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A Dirty Dozen with ERIK BARATH of INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND – March 2019

| 2 March 2019 | Reply

 

According to a recent press release: “Connecticut quintet Indestructible Noise Command (I.N.C.) have played uncompromising thrash since 1985 when Erik Barath and Dennis Gergely formed the band in high school. After a pair of albums on a major label, the band took some time off before making a full-on return in 2010. On March 8th, their fifth full-length album, Terrible Things, will be released. It finds the band returning to their roots: stripped down thrash with a technical edge. Today, the band have partnered up with Metal Injection for an exclusive premiere of their new video for the song “First Go Rek.” We get guitarist Erik to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Terrible Things is really a return to our roots. Speed, aggression, but with a bit of humor mixed in. We’re a bunch of goofballs at heart and figured, why does everything have to be so damn pissy these days. Probably one of the main things people will miss is the lyrics for “Identifier.” While the lyrics are punky, fun and a little silly, they reflect my thought on the insanity that followed the 2016 elections. I was a Democrat, and then a Republican and now I can’t stand either LOL. Every 4 years we have an election and half the voters are thrilled and the other half are upset but the shit that went down following the 2016 elections was, let’s just say, to put it lightly, amusing. The lyrics reflect that high level of amusement I had watching it all melt down.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I remember as a little kid, maybe 6 years old or so, listening to the Beatles’ Sgt Peppers album over and over again and for the first time, analyzing how the bass and guitars interwove each other, how the strings layers on top of it all. It was the first time I heard music for more than just the quick sonic pleasure and more for the artful process it is.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I listened to all the greats, from Sabbath to Priest, etc, but I would say Venom and Metallica really showed me how aggressive and nasty metal can be. Kill em All is probably the biggest eye opener for me and really pushed me down this 3 plus decade path of thrash.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Queen, Metallica, Venom, Dream Theatre and probably Mercyful Fate.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Wow that’s tough. I’ve always been the sole writer so working with someone else would be tough and the first name that popped in my head was Dave Mustaine because I think he is the most consistent metal writer ever. But since Dave doesn’t write with others either it would start out all nice-nice and quickly turn ugly as we battle to take over the project HAHA.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would say the best way to describe our music is it would fit well as the soundtrack to every kill scene in the Final Destination series. A BLOODY GOOD TIME! As for reviews, yea when we first came back after 20 years, Metal Hammer reviewed Heaven Sent, Hellbound and killed it, without mentioning a single song or the issue with them but mentioned our age several times, how we’re the old guys at the party with young people and we need to just leave. It was strange to read such an ageist review from a magazine that has Ozzy or Maiden on every other cover. Oh well, can’t win em all I suppose.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Well the brutally honest answer is draining our bank accounts to follow a dream but the more romantic, silver lining answer is, me Dennis and Anthony have kept close, like brothers through this journey. There are no dudes I would have rather done this with. The band as a whole are close and the memories we’ve had over the years will last forever. I think that is why musicians do it overall. It sure as shit ain’t for the dough.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Well we’re a thrash band so no fireside, acoustic sing-along for us, but we sure and hell like to pound some beers and eat. Dennis, being a fire fighter, is a killer cook.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Probably in 1989 when I was in this underground, dank little club, I think it was called The Basement or some shit, and was drinking with my buddy and some dude taps on my shoulder to my left and asks where’s a good strip bar nearby. It was Lemmy. I was all DUH DO DA DUH, really caught me off guard. He was very cool, down to earth, just wish I knew a strip bar nearby, I probably could have hung with Lemmy all night.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I would probably be a killed chef like Gordon Ramsey, telling people to fuck off while cooking a mean ass beef wellington.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Well, being I am a bit a perfectionist, I would say DO IT ALL OVER! But if I had to pick one, probably Heaven Sent could have been a lot better. It had some really good tracks on it but it was our first effort after a long time off and we were trying to find ourselves. It all happened so fast. No regrets though, you have to stumble before you can walk, and now we’re sprinting.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would say probably for Kill Em All but I would want to be there for that van ride to the east coast when they kicked Dave out in the middle of the street. What the fuck was that conversation like I wonder. The making of that album would have been interesting to sit in on. I still think that guitar sound is one of the best ever recorded. It was the genesis to everything we and all the other thrash bands do.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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