If the name Infera Bruo does not mean anything to you, trust me it is about to. The extreme band from Boston released their sophomore album Desolate Unknown, unleashing a perfect storm of corrosive black metal. Guitarist/vocalist Galen, joined by fellow band members, Androth (drums/vocals), Germanicus (synths/effects), and Neutrino (bass/vocals), decided to shed some light into the band and their newest album.
Scene Point Blank: Hi guys! First of all thanks for finding the time to do this interview. Since you are fairly new in the scene, would you like to introduce the band?
Infera Bruo: Our pleasure. We are four people: Galen (guitar and lead vocals), Neutrino (bass and vocals), Ardroth (drums and vocals), and Germanicus (synthesizers and keys).
Scene Point Blank: You are currently unsigned if I am not mistaken. I hope this is by choice; otherwise I am going to be seriously worried about the state of the music industry (that is, even more than I already am). Do you feel you have certain advantages and disadvantages compared to signed bands?
Galen: It is not by choice, actually, but it seems to be okay for now. One advantage is that there is nothing between us and the people who want to hear our music, so that’s nice. Also, there are no deadlines or anything—though that could be a disadvantage as well. The problem is that it’s hard to get our material noticed. There’s so much out there it can be hard to wade through it all to find the good stuff. Funding releases can be difficult without assistance.
Scene Point Blank: Is there any advice you can give to bands that are currently unsigned in making most of the means that are available in order to get their music out there and build a following?
Galen: I don’t think it would be right for us to give advice about that as we are pretty clueless ourselves in that regard. I guess to make sure your music is available. I have some friends in Santa Fe who have an amazing band. They have no online presence whatsoever, so even if you seek out their music you can’t hear it.
"Evolution blessed us with the rare gift of high intelligence but also with self-destructive tendencies. These vestiges of survival are obsolete in the modern age and stifle the universe’s own process of self-reflection."
Scene Point Blank: It is hard even for signed bands to make a living only from their music these days. I guess all you guys have also regular jobs to pay the bills?
Galen: Absolutely. We have full-time jobs to pay the bills and for Infera Bruo.
Scene Point Blank: Are you guys also participating in other projects/bands?
Galen: I’m playing bass in Trap Them, which is a lot of fun, and I will be participating in a new band soon, which I can’t really talk about. I’ll also be assisting Germanicus with his solo stuff in the near future as well.
Scene Point Blank: Comparing Desolate Unknown with your self-titled album, do you see it as the natural evolution of your music?
Galen: Yes. Our sound is evolving in a natural way. We’re not trying to consciously change the way we do anything. If it starts to sound like we’re repeating ourselves we might re-evaluate our approach, but for now we’re just trying to write songs that we like.
Scene Point Blank: Effects and synths are a big part of your sound, yet the way you are incorporating them is quite fresh. Especially the two interludes of the album “Segue 1” and “Segue 2” are completely mental (meant as a compliment obviously). What do you think that they can achieve that conventional instruments cannot?
Germanicus: We feel that our sound is fresh—granted there have been other black metal bands such as Dodheimsgard, Manes, and Ulver that have utilized electronics to varying degrees of success in the past—but clearly there is room for more industrialized electronics to be applied to black metal and that is where we fit in.
Personally, I feel that synths and samplers are conventional instruments, just more modern than guitars and drums. But, given that I have been playing synths for a very long time now, it is hard to think of them as anything but normal. However, to answer your question, one achievable goal of the use of well-placed and well-considered electronics is to enhance the overall experience of our music and to help take it to sonic realms that others have not yet gone.
Scene Point Blank: The structures of your songs are quite complicated and the elements that you integrate are pretty diverse. Do you find it difficult achieving that without getting lost in the process?
Galen: For me, personally, not at all. It’s a pretty simple (albeit long) process as far as writing is concerned. I just do what’s natural. As far as diversity, I think the fact that we all come from really different musical backgrounds serves that side of it well.
Scene Point Blank: How does the creative process work for Infera Bruo? Is it more a collective effort or is it more the work of a single individual?
Galen: All of the songs, with the exception of “Dust of Stars” (which was written entirely by Neutrino), I’ve written the music for. I usually bring in music to work on in rehearsals and everyone adds their element to it. Eventually I bring in arrangements and we work on it as a band until it feels right. Lyrically it’s a free for all. Sometimes there are certain songs that I feel I need to write lyrics to, or Ardroth has songs that he connects with lyrically.
Ardroth: What makes Infera Bruo work so well is our ability to collaborate as a unit. Each member is a team player, bringing their years of insight and experience to the table. In the end it’s all about creating great music that we can all be proud of.
