Impellitteri Guitarist-'We're not a Christian Band, We've Never Been, but I Believe In Jesus Christ'
Canada's The Metal Voice recently spoke to guitarist Chris Impellitteri about Impellitteri's new three record Anthology 'Wake of the Beast' via Global Rock Records.
Photo Credit The Metal Voice
Chris also gave an update on the band's new up and coming studio album and discussed the band's Christian labeling that has been going on for years.
Watch Full interview here
When asked about the new three album anthology Impellitteri 'Wake of the Beast' on Global Rock Records
"Global Rock Records is re-releasing (distributing) our back catalog and this new anthology so this is kind of exciting for us. It's been a long time coming, basically we got the legal rights back to our masters and we always pledged that once we did that we would release the back catalog in all the countries that we never distributed our product before. Hence that was really how we initiated this. This is music that was never really accessible to many countries globally and so it's interesting. I think maybe the success we've had in places like Japan some places in Continental Europe have kind of spilled over into other countries and there seemed to be this interest that was generated on the band. Unfortunately in the past a lot of kids or the people that embrace our music we're kind of forced to pay these outrageous export or import prices. So really the whole idea behind this release is to get the music to them at a very reasonable price with the exception of the albums 'Venom' and 'The Nature of the Beast' which were still signed to we're still signed to Frontiers for Europe and North America and JVC Victor entertainment for Japan or rather all of Asia. So we got the Masters back, at least legally and then we kind of put a plan together to figure out what are the songs that our fans over the years have kind of embraced, the songs that struck a chord or resonated with them. So ultimately we spent probably about a month or two just kind of digging into our discography trying to figure out what kind of music we want to share with the world. So we really sat down and discussed the fan favorites, we even would go on to things like YouTube and we'd read the comments. It was pretty easy once you do that, you kind of get a sense of what people like or don't like. "
When asked if Impellitteri is a Christian Band as labeled by so many journalists over the years
"We're not a Christian band we've never been. For me personally, I'm a Christian right. Rob Rock is a Christian. So I believe very much in Jesus Christ, that's who I am personally. So if someone loves Beelzebub so be it. But the band as far as getting labeled (Christian) I'm thinking dude where'd that come from I mean it never started that way, I mean listen to Impellitteri the Black E.P.? In the late 80s when we first came out, we were so burnt out on every other band which was was like sex, drugs rock and roll. Okay great, we get it, we believe we lived a life of decadence, we were part of the Sunset Strip, we were part of that crowd. We did it right. But musically we just didn't want to be like all the other bands at that time. It's like okay great you slept with her last night and the next girl, whatever it's like okay who cares you know we wanted stuff to be more intriguing. So Rob (Rock) he took a lot of the content that you hear lyrically and the music that we do and he extracted right from the Bible. And look, you go into areas like Armageddon, that kind of stuff, it's you know more like the end of the world kind of stuff . I mean dude what gets scarier than that? To me it is cooler, it's really cool. Believe me, lyrically he'll (Rob Rock) do stuff from Book of Revelations big time, maybe even like from Psalms, you know Psalms. At the end of the day I love it because it makes the lyric have almost like a theatrical content, there's in-depth meaning. Also Rob is cunning he writes in a way that you could interpret it outside of the biblical, you could apply it to everyday life. You look at some of the black metal bands and especially more of the Satanic bands and I'm always laughing, you want to go up against us? Remember we're gonna win, good always wins over evil dude."
