Interview: Mass Infection

Mass Infection is a death metal act from Levadia, Greece. And they can be proud for recently excreting one of the universal scene’s most killer-albums; “The Age of Recreation”. That’s not just flattering but simply the truth. Victor(bass) explains some things below…

Cheers, guys. Without being fully aware of the feedback of “The Age of Recreation”, would you call me exaggerative if I’d tell you it’s already unfair that the whole world is not introduced in this?

Cheers, pal. First of all, we thank you for your kind words. Of course, you’re a bit exaggerative since primarily the audience in death metal music is forunately broadened and secondly, out there, there’s a bunch of fabulous bands which also expect to be explored and hope people to busy themselves with seriously. We are still an underground band and try to establish our name in the mind of each listener. Perhaps, that’s what’s going to happen until the very end. It is truly a difficult emprise. As I said before, there are so much tremendous bands in the death metal scene – which is undoubtedly a good thing for the fans-, there’s a great competition and if you’re not serious and dedicated in what you’re doing, the world will never get busy with you. The truth, though, is that the feedback we’ve received so far is utterly satisfying up ’til now.

I’m not joking: how many millions of hours you need in order to create something like that?

Rehearsals are the most basic thing for members of a band that consider themselves to be hard-working. We usually rehearse once per week due to certain difficulties that we face or even some more if needed. Everything’s constructed in the studio. During the whole jam some riffs come out on the surface, the form of drum themes between the tracks is created, everyone deposits his own aspect and ideas. Therefore, it’s a procession which demands lots of hours in the rehearsal place.

WHY haven’t you used more lead parts in the record? Don’t tell me that happened due to lack in technical ability.

That’s a truly good question! The truth is that guitar leads was a subject we concerned of since the very beginning. We didn’t know if we should use more or less lead parts compared to our first album. Finally, we decided to use as many as we thought were suitable in the tracks. It has nothing to do with our guitar players’ ability. We just believed that we should use less solos in these new tracks which were so much more brutal. I’m sure that’ll be a sobering thought again in our next record. But I think we won’t throw them totally up.

I always believed that kids from the “countryside” hid a more repressed anger within themselves. Do you support this assumption? Does the fact that you’re too “country kids” justify your avocation with such a peeved genre?

You’re somehow right on what you speak about. We all know how much abandoned the greek province is even if we talk about substructures or life quality compared to the big cities. It figures that most of the kids living in the province are usually pretty comprehensive. To answer the second part of your question, I’d say that our avocation with death metal music has nothing to do with our origin. You often see many countrymen playing different kinds of music. It’s just the music we love and support through all those years.

The album’s cover is magnificent. Who worked on this? Were you at all blended with its concept?

The album’s cover is created by Giorgos “Grin” Prasinis whom we’d known through his amazing works with many important bands of the scene. We had some images and ideas in mind and we just passed them to Giorgos so that he could liven them up. I assure you that the final result got by far over our expectations. We really dig this work. I believe it perfectly fits to the album’s music and atmosphere. I’m glad you like this, too, and once again we thank you for your comment.

This time, the record was released from a different label. Was there a specific trouble with Black Edge?

The truth is that the record would be released by some other label anyway. We had some problems with Black Edge but fortunately they were quickly arranged. Our deal with the mentioned company regarded the release of only one record. Therefore, after our debut full-length, we were forced to seek for a new and even better record company. We found out Pathologically Explicit Recordings with which we’re totally pleased. The man behind this one, Fernando, is an exquisite professional and does some amazing work for all of the bands he’s signed.

Let’s go back to composition issues. I guess you realize that from now on there are huge expectations from the fans. Do you perceive the whole thing as some kind of future challenge? HOW MUCH GREATER songs are you able to write?

It was our initial aim from the time we started composing the songs of our new album. We should trespass our debut album at any level. I think we achieved this at all aspects, in music and composures, in its extremity, in the production, in everything! Of course, every time you create something new you’ve got to be better than the previous releases and that’s the challenge. I can assure you that we’ve got the same goal for our next record. I’m not sure if we’re going to write better songs but we’re in the mood and we’ve got the will to achieve this. Generally, I think that all bands should constantly evolve so that they can be ever fresh, strong and, most of all, competitive!

