According to a recent press release: “IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTION, last seen on tour with Norwegian Prog Metal outfit Circus Maximus in 2016 have since released their critically acclaimed sophomore album Triumphia on Luxor Records. Triumphia has been described as having “…tons of melody, outstanding vocals …and superior songwriting skills” by WeLoveMetal.com. TheProgMind.com says of the album, “… you can tell this album was made with passion and heart, and that the band is having the time of their lives.” With a co-headlining tour coming up, we get guitarist / vocalist Tony Piccoli to our 10 Quick Ones…
1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?
Our latest release is called Triumphia. It’s our first go at a concept album. A lot of people may hear it for the first time and think that it’s an album about a dystopian future, or our attempt at a 2112 type of story, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The album is essentially about love, and what both sides of that love must overcome to finally be together. I don’t want to be too thorough with the explanation, as we would prefer the listener come up with some of their own understandings of the story. Diehard and casual fans alike will not notice that the overture (found in the song “The Crashing Waves”) was written first. Technically, the overture should be written last after all the themes of the main story have been written, but we chose to do it backwards. We came up with an instrumental with a lot going on, then referenced it while writing the songs that appear later in the album. Very cool/dorky stuff going on here.
2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?
What got me into music, or I should say, WHO got me into music was my best friend from my elementary school days. Jesse Shirley. He was listening to The Black Album by Metallica, Green Day, Nirvana, White Zombie, The Offspring, all this cool stuff that my parents would NEVER let me listen to on my own. (They raised me on Bob Seger, Garth Brooks, Steve Miller, etc) So, I listened to a lot of this music for the first time, and I loved it. Next thing I know, Jesse and I both got guitars and wanted to make a band. That band never came to be, and we both moved as families often do these days, but that was how I got into music in the first place. As far as the moment I realized I wanted to become a musician, the only specific thing I can recall was initially wanting a drum set (again for the band Jesse and I were going to have) and my dad saying “no way.” I laugh when I think about it now, because I am sure that there was no way that wasn’t driven by the fact that he would have a kid pounding away at the drum set none stop. So, as a compromise, he got me a Lotus “Stratocaster” copy guitar for christmas. I played the hell out of that thing.
3. Who would be your main five musical influences?
All time, 5 influences: NIRVANA, METALLICA, DREAM THEATER, GENESIS, and DEVIN TOWNSEND
4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?
There are several possibilities. Daniel Gildenlow from Pain of Salvation, Steven Wilson, Devin Townsend. But I think I would most want to write with former drummer and founding member of Dream Theater, MIKE PORTNOY. He has such a love for progressive music of all kinds, he champions it to no end, and I love that. I know that with his rich history in writing, and his deep understanding of the genre, we would write one heck of a (45 min) song!
5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?
I often tell people “Imagine RUSH and PANTERA combined, and you have IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTION.” Long compositions with many different dynamics make up the “Rush” side of it, but brutally heavy and groovy riffing are a big part of what we do, hence the “Pantera” side of the description.
6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?
The satisfaction of writing a song. There is nothing like it. For me especiialy, I have the idea of a song, how I want it to sound, how I want it to be, well before I have even picked up a guitar. To hear the final product is SO satisfying.
7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?
I love this question! We all kind of have our roles, and I guess I didn’t realize it until now, but to answer the questions; Pete [Hopersberger – Keyboards] cooks. He is the one at the grill, flipping burgers, cooking hot dogs, brats, whatever we have. Bryan [Paxton – Bass] brings the beers, usually a mix of cheap stuff and good stuff, and Pat [DeLeon – Drums] brings the wine, and alsways a well researched, carefully selected wine. Scott [Thompson – Guitar] and I will bust out the acoustics if there is one available. I can’t say that we’ve ever done a sing along outside of rehearsing our own parts, but I will say, Scott is not ever afraid to bust out the main riff from RATT’s “Lay It Down.”
8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?
Ugh. I have no idea. Growing up as a kid there were two things I wanted to do. One was to be an engineer. This came from my love of drawing race cars. The other job was to be in the NFL. No joke, I LOVED football and grew up a Detroit Lions fan (still am!) idolizing Barry Sanders. My goal as a kid was to play running back and be “the white Barry Sanders” haha! Beyond those childhood dreams, nothing else has ever been or ever will be the dream job, outside of being a musician.
9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?
There is one thing I wish we could have done, and that would be to not have waited 4 years to release our second album. For a band like ours, a smaller band, 4 years is too long. I feel like some people who previously knew of us, we may have fallen off their radar. But hey, the next one won’t take as long, that’s for sure.
10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?
I think I would have liked to have been there for Metallica’s Black Album. Although it is not my favorite Metallica album (MASTER OF PUPPETS!), to be there when they’re recording what will become of the best-selling albums of all time would have been cool. To witness the struggle, the push and pull of Bob Rock and the guys from Metallica, to see how they work together for the first time, to see James Hetfield being told he needs to change some of the lyrics, and to see James sort of teaching himself how to sing-sing. To see that would be one heck of a learning experience. The Black Album means a great deal to me. It was the first Metallica I had ever heard, and it was also the first Metallica album I felt I needed to learn how to play. It was instrumental in teaching me songwriting. The other albums I wouldn’t mind seeing would be Dream Theater’s Scenes From a Memory and Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
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