Interview with Imprecation vocalist David Herrera2nd October 2013
Back in the 90’s I heard some of the Imprecation comp and rather than buy it I was a complete bastard and never did so, my mistake, ‘cause I remember enjoying it and now it’s oop. Anyway the band reformed and finally after some band member replacements, having kids, marriages etc…their debut album, Satanae Tenebris Infinita, finally was unleashed recently on Dark Descent Records and is one of the highlights of 2013, for me. I gave the album high marks in my review and really love their evil blackened death metal sound as it harkens back to the 90’s sound and the album is downright a dirty brutal bastard of a release. The added keyboard elements add a dark ambience that is akin to Lucifer playing the organ, in hell, as his new disciples arrive by the droves, on a daily basis. And David’s vocals just add to the brutal intensity that this album delivers. From the outstanding artwork to the magnificent dark evil tones of the album this is something that every fan of dark & evil death metal should have in their collection. Now we can debate all day long about the Cowboys and Texans, since I’m a Dallas fan and David is a Houston fan…it’s all good and the fact of the matter is quite simply this, I was glad when Dallas fired head coach Wade Phillips years ago. I was happy to see him be the defensive coordinator of the Texans, since it is widely speculated this is what happened between Jerry Jones (Dallas Owner) and Phillips:
Jerry Jones: ‘Ok, Wade, I’m sorry to tell you your services are no longer needed for our team and I hope the door does not hit your ass on the way out. I mean, Wade..c’mon, we hacked into your iPod yesterday and found Children of Bodom, Asking Alexandria and Liberacé among other questionable musical tastes and most of all no Imprecation…that is unbecoming of a Dallas Cowboy-You’re Fired, you bastard!’. Rumor or not all I can say is Imprecation fuckin slays and read this awesome in-depth interview with their vocalist, David Herrera.
Interview with Imprecation vocalist David Herrera
By Frank Rini
1) Congratulations David on finally releasing your debut album, Satanae Tenebris Infinita, on Dark Descent Records-it crushes!! You guys have been back together since 2009, what took so long for an album to come out and how did the deal with Dark Descent come about?
David: Thanks man, it feels great having finally achieved this goal in the band. What’s crazy is that everyone in the band has released numerous full lengths with their other bands, but for some reason it was never in the cards for Imprecation until now. What took so long? Well that is one of our biggest mysteries; there are a number of contributing factors that probably had something to do with the long delay. First, I think that there was a serious identity crisis after 1993, with the band straying from their Death Metal roots slowly but surely. It seemed that after I left in the summer of 1993 they were doing fine with their music, but then Mark Beecher (who took over on vocals) started to wear capes and face paint, trying to bring a more Black Metal element to the band. I think this turned Phil off, so he left shortly after that. Honestly I did not really care for what the band was doing after 1994; I pretty much chalked it up to a lost cause. Aside from trying to find a new sound, I also think a contributing factor to the delay was that they were working with Repulse, and Dave Rotten kept giving them shitty contract offers, basically asking the band to fund 75% of the album and in return keeping all of the money for himself. Now, it’s never been about the money for the band, but if you expect someone to give you their hard work up on a silver platter, fund a majority of it out of pocket and get nothing in return then why bother? I think
the band was offered like, 50 cds out of 1000 printed. Fuck that. No other record company showed interest, except I think Moribund but nothing materialized before the band eventually called it quits.
2) How is the feedback, thus far, for your new album and how does it compare to your past recordings? How old is the material on this new album and do you have thoughts on a follow-up album?
