Woods of Infinity Interviews

Woods of Infinity

“Hello my dear friends - people of the world
Those who are small and those who are tall
Did we make you laugh? Did we make you cry?
Did we pass you by with the bat of an eye?

In any case and every sense we hope we moved your mind!
For good or bad, be glad or sad, we will respond in kind!

For this World of Interest
Is a Womb of Impudence
But the Woods of Infinity
Will Lead you to Divinity

So, tell me, dear friends, people of the world
You who are small and you who are tall
Have you lost your heart? Do you feel unwhole?
Did you drop your soul in a gaping hole?
In either way, I hate to say, you've lost the means to love
And without that your hate falls flat like dry leaves from above

For in this World of Interest
There are Warriors of Innocense
Watering our Ignorance
Wasting our Impotence
There are Woods of Infinity
Leading to Divinity

Farewell, my dear friends, people of the world
Those who mock and those in shock
Did we make you care? Did your heartstrings tear?”

Hello Melkor, this is Mirgilus from Transylvania. Let we start this interview with this: what are you doing now, when you answering these questions? Are you listening some music? Day or night? Are you drinking some beers, watching some porno movies, or anything else?

Hello Mirgilius from Transylvania. Right now I'm sitting in a dark room, listening to the dripping of a radiator. I might have a cup of coffee in a little while, before work. Mondays aren't very glamorous.

Well, when you started Woods of Infinity, did you have some kind of a vision or what you’re going to do?

When we started Woods of Infinity we had no vision or plan of any kind, we just went with whatever came to us and didn't reflect much upon it. The project grew in intensity and purpose as the months went by, however.

Could you summarize the history of the band?

We began in 1999, recorded a few demos leading up to the release of the "Gaggenau" demo, which caught the interest of Selbstmord Services, who offered us a contract. We released a 7" there called "I-20", resigned from the label and then released some other stuff until we joined up with THR, where we released "F&L" up to "Ljuset". After that we signed a contract with Supernal Music for 2 full lengths and a mini-CD. One of the full lengths are out now, "Hamptjärn", and the mini-CD "Hopplös Väntan" (Hopeless Waiting) should soon be out.

How did you start listening to extreme music, how did you find it? What are those significant records that have influenced you?

I drifted into it, I suppose. Started out with bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath (my father was a big Black Sabbath fan), from there to bands like Carcass, Napalm Death, Edge of Sanity and finally into the Black Metal of the time - Satyricon, Darkthrone, Emperor, Enslaved, etc. Significant records for me are the classics, the ones that caught my attention when I was a kid and made me realize Black Metal was something special. Satyricon's "Dark Medieval Times", Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger", Emperor's "In the Nightside Eclipse", Rotting Christ's "Non Serviam", Necromantia's "Crossing the Fiery Path", Throne of Ahaz' "Nifelheim"... the list can go on.

How do you make your music? Let’s say, comparing the first period of the band with lots of tapes and splits to what you’re doing now?

Things are more structured these days, compared to the early years, naturally. I know a lot more about recording software and hardware, and I've found my own sound. I started using Cubase and other sequencers at a very early age, when I was around 14-15, so that has always been the foundation of my arrangements. The only reason we didn't use sequencers at the early stages of Woods of Infinity was that I didn't have the appropriate hardware. Other than that, the methods behind our music are basically the same.

What’s the division of work between you and Ravenlord?

I generally handle the musical aspects of a song. The instruments, the arrangements, the mixing and mastering and polishing of the final track. Ravenlord often supplies the lyrics, and handles most of the vocals. I do, however, handle some back-up vocals/choirs at times. Also, Ravenlord has an obsession with samples, and is constantly searching for new snips of audio insanity to throw into our songs.

Please characterize your comrade Ravenlord in 3 words!

Oh, hum. Let's see. Perhaps "impulsive, vengeful sociopath"? Or "depraved, eccentric libertine"? There's a lot to that man!

Do you have certain sounds in mind when you record new stuff?

Some songs I plan ahead for a long time, going for a certain sound and having distinct melodies and harmonies in my head. Other times I record on the fly, improvising until I find something I really like and then building upon that. It varies.

In retrospect, are you satisfied with your past releases? What release is your personal favorite from your discography? My personal favorite release of Woods of Infinity is Ljuset album, a true masterpiece, great songs and a special feeling, your comment:

I'm satisfied with our past releases. Every album, demo or split represents a different stage of our development as a band. Even if it might not be representative of who we are now, it's a monument to our past - as such I appreciate them highly. I don't really have a favourite. If any, it would be the songs I recorded recently, because they're closest to who I am and what I want to express right now.

