Saturday, August 13, 2011
Interview with Christopher "Atomic Thrasher" of Insinnerator!
For the latest interview here on Skull Fracturing Metal, I was lucky enough to talk with Christopher "Atomic Thrasher" of the mighty Insinnerator! If you've kept up with the blog, you'll know that I am a huge fan of Insinnerator's debut album, "Stalagmite of Ice." Enough of the small talk, here's the interview, enjoy!
SFM - Your debut album, "Stalagmite of Ice," has been out for a while now. How has the reception to it been so far?
Christopher - Honestly, it's been better than I ever could have imagined! I was nervous in releasing the album. Not in the sense that I didn't think the songs were good, just that I wanted people to enjoy it. And I am pleasantly surprised with how well it has been received! I haven't seen a bad review of it yet, which makes us very happy! Thanks to all who have given us kind words, and who have supported us and "Stalagmite of Ice."
SFM - The album is definitely deserving of all the praise it's received, it's great! Now, looking back at the album, are there any changes that you would make to it?
Christopher - Minute things. I sometimes hear where I could have put another whammy bar thing, or I have a new idea for a solo, but that's only natural. Juan Speed's drumming was perfect on the album and I loved "Brutal" Ben's playing. The songs and riffs, I think, flow very well. It really is just small things that I notice.
SFM - What are some common praises/criticisms of the album?
Christopher - The best praises that we've seen from the album is that our playing is very fast, tight, and precise. That's the main thing I wanted. I wanted us to not only have some great speed, but to be able to keep it tight. I think we achieved that with "Stalagmite of Ice." The criticisms we've faced are primarily with the vocals. It seems like we are similar to Vio-lence: either you love the vocals, or hate them. But honestly, if that's the only complaint, I think we can live with that. We have a lot to be happy about with this album, and we need to learn from the criticisms rather than dwell on them.
SFM - I'm glad that you're taking the criticisms well. You recently toured with fellow Texan thrashers, Terrorist, over on the east coast. how was that tour? Do you have any more 2011 tour plans?
Christopher - The tour was great! Being able to tour with terrorist, it just felt right. I was always telling Juan "Speed," if there's any band I want to tour with, I want it to be with Terrorist. And to have the opportunity was a dream come true. Terrorist are the most down to Earth guys in the world, and getting to see them and hang with them every day was a treat. The tour had some ups and downs, but I ry my hardest to forget the rougher times and just see the good in it. I mean, we got to play Canada with Lich King, Razormaze, and Skull Hammer! How many bands can say that, let alone one all the way from Texas! The best thing about touring is playing music, and to do that almost every day for 3 weeks in front of new faces, I just can't describe that feeling as a musician. As for new tour plans, we do have something in the works, but it's in the EARLY, EARLY stages. Our sights are on the West, and we're hoping that not only Terrorist, but maybe another band from L.A. can join us as well.
SFM - I can't wait for you guys to hit Los Angeles! I've been following your posts on Facebook, and you have said that you have already got some riffs and songs worked out for Insinnerator album #2. Are there any major differences between these and the ones on "Stalagmite of Ice?"
Christopher - The second album is becoming even more intense than "Stalagmite of Ice!" These songs are hitting hard! Really fast, and really intense. Juan "Speed" and I have a really tight partnership when it comes to writing music. He really is my partner in thrash crime. We have two styles that work really well, even though they are a bit different. "Brutal" Ben contributes, but it was more towards structuring, like on "Children of the Cult" and "Face the Insinnerator." This time, he's contributed two songs. I think the main differences between "Stalagmite of Ice" and the second album is that there are two planned instrumentals. One Ben wrote, and one that I'm writing. Ben's is more typical of a thrash metal album, whereas mine is a bit... different. Mine is more of a set up to another song, but I'm hoping it works well! There are some interesting aspect of melody, but that was also on "Stalagmite of Ice." Trust me though, it's not like "The Devil You Know" by Anthrax. We WILL never do that!! They are more for effect, like the end of "Stalagmite of Ice" and the beginning of "Nightmare Theatre."
SFM - I recently found out that the lyrics to "Evil Spirit from Beyond" are about the video game "Zelda." How did you decide to write about that game, and do you have any other lyrics to songs about video games?
Christopher - I love "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time." Every time I play that game, the scenery, the mysticism, it all strikes me so hard. So I was playing through it, and when I got to the Forest Temple, I was really struck for the first time about how powerful Phantom Ganon is. The image of him on the horse, hurling magic, and further creating clones of himself is just awesome. And the title of "Evil Spirit of Beyond" just had to be used. It's so powerful. While the lyrics are not about a video game, "Stalagmite of Ice" was inspired by a fatality that Sub-Zero used in Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Luckily, ice has become our thing, and it's taken on a life of it's own. For the second album, SO many of the lyrics that I'm taking care of have to do with video games, by both ways listed above. I think some people will be happy when they read the lyrics!
SFM - That's awesome, because I too, love "Ocarina of Time." Now, what kind of gear do you use?
Christopher - I personally use Jackson and Charvel guitars! The Charvel that I use as my back up guitar was purchased directly from Alex Skolnick, my biggest influence and idol. I use a B-52 AT 212 tube amp. I don't have many pedals, except a Digitech Whammy pedal, which I only use for the chorus settings on solos and clean tones.
SFM - Are you a fan of any newer bands out today? if so which would they be?
Christopher - I love the NWOTM. I think I can speak for all of Insinnerator when I say there are so many new bands that we love. Lich King, Razormaze, Fueled By Fire, Merciless Death, skull Hammer, Amoricide, Terrorist, Hexlust, Bludvera, Witchaven, Exmortus, Vektor, Hatchet, Execution, Sakrificer, Head on Collision, Fatal, Vindicator, Fatality, Violentada, Bacalou, Testimony, Savagery, Descendent, Quarantine, Acid Speech, Dismantle, Warbringer, Toxic Holocaust, Manic Repressive, Bonded By Blood, I mean, the list goes on! I'm so happy that this music is doing really well right now. It seems L.A. has slowed down a little, but a lot of other places are beginning to pick up! I'm proud that we are all a part of this, and are watching it as it happens!
SFM - What is your favorite Insinnerator song to play live?
Christopher - I love playing so many of them, but some of my favorites are "Stalagmite of Ice," "Rites of Execution," and "Face the Insinnerator." The middle part of "Face the Insinnerator" can create a BAD ASS pit, so it's always fun to see people going crazy and thrashing out to that part!
SFM - Well Chris, thank you for your time, and last but not least, do you have any words for your fans?
Christopher - Thank you all for the support you have given Insinnerator. It means the world to us, and we have the best fans ever! I promise you, all of you, we will never stop playing thrash metal. Ever. It's what we love to do, and what we want to deliver to you! You all are the best. Thanks for this interview, man! Keep Thrashing!
Be sure to check out Insinnerator on Facebook!