DAVE INGRAM “Dead Men DO Tell Tales!” 

By Dr. Abner Mality

At a time when most artists would be gradually pulling back from performing, Mr. Dave Ingram seems to be ramping up his career. If anyone could be called “the voice of British death metal”, it would be Dave. His gravelly roars spearheaded the mighty Benediction for years and when Karl Willets decided to step away from Bolt Thrower for a while, Dave was the first logical choice to replace him. He also had a brief stint with Holland’s Hail of Bullets.

Now Mr. Ingram is providing his trademark bellow to no less than four bands at the minute…Down Among the Dead Men, Echelon, Ursinne and Just Before Dawn. And more are on the way! The most recent album bearing his mark is the new DATDM effort “And You Will Obey…”, one of the most devastating blasts of crusty death metal to come down the pike in quite a while and a definite contender for album of the year so far.

In addition to all his band duties, Dave also hosts a popular podcast, “Metal Breakfast Radio”. And, as you will see, he’s quite the authority on “Dr. Who”, a fan of Big Band Jazz music and a proud Satanist, to boot! Without further ado, let’s dive into a conversation with this fascinating character…

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Greetings, Dave! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. How has your working arrangement with Rogga evolved since the last DATDM album, “Exterminate! Annihilate! Destroy!”?

DAVE INGRAM: Hey mate. Thanks very much for the interview!
The working arrangement has evolved greatly, in recent months especially. We have more projects to collaborate on together, and are already now planning the next Echelon and (already) another DATDM album. It got to the point where we were so busy that we had to put some other projects on hold for the time being. We’ll get round to them eventually, when we have time.

WC: After hearing “And You Will Obey Me…”, I have to ask: just how big of an old school Dr. Who fan are you? Are the lyrics on the album all derived from Dr. Who? I can recognize the samples and hints in the song titles, but not sure if the whole album revolves around the character. What was your favorite era of the show? I was always a big Jon Pertwee fan. Do you follow the current versions of the character? The modern Who seems too slick and “Marvelized” for me….doesn’t have the charm of the old stuff.

DI: Okay, so a few Doctor Who-related questions. These are always a pleasure to answer because I am a HUGE fan of the show. Both eras, classic and modern, interest me greatly. This also includes all of the audio adventures and spin-off series. DATDM got the name due to one of these said spin-offs, “The Adventures of Bernice Summerfield.” She is an archaeology Professor who wrote a book “Down Among The Dead Men” and all the song titles on the debut album are titles from her stories. It was going to stop there, but I thought that incorporating my love of Doctor Who into songs, whether obviously or subtly, would be fun, so I kept at it. 

The new album has some titles of audio adventures, which is why you may not recognise them. A quick Google will yield results. I follow EVERYTHING about the show, and I’m not one of those that think the modern version is too slick. I mean, come on! This is the 21st Century, and technology has evolved, so why not embrace what they have done? Also remember, the show has thrived for almost 55 years on change and evolving. Look how it changed between Hartnell/Troughton and Pertwee. It went from black and white to colour. I don’t get how people who claim to understand the show - and claim to be fans - but don’t want it to change. The show has buckets of charm…an alien that travels time and space in a box that’s bigger on the inside, facing dangers armed only with a screwdriver? How much more fucking charm do you want?!

WC: I notice you have a session bassist and drummer. Is there any attention to add full time members in these capacities? If not, why?

DI: We’re planning some limited live shows through Scandinavia and Germany in 2019, so obviously there will be more of a steady line up. These days it’s easier for projects like DATDM to have an unstable line-up, with 2 core members and the rest added on as necessary. If people know what they are getting into from the start then it shouldn’t be a problem. There’s no time for egos in this business. Except mine, of course. ;-)

WC: You seem to be on a creative burst these days with involvement in DATDM, Echelon and Ursinne. What sparked this burst of activity?

