IMPENDING DOOM: No Skipping Allowed
It was a pleasure to talk to David Sittig of Impending Doom on the eve of the release of its latest epic album, The Sin and Doom, Vol. II. Read on as he fills in some of the details on the band's long and respected career.
Please give us a rundown on each of your albums, with as much commentary as you’d like (lyric themes, songwriting/recording stories, live performances of said songs, whatever) of each of your albums:
The Sin and Doom Of Godless Men demo:
This was our straight to the point, young aggressive teenage angst getting into a studio and just going for it era. The band didn’t know what they were doing and that’s what made it great!
Nailed, Dead, Risen:
Our debut album with facedown records…We were excited, nervous, anxious, and fired up all at the same time. The band was just getting started and we had big goals to meet. We just tried to write the fastest, lowest, guttural slamming record we could.
The Serpent Servant (2009).
We went into this album wanting to be over the top heavy while throwing in a little progression in our song writing, introducing guitar leads which was something we hadn’t done in the past. Also, our first album with Daniel Castleman which we were very excited about!
There Will Be Violence (2010),
This is the Doom record where we as members weren’t all on the same page about. The album has a few good songs, but overall we were in the wrong head space when recording this, and this album saw the exit of Manny Contreras.
Baptized in Filth (2012),
This album we got to have mixed and mastered by none other than Machine! We were so stoked to be working with him. This album we went all out and wanted to show a heavier yet sonically mature side of the band. This album saw some of our biggest hits to date, such as “Murderer”, and “Deceiver”. This was a great album for us.
Death Will Reign:
This album saw the return of Manny Contreras, and the introduction of Eric Correa which paired the best combo to date that we have had. This record was intense, progressive, and heavier introducing 8 string guitars into the mix. Recorded, and produced by Will Putney.
The Sin and Doom, Vol. II release on Entertainment One (2018)
This album has been our best work, we wanted to come out with an album full of “bangers”, start to finish we didn’t want people skipping songs. There is an atmospheric vibe that travels though the entire record, which is something we haven’t done in the past. We really took our time on this one and wanted it to show. So far I feel like we accomplished that!
What inspired this return to your early demo title?
When we started writing this album the songs sounded like earlier material and it felt fun and new, like the early days, so one of us threw around the idea of a spin off of our first demo “The Sin and Doom of Godless Men”.
What was the life and experience of working with/on each of your record labels?
Both records labels have been so amazing to us! Facedown Records signed us when we were still in high school so they took a leap of faith us – we are glad they did! It made us feel like we were on top of the world – not even 18 years old yet with a record deal. Entertainment One took us to the next level and has helped us to continue to mature as a band and have always let us be us. They believe in our vision and let us go for it full force! We love our team at Entertainment One.
You were on the cover of the 25th anniversary issue of HM. HM is out of print now. When you look back at the many changes in the music scene of the last 8-10 years, what are your observations? What do you miss? What changes are you glad about?
I didn’t know that HM was out of print! So many magazines are going out of print in this digital world, it really bums me out. The changes we do like are new streaming, we love that it is easy for our fans to get our entire catalogue at their fingers tips in a few seconds. But I will always say, if you want to support a band you like you should buy their records. I do it every time one of my favorite bands puts a record out, and I also use Apple Music to stream albums I haven’t heard yet. Music at your fingertips is awesome!
One of the biggest changes in the scene that HM covers (and also Heaven’s Metal Magazine, which is the branch of HM that I still own and operate and this cover story is for) is that we have finally worked our way into the mainstream, so non-believers can hear and experience the art of believers. Our vocation as artists can be full and taken seriously. With that came the death or massive cutbacks of the insular “Christian hardcore / Christian metal” scenes. What are the pros and cons of that?
Some people like us for our music, while other love us for our message - either way we are happy they are listening. We hope that our message has those who don’t believe start asking some questions.
I imagine that as believers in the real world that you come into contact with people that are curious, angry, oppositional, supportive and/or conversational. Without naming names (unless you want to), tell us some stories of conversations you’ve had about faith, metal and who you are as people.
We honestly really haven’t come in contact with very many people who have put down our beliefs or what we stand for. We have toured with satanic bands, atheist bands, and Christian bands, and on the road it seems like most people respect others and their beliefs. We don’t shove ours down peoples throats, and they aren’t here to bash ours. We have definitely been there many times to answer questions for those who are curious, and that’s what we’re all about!
What comes easy for you now as musicians? How do you challenge yourselves as musicians, songwriters and performers?
Well, I feel like over the years we have really honed in and developed our sound, but we never want each record to sound like the last. So we constantly are trying new things, showing our peers ideas and riffs we come up with and try to create something original.
What goals do you have for your band at the moment? Where do you see yourself in two years? Five years?
We want to perform all over, and write many more albums. Our touring days are basically behind us, we all have families, and careers outside the band now. But it puts us in a very special spot. We get to write records on our own time, perfect them to our standards, and choose where we get to play. I don’t think we’ll ever get sick of creating music or performing.
Tell us about each member – be it funny, serious, talents/skills they bring to the table (include yourself, please):
Brook Reeves: (photograph by Paul Grosso)
He is the class clown, the guy that makes us all laugh everyday. He jokes around 24/7 but is also the guy who comes up with all the catchy/creative terms/lyrics we have. We wouldn’t be DOOM without Brook.
Manny Contreras: (photograph by Paul Grosso)
Manny, is the riff guy. He loves creating music, whether its for Impending Doom or just fun. He’s probably sitting in front of his computer right now working on some very original sounding atmospheric song that you may or may never hear.
Eric Correa: (photograph by Paul Grosso)
Eric writes the unforgivingly heavy tracks we have. When we need something insanely heavy, Eric is usually the one who has it ready. He’s an incredible musician, from guitar to piano, to producing.
David Sittig: (photograph by Paul Grosso)
Well, I’m doing the interview so I can’t compliment myself too much here haha but I feel like my role here in the band over the years aside from writing a lot of the earlier stuff is organizing things from the business side to help shaping the structures of songs and ideas.
Brandon Trahan: (photograph by Paul Grosso)
Btown is the machine behind us all, amazing drummer, always keeping us in the pocket. He’s hilarious when he doesn’t mean to be. He’s the guy that jokes around but nobody laughs but when he doesn’t mean to be funny then everyone is on the ground dying laughing. He’s our big teddy bear that can rips someone’s head off.
What else would you like to share? It’s open topic day here at Heaven’s Metal Magazine:
Give our new album a listen! The Sin and Doom Vol.II is on Itunes, Spotify, and all other music outlets. We worked very hard on this and are already working towards new material. A good break is what we needed to ignite the Doom fire back in all of us. Bang you heads with us!