Infiltration Speaks With Metal Saves!
MS: First off, I hope you are all keeping safe and healthy, let's start with the question I'm sure you've been asked and the one we seem to be asking all the bands we speak to, how has 2020 been for you?
Paul - First of all, thanks for your time, and thanks for having us for the interview!
Well... I guess it would be out of the ordinary if someone said that they had a great year this far, haha. But you know, what, everybody is safe and sound and apart from mild hindrances both personal and business, everything seems more or less stable. Everyone is alive, which by this year's standards is an achievement already! Of course, we miss live shows, both the ones we play at and the ones to go to and certain jauntiness we had right up until 2020. but yeah, it's ok here! I hope you and yours are safe and healthy as well!
Andrew - Well, it’s a good question to kick-off, really! Because you know, I could not imagine that something like this can ever happen! I mean, lockdown, closed borders, etc.. It’s interesting to watch these times in the world’s history. Luckily, all that situation didn’t have any huge negative impact on me personally. I didn’t lose my job, all my friends and family are fine. But I‘ve heard a lot of stories about people who lost their jobs or company cut-off their paycheck which is sad. I’ve heard some older people died because of covid, terrible. But in fact, I’m trying to look at things from a positive perspective. I mean, during the lockdown I’ve spent a lot of time with my family, which is priceless, I learned some new things related to my day job and a few others. So, life keeps going anyway!
MS: How have the events of the year impacted your plans other than live shows, has it affected the release of the album a lot?
Paul - Oh, definitely. You see, initially, our plan was to release the record this May, but alas... However I must point out that Enrico and the whole TTK (Time To Kill) staff, were not to be dazed that easily, and in a very short time, everything was neatly rescheduled, and the new date of the release was established which was October the 9th.
Originally I was kind of concerned that we could lose some momentum with the record as a consequence of the delay, but it was not the case, again thanks to Enrico and TTK people! As for live shows, we jumped on the last train at the last minute so to speak, as we did two shows in a row last January. First, we opened for Ingested (a deathcore band from the UK), during one of their Russian dates, and then we played a local death metal fest.
Then that was it. However recently, not some three weeks ago in fact, we played another local gig, I guess the promoter wanted to try to hold a gig and see what happens! everything went great, but I hear they started to cancel gigs again, so chances are it was our last gig in 2020. But again, for better or worse, it is not our source of income, every one of us has a day job and that's what keeps the band going, I can't even begin to imagine just how tough it must be for all those bands who rely on touring! It is so important to bring live music back on stages! I really hope we'll be able to put this pandemic situation to an end!
MS - How did you come together as a band?
Andrew - I came up with the idea about starting a new band in the very beginning of 2017, in February I guess. At this time Eugene and I were playing in the band called Free At Last, it was a groove metal band, heavily influenced by Pantera, Hellyeah, and all that kind of shit. I’ve been playing there for a long time, but by the end of 2016 I felt like something was wrong, we reached our ceiling and some of the band members lost their interest in the band and its activities.
So I decided that it was the right time to move forward and do things differently. Fun fact: when we’ve just announced Infiltration to the public, many of my friends asked me “Why death metal?” because in local underground circles I'm famous (or infamous) as a bass player for groove metal band, folk metal band, stoner metal band. In other words – any kind of metal except death metal. So to make it clear, I’ve been a huge death metal fan since early 2000s. When I was 16 or something and tried to create my very first band, this should have been a death metal band! I dreamed about being in a band like Cannibal Corpse or Napalm Death! So when Free At Last was about to break up, I think ‘well, life is too short to postpone your dreams, let’s do that’. I called Eugene, told him all my feelings and ideas about both Free At Last and at that moment unnamed band, he agreed and that was it. We decided to create songs first and after search for musicians.
First, we reached Alex, we knew that apart from being a member of Hellbomb and a past member of tons of local bands, he does session drums. After we started he liked us and he ended up being a constant member of the band. Paul, well, the first time I saw Paul on stage it was like 2005 or something and I knew him as a perfect singer in terms of death metal. Fortunately, both Alex and Paul gave the green light after they heard our demo and we became a real band.
Paul - It was in the beginning of 2017, circa April when I received a message from Andrew (our bass player), he and Evgeny (our guitarist) are the founding members of Infiltration. They wanted to start a heavy, groove-laden death metal band I guess, which is right down my alley if you ask, haha
They had already recruited Alex (our drummer) and been practicing for a while and apparently needed a vocalist. A week later they sent me some early demos to work on, what I heard blew me away! Those songs had Bolt thrower and Napalm death stamps of approval right across them, how could I say no? By the fall of 2017 we had our first EP. "Nuclear strike warning" out, I loved how everything went really smooth with writing and recording it was fun! I think at that time we simply decided to continue!
MS- For those unfamiliar with your band what can people expect?
Andrew - Apart from tons of groove, brutality, blast beats, and solos I’d say our songs are catchy and bright. This thing I like the most in that '90s era of death metal. For example, once you hear Breed to Breath by Napalm Death or Where the slime lives by Morbid Angel – it’s in your head forever! I don’t like albums like, you know, typical brutal death albums when after it ends, there is nothing stuck in your head, no riffs, no songs names, nothing, just white noise. Don’t get me wrong, I like brutal death and all that kind of stuff but I’d like to keep our songs a bit different from that.
