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Metal/Prog Metal Interviews


Interviewed by Mike Korn
Interview With Impaled's Sean McGrath from 2002

MSJ: When did you decide to turn your medical knowledge to getting rid of worthless mankind?
Aw, Jeez, I wish had something prepared for questions like this! Well, back in the day when we were just starting our practices, we had no trouble with humans at all. But after our last album "The Dead Shall Dead Remain" came out, people started turning on us and that's when we decided everyone must die...
MSJ: They say you are the most hated band in the world...
We are! People talk s*** about us, they hate us, they talk crap about us online. It's great!
MSJ: You wear that hatred like a badge of honor.
It is a badge of honor! As long as we can provoke some reaction in people, it's better than nothing. I'm a firm believer that there is no such thing as bad publicity.
MSJ: When I listen to the new one "Mondo Medicale", it reminds me a lot of the Carcass album "Necroticism".
Yeah, there are a lot of parallels you can draw there. We wear our influences on our sleeves. There's a lot of Megadeth in there; a lot of At The Gates and Dissection...stuff like that. But the lyrics and the vocals are definitely influenced by Carcass.
MSJ: There's a lot more twin guitar harmonies here than on the first album. Was that deliberate or did it just happen naturally?
It just happened naturally. I got a four track and I've been recording all the stuff I've been writing on that. It made it a lot easier to write harmonies. Before, we'd go into the studio and I had one part written and then we'd have to write another part to go with it. It just took too long that way. Once I got a four track and once Andrew joined the band with his recording equipment, recording harmonies and leads became a lot easier.
MSJ: During the song "Raise the Stakes", I caught a little tribute in the lyrics to the old band Rigor Mortis, where you duplicate a spoken bit in one of their old tunes.
Yeah, that's right!
MSJ: They were certainly ahead of their time.
They were awesome. They split but went on to a lot of other projects. Casey Orr is in Gwar and Mike Scaccia the guitarist went to Ministry.
MSJ: There's so many extreme bands that are doing gory lyrics these days, how do you separate yourself from the pack?.
I think a lot of the bands that have lyrics like we do are more grind influenced, like Hemorrhage, who are totally awesome. We are pretty much straight up death metal. We do have a lot of harmonies, which is something a lot of gore bands don't have. The music itself sets us apart.
MSJ: You seem to have a lot stronger concept to your lyrics, too. It's not just mindless splatter and gore. When did the "mad doctor" concept arise in your lyrics?
We had an idea to do a concept album and it was loosely about a mad scientist. We didn't end up doing the original concept but the idea of us all being mad doctors kind of stuck. Ross was definitely behind that. He came up with a lot of the photo and imagery ideas for "Mondo Medicale". He also wrote about 90% of the lyrics for this album, too. We're not really a concept band per se but we have more of an idea where we are going.
MSJ: Is there really anything new you can do with shocking gore lyrics? I think most of it is pretty played out by now.
Well, I think the idea of just trying to shock people isn't going to work anymore. The idea is to come up with lyrics that are interesting to read and have an actual story behind them as opposed to just splatter all over the place. Bands like Hemorrhage are starting to do that and we are starting to do more "stories".
MSJ: The new album is like a cautionary tale. People have a morbid fear of going to the doctor; they might fall into the hands of somebody like you...
(laughs) That's right!
MSJ: There's a lot of humor involved with this stuff but the critics never seem to get it.
No, they don't. People in general just don't seem to catch on that it's not serious.
MSJ: Have you had any major censorship problems with "Mondo Medicale"?
Last time around the pressing plant had a problem with pressing the CD because the people who worked on the line putting it together didn't like it and didn't want to look at it a thousand times. This time, it's been handled by Century Media in Europe and the Europeans just cannot handle the cover, the real cover. So it's coming out with a censored cover over there.
MSJ: That's the guy with the bandages on his face instead of having his eye and tongue extracted...
That's right. I personally think the censored cover is a more interesting picture.
MSJ: Were you inspired by any mad doctors from film or literature?
I think "Herbert West-Reanimator" was a big influence on us.
MSJ: How will Impaled develop in the future?
It's probably going to be pretty similar to what we're doing now. We haven't written a whole lot of new material. We're still going to have blast beats and brutal parts but we're going to keep the harmonies and melodies. I'm guessing the songwriting will get even tighter. The stuff we are listening to now tends to be more song-oriented than riff-oriented and that will definitely influence us. We're comfortable with where we're at. The new album is the best thing I've ever been involved with.
MSJ: What was the last CD you got?
I think I picked up an old LP by Al DiMeola or something similar. I haven't bought a lot of metal CD's in a while. I think the last metal CD I got was the remastered version of Megadeth's "Killing is My Business...".
MSJ: What was the last concert you attended?
Last weekend, I saw Nile, Arch Enemy and Hate Eternal. It was completely packed, there was no room to walk around in the club at all.
MSJ: Now that the nu-metal scene is kind of winding down, what do you think the next phase of heavy metal will be?
I think probably bands like Arch Enemy will get pretty big. Possibly In Flames, too - that kind of stuff. But really underground bands like us and Exhumed are not gonna get too big. It's a little too weird for people, with all those songs about killing people (laughs).
MSJ: When you're the most hated band in the world, there's a few things that come with the territory.
(laughs) Exactly!
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 3 at
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