It’s that time of year where we set out to interview as many of the Sophie, New Blood, and Jager bands as we can in the lead-up to one of the most anticipated festivals of the year, Bloodstock. Answering our questions here is Imperium who play the New Blood stage on the Saturday.
Ben (vocalist), Hardip (lead guitar), Scott (rhythm), and James (drums) grew up and went to school together in West London – split up by different age groups but joined together by metal! Jean-Raphael our bassist originally came from Hong Kong, but is also half-French and speaks American. He must have been conceived on a bass guitar though as he’s insane on it!
How long have you been playing together as a band?
We have been playing together as a whole around 6/7 years creating our foundations but have been gigging now around 5 years.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Imperium is Latin for “absolute power” which is what we think metal is. We want to carry a name to represent what we feel about the music we play.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We like to mix our songs up with speed, chug, switching rhythms whenever we want, melodic and aggressive. We twist and turn our riffs and overall structures and never make things normal which we like to think makes us unique.
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
We bring a lot of energy to our shows and the different variety and sound between each song gives opportunities to mosh, headbang or sway your lighters. In more intimate shows Ben might pick someone up or throw a few people about, but mainly we just keep a crowd engaged and heads banging!
Have you been to Bloodstock before? What did you think?
This is the first time going to Bloodstock for a few of us and the excitement is out of control as we’re also playing it! The festival rips and has such an close friendly feeling when your there and we can’t wait to be amongst it.
Which M2tM region did you win, or did you come through other channels?
We took the victory in Metal 2 The Masses London! Hard competition and great bands competing so we are very happy to take the win.
Can you put into 10 words or fewer how it felt when you realised you were heading to Bloodstock?
It feels very surreal playing the same festival as our heroes!
What sort of setlist can we expect?
Most of our set will consist of our fast-paced tunes so there is no let up for the crowd. We might stick in a heavy chunky song for the headbangers.
Which other bands do you most hope you’re not squished up next to so you can see them play?
I’ve heard of Viction doing the rounds and looking forward to seeing them. Out of the big bands Exodus and Testament, Merciful Fate, Vio-lence and a load more!
What are you working on at the moment?
We are now working on a new batch of songs as well as mastering our current backlog! There’s an album worth of big tunes we need to get out to the world!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Ben once swung a man round just outside of a mosh pit. Finding out he had a crutch in his hand mid-air was quite a laugh! Other than that a few naked people and dislocated limbs.
What drink do you throw back to get yourself fired up before going on stage?
We have a ritual of doing a shot on stage just before we play. We luckily have a link with Fireball Whisky and the double-shot bottles boosts us up to 1000%.