- Hello, Chris! So, let's talk about the most fascinating news - your new album. As far as I know, the band is working hard on the new material, at what stage are you now? How much is already done?
- Hi Dima. You bet it's been a lot of work but we're done recording and started mixing. We're trying hard to have it out before Christmas but it's looking more like after the New Year. We want to release a couple of singles and the House Of War video to get a little momentum going before its released. We're very excited.
- It's been 11 years now since your previous release, so how could you describe the new music? What are the main changes? How many of the new tracks did you prepare for the new CD?
- A friend of the band described it as a "missing" between NSD and Unholier. I would have to say that is bang on. I think we succeeded in our vision of creating a new beginning for us with NO GOD. It's evil with sinister melodic harmony's and tremolo a plenty. It has meaning. A reason to be. A message, though not optimistic or hopeful . We speak the truth.
We explore many subject matters gnawing away at the fabric of humanity. Steve and Kens guitar playing is taken to new levels and you can hear the raw emotion cutting through. Kiels drumming is amazing and it's great having him back in the band, we wouldn't be where we are, this close to finishing NO GOD without him. My vocals are more reminiscent of NSD but uniquely NO GOD. I've tried extending my range a little, experimenting on O Sons Of God. We have 10 tracks and a bonus video, House Of War, that comes with the new CD. The trailer for the video is up on our YouTube Channel and Facebook page with raw uncut samples from all 10 songs and we have a full length raw uncut version of Another Day In Hell from NO GOD up as well.
- Where do you record the new material? Who is producing and who is in charge of all the mastering and mixing?
- We are recording at our war room in Vancouver Canada. NO GOD is the first album we have entirely produced, recorded and mixed ourselves. The entire fate of the band rests in Steves mixing hands now, Lol! We have a plan B if our attempt at mixing doesn't turn out the way we would like.
We have just started looking at our options and pricing for mastering so I'm not sure when we will have it done quite yet.
- The new album is titled "No God", why did you choose so provocative name? How do you develop this idea in your songs and how could you formulate the main message of the album?
- NO GOD means a stronger respect for life. All life on this dying planet. I believe that until all religion is abolished or reduced to small pockets of insignificance than there is no future for mankind. When we looked at all the songs it became self-evident that the underlying thread that runs through them was NO GOD. Past historical events that are factually recorded such as rampant disease, genocide and natural disasters yet where was the God? I guarantee you all that have perished were praying. All religion is a huge disservice to the human race and all who seek the truth and aspire to greater things.
Any force or element of nature that might be identified as god like will be contained, studied and some day understood by science to be put to use for good or bad depending on how those in power use it.
- What can you say about the new artwork? How do you like it? Who is the artist?
- The artwork was created by Safir & Rifas. We love it. It will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. To me it captures the moment that Jesus has just informed one of the dying angels that God is dead. Its oil on canvas. We are so proud to be able to wrap this around our newest offering for our fans. We have the art work up to view on our Facebook Page.
- As far as I know, at the moment you are unsigned by any label. So how are you going to release and distribute your new album? Are you looking now for any label or any other alternative solution?
- Yes we are currently independent and ideally we would like to sign a licensing deal for larger distribution for NO GOD but if that doesn't work out then we will have it available for download plus CD's and Vinyl will be available when you come see us live or from our webstore currently under construction.
- Ok, let's get back in time and talk about very early days. Could you recall how you got involved into Metal music? What were your influences?
- That goes way back to Kiss. I think that is true for a lot of us. My first album I bought as a kid was Love Gun at K-Mart in Peterborough Ontario and of course I was hooked, my walls covered in Kiss posters for years. From there it lead to Slayer Venom and Manowar and everything in between. I new at a young age I wanted to be involved in metal music either as a guitar player or vocalist. It was a unique time to be growing up at the beginning of the evolution of an entirely new genre of music hitting the stage. Originally I had big ideas of being a guitar player, but after a couple months of taking lessons I realized my hands were more designed for throwing a football or stopping a soccer ball than playing guitar. I was already singing and learning the lyrics to every album or tape I owned. Lyrics to me are as important as the music. Singing Kiss songs daily, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. It wasn't until I walked in to my local Radio Shack to see what new albums came in that I discovered Venom Welcome to Hell, in 1981. I didnt know you could sing that way. That changed me forever. That's when I new that I wanted to sing extreme metal. All the music I was listening to was just stepping stones leading me down a path to darkness. I knew after discovering Welcome To Hell that there had to be more music like this. Hell Hammer also had a huge impact on me in those early years. It just kept getting better and better every year. Slayer appears with Show No Mercy and so on. I had many great influences.
- How did you decide to become a singer in the band? How did you meet all the rest of the guys to create a band?
- So when I turned 18 I moved to Toronto and started looking in the classifieds of the Toronto Star. I saw an add looking for a metal singer for a band that wanted to write all original music, influenced by Slayer to take on the metal world with the idea of writing the heaviest music ever created at that time. I had never been in a band before I dialed the number and auditioned over the phone with Rick Nemes. I showed up at a small rehearsal studio, the air thick with the haze of smoked Hash. That was a good first impression. I knocked on the door, walked in, met everybody and the rest is history. We got down to buisness creating None Shall Defy. We have embarked on a new beginning again with NO GOD. This is our most epic release since our debut.
- Originally, the band had a different title, Lord Satans Deciples and Overlord later. What is the story behind those titles? Who came up with your current name, Infernal Majesty?
