Metal can be so many things. There is extreme diversity within the genre and many times we find albums that speak to us personally. Infected Rain‘s Ecdysis is one of those albums. The instrumentation is aggressive and impressive. The vocal range goes from intense to soft and elegant. The lyrics are full of insight, heart-felt messages, and important topics. It is one of the first releases of 2022 in the metal world, and it brings in some insanely dynamic metal to the ears and to the soul. It is an all-around powerful record that I fully encourage you to listen to all the way through.
In 2008 from a small country Moldova, Infected Rain began its journey. Band members; Lena Scissorhands (vocals), Vadim Ojag “Vidick” (guitar), Sergey Babici (guitar), Vladimir Babici (bass), Eugene Voluta (drums), have paved a road to continued success as they keep sweeping the world with their solid, heavy presence. They have released four albums prior, including their breakthrough acclaimed album in 2019 titled, Endorphin. Infected Rain has recently released its fifth, Ecdysis on January 7th, 2022.
We had a chance to chat with Lena about this release and mental health.
Have you been busy with interviews today?
“I try not to have more than two or three a day. I spread them out throughout the week. I don’t want to repeat myself, sometimes questions are the same, and I don’t mind, but I want to still be just as present as can.”
That is really smart. I am a therapist and unfortunately I can’t do the same thing, but I understand feeling drained by the end of the day, so that’s smart you do it that way.
“That is so interesting. It fascinates me that you do that. That’s beautiful. Thank you for doing that. A lot of people need that. I needed that as well and had a couple of therapy sessions in the past, so I totally appreciate your job and people that commit to that.”
I feel like music is a form of therapy as well, especially with your lyrics. I return the thank you. I appreciate your personal experiences and putting yourself out there to be vulnerable and raw, it helps a lot of people.
“Thank you. It sure does. I know a lot of people can relate. I continuously get messages and letters about it. That is why I want to be as real as it gets, as authentic as it gets, because we are also human beings. The things we go through are very similar that is why people can relate to them.”
“Everlasting Lethargy” has some amazing lyrics and feel it is very relatable, on so many levels. My interpretation is humans damaging each other and the world.
“Yes it is. It is something I have been worried about and thinking about for the past solid four years, the planet in general, but also I’m paying attention to people and humanity and what they are doing. ‘Everlasting Lethargy’, is actually something that was born during the pandemic and also kind of because of it. I am a believer that the pandemic itself with this virus and illnesses are there because of us, because of all this damage we are doing. Our planet doesn’t have an immune system anymore, we don’t have an immune system anymore. This is only a result of our behaviors and everything we do. That is why I ask over and over during the song, ‘What is wrong with the world today.’ We either go too fast or we go too slow. We can’t seem to slow down and enjoy what we have and enjoy the moment and stop being greedy. ‘Everlasting Lethargy’, is a very strong song.”
It is a very heavy song too. I thought the lyrics, “The ignorance is mesmerizing, hunger for power is metastasizing”, are very powerful lyrics.
“These Walls”, I interpreted as protecting the walls of your brain.
“Yes absolutely because our home is our own mind, our own body, that’s our home in the first place. Then there is the physical home we live in. We have to take care of who we let in to that house and what we let them do, when we let them in. I use a lot of literal things in those lyrics, like, there is a lot of laughter and a lot of cries and I say literally, ‘Take your shoes off, you’re in my house’, because this is exactly what I mean. We get emotionally available for some people and they take it for granted. They come in our house and they destroy it, and ruin it, or they claim it as their own, and they do whatever they want. It’s sad but true, but it’s more of a reminder to myself as well because I tend to do that so much in my life as well.”
I think we all do. I think we all have some boundary issues when it comes to letting in the wrong people and sometimes you don’t know it’s the wrong person. Then you have that emotional attachment and it is more difficult to evacuate them *laughs*.
