Infernal Majesty

Greetings Kenny! Wie geht’s ha-ha? Do you understand what I have asked? I have read in your biography, you were born in Salzburg, in Austria. When and why did you move to Canada?

Kenny: Sure I understand that and things are going great. Yeah I was born there but was only there for 4 weeks. My parents were originally from Europe but lived in Canada.

Do you speak still a little bit German? Do you know, that the famous componist Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg too? There is a Mozart museum in Salzburg. Before Infernal Majesty you have played in a band called Lanced. Could you say something about it?

Kenny: I learn't German when I was a kid and glad I did. "Laced" was Steve and I's first band. We were really young at the time but wanted to be musicians and play live and the only way to do it was to form a band. We played a bunch of cover songs by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc... but that got to become boring so we started writing our own songs and that was the beginning of the Infernal Majesty sound.

How and when did you meet the other guys of Infernal Majesty? How was the band established? How were your early rehearses, how much did you rehearse a week? Which bands have had an effect on you? In my opinion you have liked both the brutal, aggressive music and the complex, progressive one, haven’t you?

Kenny: Steve saw an ad in the Toronto paper for 2 guitar players and called up Rick Nemes and told him what we were all about. It didn't take long before we were jamming together, everything felt right.When we first started out we were a 4 piece band as we had no singer at the time, so we placed an ad in the Toronto newspapers and we got tons of calls.
So we held auditions for about a week and I remeber this one guy who walked in and he looked just like Mick Jagger, he had the look and the moves, this guy told us that he was the greatest singer that we would hear at the auditions and that there would be no reason to listen to anyone else, then as soon as we started playing the guy shit his pants as he had never heard anything that heavy in his life, the expression on his face was priceless.
As you can see he never became the singer for Infernal Majesty. In the beginning we rehearsed everyday and to this day we still go almost everyday. I always like the heavy side of music, as I grew up with bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate it was only natural that when I learnt how to play guitar that I would only want to write heay music. We are just a band that writes heavy music.
People like to caterogize you so they have some idea about your style. I think that Infernal Majesty has its own sound and that is what is important to us. Steve and I have been writing this way for a long time now so I think people will know what they are getting when they hear Infernal Majesty.

To what did refer the name of the band?

Kenny: It sounded better than anything else we had. We had a couple of different names for the band in the beginning like Overlord, LSD, Infernal Presence, but nothing that we really thought was great until one day at rehearsal the name "Infernal Majesty" came to me and everyone loved the name right away as it suited us perfectly.

How was at that time the Canadian thrash scene? There were many good bands, like Razor, Voivod, Sacrifice, Anvil, Exciter. Tell us detailed about the underground scene of Canada! Gorguts was cool too.

Kenny: It was awesome. We knew them all and played witth them all. We just played with Razor and Exciter in Toronto which was alot of fun as that was once our home. We now live in Vancouver, Canada and I can tell you that the scene is alive and well here. We've got some great bands here like - Strapping Young Lad - Soulscar - Omega Crom - 3 inches of Blood, just to name a few.

In my opinion, the Canadian thrash bands were more brutal, aggressive and faster than the American ones. Do you agree with me?

Kenny: Sure... but America has a lot of great bands as well.

How many demos did you record? Which songs were on them? In what kind of reception were the demos by the fans and by the underground press participated?

Kenny: We did 3 demos I think. The first was for "None Shall Defy". We recorded 4 songs on it so we could shop for a deal, I think that most people have heard of it. The second was a 2 song demo that we did and it found its way onto the re-release of "None Shall Defy" in 1996. We also did a demo called "Creation of Chaos" with a different singer on it as Chris Bailey wasn't in the band at that time. None of these demos are avaiable anymore.

How were the Infernal Majesty songs born? By whom were the music and the lyrics written? Your debut album „None shall defy” was released in 1987 by Roadrunner, but I know, you haven’t sent any demo tapes to them. How did you get in touch with them?

Kenny: The demo made it's rounds to many labels and magazines, one magazine in Europe loved the demo so much that they told Roadrunner about us that's how Roadrunner got the word on this, we finally sent them a demo and they sent us a contract . We had many offers to sign with labels at that time and didn't really know who we should sign with so we took them to a lawyer to find the best deal and that happened to be the Roadrunner deal so we sign with them.

Tell us please detailed about the songs, the lyrics, the sound and the cover of the new album, in a word, about the whole production!

