Interview with Infernal Requiem
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: September 12, 2003
Hailz! How are you doing?
Fine fine thanx... :P
What made you form Infernal Requiem?
Infernal Requiem has a bizarre history behind, and most of it nobody knows. The first time that the band members united was back in the year 2000. We were not a band yet. Cassius and I had started composing songs since then, but we never used to share them with any other members. We basically composed and composed, alone. Then, one nice day he told me there was this Talent Show at a school nearby. We wanted to participate at any cost, so we came up with the idea of playing alone--just the two of us (practically 2 guitars, no drums, bass or anything else) But then we realized we could not have a damn chance, so we started looking for a real line up. We found someone: a member of now a day (Spinal Nerve and Gargamel). BUT! The bassist didn't wanted to play the songs we had composed 'cause he thought they sucked (not even hearing them). So we put up two songs, one of which was hardcore metal. The same day of the concert I insisted on let him ([the guy from] Spinal Nerve) check our songs out (that we had already prepared with the drummer). He loved it, but it was too late. We showed up at the Talent show and played under the name of "Hypnosis" that I invented seconds before they asked us our band's name. We did not win, but we still rocked, hehehehe. Later on I had to move to Switzerland, so we all kinda forgot about the band.
During my days of vacations I started writing lyrics and rebuilding the textures of our songs 'cause I wanted to put up a one-man band. I thought about calling the band "Black Altar." Months after I called the boys (in Santo Domingo), and phoning I told them about the band AND I asked them to be part of it. Even if the idea was crazy and senseless, they agreed! They looked for a violinist, too. After that a new episode begun. We changed our name to Infernal Requiem, and in the meanwhile I continued composing. When I got into Santo Domingo (2001) for the holidays, we started rehearsing, but the violinist left (that asshole) over some problems that had begun in my absence. That summer we recorded our first mini-demo together with vocalist Koresh, pianist Deimos and guitarist Moonrah. It went great, but it could have been even better if that dumb ass who mixed and worked with us in the studio would have been less of an asshole.. He is Tomás Alvarez and plays in a rock band called Toque Profundo. I went back to Switzerland and continued composing songs, writing lyrics, and finally recorded our new MCD Pantheon on my own.
You are originally from the Dominican Republic but currently live in Switzerland. How is that working out for you and Infernal Requiem?
Yes, it's good, but it would be definitely better working with the whole line-up that gives strength to the band itself and helps it improve with good stuff. I cannot do it as well alone as I do it with the rest of Infernal Requiem. There's also another problem. By recording in my home, I do not obtain a good quality recording, which means a lot for the kind of music we play. But generally speaking, it's good.
Infernal Requiem have two recordings out. When will we see the next CD release? Is there any specific label you may be using?
No, unfortunately there is no label interested in us yet (maybe 'cause we still haven't send any promos to them). We will do it on our own and it SHOULD be out on August/September, available online only. It will include 5 tracks, and is much of what you expect-- nothing ne we're still on a pre-phase.
Could you tell us a little about the lyrical content for your songs?
Our lyrics are ALL based on real things. They may be drawn in a fantastical way or with fairy content, but the root and juice of it is simply: Life. I write what comes to my mind, what I think, what I feel, and especially for what I suffer. They may be beautiful if you read them carefully 'cause that's what they are, life, which is beautiful itself, isn't it?
How do you write your music? Is there a set guideline or do you write what you feel as you go along?
We do not use a guideline, but generally we do the music first and then the lyrics. When we compose all together (the whole line-up, I mean) everything is more spontaneous; we just put together what we feel, and if it sucks, we go back and fix it 'technically'.
Have you been playing live and if so, where and with whom?
Yes, as I said before, in that famous talent show in which we did not play black metal yet. We played together with a band called Epsilon from Santo Domingo. It went well.
The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?
Hard one.... We have a lot of influences, and each of us gives a bit of it to the band, but generally speaking we can mention The Sins Of Thy Beloved for sure (even though it is a new band...from 1999 I think), Dimmu Borgir and some vampiric bands that influenced me such as Cradle Of Filth and Abyssos.
Which bands are on your list of favorites? If I were to look through your CD collection, what would I find?