DI: There’s a few other projects too, but I’ll get to those later. Back in late 2012 Rogga wrote to me and asked if I would be interested in doing guest vocals on his Megascavenger album. I agreed, recorded the track, and had a great time doing so. I wrote and asked if he’d like to do more, and DATDM was spawned.  At the time I was doing my Metal Breakfast Radio (and Lambert’s Basement, which has since been placed on hiatus) but I really got interested in making music again - though in truth I’d never really stopped, as I was just making stuff for myself. I like to be busy, so there’s a lot coming out from me and my sonic collaborators over the next 18 months.

WC: Could you describe the differences between each of these acts? I get the impression that Ursinne is the most experimental of the bands while Echelon and DATDM are very traditional.

DI: They’re all definitely Old School Death Metal, which is something I don’t want to stray from. But you are correct in your impression of those bands. Echelon was compared to Benediction (namely the “Transcend The Rubicon” album) and DATDM is most certainly a mixture of Metal and crusty Punk. Ursinne has a lot of Swedeath about it, which is exactly what Jonny Petterson and I were going for. Other projects currently underway are Troikadon (classic OSDM), Just Before Dawn (Old School War Metal) and Hellfrost And Fire (Celtic Frost-esque) 

WC: Looking back on your involvement with Bolt Thrower and Hail of Bullets, do you regret that or do you consider it a necessary step to getting where you are now?

DI: I regret nothing. There was no “necessary step” to get me here. It was a progression of events that led me to those bands. A path of my own evolution that I constructed and followed. There was no NEED to do it, but there was most definitely a WANT! Ever forward.

WC: What other projects are you involved with?

DI: At present there are all these: Down Among The Dead Men, Echelon, Ursinne, Just Before Dawn, Troikadon, Hellfrost And Fire, and an as-yet brand new project with a few old school legends that I can’t talk about just yet. Let’s not forget Metal Breakfast Radio either, or the numerous guest spots I make on many underground releases.

WC:. How did Just Before Dawn come about? And what is Troikadon?

I was asked to write (lyrics) and perform a song on the JBD “The Aftermath” album. I stayed in touch with guitarist Anders and helped write some 6 other tracks on the brand new album “Tides of War” - which has been a while in the making. I’m now a full-time member of the band, and we are heading out to do select live show around Europe this year, and hopefully further afield in the future. 

Troikadon is currently a studio only project, which features Rogga on guitar, Jonny Petterson on bass, Travis Ruvo on drums, and THREE vocalists. They are myself, Kam Lee and Karl Willetts. This project is going to be immense. I’ve heard the tracks and I’m really looking forward to getting to growl along side my mates Kam and Karl. We’ve no label to call home for the band yet, but we’re looking for something big to get it out to a wider audience.

WC: Metal Breakfast Radio? What’s that?

After my departure from Bolt Thrower in 2003 I took about 18 months off (probably less than that, in truth.) I began a band with friends in 2005 called Downlord. It was, as you can expect, old school death metal. We achieved all that we wanted to do (toured live, released both an EP and a full-length album) so in late 2007 we decided to call it a day. Myself and the guitarist Donovan wanted to start making an internet radio show, which debuted April 1st 2008. Ten years later and the show is still going strong, and is still considered a very unique show. Also one of the most irritating ones as well. It’s not like other internet shows that play music, as we chat over the songs (usually submitted by new bands, but there are some classic tracks on there as well) and we give our honest opinion of them in real time. We also drink copious amounts of beer, say rather obnoxious things, and destroy songs we don’t like. Several bands have taken offence to what we say about them, which is a pretty dumb thing to do. If a band can’t take any kind of criticism of their art, then they’re in the wrong business. They need to stay at home and take up knitting. Additionally, anyone who takes our show seriously needs their fucking heads looking at.

WC: Are any of these bands “live” in any sense or are they all studio projects?

DI: At present, all the bands besides Just Before Dawn are studio bands. As I said earlier, we hope to get DATDM out on the road next year as well. Plus there are talks about Ursinne doing live shows, but that will definitely be after the second album is released. We have an idea of which musicians to ask for all these bands, so it’s really just a case of getting together to rehearse a few times, then hit the stage.

WC. Lyrically, are there other messages you are trying to get across other than sci-fi, Doctor Who type stuff?

