Genre: death / groove metal
Questions: Ježura, H.
Hello to France! Tell us something about yourselves first… I know this is a cliche question but how would you introduce the band to someone who has never heard of you before? What would you like to achieve under Infectious Hate banner? And what’s your musical background? Did you play or still play in any other bands or is Infectious Hate your first musical project?
Léo: I usually introduce us as a Death Metal band that mixes other influences, allowing us to stay accessible while playing extreme music. My own goal is really to have fun doing this and so far it’s pretty much a success, I really hope to play into larger events and with bands that made me want to play music too!
I’ve been playing the guitar for eight years, mostly autodidact stuff learning songs I like and others. I’ve been into several projects and composed a good amount of songs for them but it never came right for many reasons (mostly line-up troubles) until I got into Infectious Hate, then we kept working and we can finally show results!
According to the materials we’ve obtained with the “Insanity Begins” presskit, history of Infectious Hate begins in 2013, but some other sources say that 2009 was the year the band was born. Could you clarify this once and for all?
John: The concept Infectious Hate was created in 2009 by me and Dan (Rhythm guitar). The line-up was workbench in 2013.
Many bands simply compose on and on and their sound is the natural outcome of such process, but in your case it rather seems that “Insanity Begins” was crafted with some solid vision in mind. Am I right about it or is it just my wrong opinion? Nevertheless, how long did it take to find your sound?
John: Yeah, you’re right. As I said before, we created Infectious Hate since 2009, it took us some years to find our sound. So we know how to work well for now, and where to go for the future.
Your music sounds very self-confident, it’s like you are pretty sure about what you want to play. I know it’s maybe to early to ask such question, but can you foresee any possible progress in your sound? Or do you plan to work on the current one to make it more intense, sophisticated, whatever…
Rémi: Of course we don’t want to stay on the level we are now. It’s quite obvious for us to make some progress in every sides of the band, which means the composition in our songs, the sound that we want on stage or on the next recording, and for each member improve our technic. We’re looking for new compositions which stay in the spirit of Infectious Hate but with more technical parts or something different with more ambient parts. On the other side we have to keep focus to improve our sound (on stage or recording) to have something which represents the band and kicks ass when you listen to it!
This question is linked to the previous one – what about some new music? “Insanity Begins” is your debut EP so what are you planning to release next time? Maybe a full-length album?
Rémi: Yeah, we want to write some new stuff, keeping the “old” Infectious Hate and bringing new materials. We’re right now in the writing of quite many songs in the purpose to record a full-length album maybe for the end of the year 2014 or beginning 2015.
You apparently put some decent effort into your image. How important is the image for everything you do as a band? I guess you play live with these masks. If so, do you think it would work as good without them as with them? And isn’t it a bit uncomfortable to play a whole set with such gear put on?
John: Our image is as important as our music, we wanted a strong identity for this band and if we play without masks the message won’t be the same. We try to have maximum comfort wearing these masks but to tell you the truth it’s not simply as it seems, on stage we suffer by heat and it’s hard to breathe well…
Almost every band whose members wear masks is compared with more famous masked bands like Slipknot for example, but I see your masks more like a reminder of “Silence of the Lambs” movie and it’s iconic antagonist Hannibal Lecter. On the other hand, the creepy sack which adorns your singer’s visage reminds The Scarecrow from “Batman Begins” movie. Did these movies inspired you when you were thinking about how your image should look like? If not, at least tell us how do you like these films then…
John: None of these movies inspired us, I like them, but people always need to put an identity to what they see. So if you wear mask and you play in a metal band, you are automatically compared to Slipknot no matter what your music stands for. It will take time but we’ll try to give a new image for the masked bands.
Your music is quite straight-forward, heavy and brutal and since you play such music, I presume you also listen to a lot of stuff from similar genres. What are you favourite bands? But on the other hand, one has to relax and listen to something different from time to time so another question is simple – what else music aside from death/groove metal do you like as listeners?
Léo: Yeah we sure like brutal stuff but not only! For brutality I enjoy bands like Nile, Cryptopsy or Fleshgod Apocalypse, a bit less harsh with Bloodbath and Carcass, plenty others!
I got to confess I have troubles listening to other stuff than metal, not that I think it’s bad, just not as thrilling for me as the metal is. But in it I can listen to almost any genre, going from symphonic metal to brutal death. But I really have a thing for melo-death, where my favorite bands are like Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity or Kalmah (I could go on for a moment so I’ll just stop there).
On “Insanity Begins”, lyric-wise you deal with topics like post-apocalyptic world driven by madness and other affinitive stuff. Is it just a topical leitmotiv or did you put some kind of concept into the record? And is it possible to expect some seriously conceptual release in the future?
John: This E.P is a concept for us, a first try. Our musical style is death groove. We didn’t invent anything; we’re just trying to put this style to date.
Since your lyrics deal with post-apocalyptic stuff, how do you like this cultural phenomenon personally? “Mad Max” movies and the “Fallout” videogame franchise for example are quite cult representatives of the genre – do you know them and enjoy them? Or did you even brought inspiration from them?
John: I love everything related directly or indirectly to the post-apocalyptic world, I know this movie and I played fallout, I enjoy them but our inspirations come to us directly from our point of view of the world. Simply look at everything happens then you will see that we live in dark times.
Do you think that something like apocalypse or catastrophe, which would lead to this post-apocalyptic world, could actually happen? I mean if it could happen as easily as in the movies… Have you ever thought about what would you do in post-apocalyptic world if anything like that happened and you survived the actual catastrophe?
Léo: I guess so, just look at that mess we’re living in and the destruction power we got in our hands, all it takes is some wrong person to the right place and we’ll write our own post-apocalyptic history. For the thoughts, have you ever played “The Walking Dead” games? (The Telltale one let’s forget the garbage from Activision ever got released)
The all point is to live the story with the consequences of your choices, and beside the shallow real differences of scenario depending on which choices you make. Sometimes they have an impact you wouldn’t have thought of. Anyway I don’t think it’s something worth thinking through all the time: if shit happens, chances are that you won’t live long enough to survive it and see what’s next, so what about enjoy what you like while you still can instead of morphing into a crazy survivalist that just prepare for one scenario among the others and put their lives in hold just in case it happens.
From our Czech point of view, we see French metal scene as a strong one with a lot of great bands which have quite unique sound. Do you – as someone from France itself – see it in the same way? Do you think bands from countries like France have better starting position than bands from countries like the Czech Republic, or do you think that origin doesn’t matter and musical qualities are more important?
Rémi: The French metal scene seems really wide, but when you’re into it, you realize that all bands know each other, with more or less affinity. But the thing is, France is not the best country to play metal; the Metal music is not set in the customs of the country, it stays really underground. Today it’s becoming to change, with more people who try to organize festivals, concerts etc…
We don’t know a lot the Czech Metal scene but we know that eastern countries are really crazy about metal too! We see lots of emergent bands coming from the eastern countries (the well-known is the Polish scene with Behemoth, Decapitated, Vader or Hate…). And the basic thing for a French Metal is to do a tour in the east of Europe (Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Romania…) so these countries are great to play Metal too. So we think bands from other countries have their chances too, no matter where they come from.
We have run out of question so there is only one more thing left – thank you very much for the interview and if you have anything you’d like to add, tell us!
John: Thanks a lot for this interview, greetings from France to the Czech metalheads!!! Stay brutal and sick!!!