Hahaha.. All kinds of things. In my own collection you would find CDs from goth to death, black, trash an heavy metal. Maybe some gay pop/metal CDs too (hehehe). The other members have a lot of different tastes, and that is what makes us sound like we do, I believe. They listen stuff from The Doors, The Ramones, Robi Draco Rosa, Maiden, Metallica, Black Sabbath etc... I thing that in this point of view we're complete (with all modesty).
When did you start playing and how old were you when you became interested in metal?
I was 11 when I got interested in metal, and started playing my instrument (the guitar) when I was about 11/12. I had also been playing piano earlier, and flute too. Moonrah and Cassius were long before me into it. Spinal Nerve and Gargamel started during the same year as I did.. 'cause we all live really near (they were even my neighbors) so we all started like at the same time...
Have your parents and friends always been supportive?
From what I know, Yes. Always... sometimes they were like yelling and shit, 'cause we were too loud, heheehhee... but apart from that, Yes, they were always supportive.
Besides Metal, what other types of music do you listen to?
I listen to jazz, fusion, classical music.. and some pop/rock (like Genesis for example, and Molotov, hehehe, I love 'em!).
What was your first concert you ever attended?
I don't remember, hehehe...
Do you feel that Death and Black Metal bands have it more difficult to gain recognition compared to those who play other types of metal?
Yes.. Black- and Death-ers are less accepted then other sub-genres of metal. People believes we only do "noise" and it's hard for them to really understand the music we make. Apart from that there is a whole religious wall that separates us from them. We're constantly seen up as satanist. I don't really have a problem with that, they can believe whatever they want, and it's irrelevant if we really are or not Satanist... But must the world understand us, for we to create the music we do? I don't think so...
What do you think about the Internet and the way bands can promote themselves these days?
I believe it's great, and if it wasn't for the internet you wouldn't be interviewing us right now, hehehe.. This is a big chance for us all, even for the Underground bands to get some more underground fans around the world without stopping from being Underground.
Who designs your CD artwork and who has the final word on what actually goes on the album cover?
Humm, Me. Hehehee. Concerning the final word of what should go on the cover it's all relative. I do it myself 'cause I don't have the rest of the band with me.. That wouldn't be like that.. We sure would decide it together, and that's how it should really be, since ALL of us give live and breath to the band.
Black metal is still a rather limited genre that generally doesn't attract large crowds. Do you think this is the fate of extreme music for all future?
Yes. And in some way I also agree with that. Black Metal is definitely not a genre for everybody, so I understand how underground bands feel when someone reviews their CDs! Is like Madonna should review a cd of Infernal Requiem, that would piss us damn much. I prefer people understand black metal before, and then listen to it. What people who listens to it play is not important, but they should know and understand why they're listening to it.
I have just recently heard some heavy criticism from a metal fan who finds that Black metal is no longer acceptable because the satanic content most albums have. As an atheist he sees this as a form of religion. What's your take on this?
I'm an atheist myself, but my words to him are "that's how it goes". What is black metal without satanic content? Black Metal was born from satanic content and due to satanic events. It's like being christian and hailing "satan" at the same time! Does not have sense. Black Metal was born with that target, and that's how it should be... Let us not try to change things we're not capable to understand.
What kind of books do you read? Any good books you would like to mention?
I could read any kind of book as long as it is entertaining. The best books in my opinion are Philosophy books, and Funny books, hehe. A book worth to mention is certainly "The Antichrist" (by Nietzsche), I love it, and I recommend this to everyone. Another book I love is "Hamlet" (by Shakespear)...nothing to say about it, just: "Great!".
How do you see yourself as a role model (or idol) to many young people who listen to and who get into your music?
Well... I don't even know how to answer this question. All I can tell is that I don't see myself as a role model, but in any case I hope that what I might influence with my music is for good. I hope that if someone is inspired by me (which I doubt) it is for the will to overcome. That's what really counts: progress.
What plans do you have for Infernal Requiem over the next year or so?
I plan to diffuse the plague, and try to reach every single sick mind with it. Hehe, that's on what we're working right now.. Letting the world meet us.. but specially the ones who have the ears to appreciate what we do.
Any last words to fans?
We'll see you soon in "hell". We promise..
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