Interview with Pete Clemens (bassist/vocalist of Invasion) done by Gaz and Patrick
1.Hello Pete how are things going with you these days? Please introduce yourself to the readers?
Peter: Hails brother! How things going? For the uninitiated I'm the bassist/vocalist and main songwriter for the band INVASION and psychotic mastermind behind the bands YELLOWTOOTH, SEA OF TRANQUILLTY and CORPORATION SS. I'm also the bass player for the metal merchants SKULLVIEW. I also run a very small label out here in Indiana named Orchestrated Misery Recordings & so far we've released PSYCHOMANCER, YELLOWTOOTH, CATAPULT THE SMOKE, IMPURIUM & THRONE OF SACRILEGE cds to name a few.
2.At what age did you start listening to metal music and who were some of the first bands you listened to?
Peter: I've been listening to Metal since the early 1980's when my brothers introduced me to Black Sabbath, AC/DC & Judas Priest along with a slew of other bands that helped influence me including Cream, Blue Oyster Cult, UFO and Led Zeppelin. Both of my older brothers jammed in bands around the area & watching them practice gave me inspiration to do my own thing.
3.Pete you formed Invasion back in 1989 what gave you the idea to start this band? And how did you choose Invasion for the band's name?
Peter: Well, INVASION was more of a concept back in 1989 and the band itself didn't actually get moving until the mid 1990's. We were originally called CONQUERED but the name didn't really represent what we wanted at the time, so we changed it to INVASION after the Iron Maiden song of the same name. We saw it listed on their demo years ago and thought it was cool, so we borrowed it.
4.Who were some of the bands influences when you all first started out? And how do you feel the band's music has changed since the beginning of the band til present day?
Peter: We were very influenced by the underground bands at the time. Sacrifice, Obliveon, Infernal Majesty, Sadus, Dark Angel, Whiplash, Destruction, but when we heard the swedish assault taking place that opened a new pathway for our type of writing. Nihilist, Uncanny, Aboth, Treblinka, early Therion, Grave, Entombed, all those bands had the sound we thought could fit the INVASION asthetic and it did, and it's somewhat obvious in how our writing has changed. The first couple cds we released were a mixture of thrash & death, but leaning heavily on the speed element from bands like canadian bands like Sacrifice & Slaughter. As we started going through our rehearsals for inspiration you could hear the change taking place in our writing. We were slowly heading towards death metal influences.
5.Invasion is getting ready to release their fourth full-length Destroyer Of Mankind how long did it take the band to write the music for this release? Does the whole band contribute to the writing process or does one member usually write everything?
Peter: This album has been in the works since roughly 2011/2012. We had released Orchestrated Kill Manuever in 2010 and were taking some time off to concentrate on our other bands (Nocturnal Torment, Skullview, Yellowtooth) but I was still writing material for INVASION. We started to jam in 2012 for the new cd but unfortunately our drummer decided to quit the metal scene, which left us in a dilemma. It wasn't until the end of 2015 that I secured a drummer for the recording. As for INVASION, I write all the material for the band. I have other bands where the "democracy" thing transpired, but I wanted to write and convey a different feeling and attitude for this band, plus I could concentrated on my passion for history and look at the different attributes of US involvement in different wars over the 20th century.
6.The lyrics seem to be based on history and wars. When did you decide to use war as the theme for the band? And are their certain wars or times in history that you enjoy reading and studying the most?
Peter: That's always been INVASION. I have about 300/400 books on the subject and I'm always looking for new sources to scour and devour. I deal primarily with the 20th centntury when it comes to reading & it refeects in the INVASION material. For example: The song "Black Thursday" on our 3rd cd deals with the US Air War over Germany during World War 2 and on one sunny afternoon 60 B-17s and B-24 bombers were shot down. That's almost an average of 10 men per plan, so on that day 600 lost their lives. Just brutal. That's INVASION.
7.Besides wars are there any other times in history that you like to read about? Other then history do you study any other subjects these days?
Peter: No, primarily US involvement in different conflicts. That's just something I've always gravitated too. Be it The Civil War in 1861/65, World War One, World War Two of the Korean Conflict (as it's officially been called). I do read often and it varies between history and some fiction novels. Dean Koontz has been on the list lately and I try to read a book or 2 every month if possible, but with the record label, bands & work it doesn't leave much time.
8.Besides the upcoming release are any of Invasion's past releases and other merchandise still available? If yes, what is available and where can the readers buy it?
Peter: You might be able to locate some items from our record label down in Indianapliois (Abyss Records) or you could scour Ebay for the ocassional item. We printed up shirts last year but those sold out quickly and unforutatnely we are kind of slow at printing things up haha. One of these days will get things rolling again, but my best guess would be to peruse www.discogs.com/ or Ebay for additional INVASION items. They are out there, but I don't have anything extra except the new cds for sale.
