My Immortal Enemy are set to release their debut album, Akuma, this Friday, Jan. 10.
Akuma, is a record that showcases the band's ability to create a cinematic atmosphere. Each song is different from the last while still carrying out familiarity making it cohesive. Clean vocals are paired perfectly against bold screams throughout tracks such as "The Laughing Heart," where as single track, "Dangerous," puts forth a harder exterior while still incorporating light transitions.
We got the chance to talk with lead vocalist, Steven Juliano, about the new record and more.
With My Immortal Enemy being new on the scene what’s something you want new
listeners to know about the band?
Steven Juliano: With all new bands, the biggest issue you have is trying to grab people’s attention. You’d think with social media today that it would be a lot easier, than say, twenty years ago. But honestly, I feel its harder now. Why? People are bombarded with new music, new bands, new “things” every day via social media and there are a lot more choices for them. It’s a new age. Most kids are pretty fickle with bands, because a new one seems to pop up every day and others are gone as quickly as they came. Not that it’s their fault. I’d be the same way if I was a teen now. So, for us being a new band, you got to find ways to get their attentions… and after you do that… keep them around for a while. The only way you can do that is write good music.Play good shows. Seems easier said the done, I know.
With I Am Ghost being a band you were previously apart of, what would you want fans to expect as a difference between I Am Ghost and My Immortal Enemy.
Juliano: As an artist, I believe everyone strives to challenge themselves and try new things.
Being we are a punk rock band, with guys who are metal heads, it’s hard to really stray too far from the I Am Ghost path I guess, since that band was pretty much the same style. I would say, with MIE, we are a lot more aggressive. But I am not going to kid myself: I definitely have a ‘style’ with how I sing and scream my parts. So, no matter what I do, it’s going to sound a little like I Am Ghost.
Your debut album, Akuma, showcases a lot of diversity in the instrumentals, how did
your creative process go while writing the music?
Juliano: I have somehow always had the good fortune of finding really talented musicians in my life. This band is no exception, and the writing process was pretty painless on their part. Writing all the lyrics, well that was an entirely different monster, let me tell you. We demo’d over thirty songs for this album. We stayed focused for over a year with no shows and just sat and wrote songs in our drummers’ garage. I know a lot of bands get six or seven songs and start playing shows immediately. I did that in my early days. But this time around, I wanted to have a full set, with songs we were all proud of. Not just stitched together stuff to play local venues. I didn’t really care about any of that. So, we wrote and wrote, and when we had the final 12 songs figured out, we went into a real studio for an entire month. Twenty-two straight days… no days off. Then it was sent off to Zack Ohren (Machine Head, Stick to Your Guns) who mixed and mastered it all. It was a long process because we took our time on almost everything.
The lyrics within the album are passionate, where do you pull your inspiration from for
Juliano: As they say, the best music, the best lyrics, are when they are honest. Around the time we were writing the demos, I had a lot of stuff going on in my life… I guess you can say it was the perfect time to write an album for me. I was working a lot. Stressed. Depressed. Lots of regrets with things that happened in the past. I saved money by not going to therapy. Instead, I wrote. And wrote. I had three booklets full of lyrics by the end of the recording.
As a whole, what kind of story are you trying to tell with Akuma?
Juliano: The songs are all about good versus evil in some form; the internal battle I was having with myself and… life, I guess. Akuma means Devil in Japanese, so it was a good start that I already had the title of the album figured out before any lyrics were written. I had a lot to get off my shoulders, so as you can hear on this release, its very angry compared to my past stuff. After the album was wrapped up, there was definitely this “monkey off my back” feeling, and I was at peace. Sure, things will build up again. That’s just life. And then I will have to record something else, I guess.
We’ve just begun 2020, what can fans and new listeners expect from My Immortal
Enemy this year?
Juliano: All we want to do this year is play shows. That’s it. It seems easy when I say that, but it’s a hard process to book your own shows, and tours, and try and gather a fan base that wants us in their city. We will do our very damn best to make this happen. We can’t do it though without the fans.