Kenny: The music is true Infernal Majesty. I think that when people hear it they know who it is. We haven't changed are style that much over the years.

Were Infernal Majesty popular at that time? Did you have a lot of fans?

Kenny: I guess we were somewhat popular as we were getting tons of mail from all over the world and our fans have stuck with us all these years.

In 1987 I have read an interview with you in an Hungarian metal magazine called Metallica Hungarica. Do you remember about it?

Kenny: No

Were you on tour after the releasing of Infernal Majesty? With which bands did you play together?

Kenny: We have played with a lot of bands over the years: Kreator, Malevolent Creation, Vader, Cannibal Corpse, Dark Funeral, Razor... the list goes on.

Then you have vanished from sight, you have had several member changes too. Why and when did Psychopath, Rick Nemes and Chris Bailey leave the band? Were you dropped by the label too?

Kenny: Rick Nemes our drummer at the time was doing all the talking for Infernal Majesty so at that time I didn't have much control or say on what was happening with Infernal Majesty. Roadrunner was just talking to Rick about the future and Rick told them that he really didn't want to tour that much until the 2nd album was done, well Roadrunner didn't want to hear that and I didn't find out about any of this until Rick was out of the band. Rick was the leader and he did things that I wouldn't have done if I had known. I wanted to tour badly as that was the reason I got into a band in the first place. I just couldn't understand why Rick never wanted to tour after "None Shall Defy" came out. It made no sense to me at all. I know that was our biggest downfall, we should have toured when that album came out, if we did then things would be different for Infernal Majesty today.

At the beginning of the ’90-s wasn’t thrash metal so popular like before. In your opinion, why did thrash metal lose from its popularity?

Kenny: There was a lot of new styles of music coming out and it pushed thrash to the side but it never really went away. I think the best bands came out in the 80's but things change and people move on but I do feel that it's back and will be better than ever.

In 1992 you have recorded a four tracks demo „Creation of chaos”. What must we know about it? Was it released as an official Infernal Majesty album?

Kenny: Yeah it was released but I don't consider it a true Infernal Majesty album as it didn't have Chris Bailey on it.

On this album has Vince sung. Who was this guy respectively where did he sing before Infernal Majesty? Was he better singer than Chris? Why did Vince pass in 2001? When did Chris decide to come back in the band?

Kenny: Vince was a singer we found in Toronto, he was far different than Chris was and we had a hard time with him. He was with us until 1995 as Chris Bailey came back to Infernal Majesty. Vince had major problems with the law as well and spent some time in jail for assault. He did manage to form a new band called "Bloodwurn" and did release a couple of CDs in the late 90's. But in 2001 Vince died from a drug overdose.

In 1997 was „None shall defy” with two bonustracks re-released? What was its use? What could you say about the bonustracks? When were they written?

Kenny: They were written after we recorded "None Shall Defy". Those 2 songs were to be on our next album. When Displeased Records released "None Shall Defy" in 1996 they decided to put them on the CD, if they didn't then most people would never have heard them.

In the same year you were on tour with Malevolent Creation and you have played in Hungary. Do you remember about this gig?

Kenny: Sure... that was our first European tour and it was great. We never knew that we had so many fans. It totally blew us away.

A year later was “Unholier than thou” released. How would you comment this album? Are there similarities respectively differences between „Unholier than thou” and „None shall defy?

Kenny:: To us that record was a great album. I guess if we had put one out another 2 years later than people wouldn't only remember us by the first one. "None Shall Defy" became a "classic" to many people. All we can do is try our best to put out albums that we think are good. No matter what we write or put on album, it will always be compared to "None Shall Defy".

You have released also a live album which is titled „Chaos in Copenhagen”. Is it a bootleg or an official record? Are you satisfied with the sound? Did you add something to the record in the studio?

Kenny: We did that mainly for the fans. It was never meant to be a full worldwide release. We recorded some shows from The Cannibal Corpse Tour and decided to put it out for the hell of it. Some day we will put out a "Live" DVD even though I've seen some bootlegs for sale.

Why was „Unholier than thou” in 2001 re-released? It contains only a bonustrack. In this year you have released your third album „One who points to death”. When did you start writing the new material? Where was the album recorded? How many time did you spend in the studio?

Kenny: We released "Unholier Than Thou - 2001" because we owned the album and we were no longer working with Hypnotic Records. Steve and I paid for the album so we decided to put it out again with a different cover.

Since when are the new members in the band? In which bands did the earlier play? Did they take part in the song composing?

