Impaled Nazarene - The Goat's Manifesto: Interview by George Grant
Finland’s Impaled Nazarene has had a long history within the extreme metal scene. Their newest album, Manifest which I reviewed earlier, shows the band continuing their aggressive metal assault. I spoke with vocalist Mika Luttinen on the new album as well the source that keeps Impaled Nazarene as fierce as ever.
First and most importantly would have to be your newest album Manifest. Overall how was the process for its creation?
We started writing songs right after PPF was finished, circa November 2005. It was very slow in the beginning . Then, around October 2006 we decided we better book a studio (Sonic Pump) for spring 2007 and get this fucking cd done. Then we started to write more intensively and we entered the studio in, was it April or May 2007. We spent less than three weeks for recording and mixing.
Do you see this album as a natural progression for the band, or was this a conscious new direction?
New direction? Personally I think we sound the same as we have always done. Mixture of death, black, thrash and heavy metal, punk and grindcore.
Musically, Manifest has a fairly diverse sound. I hear many influences from the obvious black metal and death metal genres, but there's also some punk and even traditional metal vibes in the music as well. How did this come about?
We have five different composers and everybody has their own influences. That is why we sound the way we do. We do not compose as a unit, we compose individually at home and then meet at rehearsals to see/hear what we have come up with. We keep great shit, and throw away shit songs. It is a very democratic work method
Is there a conceptual connection between the songs on Manifest, or even a main theme that is carried throughout the album or are the topics more so a random mix throughout the songs?
Some of the lyrics are about the miserable years 2006/2007 and all the crap that we had to face then. But there is no specific concept. I do not like conceptual records and I am not interested to write any concept stories, factual or fiction.
How important are the vocals for the music? It seems to me, especially on Manifest that the vocals are very rhythmically driven and align along with the guitar riffs. Are they a main focus during the composing of the music, or rather a product of the completed songs?
I guess they are important but then again, I am the vocalist so maybe others do not see them important at all. I basically just try to make them sound interesting and try to avoid the same kind of vocal arrangements as I have written previously. Some songs I nailed right, some don't have that memorable performance I guess. Anyway, the music comes always first. I never write any lyrics without music or create vocal lines without music. I need to have the finished song. Then, usually, I come up with a title and from there I work the rest out. This is actually an interesting question as nobody seems to give a shit about vocals, at least in interviews.
Considering all the albums created by the band how do you see Manifest fits into Impaled Nazarene's catalogue?
Fits in there just perfectly, like a combat boot to a squatters face.
Compared to your latest album Pro Patria Finlandia, Manifest has a much longer running time. Considering your songs are fairly fast and most clocking in at the three or four minute mark, the writing must have been very inspired. Where does the band draw their inspirations?
We are old bastards so the answer is old bands and old records. Some of us dig old heavy metal (Iron Maiden), some of us black metal (Mayhem, Emperor), I am more into punk (The Exploited, Driller Killer), all of us dig old thrash metal like Exodus, Slayer, Sodom, Whiplash and so on.
Going along with the diverse influences, Impaled Nazarene has always been one of those bands that have been hard to pin-point to one style. Was this done as a need to distance from other groups or more of natural direction for the band to take?
We have NEVER planned anything in our lives. We just write and come up with shit. A song like Dead Return for example, is pretty fucking different to anything we have done but somehow it sounds like Impaled Nazarene in the end. That is probably one of the strengths of our band. Fact that we can fucking write whatever and in the end it sounds like Impaled Nazarene.
With its long history Impaled Nazarene has been a staple to extreme metal. Do you think the band has anything to prove? Do you see the band as a vital component to the music scene?
Hah, on the contrary. We have never had any impact on any scene, be it extreme metal or Finnish metal scene or whatever. Sure, everybody knows the name but that´s it. If we had had any impact, there would be zillion IN clones out there. I have never thought that we need to prove something. We have been doing this and there is a few people who dig what we do. And that´s it.
Digital music has increasingly been impacting the way the music industry operates. Even the record companies have jumped on the bandwagon and have been offering digital music in place of the hardcopies. What are your thoughts on this slowly evolving shift?
There is nothing I can do about it so what can I say? Nothing.
And finally, at the end of the day when all is said and done what is the main driving force that has kept Impaled Nazarene creating music, and do you see this fueling the band's fire into the future?
Satan, goats, alcohol, sex. Yes. We will not give up. Suck that thought and weep!