IMMOLATION vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan recently checked with a report of the band’s current U.S tour with GRAVE, GOATWHORE, and CREMATORIUM, including the status of IMMOLATION drummer Alex Hernandez and last minute session drummer Steve Shalaty.
“We are very happy to be out on the road again here in the states. This time we had some problems that almost caused us to cancel the whole tour. It started at the end of our European tour. Alex, our drummer, developed a hernia, which caused him pain and made it difficult for him to perform every night, but he managed to finish out the remaining dates on the European tour before returning home. We had a week off in between the tours, during which time Alex saw his doctor and decided he was not able to be part of the US tour due to the fact that he would need immediate surgery. We were in a very tough position, left without our drummer three days before our first show, which was in Canada. We immediately scrambled to find a replacement to fill in for Alex for the tour. After three days of calls to just about every drummer we know, we finally found our man. His name is Steve Shalaty and he is from Cleveland, Ohio and plays drums for the band, ODIOUS SANCTION. He offered to help us out, feeling confident he could do the job in a short amount of time. This was on Friday the 23rd of May. He put everything on hold and flew out the next morning to New York to begin the learning process. That first day, we picked him up from the airport and immediately began teaching him the songs…this was Saturday. By Monday, he already knew 9 songs and was ready to take the stage with us.
“Alex, agreed to play the New York City show with us to give Steve another day to review the material, and we all had a great time that night. It was a great show and it was great to have the whole touring package together for the first time. It was great to see the GRAVE guys again, it’s been about 7 years since we last played with GRAVE in Europe on the No Mercy Fests, and they destroyed the New York crowd. GOATWHORE joins us again for our second trip through the U.S. with this great band. Not only are they great people and good friends, they always decimate the stage every night. It was our first time meeting CREMATORIUM and they were all very cool and excited to be on the tour. The performed a great set with their new drummer as well. With the exception of GOATWHORE, all the bands on the tour have new drummers. The following day we let Steve review the songs on his own, then we headed out for our next stop in Baltimore. We arrived late and GOATWHORE was almost finished with their set and GRAVE was up next. We set up outside the small club and waited for GRAVE to finish. This would be our first time playing together with Steve as a band, and considering the circumstances, he did a fine job and killed the small crowd that was there late on a Wednesday night. We were very happy with Steve‘s performance and were all extremely proud of what he was able to achieve in only three days. With this first show under our belt, we were confident that everything would be just fine as the tour progressed. The next day we were in Worcester, Mass, and were familiar with the Palladium since we had played there many times before. We got to the club early in the afternoon and played through the set with Steve a few times just to work out the kinks, and by the time we hit the stage that night, everything was in full swing. The crowd that night was great and really appreciative of the fact that we were able to do the tour and over looked the fact that our set was only 9 songs, a bit shorter than what we would normally play, but nonetheless, we were there in full force and it was a great night. As the tour progressed, Steve learned more songs now we are able to play our normal set. We hope to see all of you maniacs soon.”