Incinerate interview with Zach Moonshine, transcribed by Guilherme Lage.
Zach: Alright, you guys are live right now on The Zach Moonshine Show with Metal Devastation Radio, how you doing?
Jesse: Doing good, doing good!
Zach: Awesome, man! Awesome. So tell us, what the fuck is going on in the world of Incinerate?
Jesse: Uh, man, we got a lot going on! So, the album is coming out and we just obviously put out the new single, it’s been on YouTube and it’s doing pretty good. Looks like it’s getting shared in the “book of faces” quite a bit. We were supposed to play this show in October in Las Vegas, but who knows if that’s gonna happen or not. We’re trying to get everybody in the same country, so we can film a video, an actual music video, cause Incinerate has never done that. So just a lot of busy stuff going on.
Zach: Right on, man! Sounds like it. So, tell us about this new record, like, how’d you guys go about the recording process for this one?
Jesse: So, uh, recording...it’s really hard for our band, logistically, cause we’re all living in different places right? I live in Minnesota, Jared is in California, Phil, Las Vegas, and then Sasha and Ted are both in Canada. So, we don’t have the luxury of everybody taking a month off of work to go and do everything, so we all recorded our own separate pieces in our own separate locations and then had to get all the files over to mix and master everything and then, in the middle of that, obviously, Covid hit. I live in Minneapolis, so we had that social unrest and everything and delayed it. The studio where I record at, across the street...the building was burned down...I mean, it was hard with everything that was going on with that whole movement. So, a lot of delays, a lot of panic, I had bronchitis in the middle of it...so, a lot of hurdles to overcome with this one!
Zach: Damn...that sounds fucking brutal, man!
Jesse: Yeah...totally different than your normal band that can just all go into the studio once and work together, you know? We don’t have that luxury.
Zach: Yeah, right! So, tell us about some of these tracks that are on the record, man, as far as lyrical themes and stuff like that.
Jesse: So, the whole album is actually one large central concept. It’s based around Lucifer. It starts with the creation of heaven, creation of Earth, creation of angels, humans, and angels resenting the love that god gives humans and then Lucifer kind of talking the system right! So, follows that whole story line and then we kind of divert into our own story, I guess. We talk about Lucifer taking over heaven, demons destroying heaven, god fleeing, battle for control, and everything there and in between, I guess.
Zach: Very cool, man! I gotta ask you about the album art, man! So fucking killer fucking album cover, dude, how did you guys come up with that?
Jesse: So, we were initially gonna have a different artist do the album cover, but John Zig had done a bunch of pieces of work, art works that were kind of tied to the central theme! So we thought it would just look kind of funky to have the inner workings of the album be an artist and then the album cover be somebody else. So we went to Zig and said ‘Hey, here’s what we’re after, here’s the theme of what’s going on, here’s some of the lyrics, we kind of had a little Easter egg in there that he was able to throw in for us. And man, I just gotta say that he completely knocked it out of the park! We had no doubt in his ability or anything like that, he has done work for us in the past. Edited our last album. But we just...man, we’re so proud. I think he just did such a great job, it’s a phenomenal representation of our band and the album and the lyrical content and ties everything together. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Zach: Hell yeah! So tell us about your influences and stuff, like growing up, how did you guys get into heavy metal?
Jared: Yeah, so, I started it out on a lot of like, heavy metal, I guess you could call it...no harder than the hair metal shit. So I was into like Skid Row, and you know, shit like that. When I turned about 15 and a half, I went down to the local record store, my local mall. And I would always look in cassettes based on how the logos looked like or how the pictures looked, if I saw something that looked kind of metally, I just picked it out. I ended up grabbing Deicede’s first album, Deicide. And the cassette player rolled and it just crushed my fucking mind and then I was wearing upside down crosses and doing all kinds of shit, man! And from then on I started getting into this death metal, man! Obituary, Opressor, Vader, Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, shit like that. And as I kind of gotten a little older, I started getting into a more technical type of death metal. Shit that like, made my fingers look cool on the guitar, right? That was my goal. But I grew up on that shit, man, glam metal and fucking Skid Row and shit, man, that turned into Deicide, Cannibal Corpse and shit like that, the rest is history.
Jesse: Yeah, that’s an almost identical...Jared and I are almost the same age. So the glam, whatever, hair metal, was so popular at that point in time that the quest for faster, harder, heavier, just kind of progressed from there. Only, instead of going to a record store, I had an older brother, a friend’s older brother
that was constantly feeding us cassette tapes to listen to. Almost identical path, I played guitar for a long time, so, exact same, it’s funny!
