September 2004 - INTERNAL VOID
INTERNAL VOID are maybe one of the most criminal underrated bands since their debut release "Standing On The Sun", back in 1992 on the legendary Hellhound Records. Now 14 years later one of Maryland's finest bands comes with theit third album "Matricide" and it' s once again a virtous heavy soulful slab, far away from any trends. This band is a class of its own, and if people talk about heavy music they MUST add INTERNAL VOID to this list. No excuse for other desicions! Well, "Matricide" is definitely one of the top ten albums in 2004, and not only because of this it was once again time to make an interview with Adam Heinzmann (b.), Kelly Carmichael (g.) and JD (voc.) about the new album, and a lot of other interesting things like the new Pentagram line-up etc. Check it out!!
Hello Adam, hello Kelly, hello JD! Once again it's a pleasure for me to welcome Internal Void here in the Cosmic Lava. You released your third full-length "Matricide" and it's hard to describe the power and beauty of the album with words. How long have you worked on it and are you satisfied with the result?
Kelly: Very satisfied! We worked on it in a couple different stages, we did the drums in a weekend in Jan 03, that summer I had about 2-3 days of guitars, then it was on hold for a year for the Pentagram album. Once Pentagram was completed in April we jumped on it right away, and had it done within two months by late May 04.
Adam: We started writing material immediately following the recording of 'Unearthed'. We're always writing, as soon as we finish a song, it's on to the next. Three of the songs, 'Matricide', 'Window To Hell' and 'All Smoke and Mirrors' were written before the recording of 'Unearthed'. All the others were written and developed during 2000-02. This album turned out better than I imagined it would. Being away from it for so long (to record the Pentagram album) I wasn't exactly sure what we had. Once it got rolling, it took on a life of it's own.
What happened around the band since the release of "Unearthed"? As far as I remember you haven't played much shows in the USA to promote the album. Can you agree and what's the reason for it?
JD: We didn't play as much as we would have liked but, we did play the Washington DC area quite a bit to support it. Timing was really bad for all the members after the record came out, but I do wish we had hit the road for that once.
Adam: We certainly haven't played out as much as we'd like to. We've caught some shit for it and plan on changing that in the near future.
It was a surprise for me that "Matricide" hasn't been released on Southern Lord Records. Instead, you founded your own label Dogstreet Records. Are you striving for complete control about your music or is total independance an old dream of the band?
Kelly: Really has never been a dream to have total independance, it just seemed to be the right time to do something different. Southern Lord turned the album down in 2002, which set the release back two years. Just so happens I had started Dogstreet Records soley to release my solo blues cd on and to distribute other blues artists too, so I decided to launch the label with our new cd MATRICIDE, and of course adding the heavier genre to the label, now it's time to get the blues section of the label done!!
Once again you worked together with Chris Kozlowski. Is he something like the fifth memeber of the group?
JD: Chris has worked with I.V. since right after our very first demo recording. He is, and will always be a big part of this band.
Kelly: Yes he is and more, he's always been there for us, and I'm so thankful that we have had a producer/sound man as knowledgeable as he is, he's certainly the counterpart of Internal Void along with being a very good friend!
Adam: We have a very strong personal and professional relationship with Chris. He brings a fifth element to the band. Most of it is confidence.
With the new album, you showed the world once again that the term "Doom" isn't a lucky description for your music. For me it's the best kind of kaleidoscopic doom-tinged Heavy Rock one can find here on earth and you're closer to bands like Captain Beyond or Gov't Mule f.e., though your sound is more powerful and much heavier. You're have incorporated a progressive edge and you play so lose and tight, what reminds me to some Jazz musicians. Do you feel influenced by Jazz?
Kelly: I am highly influenced by jazz, I love Charlie Christian, Jim Hall, Mick Abrahams (BLOODWYN PIG), Barney Kessel, Jimmy Bruno. Blues is the other main influence, more so of the delta, ragtime and country blues more so than the Chicago style, even though I play and listen to mainly acoustic blues from the 20's and 30's the style still trickles through my playing.
Adam: WOW! Being compared to those two bands is an amazing compliment.
I think, you own your special sound since your early days, but of course the band was younger and less trained. If you have the chance to re-record your debut "Standing On The Sun" it would come close to your later releases. What do you think?