David: The feedback has been tremendous! The songs that appeared on the “Jehovah Denied” demo are a couple of years old, everything else was written in the year of 2012. The oldest song of the bunch is “Chapel of Rotting Flesh”. That song was written in the summer of 2011, being the official springboard for the rest of the album. When Phil and Jim left the band, Ruben had just written that song to submit towards a full length. Phil was occupied with his Doom band Serpent Sun (now called Funeral Shroud) and did not express much interest in this song, and I don’t even think Jim heard it before he quit. Anyways, “Blood Dominion” followed shortly after this one, but the funny thing about that one is that they are the newest lyrics aside from “Rancid Blood on Blackened Thorns” on the LP. I just could not get the right pattern for this song, it was rather frustrating. But then one day like a bolt of lightning it appeared. I like to think it was a gift from One far away. I think the LP stands up to all of our older stuff, actually to my ears it sounds like it belongs with anything we did up to that point. We are already working on new material, though I am not sure how much of it will actually make the cut, ‘cos we want only the strongest material for the album. There were about 5 songs that were good, but did not make the cut for “Satanae Tenebris Infinita”. And because of that, they will not make the cut for future recordings because we refuse to go below the bar that we set for ourselves. So they will always remain “lost”, that is their fate.
3) Will there be touring for this album around the states, or just local shows this summer?
David: Well, some shows around the U.S., but nothing is set in stone as of yet. There have been talks with Signature Riff to bring us back up, but the locations that we will be making the journey to are not finalized as of yet. Other than that, we are pretty much sticking around here unless something worthwhile comes our way. You know, some of us in Imprecation are family men and all of us have careers happening so we can’t just up and tour extensively. Part of getting older man, the Devil don’t pay my bills. Sucks, I wish we could go on a 2 to 4 week road trip and see what the Hell is going on around the States, but getting that time off is impossible. So the fest type thing is appealing to us, like last year we played in Maryland and New York with CRUCIFIER and MORTEM, it made it worth the time off and money out of pocket. You are an old school metal fuck such as myself, so I believe you know where I am coming from hahah!
4) Tell us what went into the concept of the recording and the killer artwork, on the cover and Mark Riddick’s amazing cd tray inlay? Are you happy with the final album result in terms of sound and tone? The keyboards really add an extra evil ambience to the music-will this continue on future recordings?
David: The keyboards will always be a part of Imprecation’s ritual. We have used them since the beginning, and will continue to do so until the very end. I like that we have been reading a bunch of reviews how people are praising the use of keyboards in our music, even though some of the reviewers are totally against keys in metal. The whole key to the use of this instrument is to use it very sparingly and keeping it in the background, so when we play live you do not miss the absence of keyboards. As far as the results of the album we are very pleased with everything. We never want anything to sound overproduced, we are underground music after all! There is no concept to the album, only Satan. In regards to the artwork, the cover is the talents of none other than Chris Moyen. We used him in 1994, and we will continue to seek his craft to complete our works. Moyen asked me what I wanted for the cover, I told him and he translated my request beyond my expectations! The Mark Riddick piece is amazing as well; he is absolutely one of my favorite artists in the underground without a doubt!
5) I notice you guys use a lot demonic/satanic imagery on yer artwork, lyrics and logo, is this something you guys believe in and practice, or is it more of a theme with the band? What does Imprecation mean? How do you guys feel you are different than other types of genre bands, in the scene?
David: Everything that emits from Imprecation is Satanic. We are not ever changing the “theme” of our music in order to “change things up”. We are not interested in writing on politics, society, Vikings, alcohol/drugs, poseurs, dragons, orcs and goblins. We do not concern ourselves with being different than everyone else or the same. If our “theme” bores people then they need to look elsewhere, I simply do not give a flying fuck. Imprecation is defined as “a wicked curse”.
6) What happened with the band breaking up years ago and what lead to the reformation?
David: The band basically needed to accomplish our goals that we left on the table throughout the 90s. I left in late 1993, so I felt that I had tons of unfinished business to fulfill. The band fell apart in 1998 over a lack of identity; half the members wanted to play black metal and half wanted to stick with Death. There was never a proper LP recorded, so that was one of the biggest reasons that we even reformed in 2009.
7) How have you developed, as a vocalist over the years and how do you think you will continue to get better?
David: Man it’s been a trip how much my vocals have strengthened over the last few years. When we recorded “Sigil of Lucifer” after the reformation, my vocals were not too strong, being pretty much on ice for a while. The only practice I got was the few Bahimiron shows or albums that I did, as the members of that band lived in Phoenix, AZ and it was impossible to get any practice in on a regular basis. I strive to get stronger with each recording and show, but one day I expect my vocals to give me the middle finger and then I will have to call it a day, hahaha. I am 43 and I ain’t getting any younger!!!
