Almost 20 years since I heard the tremendous first album by the Brazilians from Infested Blood called “The Masters of Grotesque” with that wild sound, jackal mixed with many doses of Americans that gave it a reputation as a band at the time. Because after that album the band leaned completely into the American sound of many Brutal Death Metal bands of the late 90s and early 2000s because records like “Tribute to Apocalypse” (2007) and “Interplanar Decimation” (2009) had drummers at the time who were super accelerated in the blast beats and that possibly exceeded 300 bpm those years, but then in “Demonweb Pits” (2013) the band did more technical and polished things. Therefore, Metallerium interviewed Diego Do 'Urden for the release of his latest album “IX Devil Kings” released by Rapture Records.
Para leer la entrevista en español: Entrevista a Infested Blood
Metallerium: Welcome, Diego to Metallerium pages. It’s a great pleasure to talk with you about the band, this new album “IX Devil Kings” and more things related to the metal world. To start the interview, how have you been during these crazy times? Two years of the pandemic, a war in Europe, and who knows what will happen next years? A zombie apocalypse, alien invasion, the rise of the machines... 😊
Infested Blood: I’m willing for the alien invasion plus the rise of the machines! Hails Javier and Metallerium readers! Thanks for inviting us to talk about Infested Blood! Yeah, these last years haven't been easy for us. Especially for me who makes my living from music. I also play in Mystifier which makes international tours often and help moneywise. I also have a recording studio which is also a show venue called Darkside Studio. So, with the lockdowns, all my ways of making money were cut. The make it worse, music was the last business allowed back to work. My son had just arrived in the world also, but he gave me the strength to keep fighting and produce the whole album during the lockdown times! I also recorded 3 new songs for Mystifier which Agonia Records released as a split album with Lucifers Child from Greece. I also started production on a Black Metal solo project I had since 1997 but never had the time to record, Evoked. So, hard times…but a LOT of fuckin productions!
Metallerium: Hearing this new “IX Devil Kings” I denoted one thing Infested Blood returns to the past with the old Brazilian sound achieved on your first album “The Masters of Grotesque” (2003). So, was this change thought? Or was it a natural evolution of the band?
Infested Blood: It was a natural evolution. We started out with this classic Brazilian death metal style and then we kept working on getting more technical for each album, but also since I became the main singer in the fourth album “Demonweb Pits” (2013), we started also cleaning more the string works, making it simpler and yet never losing the brutality. So, this new album I can say it’s a mix of everything we have done so far, but on an overall first album tone! It’s also the first album from Infested Blood that I got to produce 100% in my own studio. So, with the pandemic situation, with lots of free time, I recorded it the way I always wanted. All analogic valve distortion, organic heavy drums, it’s really something I’m proud of right now!
Metallerium: Infested Blood is one of the few bands in Brazil that has a lot of variations on the albums cuz you started with the classic sound from Brazil with savage and raw sound, but then you decide to change with more brutal and technical stuff on the following albums. Do you think that continuous change in a band is called evolution? And how did the fans take these changes? Cuz "Interplanar Decimation" (2009) had high-speed music and a lot of blast beats on there.
Infested Blood: Yeah! It was also evolution because we wanted to play better, faster, and more difficult stuff…so it can only be evolution when you want to rise above your current level. The fans loved the different albums because they are all blast beats almost 100% of the time, even though they can be very different albums! I think that’s what every band should do! Keep the overall identity but change things every album.
Metallerium: Talking about the “Interplanar Decimation” (2009) y “Demonweb Pits” (2013). These two albums blow my mind cuz the band upgrades a lot of things on techniques and blast beats compared with the previous two. So, what happened back in those days in Infested Blood to take this fast-paced, technical path? And how was Beto's work on “Interplanar Decimation” (2009)? Cuz there are a lot of techniques and fast things.
Infested Blood: The gravity blast beat happened! We first listened to it from Internal Suffering, Colombia, in the "Awakening of The Rebel" (2006) album, which was the first time this technique was used here in South America. The tech consists of a snare roll using only one hand. Leaving the other hand free to attack cymbals. If you guys don’t know, better check a YouTube video to understand. So, I did some research on how to do it and passed them on to my drummer Beto, who was the first man in Brazil to use this on a Death Metal album, the “Interplanar Decimation” from 2009. So, as the drums speed up, also did the strings. In what seemed to be an endless thirst for becoming more brutal and faster each time. From “Interplanar Decimation” (2009) to “Demonweb Pits” (2013) there was a change, I became the main singer, so the vocals were more synced to the strings, and also, we did less progressive work than “Interplanar Decimation” (2009) Making it technical and fast, but cleaner and easier to understand. That also happened in this new album. There is no need to go further than “Interplanar Decimation” (2009)…that thing is an obscenity! (laughs) but for sure you will still hear some wild riffs here and there in the new works!
Metallerium: Talking about the lineup from the beginning I saw that you, Eduardo, and Beto are in the time since always in the band. And just Beto left the band in 2014 but he returned in 2019. How do you see the band after 23 years of its formation? And how do you see the progress and changes? Because they are one of the few bands that stick with the original members from the beginning.
Infested Blood: Beto and Eduardo are my brothers for more than 23 years, we like the same shit, we respect and trust each other and we always easily come to an agreement about all things. And to top it, the guys are always available to play, produce, and practice. That’s better than millions of marriages out there! (laughs) Yeah, I’m lucky to be with these guys indeed! The band used to be 5 people, and since 2010 we became a trio, and that’s the best lineup I’ve ever been into! Solid and unbreakable! A power trio has always been the best way to keep an underground band.