Kenny:. Both Kris and Eric played in the same band together, they weren't doing much when we auditioned them now both are dedicated to Infernal Majesty so I don't think we will have to worry anymore about line up changes.

In my opinion, your music became rather death metal, than thrash, it had lost from its complexity. What do you think about it? I hope, I didn’t hurt you.

Kenny: No you didn't, It's funny because we have been called all three -thrash, death, black - people like to put labels on music, so be it.

As far as the lyrics, is/was Infrnal Majesty a satanic band or an occult one? What’s the difference between satanism and occultism?

Kenny: Neither really... We just try to write about interesting subjects. We don't just want to write about Satan. We try to have a different subject for each song. We get a lot of ideas from movies and books and if you read our lyrics then you can see how each song is so different. We never took the evil image seriously, we just like having interesting subjects for our songs. The titles just come up as we write the lyrics, I guess if you read the lyrics you'll see how we came up with the titles.

What’s your opinion about the church and about the several religious sects? Does religion play an important role in the life of the Canadian people? Is it important to believe in something?

Kenny: I really don't care for politics or religion. Both our trying tell people what to do or what to believe in, so I try to avoid it. It just seems senseless in someone telling me how I should run my life or yours.

In this year returned many thrash bands, like Exodus, Heathen, Nasty Savage, Nuclear Assault etc. There is a thrash renessaince? What was the motivation of these bands? I’m very happy about their reunion, because I’m a thrash freak.

Kenny: So am I... It's great to see these bands getting back together let’s just hope that they stay together.

In your opinion, how is the underground scene of nowadays? What did change in the underground compared to the middle ’80-s /early ’90-s? What kind of experiences did you gain in the music industry?

Kenny: It's changed, it was great in the 80's as they supported so many bands and with out them a lot of bands would never have made it. The music business is funny, these days most labels will follow a fad and sign everyone that is playing you see it all the time one minute the band is big and the next day they are history.

John Ricci told me in an Exciter interview, the Canadian bands weren’t supported by the Canadian underground scene and by the fanzines. Why?

Kenny: That's because he doesn't live in Vancouver. If he did he would see that the metal scene here is hugh and has a loyal following. I agree that it is not that way all over Canada but it is here and Quebec. Also remember that Canada has only 30 million people so it will never great the press that other styles of music would.

Do you read often fanzines? Do the fanzines play an important role in the underground scene?

Kenny: Sure... people send them to us. Fanzines are a great way to found out about up and coming bands that you would never hear of. Without fanzines many bands would never get a following. I do alot of interviews with fanzines and to me they are as important as a major magazine.

Could you say something about what do the former Infernal Majesty members Psychopath and Rick Nemes nowadays do? Didn’t want they to take part in the reunion? Is Rick from Hungary?

Kenny: They have their own things going. They were called "Castle of Pain" and did record a demo but I don't know what became of it. I talk to Rick every now and then but I don't see a reunion with them anytime soon.

What’s the real name of Steve Terror? Terror sounds very brutal, but funny, but I can’t imagine, that this is his family name ha-ha!

Kenny: That's it. He legally changed it a long time ago.

I think you were always devoted to your fans, to thrash metal, you have worn always leather, pins, cartridge-belts etc. Do you wear these things still nowadays too?

Kenny: We've been this way since day one. We'll wear what we want, look the way we want, because that's us, I don't need to have people tell us how to be. Sure some people couldn't figure us out at the beginning, but in the end it's the music that counts.

What are your future plans? Will you go maybe on European tour? Don’t you know by chance what do nowadays the former Sacrifice and Razor members? Are you still in touch with them?

Kenny: We just played with Razor in Toronto and it was great to see them, we've know these guys from the very beginning as Steve and I grew up with their singer Stace "Sheepdog" McLaren. Scarifice are no longer. We have had many offers to tour Europe and will be there later this year.

One question: as I as know, you are living in Toronto. If I say Toronto Maple Leafs, what does occur to you?

Kenny: We left Toronto back in 1999, I still like the Maple Leafs but now my team is the Vancouver Canucks.

Kenny, I think, I can’t ask anything, I hope my questions weren’t boring. I wish you all the best and good luck. Auf wiedersehen Herr Hallman. Please, close the interview. Cheers: Leslie

Kenny: Thanks for the interview Leslie and thanks to all the people that have supported Infernal Majesty all these years.


by David „Steel” Laci