We can find metal bands all over the world and not only in the Northern part of Europe. This time I had the opportunity to talk with a band from Switzerland. So thank you ‘INFINITAS’ for answering the questions! Read everything about Medieval history, back-front-changers, backjoiners and wild ones.
The band is called ‘INFINITAS’. Can you tell something about that name? Who came up with it and does it have a special meaning?
‘INFINITAS’ means infinity. Piri and Selv came up with the band name on their way home from an ‘Eluveitie’ concert. It had to be Latin and sound catchy, but at the same time fascinating as well.
Can you tell something about the history of the band?
‘INFINITAS’ was formed in 2009 by Piri (drums) and Selv (guitars). Originally they wanted to play Thrash Metal music, however they had their plan changed when, instead of the 2nd guitarist, a violinist and also a female lead singer joined the band. By now we have experienced many line-up changes. Andrea, singer, has been a member since 2013. The violin and bass come and go every now and then. We are without a label and therefore fully independent, which is important to us. Last year we even reached #19 on the Swiss Chart.
Please introduce the band members to us. Who are they, instruments, musical backgrounds
Piri Betschart is our drummer and is responsible for our juicy gigs. He’s extremely passionate and puts heart and soul into drumming. He takes our songs to the next level rhythm wise. Selv Martone is our guitarist and song writer. He understands it well to give our songs soul and make them alive, especially with his guitar riffs.
I am Andrea Böll and I tell with my voice stories about demons and their grief. I have practiced my voice for nearly 20 years and have been working on every detail.
Being the voice of ‘INFINITAS’ allows me to express myself extraordinary, since the band plays to my strengths from a vocal point of view. Right now ‘Infinitas’ consist of three members and session musicians take care of the violin (Savannah Childres) and bass (Marcel Koller; Band: ‘Charburn’).
Are there band members playing in other bands also?
Not currently. However. each one is busy with their own personal musical projects or special music occasions.
How would you describe the kind of music you make? You call it Swiss melodic metal. What is special about this kind of music?
This question is incredibly difficult to answer, since we mix several metal genres together and different metal elements. Noticeable is our Folk part due the sound of a violin. Apart from that we are very melodic and that’s why we describe ourselves as Melodic Metal. Pretty unique is our draft, our idea behind our music. Our songs and albums tell stories about demons and protagonists. You could say we are very into myths and mythical creatures. We want to take our fans, listeners and audiences into the land myths and fantasy, where they can relax and just enjoy our music.
You’re using some instruments (violin and clarinet) which are not common in metal. Why those instruments?
That’s right. We use a violin and at times, when we play unplugged, a clarinet also. Particularly the clarinet is not common in metal. Still, It sounds very unique and gives an own personal touch to our songs. The same could be said about the violin. Many metal bands use a violin nowadays. The big difference between them and us is that we don’t use two guitars, instead the violin replaces the need of the 2nd guitar. In addition to that we modify the sounds of our violin and that opens up a big number of musical opportunities and options, in particular when we write our songs.
When I look at you’re latest two video’s they remines me at the middle ages. Is this just a coincidence or has this something to do with your kind of music?
Medieval history is a big part of us. Like already stated our music tells a tale. The story takes place in our self-created medieval fantasy world, which is controlled by demons. We try to accompany that fantasy with our music videos. Each song is named after a demon and is, in one way or another, about that certain demon. Let’s take our song “Samael“ for example. Samael is said to be an angel of death according to certain mythologies, in others he’s considered a fallen angel. Our song “Samael” shows his gloomy thoughts about vengeance and evil intentions. Whereas other songs, such as “ Skylla “, which was literally a sea monster in Greek mythology on one hand, on the other hand “Skylla” also stands figuratively for severe depression, caused by sorrow and other negative experiences.
Which are your favorite bands?
My personal favs are Amon Amarth, Dream Theater, Alestorm, Ensiferum und a few others.
Can we hear the influence of other bands in your music?
Children of Bodom, Amoprhis, Opeth, Ensiferum, Iron Maiden, Eluveitie,..just to name a few.
You are from Switzerland, is it easy to play there?
Yes, we are from Switzerland. If you keep looking for gigs and if you also are open minded towards smaller locations, you’ll find a place to play. We suffer from the same issue like probably everybody else: from the fact that there are too many metal bands. The market is saturated. Therefore, you have to lower your expectations when it comes to live crowds. You never know how many fans will show up unless you are famous. Fortunately, we have always been able to play our gigs and concerts yet. It helps that we have built relationships over the years.
What can you tell about the metal scene in Switzerland?
It’s small but excellent. It’s like one big family. People know each other. Naturally you meet the same bands all over again at concerts and festivals.
What are your goals in music?
