Interview date

Mai 2009




Interview Chris Impellitteri

Hi Chris, thanks a lot for accepting the interview for the french metal webzine

Impellitteri is famous in Japan but unfortunately not enough in France. First of all, can you please introduce yourself and your band ?

My name is Chris Impellitteri and I am the founder and lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Impellitteri ( pronounced = Impell - eh - teri ).
The band members are Rob Rock on vocals, James Pulli on Bass, Glen Sobel on Drums.

How do you explain that you're not very famous in France ? Is it due to a deficience of your previous labels ?

I am not certain. I have had alot of success in the United States and Japan, but not so much in Europe. Impellitteri have sold over 1 million records, been on MTV, sold out concerts, etc... but we are now just beginning to enter Europe with a label that seems to care about us.

Where does the title "Wicked Maiden" of your latest record come from ? Is it due to the Iron Maiden influences we can hear on some tracks ?

Actually there is a fun story behind Wicked Maiden. As I was writing the music for Wicked Maiden, a battle erupted in the media between Ozzy Osbourne/Sharon Osbourne and Bruce Dickinson of Iron maiden. The fight began after Sharon had Ozzy's road crew through eggs at Bruce Dickinson on stage at the ozzfest tour.
Evidently Dickinson was making crude remarks towards ozzy during the festival and sharon got angry.
Anyways, in the end the battle became very public and most metal fans supported Maiden over ozzy. Ultimately, Sharon got her ass kicked by the Maiden fans. So, SHARON RAN FROM THE WICKED MAIDEN.
That is how the Wicked maiden name evolved. It actually had nothing to do with maidens music. Kind of funny !!

Chris, you're known to be one of the fastest shredders in the world. Don't you think it's a little bit limitative ? Don't you fear that people may consider you only as a technical shredder, not as a musician ?

Yes !! I have been called the fastest guitar player in the world, or one of the fastest guitar players in the world. It is a silly title. I am only as fast as the music allows me to be.
It is important to note that I have always put the music first. I focus on writing strong memorable guitar riffs and melodies. Once I achieve the song structure I then work on the guitar solos. So, there really is not any limitation. I am a shredder in a metal band.

With such a guitar level, why didn't you choose the instrumental style to be classified in the same category than Yngwie Malmsteen, James Byrd, Joe Stump... ?

I love metal and shredding . ( I only know Yngwie's music out of the people you mentioned).
I occasionally do instrumental songs like Spanish Fire or 17th century chicken pickn and then incorporate the songs within our music.

Contrary to what people could imagine about Impellitteri's style, your music is not instrumental. Impelliteri's music is traditional authentic heavy-metal with influences like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest...with amazing technical fast guitar solos of course. How would you define the heavy metal you play on "Wicked Maiden" ?

Exactly as you have stated. "Impelliteri's music is traditional authentic heavy-metal with influences like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest...with amazing technical fast guitar solos of course"

Why didn't you decide to compose something more modern ? In the future, would you like to do something more modern or more "risky" ?

Impellitteri metal is timeless. I think a song like Wicked Maiden can fit in any era.
I have been told by many people this music is really good and well crafted. With that said, I do not believe we can classify the sound in one era.

Let's now talk about your influences. The introduction riff of "Last of a dying breed" is very much influenced by Iron Maiden. Your guitar solo on piano parts on "Weapons of mass distortion" sounds very neoclassical like James Byrd's style. "Eyes of an angel" is an A.O.R. song that Survivor nostalgic fans will love. "Hi-Scool revolution" is a traditional groovy hard-rock song than Alice Cooper could have written. Which bands or artists did influence you the most in your career ? Which records are you listening these times ?

Well again, you mention people I have never heard. But, the music we play on this record absolutely has its influence. For me personally I have been influenced by Van Halen 1, Ozzy Blizzard of Ozz, Pantera Cowboys from Hell, Al Dimeola, Uli Roth, Yngwie, etc.....
I listen to a lot of different metal today. I like Children of bodom, Avenged Sevenfold, Impellitteri Wicked Maiden, etc.....

Rob Rock is the singer on "Wicked Maiden". Rob is well known as a very good singer for melodic metal. How do you feel together ? How do you organize each other within the band for the song writings ?

We have a long history and solid friendship. So, the writing comes very naturally. I think both Rob and myself complinent one another in the writing process. My music seems to work very well with his vocal style. In addition, Robs, vocals seem to compliment my music.
I write all of the music and usually give Rob an idea of the vocal melody. From their Rob writes his melodies and lyrics. Once they are done we record the music.

Rob Rock is classified in the "White Metal" category. Is the Impellitteri band christian ? Which ideas do you want to express in your lyrics ?

We are NOT a White Metal band. I do not understand why people try to put that label on us. Impellitteri is a heavy metal band ..........

Was it difficult to find a label for "Wicked Maiden" ? How did you get the deal ?

Matt Sinner from Primal Fear shopped Wicked Maiden in Europe for me. Matt is a very cool guy, and one who knows good metal.
At this time we wanted to find a small label that would really make an effort to promote Impellitteri in Europe. I have done licensing deals with bigger labels but they tend to target a specific number of records and then forget abou the artists. So, with our new label the owner Georg seems to be commited to building the band. I think Georg is doing a very good job.

What do you plan to promote this new record ? Will you tour ? Any opportunity to see you on stage in France ?

Yes, I want to play a full European tour later this year. At this time Impellitteri will play the headlining stage at the Sweden Rock Festival on Saturday June 6, 2009 at 1 :30 to 3 :00 p.m.
We then play Japan and the United States. After that we want to do a full tour of Europe.

Would you like to say something to the french metal readers ?

Thank you for your time and I hope you have the opportunity to hear Wicked Maiden and see the band.
You can see our brand new music video at the link below
We are also playing the new title track of Wicked maiden on our brand new myspace page at the following link
Video on Youtube
We are currently playing a world premier music video at the following web site. And you can hear the new Impellitteri title track Wicked Maiden at our brand new myspace page at.