Your lyrics are infused with heavy detail and raw emotion. What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a concept behind the writing of Baptized in Filth?
Impending Doom: We base the majority of our lyrics off things we all go through in our day to day lives, our view on the world, scripture, and an overall message of hope. Baptized In Filth is a concept based around being in love with the world and worldly objects, status, etc…
Brook Reeves: When I’m writing lyrics I don’t like to sugar coat anything. I don’t like to play games or keep you guessing what I’m talking about. I love poetry, I love abstract and creative ways of song writing but I’m coming to realize I Not that guy. My inspiration is Gods word and people and comparing and contrasting them. The concept of the album of people who are baptized or immersed in their sin an outside showing of the inside. Either wolves in Sherpa clothing or a straight up hater of Jesus Christ. Just like how being baptized as a Christian is an outward representation of the washing of sin.
You will be releasing Baptized in Filth shortly, what do you think the reactions will be? What can fans expect when they pick up a copy?
Impending Doom: So far the reactions have been amazing! Everyone seems to be into it. You can expect the best Impending Doom album to date, start to finish this album is intense and powerful!
Cory Johnson: I mean I think this album is the Impending Doom fans are expecting to hear, which NOW I think is a good thing… but with that being said there are obvious areas of maturing with this material. We had a chance to work with some awesome producers (Machine, Andreas Magnessun) and had a clear vision of what we needed to accomplish as a band and for the album as a whole. I really believe it will be a noticeable difference that the fans and critics will be able to pick up on!
When it came to releasing Baptized in Filth how did the whole package come together? What was the recording process like, how long did you have, was there any pressure on you?
Impending Doom: Well there’s always going to be pressure, we go into every album wanting to outdo the last. We had a little more time to prepare this album than previous ones so we used that to our advantage. We had a bunch of solid riffs and ideas to start with and we just attacked the process with full force. Recording was awesome! We tracked it in Richmond, VA with Andreas and he really pushed us and helped us put the whole thing together. Then we did vocals with Machine, he molded Brook and pushed him to sound more powerful/angrier/and emotional than ever before. We had a great team behind us on this record!
Cory Johnson: Well this album was an entire new process for us. We wrote half of it during down time and the other half on the road and then with Andreas Magnessun in the studio right after coming off of a tour. We have never been that outside of our comfort zone during an album before so there definitely was a ton of pressure on us.
Who did the artwork and title for the album, when you look on the final project, is there anything you wish you could have done differently?
Impending Doom: Brent Elliot White did the art for the album. We have all been fans of his previous work with Job For A Cowboy and Whitechapel so we knew he was the guy to go to for capturing what we had in our heads.
Brook Reeves: The album artwork was done by Brent Elliot White and I came up with the title. Given more time (everyone could always use more time haha) we could have done more. Wrote more songs or whatnot but given the time we had and all I think we created an awesome record.
Baptized in Filth is probably your heaviest album to date, also it appears to be one of your angriest (lyrically), any real life reasons behind this?
Impending Doom: Yes, we went into this writing process with the mindset of writing our heaviest/darkest material to date and I fully believe we accomplished that. Lyrically these songs have real life meaning behind them, from things Brook has gone through to the things he see’s happening around him.
Brook Reeves: Thanks! I appreciate that. Every word comes for real life experiences I’ve had from people I watch and talk to about their beliefs (and everyone does have a belief) It absolutely kills me that people think it’s the coolest thing to not care about anything and they think they are rebels and are shocking anyone. We are all desensitized. It’s mainstream now. Get over it. But the truth is, to follow Jesus in this world today to spread love, you are the real rebels and the ones going against the system. I like to discredit the fake and speak truth.
I am sure you get asked this a lot, but what are your feelings about being a Christian band in a metal world? Lyrically your music is raw and angry yet still positive and influential when you get down to the bottom of it. Impending Doom seem to be a band that gets it right in the sense they don’t overwhelm their listeners with religious values and scare non-Christians off, yet manage to still provide religious lyrics to an extent, do you purposely write like this or did you just luck out? 🙂
Impending Doom: We definitely do this a certain way for a reason. We have some of the most amazing fans around the world, the best part is anybody can listen to us whether they are Christian or not, we want them to feel loved and close to us. We don’t shove anything down anyone’s throats but we do make it known what this band is all about. We don’t judge anyone or point any fingers. We’re just regular dudes that sin like everyone else; we don’t think we’re better than ANYONE else. We do this for Jesus and are here to have a good time and present the best Metal we possibly can for you all!
Brook Reeves: First off that thanks man. I’m stoked to hear that. I love being a follower of Christ in a not so Christian world so to speak. Because the metal world is a different one than all the other music Genres in my opinion. I Love the fact that I can spread the love and knowledge of Jesus from my heart and experiences and have to be on my toes about it. It never gets old. I hate playing it safe with my music. We are a band not about a man made religion that uses Jesus name to justify war, hate, or segregation from anyone no matter their beliefs. That’s why Christians say we hate religion just the same way non-Christians say they hate religion. Man’s evil heart is twisted. We justify our evilness with the stamp of Jesus on it and call it religion. I hate it. That’s not who God is. I denounce all false religion and cults. If people identify that in our songs atheist or other. Hell yeah!
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Impending Doom: We all come together and help with everything, Cory is a genius when it comes to Protools and demoing out material; me, he and Btown come up with the music and Brook is constantly writing lyrics. We’ll all help out at times coming with drum parts, guitar riffs and even lyrics, and we bring it all together in the end to make a brutal Doom record!