Adam: Interesting concept. While it's not something I see us doing, it's certainly interesting to think about. 'Standing On The Sun' is definitely different than what we later achieved on 'Unearthed' and 'Matricide'. But, it captured that era of IV at it's best.
Kelly: I think it would be alot better in both playing and production. I would go at it with a different approach, that's for sure. Recently we've brought back a few off that album, "The Peace Song" and "Utopia of Daze" are in the live set and they are certainly equivalent to the new stuff.
JD: That's a good idea, we can call it "Still Standing".
Another trademark is the long time between your album releases, though you've shorten the wait between "Unearthed" and "Matricide" about four years. Thank God..hahaha! Is one of the reasons your intention to create high-quality work?
Kelly: No not at all. There's about two albums worth of material over thelast 10 years that was never released. We had quite a time finding a permanent drummer after "Standing on the Sun" to record a full length. We will make the gap shorter yet this time around. We are looking to have a brand new full length out next fall along with a release of older material from the 'VOYAGE' demo days.
JD: Man I wish that were the only reason. We seem to hit time warps or something on our journey, maybe it has something to do with the name of the band.
To my surprise, Ron Kalimon left the band after the recording of "Matricide", but gladly you found in Mike Smail a very good new drummer. What was the reason for Ron's escape hatch, and how did you get together with Mike? Is he still playing for Penance?
Kelly: Well, Ronnie used Mike Smail's drum kit in the studio for Matricide, and at that point it was all on the table of Ronnie wanting to take a break from music, and of course we all had agreed to do this record before he quit. So, during the sessions I had approached Mike with the offer to tour with Internal Void once the record was out, and thankfully he was up for jammin with I.V.
Adam: Mike is still behind the kit in Penance along with banging the skins with Pentagram.
Apart of your own band Internal Void 3/4 of the IV-members teamed up with Bobby Liebling to form the new Pentagram line-up. Although I totally dig the last two records with Joe Hasselvander, it was something like a dream for me when I heard about the new line-up. When did you, Kelly and Mike decided to play together with Bobby?
Adam: Kelly and Chris had talked about the possibility for a while. Once Kelly called and told me that Mike was on board, it wasn't a tough decision!
Kelly: Well, Bobby gave me a call after being persueded by Chris Kozlowski and Joe Hasselvander to have members of Internal Void do the PENTAGRAM record. So after that call I knew I was in, and of course soon Adam and Mike were on board too. It was always a fantasy of mine to play in Pentagram with Bobby, but mainly the older material, and it was kinda strange just falling into my lap, so before I knew it I was in Bobby's "Sub-Basement" (as he calls it) with him working on the songs.
"Show 'Em How" is the first result of your common work. What do you think is the main difference between Internal Void and Pentagram? Which band is more important to you?
Adam: Internal Void is my first love and will always be at the top for me. Working with Bobby has been an honor. His songcraft is amazing. I've been listening to some of those songs that we recorded for over 10 years. But, not until I learned how to play them did I fully realize the incredible song writing and musicianship that's involved in the 70's era Pentagram.
Kelly: Well I.V. has been in the bloodstream since 1987!! So, that kinda tells you something there. I certainly want to make more records with Pentagram and Bobby Liebling, so that is another great outlet that I have now too.
Have you ever thought about a tour with Pentagram here in Europe? I hope you're aware of the fact, that this will be a real wet dream for a lot of people here!
Kelly: Yes very much, we are trying to organize something in the very near future.
Let's switch back to Internal Void. After the release of your last masterpiece "Unearthed" the people expected a tour in Germany, but sadly it never happened. Why haven't you made it and have you any plans for 2004 or 2005?
Kelly: Now Internal Void is coming to Europe in Spring of 2005 for sure!!!!! Prior to this we never seemed to have the right connections, along with job related issues with some of us, which made it difficult for all of us to commit. Unfortunately, music doesn't pay the bills.
JD: For a few years now we have been answering that question ny saying, " in a few months maybe a possible tour", so let's try a new approach. No, probably not...hahaha
I really like to thank you for answering my questions. All the best to you, the band and your families and I hope to see you very soon here! Anything you like to add?
Adam: I'd like to thank you for your support of IV through the years. It's dedicated people like you that make a lot of this worth while. We hope to see you very soon as well!
Kelly: Thanks alot for the great interview!
JD: Thanks Klaus, we appreciate this very much.