8) The Theurgia Goetia Summa comp from 1995, on Repulse Records, is out of print and very hard to find and of course I want it on cd..any plans of re-releasing it and maybe put yer other demos and ep on it so that your back catalog would be available to the masses? I’m not talking download either, I’m talking of a cd with all yer past stuff remastered-I feel Dark Descent would love to put this out, have you approached them about it and will you consider this?
David: Deathrune Records re-released this recording a few years ago on vinyl and CD. We even had Chris Moyen redo the cover to black and white. Dark Descent has approached us about this, but I feel that this comp has been beat to death in reprints both approved (Deathrune) and bootleg non approved versions. I dunno, it might be worth checking out with Dark Descent giving the proper treatment to it. We’ll see.
9) How do you like living in Texas? Were you near that tragic fertilizer plant explosion that happened recently? Is Bubba’s Pit Beef BBQ still in Dallas?-I was there on tour in the 90’s and had the best BBQ ever.
David: I am a Houstonian, never been to Bubba’s BBQ! But I would like to try it out, I am always down for trying new Texas BBQ. The place that intrigues me is in Austin, TX. It’s called Franklin’s BBQ and from what I understand a line forms outside every weekend that is literally so long that the end of the line is up to a 3 hour wait. That must be some serious fucking BBQ! I heard that it lives up to the hype; it literally melts in your mouth. About living in Texas, I am very proud to be a Texas native; this is my state and my home. It can get really fuggin hot down here, especially in Houston where the humidity makes it feel like you are suffocating in the summertime. The temperature will be around 103 degrees on most days, and the humidity adds another 10 degrees to that. But the rest of the year is pretty killer, especially in Autumn and Spring. I do not plan on leaving the eyes of Texas to live somewhere else, but if I were to have to move one day I would always fly my Texas heritage loud n’ proud!
10) Are you an NFL fan-Texans or Cowboys-which team do you favor and how do you feel either team will fare this year during the season? Anything you would like changed about yer team and if you could play a position on the team, other than owner, what would it be and why?
David: I am a TEXANS fan; down here in Houston we don’t like the Cowgirls! Hahahaha, I do have close friends that like Dallas, but that is ok it makes for great football viewing when they play that rare game together. It makes no sense to me why the Texans v. Cowboys matchup don’t happen once a year. I think it should be mandatory. I do know that it was because of the matchup a couple of years ago at Reliant Stadium that so many fights broke out in the tailgate zones that you now have to have a tailgating pass to attend, you can’t just walk in anymore.
11) Have you been to Lake Olympia in your area and what else do you do in your free time, when not involved in band activities?
David: Never been to Lake Olympia. I live near Galveston, so me and the wife and kids will head down there quite often. I also like to visit the central Texas area, places like San Antonio, Austin, New Braunfels, and Gruene. The hill country out there is breathtaking, especially in autumn. I want to see west Texas hill country, and also the El Paso area. I have family up north near Dallas in a town called Jacksonville, it’s pretty bad ass out there too!
12) Are you friends with other bands in Texas, like Devourment and Uncleansed and do you go to the local shows to support the scene?
David: Jim Case in Uncleansed used to play in Imprecation, he was on the “Sigil of Lucifer” ep. Yeah, they are friends. We are also allies with FUNERAL SHROUD, BIRTH A.D., HOD, MORGENGRAU, PLUTONIAN SHORE, BURIAL SHROUD, HEL-RAZOR, OATH OF CRUELTY, GOATCRAFT, SPECTRAL MANIFEST, and our brothers in BLASPHERIAN. I’ve never met anyone in Devourment, and quite honestly I’ve never even heard their music before.
13) What are the long term plans of Imprecation, as of right now?
David: We are completing our contribution to the upcoming split with Blaspherian, and we will be hitting the northeast US in the near future. I would like to get out to the Southern gulf area, thinking about setting up some shows around New Orleans in the near future.
14) Any final thoughts/comments?
David: Thanks Mr. Rini for the interview! We are big fans of your works, especially our guitarist Danny Hiller! Stay sick, stay brutal. HORNS