This year has been a rough one for everyone, even more so for Metal bands used to being road warriors. Some of them have embraced being indoors and have made productive use of their time. A few have done live stream virtual concerts and others have worked on new music. American Death Metal act Inferi fall in the latter camp. They wrote and recorded their latest EP, “Of Sunless Realms” that released earlier this month. Vocalist Stevie Boiser shared with us a few things about the experience and also their plans for the coming months.
Hi mate, thanks for taking the time to have a chat. How have you been coping over the past few months with the Covid19 pandemic?
Hello! This year has been one hell of a ride but overall I’ve been doing alright, and hope that you are as well. The pandemic has put the industry in a very peculiar position and thankfully Inferi has not suffered too much because of it. Like many of our peers we had to cancel plans because of the shutdowns but we had largely planned on writing a lot this year so coping for me has been hours of listening to new songs, writing, recording, and practicing. I’ve also been able to play Magic The Gathering with friends via webcam and spending quality time with my girlfriend and our little zoo.
How did the idea for your new release, “Of Sunless Realms” come about?
Truth be told we were initially working on our 5th album and ended up with more potential songs than were needed. We felt really great about what we had accomplished so far and decided to select a few of the song ideas and not only push them beyond the threshold of our soundscape, but also to release them in manor that we’ve never done before. Thus, the initial concept for “Of Sunless Realms” was born.
What was the writing and recording process for the EP? Did you try anything different this time around?
I can’t speak for my bandmates as to the entire process, but the only thing I can assure we all experienced was a bit of stress haha. We had set a deadline for the EP and planned to finish writing our new full length album following its completion. From start to finish the process took slightly over two months. With that in mind we had two goals. First, to compose the best material that we could, and second to meet our deadline.
Mike and Malcolm worked on fleshing out guitar parts, orchestral ideas, and overall arrangements for things and once they had songs ready Spencer was able to give them a pulse by adding drums. After that Andrew laid down bass to help bring the low end to life. Vocals are kind of the last piece of the puzzle, so once my bandmates brought their parts into fruition I was able to work on my parts. I get a bit anxious waiting for my turn, but its an amazing process to watch unfold before your eyes. Keep in mind that Inferi is split between three different states so we never actually jammed these longs together. This process was made possible by each of us having the ability to write, record, and share ideas with each other over the net.
As far as trying new processes for this album goes we have a couple distinct differences.
The first being that this is the first original composition with this line up. Spencer, Andrew, and I all joined the band after “Revenant” had already been recorded and did nearly all of the shows in its tour cycle. Secondly, Spencer went to Top Track Studios in Nashville to record his drums.
We’re really happy with the results!
So then, this much anticipated follow up to “Revenant.” What can fans expect from it? Care to share?
Lots of Clean Singing…. Just kidding!
As far as the new album goes I can tell you a few things. “Of Sunless Realms” has helped us grow both individually and as a musical collective and with that has given us the ability to take on album 5 as a well-oiled machine. The material we have thus far is some of the most challenging and simultaneously fun material that Inferi has composed to date.
Oh… and that process is much, much further along than you might think 😉
What’s currently on your personal music playlist? Does Metal tend to dominate it?
I’ve kind of been all over the place musically as of late. Metal still makes up a significant amount of my musical diet though. Lately my go-to’s for Metal have been bands like Ulcerate, Cult of Lilith, Archspire, Symbolik, Revocation, Mordant Rapture, Arsis, Wormhole, Singularity, Obscura, and Beneath the Massacre. If any of those names are unfamiliar to you then I highly recommend that you check them out!
Outside of the Metal-sphere I’ve been enjoying a lot of Muse, Childish Gambino, Outkast, Phillip Glass, Carpenter Brut, Token, Koji Kondo, Joyner Lucas, NF, and Nobuo Uematsu. I love riffs and blast beats, but its nice to mix things up with different perspectives. After all, variety is the spice of life.
With live gigs and touring ruled out for most part of next year, many bands have embraced the new way of performance, Live streams. What are your thoughts about it?
The past few months I’ve seen a huge spike in streams throughout the Metal community as a whole. Everything from bedroom shredders to, bands reacting to new music, studio performances, collaborations, hangouts, and even full on productions. I’m thankful that streaming has been something that has seemingly helped both musicians and fans alike given the current climate, and there has been some really excellent things coming out on that front but ultimately I’m really just looking forward to the day that live shows and tours are a thing again.
Is it something that you would like to explore? Do you have anything planned on that front?
At the moment we don’t currently have plans to venture into that front, but its not something that we’re completely closed off to. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens!
A quick question for Malcolm (Pugh. Founding member, label owner, currently on guitar) if I may. 2020 has been a busy year for The Artisan Era despite the pandemic. How are you balancing between the label and your bands?
Malcolm: The pandemic has cleared up a lot of time because we can’t tour at the moment. That makes it a bit easier to balance both entities and we’ve brought more people on board to help with other tasks.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
As for the remainder of 2020 we’ll be bringing you new content on our YouTube Channel, wrapping up our follow up to “Revenant,” and working on plenty of things behind the scenes.
Its been a busy year for us so far, and all that momentum will continue to propel us forwards.
Thank the gods for coffee!
Thanks for answering all of our questions. Do you have any final words for our faithful readers?
Thanks for having me. I hope that those of you who have read this are doing well, and have been enjoying “Of Sunless Realms!” The amount of support our fans have shown us has been staggering. We honestly can’t thank all of you enough!
“Of Sunless Realms” is available now on all major platforms and we’ve recently partnered with Sheet Happens to release guitar tabs for our album “The Path of Apotheosis.” If you’re looking to pick up the new EP, enjoy the older songs, snag tabs, merch, or enjoy our Riff Dissection videos click the link below, we’ve got you covered!
Once things settle down, we’ll see ya on the road. Cheers!
We will see them on the road hopefully soon indeed!