For quite a while now, Chile seems to be the ultimate South American melting pot in terms of high quality Death Metal. So it’s been no big surprise that the debut album of a young Chilean band called INFAMOVS arose the interest of some people from the VOICES staff and which also received very positive feedback so far. An interview had to be done, no doubt about it. But it should take a least about four months, until this interview should be realized and published. Obviously the band underwent some internal quarrel / problems, what led to the fact, that everything had been delayed over and over again. Honestly, at some point I nearly gave up, BUT finally there you are! Read what guitarist S.D. had to say about what’s going on in Coquimbo.
Hi S.D., first of all thanks for taking the time to bear with some more or less intelligent questions. So, maybe let’s start it all with you introducing yourself and the rest of the unholy horde.
"Hello demon, it is a pleasure to contact you. Well, I introduce myself. I am S.D, guitarist of the Chilean Death Metal band INFAMOVS. The current members that we have been with for more than a year and with which we recorded our CD "Under The Seals Of Death" are: A.M (drums), R.B (guitars), F.U (vocals), F.G (bass) and me, S.D (guitars)."
Congrats to your first full length! To me this is a more than decent debut. Did you send out any promo stuff and therefore managed to get a deal with Memento Mori by yourselves or was it Raul that got in contact with you? Is this a one album contract, you’ve signed or can we expect some more stuff under the Spanish flag in the future?
"Memento Mori sent us an e-mail asking us in what situation we were as a band after having released our demo "Emanation Of Impure Heresies". And it was when we mentioned that we were already recording new material titled "Under The Seals Of Death", that we achieved a very good agreement. We speak both the same language (Spanish) and that favored us to have a good communication. Once we finished the recording, we sent him our material and that convinced him and confirmed even more his desire to work with us. We are very happy with what was done on their part; excellent work."
Prior to “Under The Seals Of Death“ you’ve only released an EP in 2015 called “Emanation Of Impure Heresies“ so far. And according to Metal Archives you seem to be a pretty young band that has been founded in 2014. What has been the basic urge to form INFAMOVS and play blasphemic Death Metal instead of much more popular stuff that is able to reach way more people? Is that kind of music a way of life you follow day by day, so that it’s kinda natural that the outcome had to be a band like INFAMOVS?
"INFAMOVS from its beginnings has always been a dark Death Metal act, because it is what we feel when it comes to composing. It is what you are born and try to express. We do not play in order to please people, but to satisfy our needs as musicians and lovers of Death Metal."
Chile seems to be more than ever the ultimate hotspot for South American Death Metal. It’s like an undying source that never ceases. Do you have a reasonable explanation for the phenomenon, that there are still so many new bands rising up every year? Maybe there’s some public support for young people, in order to get them away from the streets and to avoid criminal activities?
"True, South America has a lot of brutal bands in Death Metal, but I could not explain exactly why this happens. All continents are characterized by a particular way in which a musical genre always stands out. Over here every year new bands or spectacular albums appear. And if there is any kind of support for crime, yes, there are as in many countries, these are everywhere regardless of what kind of music you listen to. But I do not know or think there is a plan to eradicate it through Death Metal, haha. I think it’s a totally separate issue."
I already mentioned the massive bulk of bands. Plenty of them are already blessed with a quite high quality level and act pretty skilled. Don’t you fear a lack of recognition by the audience; that people won’t take enough notice of your existence due to the flood of really good bands, no matter old or new? Or do you just give a fuck, because you simply play for the passion and not for the fame?
"The truth is well appreciated when people recognize your musical work, especially at a world level where it costs a lot to excel due to the large number of great bands already existing. But this is simple. If the music is good enough, it will speak for itself and will let us know to continue and to work in a good way. But it is not within our priorities to be the most famous. We play for other important interests, I think."
Let’s talk about your hometown Coquimbo. How many people are living in it and do you have an existing local scene with other bands? Maybe there are some Metal bands worth being mentioned? Almost each second band seems to come out of Santiago. Do you think it is owed to the fact that it is the capitol city of Chile with way more inhabitants and therefore way more musicians or at least the chance to get in contact with other musicians way easier?
