Imperium Mortis were fresh off the stage at Cook’s Cafe in Naugatuck, CT from their return to live performances when I caught up with band members, brothers, Alex (drums) and Will, along with Joe (guitars), Aron (vocals), and Dave (bass) for a few words. Their long absence from the CT Metal scene didn’t effect their performance, picking up from where they left off in true Imperium Mortis form.
Two members of the band pulled double duty that night as Golden Axe, where Will plays guitar and Aron moved from front and center vox man to back and center skin basher behind the drum kit. However, the crossovers don’t stop there. Will is also 50% of the Metal band, Annihilation of Vomit, and together with his brother Alex make up ⅖ of the Progressive Metal band, Agrippa93.
Agrippa: you guys have been away fro awhile. You’ve been away for about a year right?
Will: Maybe more.
Agrippa: Before we get into that, where did Imperium Mortis come from?
Alex: Originally We started, Me and Will, in our parent’s garage. We were fucking around. Not really doing much of anything and as we started getting better, we hooked up with Dave the bass player and turned it into Demigod. Then we hooked up with another loser, who will stay unnamed, and we did a few shows. People liked it, but eventually if fell apart from people not carrying their weight. When we restarted it in 2004, we decided to call it Imperium Mortis. Basically it was a lot of Slayer covers, a lot of Amon Amarth covers, and a lot of Thrash Metal. We took all the bands that we like and all the sounds that we like, kind of melded them together and just played what we liked.
Agrippa: Later on you added some other members.
Alex: After awhile we had this guy Teddy playing guitar for a while, but he ended up not really being what he said he was. We had Joe on bass at the time, actually, and Dave was singing. Teddy left and we put Joe on guitar, Dave back on bass, and we had this girl Vanessa singing for us for a little while. She caused nothing but problems and then we met this other guy over hear, Aron, who seems like he kinda sorta knew what he was doing.
Agrippa: So, when was the lineup solidified?
Alex: I’d say 2009-2010.
Agrippa: You were out there playing gigs for awhile and then you took a break. What happened? What caused the break?
Aron: My girlfriend.
Will: Asshole musicians and little blond girls from Florida fucked it up.
Joe: Blond girls are nothing but trouble.
Aron: I will never date another blond girl.
Agrippa: Note to self: Never date a blond girl. So, you took over a year off. What made you come back?
Alex: Probably all for slightly different reasons. For myself its in my heart to play this style of music; the really fast and really brutal music. I’m already playing in Agrippa93, which is more progressive and musical. We talked about it for awhile and eventually we decided to just screw around and, hey, we didn’t forget the songs. Let’s see what we can do. That’s pretty much what it is.
Agrippa: Your first practice back. How did that go?
Aron: It was definitely a good practice. For not playing in over a year we were pretty spot on tight. We had maybe 1 or 2 mess ups and we just kept playing right through. It’s like jumping back on a bike.
Joe: Pretty much almost exactly what Aron said. We came to practice not really expecting to be as spot on as it was, but we threw our shit together and did it pretty good.
Agrippa: You just finished up your very 1st show back. How does it feel being back on the stage?
Alex: It feels like we haven’t missed a beat. It feels really good. Very tiring, but it was a very good feeling.
Aron: It sort of feels like sodomizing my grandmother with a red hot poker.
Agrippa: I can envision that.
Will: What he said.
Joe: It was amazing getting back on stage.
Aron: A lot of adrenaline and power.
Agrippa: There’s probably a different genre for every Metal band out there. What would you categorize yourselves as?
Alex: I would say we are closest to Melodic Death Metal.
Will: Personally, I think we just play what we like to play and its fast and that’s how we like to play.
Agrippa: If you had to identify yourself with any other band out there, who would it it be?
Aron: Swedish kind of Metal, Black Metal, kind of all rolled into a big ball. A big hash ball.
Will: In all honestly we play what we play and that’s what we love to do.
Agrippa: Speaking of influences, music you’ve grown up with, let me ask you a hypothetical question: If you had to throw away your entire music collection except for 1 album, what would it be?
Aron: Dissection, Storm of the Light’s Bane.
Alex: Them, King Diamond.
Joe: Nocturnal, by Black Dalia.
Will: I don’t know. I’ve been listening to a lot of different styles of music and as far as my greatest inspiration…any fucking Slayer album.
Agrippa: Any one in particular?
Will: Diabolus In Musica.
Agrippa: I’m sure there are a lot of different personalities in this band. Who’s the jokester in the band?
