Impaler (band)

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Origin St. Paul, Minnesota
Genres Speed Metal, Punk rock, Rock music, Shock Rock
Years active 1983-present
Members Bill Lindsey
Court Hawley
Michael James Torok
Dr. Corpse
Kyle Skogquist
Tom Croxton
Past members Mike Senn
Meaty" Robert Johnson
John Stradinger
Erin Ryan
Ken LaMere
Erik Allyn(Mitchell)
Nikki Nichols(David O'Steen)
Ron Barna

Impaler is a Minnesota horror rock band from the Twin Cities. Impaler formed in the spring of 1983 with founding members Bill Lindsey (vocals), Michael James Torok (guitar), "Commander" Court Hawley (bass), Robert "Meaty Bob" Johnson (drums), and Mike Senn (guitar). The band played original songs sprinkled with a few covers by favorite influential bands such as Kiss, Alice Cooper, and Motörhead. Bill Lindsey is the sole continuing member of Impaler, keeping the band alive for over 30 years.

Impaler has a theatrical show which features fake blood, cages, coffins, latex severed heads and a finale that includes a mock disemboweling of victims.


Rise Of The Mutants[edit]

Impaler recorded demo tapes which caught the ear of Important Record Distributors and lead to the band being signed to the in-house labels IRD Records and Combat Records. They released two records with these labels, the first being the Rise Of The Mutants EP (1985), which caused much controversy with Tipper Gore and her Parents Music Resource Center organization.[1][2][3][4] The record cover was also used as a prop in the cult horror movie Trick or Treat.[citation needed]

End with Combat Records[edit]

Impaler's second record was the LP If We Had Brains... We'd Be Dangerous (1986), which was produced by Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü. Although this would be the end of their relationship with Combat Records the band would go on to release many more albums with various labels.


The 1990s was a prolific decade for Impaler, seeing the band release four CDs. "Wake Up Screaming!" on Channel 83 Records with 2nd guitarist John Stradinger, followed by a demo tape "Sonic Freak Show" in 1995 and a self-financed release on the band's own Vlad Productions titled "Undead Things"(1996). "It Won't Die" came in 1998, after Impaler signed with ROOT OF ALL EVIL Records. That label also released "One Nation Under Ground" (which debuted current drummer Tom Croxton), "The Gruesome Years" which featured the two Combat releases and additional bonus tracks, plus the Black Leather Monster 7" vinyl and a 7" E.P. titled "The Mutants Rise Again" for Danish label HORROR RECORDS. At this point the band appeared at high-profile Metal Festivals like Milwaukee Metal Fest, New Jersey March Metal Meltdown, Classic Metal Fest and Expo Of The Extreme, exposing fans to their raw punk/metal sound and energetic, theatrical stage show.


Impaler has continued a high rate of output over the past decade, releasing four CDs, including "Old School Ghouls", "Habeas Corpus" which were the last for ROOT OF ALL EVIL Records. Habeas Corpus marked the return of original bassist Court Hawley. The band signed with MVD Audio for the first official live recording by the band "Alive Beyond The Grave" and their first concept CD "Cryptozoology (Creatures Of God?)", which marked the return of original guitarist Michael James Torok, as well as two DVDs "20 Years Undead" and "House Band At The Funeral Parlor" plus two split 7" singles for "666 Dreary Lane" which also featured fellow Minnesota band RIPSNORTER and "Jersey Devil/Impaler" back with two tracks by Iowa Grind/Crust band BLACK MARKET FETUS. In 2009 Lindsay contributed his recipe for "Bloody intestines and Worms" to Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook, however, the recipe clarifies that the ingredients are actually Italian sausage and onions.[5] The following year Impaler released Chronicles Of Terror (2010), an album containing old demos of their unreleased songs, as well as cover songs, a live show, and a twenty-page booklet that contained an interview with band members and rare photos of the group.[6]


Impaler had much controversy in the 1980s with Tipper Gore and her P.M.R.C. group. During this time, Gore wanted the public to think of rock music as evil and as spreading violence and sexuality to young kids. When Rise Of The Mutants was released in 1985, it struck the entertainment industry with its violent and gory album cover. Outside of Impaler concerts, protesters would burn the album and hang crosses. Tipper Gore tried to get the album off of record store shelves, but failed to do so, giving Impaler more publicity than they expected. Again in 1996, when Undead Things was released, it sparked controversy with Best Buy. Best Buy tried to remove the cd from store shelves thinking the cover was too graphic, showing Lindsey split open with surgical tools still attached to him.

Lyrical Themes[edit]

Impaler's writing style generally is about B movie horrors, with lyrics about halloween, ghouls, ghosts, monsters, witches, and skeletons. One song, "Heaven's Force", has some double meaning with religion and the movie Star Wars. Some of Impaler's songs have sexual meanings to them, most recognized "Crack That Whip" and "Breathing Down Your Back". In their time, Impaler has never wanted their songs to deal with religion.


Present Members [7][8]
  • Bill Lindsey - vocals (1983 - present)
  • Michael James Torok - guitar, backing vocals (1983 - 1992, 2009 - present)
  • "Commander" Court Hawley - bass, backing vocals (1983 - 1992, 2004 - present)
  • "Dr. Corpse" Zach Lindsey - backing vocals (2000 - present)
  • Tom Croxton - drums, keyboards (studio only) (1999 - present)
  • Kyle Skogquist - guitar, backing vocals (2006 - present)
Past Members [9][10]
  • Mike Senn - guitar, backing vocals (1983 - 1984, 1992)
  • "Meaty" Robert Johnson - drums (1983 - 1987)
  • Erin Ryan - drums (1987 - 1990)
  • Ken LaMere - drums (1990 - 1992)
  • John Strandinger - guitar (1990 - 1992)
  • David "Nikki Nichols" O'Steen - guitar, backing vocals (1993 - 1996)
  • Ron Barna - drums (1994 - 1999)
  • "Erik Allyn" Mitchell - bass, backing vocals (1994 - 2004)
  • Bradley "Bradley J." Johnson - guitar, backing vocals (1996 - 2008)


Studio Albums
  • FEAR NO EVIL Demo (1982)
  • Demo 1 (1983)
  • Demo 2 (1983)
  • Demo 3 (1984)
  • Demo '87 (1987)
  • Minneapolis School of Arts Demo (1990)
  • Daddy Raw Demo (1992)
  • Sonic Freak Show (1995)
  • Meat Wagon demo (1996)
  • The Gruesome Years (1998)
  • Chronicles of Terror (2010)
  • Troma Film's Poultrygeist soundtrack (2008)
  • Combat's Bullets (1986)
  • 20 Years Undead (2004)
  • House Band at the Funeral Parlor (2006)
Live Albums
  • Alive Beyond the Grave (2006)
  • Impaler's EP Rise Of The Mutants appears in the cult horror film Trick or Treat.


  1. ^ "Impaler Biography". Metal Storm. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  2. ^ "IMPALER Interview with Bill Lindsey and Tom Croxton". Heart of Steel.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Matt. "Impaler at The Basement: Blood, Guts, and Tipper Gore". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Impaler". AV Club Twin Cities - Events. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  5. ^ Giroux, Annick. Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook. New York: Bazillion Points Books. ISBN 978-0-9796163-7-2.
  6. ^ "Chronicles Of Terror (click on Additional notes)". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links[edit]