Infected Rain’s overall fifth full length effort, Ecdysis, was released earlier this month via Napalm Records (read our review here). We caught up with vocalist Lena Scissorhands to discuss the Moldovan progressive metal outfit’s overall progression, and the strong emotions behind their vigorous new record.
How has the pandemic affected the overall writing process for Ecdysis?
I think it changed it a lot. I don’t know if I want to use the word affected by it, because it changed a lot, but I don’t think it changed it for the worst. I will explain. Prior to the pandemic, we used to do a lot of things remotely anyways, because I moved to America six years ago and that’s a while ago. We learned some tricks and learned some ways to work remotely, that are comfortable for everybody in the band already. However, that being said, I still used to fly back to Moldova to go to the recording studio and do my part. As a vocalist, like the majority of vocalists, I would actually be in a recording studio in a separate room, working with a sound engineer or producer over headphones and doing things like that. Right? Now, this is a part that I needed to learn to do separately and on my own, which is not something I knew how to do. So it took me a while to learn a completely strange and new program to me. Obviously, I only had to learn what it takes for the vocalist to record, but yeah, it took me a while. I am not very good with technology. So, a lot of frustration too. But finally, when I understood how to operate this program and how to record vocals properly, it got easier. Now the only difficult part was to be my own critic. So yeah, that’s, I guess the only part that changed.
I think I look at it in a positive way because it gave me the opportunity, even though it was forced on me, but it gave me the opportunity to learn something new. Now I have my own vocal studio in the house, my own little vocal booth. Calling it a vocal studio would be too loud. Before the pandemic, I could just only dream about having my own little vocal booth in the house where I can practice, I can write ideas, compose, and now I have it. That gave me the opportunity, not only to take my sweet time with Infected Rain and with the ideas and with every single sound, but also, it gave me the opportunity to do a lot of collaborations with other bands that really always wanted to. I had proposals of collaborations before, but it just was impossible for me to do because I didn’t have the opportunity, in my own house, to do that or the knowledge to do that on my own. I always depended on other people.
That is the only part that really was completely different because when it comes to my musicians in the band, they always worked remotely like that, by themselves. We have our own rehearsal/recording studio in Moldova that we built with our own hands long ago. It didn’t change much for them. Only this part changed drastically. I still flew back to Moldova when it was allowed to fly internationally. I did a lot of work there as well, but the majority of the work, when it comes to composing and writing this album, was done remotely.
What are some of the overall changes that your listeners should expect from the new record?
I don’t think we have drastic changes. There are little things here and there that definitely impacted the sound. For example, we have a new guitarist in the band. So, the guitar players and the bass player, they changed their instrument. And although we didn’t change our tune, every instrument sounds different. In fact, I absolutely love the way the new instruments sound. They have more body to the sound. I don’t know. It’s interesting how that also can be like… It’s pretty obvious. If you compare even the latest album, Endorphin, with this album, you can hear that something is different with the guitars, but we didn’t change the tuning or anything drastic. So, that is one of the changes. And yeah, the other change I think, would be just the times we live in. It’s a very new, unknown situation that we live in at the moment, still dealing with it for the past almost two years now. That definitely inspired the majority of my lyrics, and they are probably a little bit more emotional and more raw than ever. Although, I think that I say that about every single album. It’s just, I write about what’s going on in the world, what’s going on in my own personal life. I just write about what hurts, what bothers me, my own feelings and emotions.It just so happened that we are surrounded by this unknown monster, that’s changing the world at the moment. So, I think it’s, yeah.
No, I definitely notice a more impactful way, a different way of the songs on the new album. I’m happy I am speaking to you about this, because I wanted to know if you can talk more about the songs, “Goodbye” and “Never the Same?”
