Mark Trela of Forest Of Impaled - Back
1. How did the band get started? How did you meet and how long have you been together?

Mark Trela: As a band we’ve been together for about seven years. We started FOI in 1993. Basically I met Vasyl (bass / vocal) on Cannibal Corpse show in Chicago and after getting drunk few times we decided to form a band that would concentrate on playing death / black metal. To complete the line up we added Andrzej on drums, whom I knew from Poland and Adrian on guitar, with whom Vasyl played before in his previous Death Metal band.

2. How would you describe your music?

Mark Trela: I would simply describe it as a death metal (some say it’s technical) with the touches of black. But I think we’re simply becoming a death metal band. Our music may still have some elements of black metal but now days we more concentrate on structures and rhythms, which is something that black metal usually lacks and that’s why it became so fucking boring within last few years. I still love good black metal, but I think that most of the new black metal bands are just talentless garbage. Listening to all this new black metal compilations just makes me sick ….. cause you won’t find almost anything interesting in them.

3. What are your biggest influences?

Mark Trela: At the beginning it was mostly death and black metal that inspired us. Bands such as Morbid Angel, Carcass, At the Gates…. Not to mention Slayer or Metallica. Now days it’s every kind of good music. But in order to be accepted by us it has to have a certain extreme edge to it. We hate mediocrity! It’s hard to say what inspires me directly...probably everything that I listen to inspires me in one way or another. One day I listen to Angel Corpse, next day Portishead...though you will never find Portishead element in our music, he, he!

4. What made you want to be in the band? And if you weren’t in the band what would you be doing now?

Mark Trela: To be on the stage and see metal maniacs get crazy in front of you, while listen to your music was probably one of our ultimate dreams (and still is) when we started FOI. Also have our music released officially and have it admired by people (even if there would be only few of them) and of course travel different countries. Even though I’m in the band I’m doing other things that I think I would do even if I wouldn’t be playing. Things like school, and get drunk once a while ha, ha.

5. Are any band members in side projects? If so what are they, and explain a little about them.

Mark Trela: No, there are no side projects beside Forest of Impaled. Everyone in the band puts all his time and energy into Forest of Impaled.

6. How would you feel if a band took their sound from yours and became very well known?

Mark Trela: That would probably never happen, he, he, but I guess I would be kind of glad. That would mean that we did something right. Also pissed off at myself that we didn’t do it before that band did.

7. What current bands do you like or respect?

Mark Trela: I’m very much into Type O Negative lately …. I just can’t stop listen to their fucking music …. It’s like a drug for me. I think “World’s Coming Down” is a best album I’ve heard in 1999 and the best in 2K so far. I like Steele’s cynicism and honesty in interviews. Though I still think some of the things they did are really gay which really fucking bugs me, cause they could be a perfect band for me if not for that gay moments in their music, ha, ha. Angel Corpse is also the band I really like and respect. They have so much energy live, their albums are great, and they are very intelligent and well spoken people.

8. How many demos/albums do you have? Tell me about them!!

Mark Trela: We have three demos and one full-length album “Demonvoid.” Our very first demo "Dark Wilderness" was recorded by ourselves on the 4-track in our practice room and was only distributed for handful of maniacs and friends in the underground. "Dark Wilderness" contained very good songs and had early At the Gates style with some black metal feel. It was recorded back in 1994 and actually for the new album we wanted to re-record one of the songs from that demo, but we change our minds at the end. "Mortis Dei" was a professionally recorded demo that turned into the mini CD and got us signed with rip-off label from Minnesota - Terrorizer / Nightfall. I still think that "Mortis Dei" is great piece of extreme metal music. It was recorded in 1995 and it was played in fast black metal style. Some people compared to Emperor or Marduk, even though it never sounded to me like that and I think it has its own unique sound. After "Mortis Dei" we recorded third demo "The Seventh Dominion". It was recorded in 1998 and I think it was our best material to date. All of the songs from "The Seventh Dominion" were re-recorded for "Demonvoid" with better production and slight changes in arrangements. I think the last demo was the most important, simply because it got us signed to Red Stream, which we are very happy about. "Mortis Dei" also established some recognition in the underground, which also helped us a little. Finally our first full length, “Demonvoid” is I think our best material to date. It still has some elements presented on the “Mortis Dei” but this time we concentrated more on better structures and arrangements. We also incorporated a lot of death metal elements into our music making it more aggressive. I think “Demonvoid” would satisfy every brutal death or black metal fan.

