After hearing Imperium at Heat 9 of Metal 2 The Masses at the Big Red in North London, I felt it’d be a superb opportunity to ask them a few questions for our Band of the Day feature. These West London thrashers and riff blasters agreed, so, below are their answers.
How did you meet?
Hardip and Scott were in the same class in school. After discovering they were fans of the same music they both picked up the guitar and jammed to their favourite tunes. James was originally playing drums in an indie band. A mutual friend introduced him to Hardip and Scott as metal was his forte. After a short jam in a studio James had joined the two to make half a band. Enquiries were made to bring in a vocalist and auditions were had. In the midst of the auditions Scott had asked Ben to give it a go – Ben was already a friend of ours. Although Ben had never sung before he instantly formed strong vocals and very much suited the band’s style. After a year playing with another bassist we put out an advert on the internet for a replacement and within 24 hours Jean-Raphael (Rapha) replied to the advert and immediately joined the band.
How long have you been playing as a band?
As a whole band we have been playing since March 2015.
Before you get sick of being asked … Where does the band name come from?
The word Imperium is Latin for ‘Absolute Power’. We relate this to the bands we were influenced by and we like the idea of continuing the dominance of thrash metal.
What are your influences?
Our main influences are the classic metal bands such as; Metallica, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Pantera etc.
Describe your music
We have an old-school thrash metal sound. We mix it up between fast-paced, relentless aggression to slow, melodic and crunchy tunes. We’re fans of time-changes and these are implemented within our songs to excite the listeners.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
We don’t have a particular theme lyrically. Ben writes the lyrics to how the song makes him feel.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
We would choose Frankenstein’s Monster. Imperium is a whole with 5 different personalities. We merge together to make this Monster!
Recently you played at Metal 2 The Masses – how did that come about and what was your experience of playing along with the outcome of the vote?
We applied to compete in Metal 2 The Masses in 2017, we lost out in the second round however. By playing these shows we had extended our following, played at some decent venues and became friends with a few bands we played alongside. As this led to a few more gigs we decided to play Metal 2 The Masses again in 2018 for the same opportunities.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live gig?
We have a song named “City Of Dis” and the middle contains a small break followed by the drums giving a 4 count to unleash mayhem with some fast thrash. At this moment in the song Ben and Rapha put down their equipment and join the moshpit in the crowd. One particular time Ben collided with someone in the pit and dislocated their knee. Despite the pain they were in, this person remained in the front row giving it their all ’til the end our performance with a swinging leg. They paid for a T-shirt and CD on the way to the hospital!
What kit do you use?
- Vocals – Ben uses a Sennheiser Microphone
- Lead Guitar – Hardip uses a Jackson Kelly
- Rhythm Guitar – Scott uses a Schecter Damian 6
- Drums – James uses Black Tama Starclassic with Paiste Cymbals and Pro mark sticks
- Bass Guitar – Rapha plays Ibanez SR705 Portamento (fretless)
What are your plans for 2018?
Our main focus is to work on some new material and hopefully record our second EP. We want to gig as much we can, discover other bands in the underground scene and enjoy the journey wherever it may take us.
If you were second on a 3-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
The dream is to play alongside Metallica! We’d love to support them. We met a band named Bangover whilst playing in Metal 2 The Masses and gigged with them once after. They share similar traits with us and would be a great opener.