Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

69 guests

Welcome to our newest member, patrickbarnes

INFANTRY's Andrea Serra: "Our attitude isn’t passive: we are always at war. We are this little army: as a band we get right to the point, and we try to focus on what we have to do."

Interview with Andrea Serra from Infantry
by SJ Loschi at 20 December 2022, 6:21 AM

Dutch death-influenced thrash band INFANTRY dropped their second-full length album “Terminal Society” back in August. It’s a slab of militant, aggressive no-holds-barred metal that questions man's ability to live without death, hatred and destruction and finds that the answer is a resounding NO. Metal Temple writer SJ Loschi had the opportunity to discuss INFANTRY's quest for world domination with their bass player Andrea Serra.

I’m wondering if you can give me a brief history of Infantry?

The band has been around since 2006. The original drummer was our guitarist Arjen's brother Renè, and Luuk was playing bass. In 2014, I joined after a few different changes in line-ups. One of the original guitar players left, and Luuk moved from bass to guitar. When I joined, Renè was still playing drums.  Luuk and Arjen were playing guitars, but we had a different singer.  In 2018, if I’m not wrong, he couldn’t be in the band anymore, so he left. Ronald, our singer, used to sing for Ararton, a band from Dordrecht in the South of Holland. From there it was much different with the drums, which was a big, big mess. We tried out some drummers, some from other bands. Finally, by 2019 we found Glenn- he was in a band called Backbone in the Rotterdam area- and so far so good.  He’s a very enthusiastic guy!  You should meet him. The songs on “Make Love Not War” were out before Glenn and Ronald joined, but we promoted the album with this line-up, and this is when we developed our new sound.  We had really good songs on that album, but now we have some KILLER songs on “Terminal Society.”

Yeah, I understand the song “Terminal Society” has been in the repertoire for some time.  It’s a killer song.

Yeah, and some parts of other songs, of course. But, you know, we had the ‘double Covid’: we had the real Covid and then we had to also look for drummers. "Double Covid" slowed everything up- because of that some songs were left for so long in the repertoire.

Ha. “Double Covid!” How many drummers did you guys audition?

Maybe three.  The issue is you have jobs so you’ve got work around that.  We practice once a week, and you have to organize it around that time. One day they can’t come.  One day they get lost.  It goes on and on.  You could write a book about it!

Did you feel like you clicked with Glenn the first time?

I think the enthusiasm clicked right away.  He’s a little younger than us. He’s 26. I’m 31 and the other guys are a little older than me.  The first time I met him, he was bringing a bunch of stuff. Sometimes you want to show off everything you can do: it's like you’re a chef.  He was bringing all his knives and his bags and things, instead of just one really good knife and a pair of scissors.  In the beginning, I was thinking “What the hell is he doing? Why does he have 12 cymbals for two songs?!”

Apart from that, all of us in the band are good people.  Glenn is like a teddy bear- a serial  killer teddy bear- but a great guy! We clicked right away. I think sometimes, even if you're shy, if you’re around the right people it’s better than even having, for instance, George Kollias, the best drummer in the world, in your band if you aren’t compatible. And Glenn is the right guy.

You’re hinting at this idea that you are able to connect with him because he’s such a good guy. It’s obvious on the album that there are connections, particularly between you and the drummer. It’s locked down. One of the first things I noticed about the album was that your bass sound was awesome.  It punches through everything and doesn’t get lost in the mix, which happens a lot in death metal and black metal (sometimes deliberately).  I’m interested in the bass sound and your approach in the studio.  Can you tell us a little bit about that?

My main bass guitar is a Warwick Streamer LX 5.  But here’s my secret: I use stainless steel strings.  99% of people use nickel-plated strings.  I like the sound of the strings on the frets.  The bass together with the stainless steel itself creates a nice resonance.  I recorded and edited the bass myself with some Neural DSPs, which I can say are the best around. If you compared this to the sound of a real set-up with cabinets, you wouldn’t be able to hear the difference.  I added a little bit of compression, and of course there was a lot of experimenting in terms of creating a good sound. Arjen was our sound engineer: he used his “magic stick” to perfect everything on the final product. We were able to get it to sound more metallic, more round.  The product could sound much better if we had the support of a label, and were able to work in a professional studio, but this it the best product you can get from self-produced.  In fact, I think it sounds better than a lot of albums that have the support of labels and studios!