9. What demo/album do you like the best?

Mark Trela: Of course we like our latest release “Demonvoid” the best. It has the best production of all our released works and has songs that we created most recently, which means they are the most fun to play.

10. What is the meaning behind the songs?

Mark Trela: We’re all anti religious people and mostly our lyrics deal with anti – religion, anti – Christian themes, even though it may not always be obvious when you read the lyrics. Also some of our lyrics are about our fascination with medieval battles and artillery and some evil obsessed historical figures such as Vlad Tepes. Adrian is the author off all lyrics and some of the lyrics portray his personal views so it’s sometimes hard for me to talk about them.

11. What are the bands favorite songs?

Mark Trela: Our favorite songs are the tracks from the new album such as, For Ours is the Kingdom (Desecrate the Heavens), The Impaler, Wings of Apocalypse. These are the songs that best represent our new musical progression and they also were created last before we went to the studio to record “Demonvoid.”

12. What does the future hold for the band?

Mark Trela: Hopefully some tours. We are working right now with our “Mexican connections” to organize a mini tour in Mexico which would be great. Also we hope we can tour Europe somewhere in the near future. Also our goal is to have new material ready by the summer and record new album by the end of the summer 2000.

13. If you could play with any band who would it be and why?

Mark Trela: Realistically, I would love to play with Angel Corpse. I saw them live once and they have so much energy and are so extreme … I just like everything about this band. They are also relatively new so I think Forest of Impaled would be perfect to open up for them on some kind of tour.

14. Who writes the majority of the music?

Mark Trela: Me and other guitarist Adrian write all the music in Forest of Impaled. However arrangements are done by everyone in the band. The drummer puts the drum beats the way he thinks they suit the music. Same goes with vocalist and keyboard player. They create their parts the way they think is the best for a specific song. Of course everyone in the band gives their own opinions, and if someone doesn't like something we usually change it until everyone is satisfied.

15. Where did you get the band name from?

Mark Trela: Forest of Impaled is a direct reference to Prince Vlad Tepes, and his reign of terror. During his time Vlad had a very sadistic hobby of placing humans on wooden stakes and creating a makeshift forest. Thus you have Forest of Impaled (mortals or humans) it is a phrase.

16. Describe what the band is like live?

Mark Trela: We are always very aggressive and full of energy. We play song after song with just a little brakes simply to create more aggressive feel of the whole show, we use a lot of dim lights, lots of red, always a fog machine. Our vocalist wears a hooded cape as some kind of evil monk. We always try to be more than just ordinary death / black metal band.

17. If you are gonna do any kind of video what would be in it?

Mark Trela: We would probably do a live type of thing with some great stage show...unless we would have a big budget. I mean most of the underground metal videos suck, because they are so cheese and done poorly by some amateurs, simply because there was not enough budget to do something creative. And sometimes when you see a great band with a gay video you somehow loose respect for the band. In my opinion you can’t almost never go wrong with the live show type of video, cause you always get the aggression from playing live and natural behavior. Though if we would have lots of money and professional director we would definitely do something dark and extreme...like maybe try to recreate one of the Vlad Tepes impalments.

18. Are there any touring plans made; if so tell me about them?

Mark Trela: Not really, only a local shows. Red Stream is still too small label to organize a full-size tour but hopefully it will change in the near future. Also, we think we’ll finally do a Milwaukee Metal Show this year, so anyone who likes FOI can check us out live there.

19. Where do you think the band will be 20 years from now?

Mark Trela: I never though about that. I will be so old that I won’t probably have any energy to hold my guitar, he, he.