Interview With Crowned By Fire's John The Impaler
Los Angeles, California's newest heavy music sensation CROWNED BY FIRE comes in the form of a group of crazy as bobcats in levis and flannels, beer pounding til dawn rock n roll animals, who, oh - just happen to be led by Zakk Wylde's ex-guitar tech, Justin 'Slush' Manning on lead guitar. We all know what a character Slush is from my previous interview with him. Well, I think we have him beat now with the band's singer, affectionately known as John The Impaler. This dude is about as rocker as they come without it becoming too obscene. Actually, scratch the last statement. This interview does get obscene. I tracked him down for this Q&A somewhere inbetween sheer drunken stupidity and a blackout from too many shots of the black tooth. Getcha pull!
Rocket: Are you originally from Los Angeles?
John: For the most part yeah, I grew up in Orange County and moved to Los Angeles in 93'.
Rocket: When did you first start singing in bands?
John: Aside from jammin with dudes outta high school, I joined my first band after answering one ad in the recycler classifieds in 89'. That band ended up renting a four bedroom house in Huntington Beach, sound-proofing the garage and staying together for 5 years and opening for the likes of Tool, White Zombie, The Obsessed, HR (from Bad Brains), Dee Dee Ramone etc... the good shit. A couple weeks after we broke up I was reading an article in a Los Angeles music magazine about the Orange County scene that mentioned 2 bands to look for coming outta OC were us and Korn. I guess they were half right, haha!
Rocket: I will respond to that with: Korn is disco and disco is dead! Haha. Man, let's get down to the good shit, bro. Who are some of your biggest vocal influences? Past or present.
John: I'd say my top 5 influences are Ozzy, Lemmy, Iggy, Jim Morrison and Bon Scott. Yah know, classic sleazy rockers that could commonly be found passed out in their vomit.
Rocket: Haha. Shoot for the tops I always say! So how did you initially hook up with 'Slush' Manning and get Crowned By Fire started?
John: Uh, like the previous answer- we're just a couple of dudes that can commonly be found being kicked out of a bar or passed out in the gutter in front of one, Ha! Actually, we live in a small town on the outskirts of Los Angeles County. We’ve been running into each other over the past few years at the local bar, talking shit and talking metal.
Rocket: Now I know like 'Slush' that you've met and hung out with the great Zakk Wylde. What was that like? I honestly only hear cool things about the dude, much like how Dimebag was so down to earth.
John: Yeah, my brother from another mother, Rob (RA) has been doin' artwork for BLS for the past 5 yrs or so and also kinda has Justin's old nanny job with the Wylde family...
Rocket: --Nanny's job. Haha. Brutal! Man, I'd be willing to change shitty diapers too if I knew I'd be getting to drink alcohol later with Zakk!
John: Yeah, so I've been fortunate enough to hang out at the compound a few times. Zakk is genuinely one cool mofo and deserves all the recognition he gets. He's an inspiration to any true rocker.
Rocket: I know the other day you sent me a note talking about the work that you do for a living... and that on that very day you had to pierce some old dude's penis. Haha. Did I get that right? And how much do you charge to do that to someone? Haha.
John: I was just sort of venting because that was the only business I had that entire day. Body parts are just body parts to me as far as business goes. I’ve been a full time body piercer for over 13 years now, and have owned and operated Just Passing Thru body piercing since 94’. So Rocket, if you’d like me to pierce yer pecker I usually charge $100.00 for the service but I’m sure we could work something out, hahaha.
Rocket: Shit, you better do it for nothing! Haha. Man, that hurts just thinking about it! Alright, I know this band is only newly formed in under the last year. You have some great demos under your belt right now. Are you going to record a debut EP or LP? And what can we expect from this material? I keep hearing that it's gonna be super heavy like Pantera... but you guys come off more like Down to me. And there is nothing wrong with that!
John: If we had the dough right now, we'd kick out an LP. We'd rather do it right and have a deal to flip the bill, of corpse, Ha! As far as the new material is sounding, I'd say its way more like Down than Pantera as far as heaviness goes. I just want the songs to sound classic and timeless so to speak. Like early Guns N’ Roses or Sabbath.
Rocket: I fully believe you guys are the next in line for that. Now I expect of all people that you're gonna have the best one of the year for me on this, bro. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you while performing on the stage?
John: Far as I'm concerned, most of the funny shit happens before and after being on stage. One time opening up for the Mentors, El Duce was watching my band slurpin on a pitcher of beer. Every time we'd end a song he'd spout out some funny as fuck one liner like "Never turn your back on Satan!" I just wanted to hurry up and finish each song to see the next thing he'd spout. It was an honor to be belligerantly heckled by such a master at the craft, hahaha! Alright, playin a show at the Dragonfly in Hollywood, 95'. My co-worker/friend and genuine freak-o-nature Bryon was walking around the club with his shirt off and handcuffs on. I pulled him up on stage during a song, he was on his knees facing the ground and handcuffed. I lit a drink coaster on fire and started moving it over his back. Anyway, the coaster lit really fucking fast and broke off at my fingertips and landed on his back still burning. The crowd rushed the stage just to watch him burn. The wound took like over three months just to stop oozing.
Rocket: Haha. Nice. El Duce ruled! R.I.P. and damn whoever put him in front of that train! Okay, it's been a pretty good year for metal. What's been your favorite album for 2006 so far?
John: Hell, I don’t think I have a favorite. 2005 is gonna bleed into this one. Most the new albums I listen to are bands I've been listening to for years like Celtic Frost, Cathedral, Neurosis, Six Feet Under, BLS and Motorhead. As far as newer stuff, Fireball Ministry and The Sword kinda recently put out some impressive music.
Rocket: In your opinion, who do you think is the most overrated metal band going today? And why?
John: Fuck. I don't know, man. I'm kinda right there with that comedian Brian Posehns video metal by numbers. I really don't watch MTV and if I listen to the radio its classic rock. But the last time I happened on mtv they were interviewing some goofy lookin so-called metal band that looked fresh out of some West Hollywood salon , kinda looked like The Cure with a bunch of tattoos. Gawdawful shit man, eek! Just not really into all these bands using cookie monster vocals with the token gay melody parts. Every rocker should claim the school of Lemmy Kilmister or just get the fuck outta Dodge, Ha! That is, right after participating in an old school game of smear the queer with the dudes of Deicide.
Rocket: Do you actually take time to answer your fan mail on MySpace?
John: Sure, until it gets outta hand, then we're gonna do like the bigwigs do and hire a 50 yr old gay jewish man to do it for us, Haha!
Rocket: Yeah, Mel Gibson! Hahahahaha. Oh, man. I couldn't help that one. Though I'm probably gonna hear from my editor very shortly. So
does this band have any future live performances scheduled?
John: Yeah, we just don't know about them yet.
John: For the most part, we’re more concerned with writing right now.
Rocket: Well, I for one cannot wait to hear what you guys come up with, brother. Thanks for taking the time out on this with me. I had some real good laughs as I'm sure my readers did too. Give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
John: "Listen to Black Sabbath."
Visit Crowned By Fire on the web:
Please share this article if you found it interesting.
3 Comments on "Interview With Crowned By Fire's John The Impaler"
To minimize comment spam/abuse, you cannot post comments on articles over a month old. Please check the sidebar to the right or the related band pages for recent related news articles.