Interview With The Lovely Infy Snow:
First off, your image, aesthetic choices, music - the whole package is stunning. Do you make all the decisions regarding all this, or do you have help, as in designers, makeup artists, band members contributing to your ideas for expansion on an already glorious vision?
Thank you! I tend to have a very clear idea as to how I want things to look and sound like. I am quite persistent and perfectionist about my work, so I either do things on my own, or work with pros whose style and skills are known to me so I can put my trust in them. I need to be sure they can bring my vision to life where I am not sufficient enough to do so on my own.
Among such people are Omri Lahav who is involved in the musical aspect, Christopher Shy who drew the A Mortal’s Tear theme, Hysteria Machine who made the shoulder piece for my stage outfit, Empyreal Visuals’ high end video production, etc’.
TS: One thing I have to bring up is a mutual love we both share. CATS. Go on - say what you'd like here. (I know you love 'em!) I'd like to know your feelings as to their place in metal, other than their obvious place in our hearts.
Infy: Well, my father got us a cat when I was about 5 years old and ever since I’ve been madly in love with those fuzzy creatures. Sadly Tulie didn’t get to live for many years on account of a sorry accident. It still makes me uneasy to think about it.
I found my second cat Yukon when he was but a helpless stray suckling kitten. He must have been about a week old and separated from his mother. At first my parents objected to the idea of keeping him, but I managed to convince my dad to come over and just take a look. Needless to say no one could stay indifferent to the sight of little Yuki. Dad said we’d keep him until he can get along on his own, but obviously, he became family in no time.
That took place over 7 years ago. Yuki still lives happily at my parents’ house, which I left about 4 years ago, when I was 20. I moved in to the big city with my love, who adores cats as much as I do, but is sadly allergic to them. His family owned several cats in the past, but that came with a costly price. He clearly did not wish to go through this daily struggle again, so we researched and discovered there are hypo-allergenic breeds out there!
Siberian Forest Cats produce very little Fel d1, the primary allergen present on cats (in their blood, saliva and excretion). Since they lick themselves and their coat is covered with it, people tend to (mistakenly) think they react to the fur, whereas they react to the protein in their saliva.
We sought up a Siberian cat to adopt for over a year and quickly discovered they are rather hard to come by, but eventually our persistent search proved fruitful and we found our most amazing little Pantera.
She is like a daughter to me. I have never in my life been so attached to an animal before.
Since she’d get extremely depressed if we left the house for more than a day, we decided to get her company. We looked long and hard for another Siberian male, until we found the gentlecat that goes by the name of Talisman. They were quite fond of one other, but he already had his owners, and so we had to give him back after their brief affair came to an end, but not in vain. Several months later, sweet Pantera gave birth to 6 most amazing kittens, 4 of which we decided to keep: Gerlat, Leliana, Morrigan and Kerrigan, and the remaining two (Cassy & Chris) were given to one of my best friends. All in all, there is so much love in my home now thanks to my little magical clerics, and Pantera is never lonely.
TS: Your music would be definitely within the realm of symphonic metal, ala the gothic/power/classically-derived nature of bands like Nightwish, Delain, Epica, etc. Do you feel a comraderie with these artists, or do you feel the need to separate yourself from comparisons?
Infy: To be honest I neither compare myself to those nor do I separate myself. I think some of my songs resemble that style while others differ from them fall under, really, it’s all so eclectic. Yet I really don’t mind it if others compare me to them though.
TS: Not only are there very lovely and haunting melodies that the genre you perform is known for, I sense a bit of anger from a track or two. Is there, or has there been, a desire to branch out even further into the realms of extreme metal? Also, does geographical location play a part in what you decide to produce as an artist?
Infy: Thanks again! Well, like I said, I don’t attempt to have my music fit any genre templates; I just create music that feels right in my heart. Nightmares is probably the heaviest song in A Mortal’s Tear, drawing inspiration from melodic death metal and featuring Jeff Willet’s insane double bass drumming work, Omri Lahav’s heavy guitars riffs and of course Yotam Avni’s (Defiler’s) growls.
To be honest, I really don’t think the geographical location plays any part in how my music sounds like.
