uh, whatever, Satanic views, cause that is a religion as well you know. A religion is a religion. Except that some of the Satanic elements I can agree with you know? Not all of them, some of them are a little far fetched but you know...Like Lavey, how he does it, his philosophies are actually very interesting to me and I agree with a lot of the things he says.I can agree with some of it, but not all of it.
The Outcast: Like the black metal bands who have an extreme life style. I'm an extremist in certain ways, but not when it comes to a religious point of view, well not all the time any ways. I have my own views, beliefs, if you want to call it this, my own religion. But like catholics, babtists, pentacostals, etc..., they all worship the same god, but yet they all have disagreements and are always putting each other down and shit. it is the same way with all these different types of "Satanists", you have the Laveians, the extreme ones that burn down churches and shit, though I do not agree with it 100%, I do understand where they are coming from.
Ross: Yeah, I mean, that's a whole nother story I don't even want to get into. Satanism should represent the anti-religion, the non-religion religion, (Wha?) but sometimes it doesn't, it's usually more of a religion. I think most of the people are into it for the shock value and stuff like that. Just be yourself man, you know, that's what it's all about.
The Outcast: Thank you for your time and for the killer fucking show! What are some of your final words?
Ross: Well, fucking St. Louis kicked ass man, we had a good time....
The Outcast: This was actually one of the best/better shows we've had in a long fucking time!
Ross: Fucking great man, were glad to be part of it man, thank you for the interview. Thank you to all of you who has supported us through the years. keep the scene alive!