Welcome back INC…welcome back. After a more than 20 year absence from the metal scene, Indestructible Noise Command is back with a powerful, relevant, heavy-as-hell thrash metal record that is sure to create a stir. Heaven Sent…Hell Bound is ripping affair that will have listeners snapping their necks in no time at all. I was a fan of the band back in the day and I’m so stoked to have new music from them after such a long time. I recently had a chance to speak with guitarist Erik Barath about the band, their new disc and the reason behind the comeback after all these years. INC is back with a vengeance!
Now that your new disc Heaven Sent…Hell Bound is complete. How do you feel about it and are you satisfied with the outcome?
Erik: Yeah man we are thrilled with it; this is the album we always wanted to make. We were able to take our time with this one. With our first two albums back in the 80’s we were on a limited budget; we were young naive and all over the place with music. Now we are focused and we know what we want to do. We have a better budget and some great people behind us. This is the album we always dreamed about making; it took us 23 years to make it but we have finally done it.
What was the writing process like? Did you guys all write together or was it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Erik: I have always written everything so that didn’t change. My own personal process did change however. In the past I would sit down and say to myself that it was time to write a song and I kind of forced what was in me, out of me. Now it is more of an organic kind of process. I have an idea I sit down and let that idea come to me naturally. I think about vocals more also, in the old days it was all about the guitar but now I really believe in good vocals and good melody lines so I actually write vocals sometimes before I even write the guitars. So it is more of an overall solid writing process for me. For this album I wrote the songs and then emailed them to everybody because I live 5,000 miles away from them all. Then we got together on video chat and we tried to work it all out. In the old days you just sat in a room and tried to bang out 1 song a month, now with technology we can do it from a distance and bang out 2 or 3 songs in a month. It was a nice process it was spread out and very relaxed and you can really hear it in the album.
Are there any tracks on the disc that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Erik: Listen, they are all my babies and this is like asking me which is my favorite kid. I really love “Swallowed” because I always wanted to make a song that was epic and I love the speed of it. I love writing fast songs, but I also like writing songs that are a little more laid-back and relaxed with melody and some really nice guitar work. “Swallowed” is really a tribute to all of the bands that we love. There is a little bit of Iron Maiden in there, there is a little bit of Black Sabbath and you can hear a little bit of everything in there. It is long, but it is worth it because it has got some violin in there and some dual guitar work so overall I would say that “Swallowed” is my favorite. I think a close second favorite for me would be “God Loves Violence” because it is the exact opposite of “Swallowed”. It is rip your face off insanity.
Did you ever imagine you would be doing this 23 years later?
Erik: We discussed it probably half a dozen times and it was always in the context of getting back together to do some shows or a reunion. I never wanted to do that. I wanted to do something historic. I don’t think a band has ever taken 23 years off and then come back and made a relevant record, at least not in metal. I know The Yard Birds took like 26 years between records or something like that. We really felt that this material was so strong that we really had to put it out and we could not be happier with the final result. It was 23 years apart but when we got back together it almost felt like we had never broken up, it just flowed so smoothly.
What kind of touring plans do you have in support of the record?
Erik: We don’t have any set dates right now. We are talking with a few different bands and booking agents, but I can’t give you anything solid right now. A lot of people think that now that we are in our 40’s we can’t do much, but I will tell you what, we will run circles around some of these younger bands because our live show is the shit. We are ready to go and hopefully in a month or two we will have some dates to announce.
What would fans be surprised to find on your iPod?
Erik: The Killers.
What 3 words best describe Indestructible Noise Command?
Erik: Aggressive, Raunchy and Disgusting.
If you had not become a musician what other career path would you have liked to attempt?
If you were a superhero, who would it be and why?
Erik: I like Kato, The Green Hornet’s sidekick. He is a little understated and you didn’t see him, until he hits you in the face.
Yeah he was kind of in the shadows, but he got the job done!
Erik: No one really noticed him and then suddenly they were hit in the face and didn’t know what the fuck happened. I want to be Kato.
Any closing words at all?
Erik: If anybody out there hears the band and likes the music please go out and buy it. We waited 23 years to make it and we want to make another one. So if you buy this record we will be able to make another one. Support INC and we will see you all on the road soon.