In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with INFERI. All answers by Inferi guitarist Malcolm Pugh. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
we live in a world where there are literally millions of bands to check out. What do you have that sets you apart?
– That is a hard question to answer. I think the mixture of melody, genre influence and technicality puts us in a different realm then a lot bands, but we aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel by any means. All we can do is stay true to our particular style of writing and keep trying to evolve as musicians as time goes on.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
– Oh, man. It was such a long time ago. I honestly can’t remember how difficult it was. Our old name was “Death Looks Promising”, so almost anything was better than that, haha. We were looking for a name with just one word and our drummer at the time suggested “Inferi”. We didn’t hate it and we went along with it. We’ve always focused on the music more than anything, so we didn’t put too much thought into. We just wanted to jam. In retrospect, that wasn’t the best route to go, because a lot of people have trouble pronouncing it or misunderstanding it when you tell them the name, but it’s a little too late to change it.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
– When we first started we were more influenced by more thrash metal/power metal/metalcore ideas. It wasn’t until Arsis, The Black Dahlia Murder and Necrophagist hit my ears that the music changed quite a bit. These bands in particular had a huge influence on our sound.
We try not to wear our influences on our sleeves, because we don’t want copy anyone’s sound. The idea is to learn from a band that inspires you and not be a carbon copy of your idols. However, we do get compared to The Black Dahlia Murder a lot, which is totally fine with me, but I think that is more because we are both melodic bands and that connects with people the most.
These days, I’m heavily inspired by film scores and the compositions behind classical music. Composers like Danny Elfman & Abel Korzeniowski are two names that come to mind wen I think of dark and highly textured compositional work.
What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
– I think people like supporting the bands they love and like having something to remember them by. Even though digital has taken over by large, I don’t think the fans will ever completely stop collecting CDs/LPs in the underground metal scene. Right now, for us, I don’t see a disadvantage. Our fans are amazing and they typically support everything we do, which is why they are the best.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you are out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
– I don’t think this will be as much as an issue for underground metal. Right now, I’m not worried about it, so I guess we’ll cross that road when we get there. These days, playing live is still something people should focus their attention on. Fans will always consume music and there is nothing cooler than seeing your favorite band perform your favorite songs in a room full of people having a great time alongside yourself.
What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
– We don’t really have a “message” in our artwork. We just like sick visual art. As far as album artwork goes, we just want a person to see the album art and get a glimpse into the story that will tell in our lyrics and hopefully dive deeper into our world from their. We aren’t influenced by religion or politics, however, people ask if we are a Christian band, because our lyrics sometimes refer to heaven and hell, angels and demons, etc., but that is for the sake of storytelling.
Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-Social media has changed things up. It’s harder than ever to stay relevant with so many bands and people have access to so much, it can be a little tough to get your voice out there. I think the hardest part about social media are the platforms themselves. There is no longer a “live feed” of content. If you post something they limit your reach. When your band has thousands of followers and only 5% of those fans see your posts, there is a huge problem. This forces bands to have to pay lots of money to get the reach they once had before the platforms changed their methods of operation.
There are always obstacles. Playing live and word of mouth is still very powerful though. Now you have to manage all three to really break outside of your local areas.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-No, not really. I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing. We are just a metal band that want to play shows, write music we love and have a good time. That is the only scene I really care to be a part of.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We’ve really ramped up the touring as of late. We’ve had line-up issues for a really long time and that has kept us off the road for years and years. Touring is still king in solidifying your band as an entity. That is usually what people want to see once they find out about your band. Most metalheads ask themselves “Yeah… but, are they good live?” once their friend shows them a new band. So, playing live is ideal for longevity in my opinion.
What will the future bring?
-More albums, more tours, more good times hopefully. That’s all one can really hope/strive for in a metal band.
Inferi Social Media Links
The Artisan Era YouTube Channel