“Exactly. Our brain, our mind, creates pictures and memories, but also tends to romanticize and imagine things just as much as having things from the past so that is why it is very important to acknowledge that and acknowledge your voice inside your own house. How careful you have to be like this song that is a specific emotional situation where I say that I was, ‘Domesticated by the song of the man’, and that made me lose myself. That is what definitely happened to me in the past many times where I allowed that to happen to myself, and I know I’m not the only one, we all do that.”
Definitely, and it can be disheartening when we recognize what has been going on, but also it is enlightening because then you are able to take a step back and learn how to try to not allow that to happen again.
The last lyric I wanted to discuss was, “The Realm of Chaos”, which, if I had to pick a favorite, might be my favorite song on this album. These lyrics also have a strong message. Heidi from Butcher Babies features on this track. I was wondering if you also collaborated on these lyrics, or if you wrote them and felt she would fit into the track?
“For a while we didn’t think we would have anybody on the album, then because of our friendship and being together so much I felt like this will sound even heavier if we bring another person on, not necessarily because of their vocal capacity, but just because believing in the same thing and doing the same thing. When it came to choosing who to have as a feature on the song, it was an organic choice because of our friendship. I wrote the lyrics during the pandemic. These are lyrics that speak very loudly about what was happening in the world at the time, not only the virus itself, but all the things that was happening in nature like the fires, all the things that were happening with people too, all the riots around the world that were happening together with the pandemic, during the pandemic, the big depression that we were already going through. It made me write, ‘The Realm of the Chaos’ for this specific reason.”
I feel it can fit with not only the pandemic, but also personal trials as well. This is something you do very well, write lyrics that can go with a personal issue, or this collective trauma that we are all experiencing together, which still trips me out that we are all experiencing something on a global level, together.
Ecdysis means shedding of old skin, is that what you feel like you were able to do while writing this album?
“I guess. It was more like metamorphosis, it was more like the new fresh breath of air. More like, a new level of life, a different perspective of life. Ecdysis can have all that meaning. It fit perfectly because of that, and because of what we were going through globally, and eventually we have to come out of it, eventually. Hopefully stronger and more beautiful, more kind.”
That is usually what happens on the other end of these types of things, but unfortunately we are not quite on the other side of it yet and in the middle of it people are clearly being less than that, so hopefully the silver lining will come on the other side of it all.
What do you feel people should be talking about more, or taking more seriously?
“Be more aware. Aware is something that people, for some reason, forget about, because they are not aware *laughs*, actually. If we can be a little more aware as a nation, as a society, as individuals, everything else will make more sense. If we would be more aware, we would be more present, we would be more loving, we would be more appreciative, be more caring. We would have a lot more compassion toward animals, nature, other human beings. That’s all it is.”
I one hundred percent agree. It is easy to forget to be aware, which seems bizarre, what helps you remember to continue to be aware and mindful?
“Thank you for asking, it is actually a very important topic. Many things really, I am trying to have some sort of rituals every day that I repeat. Some sort of planning, I even write things down on a list. Even small things that you would do anyway. It makes my very fulfilled in a way when I actually do it and cross it off that list. That is one. Two, sports, being active physically makes me be more aware of my body, mind, and more present. This is what I am doing, and this is how it feels. Whatever type of exercising you like, it could be biking, hiking, swimming, whatever it is that makes you happy is very important to have. People just forget about it, but as soon as you go to the gym, or do that class, or just go into nature by yourself or with friends, you realize how awesome that makes you feel, but the main reason it feels awesome, is because you feel alive. Doing those things that make you happy and make you feel alive, make you feel more aware. Another thing that helps me a lot is reading. Not just reading necessarily fiction, but non-fiction books that actually require your full attention and you are more studying them then going through the pages like reading a story. If you are not big on reading, you can listen to similar things and/or watch similar things on YouTube. Just make sure you are fully present and you rewind if there is something you didn’t understand. You have to be able to stop yourself when you get lost and go back, read again, listen again, or do it again. Things like that help me a lot to be aware.”
Right, that continual growth as opposed to becoming stagnant and existing.
