Heavy metal group I.N.C. (Indestructible Noise Command) just released their new album Black Hearse Serenade and are currently out on tour with Tantric. The tour will be making a stop tomorrow night at the Token Lounge in Westland.
Formed in the late 1980’s, the group found some success, even headlining over Pantera, but then the band took a two-decade hiatus. In 2010 the band burst back onto the scene with their Bleed the Line EP.
Guitarist Anthony Fabrizi sat down to talk about the band’s comeback, the tour and the changes in the music scene.
Q: You have been out on the road with Tantric. How has that been going so far?
Anthony: Yes we have. It’s been going great. They’re a great bunch of guys with a little different style of music from what we are but it’s kind of working out pretty cool because we get fans that enjoy both genres of music and we’re earning some new fans across the spectrum. It’s working out really well.
Q: You have the show at the token Lounge on Friday. Can you give a little preview?
Anthony: Well we’re obviously a metal band and we perform at what we consider a high-energy level. We like to put on a good show and get the crowd involved and just have a lot of fun with it. We’re just out here doing our thing and looking to meet new people. We’re making some new fans, which is one of the great things about the tour. You go to all these cities and you can’t have any preconceived notions when you’re traveling across the road because every venue is a little bit different and every crowd is a little bit different. They all respond a little bit differently. Some take a little bit more work to get them in and involved; they’re a little more gun shy. Then the other ones are right up front and aren’t scared to walk right up to you and introduce themselves and give you their opinion and we love that. We definitely love the interaction with the fans and meeting people.
Q: The Black Hearse Serenade album has been out for a bit. Have you been happy to the reaction so far?
Anthony: Everything is great there. The release is doing very well. We’re climbing on the CMJ charts and we’re getting a lot of positive feedback. Reviews are starting to come in from multiple websites and magazines and it’s all positive. We’re very pleased. We put a lot of heart into this album this time around. Which is not to say that we haven’t in the past but this one was even more so. It was really special for us. We took a little more time on this one and just kind of kicked backed. The artist always write for themselves but this time we really wanted to make something that we would buy ourselves and would really want to listen to. We wanted something that the fans could really connect to and give them a reason to want to go out and pick this up. I think we delivered on that with everything from the artwork to the quality of the songs and there’s actually a little storyline in the album. It all ties together and it’s all going very well.
Q: Is there a song standing out in your live set right now?
Anthony: Hmm, well you know what, I think the lead off track. We open the set every night with “Organ Grinder” and it’s just a hard-driving song and up-tempo and it’s just great out of the gate. I mean there are people there who maybe haven’t heard of you or seen you live and are looking for that first impression and making a good first impression is always nice. Just looking out and seeing the look on their faces and their heads bobbing is kind of cool.
Q: You have the “No Turning Back” video out. Can you talk about making that?
Anthony: Yeah the “No Turning Back” video is once again part of this concept album so I won’t elaborate too much on it because there is a story to be told that all ties in together between the artwork and the lyrics and whatnot. It all kind of puts the puzzle together and that’s something for the fan to discover instead of me just kind of blurting it out but each song kind of compliments the other and leads into the next. “No Turning Back” is kind of the culmination of the disc, it’s the second to last song, and it kind of starts to tie everything together before the final song “Love Like Napalm” brings it to its climax. So “No Turning Back” is the first in that two series of videos, it will be followed shortly by “Love Like Napalm”. The video was made by Thomas Mignone (Slipknot, Mudvayne, System of A Down) and it has Michael Rodrick in it, who is the actor from the tv series 24 and he will be starring in “Love Like Napalm” as well. It’s really neat stuff and if you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s on our Facebook page at facebook.com/incmetal as well as on Youtube.
Q: You took such a long break but have managed to come back strong. What do you think was the biggest reason that your fans stuck with you?
Anthony: Well I think it was a long break. Well, long is an understatement; it was over two decades, but what was interesting is that we always had in some form or another feedback from our fans who were around back in the early days of the band. Right when we decided to reunite it was just amazing and that’s where social media is so huge because it gives you that instant connection. As soon as we put up the Facebook page and they found a way to reach out to us, it was almost immediate how the fans were still there and we were pleasantly surprised by that. It just motivated us even more and it justified what we were doing. Obviously it was like wow, are any of the fans still going to be around after all this time? Sure enough, they were there! That was really cool and they’ve been really supportive. A lot of them have left us such positive comments and it has kind of helped motivate us and push us along the road to get cds out.
Q: What do you think has been the biggest change in the metal scene since you started out?
Anthony: Well I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times in the interviews you’ve done but the metal scene, or just the music scene in general, and there are positive and negative sides to this but number one is social media. It’s a huge marketing tool and a huge benefits to bands but on the negative side is obviously the illegal downloading. I mean that’s hurt a lot. Let’s face it: back in the day record sales really meant something but today not so much. They do mean something but the numbers just aren’t there anymore and it’s unfortunate because back when I was a kid and purchased a album from a band that I really was into, there was like a connection with that artist. You felt a little bit of ownership with that artist. We try to bring that back by putting out a really good cd and doing the whole package with the artwork and the lyrics because for me as a kid that was a big part of it. I remember walking in the store before I ever heard a note and just being drawn in by the name of the band or the artwork on the cover. You know, flipping it over and reading the song titles and then going and buying it. I know that’s a hit or miss sort of thing but today you can actually sample all of these different bands and if you like what you hear then make the investment in the band instead of just stealing the music. It helps support these artists and not only for us but for every artist in every genre. It helps keep them making new music and helps sustain the industry because unfortunately I think what’s going to happen is you’re going to have all these one and done bands who just can’t sustain themselves and that’s a shame in this day and age.
Q: Moving forward what is your biggest goal?
Anthony: We aim high but we try to be realistic. It’s a matter of just some more touring and continuing to build the fan base. There’s a lot of people over the years who have reached out to us from a certain part of the country asking like when are you coming to Europe. Absolutely all of that is on our radar for sure. Just getting overseas and doing some touring and just meeting new people and building up the fan base even more than it is already.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a musician?
Anthony: Well for any artist when you pick up your instrument as a kid, it’s a passion and to have that passion grow into something that you can take on the road and perform for other people is a pretty amazing feeling. I think just the fact that you get the honor to play for the fans and just to have them there and the fact that they took the time out of their day to come and see us and to buy the cd means a lot to us. That’s one of the biggest motivational factors that keeps us going to this day.
Q: Final words?
Anthony: Yeah I just want to say thank you to the band we’re on tour with, Tantric, and also the fans for their support over the years. It’s been a tremendous outreach and support for us and it keeps us going and motivated. We look forward to meeting you and if we come through your area come on down to a show and say hello to us. We’re very approachable and we’re there for you and we’d love to meet you.