Impaled – Ross Sewage, Bass
For those not yet familiar with Impaled, describe the band in one sentence.
Ross: We are immoral medical practitioners and licentious evil-doers.
You have a new album coming out on November 6th called The Last Gasp. What was the writing and recording process like this time?
Ross: The writing process was long, because for once, we actually thought about what we were doing while we were doing it. This is opposed to our familiar way of creating music, which was generally through an alcoholic haze. The recording process involved a lot of micro-management, doing all the guitars and vocals on our own so we could spend literally minutes fine-tuning the tone. The drums and mixing were done with our friend Brad at Head Change Studios, who has also worked with Smashmouth and Green Day. You can see why we went to him what with our pop-oriented song stylings. I’m hoping we can get one of our songs to play over the credits for Mysterymen 2.
Is there any sort of concept or story to the album this time?
Ross: The only concept is one of our own complete domination. We have seen the light of self-fulfilling prophecies of our own doom and failure in songs like “We Belong Dead” and “Medical Waste.” We have crossed over to the dark-side, if you will, and engaged in George W. Bush’s vaunted method of treating everything like running a corporation. Our goal is no longer art, but share profitability and the utter exploitation of all natural (and unnatural) resources.
Your last album, Death After Life, seemed to get a lot of mixed reviews, with some people complaining about the album’s “skits” and production quality. Did this have any impact on your approach for The Last Gasp?
Ross: A lot of bands like to say that they don’t listen to the reviews or critiques before writing a record, but we certainly did. In fact, we hired a team of executive producers and lawyers to gauge our every move writing this record. It went through a battery of focus groups and even computer simulations calculating the most brutal chord changes we could make. One simulation ended in total thermo-nuclear warfare, so we kept the album just a tad less brutal and sick than that.
The album will probably “leak” online fairly soon. Do you care if your fans, or potential fans, download your album before it’s released?
Ross: We already leaked the album ourselves. This was a tactical maneuver, as the leaked album is actually only about 30 seconds of music, and then us talking as pirates for the rest of the track. This will dilute the field of Impaled mp3s, in total compliance with the current standings of the RIAA. To be in favor of fans downloading our music would actually be illegal under corporate law and a move of moral turpitude regarding the Impaled shareholders and the pension plan holders of the Impaled, INC., empire.
Do you think it would’ve benefited Metallica’s career/musical output if Lars was crushed by the tour bus instead of Cliff Burton?
Ross: It seems as though you are critiquing Metallica’s musical prowess following the death of Burton. All the albums following Burton’s death were a financial success, and no metal album yet has surpassed the monetary gains of the Black Album, which is a consistent seller to this day. The free market has spoken, and the market states that Metallica got better. If Lars was such a shitty drummer, as you are implying, would he own Picasso paintings? I think not. If wearing a feather boa and eyeliner helps Lars sell more records, then more power to him.
You’re finally done with Century Media, who seemed to do absolutely nothing to support or promote the band. Are you happy to be done with them, and why did you choose to go with Willowtip Records this time around?
Ross: Century Media and Impaled shared a bad arrangement. While I could certainly send of a volley of complaints regarding how they treated us, I’m sure they could return fire with an equal amount of misgivings about our own distinctly uncongenial work manner. To get signed to Century Media helped the band immensely in recognition, and for that, we are grateful. Willowtip Records is a better choice for Impaled, as we are now bigger fish in a smaller pond, not competing for attention from suits pushing the latest Shadow’s Fall record. The Willowtip Board of Executives is much more in compliance with Impaled’s objectives, and bowed graciously to our many demands. That being said, I’m still waiting for my package of all green M&Ms from the C.E.O.
Did you smile inside when you heard that Seth Putnam was in a coma?
Ross: I didn’t give it a thought. One stranger’s misfortune is not really my concern unless the net result benefits Impaled.
In a related question, do you think domestic violence is really really really funny?
Ross: No. I do, however, think domestic violence is largely the result of poverty. The more poverty there is the more profit there is to be made for the wealthy classes, of which Impaled is a part. At least, that’s what my golfing partners in our exclusive country club think. In that way, domestic violence is a bellwether of Impaled’s glorious path to total world and financial domination.
Are there any plans for a full-North American Impaled tour any time soon?
Ross: Define “plans.” If by “plans” you mean, we want to tour and hope to do so, then yes, there are definite plans. If by “plans” you mean that some amazing tour has been offered to us, dates are set, and we are hitting the road soon, then no. Unfortunately, we’ll have to first rake in the massive profits from our CD sales in order to buy a slot on the next OzzFest.