DI: Just Before Dawn is war metal, so there’s a lot of World War 2 references in the songs. That is a part of world history that needs to never be forgotten. Ursinne has a wide range of subjects, from historical inaccuracies to songs about Lemmy Kilminster and then on to Shakespeare. Echelon’s lyrics are all related to Satanism. I am a member of the Church of Satan, elevated to the degree of Warlock (I won the Satanic Warlock of the Year award last year, honouring my achievements) so I wanted to shine some of the Black Flame onto REAL Satanic lyrics, instead of the paltry mewlings of so many awful black metal bands. Troikadon will be traditional old school DM lyrics - I cannot wait to write those - and Hellfrost And Fire will attempt to be as avant grade as early Celtic Frost and Hellhammer, whom we take great influence from in that band.

I’m guessing you were initially referring to DATDM lyrics….well, no. They’re ALL Doctor Who!

WC: Would you say Down Among The Dead Men gets more influence from punk than metal? Was punk something you were into?

DI: I was equally interested in Punk as I was Metal when I was a kid. I loved the extreme sound it had, and it’s total rebellion. When beginning DATDM I sent a few tracks to Rogga that I listened to in my youth, and he sent through some bands he thought would be similar to what I was looking for. A balance was found and the DATDM sound was achieved.

WC:  I find that a lot of death metal icons are not really big death metal fans. Is this true for you?

DI: I do not understand that, I really don’t. I’m crazy about death metal, I love it, I live it, I hear it every day, and that’s why I write and sing it. For sure I love other genres - so many you wouldn’t believe - but DM is my favourite. I do not in any way understand why people who don’t like death metal spend time playing it. To me, if they have no real passion for it then their art very quickly becomes stale. There’s enough bad music in the world without those guys adding to it. Follow your passion! Don’t stagnate the genre.

WC: Are there any more projects you are involved with?

DI: I’ve been making notes for writing a book on my past, and my musical career - as well as things that were/are going on in my life. There’s a lot to get through and it will take some time, plus I am always adding to my memories and achievements. But the future will see that come to fruition.

One thing I haven’t mentioned is the other radio show I used to do called Lambert’s Basement. This was a Big Band Jazz show (another genre of music I love) which I produced for almost 5 years and is now currently on hiatus. One day, it shall come back. 

WC: If you could dine with any 3 people from history, who would they be?

DI: I’d love to say some family members who have passed, but I guess everyone would answer in that way. So, it would most definitely be Anton LaVey, Carl Sagan, and Harry Harrison. (Look them up if you don’t know them.)

WC: What was the last release you got just because you wanted to check it out?

DI: I’m very choosy with my music. These days I know what I like and what I don’t, so I rarely just ‘get’ something to check it out. If I get recommended a band/album by a friend then I will look it up on YouTube, but that’s as far as I get. The last time I did something like that was when I bought the Manowar album “Hail To England” just because I liked the cover artwork. That must have been back in the late 80’s.

WC: What’s the biggest “Spinal Tap” moment you’ve had in your musical career, if you care to share one?

DI: I think that would have to be when I was playing a show in Germany (a LONG time ago) and as I moved position onstage, a disco mirrorball fell exactly where I had just been standing. If I hadn’t have moved when I did it would have killed me. Funny thing is, around the same time as that happened to me, it also happened to the performer Boy George. I must try to write and tell him about the coincidence.

WC: Any last messages to your fans?

DI: Stay true to yourselves and your heart, and stay true to the music you have passion for. Ever forward!

Thanks to all those for the years of support, to those who knew I hadn’t “disappeared” but was still around doing other things, and those who support me to this day. It will forever be appreciated and cherished.

To my detractors: Your envy in evident. You know my name and remember it, yet I have no idea who you are. That speaks volumes, and indicates your lack of achievements and self-advancement. 

Thanks so much for the interview.

Responsibility to the responsible. Hail Satan!

My current top 5 albums:
Memoriam - The Silent Vigil
Paganizer - Land Of Weeping Souls
Venom Inc - Ave
Bathsheba - Severus
Queens of the Stone Age - Villains

Transcending Obscurity Records –