Band Members: Ross Dolan(Bass/Vocals), Robert Vigna(Guitars), Bill Taylor(Guitars), Steve Shalaty(Drums)
Origin Country: USA
http://www.myspace.com/immolation *** http://immolation.info
Majesty and Decay - 2010 - Nuclear Blast
Shadows In The Light - 2007 – Listenable
Hope and Horror (EP) - 2007 – Listenable
Harnessing Ruin - 2005 – Listenable
Bringing Down The World (DVD) - 2004 – Listenable
Unholy Cult - 2002 – Listenable
Close To A World Below - 2000 – Metal Blade
Failures For Gods - 1999 – Metal Blade
Here In After - 1996 – Metal Blade
Dawn of Posession - 1991 - Roadrunner
1.We are talking tonight with Ross Dolan, vocalist and Bass player for the renowned Death Metal band Immolation. Ross thanks for your time, looking back to the very beginning of Immolation. What was the original goal for the band?
In the beginning, we were just four guys with common musical interests who wanted to create something dark and heavy, something unique and unlike anything out there. We really had no long term goals back when we started in 1988 other than to write and demo a few songs, and play at the local club to all our friends. We never had any intention of signing with a record label, releasing albums or making a long term commitment out of it, it was something we enjoyed doing and something we were having fun at. With that said, fast forward 22 years later and we are still here, still fully enjoying what we are doing and finding it hard to believe that it has been that long since it all began.
2.Did you think you would still be doing this all these years later?
Certainly not back in 1988. We didn’t know if it would even last a year or two back then. I guess it is never something you can foresee, it is just something that evolves and grows until it has a life all its own. The band has become a driving force in our lives, something that we are extremely passionate about even now, with our 8th album waiting to be unleashed upon the world. We are even more focused and dedicated now than at any other point in our career, and this alone inspires us.
3.What would you say the biggest difference in your approach to writing is between "Dawn of Possession" and the latest album "Majesty and Decay"?
We are totally different people now, we have a very different take on things, on life in general. We are more confident in what we want to achieve as a band, and we know how to achieve it. We have matured a lot as people and as musicians, and most importantly, we have learned a lot from all our mistakes. We have taken something from each release and have tried to improve on each past release with each new release. With the new album, we approached the writing process much differently. For one thing, it was our first time with a proper pre-production, which really allowed us to make the songs as good as they could be and it allowed us to craft things throughout the entire recording process, even during the mixing process. So that combined with today’s technology, especially the internet, made the process easier and freed up more time for the actual writing.
4.How does it feel to have the earlier Immolation records referred to as "Classic" now in 2010?
It is a bit weird because we don’t consider our back catalog as classic. The fact that the earlier releases are still relevant and have stood the test of time means a lot to us, and we are very thankful for this, but as far as being classic, that is up to the listener, not us. We feel they were all strong releases, and they were the best we had to offer at those points in time. They were honest and were a good representation of where the band was at that particular time.
5.Speaking of 2010, fans now have the latest record "Majesty and Decay" tell us a bit about this album, where was it recorded, and who produced it?
This is by far the record we have been waiting to record for a long time. It is a very angry record, probably our angriest. It has so much feeling and is also by far our most extreme in every way. It is our heaviest, our most intense and it is full of great solos, epic parts and has a very dark and hopeless feeling throughout the entire record, true death metal from start to finish. I think it is something that our older more die hard fans will love, and something that will win over all those who have always been on the fence with Immolation over the years. It was once again recorded at Millbrook sound Studios in Millbrook, NY with Paul Orofino, but this time we did something different and sent the album to Zack Ohren to do the final mix and mastering, and the end result is amazing. It is hands down our best produced and strongest sounding release to date. It is certainly Immolation through and through!!!
6. How did the recording of the latest record go?
The recording process for this record was a non-stop and busy process right up until the end. We were all very well prepared for the studio, and recording with Paul is always a very relaxed and pleasant experience for us, one we always look forward to each time. We began writing the lyrics when we got into the studio, and luckily this time around I had lots of good ideas and concepts that we brought to life during the time we were in there, so between that, doing many interviews, and just the whole process itself, the time went very quickly and we really worked right up to the end of the last day of the two week session with no breaks at all. But the end result was amazing and well worth the effort!
7.Immolation are a huge influence on a great deal of bands today. What has been the most important lesson you have learned in your time with the band, and what advice would you offer upcoming bands?
We have learned much over the years. We have made many, many mistakes, and have used them all to our advantage. One of these lessons is never try to out do yourselves because this is a sure road to disappointment. Treat each new release as a clean slate, and take all the things you learned with the last release and try to improve on them with each new one. Most importantly though, don’t do this for any other reason than the love of playing and creating music. Enjoy it and don’t ever plan to make any money or a living off this music, because you will most certainly be discouraged. Do it because you love it, and if something comes out of it, then look at it as a plus, and move forward. You must always have a realistic outlook, there is no room for dreamers, it is all about hard work and dedication, and even with that, things may not turn out the way you hope, but it doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy what you are doing and keep everything in perspective.
8.As we have watched over the years Metal has changed and developed, what do you think are some pros and cons about Metal as we know it today?
I think metal is much more out there and getting more recognition in a much bigger way, more so than ever before. It is definitely reaching a much broader audience, especially extreme metal, which I see as a positive side. It always has its ups and downs, but the last few years it seems to be on an upswing, which can only help bands like us. As far as cons, the only con is that it still seems to be a struggle to get some positive recognition on a much broader scale, in the more mainstream press. I feel this music is a very strong and relevant force in the music industry, and it is still untapped and can still be bigger than it already is.
9.We definitely live in a much more technical world now, is there anything out today that you feel really helps in writing and developing the music of Immolation?
Absolutely! As I mentioned earlier, newer recording techniques and the ability to have home computers with recording programs allowed us to use these tools to our advantage during the pre-production process. We were able to have complete songs to rehearse with and develop well before we were in the studio. We were able to add leads and e-mail them to Zack while he was mixing the record, so it was a constantly evolving process. It really allowed us to spend more time creating and fine tuning the material right up until the mastering process, so it really was a plus for us and it is something that will only help us in the future. Plus it helped us tremendously since we live in different parts of the country ( Bob and I in NY, Steve in Ohio, and bill in Florida), so you can see where this really came in handy.
10. Immolation will be joining Dreaming Dead, Abigail Williams, Krisiun, and Nile on tour starting January 15th. This is a massive line up, what are you most looking forward to on the tour?
I am really looking forward to getting out there again in a big way and showcasing some of our new material to the fans. We have a well balanced set list with material from all the records that we will be rotating every night, and we did sneak some new songs into the mix, so I think fans will be pleased. It is a very strong line up with 5 amazing bands, so I think the tour will be a strong one and one everyone is going to want to see.
11.After the tour concludes what is next for Immolation?
Looks like we are going to do some festival appearances in Europe over the summer months, then we will head home to do another full length tour here in the states either headlining or supporting, and then back over to Europe to do a full length tour in support of the new album. One thing is sure, it will be a busy year for us and we are looking forward to it. 11.In closing please leave us with any final thoughts or comments, and we will see you on the tour. Thanks so much for the interview and we look forward to seeing everyone on tour in 2010!!!