All this unholy mood which dominates in the record, besides the exquisite compositions, is surely the product of some really good production. Would you like to tell us more about this?

Of course! The record’s production was edited by our good friend Stelios Koslidis (guitarist in Erectus & Defiler) with whom we work over three years. Stelios is an experienced engineer and mainly expert of this kind of music (something extremely important). I believe he did an awesome job and we much reached the result we expected. Concerning our sound, there were some standards: I mean, not that heavy bass and snare drums, loud and clear cymbals, heavy and massive but not “dirty” guitars. Of course, we helped a lot at all this procedure and I could say that we’re still happy with the record’s sound!

At the review I did, I combined you with Morbid Angel of post-Vincent era (1997-2001). In fact, the whole record sounds like all the possible alternative versions of “Opening of the Gates” track. I never mean to accuse you for lack in inspiration but is “Gateways to Annihilation” an icon for you?

This is anything but an accuse. It’s an honour and flattery! Of course, all the albums of the most important -along with Death- band of this genre are our icons! Personally, Morbid Angel is my favorite group ever and, for sure, we are deeply influenced from this band. “Gateways to Annihilation” is a fabulous album with terrifying slow and majestic parts! Especially the song you’ve mentioned is distinctive with unbelievable feet-work and slow snare drum playing! You can find alike parts in our album also, at the closure of “Furious Annihilation” and “Savagery Incarnate” and in “The Vulture’s Disposition” also. I’d have to say, though, that we are mostly influenced from their fast composures and tracks such as “This Means War” or “Prayer of the Hatred” are. That’s a huge band, what else can I say?

What’s occupying the band right now? What are the band’s plans for the immediate future?

Right now, we’re working on some new songs and we constantly rehearse. At least as long as we can. Concerning the immediate future, we’d like to do as many gigs as possible in Greece and in foreign ground. We’d like to find some new, even bigger, record company to co-operate with for our next album also.

I don’t intend to cast an evil eye on the band but Mass Ifection are more healthy than ever. What about the rest of the indigenous scene? How do you perceive Greek reality in death metal scene?

I believe that things are working good for the indigenous death metal scene. Better than ever! Many amazing bands come out of the underground scene, there are deals with record companies and I assure you that even in foreign grounds people have a great esteem on the Greek scene. Want some names? Inveracity, Dead Congregation, Blustery Caveat, Erectus, Human Rejection, Vulnus, Terrordrome, Birth of Depravity, Necrorgasm, Sickening Horror, Cerebrum, Malicious Silence, Extreme Violence, Bloody Donation, Simple Disorder, Cease of Breeding, Mortal Torment e.t.c. The list is endless. What is demanded is just appetence and will because our country is much talented already.

Another personal favorite, in Greece, is Dead Congregation which also included you in the “thanx list” of their “Graves of the Archangels” album. Don’t you think that what they’re doing is way too unique?

A truly amazing band! We know those guys and we have also played some gigs together. They probably own the most unique sound of all Greek bands. They combine their old school influences (from bands like Incantation, Immolation and Morbid Angel) with modern and perfectly extreme drumming and the result is unique, indeed! Their two releases are fabulous. Personally, I mostly dig their mini-CD but the full-length has nothing to be jealous of. They really are a musical gem for the Greek scene.

Victor, I thank you so much for this interview. I truly wish the best for you all. Before I close this conversation, though, I’m going to seriously ask you one more time this: do you inoculate your drummer with kerosene?

Hahaha, nope, perhaps a double espresso so that he’s tensed. Ok, see… Giorgos tries so hard and is very serious and dedicated in what he’s acting. Using only the talent is never enough.

Add whatever you like.

Nothing further than to thank you for this interview and for your support. We appreciate this so much, pal. Good luck and keep on with your work!

Interview by Miltos XIC

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