“Absolutely! Another thing that is very important is to be very aware of what you eat because if we eat very fatty, and very unhealthy food, it brings our body and mind into this catatonic state. It is very important to eat less processed foods, and more vegetables and fruits will bring you closer to nature and closer to your mind.”
Yes, your body is a machine and it’s important to feed it the right fuel to help it function correctly, as well as exercise, meditation, deep breathing, etc. What else do you do for self-care? If anything.
“I like to take my sweet time with showers and baths, which is not something I used to do before, and think about the water while doing it makes me very grounded and very aware because of the physical sensation that I can feel and describe, a form of meditation I can do together or stretching my body, like Yoga, just stretch every day and breath awareness to your body because the oxygen will start flowing properly to every part of your body. Movement is the most important thing.”
Along with the bath and shower thing, I do that in the rain as well with my shoes off. I will picture washing away all the stress as I stand there. It helps a ton.
Since you are a reader, what are some books you feel everyone should read and can get something from?
“The list could be endless. I recommend for everyone to read ‘The PMA Effect’ (John Joseph), I recommend ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ (Robin Sharma), definitely recommend another really interesting book that I am studying currently, ‘Urban Tantra’ (Barbara Carrellas), which is a lot about sensations and sexuality as well, but not only. It is a lot about Yoga and awareness and how that can help you feel better about yourself, your body, which is something a lot of people struggle with.”
What about any you have read just for fun?
“I like older literature and newer stuff as well. The new Dave Grohl book is very awesome. I’ve read a lot of Stephen King books, for example we all know the movie, ‘IT’, but not many of us have actually read the book. The book is very big and very old. I read it and I have listened to it as well. I love his approach to horror in general. This specific book is very unique to me because of how he saw the concept of fear and how he described it. I loved it a lot.”
*We talked books for a while*
What are some things you do for fun?
“I watch movies, I hike, I like to connect with people who are dear to me. Everything else I have already mentioned is also for fun really, like sports, and reading, and cooking. I absolutely adore cooking. Sounds pretty normal, and boring maybe to some, but I take a lot of pleasure in that.”
I think it is important to appreciate some of those maybe mundane things in life. If we can enjoy those moments, then we get to life, instead of just exist. What are your favorite movies?
“The list of my favorite movies is insanely big. I enjoy movies like I do music, I don’t have just one favorite genre. I like horror, animated, cute children’s story movies, and I like love story movies. What I find fascinating is how amazing cinematography is nowadays, and acting skills are incredible nowadays. I would recommend for everybody to watch ‘Dune’. Insanely good and so beautiful. Actually I have ordered the books and I hope eventually I will actually sit down and go through them because it is a very big journey to get through those books. One of my favorite movies is ‘The Fifth Element’, for so many reasons, I don’t even think I need to mention why. I love Dracula with Keanu Reeves, where Dracula is played by Gary Oldman.”
I have never seen that one, which is crazy since Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of my favorite books.
“This movie is the closest to that book. I actually have that character tattooed on me, I have seen that movie, maybe more than one hundred times. It is beautiful, it is timeless, it’s so good.”
I can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet.
“It is your homework assignment. It is really a love story that the king of Romania really had. We used to study that in school, so knowing that historical part that is true. Bram Stoker actually traveled there and spoke to a lot of people and listened to a lot of folklore and stories about this person who existed back in the day, and obviously not everything is real, but it is romanticized and so beautiful. Give it a try. Gary Oldman is one of my favorite actors and he plays the part very well.”
*Discussed more movies and books*
Going back to the mental health aspect of your lyrics, what would you like to say to your fans who may be struggling with the pandemic or life in general?
“I would just like to say that it is ok, not to be ok. Just give your body and brain that rest. That off time. Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you are depressed or if you are going through something. However, after giving yourself that time and space, then slowly come to reality. Be yourself, be you, and accept yourself for who you are first, then give back to the world around you.”
Spoken like the truly amazing gem of a human she is. Make sure you check our Ecdysis and support Infected Rain when they come close to your town!