Imperial Triumphant is absolutely one of the weirdest bands around if we scrutinize the dynamic motifs,psyched-out atonal melodies and ultimate experimental jazz experimentation clashed with Black and Death metal madness clearly as a whole. Even though they play ultra experimental with some Noise elements, Imperial Triumphant is still a sick metal band at the end of the day.
They have just locked themselves into the studio for the upcoming album which is supposed to be released in the next months of 2021 and Ilya accepted to talk about the band, plans, their last album etc. And here you have a short conversation with him
-How could Imperial Triumphant start to play as a band?
Ilya(aka Zachary Ezrin) – It started as a teenage band just trying to play black metal.
-IT’s the last debut Alphaville was just released last summer. How did you write and compose this album? Could you tell us the recording process?
We write in many different styles. Some songs are completely written by one member of the band note for note while others are written together in the rehearsal studio. This varied method allows for more dynamic songs. The recording process was incredibly smooth and we owe that to the hard work of Colin Marston and Trey Spruance.
-What musical elements do you focus on while you write Imperial’s music?
I would say we focus on song structure, dynamics, dissonance, atonality as well as polyrhythms, odd meters and melodic motifs.
-What are your main influences? How did you discover underground extreme metal music if you think about your early days in the metal music scene?
Our primary influence would be in New York City. There’s a lot to unpack with this though. The city has a deep history and there is still very much to explore. I discovered extreme music in my teenage years through bands like Dimmu Borgir, Bathory and Carcass.
-Have you guys ever played jazz or other experimental music projects except for metal? How can you explain your experimental notations and spirit in your music?
We have all played jazz to varying degrees here in the city. My rhythm section has been performing in jazz clubs around NYC for decades as well as many other styles of music. Playing other genres greatly inspires what we do in Imperial.
– How did you agree to go on this band image? Did you imagine in 2005?
It definitely didn’t start in 2005. Rather, it has been a natural progression as we shift away from traditional black metal imagery and into our own world.
-In many songs of IT, I feel the spirit of years between the 1920s and 1950 in your songs. Are you into the history of pre-and post-atomic years?
There’s no secret. These time periods are definitely very interesting and we certainly have pulled influence from all over history.
-What are your lyrical concepts? What do you think about esotericism vs. realism in your music?
Well, that’s up to the listener to decide for themselves. Our lyrics mainly present NYC through various perspectives and allegories. There is a lot more esotericism than people think in this city and “the realism” can be just as deceiving.
– How did you write your debut Abominamentvm’s songs? What were your ideas? Could you also tell us the period of Ep and Demo days?
These songs were all written during my music university years. It represents the shift in musical direction. I learned so much about modern classical in college that it really played a strong influence on the black metal I was writing. Really not much to say about the releases before that. They were just angsty teenagers trying to play 2nd wave black metal.
-What things have been changed for IT in 15 years?
It’s night and day. We started out very small and stayed small until the sound was right. Everything has come together as best it should.
-How did you get in touch with Century Media? Could you tell us the CM contract?
We were connected by our friend JB from Svart Crown. I ended up speaking with them and quickly found myself among like-minded people. Working with them has been really great.
-Have you ever taken music lessons and got into a music school before? How did you show interest in different instruments and music as multi-instrumentalists?
Yes just about all of us can play other instruments and all of us were trained in various music conservatories.
-How’s life in NY as a New Yorkers nowadays? How does NY city influence your music?
Life is feeling challenging as a musician and as a New Yorker these days. However, we will always press onward and as the city spirals into a dystopian police state nightmare, our music will reflect this.
-What are you reading and listening to nowadays? What books and bands could you recommend us?
Currently reading Metropolis of Tomorrow by Hugh Ferriss and listening to ELO’s first balbum No Answer
-You have a new project called Folterkammer. What kind of a project is it? Could you inform us about Folterkammer?
Folterkammer is a black metal opera band I started a few years ago. It features our long time collaborator Andromeda Anarchia singing in her native German tongue. Its a really exciting side project. I love this combination of 2nd wave black metal and baroque opera. It works surprisingly well and people have been very receptive to it.
-Unfortunately, the whole music world has just been stopped by a pandemic and no live music so far. What are your future plans?
We are working on new music for a new album as well as delving into other mediums of creation. Imperial Triumphant can take many forms.
– What would you like to tell the fans who read this interview out there?
Thank you to all who bought the album and we’ll see you on stage soon.