Hi there. Congratulations to your great new album. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far.
Thanx. So far from the few that have actually had a listen the response has been positive. Everyone seems to be enjoying the new singer and the update in our sound.
Do you care for the opinion of your fans, the press and people in general? Or is it just you and your music?
It's always nice if the response from the fans,press etc. think the CD is good, but in reality we really do it for us as a band first. If we we are happy with the general outcome than I think that attitude is conveyed to the listener.
Some of our readers may never have heard about you. Please give us a short briefing in the band's biography.
We been around since '93 with the original line-up now just retaining Henry and myself. This is our 4th release in Europe. We've toured in Germany with Grave Digger and Iron Savior. The band is now a 5 piece from the original 4. We're from SF Bay Area.
What are the differences between "Devils on both sides" and "And so it burns" in your opinion?
Well first the vocals because our new singer has a much better range and command of his voice. Combined with the songs just being a little better written I think we've made a positive step forward as a band. There's a little more diversity with the new material. And So it Burns has some cool tracks and was by far our old singer best performance with the band. Plus this CD has more of our Thrash influences.
What are the reasons for these differences?
Anytime you make a major change like a vocalist that will change the sound of the band immensely. We also wanted to add more melodic elements to the band to keep the creativity alive.
My favourite is "Back to the beginning". Can you tell us something about this song and it's history?
This is one of my favorites also. I like the epic feel and it has a lot of emotion. The song started with just the simple opening riff and I expanded on it from there. I like the classical feel it had. Norman wrote some real cool lyrics that convey the sadness of the music.
And what about "Dead-eye stare"?
This was the first song that Norm worked on when he joined the band. Musically I wanted kind of a death/thrash meets Priest thing. Heavy riffs but with melodic singing. Lyrically it's a play on dealing cards with a reference to a bad relationship.
Which one is YOUR favorite song from the album and why?
Vigilante. Kind of sums up my feelings about the way we should deal with criminals. Plus it's fast and thrashy. I love playing the opening guitar part and it has that kind of Clint Eastwood western feel to it.
How and why did you choose the album cover? Is there a further meaning behind it?
Henry(drummer) does all the art for the band. Once we decided on the title he start on the cover. It's a play on the angel on one shoulder devil on the other image. This guy has devils on both so he isn't getting any nice advice!
Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them.
I mentioned Vigilante. I especially like the lyrics on Back to The Beginning. Voice of Prejudice has some cool ones in the way it address the fact that people tend assume things about one another that might be better thought through.
What about the name of your band? How did you come up with it and what does it mean to you?
The name was taken from the Clive Barker book "Imajica" We just changed the spelling and thought it was cool. No real special meaning. It's kind of ambigous and could mean many things. Plus it doesn't lock us into any styles muscially in case we want to start playinf Rap! HA! (That's never going to happen!)
Where do you get your inspirations from?
Just the desire to write music I like. Or for some guys in the band pussy! HA! Seriously we just get a kick out of letting it rip and having people react to it. Nothing like the feeling of seeing it all come together.
Any plans for some further stuff of "Devils on both sides" (like singles,video, DVD etc.)?
I guess that all depends on how the CD does. Hopefully we can sell enough to make some of these things happen.
What about the recording process of your new album? Any stories or curiosities to report?
The CD was tracked in Texas at the Sonic Ranch (Nevermore,Primal Fear) with Neil Kernon. The original singer actually cut vocals to about 6-7 songs before quitting. We than had to find Norm, rewrite and redo the vocals at another studio along with bass overdubs.(Our bassist couldn't make the Texas sessions because she just had a baby). Once that was done we couldn't make our schedule work with Neil's so we had Juan Urteaga mix the record locally to get the finished product. It was a very long process with all the waiting/changes in the band and hopefully we won't have to go through that again.
How would you describe your own music?
How do you create your sound? Which equipment do you use?
I personally use KXK guitars, Marshall amps and various effects.
Please tell us something about your process of songwriting.
Usually I'll write the music first bring it into the band for basic arrangements and then Norm will take rough demos and work out the lyrics and melodies. Once we get that together we work on the final arrangements and cut some demos to evaluate where we are at.
What are your musical influences in your opinion?
Oh the usual, Priest, Sabbath, Maiden etc. I also dig stuff like Middle Eastern,Indian and classical.
We'd like to know something about your background in making music. How did you learn to play, what are your experiences and which musicians are your main technical influence?
I started playing around 12. Took a few lessons to get the basics and worked from there. I never was very good at playing other peoples songs so I start writing my own. Probably my biggest influence on guitar was Schenker, and KK and Glen from JP.
What do you think: How will Imagika sound like in let's say five years? Is there a masterplan?
No plan. If we're lucky enough to still be viable in 5 years I think we'll still maintain our Metal roots. We just want to move forward all the time.
It's been nearly three years between each of your albums and its follow up. Do we have to wait that long again?
Fuck lets hope not! It was quite a chore to make this CD happen with all the bullshit that surrounded it. Mausoleum has the option to another CD in 15 months from the release of this one so we'll see how it does and maybe we can have the chance to make another one.
Please name some lately released CDs that you like to listen to at home.
Well of been jamming the new Saxon alot. Enertia (our label mates) some old Zep and I'm looking forward to new CDs from Priest and Overkill.
Do you still watch other bands play? Have there been some shows lately that impressed you?
Hmmm good question. We recently played with Metal Church and they put on a great show and the new singer Ronnie did the old material alot of justice.
What makes the difference between Imagika and other Metal Bands bands?
Well don't follow trends that's for sure.........we're still stuck in a time warp! HA! Plus we have a girl in the band and everyone is kind of ugly.......seriously I think we just have a classic sound that pulls a lot of good influences from the great eras of Metal.
We'd like to know something about the underground in your hometown. Are you still in touch? And if so: Where do you hang out? Are there some yet unknown bands that you like?
There's still the big guns like Testament, Machine Head, Death Angel doing some killer music, but I don't hear alot of new bands that kick ass. Zero Hour are killer. Heathen is still great, Vicious Rumours too. The Pound is probably our favorite venue.
What about the US Metal Scene in general? Do you know some bands, and if so, is there friendship, rivalry or more or less nothing special?
We know alot of great bands or memembers. Agent Steel, Enertia, Jag Panzer, Ion Vein, Testament etc. I think the scene could improve with some more REAL Metal bands, but has it's good points and fans. We're not in competition with anyone because we feel confident it what we do.
How important is it for you to play live on stage?
It's what we are doing this for! Nothing compares to kicking ass on stage!
Please tell us something about further Live activities.
Hopefully we can put together some festival appreances this summer or a tour in Europe. We'll also do some touring in the U.S. later this year.
Is there something that you have never been asked but always have been eager to say?
It's Naked Time! (Inside joke within' the band!) No not really. Oh Bush SUCKS!
We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best whishes to you all. Any last words?
Thanx for the time and attention to the CD and as our buddy Uwe Lulis always says "Metal Is The Law"!