Jared: It’s funny, man, I felt like...when I was younger and I started listening to heavier shit, I was always craving heavier shit. So I got into Slayer, Metallica, all that shit as usual. But there was a certain group of us, man, that just kind of broke off into death metal. Everybody else just stayed with Slayer, Metallica, and shit like that, right? There was like ten or fifteen of us kids that kind of broke off into death metal shit and just started getting heavier and heavier and it was just never fast enough, there was never heavy enough, never technical enough, we just kept going more and more brutal, and that’s I think where the American death metal shit came in for me.
Zach: Hell yeah! Yeah, it’s about the same for me, man! I’m 42 years old, I remember, you know, I started off with glam rock and, you know, like you said Skid Row, fucking Wasp, fucking Bon Jovi, fucking all that shit. But then, I remember, we moved to Maryland and I was able to tune in into this fucking college radio station on FM, back then. I think it was like 1989, somewhere in there, and they were fucking playing everything, you know? It all hit me all at once. Like King Diamond, fucking Deicide, fucking Exodus, fucking like just all the thrash metal, the death metal, fucking extreme metal from overseas and just all of it, all at once. It was mind blowing, man! But you know, I feel like, once you get a taste of that, it’s so hard to...you can’t turn back, man! And then, first Deicide record, dude, I remember buying that shit and just sitting there and staring at the fucking back, like the back cover, the picture of them standing in front of the thing in the cemetery. Listening to those songs, dude, that fucking record is still to this day one of the fucking craziest, fucking heaviest fucking death metal albums ever, man!
Jared: Yeah, absolutely, man! I’m with you! I remember sitting back and looking at album covers and studying them, reading them and learning who the people were and fucking members, and what their names were, lyrics and everything, man! It’s not like that anymore.
Zach: Did you ever get to see Deicide live?
Jared: Yeah, I’ve seen em’ a bunch of times, man! I met them a couple of times back in the day, stuff like that. I think I played a show with them, way the fuck back when, man! I don’t remember if I was in Impaled or Infaticide at that time, I can’t fucking remember but I think I played a show with them in somewhere San Jose.
Jesse: First time we saw them, Glen had like a backpack, and he was all waking through the crowd, you know, stonch or whatever and head down just all evil and whatever, and we were like 17 or 16 at the time and he goes up on stage and takes the backpack off and sets it just like all precious like, you know? And we’re like “what the fuck is going on? What the fuck does he got there? A severed head?” All teenage shit just running wild “What the fuck is in the fucking bag, Glen?” Man, they just crushed that fucking night. And then he got done and walked over and picked up his backpack and just all carefully put it on and then just went backstage and we never saw him again, so I never found out what was in the fucking backpack! Old tidy whities? Who knows?
Jared: Actually, I remember now, I was in Impaled when I played with those guys in San José. I’ve had good experiences with Deicide every time I came across em’, man! They were always cool. Glen was cool, everybody was cool, Brian was super fucking cool. Really good dudes, man! I got nothing bad to say about them.
Zach: Yeah, they put on a great show for sure! Speaking of shows for people out there who’ve never seen you guys live, what could you them the to expect in a live show?
Jesse: Alcohol. I don’t know, man, the hard thing is we’ve gone through a number of lineup changes, so...every time that somebody sees us is a different lineup, but the core group that we got now is extremely tight. We just played a show with Immolation right before the covid shit hit, was it November, I think¿ And it went off, I mean, it was really good. Phil was like a great, like, he only had like 30 days to learn the set or something. And it was a good time, we really hit it, so...this new group of songs is different than anything we’ve ever done, but I think we will be able to pull it off tighter than we had in the past. We’ve always had drummer issues and I think now we’re finally at that point that we have someone that is completely fucking solid.
Zach: Speaking of alcohol, what your favorite alcoholic drinks?
Jesse: I’m really big into whisky, bourbon, Jack Daniels is my go to.
Jared: I’m more of a beer guy, I like IPAs and shit like that. What I did recently, because of my fucking bass player, is start drinking that fucking vermute shit. And now I put fucking olives in it and all that crazy shit, right?
Jesse: Yeah, Sasha goes to Spain a lot, that’s where his girlfriend lives, so he’s always bringing us back this vermute from Spain, it’s different from anything we got in America, at least anything I’ve been able to find. It’s really fucking good.