What kind of feedback have you got for your albums? Are you interested in Woods of Infinity reviews?

We've gotten some very positive feedback as well as some very negative. We seem to have that effect on people, making them either love or hate us. It's always interesting to read what people think about us. We're not doing a lot of promotion for the band, though - we've probably gotten fewer reviews than any newcomer band. Perhaps we should hire a PR agent?

What other music do you listen to?

All manner of music. I've got a soft spot for 50's-70's rock, the weird synth escapades of the 80's as well as some of the more catchy corporate rock, industrial/ambient music, Swedish progg, classical music... you name it. It would be easier to list the music I don't listen to.

Do you think there are general black metal esthetics, or how important do you find the visual side of the releases?

I like the classical Black Metal aesthetics and the visual side of an album. I'm not a very visual person, however, though I do my best in the layouts of each album. A lot of people are averse to the traditional visual elements of BM, like corpse paint and spikes and blood. I like that stuff, though. Not necessarily because it looks "necro", but because it reminds me of how I felt in '94. Back when you could take some things seriously without being scoffed.

We talked about visual arts, so how interested are you in that or any other forms of art, film, books, etc.?

I like art, but I'm mostly ignorant I'm ashamed to say. I haven't had the time or inclination to get really involved in that. I do appreciate a nice painting, but I'm hardly a connaisseur. I've seen my fair share of movies. And more than my fair share of bad movies. Some films really struck a chord with me, though, like "The City of Lost Children" and its otherwordly green-tinted visuals, the pure angst of David Lynch's "Eraserhead", the haunting score and dilapidated surroundings of "Candyman" and the gothic stylings of Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

How important is the dark humour in Woods of Infinity?

The dark humour is as important in Woods of Infinity as it is important to any human. Some people seem to have gotten the idea that WoI is a "joke band" - that we're not being sincere and serious. They couldn't be more wrong. Our purpose has never been to have a laugh or take a piss with our music. Any human, though, must be blind not to see the comedy, travesty if you will, of our human state. Some things make us laugh, some things make us cry. It's all a part of being human, and WoI is a reflection of our innermost selves and humanity. Comedy, tragedy and all.

Beside this music stuff, what do you do?

I'm not sure what you mean. I work, I play, I live my life. I'm somewhat involved in politics.

Children make regular appearance in your songs and cover artwork. Have you faced any problems because of death? Where come from this pedophile fascination?

Yes, children represent purity and innocense, which is why juxtaposing them with scenes of calamity and distress resounds emotionally within us. It's interesting to see the most "hardened" in this scene cringe - seconds after proposing the complete annihilation of the universe. It's all very human, and a benign response. Bringing people off balance is the key and purpose with provoking them in such a manner. Humanity as a whole is fascinated with the extreme and the darkness in the world. Be it a gory roadside collision, a brutal serial killer or the abuse of the innocent. I'm not sure why that is, but I'm fascinated with the fascination. Faced any problems because of death? Not sure what you mean here.

What do you think about extreme body modifications such as self amputations or genital mutilations?

I think it's disgusting, but to each his own.

Are you read the book Psychopathia Sexualis by Richard von Krafft-Ebing? What do you think about?

No, I haven't, but I really should! It seems to be an interesting piece of 19th century smut!

Euronymous once wrote in an interview, when being asked about anal sex: “I refuse to fuck the normal way, because it is god’s gift to humanity and if you do it, then you do the ultimate life worshiping ritual!”. Your comment:

I can see where Euronymous was going with this, and he had a point. However, indulging in anal sex is indulging in an act of pleasure, and isn't that also a "positive", and life-affirming? In any case, me and mr Euronymous have a different view on life and god, I believe. My reason to live is not to make my existence an opposition of the Bible or "life". If it was I would be dead by my own hand a long time ago.

Woods of Infinity albums have real drums or “drum-machine”?

Talking about "drum machines" seems a bit outdated this day in age. We've used sampled drums on most of our songs. On "Ljuset" we recorded with a digital drum set, but the sounds themselves were still sampled. I don't have the time or the patience to work with a drummer, I'd rather handle it all myself and work on making it sound as good as I possibly can.

Are you into drugs? Why or why not? Recommend some drugs for our readers.

