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Sometimes one gets surprised by a relatively unknown band that suddenly delivers a killer-record. That was exactly the case with the German Infestus. The new album 'Ex | Ist' is one of the best black metal albums I've recently had the pleasure of listening to. Reason enough to question multi-instrumentalist Andras all about it!

By: Roel de Haan | Archive under black metal

The begin properly, how are you doing?
To answer also properly, I'm doing alright, thanks.

Three years have passed since 'Chroniken Des Ablebens' was released. What has Infestus been up to in the mean time?
Indeed, it is already three years. It is quite strange because it doesn't feel like this. Right after the release of 'Chroniken...' I started with the concept of 'Ex|Ist'. I was driven by the thought of intonating a very dark period of my life that drove me to the cusp of getting insane. So in a one year period I created the whole music for this album by drawing on those dark tearing experiences every time I wrote a piece for this album. After this quite exhausting year, I recorded all the instruments in February and July 2010 and mixed everything myself. In autumn of 2010, the album was finished practically. I had no artwork at that time though. The rest of time was spent for finding the right artist for the artwork, getting the CD mastered etc.

Congratulations on your new album 'Ex | Ist'. I think it's a killer album. How are the reactions towards it in general? What did you expect?
Thanks. The reactions are very good. People seem to feel the authenticity and the deep devotion that lies within this music. It is hard to foresee the reaction of the listeners because I am simply too deep involved. I do not create music in order to please the taste of people but to balance myself and my life. In my concern, this album is a mind-crushing monument that literally tears me apart when listening to it. There is so much hopeless pain and aggression inside that interact with my mind on some kind of resonant frequency. And the most important thing about my own music is that it is able to reach the innermost of my existence and do whatever it wants to me. This is what makes music good in my eyes in general. So the 'expectation-question' is rather secondary for me.

Your music has significantly increased in its maturity. What were the factors that helped you in this process?
I think an album, especially when coming from a one man project, reflects the character of the creator in the time of writing. Since the character is not static but dynamic (in most cases at least) there has to be a particular change in the music, especially when talking about the character of two albums which are three years apart. The musical taste also changes with the time, which again has a certain influence on the music one creates.

Your are now a one-man band. What were the reasons for the departure of Dagon?
In the process of creating 'Ex|Ist' I lost Dagon on the way. The concept became far too personal and we had no opportunity to rehearse anymore. And so it came that he slowly detached from the musical side of Infestus while I fell into it even more… . We then decided that it would be better if I go on alone. Nevertheless, we are still good friends and make this world a worse place together.

band imageIn what way did this conformational change affect the composing of the music?
The composing was not affected since it is only me who was/is responsible for it anyway. When Dagon was still a member, he concentrated on the vocals and a part of the lyrics. With his departure though, I had to find out how to authentically combine the transported mood of the music with the style and expression of my voice in order to create this dense emotional unity between instrumentation and 'singing'. It was a new experience for me since I haven't used my voice like this before. I even scheduled the recordings in the late night hours to be able to draw from the night's potential of bringing up all my darkness that is suppressed in the daytime. And it was worth it. The whole recording breathes or better said is the breath of an insanity-ridden individual, increasing and decreasing with its emotional situation.

Your music is remarkably diverse and coherent at the same time. How you accomplish this?
On the one hand, there is my more or less open minded access to music itself which gives me the ability to chain different styles if needed by the song. I still use a broad Black Metal foundation though in order to have the opportunity to transport such extreme emotions like those transported with my music. As for the coherence, my writing mode is definitely a reason for it. With every song I started to write, I repeatedly put myself (or already was) into a state where I was able to draw from my devastating experiences and transformed them into music. I always stayed with one song until it is finished. With this behaviour I generated an extremely deep emotional connection between me and the song, which really outlasts its time of creation. Nowadays, when I listen to it, it literally tears my soul apart. This is how music has to be.

The artwork struck me as very intriguing. Who made it and how would you say it relates or interact with the music?
The artwork pictures were made from Eric Lacombe, a French artist. You have to know that this picture already existed before. On my search on the internet I tried to find someone, whose art matches to my music. I wanted to get a picture developed from strong personal commitment which was as sick as my concept. And indeed, I found Eric. When I first saw this one picture showing this shade-like existence, a life-scarred face with empty eyes and the head exploding from his last existential fights against things inside that were always part of him…I knew it had to be this one. It was like seeing the end result of this gruelling journey one is witness of when listening to this album. As if it was made for it.

Even as a one man entity, do you still have the ambition to play live?
Sometimes I have, yes. Infestus has avoided live appearances for approximately six years now. But this has a reason. Dagon and I were not able anymore to cope with the fact of combining the conceptual path I pursue with my music with a live gig. Thinking of playing such dark emotional music in front of some hundred fun-having people who drink beer and don't really listen made me sick. This music has to be consumed all alone in order to fully assimilate and drown in its broad spectrum of negativity.

What are your future plans and ambitions for Infestus?
The primary plan is the release of another great intense Infestus album within the following years, which will at least dig as deep into you as the actual release does, and even more if this is possible at all. Right now though, I am pretty busy with other things in my life.

I want to thank you very much and the traditional final words are yours.
Plunge your soul into this album's manifesting morass of devastation and get lost within the infinite depths of your rotting mind.

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