We sit there with our olives and get all fancy. Well, I just stick with my fucking cheap whisky.
Zach: So where’s the band located at right now?
Jesse: All over...
Jared: We got a couple of dudes in Canada, Jesse’s in Minnesota, I’m out in California and Phil’s in Vegas.
Zach: Ok! Somebody in the chat room is asking if you guys are based in Ontario now.
Jesse: There’s where Sasha and Ted are out of, but the rest of us are scattered.
Zach: I’ve got some questions popping in from the chat room. How many bands have you guys been in¿ from Lady Red, she wants to know.
Jared: Shit, I guess I’ve got to put a number on it...Let’s see, I started out in a band called Infanticide when I was a kid, death metal band. And then I was one of the founding members of Impaled with Raul and Sean and I did a couple of demos with those guys! Then, let’s see, I was in Severed Savior for the Brutality Is Law and was in Deeds of Flesh for a little bit and then I was in a couple of random death metal bands. I played bass for Vile for a little bit, kind of been all over the place, man! Then I did a symphonic metal project called Dawn of Morgana, and now Incinerate. So, I’ve been kind of all around the block with a few different bands, a bit of a whore, you can say.
Jesse: I’m the only original member for the start of Incinerate, I’m one of the founding members. I was in a thrash metal band in high school, it was kid of Sepultura based. And then I’ve been the singer for Face of Oblivion, out of Minnesota here. And then also I do a slam project called Septisimic. Sasha and Ted were both in a band called Mortify. Sasha is doing another, I’m gonna mispronounce the name, forgive me, Demonihil. Shoot me, I’m sorry. So, this is our extensive bio, I guess.
Jared: Yeah, and then our current drummer, Phil, been in Malevolent Creation. Was I think, I’m not quite sure what the status is, you’d have to ask him, but he’s also the drummer for Hank III.
Jesse: Yeah, Phil’s done some really cool projects. Narcotic Wasteland, he did that. He was in...uh, he is doing Insidious Decrepancy. Man, I wasn’t prepared for this one. I know the Metal Archives site that writes upon him is pretty accurate, he’s got a very good resume.
Zach: That’s cool, man! Yeah, Hank III is a fucking local legend around here, man! I’m in Tennessee right now! Hank III and fucking Jack Daniels, dude! And catfish! So, another question from the chat room! How many instruments can you play?
Jesse: Well, I play guitar, bass and then I tapped to do vocals in Incinerate, I can’t play drums to save my life, wish I could.
Jared: Yeah, that’s me too, I’m strictly a guitar player, always have been. I would claim that I’ve played bass before but it’s really just me playing a bass like a guitar, I have a six string bass, mason pits, so doesn’t really count.
Zach: Right on! Another question, Jayden CT wants to know, what’s your favorite band that you’ve opened for.
Jesse: Man! I gotta say, for Incinerate, we’ve played so many festivals. We’ve been a band and doing this since 1998. We’ve done the old Milwaukee Metal Fest, Maryland DeathFest, pretty much every big festival in the United States and then a lot of festivals through Europe, so it’s a...Immolation, that last Immolation show was super cool and they have been one of my all time favorite metal bands forever and I’m gonna go with that! I got so many friends in the scene and played with so many amazing bands, it’s super hard. Devourment always puts on a fucking killer show and they’re fun, Gutural Secrete, love those guys, Moral Decay, there are so many bands that I absolute love, Obituary was a killer show. But I’m gonna go with Immolation, that last show was great!
Jared: Being in Incinerate, I’ve only played so many shows with these guys. So I’m gonna claim Immolation is probably my favorite band I’ve opened for with Incinerate. However, back in the Deeds of Flesh days, I was fortunate enough to tour with Dying Fetus and Vader and bands like that and, you know, back in the Impaled days I opened for Deicide and shit like that, is hard for me to pick just one, but with Incinerate is probably Immolation.
Zach: Another question, Mega Mike wants to know before covid what cities in Canada did you play in?
Jesse: We’ve only done two shows in Canada. We did Toronto and fuck, was it Ontario? I was sick as a fucking dog and spraying shit on both ends so it was kind of a blur. We played at Puke Fest and I made that fucking title live up to its fucking name.
Jared: Yeah, it was always killer, man! They got a good metal scene there for what I remember. Bands are crazy, I love playing Canada, man! I would love to go back.
Zach. Hell yeah! Another question from the chat. Where do you see yourselves in about five years?
