Army of Darkness-Interview with Søren Crawack of Impalers

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Written By: Rene
Jan 30 2013

Søren Crawack of Danish thrash metal band Impalers

ThrashHead: What was the definitive moment in your life when you decided you wanted to be a musician?

Søren: The definitive moment came, and I remember this very clearly, was when I came across a live version of Master of Puppets by Metallica from the Seattle '89 gig on YouTube. This was around 7 years ago. The raw aggression and just pure energy immediately caught my attention, and I pretty much decided right then and there, that I wanted to be a guitarist and be on stage. I watched that clip for hours on end some days.

ThrashHead: What drew you to metal; being from Denmark, there is of course the legendary outfit Artillery, but was there a particular album you remember hearing in younger years, where you were just like "Damn! This is my music!"?

Søren: I started listening to metal fairly late compared to most other metalheads. For a long time I had been into whatever was mainstream and on the radio. That was, of course, until my father had had enough of listening to Shaggy and Eminem through my bedroom door, when he walked in one day, unplugged the stereo and slammed two CD's on the desk I was sitting at. The albums where Facing The Animal by Yngwie Malmsteen and Sin-Decade by Danish heavy metal band Pretty Maids. He put them down and said "It's time for you to listen to some real music!" Then he walked out and closed the door, haha.

Those were kind of the beginning of it all. I then moved to Metallica through a friend, just listening to random mp3 songs, and decided to go to the local record store and buy the cheapest Metallica album they had, which I'm very thankful for now was Master of Puppets. That album became the first heavy metal album I ever bought, and my first entry into extreme metal as well. One of the cool things about heavy metal is that, once you get caught in it, you can't stop trying to get more of it. I wanted to listen to as much heavy metal as humanly possible. Artillery obviously came to my attention at some point, and I was immediately a fan.

You can imagine how star struck I was the first time we opened for them, haha. I felt like a young schoolgirl walking around trying to get autographs on my By Inheritance record. But yes, I'd say Facing The Animal, Sin-Decade and Master Of Puppets changed my life. Definitely.

ThrashHead: Denmark is smack dab in between Sweden, Norway, Germany and England, is it a sort of crossroads of heavy metal influence? I mean, you have the galloping bass of England, the velocity of the Teutonic thrashers, and the evil Satanic bastards of Scandinavia, does that affect the style of newschool Danish metal?

Søren: The other Scandinavian countries have influenced the Danish metal scene a lot more than the German and English ones. There are hordes of black, death, melo-death and folk metal bands, and very few thrash bands and possibly even fewer heavy and power metal bands. Which I think is a shame, since I like those more, haha. But it's pretty evident, that the Swedish and Norwegian scenes in particular are major influences on the people playing metal here right down to the vocals, guitar tones and album productions.

No one has ever really tried to emulate Volbeat, actually. You'd think that because of all their success, but it would be a mistake to assume, that just because of that, there are many Volbeat clones here, because there aren't. They didn't just cut out a piece of the cake, they took everything right down to the crumbs. No one dared to stand up to them, I guess. So I wouldn't say we've had our problems with Volbeat clones flooding our scene. But core bands on the other hand, haha. Then again, what scene hasn't?

ThrashHead: Tell me about the formation of Impalers, how did the band get started? It was your brainchild wasn't it, there's been a few member changes since then right?

Søren: The band was initially just an outlet for me to play some riffs, when I first started out playing guitar. It sounded horrible, to be honest, and wasn't really a band more than it was just fooling around. But we had a lot of fun. Then something happened. In 2007 I was in a bus on my way to Wacken Open Air, and they kept playing the same compilation CD over and over again. Most of them were pretty tame, but one of the songs caught my ears. I checked who had made it, so I could see them on the festival (I hadn't done any research whatsoever prior to the festival), and it turns out it was called Axis Of Evil by the German band Sodom. Like that Metallica video of Master of Puppets their performance completely blew my brains out. I was in awe, almost drooling. I decided that THAT was the type of music I wanted to write in Impalers. From then on I went dead serious with the band and has ever since.

For a long time it was indeed my band. The dedication and hours I put into it was far higher than any of the others combined, so I entitled myself to make any and all decisions regarding it. At some point I figured out, that the only way to get anywhere, was to have four guys on the same level of dedication, and that's pretty much the reason for the lineup changes. You can't drive a band forward if 3/4 out of the band members don't really give a shit outside of playing live once in a while. But I'm pretty satisfied with the lineup right now.

ThrashHead: What is it about thrash metal which you find so appealing when compared to other genres?

Søren: It's the energy, definitely. It has the energy of punk, hardcore and speed metal, but it's much more aggressive. It's that combination I really like. During my early metal years I tried all kinds of metal; black metal, death metal, hell, even nu metal. But they just didn't appeal to me at all, and pretty much still don't.

There's very little black or death metal I care about, and don't even get me started on nu or folk metal. Thrash hit the needle on the head for me right off the bat. It has exactly the level of extremity I need, exactly the level of energy and exactly the level of aggression. To put it frankly, I don't really need anything more extreme than that. Thrash has everything I'm looking for.

ThrashHead: You guys put out two demos, the 7 track "Army of Darkness" in 2009 and the 4 track EP "A Necessary Evil"..where can new fans find those, if at all?

Søren: Those demos are completely and utterly sold out and never to be reprinted, sorry. The songs we felt had the right quality, has been re-recorded for our debut album.

ThrashHead: When you guys tour the U.S. for the first time in the future, who would you like to tour with?

Søren: Having one of our heroes as the headliner would obviously be extremely cool. I definitely wouldn't mind supporting a band like Kreator on a stateside tour.

There are plenty of newer bands I'd love to tour with as well, of course! Bands like Vindicator, Havok, Insinnerator, Possessor, Warbringer and Executioner are just ripping it up!

ThrashHead: What's the craziest thing to happen to you or see while on the road or playing a gig?

Søren: The most awesome thing that's ever happened to me personally, was at Artillery's 30th anniversary gig, where I was asked up on stage to sing Khomaniac.. In its entirety! It was an absolute highlight of my life, and even though I messed up a lot of the lyrics, due to heavy drinking, it was totally fucking awesome. I high-fived the entire front row afterwards. I loved every minute of it.

ThrashHead: As you've mentioned, you're working on a new LP, tell me about it, have you already wrapped up recording and post production?

Søren: Yes, it's true. As I pointed out earlier, we have our debut album coming out soon, in March, actually. It's been underway for a very long time now. Way too long. We actually recorded it way back in November/December of 2011, but during the mixing and mastering process we ran out of money and scrambled together every hunk of change we could during the next couple of months to be able to pay the rest of the money.

All that has now been dealt with, and our producer, Søren Jensen at Six String Studios, was very understanding and such a nice guy. We have signed with an American record label called HPGD Productions and the record will be titled Power Behind The Throne. The artwork was made by a dude called Kakak Lung and it's absolutely killer! We can't wait to get this thing out!

ThrashHead: Words for fans, special shout outs to close friends? And also, where can people find Impalers on the internet?

Søren: We wanna thank all the guys who have helped us forward! We will keep at it as long as there are faces to crush and necks to break!

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