9.What have been some of the bands most memorable shows over the years and who were some of your favorite bands to share the stage with?
Peter: We've only done a couple shows & the only one of significance was when Enthroned came to the Chicago area and we shared the stage with those Metal Mongers! Very cool times! Guys were supercool! Ended up going a SACRIFICE cover that night & everyone was thrashing out!
10.Are there any tours or shows in support of Destroyer Of Mankind if yes where will the band be playing? Has the band ever gotten the chance to play outside the U.S? Where are some countries that you would like to play?
No, like I mentioned we've only done a couple shows. Mostly we invite people to the rehearsal room for beers & jam new material for some of the local brothers in our area. And, if perhaps it happened, I'd like to tour Europe or the Far East. I think INVASION would go over well in those locations. They are more accepting of our styles instead of the folks here in the US.
11.Pete as mentioned you have been a part of the underground scene since the late 80's what was your opinion of the early years of the underground scene?
Peter: The early years were great! Correspondance through the mail was the only way to communicate with some of these bands. It was a far different time & there were no band wagons for people to jump on. You played what you wrote & let the listener decide from there. I started listening to Heavy Metal in 1981/82 and it wasn't until I heard about SLAYER and METALLICA that I realized what I wanted to do from that point on. Everyone can rip on METALLICA now and that's fine, but they helped start the thrash metal movement & it opened up new avenues for the youth to react & attack! From there it was MOTORHEAD, VENOM, etc. but those early years made an impact on me. It made an impact on all of us.
12.Did you ever do much tape-trading in those days? What were some of your favorite fanzines from that era? Do you read and keep up with any present day web-zines?
Peter: Yes, that's all I did. I traded demos with damn near every band I could. I was in a thrash band called Shades of Grey from 1988/1992 and that's how we got the word out. Mind you, I'd been listening to this music for several years and never had a product or anything to send out, but even then we wrote original music but never had the means to record it. And for fanzines, I kick myself in the ass for cutting them apart for the pictures and posting them on my lockers in middle/high school. Seriously wish I had more of them around. I still have a few, but I'd need to go through the piles of materials and dig them out.
13.Besides playing in Invasion you also play in the sludge,doom band Yellowtooth when did you start working with this band?
Peter: That band initally started in 2008, but the concept for it was driven into my mind back in 2004/2005 when I went through my divorce. I was listening to a lot of Sludge & Stoner Rock in those days and I wanted to keep the heaviness of death metal but slow the overall speed & turn it into swamp driven riffs while maintaning the intensity. Obviously along the way we encountered some difficulties (like all bands do) but we have fun recording & getting that material out. Unfortunately we don't play out as often as we like due to work schedules and family obligations, but when we can we crush!
14.What is the current line-up for Yellowtooth and how would you best describe the bands musical style?
Peter: Well, we've got Ed Kribs on drums, Henry McGinnis on guitar/vocals and myself on bass/lead vocals. We've been kicking this around since 2008 & it's a good time when we can get our fix on writing new tunes. As for a description, it's kinda like old school thrash/speed metal with a mixture of southern influence and maybe some doom elements. It's hard to describe the material as we venture all over the METAL map, but stay within it's essential elements. It's heavy haha!
15.Besides metal music do you enjoy listening to any other forms of music? If yes who are some of your favorite bands and artists?
Peter: I still listen to early 70s & 80s bands that influenced me when I was a kid. Both my brothers are musicians and they helped introduce me to The Beatles, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, The Doors, Cream and a bunch of others. Obviously I still listen to those bands, but newer stuff like Porcupine Tree, Amplifier and a few other select bands have found their way into my cd player. I've also discovered early country (Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash) which I never really discovered until the last few years. If you keep yourself digesting only one form of music I think your creativity will be limited if you intend to write songs, but that's just my opinion.
16.When not working on new music or band business what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Peter: That is my free time haha! I work 48/56 hours a week at a steel mill so I don't get much free time aside from making music or hanging with friends. Tonight we have practice with another band I've been in since 1996 and that's Skullview. We already have 4 albums out now & were gearing up to release our 5th. It's the same group of guys since the band formed in 1995 & it's a good time. Plus I've started work on another project called CORPORATION SS that was initally formed in 2004 with the drummer from Chronic Black, but we ran into problems so we only recorded a 4/5 song demo with no vocals.
17.Thank you Pete for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final comments for the readers?
Peter: No, thank you! If anyone is interested in some of my other bands just check facebook or google for this other projects I am involved with, and thanks again my brothers! I appreciate the support! Here are a couple you can find:
Sea of Tranquillity: https://www.facebook.com/officialseaoftranquillity/?ref=page_internal