Infinity (Netherlands) 27/02/2013
The recent come back of Infinity from the Netherlands with the album 'Non De Hac Terra' was a very good motive to contact Balgradon Xul, the drummer, singer, composer and writer of their lyrics. The well – aimed and very interesting answers help us get to know the band and understand their music better.
1. Hello Balgradon Xul thanks for the interview. Infinity are active since 1995. Do you want to give me a brief biography of the journey of Infinity in Black Metal all these years? How did you meet with Draconis and decide to form the band?
B.Xul: Draconis and I meet back in 1995 and we were both active in other metal bands. Inspired by Satanism and the Scandinavian Black Metal scene from the early '90's we decided to form a Black Metal band. I already designed the dragon tribal with the band logo so we used that and named the band Infinity, which represents the infinite black light of Lucifer. You can read the full biography here: http://infinity-blackmetal.com/www/band_biography.html
2. Both you and Draconis participate in other bands too. Do you want to give me some information about your other projects? Do you want to tell me about your experience with Funeral Winds?
B.Xul: We both participate(d) in other bands. After the break up in 1999 Draconis formed Paratyfus and I participated in several other bands/projects like Funeral Winds, Corpsecandle, Ornaments of Sin, Haatstrijd, Satanic Blood and Non Essence Genesis. At the moment I'm only active in Infinity and Funeral Winds. I joined Funeral Winds in 2000 and recorded 2 albums (Koude Haat and Nexion Xul: The Cursed Bloodline). We have a new line up: Hellchrist Xul, Angaroth Xul & Tzar Xul (both of Infinity) and me. We will perform some live rituals this year in Europe and we just started writing material for a new album.
3. I recently read that Andras, the second guitarist of Infinity since 2003, after “Non De Hac Terra” release, left the band. Why? Are you searching for a new guitarist at the moment?
B.Xul: Andras left the band because he didn't have the time and full motivation anymore to go on. He's putting all his energy in his career as goldsmith and I respect his decision. If you really want something in life you have to take it with both hands and I'm proud of him that he's making progress. He also made some amazing designs for my ring with sulpher symbol, an amulet with Anzu and a pentagram in an amethyst. For info and pictures you can visit his facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/andras.jewellery My Xul-brother Tzar has replaced Andras.
4. “Non De Hac Terra” is a very good album both musically both in mixing and generally the production. Do you want to give me some information about it (recording session, studio, preparation for release etc.)?
B.Xul: Non De Hac Terra is (again) recorded at my own Vortex Studio in Zevenhuizen. From the moment we started the recordings we didn't have a record deal or deadline, so there was no rush. We've spent a lot of time and energy in testing different microphones for the guitars. We are very satisfied with the end result and Hellchrist from Necromanteion Studio's has done a great job with the mastering of the songs. Another thing I'd like to mention is that we asked Necrolord to paint our album cover. The concept is inspired by "The Testimony of the Mad Arab" (from the Necronomicon). This painting is highly detailed and has the perfect atmosphere. Also Necrolord has done an amazing job and we are very proud of it.
5. If I didn’t know that “Non De Hac Terra” was released in 2012, I would be sure that it was released some year between 1995 and 1999. What is your opinion about it? Do you like that period of Black Metal that I mentioned above?
B.Xul: You're right about that and you can read that in almost every review. Many people compare us with Scandinavian BM bands but I don't really care if our sound is original or not. For us it's all about the intensity.. a way to express our darkness and the everlasting devotion to Lucifer.
6. I think that in your album your love to Absu is conspicuous. Are Absu one of your influences? Which other bands or music genres, do you think, have influenced you as a musician?
B.Xul: No, Absu isn't really a band which influenced me but I like the band. We're also their support band for a 3-day mini tour in The Netherlands next week. I look forward to meet Proscriptor who is also drummer and lead singer. The mid '90s for us was the time Draconis and I formed Infinity and we were inspired by bands like Mayhem, Bathory, Immortal, Dark Throne, Emperor, Dissection... We also recorded some covers of these bands. Dissection is still one of my favorite bands, especially because I admired Jon's strong devotion to Satanism and the occult.