"The city of Coquimbo surpasses 100.000 people, but it is practically united with other cities, towns and localities. The closest is the city of La Serena (9 km) which will be about 200.000 inhabitants. Some of our members live there. Much of the live shows are bands from both cities. I could mention many good bands from the region of Coquimbo, recommend some already extinct and others that continue playing. To name a few: SWARM OF TERROR, PREDATOR, INCINERATOR, UGGAE COMMAND, GOATIZED, BURIED, DOMINACION, UNDERTAKER OF THE DAMNED, HURA CREPITANS and one of my favorites, DEFACING. There are plenty more of course and very good quality. What you ask me about Santiago is just the way you say it. It’s the capital. There are many more people, more opportunities to play, more concerts with great bands from abroad. We have gone to play there and you really feel the change of the audience."
What about playing live? Do you often get offers for a gig and how many have you completed so far? Any memorable ones, maybe as a support for some bigger acts?
"As we are a relatively new band, the number of concerts have not been too many, but we have always said that we prefer quality over quantity. The best presentation for me is to have played in Santiago in an event called "Years Of Blasphemy And Satanic Devotion" with great bands nationally and internationally, like PRAISE THE FLAME, DIABOLICAL MESSIAH, INVINCIBLE FORCE, etc."
Would you say that INFAMOVS is a typical rehearsal room band, where all band members practice together, not sending sound files to each other while composing some stuff at home? How many times a week do you rehearse? By the way, who is responsible for the songwriting and lyrics in general? Do you have a main composer within the band or is it a democratic process, so that each member could come up with ideas you could work out then as a band?
"That’s right, we rehearse with all the members in a room. Lately it has been difficult joining continually, primarily due to work. But at least I can say that every two weeks we meet. When we begin to compose, in a great part, it is democratic. It has to please us all. The construction of songs as a rule would be something like this; we are the guitarists who wear riff, models of songs, new ideas, and our great drummer A.M is coupled quite well, together with the F.U in the voices and F.G in the bass. Those are the ones who make our ideas stand out. We are all molding what we are looking for, until we have a complete idea. In the end we will complete the details, control of the times, speeds, guitar solos, etc."
To stick with the topic songwriting; obviously you don’t seem to be fastest ones, right? At least there a 7 songs taken from your 2015 EP that also found their way onto your first full length. That means barely two new tunes in about two years. I hope it won’t take two more years for you to come up with new stuff? Maybe you already started with the writing process for new material?
"The information is not correct, it really was not two years, only five or six months. The EP has been recorded and released at the end of 2015 (October / November) and a few months later, exactly in May 2016, we re-recorded the previous material in better quality. Those are the five tracks of the EP + three new songs. What happened is that the production and production process was delayed a lot and in addition to that Memento Mori dictated the release date, which ended up being in January 2017. But the recordings were made much earlier. We are already preparing material for a new release that would probably be ready for 2018."
From time to time there are musicians claiming to draw their inspiration for lyrics from certain books / writers. What about you? What was the last book you’ve read?
"The truth is that I am not a great reader of books. What I do most is to watch documentaries, to read scientific articles of ufology, to instruct me on old events. You know, ancient civilizations, the creation of the human being, the interaction with the gods. Everything related with the theory of the ancient astronaut, of which I am convinced that we already have been and are visited by. Other beings of different species existing from other worlds. And a lot of other subjects related to the unknown and the hidden truth."
Unfortunately I just don’t own a physical copy of “Under The Seals Of Death“, so that I don’t have any further information about the album except for the song titles. Could you tell me where the album has been recorded and who is responsible for the quite simple yet effective artwork? Is there a deeper meaning behind it? I really like the color of it. Gives some certain sinister aspect to it.
"A pity, it is a must to get it haha. We recorded here in our city, in a small studio in terms of space but at the same time great for its very good implementation, which is called Cuerda3. Its owner and worker is Cristóbal Valenzuela. The design of the drawing was made by Thy Soggoth, renowned artist from the south of our country, but it was me who edited the tones, color and everything related in computer edition of it."
