Impending Doom: In Reverence
08-Jun-2012 Words: Brian Giffin
Pix: Alex Solca
Latest release: Baptized in Filth (E1/Shock)
From the wellspring of deathcore that is Riverside, California, Impending Doom will be touring
Australia in September on the back of their new release Baptized in Filth. The Christian band's latest album peaked at #98 in the mainstream Billboard chart recently - no mean feat - and Loud got bassist David Sittig on the phone to talk up the band, their faith and their fans.
Impending Doom is heading out to Australia in September for the first time. What are you looking forward to?
We've had a lot of fans from the last couple of years begging for us to come down there, so we're excited to play for those fans finally. We've been trying to come down for a long time and we haven't been able to. And of course we're excited to see the country and be somewhere we've never been before.
Is that one of the best things about being in a band: getting to travel around and go to places that you wouldn't normally get to see?
Yeah it's definitely one of the perks! I've been all over the world and I think my favourite thing is just playing for those fans. More then going to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris... I just loving playing music and playing in new places, but it's definitely cool to see the sights the first time you go to a place.
David you've been with the band since the beginning. You started out as a three guitar band, and now you've only got one! How did that effect your sound?
It basically doesn't affect our sound any. We started out with three guitars. We never did an album or any touring with three guitars, it was really when we were a local band just starting off. We immediately switched to two guitars when one of the dudes just wasn't right for the band, and then after a while we ended up only having one guitar player and we thought about finding somebody else, but the connection between all of us is so strong that bringing someone else in could harm that. It could help it, but at the same time it could harm it. Plus it wasn't in place to go find somebody new right away. So we run backing tracks and we run multiple amplifiers at the same time to get that thicker sound like three guitar players playing live. The sound is all there, it's just one less dude to fight with and one less dude to feed! [laugh].
Do people ever confuse you with the German death metal band from the 90s?
Not so much anymore. But I think, when we first started out we would get it all the time. People would see one of our songs called "Nailed. Dead. Risen", and then a dude would say, "Hey, I like that song, but what's up with this song "Burning the House of God"?" That's not us! Even now and then now, maybe once a year, somebody random on our Facebook is like, "Are you a Christian band, because what's up with this song?" Now that we're a lot more established than that band was, we're the more well-known one and we don't get confused anymore.
Given you're a Christian band, what's the story behind the name Impending Doom?
The way we thought of the name was just really lame. Brook [Reeves - vocals] just liked the word 'doom', and there was already a band called Doom, so we just tried to find words that we could put in front of it. But it kind of works out, because the whole meaning of it is... living on this planet, we're all just delaying our impending doom without Christ. And that's kind of the meaning behind the name.
That's kind of the reverse the way that most people would come up with a name like that - think of it first and then develop a meaning.
That happens with us all the time. Even in song writing. Brook will come up with some awesome line, and we're like, "That's awesome, but how we gonna incorporate that somehow?" But he figures out a way to do it and it works out. I think that's just the way he's wired, and it works.
There seems to be a lot of bands in your style emerging from the States of late. You're probably closer to the scene than I am, so what can you tell me about that?
Especially coming out of Riverside, there's a lot of bands coming out of where we live. We live down the street from Suicide Silence and Winds of Plague and we're all really good friends with those guys. There must be something in the water here in Riverside, because for a while all the biggest bands were coming out of this city.
Have you been out on the road with those guys?
We've been on tour with Winds of Plague a couple of times. We grew up with the guys from Suicide Silence - strangely, we've never played a single show together. Chris, their guitar player, is one of my best friends. He's gonna be coming over my house later to play pool or have a couple of beers or something. We're all really good friends with them but we've never toured with them. The time will definitely come when we will. All the bands here have a really tight friendship... Sleeping Giant's another band, a Christian band, that's twenty minutes down the road. A few others. There's something about the Inland Empire area that just breeds a lot of good bands.
Is there still a backlash against extreme Christian music?
Only from really religious Christians... religious people. Not from secular fans at all. I think they're more understanding. I mean, we have a very large Christian fanbase that's very understanding and everything, and I'm not knocking on that, but the only hate we ever get is from uptight religious people who don't think there's any way possible that we can be a Christian band by playing the style of music. We don't get hate from people that hate God or worship the Devil or don't believe in God at all. They'll come out to our shows and buy our t-shirt and we'll have coffee with those people and hang out.
I see in certain areas it seems to be really trendy to be God-free and hate God and all this stuff like that. But still, those people at the end of the day, they like good music and heavy music. I see it all the time, kids jumping up at the front row loving our music and buying our t-shirt when they came to the show in a "God Free" shirt. You know, that's their view and what they believe in. We don't judge them and they don't judge us back. We respect them and they respect us back. I think those kind of fans know that about us, and that's what they like about us. A lot of people who don't believe in God and don't believe in what we believe in still respect us and love our music. They're fans whether they believe in what we do, or not.
So your music is more about talking about your beliefs rather than trying to, say, preach them the way that some Christian and religious bands might?
Yeah well we talk about our message and we let it be known and everything, but we're not the kind of band that's gonna shove it down everybody's throat. We're just the sort of band who loves everybody the same whether you're a Christian or not. We're just here and if you have questions and you wanna believe in what we believe, and you see something in us that you would want in you, come see us. We'll talk to you all night about it! But we're not gonna stand up there for hours and point at all you guys and "You're all going to Hell! Believe what we believe!"
Well I can guess what your personal inspiration is, but musically what inspires you?
Musically, bands like Slipknot, Deftones, Korn, then more on the metal side like Cannibal Corpse, As I Lay Dying. Bands that we grew up listening to we still kinda listen to. Bands like drive our musical influence. We're big Lamb of God and Gojira fans.
Impending Doom will tour Australia with Prepared Like a Bride in September:
5/9: MusicMan, Bendigo VIC (A/A)
6/9: Karova Lounge, Ballarat VIC
7/9: Black Market, Adelaide SA
8/9: Bang, Melbourne VIC
9/9: Thornbury Community Centre, Melbourne VIC (A/A)
12/9: Expressive Grounds, Gold Coast QLD (A/A)
13/9: Snitch, Brisbane QLD
14/9: Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
15/9: Big Exo Day, Sydney NSW
16/9: Bald Faced Stag Hotel, Sydney NSW