Paul - If I were to describe our music, I'd say that if you guys into, Bolt Thrower and Napalm Death (especially the '90s era) as well as some Slayer influences then give it a spin! I also like to think of our music as an extension of action flicks from the '80s and '90s, you know, to me, our music bears that cinematic feel, which I try to express through lyrics
MS - Which bands and artists influenced your sound?
Andrew - Speaking of composing songs and influences in general I’d name the most iconic '90s acts like Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Bolt Thrower, Suffocation, Terrorizer. We’re here, because of Bolt Thrower mainly, I consider their For Those Once Loyal, one of the greatest albums ever! You mentioned sound, during the recording process we wanted to get a bit more modern sound so we took into consideration Cannibal Corpse’s Kill and Wherever They May Rot by Cut Up. Of course, it ended up sounding nothing like the albums I mentioned, but like Infiltration!
Paul - Apart from the aforementioned comparisons, I would say there's a lot and not just music, and while I'm at it, not just heavy music, obviously I can only speak for myself here, but it's from Acid Jazz to Brutal Death metal for me, but one band deserves a special mention here, my ultimate favorite band of all time is Dearly Beheaded from the UK. Those guys were phenomenal!
MS - How was the writing and recording process of Point Blank Termination considering the current situation?
Paul - Funny thing is that everything was done, recording-wise last November or so, and none of the material containing herein was influenced by the present situation, but I take absolutely no pride or joy in seeing how the current affairs unfold and drawing some comparisons with what we had talked about. In fact. like I said before, our message is rather to show how it may turn out, to scare people off from going this route, because I'd rather describe some imaginary cataclysm, then live through one. Essentially the leitmotif of the album is "Hey, people! how about we STOP killing each other and our planet? This is our home ffs!" I believe that aggression and any other so-called negative energy may be utilized in a productive way, through music, art, sports, you name it!
MS - Other than studying the bands of the era, how do you tap into that iconic '90s Death Metal sound?
Andrew - Well, we’ve done this record in the old-school way. No ramping, no programmed drums, no bullshit. Just drums and amps with cabs in the real studio!
Paul - Well apart from being death metal fans, and knowing what we like about it, Evgeny, Andrew and Alex are very experienced getting that sound, so I think this is how they wanted the band to sound! I'm not really sure how the guys achieve the sound they're after, because I'm not into technical nuances, but so far everything sounds kick-ass!
MS - What do you draw inspiration from in regards to the themes in your lyrics and imagery?
Paul - Lyrically, there's just an observation plus a little bit of imagination, I would say. But I try to write better lyrics, hopefully.
MS - The incredible artwork for the album was provided by the excellent Daemorph, what were your initial reactions to the artwork when you saw it completed?
Andrew - Wow, that was amazing to watch how your raw ideas become a piece of art! The main idea about artwork came to me when I was in Berlin, there are few buildings around the city, which [have] stay ruined since WW2 time like some sort of memorial. Kaiser Wilhelm Church is a great example. So I was looking at this and thinking to myself “This contrast between sophisticated gothic architecture and destruction looks stunning to me. I’d like to see this kind of vibes on the future album’s cover.”
So when we started working with Daemorph I dropped him a few examples, just real WW2 photos of destructed churches, cities and that was it. He did a great job for us!
Paul - Daemorph is an incredible artist! I can't thank him enough. By the way, he also plays bass in Moscow death metal Grond as for reaction, it was a jaw-dropping one! To me, it's not only about how detailed the artwork is but rather if it can catch the vibe and that's what sets Daemorph apart from a lot of other artists, his artworks bear the essence of the album!
MS - What can people expect from the band as a whole in the future or once things around the world begin to go back to normal?
Andrew - We’d like to make a European tour, but we don’t know when borders will be opened again. But nowadays this is quite expensive for Russian bands to travel abroad because of the difference between Roubles and Euros, but we’ll see! This is exactly what we'd like to do one day!
Paul - Um, we are working on new tunes right now! I'm the guy who loves when my favorite bands stick to their formula and don't deviate, that's why I love Cannibal Corpse for example. So I think you can expect a continuation of what we had on PBT only hopefully better, ie heavier, groover, faster (at times) so on and so forth! Let's see what happens.
MS - Are there any future releases planned that you can tell us about?
Andrew - Yeah, we are working on a few new songs at the moment and probably will start recordings drums in November and we’ll see what happens.
Paul - Because we are at such an early stage of production, we don't have any plans yet. but it would be nice to have something done the next year, for sure!
MS - Where can people pick up Point Blank Termination and find out more about you?
Paul - Guys if you liked what you heard and want to support us, you can visit our home label Time to Kill records and purchase our debut full-length Point Blank Termination
Thank you, Jay, and thank you Metal Saves readers and followers, It's an absolute honor to be talking to you! We, much like everyone, hope that these crazy times will come to an end, soon! Stay safe and healthy, listen to good music Cheers!
A huge thank you to the guys for taking the time to speak with Metal Saves! Check out our review of Point Blank Termination here