Ice Nine Kills (Spencer Charnas)
Interviewer: Andrew Wendowski – May 2014
MM-Q1: Introduce yourself & tell us a little background on
INK-A1: My name is Spencer Charnas and I am the lead vocalist and founding member of INK. I started the band back in High School and in the last couple of years we’ve started to achieve the goals we had set from the inception: acquire great booking, management, and label, perform on the Warped Tour, and develop a die hard cult like following.
MM-Q2: How did you come up with your band name, is there any significant meaning behind it?
INK-A2: Our name is a reference from the Kurt Vonnegut novel, Cat’s Cradle, in which the substance “Ice Nine” has the ability to freeze over the entire planet, thus killing civilization as we know it.
MM-Q3: Your most recent release is “The Predator Becomes The Prey” why did you choose to name the album that & how did you go about choosing your album cover art?
INK-A3: The album has an overall theme of reversing a situation where someone or thing is bent on destroying you. So in essence, it’s about predators becoming the prey. The album cover scene is intentionally misleading. If you see just the cover it looks as if some sort of demon with monster like hands….but when you unfold the entire booklet it is revealed that those monster like hands were not in fact the demons but some other creature (or force) that has taken her hostage. That’s how it ties into the whole “predator becomes the prey” concept.
MM-Q4: A lot of your song titles are pretty creative/humorous. How do you come up with your song titles?
INK-A4: I’m the kind of person who really appreciates clever and funny things so It’s important to me that humor is reflected in that aspect of the band. I sit by myself and wrack my brain for the most outrageous title I can think of.
MM-Q5: How long did it take INK to write, produce, & record TPBTP?
INK-A5: We wrote the record in chunks of time over about a year.
MM-Q6: Off TPBTP (The Predator Becomes The Prey), what song(s) means the most to you and what inspired the song?
INK-A6: The song that means the most to me personally would have to be “Jonathan.” It’s a song written from the perspective of a friend of mine who has mitochondria and is almost 100% blind. That track is my tribute to him and the incredible struggles he faces everyday of his life.
MM-Q7: How much of a success do you feel TPBTP was when released?
INK-A7: It got a lot of hype right out of the gate and marked our first time entering the billboard top 200 charts. A large percentage of our fans have been calling it our best work to date.
MM-Q8: When writing your music, What inspires your lyrics?
INK-A8: Lyrically the band touches on everything from the poisoning epidemic of racism to a song written from the perspective of a friend of mine who has mitochondria and is almost 100% blind.
MM-Q9: INK has been going strong since 2006, Any tips for those trying to make it in the music industry?
INK-A9: I guess I’d like to say to any person, any band trying to make it in the music industry, if you really want it bad enough, it can happen, it can just sometimes take a long time. Try not to get discouraged. Everyone’s been in a position where people have told them that they’ll never make it, they’re not good enough or blah blah blah. There will always be nay say’ers out there. The important thing to do is not concentrate on that. If this is what you want to do in your life then you need to give 110%. That’s what we did. We’ve by no means reached the end game for us, we’re moving forward and the sky is the limit as I see it.
MM-Q10: Since you have become a band in 2006, What has been the biggest challenge you have had as a band and how have you overcome it?
INK-A10: In 2009 there was a collapse involving things on the label front which definitely set us back a bit. In the end everything worked out for the best: changing management, changing labels, that got us to the people we work with now who we couldn’t be happier with. Through all the struggle, we eventually saw the silver lining of the big cloud so to speak. “Without struggle there is no progress” – Frederick Douglas.
INK-A11: We have a very awesome fall tour that we’ll be announcing very soon as well as a new acoustic song we’ll be releasing around the same time
MM-Q12: As you have been announced to play on Warped Tour 2014, what are you most excited for & what band are you most excited to see perform on Warped?
INK-A12: This year is our first time performing on the entirety of the tour as well as our first time on one of the bigger stages. We’re very excited to be playing for our fans as well as reaching so many new potential listeners.
MM-Q13: Any hints to what songs we can expect to see you perform live at Warped Tour?
INK-A13: It’s all a surprise but I can tell you it will be a nice mix of old and new songs.
MM-Q14: Any cities you’re super stoked to go back to or visit for the first time?
INK-Q14: I’m excited for all the shows honestly but a few in particular would be: Boston MA, Buffalo NY, Houston TX, and Mountain View CA.
MM-Q15: What Inspired the lyrics to the song “Lets Bury The Hatchet… In Your Head.”
INK-A15: Due to a non disclosure agreement concerning some previous business relationships, I can’t get into the specifics of that song. All I can say is be very careful with who you do business with and always make sure a quality lawyer reads over your contracts.
MM-Q16: Is there anything you wish to say to your current or future fans?
TWA-A16: If you support our band I love you with all my heart. If you don’t, buy me a drink to make up for it…