Metallerium: Now we’ll talk about this new beast called “IX Devil Kings”. Cuz this new album is the return of the band after 9 years of silence. Why did this delay happen in the band releasing this new one? And did the pandemic help to create this new one?
Infested Blood: Mystifier is guilty! (laughs) we released Demonweb Pits in 2013, and that’s when I was called for Mystifier. The band demanded much from me for constant tours over the years. But Infested Blood never stopped! Beto had to leave the band in 2014 and Jhoni took the drums we kept playing in some gigs but did not compose new material until 2017 when we composed a new song for the upcoming album, "Dispater, the Iron Duke" which came out as a single. Then we played at the Setembro Negro Festival in 2018. In 2019 Beto returned to the drums and then the next year the pandemic stroke! In my free time, I turned into killer robot composer mode. Guarding my newborn baby at night while my wife slept, I was at the computer composing! One eye at the baby, another eye on the notebook screen composing. (laughs)! My son has done his first gutturals before he was 1 year old! I recorded it and put it in the IX Devil Kings outro!
Metallerium: Talking about one special thing on this new album. Which song for you have more memories of when you played it? What song brings you back in time to see how things resulted in " Emptiness”? And how do you choose the songs that you will play at the gigs?
Infested Blood: The song that brings more memories for sure is "Dispater, the Iron Duke". Because it was the first new song for the next album. It was also the last lineup transition we had. We composed this song when Jhoni Rodrigues was still in the band. So, this single was recorded by him, who has his own drumming signature so this single is the only Infested Blood material recorded with a different drummer since the beginning of the band in 1999. Also, when we released this single, we did a cool lyric video, when lyric videos had just become popular. It was released at the Setembro Negro festival in 2018. All the other songs I composed by myself during the pandemic. Guarding my newborn during the night and composing on the computer. So, this album has a very special meaning to me because of that. It is dedicated to my son who gave me the strength to keep going during the pandemic, without work, and still with so many responsibilities to keep running.
Metallerium: We are very close to the end of this interview. For that, what are the future plans that the band has for the next days, months, and years? Perhaps a North American tour, European tour, etc. Videoclips are upcoming. ¿Who knows?
Infested Blood: No international tours at the moment, maybe next year! But for sure many shows around Brazil. We just played here in my venue, Darkside Studio, for the album release show. On July 30rd we played in Teresina, Piaui state, and maybe the next day in Fortaleza, Ceara. Sao Paulo for the end of the year. Also, a new video is coming, probably the "Archduke Belial, the Tyrant" track, which is one of the most different songs in this album and one we like the most.
Metallerium: How do you consume music most of the time? Also, what is your opinion about digital platforms and streaming services? How has been your experience with these options that technology is giving us? Is bad or good?
Infested Blood: I’ve been dying to get a good tape and CD player for a bog while already…I only like physical copies, but since my last system broke, usually I only use YouTube and mp3s on my phone. I haven’t used Spotify or Deezer yet. We still don’t have any of our music there, but we will put it in a while. I think the spread of the internet was very good for making it easier to discover new bands and spread the music the fastest way. But also, I think that it broke the physical copies. Ok, many people still buy it, but back then, you didn’t have the option, you had to buy the material to listen to it. Now only the collectors buy CDs and it has decreased physical copies sales. But nothing bothers me much. We are not on it for the money anyway, of course, it’s something important that we are due to considering all the work and expenses to cover. But I’d rather have 100.000 people around the world listening to our music than 1000 here in Brazil. So definitely the internet helps more than it did the damage.
Metallerium: Talking about your entrance to the legends Mystifier. How did you see this achievement for you? And with you, the band recorded “Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia” (2019). For that, were you part of the songwriting for this album? And will we see a new album from Mystifier this year or perhaps next year?
Infested Blood: It was surely a big surprise, since I was a fan, Beelzebubth invited me only 30 days before the first show. So, I was practicing Bass, Keys, and Vocals for 3 weeks every day, 10 hours per day to get it well done for the first show so nearby. It was 9 years ago already…almost a decade in Mystifier now sounds crazy! We have traveled literally around the globe touring all of Latin America, North America, Europe, and even Australia. This year we play an exclusive show at Mass Destruction Metal Fest in Atlanta, the USA in November. After that, we play in Tijuana, Mexico in December at the Nuclear War Now festival. Next year in march we have a Latin American Tour with Nunslaughter and Morbosidad in march, ending the tour at the Brazilian Ritual in Sao Paulo. Talking about the last albums from Mystifier, I produced "Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia" (2019) here in my studio, Darkside Studio. I also participated in the compositions with Beelzebubth, and it was a fucking good time producing this piece! It’s awesome to have your own studio to record because you have all the time you need, and you do things only the way you like them. We also recorded 3 new songs for a split album with Lucifers Child with our new lineup featuring a killer new guitar player, Adriano Bueno, and also Infested Blood’s drummer Beto Apophis. We are set on the production of the next album for sure! Due to next year! I’m also very excited to finish production on my old/new Black Metal solo project, Evoked. It’s been 25 since I started working on the songs and then abandoned it…its furious and killer atmospheric black metal. Beto Apophis also recorded the drums.
Metallerium: Well, Diego. The sad time arrives at this interview. I hope you enjoyed this one like me. Congratulations on this amazing album. Anything you want to add to your Latin American fans and Metallerium readers?
Infested Blood: ¡saludos hermanos latinos! ¡Esperamos verte pronto en el camino a la muerte! Hell awaits!! Hails 666!