Imperial Triumphant release their new album Alphaville at the end of this month. Guitarist and vocalist Zachary Ezrin answers a few questions about it (and also pizza)…
How do you feel the response has been to the songs you’ve release so far?
It’s crazy man. People have been so supportive and are super excited about the album and it feel really great. We haven’t done anything that wasn’t true to ourselves or gotten softer due to signing with a bigger label. We’ve remained true and created an insane record. To feel the appreciation and support from people is amazing.
We picked a lot of people who we knew and who we had a shot at working with. It’s something that we pride ourselves on and we want to have it like a local jazz gig vibe. The sort of ones where people sit in and play on a couple of tracks and the some others play. It’s a very New York way with lots of collaboration and we want to keep surprising people with who we bring in.
What was the process like when it came to writing this album?
We just write however it feels and every song has a different process. There is no formula that we stick to and we try and make everything stand out. Everything will flow from front to back very smoothly, but each track will sound unique and different. Every track on this album is killer though, and I couldn’t pick my favourite.
What was one of the parts you were most unsure of going into the album?
The barbershop quartet was one part which I was unsure on how it would work without sounding cheesy. The breakdown in “City Swine” as well as it was something different to what we usually do. The thing is, when you’re in a band you’ve got to put your trust in your bandmates and I’m really happy that I did as it ended up sounding really good.
You were supposed to be on the Devastation of the Nation tour. Had you anything special planned that you’ve rolled over to next year, along with any other plans?
We weren’t going to play any new material but we were going to try and make the craziest show we can. We have a 30 minute slot, so we wanted to make it a slot to remember, and we still will when the tour comes around again.
Our European booker is getting a lot of interest in bookings for next year, so hopefully we’ll be over in Europe at least once or twice in 2021. We’ll be doing some stuff in America as well when things open up again.
When you started the band, was there a distinct direction and has that direction changed?
It’s definitely changed a lot. I’m the founder of the band, but I’m not the only contributor to the music. The lineup we’ve had for the past 5/6 years has enabled the band to blossom into something I’m a bit more proud of and it’s something more unique and interesting.
What’s something you want to sample but haven’t had chance to yet?
That’s a great question. If we were going to do another Russian doom song, I’d want to have a Balalaika orchestra again and maybe some other instruments. We always try and have instruments that fit the song sonically and whatever the future holds, I’m excited to embrace it.
Would you say that the best things coming into the genre are the bands that are bringing new things into the genre?
Absolutely. I think that every great music act has been bringing in aspects from outside the genre. Metallica is a great example as they brought into metal some of the stuff form the punk scene. In order for the scene to grow, there needs to be continual new things. Bands like Zeal and Ardor are doing great things as well.
What’s something you want to see less of in the music industry?
Personally, I’m really frustrated by the streaming situation. On one side, I’m happy as people aren’t illegally downloading and instead are streaming, but there’s still got to be some solution that benefits everyone. Music is a great art form, but it’s becoming cheaper to imbibe and even less cheaper to make it. People without music would be devastated and yet so many are committed to not buying it. Maybe because I grew up in the age of CD’s, but I still like buying CD’s and having the physical item as opposed to the digital.
Where can you get the best New York Slice?
Everyone’s going to tell you something different, and they’re all going to be right answer. It’s the working mans slice and it hits the spot just perfectly. It’s a classic and not fancy but it’s so good. I love New York Pizza. It’s not the pizza in the world, but only in New York are you going to get that experience.
Do you think you’ll sample a Pizza Place?
Ha! Well, now that you’ve said that you’ve planted the idea. Maybe, who knows.