Interview with Shyaitha
Can you please detail how you came up with the name ‘Impiety’ and what it was that inspired you to begin your metal journey?
Impiety was formed in 1990 but prior to that I was already in another metal band, trying my best to compose and craft good originals. I first picked up the guitar in 1987 and in 1988 I began playing covers, as well as began trying to compose material. It wasn't until 1990 I felt I was ready to unleash terror upon the world and that was when I formed Impiety. The name means 'the act of impiousness, blasphemy and irreverence'. At the time, I was full of passion for blackened death metal and at the same time, I was brimming with extreme hate for organised religion. Impiety was the perfect weapon of choice I created and with that weapon we have unleashed eight full length albums to date and in total 21 official releases comprising of singles, mini albums and limited releases.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before? And how do you think your closest relative might describe your music?
Black Death Metal would be an easy categorisation and I have no closest relatives anymore. They all gave up on me since the band's inception, haha!
Could you please detail what kind of costs went into creating and releasing 'Ravage & Conquer '? And how did/does the record label help with the overall recording/distribution process?
Recording cost and touring support is usually sorted by the record label as well as sales payments for album sales - that’s the norm. Impiety is distributed worldwide by Plastic Head Distribution and Sony Music (RED). In other territories, usually good music stores or distro's would carry Impiety merchandise; both albums on CD or vinyl, plus t-shirts and other apparels.
What would be your most memorable gig to date and why?
Impiety has executed many tours worldwide; European, Asian, Japan, Mexican and most recently USA and Canada. It’s hard to pick one because most have been memorable. I think for 2012, one of the most interesting concerts we did was one in Laos. We were the first international extreme metal band to journey there and play to some 350-400 crazed fans. More or less it has been an interesting year so far and we are just looking forward now to making this first six date Aussie tour and two date New Zealand tour. It should be a real crushing one!
Which would be your most favoured song to play and which do you think your fans prefer and why?
I personally like 'Goatfather', 'At War With Temujin', 'The Scourge Majesty', 'ChristfuckingChrist' and 'Carbonized'. Fans often like older classics and also songs from the second album we released back in 2000 from the album, ‘Skullfucking Armageddon’. Anyway, we always play a varied set-list and since we have eight full length albums. I wish we could play all but that is not possible.
Can you please detail what you tend to base your lyrics on and could you quote your most favoured?
Lyrics revolve around blasphemy, war, genocide, pure fucking hatred for those who preach retarded fantasies and lies of God, etc. So we definitely deal with the extremes. There are many good quotes from the lyrics. Perhaps one I could quote you would be from the new album, ‘Ravage & Conquer’ from the song, ‘Weaponized’:
"Face to Face, I’m ready, locked and loaded, Behind the barrel, I lay all to waste, Scores of corpses, fragmented in disgrace, Quest for Blood, I Hunger for Death, Truly a beast - I fire without mercy, Triggering kills - Igniting misery, Smell of sulphur, and depravation, Allow my weapon I shall, to terminate your fate!"
|FULL LENGTH ALBUMS
1996 - CD
1999 - CD
Kaos Kommand 696
2002 - CD
2004 - CD
Formidonis Nex Cultus
2007 - CD
2009 - CD
Worshippers Of The Seventh Tyranny
2011 - CD
Ravage And Conquer
2012 - CD
Most bands tell me metal has no money in it, so what do you all do besides playing in the band in order to earn your living?
I work full time with the band now. In the past, I used to run my own Metal Store here in Singapore called 'To Megatherion' from 2004-2009 and then that was it – I felt it was too hard to balance the band and store and of course I picked playing full time. This way I could focus better. It’s tough but manageable, as long as I work hard. Impiety is not just my job at present, it currently is life for me.
What brand of instruments are you using and how did any endorsements come about?
Nizam uses Jackson RR guitars, I use Killer (Japan) and various basses from the past to present. Dizazter uses Tama and Pearl. I am endorsed by Monson Guitars (USA) and mainly because they make kick ass guitars and we got talking back in 2010. Anyway, we’re still looking to work with other brand names in future, depending if they have the gear we like or have interest in using.
Let’s pretend you were creating a tour survival guide. What would be your top three tips for surviving a long tour with the band?
Well, money for one. We always have to bring that for backup. You never know what could happen or go wrong, so you've gotta make sure you have extra cash in hand or in the bank/credit cards.
Second would be contacts. Since we have a number of good comrades in each country, keeping in touch with them would always be good. You may never know what could go wrong in a foreign place or the help you may need at some point.