TS: Disrespectful pigs. We all know they're out there, and you, as appealing as you are (forgive my forward nature), must experience a lot of disturbing interactions. These days it could be from males or females, either as trolls, sexual deviants, or jealous other women. How do you handle this, and do you have a philosophy as to the best way to move on from such things?
Infy: I usually just ignore them. I used to take it all very personally up until not very long ago, but I really no longer care what such people have to say. I wouldn’t want to spend my time and energies over people who have nothing better to do other than spending their recourses on degrading me. Their lives must be truly wonderful if that’s what’s giving them purpose & satisfaction, wouldn’t you agree *wink*?
TS: One thing I've noticed that sets your music apart is a very obvious attention to quality songwriting. You actually do this without seeming to...well...I guess the word "poppy" would be the best choice here. What is your process for creating your songs (be it lyrics, music, inspiration, etc.)?
Infy: My music writing process is not at all consistent, and tends to be chaotic as I am. Sometimes I just come up with lines of lyrics already composed, sometimes I think of mere melodies, and sometimes I think of lyrical concepts. I just gather what I get like a puzzle, pouring my thoughts into a song.
TS: You are most definitely a very personable and proactive artist when it comes to promotion and interaction with fans and press. I wanted to praise and thank you for this. Having said that, I'll not take up much more of your time. Do you have any parting words before we're done here?
Infy:Well, I interact with fans because I greatly appreciate their support. An artist can’t succeed without his fans, it’s a pity some artists forget that. I would not want to disappoint them. Naturally, this goes the other way around, if they like my music, I would appreciate it if they supported me by buying original copies and attending my concerts. Making music is a truly fun & satisfying process for me, albeit a costly one, so the more support I get the more music I can create. And of course, not many things bring a smile to my face easily as seeing people wearing my T-shirt and praising my work.
-A Shadowlights Official Interview-
Thanks To The Grace And Kindness From Infy Snow
-A Shadowlights Official Interview-
Thanks To The Grace And Kindness From Infy Snow
Interview With Vanessa Nocera
(This interview was originally conducted for my Facebook page, yet I wanted to extend it over to here. It was a wonderful time for me to talk to such a wonderful and prolific metal businesswoman as Vanessa.)
February 13, 2013 at 7:00am
It has been an exciting week here at I Crippled Myself For METAL. I, myself, have been tying up loose ends to try and gain inspiration for my own little musical ventures, yet- even with a lack of commisioned work- have trouble finding time in the day, or even *drive* to pick up the guitar, or vomit out some sick vocals. One of my big inspirations is this little "interactive web-'zine" we have going here is the interaction itself. I'm getting there. However, I have recently been corresponding with a very unique, determined, and encouraging young lady. That person is Razorback Record's own Vanessa Nocera. Not only is she helping maintain one of the BEST record labels for pure, unadulterated, horrific (in that tasty, GOOD way) METAL...her amount of project output is nothing short of amazing. Here's what went on this last week with our conversation:
ICMFM: So, I know you're proud as can be about this new record (by Howling). How does it differ in releasing your inner demons compared to your other projects?
Vanessa: Yes, HOWLING has been a major focus for myself lately and it’s already gaining a steep following. I think what sets this apart from my other bands is that it’s a little angrier, and the lyrics are close to me in the way of I wrote them reminiscing on my childhood. I even wrote up liner notes for the CD booklet describing my influences for this album which was basically growing up in the backwoods of Kentucky, renting horror movies, reading horror comics, and listening to metal. Oh, and when I say angrier, I mean my vocal performance was a little more diverse and I tried even more range on this album than some of my past releases. I also think that working with Tony and his excellent musicianship really made me want to step it up rather than just growl over the music.
ICMFM: One thing I like to ask members of bands that have melody is- did the influence come from other melodically infused extreme bands, or did you go way back to the source, which I consider to be NWOBHM?
Vanessa: I think for HOWLING, Tony wrote the music with a lot of melodic death metal in mind as well as old Metallica and some NWOBHM bands. When I write music myself, I am usually influenced by many things. Sometimes when I’m writing a song I can be influenced by old Metallica and nothing else can get in while I’m getting this influence. Sometimes I’m influenced by black metal and again, nothing else can get into my mind or creative flow when I’m in this mindset. Obviously, I love all forms of metal, but I also think that other forms of music inspire me too, such as classical, Irish step dancing music, and so on.
