Questions and Answers with Indestructible Noise Command

Defining a band's legacy is always a difficult thing. In the case of the Indestructible Noise Command, that's made doubly difficult by a rise to seeming prominence followed by a label failure and then a more than two decade hiatus. Now, 2011 finds the INC back in business, a resurrected agent of a gone era faced with a new metal reality. I sat down with guitarist and creative force Erik Barath for some honest Q and A about being back, and what it took to get back.
*How does it feel to be back on the scene after more than twenty years away?
Feels like we never broke up. Things are moving so fast we’ve barely had time to process it all, really amazing.
*Did you or the band have any hesitations about jumping into the fray after so long apart?
All of this has been very organic, it just sorta happened after a conversation with Dennis [vocals] about some bands we used to play with back in the late 80’s. Many are still performing and we thought hey, why don’t we give it a go and it turned out far bigger than we imagined.
*Singles from the “Bleed the Line” EP have been added by radio stations across the country. Is that the kind of reception you expected, or did it surprise you?
Yea for sure, we put that out ourselves on our own label name, sort of like a high end demo for the industry. I figured a few stations would play it, not 70!

*Is there anything different about the metal scene now as opposed to when you released your last full-length, “The Visitor” in 1988?
Well it is a lot tougher these days with illegal downloading and all. Record companies are a bit more hesitant to sign you and if they do, they want a piece of everything you do and make it seem [like it’s] because they have a hard time making money with record sales. As for metal music, it always has its good and bad sub-genres. Just seems like there are more offshoots of metal, some of which I don’t really get.
*How, if at all, has the process of recording/promoting/distributing an album changed since you last had to do it?
It’s a lot easier with the Internet being a part of promotion. We can talk to fans directly. We created this album 5000 miles apart. I would write a song here in Europe and then email it done to the guys and then we would get on video chat to go over the details and fine tune it....what a trip without actually taking a trip
*Did you intend to write an album as punishing as “Heaven Sent, Hellbound,” or did it just end up that way?
It just ended up that way. Some of our old fans asked why didn’t I write songs like the old I.N.C. And I always tell them the same thing, I just write what comes out, I don’t sit down and plan to write this type of song or that, have to go with whatever the creative demons puke out.
*I.N.C started out as a band not happy with the status quo of music. Is that still your mantra, and is that what fuels your music?
Now, it seems I don’t like what’s going on with the world so the lyrics are a little more serious then the original band from the 80s. Seems the world is imploding so writing lyrics is therapeutic for me.
*Is there a message on the new album that you want fans to take away?
The album deals with a lot of emotions, most are uncomfortable and deal with reality. From fascism to terrorism to cannibalism....seems to be an album of isms.
*A little older, a little wiser…what lessons did you take with you from the fall of Giant Records, and what made you feel like Rising Records was a good fit for I.N.C?
We liked Rising because they let us do what we wanted and didn’t want a lot in return. Also, they have great distribution.

*”Heaven Sent, Hellbound” was produced/mixed by a pretty heavy-hitter, Fredrik Nordström. What was he like to work with, and what did he bring to the table that helped the album take shape?
Fredrik actually mixed the record, I produced it. Fredrik is amazing, we sent him something that we thought was special and he added color, depth and power like we never thought we could have. He was also a really nice guy to work with.
*When writing battering songs like this, what mindset do you have to be in, and how do the pieces come together?
I write fast, usually I write the song in my head, it’s done in there and I just put it together in my studio. Like “Swallowed” for example, I wrote that while in the studio recording the EP. It was all in my head and when I got back to Europe, I just put it together.
*”Bleed the Line” was based loosely around confessed cannibal Armin Meiwes. What made that subject so compelling for you?
What isn’t compelling about a psycho who asks another psycho if he can eat him and the other guy says ‘sure, why not.’ I mean he cut off the guys weenie, cooked it and they both ate it....Hollywood can’t write something that good.
*Who else inside or outside music influences you? Do you find yourself attracted to a different sound now than back in the mid-80’s?
Big fan of the rock group The Killers and I am a History Channel nerd, I get a lot of ideas from that and those types of channels.
*The New York metal scene has always had a reputation for being a little dirtier/angrier/tougher than the other metal havens in the United States. What makes it that way?
I always found the east coast to be brutally honest to a fault, just the New York creed I guess.

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