Impact Approved is a melodic death metal band from Germany, active since 2018. Lucas Biela (LB) interviewed them for ISKC Radio Group.
1/ LB: Impact Approved is a 4-piece band, but it seems ‘Into The Fray’, their debut album, is the brainchild of drummer Uwe Reese. Could you explain how the project was born, and how it evolved into a 4-piece band?
Uwe: Actually the project “IMPACT APPROVED” was born in maybe 2016/2017 as a side project next to my former band I played in. I wanted to do more melodic death metal style music with more growling and screaming like the awesome Phil is doing. Phil and I have known each other for a very long time and we both love this kind of metal.
I started jamming on my guitar and recorded some ideas and suddenly I had a lot of songs, so I recorded all the other instruments like drums and bass too and asked Phil if he would growl a little bit to this piece of music. So he did, it turned out well and suddenly we had this project going on. Of course we showed our music to our friends and released it via YouTube or Facebook. We did the lyric video for “FINAL STAND” just to have a video.
My best friend Maurice liked the music from the beginning. When I quit my former band Maurice somehow joined IMPACT APPROVED to form a real band, not just a project. Maurice knew that one crazy guy who might fit perfectly to IMPACT APPROVED as a guitar player. Maurice called Armin and invited him to a rehearsal and jamming session and that’s it. Armin joined IMPACT APPROVED and here we are. A real Metal Band.
2/ LB: Uwe has a background in heavy metal and progressive/power metal. How the idea of playing melodeath (melodic death metal) came?
Uwe: I had to play in heavy and prog/power bands before because the only guys I knew played that kind of metal. So somehow I was forced to do it, hehehe. Matze, I still love you;-) Melo-death is the kind of music I love. I love bands like Amon Amarth, so why not play music like this myself???
3/ LB: Recording sessions started last year, when pandemic was raging. Did you all contribute remotely to your part or was it possible for you to play in the same room?
Uwe: Actually I did all instrumental recordings before the band was complete, so I was alone. Phil´s lyric recordings took place in my home studio when we were allowed to be two people in one room together. FUCK COVID!!!
But I can promise, the next album will be recorded by every man himself, Yeah!!!
4/ LB: Where does the idea of the band name come from?
It was written on a container. Simple as that. It means that you can transport dangerous goods in it. Just like our music, there is dangerous and explosive content in our lyrics that may harm you, if you are not treating it with caution. Also it’s not the typical death metal name and this makes it more unique and recognizable.
5/ LB: Could you tell us more about the album artwork? Is there a concept behind the album?
Phil: Our Spartan warrior represents the idea of strength and never giving up (although we despise the background of the proto fascist and anti-individualistic ancient Greek state) and it just looks cool.
My lyrics cover many different topics that are just loosely connected, for example personal struggles, the meaning of life and also dystopian novels like “1984”, “Animal Farm” and “Brave New World”. But you could say that the “Leitmotif” that connects all of the songs is to pursue truth, strength and to keep a healthy and positive mindset.
6/ LB: You produced yourself the album. How did you get to have such a pristine sound? Was it your experience in past bands that helped?
Uwe: All coincidence, actually i have no plan what I was doing there, hehe
I was in the studio with the great Lasse Lammert in Lübeck, Germany in 2009. I watched this guy doing his stuff and I learned a lot, how to record guitars, how to edit songs and so on. In 2013 I started to produce my own music, I tried this and that, watched YouTube (yeah, I know…) and talked to professional mixers a lot. “Into the Fray” is the first production that was released worldwide.
7/ LB: At first, the album was released independently. Then, recently it was re-released on WormHoleDeath, an italian label lead by Carlo Belotti. How did it all come to fruition with Wormholedeath?
Phil: Carlo´s buddy Matteo discovered us in the void (the internet, hehe) and immediately forced us to get in contact with Carlo and Wormholedeath 😉
Carlo was very enthusiastic and the deal was done. We are very happy to sign with the mighty Wormholedeath family. Thank you!
8/ LB: Now, the usual question on influences. I hear strong influences from Swedeath (swedish deathmetal), especially in the guitar work and the melodies, as well as from more groove-oriented death metal like Fear Factory (that is particularly true on “Golden Age”). Did I nail it perfectly, or are there more specific influences I missed?
I.A.: You nailed it perfectly. We all have strong musical influences from the realm of swedish melodic death and american metal core but we also love groove elements of classical metal bands (cause we are old men;-) like PANTERA and MACHINE HEAD. That is the music Uwe and Maurice grew up with in the early 90’s. MESHUGGAH´s “Destroy Erase Improve” still hits us like lightning too.
9/ LB: You master perfectly the melodeath language. I would even go as far as to say that ‘Into The Fray’ is one of the best melodeath albums released this year so far. However, given your backgrounds, I wouldn’t be surprised if you put your hands in another metal style in the future. Am I wrong or are you open to other musical styles?
I.A.: Thank you so much for the kind words. This means a lot to us.
Of course we are always willing to employ additional influences to enrich our style and make it more mature. But in the end it has to groove in a special and unique way.
10/ LB: Ladies first, could you let us know who is the lady who guests on vocals on the closing track of the album?
I.A.: The Lady is none other than the great Nici Polixa from Bremerhaven, Germany. Maurice and Uwe have known her for over 25 years now, we were in the school band when we were young. Uwe asked her if she wanted to join in for some clean lyrics. At first she said “Oh my god , please no, Metal??? I don’t know, I am more a blues singer….”, hehehe.
But she joined to sing in “Maker’s Hand” and we even did a show together and performed that song live on stage. It was a blast. Nici, we love you!!!
11/ LB: Please let us know if you want to add anything particular?
I.A.: Thank you very much for the interview and support, we appreciate it.
Greetings to all metalheads all over the world who supports us and especially to Nat from Wormholedeath (she takes care of everything, Thank you very very very much) and to the mighty Reese “Diablo” Gentle (we PSML)…
We need a beer!!!
Follow us into the fray https://www.facebook.com/Impact-Approved-182620972458970/
IMPACT APPROVED are:
Philipp Kock – Vocals
Uwe Reese – Drums
Armin Witt – Guitars
Maurice Zwoch – Bass