Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
ID: We first identified our own subgenre as “blackened deathgrind” when we got started, and since then we’ve received other descriptions such as “technical brutal death” and “like Nile, except a grindcore band.” We want to retain some flexibility and not get siloed into any single category, so we aren’t too attached to any description. Our goal is simply to sound as brutal as possible.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
ID: Zach and Mike are both Carolina boys, South and North respectively, and Ben’s Baltimore accent is a pretty clear giveaway. We’ve all identified as metalheads for several years from our teens, and have been in a number of metal bands that never quite took off. We all first got into metal in the best, classic way — when someone else introduced us to a band that blew our minds and changed how we think about music. These bands were Metallica (for Zach), Fear Factory (for Mike), and Cannibal Corpse (for Ben).
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
ID: Zach has described the source of his inspiration for writing music as “just picking up a dope guitar and trying to do dope shit with it.” Metallica is a major influence. Other bands we have been listening to the most include: Sinister, Civerous, Dawn, Sacramentum, Ecchymosis, Extirpating the Infected, Enforced, Cryptic Hatred, Rotted, and Dead Congregation.
One of our lyrical themes is economic disparity and the exploitation of laborers by oppressive elites, which continues to be a crucial issue in the world that a lot more should be done about. Much of our anger is directed toward the deliberate unfairness of the system into which we have all been born and by which we have been practically enslaved.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
ID: We’d be stoked for the opportunity to play with bigger bands located near us like Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Full of Hell, Visceral Disgorge, and Genocide Pact. Some wider reaches would be Suffocation, Devourment, Sanguisugabogg, Creeping Death, Gatecreeper, and Imperial Triumphant. Some of the local venues in Baltimore that we would like to play at but haven’t yet are Soundstage, Metro Gallery, and Ottobar. We did one tour up to Connecticut and back, which was a great experience, and we are working toward touring throughout other regions of the US and even internationally. Ultimately, we want Intimidation Display to become a common band name uttered by metalheads.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
ID: Recording and putting out an album less than a year after starting the band.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
ID: We have been doing our best with self-promotion on social media, but getting traction from the ground up has definitely been a slow grind. Luckily, metal is a genre with a very supportive community of fans who are in it for the music above anything else. We try to show our appreciation for people who support us as much as we can. We also recently began working with a PR agent, Zach Moonshine at Metal Devastation PR, who has been well worth our investment. Shout out to him for hooking up this interview!
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
ID: The majority of the shows we’ve played have been either because we organized them ourselves, or because we had an ally in another band who reached out to us and did us a favor. There are some people who have been especially cool to us. Shout out to bands like Constituents, Fatal Sacrament, and Verminoth for being all-around good guys and supporting people like us who are relatively new to the scene. Another shout out to Chris and Annie of Infinite Terror Promotions in Baltimore for booking our first-ever show and supporting us ever since!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
ID: At this stage, we just want people who like what we do to hear our music. When it comes to platforms like Spotify, obviously we’d like to be millionaires, but streaming is such a great way to get our music out there and at least artists are getting something from it, even if it is just pennies. That being said, if you can afford to support bands by going to shows and buying merch, please do it! To get our band up and running, we spent thousands of dollars that we are nowhere near getting back. So please don’t think we’re living large here with our t-shirt sales — we’re really just trying to break even.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
ID: “Fuck Like A Beast” by W.A.S.P. because obviously.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
ID: The main thing we run into a lot that has been a headache is booking agents that either take more than they give in terms of payment for playing shows and promotional efforts, or they make plans with us that they end up not delivering on. That being said, we look forward to applying to work with labels in 2023 that might be able to help us with a professional level of service when it comes to booking and tour planning. We are not against the industry as a whole by any means, just the people in it who are exploitative and/or unprofessional. There’s plenty of good people out there doing awesome shit.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
ID: We are focused on getting studio-ready for the recording of our second album. We are not prepared to release any information about the new album yet, but will be making announcements likely in the spring or summer of 2023. In the meantime, we also have some killer shows scheduled in Maryland in January and February, and are always open to opportunities to play out elsewhere.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
ID: Our Bandcamp page is the best place to support us by buying merch!
Follow us on Bandcamp for updates on live performances, new releases, and special offers!
Intimidation Display links:
Band/Artist location – Baltimore, MD
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