INFILTRATION is yet another really cool Russian metal band. Answers by Paul (vocals)Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-well, to answer your first question we should first clarify that, the “back in the days” is kind of a stretch here, as we only formed last spring! But yeah, everyone of us is a seasoned musician, who had been playing for 10+ years in various bands. Now, has it gone the way we wanted it to go? Sure! We had pretty clear mission statement so to speak… Being heavily influenced by the old school death metal scene, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, Obituary to name a few, we went for THAT type of groove, THAT type of attitude, and mostly THAT type of death metal, so yeah, absolutely, it has definitely gone the way we intended!
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-Naturally our debut record came out exactly the way we expected it, what we did not expect though, was such an enormous and positive feedback we have received! and this is where we would like to say that we really appreciate this support from around the world, cause that’s what keeps us wanting to make music! so Thanks a lot for every single one who gave his/her time to listen to our ep “Nuclear strike warning”, thanks to every podcast which aired our songs, every zine which posted a review, our label WormHoleRecord for spreading the word. That part was unexpected, but pleasant as hell!!!
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
-I certainly do! i think when a band knows what they want to achieve, they certainly know how to achieve it as well. Besides im kind of a person who doesn t like change things if they fit fine and work well, you know?! so i hope we ll continue to build upon our sound without deviations!!!
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Yeah it does! speaking of lyrics, i ve always been drawn to lyric sheets when it came to my favorite bands! just to know what Slayer, Metallica, Black Sabbath were singing about felt so important to me, that i took this approach when i started to write mine! our message here is rather reflective, we live in a pretty much confusing times, sometimes scary, sometimes simply weird, and just by facing these manifestations in our ordinary lives kind of made me go for more of a socially oriented stuff, like in our song Razor wire, or sometimes more military oriented stuff like Nuclear strike warning…and even though our core motif is rather banal, which basically : “Hey people!!! how about we just freaken stop murdering the planet, countries and each other, for a change? Cos we aint here forever, and you don’t want to leave ruins for your kids to live in, right? So as banal as it is, this is what we wanted to convey, cos this is our attempt to change something about, by means, which we believe are very strong and influential and that is music!
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-I think it is, i thing the cover is as much of a work of art as the album (music, lyrics, vocals that is) itself. I find the laconic, straight to the point artworks that able to get the point across to be my favorite! one of my absolute favorite bands Fear Factory usually had one of those! say Demanufacture – serves as a perfect example of a flawless cover art! perfectly executed piece of art, totally sums up the idea behind the album!
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-Well it s really hard to explain! we grew up listening to all these european and american great heavy bands, cos in our country we’d never had this sub culture to be so deeply rooted in our lives! Im referring to heavy music (metal for the most part) The entire phenomenon of playing shows, or even touring was pretty much unthinkable here, when Europe and State were already some 40 years deep into it! so with that said, we simply lost that time before we could establish our own music base you know? and then great Internet came and selling music became almost pointless thing to do. now the last bastion of music industry is trying to survive, which is States, so i suppose no one would even take a look at up and coming bands from least established places music wise! what s good though, is the fact that we can tell the world about us now, again thanks to the internet and of course YOU guys!!!! so maybe there s still a chance to breakthrough, who knows… but in Russia, it is pretty much impossible to play music or be able to perform at any given moment (due to obligations on our day jobs, financial problems, passports, visas, all kinds of logistics that come into play and may deter otherwise cool offerings) for example, my main band Chamber of Torture – we re currently recording our 4th album, last three are bound with single concept, it s such a great lyrical and musical work, especially for the band playing old school death metal, expecially in Russia, i can tell you, that at this very moment we re the only band that has done it in Russia, – like having a conceptual thing going for three albums, and simply lasting this long into our career without any support whatsoever! so i think it s hard to achieve it here because in Russia there’s never been a strong management, that could promote bands., yeah i think this is the main problem! Speaking of success, well if someone listening to our music, finds it cool, if he finds himself headbanging to it in his room, car or buying our merch – well to me this is as much of success as i would like to have)))
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-Yeah! i agree the competition is insane! How do we stand out?! well, i guess we never stood in, in the first place ha ha! I never saw music as sports, so i never really cared about how to outplay the next band, you know? i simply don’t care about the entire competition at all! we always write from our hearts – this is the purest form of art, our lives (fortunately or unfortunately) do not depend on our music – and thus we don’t need to invent tricks to keep listener anchored to our next album, except only by sheer enthusiasm that we display (hopefully) and if you guys liked it – cool! we really appreciate it, if you didn’t at least we were honest with our art! so i think that Honesty and purity of our music – that, how i would like to stand out, for sure! But whether it works or not – i wouldn’t know!!!!
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
-Well, i’d say that our local scene is fairly thriving, i hope we re years away from making it big for some bands! already some bands going out to gigs to Finland and further.on ,more or less permanent basis The most recent would be Hellbomb (black metal band) playing at Netherlands Fest this march, also death metal maniacs Pyre went abroad on numerous occasions, Katalepsy, would be one of the most well known bands from Russia i suppose, also Internal Damage, Grave Disgrace are killer, just to name a few! I think it s important to have a national scene developing constantly because this is how you cut your teeth, before you get your chance to get big, you see none of us took our instruments just yesterday, and more often then not we wanted to quit it all, and most did, eventually, cos support was weak, but during the last 10 years i saw, how things started to change, people got more experienced, more matured, we started to built our own generation of sound engineers, studios started to work, some people extremely talented started to work with bands, like say Hibol studio and its staff – all these factors are extremely important for the band if the band wants to become international!
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
¬-Ha ha! Cool question!) well it is definitely more accepted now, thanks to so many concerts by Internationally acclaimed musicians, and media in general, but i d say we are waaayyy behind Finland, Sweden, Norway when it comes to being a metal head in Russia…ha ha! i think it s still pretty much underground here, compared to aforementioned countries, let alone States…
What does the future hold?
-Ummm, well we re going to play a debut local show, this april, with Infiltration. I hope then we ll be back into writing mode for the next Infiltration album! well, yeah “new songs, new shows, record, repeat”!!! something like that! Other then that, i have no idea!!! let s hope for the best!!!
p.s. And by the way, thank you very much for your questions, I on behalf of the whole Infiltartion camp send my best regards to every single metal and music fan around the globe! Thank you for your support! Much respect! Paul!