We are very ambitious. Our goal is to give as many people as possible something to look for to and let them sink in our created fantasy world, a place where they can forget about all their real-life problems, issues and sorrows. Moreover, we want to be internationally known.
What was your most remarkable gig so far?
There are quite a few. Very special experiences were our concerts in Pratteln (2015 at z7) and Luzern (2018 at Schüür). We will never forget our first international gig in Pula.
This year we can’t wait for April 2019 to come. We will be supporting ‘Eluveitie’ at their own “Ategnatos“ release party. We already are very nervous and we are looking forward to rocking the show with ‘Eluveitie’.
On your FB page I can read “we make good music for good people”. What do you mean with “good people”?
That was probably written in a comment. We define good people as people, who enjoy hanging out with like-minded people, have a positive world outlook, keep the faith and like to share with others. Humans, who want to make a difference in life, who are easy going, uncomplicated and perhaps challenge society as well. That’s our definition of good and we stand for those values. It’s fully up to you however, how you define good. Each to their own. We understand there are thousands of different definitions of good and everybody has to decide for themselves.
What can you tell us about the Swiss audience?
That’s an interesting question. The Swiss audience generally needs some time to warm up. it might be skeptical towards new stuff, such as new bands and music. Allow the Swiss people some time to find out whether they like it or not. They usually don’t freak out right away, but it can happen too. Once you have won them over, they are up for fun and jokes. I think, since Swiss people tend to be more critical it helps a band to take a step forward. At times we are unsure whether people like our shows or not, but a Swiss audience gives you perhaps a more honest feedback. That helps to improve our own shows. if they rock and go wild, we do something right. if they just stand there and remain silent, we know we have to improve certain elements and do better next time. Dealing with a live crowd is a big challenge and with experience you become more sensitive and be able to feel what your fans want. After all, they make precious time for our live shows. Every single band should observe their audiences and listen to what they need and give it to them. Usually they want kick ass music and a magnificent performance. Keep in mind there are several types of audiences. There are the wild ones who just rock their asses off in front of the stage, then there are backjoiners, people who stand in the far back and just listen and enjoy the music or who are focused on the technical things or stage show. lastly there are back-front-changers, who keep switching between backjoiners and wild ones. In Switzerland the majority of people belong in the last category.
Did you make records so far?
We have produced one EP, one Single and one full album. Our single was very successful and ended up in the top 20 (#19). We are set to record a new album this year. As you already know by now each album tells a story. This one will continue the story told on our previous album.
I saw that you are making a 3 piece new album. That’s something new for me. Why a 3 piece album?
That’s right, we are planning a 3 piece album (“MEMORIA I, II & III”). We continue the story from “CIVITAS INTERITUS” (2017). There are three possibilities for the protagonist and how his destiny unfolds. Along the lines of evil intentions influence our protagonist or good intentions will lead him to glory land or a mix of both. This year’s release will be about evil intentions. Straight from hell. The album’s name will be “INFERNUM” (Latin for hell).
I also saw that you have a special way to lower the costs of producing the album. Can you tell ∗us something more about it?
We have several different financing projects, which one has already been started. We filed an application for our local promotion of culture and now we are trying to gain an item worth CHF 20’000 with trading- and supporting action. We started off with a stuffed moose and traded it for a limited within temptation fanbox, which was traded for a limited victorinox knife. That’s the way this is supposed to continue until we will have reached our item that sells for CHF 20’000.
In late summer we will launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise CHF 15’000. Furthermore we are currently looking for sponsors. There isn’t just one way of doing it.
We want to try out new ways and use our creativity.
Who is responsible for the music and lyrics?
Selv (guitars) writes our music. He’s blessed with a special talent. He’s able to express the pictures and movies in your head with music and also he understands creating something epic with all different instruments involved.
We don’t have one single lyricist, we all write them. Sometimes Piri, sometimes Selv and sometimes I. We just have to follow one single rule in order to keep it organized: each song has to be named after a demon.
Is there (always) a message in your songs?
Yes. Sometimes it’s not obvious and you have to read between the lines, however there’s always one or more messages included. Our instruments tell a story already and our lyrics extend, add something to it or clarify that told story.
It’s all about interpretations and that’s exciting. it allows people to discuss our stories or philosophize or even extend them. Who knows, they might even find common ground.
Where can we find the band in 3 years from now?
I hope you can find us on the very big stage and conquer the metal world. We want to touch as many people as possible with our music and help them to relax and forget about their stressful lives for a second. Also we would love to inspire people with our music, stories and ideas.
Is there a possibility to welcome you in Holland one day?
We certainly hope so. We would love to come to Holland as soon as possible and play at festivals there or even tour through your country. Personally I really like Holland and its people. Open-minded, warmhearted and always very positive. Plus you party like champions, but you know exactly what I mean!
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