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Antonio Fabrizi (I.N.C.)

Interview with Antonio Fabrizi from I.N.C.
by Chelsea Jennings at 16 January 2015, 3:16 PM

INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND, or I.N.C., may well be considered veterans of US Thrash Metal. Originally formed in the mid-80's, 2011 saw a strong comeback from the band with the release of "Heaven Sent…Hellbound", a follow-up long-in-the-waiting since 1988's "The Visitor". The will to soldier on is exemplified in this band, and in 2014 "Black Hearse Serenade" would see the band continuing their dream to keep the music alive. Our own Chelsea Jennings sat down with guitarist Antonio Fabrizi to speak about the band's hiatus, the immenseness of the new album and the vital signs of Rock Music.

How has I.N.C.'s latest album "Black Hearse Serenade been received by fans on the latest tour?

The response has been great for the new album. The hard work and effort is always justified when both old and new fans give us positive feedback. I think the greatest compliment is when a person in the crowd comes up to you and says…I didn't know what to expect tonight but damn, you guys kicked ass.

What are the influences and inspirations behind a dark, heavy release such as "Black Hearse Serenade"?

That breed of metal is certainly in our blood and reflects in the songwriting. “Black Hearse Serenade” has a story behind it…a broken child that becomes a man and uses religion as a weapon. It's a concept album that allows the listener to put together the plot. It takes you on a journey both sonically and mentally.

"Black Hearse Serenade" has been dry successful landing at #1 on Revolver's top albums of the week for October 27th, and has received many positive reviews including an 8/10 review here at Metal-Temple. How does it feel having two highly-successful albums in a row after a 20+-year hiatus?

Well, it's one thing to have had a successful run in this business in the late 80's to early 90's. But to have it all happen again after taking a long hiatus is certainly a blessing in its own right. We owe it to our fans that have constantly checked in with us over the years asking if there would be any chance for new material. All I can say is… Be careful what you wish for.

What are the plans for I.N.C. heading into 2015?

Certainly more tour dates. We hope to have some festival dates in both America and overseas. You will also see the release of new music videos for some of the tracks off of “Black Hearse Serenade”. Believe it or not, we have enough new material for the next album already, so we will be working hard on that as well.

How have things been working out the past two albums with the new drummer Kyle Shepherd?

Dennis Leeflang played on “Heaven Sent… Hellbound”. He is the drummer for Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal's solo project, so we knew he had other obligations. Kyle Shepard joined the band right after the release of the “Heaven Sent” album and he's a monster behind the drum kit. Having attended Berkley College of Music, his skills, attitude and work ethic are well beyond his age. If you haven't heard this guy play, pick up a copy of “Black Hearse Serenade” and check it out…no disappointments there.

Where do you see I.N.C. going in the future after the tours supporting "Black Hearse Serenade" ends?

Back into the studio to lay down the next one I'm sure. The creative process is a great experience, but in the end, performing live is what we live for the most.

What has been the best moment for you personally since bringing I.N.C. back after a 20+-year hiatus in 2010?

Wow, That's tough to answer because there have been so many. For me, I would have to say playing WJRR's Earthday Birthday festival in Orlando, Florida is tops. 30,000 people and some of the biggest bands in the business on the bill. It definitely kicked ass.

What has been the best moment for you so far on the tour for "Black Hearse Serenade"?

Another tough one…So many choices that it's difficult to pick just one.

It's definitely an amazing moment for any artist to look out into the crowd while you're performing and see the fans singing along to the lyrics of your songs. We were doing a show in Colorado and there was married couple there with their three kids. After the show, they approached us to take a photo with their family and to sign their CD. That was a very cool moment for all of us. Who says a heavy metal concert isn't quality family time?

What is your favorite track off "Black Hearse Serenade" and why?

The last song on “Black Hearse Serenade” is a track called "Love like Napalm". It's a big departure from anything we've done in the past stylistically. Typically, our music is very up tempo and aggressive but this track starts out with a beautiful main riff played on the acoustic guitar.

When Erik (Barath, guitarist) first sent us the song, we knew it was something special. We realized it would require us to bring out a different approach to nail the sound we heard in our heads. Dennis traded his aggressive vocals for a more subdued and melodic style which was needed to do the song justice….something he had not tried in the past.  I had the challenge of laying down the guitar tracks to represent not only what I heard in my head, but tried to remain true to what Erik was envisioning while composing the song. This was truly a breakthrough for us not only as a band, but as individual musicians testing the boundaries of our capabilities. Everyone's input was valuable in the making of the new album. Dave Campo, our bassist, was a huge influence on the creative process as well.

Is I.N.C. looking to play any festivals this spring or summer in support of "Black Hearse Serenade"? If so, which one are you looking forward to the most and why?

Absolutely, it's what we strive for. The energy of the masses at a festival is unlike any indoor concert you will attend. Any band will tell you that looking out into a sea of people while performing is like a religious experience. Mayhem is certainly nice here on our home turf but Wacken Open Air, Download, Rock Am Ring…how can you pick just one?

Gene Simmons stated awhile back that "rock/metal is finally dead". Many people have strongly disagreed with this statement. Given the early successes of "Black Hearse Serenade", what do you think of this controversial statement?

In a certain sense, he is 100% correct. Let me rephrase Gene Simmons' statement if I may… The opportunity to make a living as a rock/metal artist no longer exists.

While doing interviews, I am often asked if I can offer any advice to aspiring bands or musicians. My response is as follows…. Have a strong back up plan in case things don't pan out in the business for you.

It's always nice to hear the inspirational success stories of artists or bands that make it to the top. Unfortunately, for every success story there's thousands that go nowhere. Many of them gave up years of their lives in order to take a shot at finding success. The sad part is that those lost years were essential for establishing a successful career outside of the music industry.

We walked away back in 1990 after our second album not only because of the dysfunction within the industry, but because we also saw the writing on the wall. I didn't want to be "that guy" who was 45 years old, still living in his parents basement and sporting a faded original  Judas Priest t-shirt from the British Steel tour.

So to sum it all up, cover your own ass because nobody from the industry will be there to catch you when you fall.

What is one thing fans of I.N.C. may be surprised to know about you personally outside of music?

Dennis and I are both career firefighters in our home state of Connecticut. I am a Captain with the Milford Fire Department and have over 21 years of service. Dennis is a Lieutenant with over 15 years of service to the Bridgeport Fire Department. Our drummer Kyle Shepard, is the son of a Bridgeport Firefighter as well.



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