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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My love of music started when I was very young. I would spend hours listening to my father’s vinyls and learning about music. I greatly admired my uncle Paul (who was a professional drummer in the 80’s & 90’s) and the rest of the musicians in my family as well. I felt this rush while playing music that I found nowhere else in my life, so by the time I was seven years old I already knew music was the path for me.
If I hadn’t gone into music though, I probably would have gotten into film or visual arts. I went to school for film for a short time, but it wasn’t for me, so I continued with my music career instead.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I really enjoy watching movies and drawing. I also enjoy reading. Reading can often spark creativity. I might get inspiration for a song from a story I’ve read or a film I’ve watched.
How long has your band been around?
Immortalizer got started in 2015, so 6 years so far.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m currently living in Toronto, Canada, but I’ve been thinking of moving out west to British Columbia. I wouldn’t say my music has been influenced by where I’m living or where I’ve lived, but experiences you lived through while living there can certainly impact your writing.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
While I was first working on the debut EP I was writing lots of demos and songs, but still needed a good band name. I eventually started writing a song called The Immortalizer which is about a sword that gives its owner Immortality at the expense of their souls and sanity, and it immediately leap off the page and that was that. I felt Immortalizer was a perfect fit.
To me, Immortalizer represents the sound and style I was always looking for. It’s the culmination of years of hard work and experimentation and my passion for Metal.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
My first memorable show was my very first. I was 9 years old and my best friend Jay and I played in front of hundreds of fellow students. Playing songs like Peter Gun, Wild Thing and stuff like that. We were loud and crazy but people loved it! It was my first taste of how intoxicating a cheering crowd can be.
Another very memorable show was when I was 13 years old, I played a show with my friends at a local community centre. When we started to play the whole crowd except a few people were at the back of the large hall. Half way through the set almost the entire crowd had moved up to the stage and where cheering. It was really satisfying to win over a tough crowd like that.
Another memorable show was with a band I started with my best friend called Hex. We were playing an oversold show in a club downtown Ottawa. We played a good show and the crowd was really into it, but unfortunately right before our last song the police burst in and tried to shut down the show. I had had quite a few drinks that night, so I decided to keep playing anyway haha. The crowd went nuts. Moments later the officer in charge came up on stage and forced me to stop playing and told me to stay put. He shut down the show and a few people who were starting trouble got arrested. I didn’t want to wait around to find out what plans they had in store for me so as soon as I could I slipped out the back through the kitchen and off we went haha. Definitely a strange night, but certainly a memorable show.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
One of my favorite venues is the Rainbow in Ottawa, Ontario. It’s got a sick stage and two stories. It’s famous as a blues bar, but they have Metal and Rock shows as well.
As for places I’d like to play, the Hammersmith in London (now called Eventim Apollo) is very high up the list. The Zenith in Munich, Germany is definitely another favorite venue I’d really love to play. The Whiskey in Los Angeles would also be awesome, (mostly because of the history there). But my top pick would have to be the Wacken Open Air festival. That would be absolutely mind blowing.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That’s a very good question. My dream gig would be to play the Wacken festival with Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Primal Fear and Helloween. That would be unbelievably wicked.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Well, the first thing would be don’t let negative / destructive criticism get you down. It’s unavoidable, but don’t let it change or corrupt you. Stay true to yourself and your vision.
You have to be very dedicated and work very hard if you want to succeed. Tune your instruments carefully, even a great band will sound like shit if they’re out of tune. Practice as much as you can especially before recording demos and albums and playing gigs. Once you do have a demo send it out to magazines for reviews, it’s a great way to get noticed. Play as many shows as you can. Nothing builds experience more than live gigs. You grow as a band and often improve your material the more you play it!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
As for advice for my younger self, I would tell myself to party a little less intensely haha. Practice even more and play even more shows. Pick band members carefully, and find equally driven people to jam with. Always stay true to yourself and never let anyone tell you what you can or can’t accomplish.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
That’s a good question. They all mean a lot to me, but I would probably say the “Lemmy” track means the most so far. I’ve been a huge fan of Motörhead and Lemmy since childhood, so it was really wicked to be able to pay homage to him. Phil Campbell of Motörhead gave it a like as well, which really meant a lot to me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
That’s a tough one cause I enjoy playing each of them, but I think the upcoming single “Gone To Hell” is my favorite to play. It’s got a lot of killer guitar parts which are really fun to play.
So far “I’m Gone” is the most popular single, but I think Immortalizer fans are really going to enjoy “Gone To Hell” as well!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The creative process for me often starts with me jamming on guitar working on riffs and lyrics. From there the whole song gets built up. I often write as I’m recording as well, small but important changes can really improve the song sometimes.
I get inspiration from my favourite bands to day to day life and everything in between. I get a lot of inspiration from personal experiences as well. A negative experience from the past can end up helping someone else going through something similar. For example “Lost” is a song most people can relate to because we all feel lost at times and struggle with the world around us and our place in it.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Well, I cover a lot of different themes in my lyrics, feeling alone, lost and empty. Hatred and disgust at what the world has become. Fear of what our future will look like if things continue as they are. Frustration with our politicians and our governments. Religious oppression and the new Cancel Culture attempting to sensor anything in the world they don’t personally approve of. I also write about cutting loose and having fun and living life to the fullest. In the end it all comes down to the interpretation of the listener. I’m not out to preach to people, I simply write about things that matter to me and hope others will relate and enjoy the music.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
That’s one worry you don’t have with a one-man band, haha. I have full creative control which simplifies everything.
However, I do look forward to having a full band and adding their input and ideas into the writing and recording for future material.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My plan is to keep working hard to finish writing and recording the full length album as well as recording singles and making music videos for them as I go. I’m still searching for the right label and management company to propel Immortalizer to new heights, and I hope to be able to put a band together soon to be able to play live and tour the world!
As for the spotlight, keep an eye out for the next single “Gone To Hell” which will be coming out soon!