When asked about giving an update on the new Impellitteri album that is in the works
"We're in the middle of our new record, we owe Frontiers and JVC Victor another record and we started recording probably halfway through the pandemic. I should say, we started writing and recording and we probably have about another three or four months to go. So the plan is we're going to probably release the new record I would assume probably middle of 2023 or maybe towards Summer. We got three or four songs that are finished recording but we still have about another 12 songs to go and it's written, the music's written now but now it's actually performing it and we're always the type band that we don't we don't try to do this where hey let's just all send files. We really try to play this stuff live (as a band) and then we go into the studio. A lot of times we try to track as much as possible live and then we'll go in we'll add the layers and all the big you know overdubs and orchestration whatever we feel is missing right to capture that power, So that's kind of our process. After the new album is done we're gonna go play everywhere that will have us so that's going to be unique for us. We've always done Japan, we've done some of the major festivals in Europe a couple years ago. We did some secret kind of live rehearsal shows. We did it in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York City, we had a blast it was so much fun. "
When asked about musical direction on the new studio album
"I think our records mature over the years because look to this day at my age and doing this so long. I still love playing guitar. I play like six to eight ten hours a day sometimes because I love it. So every day I play I explore the instrument I realize oh my God this is really cool and I learned something new theoretically. And I'm able to somehow mature as a musician by implementing whatever I learn each day so every time we do a record it always sounds like Impellitteri and I always will because it's Rob's voice it's my guitar playing Etc. I think the music and the composing part of it always matures and we get a little better right each time at least I hope we do. So on this one we're definitely bringing in more orchestration. It's still going to have a lot of the fast double bass stuff, there's a lot of really cool technical stuff, a lot of the screaming vocals, big three-part harmonies because again Queen. We love that stuff, at least the heavier part of Queen. As we get older we always tend to push ourselves to get a little bit more aggressive and a little faster. I listen to so much music, a lot of bands, even guys that are friends that I know in bands. I mean I love bands like Arch Enemy and so I let that stuff kind of spill over and influence me a little bit. I like Avenged Sevenfold. I love Slipknot, so I love a lot of the new bands but then also I'll go back and listen to an old Deep Purple album like Machine Head , which I love. Then of course I listen to a lot of Vivaldi like the Four Seasons, the violin concerto's all that fun stuff and so all of this is like it's affecting me. I'm a sponge. So all of the stuff I've been listening to and I'm sure somehow it's going to spill out into this new record although it still sounds like Impellitteri. "
For the first time ever, the Impellitteri catalogue has been made available worldwide. Global Rock Records has officially licensed the full catalogue running between the years 1987 and 2010. In celebration of this occasion, Global Rock Records are releasing ‘Wake The Beast’ a 3 CD set on 30 September 2022 [GRRBOX004]. This collection is the answer to many fans’ prayers, as despite being a fully American metal outfit, many Impellitteri followers had to source expensive import copies from Japan where Chris has a huge following. Now ‘Wake The Beast’ brings the cream of the globally–renowned guitarist together in one place.
‘Wake The Beast’ encompasses the Impellitteri story from 1987-2010 and, what’s more, every song here was selected by Chris himself. This set then represents nothing less than what he feels are the highlights from some twelve different releases. Whether it’s a track with fan favourite Rob Rock on vocals, or even the legendary Graham Bonnet behind the mic, one thing can be sure, te intensity never lets up.
‘Wake The Beast’ is the first ever Impellitteri career spanning compilation released worldwide, featuring not only the well known album tracks, but rare Japan-released only bonus songs, B-sides and more! Don’t sleep on this one…
1. Victim Of The System
2. Perfect Crime
3. Power Of Love
4. When The Well Runs Dry
5. 17th Century Chicken Pickin’
6. Spanish Fire
7. Rat Race
8. Lost In The Rain
9. Father Forgive Them
10. Hungry Days
11. Eye Of The Hurricane
1. Texas Nuclear
2. Speed Demon
3. On And On
4. Stand In Line
5. Secret Lover
6. Fly Away
8. Hold The Line
9. The Young And The Ruthless
10. Ball And Chain
11. Wake Up Sally
1. Wake Me Up
2. Falling In Love With A Stranger
3. Rock & Roll Heroes
4. Anti-Social Disease
7. Wicked Maiden
8. Garden Of Eden
9. Propaganda Mind
10. Stand Or Fall
11. I’ll Be With You
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