In what do you believe? The majority of Chileans seem to be catholic, so I’m wondering if you are a religious guy and that the whole lyrical concept is just an image, like it is for many other bands of that genre as well? Or do you take this very serious and consider INFAMOVS as a kind of rebellion and fight against christianity?
"I do not have a belief of an all-powerful god, I do not share anything at all with any church or religion. Enslaved people, forced to follow a regime of those who dictate what is good and what is bad, what must be done and what not. Taking advantage of people’s ignorance to enlarge their power over society. I have a more scientific, ufological, realistic idea of what a god or gods of creation are to us. It is a much bigger issue to address."
In reviews you are often described as a blend of bands like for example SADISTIC INTENT and old INCANTATION. Is this a comparison you can live with or do you hate being labeled that way? I guess there could be way more worse bands being associated with, right? From which bands does INFAMOVS draw its influences? I am pretty sure there are also some long-serving veterans from Chile among them as well?
"Of course we like that comparison. From the beginning our interest was to do that type of Death Metal. It is an honor that you are labeled with great bands like SADISTIC INTENT and INCANTATION. In personal terms my influences while composing, is a mix of various bands, such as DEAD CONGREGATION, IMMOLATION, old DEICIDE and of course INCANTATION. Nationally, I think DOMINUS XUL is the most influential one. Great band."
Do you listen to music from non Metal genres as well? Which ones? Or a you a total to-the-bone Metalhead that can’t stand any other stuff?
"Clearly my favorite music is Death Metal, but I would lie if I told you that there is only Metal in my ears and nothing more. I am very open minded musically, but my tastes are always related to Rock. For example, to me THE MISFITS is a great band to point out."
Within the past few years the good old black wax had a very strong comeback. What is your opinion about that boom? It seems that every fuckin hipster nowadays buys vinyl, just because it’s a trend they urgently need to follow. Do you think it is just some sort of trend for the moment and will be gone in a few years? I have the feeling that vinyl is going to establish itself again, but maybe without that popular demand it has right now.
"Clearly it is fashionable everywhere, but I really do not give a shit haha. I think the vinyl came to stay for at least several more years. On the other hand we also would like to re-release our CD in another format, whether as cassette or vinyl, why not? Haha."
For you as a band, is it of great importance that your efforts have to be pressed and put out on vinyl sooner or later, like it has been the common way back in the days? Are you a vinyl collector yourself? Do you have any rare gems, you would like to share with us?
"As I mentioned before, it would be a pleasure for us to be able to release our CD "Under The Seals Of Death" in vinyl format, but that does not depend on us anymore, but on some label that might interested to do so. On the other hand, I’m sorry, I’m not a vinyl collector."
Please name ten releases, that are mandatory / essential for you and what about your current top ten? What are the last outputs you’ve bought? Some recommendable new stuff worth being mentioned?
"I will do a top ten but with a random order, since the truth is too difficult to do with the large number of bands and albums that I like: DEAD CONGREGATION – "Graves Of The Archangels", DEICIDE – "Once Upon The Cross", IMMOLATION – "Close To A World Below", INCANTATION – "Diabolical Conquest", CANNIBAL CORPSE – "Butchered At Birth", MELEKTAUS – "Transcendence Through Ethereal Scourge", DOMINUS XUL – "The Primigeni Xul (I Condemned My Enemies)", PORTAL – "Outre", DEAD CONGREGATION – "Promulgation Of The Fall" and MAGNANIMUS – "Storms Of Chaotic Revelations". I repeated DEAD CONGREGATION simply because it is my favorite band. Every material they did and do is a work of art, worthy for any Death Metal lover."
It is a pity that, in comparison to the mass of great acts hailing from South America, only a few are able to manage playing some shows / small tours over here in Europe. Lack of interest could not be the reason in my humble opinion, as there has always been a loyal fanbase over here. Do you think the financial side ist he main problem, as there is in most cases no underground label capable to pay for flights, accomodation etc.? What about INFAMOVS? Any plans visiting Europe in the nearby future?