ICMFM: So, seeing as there is quite a few good female extreme metal vocalists now (definitely including YOU), do you draw influence from any of them, or is it primarily the classic male vocalists that get you going?
Vanessa: I didn’t know of any when I was growing up, so I never was influenced by any of them. I was a metalhead starting at age 7 and was addicted to finding anything heavy to listen to and of course as I discovered more and more my music taste became a little more extreme. There were some female musicians that I have liked in the past and kind of praised in interviews, but almost every one of them has snubbed me or acted shady in some way. Not all of them, but a few. Some weren’t even musicians. So bottom line, if there is a female whose music I enjoy I will support them because of the music, not just because she is a female. I’m not going out of my way anymore, haha!
ICMFM: What's it like being a bigshot for a label AND being involved in so many projects at the same time? I must say, for such a busy gal, you seem to be very gung-ho and attentive to your fans!
Vanessa: I wake up and go to work and I work pretty much all day, and I break maybe two or three times throughout my day most days. On days that I’m working as much, I’m still thinking about what’s next for the label, what’s next for my music, and I’m always inspired to brainstorm some ideas. Lately, I’ve been organizing horror con appearances, ‘zine interviews, preparing to record my bass tracks for LOATHSOME, and I’ve started writing for a new band which I’ll be looking for a drummer for soon. I’m always going! If I’m sitting on the couch watching TV, I’m still finding something to do, haha! But yes, I always have time to talk to somebody though. I hear all the time about how other musicians snub them and I know what it's like to be snubbed, so I can take time out of my day to talk to someone. I can't be on the internet all night in back and forth conversations, but I will always respond when I can.
ICMFM: One of my favorite aspects of Razorback is the focus on horror. What are a few of your favorite horror flicks?
Vanessa: This is a topic I could go all day on, obviously! Haha! I love all kinds of horror movies from the Universal Monsters, Hammer/Amicus films, rape & revenge, H.G. Lewis (yes, he’s his own category, haha), 70’s occult movies, Italian cannibal movies, giallos, made for TV movies, 80’s slashers, supernatural thrillers, etc. I guess my top ones have always been: The Omen, Children of the Corn, Nightmare on Elm Street, Suspiria, Day of the Dead, Maniac (1980), Candyman, Last House on the Left, and again, I could keep going.Some of my biggest influences as far as writers go are Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Daria Nicolodi, and David Cronenberg, but again this list could go on.
ICMFM: On the road, would you say you like to be "one of the guys", or do you like to retain your daintiness?
Vanessa: Unfortunately, none of my bands tour, but I would definitely say when I party, I’m one of the guys while still keeping my femininity, haha. I can drink with the best of them (us Kentuckians bleed whiskey, you know!), and I am a night owl, so I’m up most of the night wanting to raise some Hell. I’m sure though if I were touring and playing live, I would probably be totally drained after a show and want to sleep…after I do some drinking.
ICMFM: I don't wanna bog ya down. I have a classic ending question. What advice would you give up-and-coming metal musicians?
Vanessa: Do what YOU want to do. If you’re competing to try and “beat” someone at what they do, you’ll look back at the “work” you did and see that it was just you immolating someone else’s ideas or motives. Never compromise yourself and don’t let other people decide for you when to quit trying to achieve your musical goals. So many people in my past bands have brought me down and I kept going because when I leave the planet, I’m leaving behind the work that I did and I want to be proud of it.I wanna end by saying thanks for the interview, and thanks to those who read this! You can add me on my personal facebook page, and you can seek my other bands’ pages as well:SCAREMAKER-WOODEN STAKE-HOWLING-SKELETAL SPECTRE-LOATHSOME, and of course my record label, RAZORBACK RECORDINGS
ICMFM: Thank you so much, Vanessa. You are extremely personable, and certainly haven't let success do anything but make you a rockstar in the sense that YOU ROCK! Have a great day!