Originally published in ‘zine issue #3, 1991
Impetigo has been around for a while. The band, from Morton, Illinois, recorded two demos and then signed with Wild Rags Records for an album, Ultimo Mondo Cannibale, and a subsequent EP called Faceless. Impetigo describes itself as grindcore/death metal with a bit of noise. Here is an interview I did with my pal Mark Sawickis, who is the rhythm guitarist for this phenomenal band.
D.U.: First things first: How do you like the production on the Faceless EP as compared to the first album?
Mark: Well, I think the Faceless EP has a much better production than the Ultimo LP, but that’s mainly due to two reasons. One is that it was done in a 24-four track studio instead of a 16-track like the LP. And the other is that the guy who engineered Faceless knew what he was doing, unlike the guy who did Ultimo.
Then it came out the way you wanted it more so than on the album?
Ultimo was fine except the guitars came out way too low in the mix, and that really sucked. Faceless is closer to how we wanted things to sound, but it’s even closer on our second LP, which was recorded where we did Faceless. We did a few things different in recording the LP, but we still strive for even more ideal sound on future releases.
Would you say that on the new songs off Faceless, there is less of an overall goofy or silliness than on the first album?
Definitely. We are trying as much as possible to get away from the silly/funny shit. And I think a lot of it was that Ultimo had a lot of old songs on it from our earlier days when we were a more humorous band. But that shit got old quick. I hate it! The new LP has a much darker and gloomier feel to it. There’s still twisted touches of dark humor, but is it funny or sick? We like to have fun, but you don’t have to do funny shit to have fun. Fuck that stuff. We are strictly a horror/gore-oriented band, and that’s pretty much what all the lyrics from here on will deal with. It’ll feel much darker and more hideous.
Do you have any more preliminary info on the second album?
Well, our second LP, Horror of the Zombies, is all recorded, and now we are just waiting for it to come out, which is supposed to be in late January if it can stay on schedule—and I mean “if.” We are really pleased with it. We are just finishing up on the cover and layout, but the recording has been done for some time. It’s got 10 songs on it, which are “Boneyard,” “I Work for the Streetcleaner,” “Wizard of Gore,” “Cannibal Ballet,” “Mortuaria,” “Defiling the Grave,” “Staph Terrorist,” “Cannibal Lust,” “Trap Them and Kill Them,” and “Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue (Let Sleeping Corpses Lie).” It’s easily our best work to date, and Wild Rags will release it as LP/cassette and they will now do CDs as well, and Semaphore will put it out in Europe. We are also having trouble getting someone to take cool photos for the back and possibly a poster. It better be soon!
Does the scene in your area still need a swift kick in the ass?
Fuck yeah. This area really sucks, show-wise. Unless you are a big band, people could give a fuck. Shows are lame, the clubs are lame, and the promoters/organizers are scam artists.
Have any vicinity bands worth mentioning come out?
There are many cool bands in the state, such as Maimed, Eyegouger, Morgue, Contagion, Cianide, Broken Hope, Master, Macabre, Sindrome, Dead Fetus, and more. But sad thing is most of them don’t really get anywhere outside of this area, ‘cause they don’t really get into the mail and ‘zines. The scene up around Chicago is very competitive. I’m glad we’re not into it, ‘cause we are down state where there is nothing.
Have you had a chance to develop Impetigo’s live show any, or have you not played enough to?
Live, the show is coming along, and it continues to get better. It’s a bit sloppy ‘cause we can’t always practice as much as we like, but we still manage to keep it interesting. You never know what might happen at one of our shows, and we plan to do much more with it in the future, as we have only done about 18 shows or so. But it’s really hard for us to do many shows, ‘cause we all work and we don’t have transportation or good equipment, really. We do what we can, but we also have a lot more ideas to come.
What do you think of the NC-17 rating that was supposed to replace the X rating? Did the new rating change anything?
I think it’s pretty lame and hasn’t done shit, really. I guess in the present time, due to all the heavy censorship, it’s the only way some films can be released and play theaters. But back in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, all those NC-17 films could have easily gotten R ratings, so it really doesn’t say much now. It’s a failing last-ditch attempt to save filmmakers who try to do their own thing and not water shit down.
How do you feel about the death of vinyl as far as the major labels and record chains are concerned? Is the CD superior and vinyl’s time has come?
Well, it’s mixed feelings, I guess. At first I was pissed ‘cause I was a vinyl nut, but then I bought a CD player, and shit, I love CDs. It’s all I will buy now, unless it’s only on vinyl. CDs are far superior to vinyl and tapes. They are much easier to work with. But what I miss most about vinyl is the nice, big covers and inserts and shit. But now vinyl in the form of 7”es is coming out like mad, so I collect them. Really, I hate tapes the most, but I must admit, I love CDs.
Is the postal service justified in raising stamp rates?
I could see maybe one or two cents, but not fucking four cents! Their service really is shitty, and maybe if they wouldn’t hire so many freaks, bums, losers, weirdos, and slobs, they might get some work done correctly and in a timely fashion. I think that is their big problem: the workers are total zombies and they just don’t fucking care. Granted, I do know some cool postal workers, but they are the exception. So I guess that’s a “no” answer to your question, man.
Is it a good thing that mid-sized labels are picking up lots of death metal bands?
A lot of people think it’s bad, but fuck, I don’t care. As long as the cool shit keeps coming out and I can get it, it’s cool by me, no matter what label it’s on. Usually, the bands get to do a better-quality product this way. Bad thing is, a lot of bands get ripped off by these labels, but no one forced them to sign. I guess it’s got good and bad points, but I think things are going alright. But without a doubt, some labels are better than others. But you usually hear a different horror story about each one, so who knows. I just want to buy the shit. Fuck yeah!
Is there some point you’d like to make as a last comment?
Not really anything else, but thanks to you, Richard, for the cool interview, and best of luck with your ‘zine, man. The interview was different and interesting. Keep it up! I know it’s not always easy to do that.
Just anyone, feel free to write us, but please enclose a stamp/I.R.C. for a reply. We sell shirts and other shit. You can get our LP/cassette/CD/EP from us as well. Look out for our second LP, Horror of the Zombies, and thanks for the support. Stick ‘em in the grinder! ■
Photo: Impetigo (courtesy Mark Sawickis)