Third would be medication, etc. I usually have a first aid kit I bring along with all essential vitamins just in case illness strikes. You don’t want to fall sick and not recover, so health is really important. We are always prepared for all tours and make sure not to overlook or take something for granted.
What have been some of the more interesting adventures you’ve had with the band? Have there been many, if any, lessons you’ve had to learn the hard way?
Impiety is the first extreme metal band to play in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos this 2012. So that was amazing to experience new, unchartered metal territory. I think we’ve been to so many great cities and countries and appreciate both the culture and tradition of every different land. The world truly is a small place in the end. Since we are always in the company of great people/management, they take care of us and ensure we get to experience the best of what each country offers. I’m always the one who likes all the history, culture, language and tradition and will usually find the time on tour to learn and experience as much as possible whenever there is an opportunity. Education is important and touring is always great because I learn a tonne more new things, see and experience a lot. Hurdles along the way have always been there, but we’ve managed to trample all. Lessons learned the hard way is to only work with serious people in the underground and industry. In the past, we did get ripped off from labels and also dead beat concert promoters who didn’t fulfil agreements. So all that was learned the hard way. And yes, never to be repeated.
DEMOS / SINGLES / RARE / LIMITED OFFICIAL RELEASES
Reh - 1991 - Demo
Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration - 1992 - Demo
Salve The Goat ... Iblis Excelsi - 1994 - 7" EP
Unholy Masters... - 1999 - Split 7" EP w/ Profanatica
Two Majesties - 2004 - Split 7" EP w/ S.O.Divinity
Funeralight... - 2006 - MCD
Tormentors Of Tijuana Live - 2007 - LP
18 Atomic Years - Satanniversary - 2008 - 2CD
Two Barbarians - 2008 - Split 7" EP w/ Abhorrence
Dominator - 2008 - MCD
Goatfather - 2010 - 6" EP Boxset
Tormentors Of Nagoya Live - 2010 - LP
Advent Of The Nuclear Baphomet - 2011 - MCD
Tormentors Of Kota Bharu Live - 2012 - LP
What is the metal scene like in Singapore?
The scene here grew from late '85 with simple heavy metal bands and then emerged the first generation of blackened death metal bands as early as '87/'88. Notable bands from the past are Abhorer, Nuctemeron and also Demisor. From '88 I was already forming my first band and was already acquainted with the local underground here. Today we have 30-40 black, death, thrash, grind, heavy metal bands in total. Healthy and kicking well but still compared to neighbouring countries, it’s little to compare. On average 200 fans attend gigs here, some times more or even less depending which bands are performing. In the past it was even better but I guess with frequent gigs these days, many choose the gigs they want to go to. A good number of record stores here as well. There is good support for metal here in Singapore as well as throughout the rest of South East Asia.
What kind of barriers or restrictions do you think exist within the global metal scene and how do you think we can improve things overall?
I’ve always believed there are just too many record labels putting out mediocre records and just because that particular genre or type of band could sell a lot. Money ruins the scene and still many honest, good bands are struggling to get signed or to get a good distribution deal to spread their great music. In short, it’s always a survival of the fittest. Bands always have to work extra hard to make that mark, when compared to the '80s or '90s when more or less, everything seemed fresh. Anyway, hard work goes without saying, it's part of the parcel of being full time in a band. I think it’s getting better these days with more magazines and media giving attention and putting effort into promoting more interesting bands from the underground and not just the same boring commercial bands. ie: Bands of genres that are easily fed to and gobbled by the system; metal core bullshit or power metal crap.
What have been some of the more bizarre signings you’ve had or the most bizarre experiences in general during your time with the band?
We worked with this bullshit record label Shivadarshana Records from The Netherlands a long time ago, it was our first international record signing – historical yes, but the deal went the wrong way and we got ripped off. On top of that, after we signed to another label, this monkey called Michel Bronkhorst persisted sending us legal letters trying to sue us. Bizarrely, that went on for like 10 years. He tried to sue every record label we signed to claiming he owned all future recordings of the band, haha! Utter nonsense! But all in vain and he gave up the long and hard fruitless battle. Bizarre experiences with the band, plenty in the past. We are toned down these days despite still living up to the notorious name of the Impiety - Black Barbarian Horde.
‘Interview with Impiety’ by Déa di Morté © 07 June 2012
Hails! to Shyaithan for agreeing to participate and taking the time to complete this interview
All pictures courtesy of Impiety