Aron: I am.
Agrippa: And the serious guy?
Aaron, Joe, and Will: Alex.
Agrippa: You guys haven’t played out for awhile. It’s your 1st time back on stage. Do you get nervous before you go on, and how do you deal with it?
Aron: I pee 3 times.
Will: Drink a lot of beers.
Joe: Yeah, I figure get a few beers in me. I get a little nervous going on.
Aron: Dollar beers help the nervousness go away.
Alex: It doesn’t really matter which band I’m playing with, whether I’ve played yesterday or a few months ago. To me it always feels like I’m going into battle.
Agrippa: What was your gig from hell?
Joe: What was that place called, Hat City Ale?
Aron: Hat City Ale House.
Joe: We couldn’t even fit everybody on stage.
Aaron: I had to sing on the floor.
Joe: Couldn’t hear absolutely anything.
Aron: And there was some techno band playing too. A 2 piece synth acoustic clown band from Mars.
Will: We didn’t enjoy ourselves at all at that particular show that night. But, every show we play, we do our best.
Agrippa: What’s your favorite song to perform?
Alex: My favorite song is Lost Haitian/Death From Below. Whichever name you want to give it.
Will: I personally like to play Incantations at the Gates.
Joe: I honestly have to go with Blood Hunger or Hallowed.
Aron: I definitely like Imperium Mortis. That’s our most powerful song.
Agrippa: What do you think would be the one song that best represents Imperium Mortis, the band?
Will: I think Incantations at the Gates.
Aron: Our newer song, Incantations at the Gates is definitely coming along.
Will: That’s going to define our final sound.
Agrippa: You’ve played out a lot in the past. What’s your favorite local CT band to gig with?
Joe: Honestly, I’ve always liked hanging with Circling the Drain and Indamdum. I always like seeing them around.
Aron: Yeah, we sound good with them. We sound good with the punk bands too.
Will: I would say Indamdum.
Alex: I personally can’t really pick a band that I can say is my favorite to play with, because I like a lot of other local bands. I also don’t like a lot of local bands. Whoever I’m playing with that night, I enjoy playing with them.
Agrippa: Your favorite venue?
Will: What was the coolest place we’ve played at?
Alex: I would say the best place we’ve ever played is the Heirloom Arts Theater in Danbury.
Aron: It’s a really well set up place there.
Will: We did kick ass there.
Agrippa: What’s your take on the Battle of the Bands:
Alex: Complete and utter crap.
Aaron: As long as it’s fair judgement. Every one I’ve been to is a ridiculous judgement. they make everybody agree on one thing and then they flip around and say, “Oh no, we’re voting this way now.”, changing the whole democracy of the situation.
Joe: Pretty much from what I know of Battle of the Bands its about how many people you bring to the show. It never has to do with your sound.
Will: It’s always a popularity thing. Whoever has the most friends show up that night is the band that’s going to win. It’s not a talent thing.
Alex: If I can add to it, We’ve done a lot of Battle of the Bands in my other band, Agrippa93, and what I’ve notice is its mostly a ticket selling scheme. Get bands to work real hard to sell a lot of tickets to get there and be let down. It’s more of a popularity contest, but not popularity for the people, but who’s most likely to go out and sell the most tickets. What’s popular today, not who’s the most original.
Agrippa: What’s the writing process in this band?
Joe: Honestly, for a little bit, Will’s done quite a bit of writing. Everyone throws in their own input. Everyone does their own thing, like I’ll splash some leads on. Splash a a few rhythms. Alex does his drums. Pretty much everyone contributes.
Aron: I usually let them write the song out fully and then I write my lyrics to a song while they’re writing it, so I can fit in everything perfectly to the song.
Imperium Mortis plans to use this comeback to catapult them to a position to play many more shows. They will carve out their own future by spreading their name, play out frequently, making connections with other good like-minded bands and crush the rest. Imperium Mortis will also continue writing new material with the goal of entering the studio and cutting an full length album.
Imperium Mortis can be found here:
About the author
Agrippa is a the general adviser, internet tech sorcerer, and a reporter for the Metal Cyndicate of Connecticut, as well as the author of his own blog about music and music production, Agrippa: Thought Manifest. He can also be found fronting his own band, Agrippa93, on vocals, synths, sequencers, samples, and piano. Agrippa also has an industrial solo project called, Agrippa’s Laboratory. Both projects are produced through his label and studio, Sickle Pation. You can follow him on twitter via @agrippa93, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.