- Not many people know that but that is absolutely correct. When I joined the band after Rick and Psycho had hired Steve and Ken, they had that name LSD already on the go and one song started called, The Devils Bell. That song never made the cut though, I pay homage to it in one of the songs on NO GOD. After a while as much as we liked LSD we thought we could do better. Psycho was writing the lyrics to a song called Overlord and we all liked that name. I finished a Logo design and we were all set to go when we found out it was already taken. I think at the time that was a blessing in disguise. Ultimately we decided on Infernal Majesty from our frequent readings of passages from the Satanic Bible. It was in plain sight the whole time calling out to us.
- In 1987 you released your debut, and now classic album, "None Shall Defy". Tell us a bit about the recording sessions. What was the crew you worked with on the production?
- For me it was an amazing experience. I remember it like it was yesterday. Our first album and we were recording at a major studio called Metal Works in Mississauga Ontario. The recording engineers were Hugh Cooper and Dave Runstedler assisited by Noel Golden. I hope someday we might be able to return to relive that magic. We mixed at Phase One in Toronto with Joe Primeau, Bill Kennedy and Bruce Fleming and had it mastered by Tom Coyne at Frankford-Wayne. I cant thank everyone involved enough for the outstanding job. Metal Works has a majestic professional atmosphere that you feel so relaxed and at home in. We were making minor changes to lyrics and some of the bass lines on the fly in the studio. At the time we had no idea the response that would follow after its release. Its so hard to judge your own music that it didn't really hit me that some people actually liked it until a fan from Polland sent us a letter in the mail explaining in great detail how our music destroyed his speakers and that it was the best thing ever. We love hearing from our fans.
- What caused you such a big delay between your releases? Next album was released 11 years later, it's quite a bit gap. What was happening within the band during that period of time?
- Like most things that go wrong its never just one thing but an accumulation of events that lead up to disaster. I think what really started this unfortunate trend was not being followed up with any real enthusiasm about our album NSD by the label, then Rick Nemes and Psycho just up and leaving the scene with no explanation didn't help.
It took a lot of money to record NSD and we have never had those resources available since. Thats one of the reasons we decided to take matters into our own hands. Now our rehearsal studio is also our recording studio and we can record anytime we want. The two biggest reasons for the delay were finances and not having a drummer. These have been huge factors. After Kris Deboer departed we went through 4 more drummers before reuniting with Kiel who used to play Bass for us a number of years ago. We spent the last few years preparing quite a bit of material for release beyond NO GOD.
-In 1998 you released your next CD, "Unholier than Thou". And that was already a bit different Infernal Majesty. How could you comment on this album and the musical and play-style changes?
- When Steve and Ken approached me about coming back to do the vocals for Unholier Than Thou I was more than eager to get started. When I was ready we went to Signal to Noise Studios in Toronto to record my vocals with Rob Sanzo then mixed with Pierre Remillard at Studio Victor in Montreal before being mastered at Future Disk in Los Angeles by Tom Baker. I think its more in the Death Metal vein and the work Scott Burns did recording the drums is outstanding. I like the album a lot and Roman song is my favorite. Its also a very powerful recording that can be turned up extremely loud. The louder you play it the more it seems to transform and take shape into a different beast. This is the only way I can explain it. This was also the first album without Rick or Psycho in the band so we had other influences added that weren't there on NSD resulting in a bit of a different direction then we took with the debut.
- 2004 was marked by the release of "One Who Points to Death" album. How could you compare this album to your previous releases?
- One Who Points to Death was an experimental album for us in many ways. I was experimenting with my vocals. This was the first album for us that we added blast beats and I think it was us starting a trend back toward our more original style of song writing but staying progressive. The only thing we wish is that we could have had the finances for a better recording. This was one of the reason we decided it was time to correct that situation and we decided to do a One Who Points To Death redo that will appear sometime before or after the release of the follow up to, NO GOD, The Devine Abomination, already written.
- Next year marks 30th band's anniversary, that's a pretty solid date. Do you plan to celebrate it somehow?
- We were just talking again about that the other day. I'm not sure yet but we have a few things in the idea stage to celebrate 30 years of Infernal mayhem, including some limited edition items to commemorate this milestone.
At the moment we are just focused on NO GOD which has been our most challenging work to date so were quite anxious to get it finished but we have a few surprises in store to announce from the Facebook Page and Twitter for the 30th Anniversary.
- To end this interview, when can we expect the new CD from you and how do you plan to support it? Is there any possibility for some shows or maybe even a tour?
- Not yet but I've been talking to festival organizers and promoters starting to scratch the surface for 2016. We have an amazing new performance to unleash unlike anything you have seen from us before including our battle armor. As dark times encroach we are anxious to get back out and see our fans. We are also looking at our options for a NO GOD North America and European Tour so I hope that our newest offering will open some new doors for us.
- Thank you, Chris! Would you like to add anything?
- I would like to mention before we release NO GOD our great friends at Vic Records are releasing our first Discography of all our early Demos. Its an excellent opportunity to own this collectors edition from the early evolution of Infernal Majesty and our small contribution to the history of Satanic Thrash Metal. Details from us and Vic Records will be coming soon. It includes personal liner notes from yours truly. A limited number of copies are available. Join us on Facebook or Twitter for updates on everything Infernal or you can sign up to our Dark Times Newsletter.
I also couldn't end this interview without a giant shout out to our fans and the warm welcome we have received since or return. Thank you sincerely.
Its been great talking to you Dima I hope we can do this again soon. Take care brother and hails to Tough Riffs.