Jesse: Dead...haha, Oh yeah, right¿ So we got Sacrilegivm here is done, recorded, it’s been written for quite a while. So it’ll finally be out. We’ve already started working on the next one and then we got to songs kind of laid out. So we’ve already decided is going to be a little faster direction, so...within five years we’re definitely gonna have at least one more album out and I really wanna get back on the road and support the music and play the shows. That’s the Incinerate five year plan.
Zach: Hell yeah! Another question from the chat. Do you have any crazy stories from the road?
Jesse: That I can tell with my friends finding out Man, so, Jared you got any? I got one, but I’ll let you go.
Jared: Yeah, probably, man! I don’t have any Incinerate tour stories because I’ve only done one small of a tour with them and it was pretty straight forward from show to show. But this was back in the Deeds days, we were staying at the Goregasm house, all of the Deeds guys, all of the Gorge guys. And one of the guys in Goregasm had a lizard that he fed in the morning. He fed this rancid fucking salad, that was the lizard’s food. So fucking Jacoby got stupid on mushrooms and alcohol and at about 3 in the morning ended up going in the fucking refrigerator and eating the salad, at least he thought it was a salad, but ended up being fucking lizard food. We were sleeping on the floor in the kitchen and he was fucking trampling all over us, fucking puking everywhere, all kinds of shit, man, it was stupid! This is about as crazy as it got for me, but I think it was fucking funny.
Zach: Haha...fucking lizard food. Fuck yeah, man! She also wants to know what do you prefer: Bubble baths or showers.
Jesse: Yeah, a shower. I have a Jacuzzi tub, my wife does, I think I’ve used maybe once for some back pain, but otherwise just give me a shower and let me get in, get out.
Jared: I’m turning my tub into a walking shower, just to get rid of it completely.
Jesse: Oh, that’d be awesome!
Zach: Right on, man! Tell us, for you guys, personally, how have you been affected by the fucking covid pandemic and how are you guys holding up?
Jared: I’m good, I’m fucking thriving in the apocalypse, man! I’m not a big...um, I don’t wanna get too fucking into it, but I work from home, I work remotely for corporate security company, shit like that. So I’m not affected finantially or anything like that. And then I have a fucking gym at home and I work out all the time, so physically I’m doing good and that’s how things are over here.
Zach: Right on.
Jesse: We’ve been uh, in Minneapolis, you know, it’s been pretty tough. Lot of the...we moved last year and the place our old house was saw a lot of shit. Our neighbors went through some stuff, a lot of vandalism, and the rioting and looting, one of the target stores was within walking distance. So we were very fortunate to be able to move and get out of that neighborhood for all that happened. So our neighbors obviously weren’t so lucky. But it has been turned around, it hasn’t been much later protest or any of that stuff around here recently. I guess like I said earlier, the studio where I recorded the album ... I was able to work from home for a while, but now I’m back out so...I have been fortunate. It has affected a lot of people way worse, so I’m not gonna say I’m happy with the situation, but, we’re living. Everybody’s happy and healthy. The schooling for my kids has definitely been tough and now they’re going back to school and the whole “Is it gonna be distance learning or not” and if it’s distance learning, then it’s really hard for my wife and I cause we basically have to be the teachers and then work around our jobs and all that shit, so the covid has definitely put a kink in everything for everyone, but we’ve done better than a lot of people I guess, so...happy and fortunate with that.
Zach: As far as the band and the metal scene in general, how do you feel is gonna be moving forward?
Jesse: Fuck, who knows, man! We’re supposed to play this show in October and with two of the other guys in Canada right now, the border is closed, they can’t get into the United States, so...the Canadian was supposed to be open now, they just pushed it back to September 21 st , so we’re still kind of hanging tight to see if they can get in or not. Everybody’s saying coming November we’ll find out, I guess.
Zach: We’ll see, huh?
Jesse: It sucks, I mean, I’ve had friends that have gotten very ill. I know a couple of people that have lost close family members to it, so I don’t wanna make light of the situation. You know, I’m just a fucking part-time musician, right? I just do this shit for fun! The guys who actually make a living off it and
people who have lost their jobs from it...I mean, I feel so bad for all those people.
Zach: Yeah, for sure, man. For sure. Well, as far as you guys...what else you guys have coming up next that you want to let people know about?
