After they opened up Bloodstock Festival on Thursday night, we were able to catch up with rising British black metallers THE INFERNAL SEA to the lowdown on their brand new stage show, featuring their own Agents of Satan. As well as this we got to delve into the horror and plague stricken world of their debut album, The Great Mortality.
Has retuning to Bloodstock always been a goal since playing the New Blood Stage?
Dean: Yeah definitely, it’s always been on our radar. Bloodstock is a great festival, it’s good for all bands moving up all platforms so we’ve always wanted to return. We had such a great experience over on the New Blood Stage in 2013 that we were just desperate to get back. Obviously we got invited this year, so yeah, it’s just a great experience.
You guys had your Agents of Satan on stage with you today, who are they, and what do they represent?
Chris: They’re our minions, I suppose. They’re there too add some certain mystery and gravitas to the live ritual. They’re there to do our bidding.
Dean: It’s another visual element.
Is it building the depth behind the band?
Dean: Yeah I’d say it is. It’s definitely gonna add more mystery to us.
What was it like playing in the custom mask you guys had built?
Dean: Gruelling. Hot. Extreme. To be honest, we create a horrible, intense, extreme music; we feel that we make the listener feel uncomfortable with the music so we should feel uncomfortable in our stage performance. If the listener experiences it we should experience it, so they’re not great to wear, but aesthetically they’re amazing.
How does THE INFERNAL SEA prepare before going on stage? Any pre-show rituals?
Dean: Soon as we’re on that stage we’re in that zone. We just walk on and see the crowd, once I feel the other guys around me we’re just there, and we just channel that [energy] and just do it.
With this being the biggest stage you’ve ever played, how does it differ to playing club shows?
Chris: It’s a totally different experience, from having a large team that set you up, and obviously the set up. People are not necessarily here to see us, you get your casual fans and walk ups.
Dean: To be honest that’s what we want, we want people who don’t necessarily listen to black metal to come and listen to us. We wanna start getting in those other listeners, they’re the ones we wanna reach. With a show like this it’s perfect for it, that’s why it’s great to play these bigger shows. You’ve got to step up your game. We’ve practised hard for this, and I’m hoping it’s paid off.
THE INFERNAL SEA isn’t necessarily pure black metal, with elements of genres like hardcore being used. Is it difficult to balance those elements whilst maintaining the black metal sound?
Dean: It’s come from the fact we’re all into a lot of different things musically, so we like to bring all of those influences in with us. We don’t just wanna make a blasting black metal album, that’s not us. We like to add that rock element into our music, just to give it that edge. Personally I don’t think there are any black metal bands doing what we’re doing in the UK, which is a good thing, makes us unique. That musical background that we have in different genres is just applied.
Chris: We write the music that we wanna hear, y’know, we all listen to a lot of different stuff, if it sounds good and it feels good and its not too wildly outside the perimeters of black metal then we’ll go for it.
Black metal has quite an intense and vocal fan base, does it make you cautious when writing music outside the box?
Dean: To be honest no, we just do it. We’re writing music for ourselves, y’know, with The Great Mortality we’re really happy with it. It’s for us, if people like it then even better.
The Great Mortality was based around the black plague, when writing about historical events do you research into them or fictionalise events?
Dean: No no, I fully immerse myself into it. I did a lot of research on the black plague, I buried my head into books and researched a lot online. Basically everything is based on a true event that actually happened, and then I just take the darker elements, well it was already pretty dark…I take the more extreme elements out of that and convert them into lyrics. The Great Mortality more represents what man did during that time, cause y’know, humans are bastards, always have been and always will be and it makes for great lyrical content.
THE INFERNAL SEA are playing a charity event in the future, want to explain what’s happening there?
Dean: We’re playing up in Manchester. A friend of ours passed away unfortunately, so his friend has helped organised this show and it’s all about the bands he loved. He used to go to shows in Manchester, he was the guy at the front always throwing the horns and headbanging, buying your merch and coming to chat to you, he was an amazing person. They’re doing this [gig] with all his favourite black metal bands and we’re just clubbing together and it’s all going to charity.
Do you think it’s important for bands to stick together and so appreciation for the fans?
Dean: The dedication that they put into bands, it doesn’t go unnoticed. All these bands turning around and saying that they’re willing to do it for charity is brilliant, and it shows how strong and supportive the community is.
Thinking past The Great Mortality, are you writing any more songs?
Chris: Absolutely, we have a lot of songs we’re working on, we have a lot of new material written and ready to go, we’re working on stuff for a new album and we have something coming up to be released on Apocalyptic Witchcraft towards the tale end of this year.
What themes will looked at for the new record?
Dean: Still set in the middle ages, but that’s all I will say. It’ll continue that period, it’ll be from a historical stand point and it’ll still be about what humans do to each other, but it’ll be another nasty saga in that period.
Will your stage show progress with each album as well?
Dean: Definitely, we have just unveiled our new look, so a few tweaks here and there but it will just be an adaptation of what we’re doing.
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