Goodbye is a very interesting song. It’s something very personal and something very… I don’t even know how to properly describe it. It’s in a way, my own reminder and my own way to let go, my own way to remind myself to let go, if we want to be more specific. We all deal with so many things in life. Sometimes we dwell for one or other situations, for longer, longer than it’s needed, actually. We just don’t let go because it hurts or because we were hurt or because we are still conditioned by that situation. It can be a situation or a person. It can be anything. We are human beings. It happens to all of us. I’m sure everybody can relate to what I’m going to say right now, in a way or another. It just so happened that, recently, to be more specific, super, super, super close to the pandemic, I was dealing with some big life changes and interesting situations that I wasn’t really ready for. I was dealing with them for a while, and then the pandemic happened. And in the way we were isolated from the world, I couldn’t get back doing my job and what I love the most, which is music and touring. That keeps my brain sane. Instead of being able to do that, I felt like I was holding on to whatever happened before, without letting go and moving on and stop thinking about it, stop letting it affect me or whatever. To keep it shorter, basically, Goodbye is that reminder that it will soon go away. It’s going to be okay. That’s actually how I started the song. It’s something I say in the very beginning. I address a friend that I want to let go of and I say, “Goodbye, my friend. I’m letting you go.” Although maybe this person is not even aware of what’s happening, this is more for me. It’s an inner dialogue between the strong me and the weaker me, that is still hurting or still hoping for the best or whatever. So yeah, that’s Goodbye for us, over here.
That’s a very powerful and probably therapeutic way to write and get through it out on a song too. So, that’s amazing.
Yeah, absolutely. It is. It is. In a way, I do have a couple of phrases in this song that are a little bit depressing. Not everybody can agree with that, but then eventually, it’s a cleansing type of thinking. Because I say, I guess every love story becomes a tragedy, if you wait long enough, that is kind of depressing. Do I really think that? I like to think positive, and I like to see the best in people, but yeah, I do fear that because that’s what I experienced. I know it’s true, and I know it’s out there. I know there’s a big possibility of it. But also, at the same time, I say it will all be okay. It will soon go away. I’m driving away. I’m letting it go, letting it out. So in a way, like turning the page in this book.
Yes. As depressing as it sounds, there is a positive because you become a stronger person from it.
Correct. Yeah. Every single experience in life is there for us to learn, is there for us to build a stronger character. Now, it’s up to us, if we are going to let it make us weaker or stronger. That’s definitely very important for us, to figure that out.
How is the song Never the Same? I feel like that was written more for the pandemic, but I’m not sure.
Never the Same – I start the song with screaming, ‘take me back. Turn around the clock. Take me back.’ So basically, yeah, it’s a lot about how much, specifically me, I was missing my life before this pandemic. The non stop pursuing my dream, fighting for my goals and having fun while doing that. But at the same time, again, we are never the same ever. So, me talking to you now is not the me that I was yesterday, for many reasons. The slight differences, the micro differences, even in our body, biologically, we are different every day. Right? But this song, specifically, is about this future that we are all fighting for and this future that we are all planning all this time. Are we going to fail it? Are we going to create it and have our own version of the future? Or are we going to fail it?This is what is in our hands because yeah, it feels like we get… What’s the correct word? We get influenced a lot by what’s happening around us, like our character. Obviously, it’s normal and it’s natural, but we should try our best to still be yourself and still remain humane, still remain kind and still be ourselves, our same selves that we were yesterday and fight for what we love and what we create, because it feels like every single tomorrow is a new version of us. Is it a version that we create, or that somebody else shaped out of us? That’s basically what I’m trying to say with this song. I end the song saying, ‘time is never the same again.’ Right? It’s cruel, but we need it. We need these changes. We need it to grow. We need it to be better versions of ourselves. Now, the task is to not let what is happening in the world or other people in charge, so called in charge people, to shape our lives. We have you the ones who shape our own future.
This is very powerful stuff on this record. Thank you for sharing so much with these two songs.
On a fun note, how was it working with Heidi for “The Realm of Chaos?”
