Iron Men

After sixteen years of makeup, metal, and stage blood, Impaler remains proudly undead

"They stopped putting on a show with any kind of visual entertainment," Lindsey elaborates. "I call that the 'alternacrisis' for a lot of bands. They changed their name or cut their hair or started playing different styles of music than what they had been playing." Lindsey himself took a black sabbatical from the biz while it floundered in sincerity, a respite he sums up with a suitably gothic metaphor. "There was an occurrence in a laboratory with a mad scientist," he recalls, "and for a year and a half I was frozen in a block of ice."

Thawing himself for the post-alt era, Lindsey hooked up with local metal benefactor Earl Root, host of KFAI's 13-year-old Saturday-night metal show The Root of All Evil and owner of the St. Paul record store the Root Cellar. Root has become a fulcrum for the Twin Cities die-hard metal scene, releasing a variety of showcase compilations featuring both area and international acts on his Root-O-Evil label. Root had been an Impaler fan since the early Eighties, when he witnessed the group's dominating performance at an early local metalfest. "Bill wore this hokey football shoulder-pad thing," Root recalls. "It was huge--and remember, this was way before Gwar. All that pyro and blood. And, oh, and they were really loud."

Combined with a resurgence of metal zines--check out the locally produced Battle Helm--heavy metal in the Twin Cities is, in Lindsey's view, experiencing a rebirth. Yet he insists that Impaler considers their external environment to be of cursory interest, at most. "Our outlook really hasn't changed with the time. We're all fan boys, toy geeks, and we share the same interests outside of music"--Kiss, old Universal monster movies, wrestling, and all manner of model kits. "We've surrounded ourselves with the things that we like," he says, "and that's our world."

The only local band that really splatters: Impaler's Tom Croxton, Bill Lindsey, Erik Allyn, and Brad Jonson
Daniel Corrigan
The only local band that really splatters: Impaler's Tom Croxton, Bill Lindsey, Erik Allyn, and Brad Jonson

 

Impaler will perform Thursday, with openers Ripsnorter, at the Turf Club. Showtime is 9:30; (651) 647-0486.

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