Agreed.  Arjen and you guys did an amazing job on producing the record. It blows my mind that it was self-produced and done in your homes.  There’s a lot of creativity in the production, in terms of being able to hear all the sounds. Ronald’s vocals sound dope.

The next one is gonna be even better!

How does the song-writing work in INFANTRY?

There’s never one way of doing it. Like every kind of art, you need to wait for inspiration, and when you start hopefully everything starts to come towards that. Most of the time the guitar players will bring in ideas to the practice room, or we meet at someone’s house and we’ll flesh out a riff.  It’s a slow process: it could take months.  We do have some songs that were written by one person, and in that case we see where we want it to go, and that can be a little quicker.

My personal favorite song on the album is “Destination: Wonderland”.  You have a guest singer on the song, Miranda Visser.  How did that come about?

I personally knew Miranda from Mutator, another band from North Holland.  She now sings for Hellevaerder, a Dutch black metal band that also includes Arjen.  We were going to do another song with our former singer Mattis, but he was too busy.  We wanted to have some collaborations on the next few albums.  Miranda fits perfectly for that part. You have Ronald with his big chest voice- that big growl is a beautiful contrast with Miranda’s scream. “Destination: Wonderland” is about the immigrant boats that cross the Mediterranean sea- I think her voice mirrors perfectly the desperation of the people trying to reach their way to Europe.

How does the band being from North Holland seep its way into your music?  Are you influenced from where you are?

Your environment that surrounds you, your position, obviously influences your growth. I’m Italian. I’ve lived in Amsterdam for nine years, so it’s a little easier for me to see how that influences the music, even though it’s a little different than the rest of the Netherlands.  In Italy, it is a bit more influenced by the American side.  For me, personally, Pantera, Death, American thrash metal from the Bay Area.  That’s not to say they don’t listen to that stuff here, or aren’t influenced by it, but the farther north you get there’s more influence from bands like Destruction and Kreator: more of a kind of a thrash/death metal influence. Northern European thrash sounds like death metal, coming directly from these dark, classical composers like Haydn.

Within the band, we have different tastes. I mean, we do love Kreator, old Decaptitated. But I think some of the stuff the guys like, I might not be as into, and vice versa.  It’s all good, though.

Do you have opportunities to play live or tour?

In 2020, we had tours ready for Belgium and France, and literally four days before we had to cancel everything.  We’ve done live streams on Switch and YouTube, and we’re trying to fix something new for 2023. I’m doing stuff in Sardinia, and we might work something out around our holidays.  Our guitar player Luuk is going to have a baby, so we’ll want to work around that!  Touring all over Europe is obviously something everyone in the band wants to do.  I’ve been going around dropping our albums at venues in the south of Europe.  Holland is great, but we want to break out.

What’s next on the horizon for Infantry?

Look, first of all, we need to find a booking company. We want to send our names all over the place. When you try to be independent it’s beautiful, because you control every cent of your money, but you’re also controlling every single move: sending fifty emails on one day, the next day sending twenty, and a lot of times no one even answers back. It would be great for someone to help us out with this.  Apart from that, booking and touring, starting to project for the next album. We didn’t mean to wait five years between each album, but with the changes in line-up and Covid, things happen.  We have a new song in the works, so we’ve got some embers in the fire pit.  In the last six or seven years, music companies have been putting out a LOT of music, and the more they put out the less attention people pay to it.  So it’s probably worth it to hold out and build up our own profile

You clearly have this militaristic theme at the center of your image, if not the song-writing. What message, if there is one, Andrea, is the band sending out about the nature of war?

Our lives are constantly at war. The classic crazy, Nazi war-maniacs are all over the world- in Italy, in Germany, in the Netherlands and Spain- you never know what you’re going to find. But that’s not who we are.  We’re at war with lies. The attitude that we have, as a band, is that we are literally at war.  Our attitude isn’t passive: we are always at war.  We are this little army: as a band we get right to the point, and we try to focus on what we have to do.

Look man, the album crushes, it’s awesome.  It was really great talking to you!  Just keep rocking!

Thanks man! Have a good time.  Cheers!


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green