Scene Point Blank: Your sound, even though it has a strong black metal basis, is quite unique. Which black metal bands would you say influenced you the most? And are there any artists outside of black metal, or metal in general, that had an impact on your sound as well?
Galen: As far as black metal, bands like Thorns and Mayhem really influenced my playing. I listen to so much progressive rock that I’m sure it has made its way into what we do as well. Bands like Rush, early King Crimson, and Jethro Tull are always playing in my life.
Ardroth: I’m a big fan of black metal drumming by Trym (of Emperor), Nick Barker (Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth), Hellhammer (Mayhem), Dirge Rep (Enslaved, Orcustus), and Carl-Michael Eide (Aura Noir, Virus). I’m also very influenced by non-metal drummers such as Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins), Keith Moon (The Who), and John Bonham (Led Zeppelin).
Scene Point Blank: The production of the album sounds perfect for your music. Can you give us some information on where it was recorded, mixed and mastered, and which engineer(s) did you use?
Galen: Thank you. I handled all of the production and engineering duties myself. It was recorded in various places including our practice space and people’s houses. It was mixed at my home studio (which is probably less impressive than it sounds). The whole process can be exhausting doing it all yourself, but it’s ultimately a rewarding experience. Brad Boatright from Audiosiege mastered the album and did an amazing job. We can’t praise him enough.
Scene Point Blank: Can you shed some light on the lyrical themes of the album and on what inspired the lyrics?
Neutrino: I have an interest in physics and anthropology and it’s pretty easy to draw influence from that realm. “Dust of Stars” is about humanity’s unique role as the consciousness of the universe and the precarious nature of that role. Evolution blessed us with the rare gift of high intelligence but also with self-destructive tendencies. These vestiges of survival are obsolete in the modern age and stifle the universe’s own process of self-reflection.
Ardroth: My lyrics tend to be of a very nihilistic nature. “Oblivion” refers to all life as a whole progressing towards entropy. Nothing can escape the claws of time. You and I will die and we will be buried only succumb to rot: our lives forgotten, our legacies extinguished. In a sense, everything that occurs in a lifetime is utterly meaningless in a broad scope. Do what you will to distract yourself from facing that fact…
Scene Point Blank: Is there a central concept behind this album?
Galen: Not so much. All of my lyrics come from the same place so there are similarities, but the concept album is still down the road.
Scene Point Blank: Christophe Szpajdel (designed logos for Arcturus, Emperor and probably about 90% of black metal bands out there) created your logo, right? The artwork of the album is really sick. It completely captures the attention. Who designed it? Did you have a concept in mind beforehand or did you give the artist free range?
Galen: Yes, Christophe did a fantastic job. We had some other logos at first, but nothing worked as well. The album cover was created by Andrzej Masianis from Poland. It’s a great piece that’s based loosely on some key lyrics from the album and another painting by him that we all admired.
Scene Point Blank: Are there any new bands that you have recently discovered and enjoy listening to?
Galen: They are not that new, but Hexvessel is probably my favorite artist that hasn’t been around that long. People are constantly giving me new music and, unfortunately, the bulk of it is mediocre. I’m sure the other guys have a much better attitude about it.
Neutrino: I agree that it’s exhausting to find the good stuff out there because the internet has made it so easy for anyone to produce garbage. It still doesn’t stop me from trying and finding a rare gem makes it all worth it. There are a couple of great local bands like Autolatry and Obsidian Tongue. And we recently played with Anicon, who were killer.
Ardroth: I am constantly seeking out new material, and there is a ton of amazing music cropping up if you know where to look. I have really been digging all the underground bands in the U.K. scene: Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth, Nine Covens, Cnoc An Tursa, [and] Voices (to name a few). Most anything out on the Indie Recordings label has been fantastic–Posthum, Nidingr, Vreid, and most recently the incredible new comeback record from Extol. Speaking of comebacks, I’m really enjoying the new Black Sabbath and Alice in Chains records as well. There’s been a mess of good stoner/doom records out lately too such as Kadavar, Age of Taurus, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, etc. Deafheaven just put out a ripper of an album full of intense screams and insane blastbeat/tremolo picking madness. As for non-metal, I can’t get enough of the new Daft Punk and Simon Collins’ (son of the great Phil Collins) new band Sound of Contact.
Scene Point Blank: So what is next for Infera Bruo? Do you have any gigs and tours coming up?
Galen: We are doing a short New England tour in July and some more shows in August. After that, I’m not sure. I’d love to get out to the desert and west coast but that would take some doing. Also writing music for the next album.
Scene Point Blank: All right guys! Thank you again very much for finding the time to answer my questions. The album is great! Wish you all the best!
Infera Bruo: Thank you for listening.