This interview has never been published and was conducted for the first issue of Demolish in 1988. We hope you enjoy yet another rare piece of Metal history plucked from our Vaults.
Dennis Gergely Bass / Vocals
Tony Fabrizi Guitars
Erik Barath Guitars
Gary Duguay Drums
Although home to Liege Lord, Obsession & Fates Warning, Connecticut was never known to be home base for that many Metal bands—let alone Thrash Metal. Well, that’s about to change—watch out New York or New Jersey, there’s a deserving young thrash outfit lurking in your shadows and their “command” is Indestructible (pun-intended)!
Please join us as Kinger has a chat with guitarist Erik Barath about all things Thrash and a song about aliens attempting to take over [and destroy] the human race while few rebels come back and kick their ass and save the earth!
“Indestructible Noise Command”
DEMOLISH: To start off, can you please give us a brief history of the band.
ERIK BARATH: It started out as me and Dennis Gergely (Vocalist/Bassist) way back in grammar school. We just kinda’ started screwing around ya’ know. We rented some equipment and stuff and started out as a joke! We just jammed out and it started sounding pretty decent, so we played for a couple of years while having numerous drummers come and go. Then we finally found Gary Duguay (Drums) and the three of us sounded pretty cool like that. We had a bunch of singers but they weren’t what we wanted so we asked Dennis if he wanted to sing. He was like : “eh!”, and so he sang a couple of tunes and he sounded like sh** [laughs]! We thought if he really practiced that he would sound pretty decent after a while. He shaped up and he sounded pretty good after all.
We wanted a thicker [real HEAVY] “crunchier” sound, so we got another guitar player in Tony. He completed the band and we’ve been I.N.C—the way we are now, for about four years now. However, we’re looking for a new drummer because we are parting ways with Gary. He’s gonna’ stay until we find a replacement. He’s just not into it anymore and wants to go back to school.
You released your début LP entitled “Razorback” on Giant Records last year [Recorded and mixed at Audio West, West Haven, CT.], while not ground-breaking it certainly includes some fine moments and shows much promise—congrats. Has it done what you expected and what are some of the trials of being a newcomer on the East Coast scene?
A lot of stores re-ordered, but the unfortunate thing with a new band like us, is the record stores are kinda’ conservative and they’ll only buy 1-2 copies at a time. They will put it out there and someone will pick it up and say: “this looks interesting” and buy it…then they will order more.
We’ve been doing surprisingly well for the position we’re in [i.e. a “new” band]. Everything was kinda’ slow at first. We could have done better but we didn’t tour.
The new material should be on it’s way by now, I received an advanced copy a while ago and was really impressed. The sound is more powerful and slightly heavier and or more “catchy” if-you-will. I guess I would say it’s all-around tighter in all departments.
We’ve just released our new LP called “The Visitor” (Giant Records) and it came out really incredible. It blows away “Razorback”! We’ve made a video for the song “Hypo-Dermic Coastline” as well. We got a manager and we’ve also got a booking agency that’s gonna’ set us out on the road. So, I think things will really pick up and this new record is going to do really well.
I am sure you’ve been busy promoting the new material. Has the label locked you in a room yet with unlimited interviews/press scheduled [laughs]?
Yes, we’ve done a lot of press lately. I’ve done tons of interviews, plus we were in Kerrang!, Creem and lots of other cool magazines such as Demolish.
What’s your overall impression with the label thus far? They are not really known for indie Metal bands per say are they?
As far as promo, I think they are doing as good as any other independent label. They are a fairly new label but they definitely have the right people working for them. The thing with Giant is that we’re the first band that’s not hardcore. It’s kind of like Megaforce starting out with Metallica. All they did was push them because that was the only band they had. We’re the only band that Giant has like us, so we knew they were going to push us if we signed to them because they have no other bands to really worry about except us. If we didn’t sell, they were gonna’ go on. It’s sorta’ like we’re the label—and the label is us!
For those who haven’t heard the new album yet, it kicks ass! It’s certainly a step up in the performance and sound quality aspects. I’ll let you fill in the finer details here Erik—hit it…
First of all, the sound is nothing less than incredible! We did it at Pyramid Studios and Rob “Wacko” Hunter produced and engineered it with us. The sound is very, very HEAVY with a big drum sound; the sound is very good.
How does it differ from your début from last year?
It’s more technical and original than “Razorback” that’s for sure. Some people said: “you sound like Metallica”, well, this new stuff sounds a lot different from Metallica. It’s very much us. Dennis’ voice is a lot higher now, so he doesn’t sound like a “growler” anymore.
What about the subject matter for the lyrics this time?
