Immortalizer is here to stay! You will agree with me, if you listen to Immortalizer’s debut album, “Born For Metal”, a record by a musician who is born for metal, soulfully made for all the people, who are born for metal! Myth of Rock contacted Dave D.R., Immortalizer's mastermind, some days ago, for an interview, which proved to be exciting for both parts. Continue reading, I am sure you will find it super-interesting … !
by Dimitris Zacharopoulos
When and where did you start the Immortalizer project? Why is it only a one man project and not a band?
I started Immortalizer in 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario Canada, where I’m originally from. The project came together after I decided to start my solo career. My best friend and long-time bandmate / drummer Jay decided to return to school, which also took him to another city, so our band went on hiatus. It was difficult trucking on without him, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else other than music, so I decided to go it alone. There was a lot of other things going on at the same time too, so Immortalizer was my attempt to continue with music despite every obstacle. Thankfully I had a solid foundation with each instrument, so it made it a lot easier to do full productions myself. I've always planned to make Immortalizer into a full touring band, but in the meantime, I could at least write and record material and get things started as more of a recording artist.
Why did you pick up the name “Immortalizer” for this project?
I spent a great deal of time on the band name. It’s not easy to find something solid that isn’t already taken. When I first started writing material for the band, I was working on what became the song “The Immortalizer” which is about a cursed sword and the demon behind it and I kept getting pulled back to that word. I thought damn that would make a bad ass band name! So that was that!
You released an EP in 2016 (”Unleashed”). Can you describe this EP, since there are people who haven’t listened to it (including me)?
The “Unleashed” EP was in essence the first Immortalizer demo. It has the songs Unleashed & Lost. Unleashed is a song about a demon whose hell bent on destroying humanity. Lost is about feeling detached and angry at the world and its seemingly endless corruption. The EP was recorded in my home studio while still in development, so as a result it’s less polished than I would have liked it to be, but it was the first two tracks for the band, so I still enjoy it. It was first pressed on CD and later on 7” vinyl as well, so it was also my first vinyl pressing. I've been thinking of re-recording the EP and adding those songs as bonus tracks on future albums.
Some months ago you released your debut album (”Born For Metal”). Which are your feelings about this release? Which are your favorite songs from this album?
I’m quite happy with the end results of the “Born For Metal” album. Working directly with Ralf Scheepers throughout the process and having him featured on it as well has been an incredible experience. The album is also the first full length album of mine to be pressed on vinyl. So, that makes it extra special to me as well. “We Were Born For Metal” would be my favourite song because of Ralf’s guest vocals. That really was a dream come true for me. But I must say, having worked each song from scratch, writing and recording each part and carefully selecting them for the album, I feel strongly about each and every one of them.
When and where did you record the songs of “Born For Metal”? Which was your inspiration for the songs of this debut album?
I recorded (and in some cases re-recorded) everything in 2022 at my home studio, which I’ve nicknamed “Immortalizer Studio”. I've moved the studio since, but the entire “Born For Metal” album was recorded in Toronto, Ontario. Once recorded I'd send the tracks to Ralf in Germany and he'd work his magic engineering, mixing and mastering everything.
The inspiration came from several sources. The state of the world is an important theme to me, so it's featured a few times across the album. Songs like “We Were Born For Metal” honour metal music itself and metalheads from all over the world. Some inspiration came from personal hardships and my never give up / never surrender attitude. "The Immortalizer" was the introduction of the band's mascot (Deimos). I wanted to create a backstory for him and open the door for horror themed songs. "The Fallen" was written in large part for my very good friend Kirk who died tragically in his early teens. The song honours several people, but I was never the same after his death. The song is for anyone who's ever lost someone they care about, so almost everyone can relate.
In this debut album you cooperated with a famous musician, Ralf Scheepers. How did it come and you cooperated with him? Which was his contribution to “Born For Metal”?
I consider Ralf to be one of the greatest Metal singers out there, so I first reached out to him for help with my vocals. I’d been singing for over 20 years but wanted to expand my vocal range and capabilities. Being such a huge fan of his and Primal Fear, I felt he'd be the perfect person to see. He helped me a tremendous amount with my vocals. He also helped me by crafting me a new vocal sound and helping me with gear, input and advice. On top of being featured on “We Were Born For Metal”, Ralf also mixed, mastered and engineered the entire album! He took my recordings to another level. It was very impressive. His expertise was invaluable throughout the making of the album! It was such an honour to have one of my heroes work so closely on the project with me.
How would you describe the music of Immortalizer? Which are the main characteristics of your sound?
That’s a very good question. I fuse many different styles together so I'm not exactly sure what category I fall into, haha. I've been called heavy/power metal which I'd say is pretty accurate. Though I try to avoid thinking of music in terms of categories. I just write what I enjoy and let creativity flow naturally. Some songs are more thrash and others more power metal or classic style metal. I like the freedom of being able to stretch out creatively. I have a very guitar driven sound but I try to highlight each instrument at appropriate times in my music. Vocals and vocal melodies are always very important, so I work hard on those elements as well. I try to capture as much intensity as possible in my recordings.
Where do your lyrics refer to?
I cover a lot of themes with my lyrics. "Out In The Streets" for example is about the turmoil in our societies around the world. Humans seem hell bent on self-destruction. "Cut Loose" switches gears completely and covers trying to have fun despite the world and just enjoying the now. I wanted to do a song that honoured metal itself and metalheads, so I wrote "We Were Born For Metal". I try to cast a wide net when it comes to lyrics.
One of the highlights of “Born For Metal” is the song “Lemmy”. Can you tell us more about this song?
I've been a huge fan of Lemmy and Motörhead since I was 13 years old. His impact on me and my music throughout my life has been significant. Lemmy is one of my biggest heroes. So, I decided to write "Lemmy" as a tribute to him. The whole time I was writing and recording it, I kept thinking to myself, would Lemmy have liked this? After the song was complete, I sent it to Phil Cambell of Motörhead and he gave it a like which really meant a lot.
Give us all the necessary info about the cover artwork of “Born For Metal”.
The album artwork was done by the great Jobert Mello of Sledgehammer Graphix! Jobert did such an incredible job on the artwork. I love how it's a mix of old school and new school. The band Mascot which I've nicknamed "Deimos" is the main feature, so I felt it was a great way to introduce him on the first album as well.
How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect you?
Covid-19 has been a challenging time. I decided to dive even deeper into my music and spent most of the time writing and recording. I put together tons of demos and full songs. I love writing and recording music so in a way it's always been my escape as well as my passion.
Which are your ambitions for Immortalizer?
I'd really love to be able to bring Immortalizer to the stage and tour the world. I hope to continue making albums and collaborating with Ralf and other artists. I plan to continue searching for a major label to help grow the band. Long term I hope to earn my place beside my heroes. I hope my music will stand the test of time and have a meaningful impact on fans.
Which are your future plans? Some live dates maybe? Have you already started writing songs for your second album?
I'm currently looking to put a band together to be able to play live and tour. It's challenging for Indie artists in particular, but I'm hopeful that I can continue to grow the band and get things to the next level. I'm currently working on the second album as well. A few tracks are already fully recorded!
Send your message to the fans!
I'd like to extend a very special thank you to all the Immortalizer fans from around the world! I'm very grateful to you all for your support, it helps keeps me going! Crank up the tunes and live for metal!