Do you check ID before hooking up with groupies at a show?
Ross: I don’t hook up with groupies at a show. I do, however, perform as a gigolo on the road, with customers of the fairer sex offering gobs of cash just to be seen in my presence.
Which is a bigger negative/evil influence on the music industry, record labels or booking agents?
Ross: By its own making, the music INDUSTRY is evil. As a matter of business, it takes evil to make money. Otherwise, a bunch of douche bags strumming three chords on broken Gibson guitars would never have more clout socially than the trained musicians of an orchestra. As it is, I do have more clout playing simple-minded death metal than some third seat violinist bowing away a Beethoven concerto. In this way, bookers, labels, and all the other greedy middle-men of the music industry have had a net positive effect on my own life.
What bands or albums are you currently listening to?
Ross: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Impaled. Seriously, the new record is so good that it has eclipsed all else in my collection. As it is, I have stacks of metal CDs that I have fashioned into makeshift furniture, while a copy of the new Impaled CD sits on a jewel-encrusted golden altar.
You’ll be performing at the Maryland Deathfest again next year. Are you excited for that, and is there anyone you’re looking forward to seeing?
Ross: I’m excited to see screaming fans throwing their hard-earned dollars at us in order to get a little piece of cotton marked with our logo in plastisol to cover their tiny torsos. I’m also excited to see the string of old bands that have reformed, and to study their business tactics, in the hope that one day Impaled can break-up and subsequently revive ourselves in such a profitable manner.
Have you ever contemplated punching Glen Benton in the face, or at least had the desire to?
Ross: Isn’t he dead? I thought he said he was going to kill himself when he turned 30.
The music industry seems to be putting a lot of emphasis on a band’s MySpace status, with bands getting signed based on how many “friends” they have, or how many plays they get per day. Do you see this as having a negative impact on the scene’s integrity, or as a way for band’s to easily get attention?
Ross: Like I’ve stated before, the free market has spoken, and the market has said “numbers of friends are more important than musical integrity.” How can you argue with the dollar vote in our successful capitalist economy? In this way, our eardrums can bleed better to commercially viable bands such as Job For a Cowboy and Trivium. If it wasn’t for MySpace, Hot Topic wouldn’t know what to sell, and then where would all those delightfully pierced and Nightmare-Before-Christmas-tattooed employees find work?
How did you decide who was in your MySpace top 8, and was it a difficult decision to make?
Ross: Our MySpace top 8 consists of our label, the licensors of our record, other bands we are in, and us. It is shameless self-promotion through the unerring corporate juggernaut that is Impaled.
Other than Impaled, you’re also in Ludicra, which leans more towards the black metal side. Is there something you get out of playing that style that you don’t get from Impaled?
Ross: By playing in Ludicra, a band with “artistic integrity,” I can market myself as caring artist instead of the soldier of capitalist success and glorious undeserved fame that I actually am. Yet again, I win with another stratagem that hurls Impaled ever-upward in terms of financial triumph.
You also do a lot of art work for other bands. How’d you get into that?
Ross: I have long held a paintbrush before I ever picked up a bass guitar. Indeed, my schooling was based in the visual arts and not music, though my tactical skill on the four-string mother-fucker would surely attest otherwise. Doing art for other bands is something I enjoy and surely pays better than doing the art for the bands I am in. That usually amounts to a zero dollar amount. It’s like George W. Bush said… holding down extra jobs is something uniquely American. Praise God for the American tradition of working extra jobs in order to afford a meager lifestyle in a depressed economy.
Should Paris Hilton be legally forced to have an abortion if she ever becomes pregnant?
Ross: All life is sacred, unless Impaled chooses to end it.
There’s this pretty cool band from Creepsylvania called Ghoul that some people feel is a little too similar to Impaled. Are you a fan of them, or do you resent their attempts to be you?
Ross: Though I’ve not heard them, who can blame them for trying to mimic our amazing success? It’s like Rammstein and Laibach… Laibach stated that Rammstein was like a version of themselves for juveniles and praised them for their hard work. Now, I do the same for Ghoul and their cute little show. When they are ready to grow up and submit to our complete mastery, listeners will find blessed bliss in subservience to Impaled and the G.O.R.E. Corps.
That’s about it, any final words for our readers?