I'm not into drugs. My mind is too unstable for that. Have had some problems with anxiety, and Lergigan seemed to fix that quite well. Not something you could trip on though. I recommend good, old fashioned alcohol.

What do you think about Black Metal artists who have political content in their work?

Good for them. Politics are important, and encompasses a lot more than people think. Petty party politics and debates about school funding is NOT the definition of politics, as some people believe. Wanting to change the world instead of hiding in a hole is admirable. There are a lot of people wagging their fingers and going "Black Metal is NOT ...", to be followed by a word or phrase of your choice. Well, who put them in charge? Seems like everyone has a definition of their own these days, and have been enlightened by the great god of BM. I have no idea what Black Metal really is, actually. I just know what I like, musically, aesthetically and ideologically - and then you can call that Shitcakes for all I care.

Do you planning some live concerts with Woods of Infinity? Who will be the drummer if someday you will play live?

I wish. Ravenlord refuses. There's not a lot to do about that.

The best Edge of Sanity album in your point of view:

It's a close run, but I think I would have to go with "The Spectral Sorrows". What a great and diverse album! Dan Swanö is a true genius.

Tell me something about the Kroppen Var Mitt Fangelse song, one of my personal fave songs of Woods of Infinity. Where came the songs main theme?

You would have to ask Ravenlord. Migraine and a bad hangover would be my best guess.

First 3 albums of Woods of Infinity came out on Total Holocaust Records, your last album was released by Supernal Music, a great label from UK, well known for releasing great albums from Eastern Europe and some NSBM stuff as well. Why did you signed with them? Aren’t you satisfied with Hakan’s work?

We signed with Supernal Music because we were disappointed with a printing mishap on Ljuset, which made the lyrics unreadable - Håkan fixed this by printing an additional text sheet, though. At that point we had pretty much decided to sign with Supernal though, since Alex had expressed an interest in WoI and offered us a contract. In retrospect, the bad print wasn't really his fault, just a case of bad communication. THR is a great label, all in all, and Håkan is a trustworthy and ambitious person who has contributed a lot to the genre.

For how many albums did you signed with Supernal?

Like I mentioned earlier, we signed for 2 full length albums and 1 mini-CD.

How difficult was to got the rights from Barry Manilow to covering his well known Old Songs song? Heard Barry Manilow your cover?

Shh! Haha. I don't think Barry knows, or cares.

What kind of strange covers you will play in the near future?

The songs we love or like are all targets for a possible cover. You never know!

If I would like to release your next album, Ep, some new stuff, what can I offer to signed with my label?

Punctuality. Punctuality and follow-through. Oh, and good communication. I HATE delays. Everything is always delayed. When we agree with a label about a release we want to get an exact ETA and for that date to be fixed in stone with no screw-ups. However, this is hardly ever the case. The best you can get is wild approximations, and sometimes year-long delays. I would fall in love if a label actually kept me updated on the progress without me having to send a continuous stream of frustrated emails (no names mentioned!).

The best Swedish metal band ever:

Woods of Infinity, of course. On a second place... oh, I don't know, probably Edge of Sanity?

If you had the possibility to travel backwards in time and change some historical event, what would you do?

Seeing as I have no way of knowing what the results of this would be, it's kind of like shooting blind. Perhaps I could convince Adolf to leave the Soviet Union alone?

What is your most treasured possession?

I have no physical possessions that I care that much about. I'm always trying to avoid having the collectors mindset when it comes to stuff. I hate hoarding items for no reason other than HAVING them. I guess the possession I care the most about, however, would be a christmas card I got from my grandmother just before she passed away.

If you could choose to have your way with any woman in the world who would you choose?

This is a real & proper sauna question. I think I would defile the Swedish princess Madeleine. I could give you a long list, and if you asked me tomorrow the answer might be different, but.. yeah. I'm gonna go with her.

Melkor, I think this is enough for now with stupid & boring questions. Thanx for your time and interest, close this interview with some future plans and some Swedish salutes to Transylvanian beaches. I wish strength and health and the Woods of Infinity Will Lead you to Divinity!

Thanks for the interview and your interesting questions. Keep an eye out for our upcoming releases, and check the WoI webpage (http://woi.se) on a regular basis for your fill of WoI news. I wish you well on your Transylvanian beaches. Sate your legendary Transilvanian hunger with some Transylvanian ice-cream and ask Satan to let the summer end. -Melkor

Contact: www.woi.se

by Mirgilus