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Metal/Prog Metal Interviews

Incantation

Interviewed by Mike Korn
Interview With Interview With Incantation's Joe Lombard  & John McEntee in 2003


MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

You just had extensive tours of both Europe and the US. How did they go and how is Incantation being accepted in each area? Any differences between US and Europe in terms of the response?
Joe Lombard: They both went very well. In the US we had some vehicle problems, so we had to cancel a few shows. Besides that it was cool. We get to play for bigger crowds in Europe, so that makes it more fun than in the US. I think there is more metal support in Europe than in the States. Their metal fests are a lot bigger, and they seem more old school than the metal fans in the US. They're not as trendy over there.
MSJ: This had to be a trial by fire for Vincent Crowley, your new vocalist.(Crowley is the singer and guitarist of Acheron--Ed.) How did he rise to the challenge and what does he bring to Incantation that wasn't there before?
Joe Lombard: He did a great job on those tours. He never did just vocals before, so that was new to him. The biggest difference was Incantation playing with just one guitar. It was hard to adjust to in the first week or so of the US tour. It was trial by error, some songs were written for two guitars with harmonies, and just didn't sound right without it. Next time out there will be two guitars.
MSJ: Vincent is quite a strong personality used to being the leader in his own band Acheron. Is it unusual for you to be dealing with such an experienced and driving force in the band?
Joe Lombard: Vincent didn't come in and try to take over. He didn't come in with a big ego, he just came in and did a great job of fitting in and doing vocals like Incantation is known for. He was real easy to get along with.
MSJ: Do you feel this line-up is going to stick for a while? Does it feel more like Incantation is really more of a band now than ever before?
John McEntee: Things are going great with Joe, Kyle and I. We all work well together. It's a great band unit, and this is a very strong line up! In the past there was a lot more tension in the band. Things are much more stable now than in the past.
MSJ: How important was it to get Kyle back in the band?
John McEntee: Very important! Kyle is a vital part of the band and we work great together. We have the same musical vision and get along great! Kyle is the perfect drummer for Incantation in my opinion. We had worked with some other great drummers over the years and sadly some really bad ones also. Kyle has the diversity that fits the Incantation style. I think he is a very underrated drummer!
MSJ: Incantation has always had Satanic leanings but they've been more subtle and even poetic than the typical "rip Christ's guts out" stuff. It seems "Blasphemy" is a little more obvious and in your face than your past lyrics. Would you agree and is there any particular reason for this?
Joe Lombard: I`d say the lyrics are more blasphemous and anti-religious, than satanic. The lyrics on Blasphemy were written pretty fast, and I think that's just the way they came out.
MSJ: I imagine you were pretty amused by all the sex scandals in the Catholic Church. What's your take on that and is it something Incantation is going to play around with in the future?
Joe Lombard: The Catholic Church has been messed up for centuries, so it doesn't surprise me. If you look at history they have done some real screwed up stuff to people in the past. I myself don't plan on writing lyrics about it, because people don't need me telling them how perverted those priests are, the news says enough.
MSJ: The doomier, more grinding side of Incantation seems to be a little more emphasized on "Blasphemy". This is one of the things that sets you apart as most of the newer bands are focused on speed and "technicality" rather than morbid atmosphere. What's your take on the newer face of death metal and what do you think Incantation has to offer to the younger guys in the scene?
Joe Lombard: John does a great job with dynamics in his riffs. On the slow doomy riffs there's a good bit of feeling. Instead of just all fast riffs like you're in a race or something. I'm a fan of the old school death metal sound. A lot of the newer bands are mixing death metal with other styles of music, and that's OK, but I just prefer death metal to sound like pure death metal. Maybe young bands can look at Incantation as a good example of what death metal started out as and could stay as today without jumping on trends.
MSJ: Necropolis Records seems to fit your style a lot better than Relapse, who are putting out stuff like Alabama Thunderpussy and Cephalic Carnage. Are things comfortable with Necropolis and do you think Relapse kind of turned its back on traditional death metal, where it made its fortune?
Joe Lombard: Necropolis isn`t as trendy as Relapse is, so hopefully that'll work out better.
MSJ: What was the last CD you picked up for your own enjoyment?
Joe Lombard: The last thing I bought was the Iron Maiden Rock In Rio dvd, and I think it kicks.
MSJ: What was the last gig you saw for your own enjoyment?
John McEntee: I'm looking forward to seeing Kreator and Destruction this month. The last show I went to see was Circle of Dead Children, Seven Gates, and a few other bands. We all try to go to as many shows as possible!
MSJ: Can you perhaps give us a "Spinal Tap" moment that's happened to Incantation over the years?
John McEntee: Most of our time on the road is a Spinal Tap Moment. The music business is just totally nuts and to try to make head or tails of it will drive you mad!
 
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