Happy 4th everyone. Initially, there was a thought of holding this until after the holiday but listening to and experiencing Imperial Triumphant is equivalent to the most dazzling fireworks display ever. So, we rolled with it. The band will be releasing their newest sonic adventure, Vile Luxury, next week via Gilead Media in the US and Throatruiner in Europe. Experiencing Vile Luxury is somewhere along the lines of rolling up to a late night 60s style jazz club and witnessing a collaboration with your favorite black / death metal band. Only, this black / death metal band just happens to be one of the best examples of what avant-garde, progressive, and downright visionary really means. It’s carefully controlled chaos that shines a dark light on their theme of society’s — particularly their own home turf — downfall and through the use of extremely packed song structures they carve a bleak picture yet keep listeners returning for more since there’s simply no way to dissect this beast on one or even ten listens. Even more than that, Vile Luxury is the most cohesive effort from the band to date. Yes, true statement.
I could go on and on but I’m calling it there. Keep an eye out for a full review in the coming days. Until then, we recently had the chance to ask Kenny Grohowski (drums) and Zachary Ilya Ezrin (guitars, vocals) our set of Profile questions to dig a little deeper into the band. Check it out below and be sure to grab your own copy from the links contained within.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
Music gets into you. It speaks to everyone on different levels but for a musician it inspires the curiosity to not just listen but learn and create. A good musician is never satisfied with their level of success. Always stay hungry for more.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
Imperial Triumphant has never debased themselves for opportunity. There IS, however, an upcoming film starring Jude Law and Natalie Portman where one of the lead actresses wears an Imperial Triumphant shirt. A friend of Ilya’s (who had a role in the film) by chance wore an IT shirt to the set and once the costume director saw the design she reached out to us about using it for one of the leads.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
Easily the best thing happening in Metal right now is that bands keep making records and by far the worst aspect of what’s happening in the scene right now is the same that’s always been the problem of any scene of music: the myopicism of supposed “gatekeepers” of said music or knowledge thereof. They are the antagonists of creativity and progress.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Imperial Triumphant have no agenda. No message. No issues. We sing about the darkness of New York City from every perspective, however, we cast no judgement.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Kenny Grohowski: Drummer Amir Ziv played a cassette tape of Meshuggah’s ‘Chaosphere’ in a class at New School University when i was 18, and the rest is history after that experience. Family was cool with it because Meshuggah are excellent musicians.
Zachary Ilya Ezrin: My uncle bought me a Metallica – And justice for all disc. I was completely sold. My family didn’t really appreciate their music and how much they talked about dying however they continue to support Imperial Triumphant to this day.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Learn to let go of what you think and feel and fuck with reality: deal with the music and what’s there, not what you want there to be or not be.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
To usher in the dawn of a New Luxor, splendiferous and replete with opulence.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Miles Davis – Nefertiti, Ben Monder – Hydra, Duke Ellington – Money Jungle, Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Antiguo, Chick Corea – Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, Duke Ellington – Money Jungle, Defeated Sanity – Chapters of Repugnance, Portal – Ion
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
Our third full length, Vile Luxury, debuts July 13th.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Kenny, Zachary and Imperial Triumphant for their time!