"I think it is a monetary issue. It is a great investment to take bands from so far to Europe, but it has been done constantly with other Chilean bands and also from other countries. I do not see why we should not. We have all the desire to spread our music all over the continents. The desire remains and we hope to get an invitation soon. It would be an honor."
In 2016 you recruited two new members, that are also active in another Death Metal act called SWARM OF TERROR. The sound of both bands does not differ that much from each other, so what convinced or maybe even forced F.G and R.B to join you for bass and guitar duties? Any overlaps or problems when it comes to rehearsals or playing gigs? Is INFAMOVS their main band by now?
"R.B and F.G have already been friends of mine for several years and we have always had contact. When they were offered the opportunity to join us after the departure of our former guitarist C.H, they accepted without any problem. For now they are dedicated only to INFAMOVS."
The Foreign Office cautions against a high rate of crime in Chile. Starting with pickpocketing up to violent assaults happening to tourists. How do you see the current situation? Is it that dangerous in general and especially for foreign people?
"The truth is that the high rate of delinquency occurs in all South America, usually in cities with more population, but Chile is a quiet and democratic country and cataloged the best of South America in several aspects. There is no reason to have fear, but obviously you always have to be careful as everywhere else, too and more ideal, to be with someone you know."
If you had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to put together your personal Death Metal super group, who would participate? It doesn’t matter if dead or alive.
"Haha, this is a good question; clear and precise: Ross Dolan (IMMOLATION): bass / vocals, Trey Azagthoth (MORBID ANGEL): guitars, Eric Hoffman (ex – DEICIDE): guitars and V.V. (DEAD CONGREGATION): drums."
Long running hordes like PENTAGRAM CHILE, ATOMIC AGGRESSOR or maybe MORTEM (even though they’re not from Chile) have been around since mid-eighties and it seems there’s still no end in sight. Could you imagine playing on with INFAMOVS for the next 30 years? Well, at least someone has to carry on the ancient feeling, huh?
"Of course, I plan to stay only with INFAMOVS until the end of time haha. We as band hope to keep playing and moving musically for several more years. I have no plans to have another band either."
Do you prefer to buy CDs and stuff online or do you have the chance to get it from (local) record stores?
"I buy CDs both ways. I have good contacts, where I can acquire good material."
Some like it old school, some more melodic, others ultra brutal or technical, but what is your very own definition of Death Metal?
"Death Metal is mainly defined by its musical crudity; it has to express extreme brutality regardless of its focus on lyrics, whether it is gore, blasphemy, death, etc. For example the lyrics of CANNIBAL CORPSE and MORBID ANGEL; both are very different to each other, but in both you can see in the distance the essence of Death Metal."
Do you read and / or collect fanzines? Is it of great importance for you being connected to other maniacs in the underground to be able to interchange about new releases / bands? Do you think that the internet makes it way more easy to get in touch with people all around the world on the one hand, but on the other hand it is not that exciting anymore like back in the days, when we used to write letters?
"I do not collect magazines but I read a lot of interviews online. I like to be informed about what happens with bands of my taste, knowing if they will be releasing a new album or have a tour in my country. And thanks to this medium, whether it’s mail, Facebook, etc. everything is made easier. Music can travel the world in just a couple of seconds, that’s how we contacted our representative label, listening to us on the internet. The fans, you and people from all sides. And on the last, I did not live the time to send letters as the main method for contacts, haha."
Well, S.D, seems as if we’ve come to the end. Thanks a lot for your time and efforts. It’s up to you to do some commercial for your own purpose. Maybe you have some merch for sale? The last words are yours.
"First of all thank you very much for the patience and the waiting time, you know what I mean haha. Thanks also to the readers of this interview, you listen to the good Death Metal. The fans of INFAMOVS and the general public. We look forward to being able to play live for the old continent or other sides of the world. Meanwhile enjoy our emanation titled "Under The Seals Of Death", the next one will be much more brutal. For sale of our material communicate to our networks of contact."