The songs are more realistic in our lyrics. It’s more about life, things that piss us off, things to laugh at and a couple of science fiction songs! Most of them are just down-to-earth lyrics. The songs aren’t as long now, plus this time the album, cassette and CD will actually be released at the same time.
I understand you pretty much write most of the lyrics and music yourself. Do you get much input from the other band members?
Everyone else in the band has problems writing. Dennis writes lyrics but his rhythms are really hardcore. That’s cool, but we’re not hardcore. Everyone in the band has tried writing but it’s just something you’ve got to get the hang of. I’ve got a certain style and we like it a lot, so we want to keep it the way we’re going.
I wrote all the music on “The Visitor” and Dennis wrote a bit more of the lyrics than I did. He wrote like 60% and I wrote 40%. I like to write about things that are happening in life. Like, I’ll read the newspaper and pick the real sh**ty things and express my feelings about it; a couple of my songs are like that. I grew up with horror movies so I probably write about bad things. I just write about things that pop into my head—things that really happen and not fairy tales.
What’s the story behind the new album title–“The Visitor”?
That’s one of the science fiction songs. Dennis wrote that one and it’s about aliens taking over and destroying the human race and a few rebels come back and kick their ass and save the earth!
You guys definitely have somewhat of your own thing going on and I would say that you have a style + sound that mixes high-energy riffs with lots of timing changes, which are complimented by slower, unique grinding riffs that could be influenced a bit by bands such as Megadeth, Metallica and more so Anthrax [mosh parts].
What would your description of I.N.C’s music be?
I think that’s cool. Everybody’s got so many different opinions – it’s weird. We’re a mix of everything and it reflects on the music we listen too. You basically named a couple of our favorite groups! We also like Exodus and Slayer but we don’t rip them off…I don’t think; but we are influenced by them. I like hardcore music and I like skank and mosh parts too—I think they are cool. I think it’s really heavy when you slow the beat down.
We like to mix the speeds up. Like, we will start playing fast and all-of-a-sudden slow it down. If we’re playing live, all the skinheads would think “ah—this is pretty cool” and they’ll be into it [laughs].
There seems to be some cross-pollenization going on between the hardcore and [thrash/speed] Metal scenes these days. I detect that feel/style in some of your songs—how important is that to you and or is that a conscious decision to merge these styles?
Some of us are into hardcore, so we try to get a bit of hardcore influence in it. It also appeals to more people if you mix it up. It get’s boring if you have an album that’s all fast. We’re going our own way. I think our vocalist sounds different to any of Thrash vocalists’. I’m not saying he’s totally original, but you listen to his voice and there are not that many people who sound like that.
You mentioned that you will be touring soon, who are some of the bands that you’ve already played shows with and what are your live shows like? You seem to have fun while onstage VS just standing there like statues.
We’ve played with: Exodus, Flotsam & Jetsam, Nuclear Assault, Liege Lord, Post Mortem and Hades. We did shows here and there. We basically played within 500 miles of home—we didn’t go out that far, but we had fun!
Our live show is different and a lot of fun. A lot of Metal bands get up there and look cool but we jump up there in our jeans and thrash a lot. We run around and try to get the crowd really into it. We do moshing onstage and we even had silly string that we sprayed into the crowd. It’s really something you gotta’ see.
I’ll be playing my guitar and Dennis will come up behind me and smash into me and fu** the whole song up [laughing]! We do care, but you also have to have fun. I think people will enjoy our shows. People really get into it if they stage dive and stuff.
Speaking of mosh pits and stage diving—this is a sore topic for some venues or bands these days. Do you mind stage-diving and has anyone gotten hurt at any of your shows?
We like the stage diving as long as they know what they are doing and no one gets hurt. No one has got hurt yet. As long as the fans get on stage and jump right off it’s cool. But when they start steppin’ on wires and going all over the stage—it’s bullsh**!
I envision you guys carrying the Thrash torch and blazing the path along with the bands in the “Second Wave of Thrash”. I’d like to wish you the best of luck with everything and I hope to see you on the road. Thanks again for the interview and do you have any last comment(s) you would like to add before we wrap this up?
Yeah, to everybody reading this, if you’re not sure what we’re about—basically we’re a Thrash band. If you’re into: Testament, Metallica, Exodus, Anthrax etc. then you’ll probably get into us. So please give us a shot and buy the album!
Agreed and well put – support the Metal underground folks and go out and get their music.
Now based in New York City, the band is writing and recording a new album (to be mixed by Fredrik Nordström), via the U.K.-based label Rising Records.
Current Line Up
Erik Barath – Guitar
Tony Fabrizi – Guitar
Dennis Gergely – Vocals
Dennis Leeflang – Drums
Samuel J. Roon– Bass
*This is another very rare [unpublished] interview originally conducted in 1988.
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