It was a lot of fun because it was all unplanned, actually. It was very improvised. And just the way things happened, it almost seems like it was supposed to happen that way. So yeah, we didn’t plan it at all. In fact, we do have this song fully recorded by me. We have that. We will probably never release it, but yeah, I recorded vocals for this song. We didn’t plan to have someone specifically for this song. And then when we were still in the process of working on little things here and there, and the producer was doing its magic and stuff, we were just thinking how cool it would be. We actually had two songs in mind. When I brought it up to my boys, they’re like, “Yeah. But who can we work with right now?” It’s a very difficult time for everybody. People can’t go to studios and stuff like that to record. I, right away thought about Heidi, because we are very close friends. She actually lives here in Las Vegas as well. She moved during the pandemic. That brought us even closer. I said that I’m going to ask her, and they liked the idea. When I asked her, she right away said yes, without even any hesitations. She heard the unfinished versions of the songs prior to me even bringing it up. And also, a lot of people that saw us being so close lately, a lot of fans were constantly suggesting, “You guys should collaborate, blah, blah, blah.” I don’t know, it was so natural to ask her first. She loved the idea. We both agreed that this song would be the best. And then I actually recorded her in my own vocal studio here. So, that was fun. Lots of fun.
It looks fun. It was amazing that you guys were able to complete the tour together last year. It was one thing to have shows return and another to see if a band could complete a tour because of the pandemic. I guess, what was that experience like, to not only return to the road, but manage to complete a full tour?
Well, we had moments where we had to be very careful. Obviously, we had a couple of rules here and there, where we tried our best to keep our whole entire package with crew and everybody healthy. We had to keep our distance and certain things weren’t doable. Like, our meet and greets were very limited and stuff like that. Obviously, the venues couldn’t be full because of all the rules. And then certain cities had the rule of, you can only come, if you have a test or a vaccine. Certain didn’t have any rule like that, so people were mad, sometimes mad with the band. So there were a couple of moments where we were like, oh, this is heavy, mentally and physically, to deal with all this. However, I guess thanks to all this heavy stuff, nobody got even a slight cold. Nobody was down. Nobody stopped this tour from going. It was awesome that everybody was on the same page. Us being friends helped a lot, for sure. Because anytime we had a moment, we could talk to each other. I guess Heidi and Carla, they have that all the time, because they are both together in the band and are girls and being girl supportive. I can’t say that I need that, but it was fun to have that for a change because I’m always with my boys on tour, which I love them. They are my brothers. I can talk to them about every single thing. There’s no problems at all when it comes to that, but it was fun. Yeah. It was fun to go on tour with friends. Females or male, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. We all missed this so much, and we were all so excited for it. We were all figuring it out, how to do it again, because it’s been almost two years. So yeah, super glad that this actually happened and it was very successful.
You guys have another tour coming up in Europe, I believe?
Yeah. We actually have a lot of plans for 2022. Fingers crossed, nothing changes those plans. But yeah, the one that we announced so far is a European tour with a band, Dagoba, from France. Yeah, it’s a pretty big run. We miss our European fans, for sure. Yeah.
What are some things that you learned from 2021, that you plan to take with you this year?
I don’t know. Yeah. I think that what I learned the most is how awesome and amazing our fans are. Because not only during 2021, but also 2020, we had so much love and support from our fans, that I don’t know if we could have survived as a band without it. I’m talking about everything. Presents, words of encouragement, even financial support, when it comes to subscribing to certain things, buying merchandise. Certain things that maybe require that extra $1, $5, whoever, whatever was able to invest was still there. It was there. It gave us enough strength, time and finance to move on and keep doing what we love, no matter what. That’s, I guess in this specifically difficult times, is what showed it the most, I guess.
I’ve seen a lot of fans who have been very supportive of their artists. I mean, I know some bands almost broke up too. It’s such a crazy time.
Is there anything else you want to say about the new album?
I would implore everyone to give it a proper listen. I think this album is one of those albums that you need to listen to a couple of times, to actually digest it properly. So yeah, I think that my only request would be to not rush with anything, to give it a proper listen, at least two or three times every song, to understand it and feel it properly.
Tags: Infected Rain, Lena Scissorhands
Categorised in: Interviews, Releases