Prior to their performance on the Cult Never Dies stage at Damnation Festival, we had the opportunity to catch-up with Imperial Triumphant and discuss their upcoming performance and their plans for the next few months.
You’re playing the festival a bit later on today. Are you looking forward to it?
Very much so, we’re very excited to be playing. This is our first time here and we’re hoping to catch a few bands who are playing. There’s a pretty good lineup playing today.
Vile Luxury was the latest release you guys put out. How was the response to it?
It’s been the best reaction of any record we’ve put out. When you think about, we wouldn’t be playing this festival, doing this interview and everything else had the album not came out and done so well. The albums opened up a lot of doors for us, not just in terms of touring but in other areas as well. Century Media probably would not have been interested in picking us up had we not released the album and it had done as well as it did. It’s maybe not the best album of all time, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Super different. This is probably the first record which was done as a group project as opposed to Zach writing all the music and passing it to guys who learned it and didn’t give any input. Since Zach amassed the current lineup, the rest of us have gotten to have more input as it’s now being treated as a band. We tracked it entirely live as well with no scratch tracks or click tracks. We added a few things later on but we literally just turned up and played at the studio. There’s a bit more magic with it we feel as the tempo goes where it feels like it needs to go and there’s more energy.
Damnation Festival has sold out once again this year. Can you think of any reason why?
Zach was up at our merch stall earlier and there were folk up there saying they’d come just to see us. I’m not saying we’re the reason it sold out, but if you’ve got a killer lineup then people will come. It seems like the people organising this festival know what they are doing and are doing a great job. Besides, the UK is a good metal country. There’s a lot of good metal bands coming out of here which is indicative of the culture here. Some countries you go to, there might be a very dedicated scene but the vast majority of the populace don’t know who Metallica is. Over here, it seems like a no-brainer. If you put in the hard work, then people will turn up and see you and buy your stuff. This is one of the few genres where people want that live experience and will come see you play and buy your merch. Not a lot of styles of music will do that. They might come and see you play, but not buy your merch.
What are your plans for your performance tonight?
Every time we tour we want to try and spice it up with something else that’s within our current resources to take it to the next level. We’re playing a new song tonight which is going to be kind of special. We’ve also added some lights to our masks which we’ve not done before which’ll be interesting. We don’t like to talk during our set as it kind of takes away from the performance in our eyes due to our masks and we don’t have evil German accents! To still engage with the audience though, we have some pre-recorded stage banter that is done in a clever way which makes it feel like the audience is all part of the ritual. We’ve upgraded that as well. Every time you come and see Imperial Triumphant you’ll see something different.
What are your plans for the next 6 to 12 months?
We’re going into the studio in December to record our new album which we’re looking forward to. 2020 is shaping up to be lots of touring and is going to be a really big year for us. We’ll have a few new merch designs as well which is going to be cool. The future is looking bright.
What do you want to see less of in the metal scene?
Less obvious plug and play and metal by numbers. Take the extra week and work on something that’s not just the song you like by the band you like. If you’re trying to do something different then spend some time listening to stuff that is not metal. That’s where a lot of the new ideas are coming into the genre from and what we listened to when we wrote our album. We’re living in an age where metal has been around for long enough that it needs to evolve or it’s going to die out. Just like many other genres have gone extinct, we don’t want to see that happen to metal.
What bands are you looking forward to catching?
We’d like to catch Ghaals Wyrd as their new record is pretty cool. Maybe catch a bit of Mayhem, Inter Arma and Birds In Row. Timing is obviously going to factor into who we see.
Tea or Coffee?
[In New York accents] Coffee! Tea is pretty cool as well, but coffee is the answer. We’ve got our own Coffee as well which people can get on our webstore. It’s roasted in Brooklyn as well which is cool.