Cory Johnson: For the most part it’s a collective effort. I do a lot of demos on my own time and with David as well just because it’s easier for me to start songs that way but by the time the song has evolved into its final stages and is ready for vocals it’s entirely a collective.
How do you think you will affect the Death Metal scene you are part of? What are your thoughts on the growing popularity in it as well?
Impending Doom: We just want to make our mark in the scene, we’re not out to become the biggest band in the world, but are definitely always pushing to grow in size of course. Spreading our message, name, and music across the world is the plan!
Brook Reeves: I hope we as a band can At least get people to see Jesus for who He is and not what a death metal scene proclaims him to be and just say things they don’t have a clue about. Would you trust a metal head who isn’t a doctor to perform heart surgery on you? Then don’t let anyone In a cult or a music scene tell you who Jesus is or choose your salvation for you.
What are the upcoming plans for Impending Doom after the release?
Impending Doom: The Metal Alliance Tour starts 2 days after the release which is a full U.S./Canadian tour spread out over 5 weeks. Followed by Warped Tour in the summer! And a few other things in the works!
Cory Johnson: Tours! We start the Metal Alliance tour with Devildriver, The Faceless, JFAC, etc. on March 13th then right after that we head out on the Vans Warped Tour! We also want to get back over to UK/Europe soon. As well as Australia, Japan and Mexico!
What’s your reaction when/if a fan told you a very meaningful statement such as “Your music changed my life?” Has this ever happened to you?
Impending Doom: It has happened many times, and it’s amazing that our music can reach people in that way, it never gets old hearing that and its always something that gives us the chills, we love talking with our fans after shows so to hear that just makes all of this worth it.
Cory Johnson: Ya it does happen and I think it’s a great thing! It’s our hope to inspire people and bring a light to the dark places of this world so anytime its working is a huge motivation to us!
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Impending Doom: As far as stage goes never pour water down your head while on stage and then step up on the monitor, you will slip and face plant on the monitor. It’s happened to me haha.
Cory Johnson: My toughest lesson learned from stage is my back is not indestructible and lessons learned in the studio. I’m not a good a singer I thought I was. 🙂
Thrash Magazine has been over the years collecting bands input on piracy with music and we would love your take on the matter. Basically, what is your stance on it, your thoughts about it, and what you feel could help the situation (whether it is new media deliver methods, free music for all or physical copies only)? We would love as detailed of a response as Impending Doom would like to provide.
Impending Doom: That’s a tough one that for us goes both ways. On one side we just want our music to get out there and be heard and liked, so spread it around and get the name of our new album out there to the masses! On another note fans do need to see the other side where we have to make some sort of money for doing this, we are working on records for sometimes 6 months at a time where to be able to be away from family, jobs, etc… We need to be able to make money or bands will slowly die off and stop touring and making albums. If albums don’t sell labels won’t pay for recording budgets, if albums don’t sell good first week you don’t get to see your favorite bands tour with other bands they like as well at times. First weeks sales are huge for artists as far as what tours you see them on. So I will always encourage supporting your favorite bands if you can.
Cory Johnson: This is always such a tough conversation to have. Of course I believe music is a product as much as it is intellectual property so on one hand downloading it for free is technically stealing, BUT at the same time music sharing is normal and accepted in the world we live in today. It is what it is. EVERYONE has contributed to the success of the digital age in one way or another. The wav/mp3 file formats are simply just here to stay and it’s SO easy to share them…. So what do we do??? The internet has made it possible for bands to grow at a rapid pace where-as in the past a band really only had a chance if they had a huge label to push them. It’s a blessing and a curse in my opinion. We would all like to see more money from our intellectual property (original music) but like I said earlier the .wav/mp3 format is just TOO easy to share and pass around at this point.
If you had a chance to go back in time, where, what, and why?
Impending Doom: 1980 right before Metallica started and get together with them and start our careers at the same time. Impending Doom might sound a little different in 1980 though…haha
Cory Johnson: Since we’re on the topic of music I would LOVE to transport Impending Doom in its exact current state to the 90’s and experience touring/recording. I would love to see what it would be like to be signed and have a loyal fan base before the internet took over the world.
How do you think the recession is affecting musicians like yourself? Is it at all?
Impending Doom: Yes a little bit, I think it’s harder for people to take off work to come see their favorite bands when they need the money, but at the same time people need an escape and entertainment and you can find both of those at an Impending Doom show and over the years I think our fans have seen that and always try to come out when we come to their town.
Cory Johnson: Well its hit the music industry harder than most other industries because of the fact that so many people are getting the product for free – but at the same time I really feel that music is recession proof because of the fact that everyone will need entertainment no matter what state the world is currently in. The shows are still awesome; the fans are still checking out new music, merchandise is still selling… In the big picture all is well and we’re fortunate to have so many great bands out there flourishing.
All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
Impending Doom: I should prepare myself but I definitely don’t haha. My body is already destroyed from all the years of touring. Btown and Cory stretch before they go on stage which is something they try to get to me to as well but I somehow manage to never do so haha.
Cory Johnson: Haha ya it honestly does get tough at times! Staying active on and off tour is mandatory! Also if we aren’t stretching before our set and staying hydrated (with water haha) it would be near impossible to go out for 6 weeks doing our live show every night.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Impending Doom: Pick up Baptized In Filth in stores everywhere March 13th 2012! Come rage with us this summer on the Vans Warped Tour!!!
Cory Johnson:Thanks for the interview and check out our new album “Baptized In Filth”! See you on the road!