Jesse: Well, we have pre-orders on our incinerate.bigcartel.com. As a band we’re selling cds and shirts, hoodies and tank tops. We got flags coming. Roger from Mortician’s making a bunch of flags for us, he’s done some other bands so we know the quality is going to be pretty killer, so..that’s kind of the big push right now is to try and get the pre-orders in to recoup our recording losses, you know¿ Money we have invested, I should say...it’s not a loss, it’s a investment. So trying to push that, to my knowledge, pre-order should ship out middle to end of next month. And then the actual official release o the album is October 9 th . Again, with the Canadian border being closed, we’re trying hard to everybody getting in one spot to film an actual music video. The band has been around since 98 and we’ve never done a real music video and I think it’s time. So, I don’t know if we’re gonna have to film it kind of separately or we’ll be able to figure out a way to put Sasha and Ted in a car and crash the border, I don’t know what we’re gonna do. But, logistics, man, that’s just the biggest thing. Before covid hit we were talking about doing an European tour with Abysmal Torment and a couple of other bands, so we were all psyched for that and you know, and the album was gonna be done and we would tour and support it. Now everything is just on hold, it keeps getting pushed back. So we don’t know the future is gonna hold, but we’re excited that we got the album done. I mean, that’s a big milestone. I don’t like seven year, five year gaps in between albums, but with lineup changes and shit, that’s what’s been. So super stoked that we’re already writing for the next one.
Zach: Fuck yeah, man! The album sounds badass, dude. Is it going to be available on vinyl?
Jesse: We keep getting asked that. We’ve never done vinyl before. So I’m not sure if that’s some that we are going to do, but we’ve had a number of requests, so it’s time to do another first.
Zach: Yeah, that’s some killer fucking artwork, dude, it would be cool to see it on a big record cover, man, for sure!
Jesse: I totally agree with you. Sasha and I and Steve have also talked about remixing master the last album, cause we weren’t happy with the final sound. We approved one sound of the album, then it hasn’t been what we wanted. So, after this album comes out you will probably gonna see a remix master of “Eradicating Terrestrial Species”. We might repress “Dissecting” and “Anatomize”, cause there’s been some label issues there. I’d like to be a little
more in control of my own band catalog, a lot of that shit has been taken off of spotify and streaming stuff because of that, that sucks.
Zach: Yeah, hell yeah. Alright, I ran out of questions for you guys. Is there anything else you want to let your fans know?
Jesse: Buy the album! Listen to it, buy it, enjoy it. We went a different direction with this album, we wanted a bit more of an old school vibe. We wanted solos, we’ve never done solos before. All and all it as has been a more melodic album. I think it has been very well constructed, bit more mature. Lyrically, I’m pretty happy with all we came up with. I really like it! There was a lot of people that said that “Eradicating” was too over the top and sounded terrible, I’ll give you that. I think this album is a lot closer to our very first album, is way closer to “Dissecting” with the production and sound of “Anatomize”. So, we kind of combined those two albums together and we mixed in some James Murphy- esque solos. Thank you, Jared! It’s just a...it’s a different beast, but I absolute fucking love it.
Zach: Yeah, James Murphy is fucking badass too, man!
Jesse: Yeah, huge influence on all of us in the band!
Zach: Alright, man! Well, before I let you guys go, can I get to you to make us a station tag?
Jesse: No way, fuck off!
Zach: Whenever you’re ready, say something like “This is Incinerate and you’re listening to Metal Devastation Radio”.
Jesse: This is Incinerate and you’re listening to Metal Devastation Radio.
Zach: Fuck yeah, man! Well, thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to us, guys. What I’m going to do now is to blast some Incinerate for these motherfuckers and they’ll go crazy, alright?
Jesse: I have a question! Do you have the full album?
Jesse: So you’ve got one of the pre-press deals or whatever?
Zach: No, I’ve got the promo from...Imperative.
Jesse: So you’re gonna play another track off it?
Zach: Coming up next you’ve got Cast Out and Condemned
Jesse: Awesome! Cool! Thank you so much.
Zach: You’re welcome, dude!
Jared: Thanks, brother!
Zach: Alright, man, cheers!
Jesse: Cheers, bro, thank you!
Zach: There you have it, folks! Incinerate Live on The Zach Moonshine Show with Metal Devastation fucking Radio. Like I said earlier, put your speakers on your fucking windows, put them in your front lawns, put them wherever the fuck you can! Put them everywhere, dude! Put it in your fucking neighbor’s fucking living room, dude! Make them fucking pissed, dude! You need to crank this shit loud and right now! This is Incinerate with Cast Out and Condemned.