7. Can you tell me who is composing the music and who is writing the lyrics? How do you get inspired to write music and lyrics?
B.Xul: I mostly write all the songs for Infinity and for some single songs the basic parts, while Draconis and Andras completed these songs. The lyrics are very personal and write them all by myself. The inspiration and kind of vibe is very important. I'd like to create a dark atmosphere with insence and candles when I pick up the guitar to compose songs. Most of the riffs are composed on an acoustic guitar, but also by jamming in the Vortex Studio (rehearsal room).
8. This is the second album for which you cooperate with New Era Productions. What are your thoughts about them so far? Are you satisfied by their support?
B.Xul: Wolfram is a good friend of mine and wanted to sign on a label which is not only interested in making money but shares the passion for Black Metal. I'm very satisfied with the communication and the promotion so far.
9. Do you plan to play live for the promotion of the new album and if yes, where?
B.Xul: Hammerheart Productions is also helping with the distribution and arranged the mini tour with Absu for us. Later this year we will also perform a live ritual at Under The Black Sun Festival with Infinity and Funeral Winds.
10. Have you begun composing material for your next release? When do you plan to have your next release ready?
B.Xul: We still have some old riffs / songs which are not complete yet, but I can't tell when a new album will be written.
11. You are in Black Metal community for over 20 years. Can you tell me by your experience if the attitude of the underground, of the bands and of the fans has changed since then and how?
B.Xul: Yes, of course things have changed a lot over these years. The glory days were in the beginning of the '90's with the church burnings, murders and suicides. Here in Holland there were also fights and hate between bands. You don't see this nowadays in the scene here. It started as an underground scene, but in the end '90's the scene became bigger and bigger. There was even a small group of bands who called their music 'Christian Black Metal'. How sick is that?! The worst thing of all is that most of the bands or fans only care about the music instead of the ideology.
12. Your lyrics speak about occultism, pagan magic. Are you interested in Dark Arts and how far does your knowledge go so far?
B.Xul: Black Metal for me is a life style and also a tool and way to express my inner self. I'm not just interested in Dark Arts. I devote my life and death to magic and occultism by walking the left hand path... the path of the Adversary. The album title 'Non De Hac Terra' is the Latin translation for "Not Of This Earth" and describes my view of this earthly existence full of illusions, feeling lost in a strange world, not fitting in society and about finding enlightenment in darkness... On almost every song I praise a different ancient deity of Evil. The second song on the album is called The Opponent, which is very anti-christian. I believe that Christianity, Islam and Judaism are from the same root and is a system created to control/enslave the weak ignorant masses. Their religion or so called 'God' doesn't want you to be free and evolve as a sprititual being. The true initiated Satanist seeks beyond the limited mind and has the goal to break out of this 'mental prison' by gaining the forbidden fruits, to cross the secret abyss and to awaken the black flame/dragon within.
13. I think that the Dutch scene is not very big but have some really good bands. What is your opinion about the Black Metal scene of the Netherlands? Are there any new bands that you support and you would like to suggest me?
B.Xul: The Dutch scene does have some good old bands that I like: Funeral Winds, Hekel, Melechesh, Lugubre, Sauron and also new bands like Grift, Dodenkrocht, Gheestenland, Verbum Verus, Zwartplaag, Gestalte and Hellegion (project of Angaroth, our bass player).
14. What kind of music do you like to listen to in your spare time?
B.Xul: I listen to a lot styles of rock and metal, also blues or classic music once in a while when I'm in the mood, but Black Metal for me is more than just music and goes beyond words to explain. I also like to listen to old Slayer and Grip Inc. (Dave Lombardo has been a big influence for me) and I'm a huge fan of Guns N' Roses.
15. Do you want to sum up your near future plans and add something for a conclusion?
B.Xul: Our future goal is to promote the new album through live rituals on special events and with bands that we like. We never had the ambition to be famous or to play gigs every week. We are who we are, we do what we want. We are Infinity and we bow for no one. BLACK METAL IS INTOLERANCE! Hail LCF!