Immortal Dominion Guitarist Talks About Working with Pantera Producer
It’s taken 19 years, but it seems like the stars have finally aligned for Immortal Dominion. Formed in 1992, the Ft. Collins, Colorado-based metal band has trekked all over North America on various tours and one-offs, opening for everyone from Fear Factory to Napalm Death. But it wasn’t until they scored the 2007 indie horror-comedy ‘Teeth’ that the band started gaining some real heat.
Now signed to the Universal Music Group-distributed 427 Records, Immortal Dominion have released ‘Primortal,’ their third album. The record was overseen by renowned producer Sterling Winfield, who has previously helmed production on albums by Mercyful Fate, Hellyeah, and of course Pantera. Noisecreep recently talked with guitarist Brian Villers about the recording of ‘Primortal.’
Noisecreep: You guys worked with Sterling Winfield this time out. Did he share any cool Pantera stories with you?
Brian Villers: Yeah, he talked about Pantera, but just in normal conversation. We had recently lost a mutual friend who passed way too soon, so there was lots of just dealing with that and some funny stories about Dimebag [Darrell] and Zakk Wylde being a dangerous party combo [laughs].
Is Sterling the kind of producer that gets in your face and pushes you hard, or does he take a more laid-back approach to things?
Sterling definitely wants to get all he can out of you, but he is sensitive to the fact that sometimes you can push too hard and lose the element of emotion and creativity. He had a different approach to each band member and pushed us in different ways.
We hear that the place you tracked at, Backbone Studios in Loveland, Colorado, were really supportive of any ideas Sterling and the band had. What kind of out-of-the-box stuff did you try out on the record?
Greg, and everyone else that worked at Backbone, were great with us. They were also very open to new ideas. I can tell you that they purchased a half-inch tape machine during our sessions. That way, we could bounce [our tracks] on to real tape, then back to digital land. A lot of times people use a plug-in to give it that effect, but we went old school with it.
Much has been made about Immortal Dominion’s change in sound. How much of a concentrated effort was there in the studio to focus on the more melodic side of the band?
It was more of an evolution than a deliberate act. We went into the recording studio with a bunch of material. Sterling jumped in and helped us with song structure, and even lyrics. Throughout the studio process, some things were moved around, and riffs were slowed down or sped up. I think the result is real, and expresses our sound accurately.
Now that you’re signed to a bigger label, what are your expectations for the next year or so?
Caviar, fondue, and limos [laughs]! But, this is metal, so I will settle for lots of touring, and hopefully some nice placement of the music in television and film. 427 Records has really backed us in every way on this project. We plan on going out on tour, and showing them that they made a smart decision.