I’m incredibly happy I got the chance to interview Merciless (Swe) at the Fall of Summer festival 2017 – check the result here! Topics include: Euronymous, Deathlike Silence, Morbid’s Dead, bad decisions, Fredrik Karlén, the ending of something and Kate Winslet. Enjoy!
Here you can read my interview done with Infernäl Mäjesty vocalist Chris Bailey revealing background information for my first video album review, concentrating on the band’s first cult album ‘None Shall Defy’. In case you missed it, watch the album video review here!
Interview with vocalist Christopher Bailey from Infernäl Mäjesty
Interview for Darkness Unseen by Estelle on the 20th of July 2017
Hi Chris, thanks a ton for doing the interview for Darkness Unseen! You were a confident standout band from the Canadian scene back then besides the big thrash(/speed) bands like Exciter, Razor, Anvil, Voivod or Sacrifice on account of your more brutal sound and salient engagement with satanic themes. Did you guys know any other band nearby with a similarly more violent approach as yours that you could even share ideas or jam together with?
Back then when we started writing the music for None Shall Defy we were really isolated. Our rehearsal space was out in the North West corner of the city and we met there regularly to rehearse and write music. Everyday was bitter cold. We had friends in other heavy bands but we never jammed together. Before I joined Infernal I used to go see all the bands you mentioned play live at clubs, they were a big influence on me. Steve and Kenny used to play in a band with (Sheep Dog) before he joined Razor but other than that we never really hung out with other bands in the area. The atmosphere back then in Toronto was competitive.
Even if it happened 30 years ago, can you recall any interesting, memorable or funny stories from the time of the recordings of None Shall Defy? Could you just describe the feeling that surrounded you every time you got together and the goal you had in front of your eyes with the music you were creating?
One of the most memorable experiences recording the album was walking through the front door into the lobby of Metal Works Recording Studio in Mississauga, Ontario owned by the great Canadian Heavy Metal band Triumph. It was a combination of elation and nervousness. I had never played in a band before Infernal and now we were in the studio with a lot of people expecting results. It seemed like one minute you’re answering an ad in the Toronto Star Classifieds, then the next minute you’re standing in a state of the art vocal booth. It was a world I had never seen before. My world until then was a smoke filled rehearsal space, the walls lined with egg cartons, recording on a 4 track portable studio while we jammed, which we did a lot. We also met regularly to discuss band business and shit. We all had the same common goal and worked well together. That’s why to this day its still a mystery as to why Psyco and Nemes just disappeared shortly after the release of the album. Before I finish writing the book [about the story of Infernäl Mäjesty] I’ve started I hope to have more insights into this.
Did you notice any band(s) that formed after your release ‘None Shall Defy’ that might have got either their music or their habits/practices influenced by you guys? For example I’m thinking of them also doing frequent readings of the Satanic Bible, taking over elements from your imagery, etc.
Over the years we have been humbled and grateful to hear the great tributes from the album. We hope that the younger generations of metal maniacs discovering their call for the first time are influenced by our works and inspired to write music. Like those before us we are driven by the same instinctive passion and creative nature that leans to the dark side of life. To be inspired in each owns unique way from the gift of our forefathers. We are creatures of the world we live in and exposed to. I was 17 when I joined Infernal Majesty. I was influenced by many of the greats back then in their infancy. Slayer, Venom, Manowar, Exciter, Bathory, I can go on and on. This was already embedded in my brain when I added my contribution into the creation of None Shall Defy. Satan has always been a powerful subject that fascinates me today as much as back then. Now it’s a historical exploration that keeps me up reading at night.
Your lyrical themes are based on satanic imagery, occultism and horror (films) and they all convey a strong message against the vision of God. You also stated in one of your earlier interviews for example, “I believe that until all religion is abolished or reduced to small pockets of insignificance, there is no future for mankind”. How old were you when you first discovered you possess these views and what made you start thinking this way, if I may ask?
I’ve always been a big fan of science and nature. It is just natural to me to ask why. At a young age I began to question the existence of a god. Through my late teens I was Agnostic which lasted until my late 20’s when I realized this is all cookoo bananas. I became a believer of nothing but the physics of the natural world. I don’t believe there is a god of the bible. It requires a complete separation from reality and common sense to believe in its words. Leviticus seems to have conveniently been ignored. It’s all illogical. There has not been any ocean’s parting lately or video of bushes spontaneously combusting. It seems in biblical times this was a normal thing, but now god decides to keep his great powers on the down low. Good grief. There has never been a time more important than now to focus on preventing people from dying.
How important is it for you that fans of your music identify themselves with the views Infernäl Mäjesty is spreading in their lyrics?
It’s a bonus if they can relate to our lyrics but it’s more important they just like the songs. We spend a lot of time and energy agonizing over lyrics so it would be cool if people like the message, but not mandatory. We are into getting out and having a good time, bottom line.
As we can notice from your band photos from your early period and also on your tour in 1998; besides the spikes, chains and bullets you had such hairstyles that can remind us of glam, causing an interesting contrast between the music you played and the way you looked like. Do you think an explanation is necessary for the hairstyles or did you not purposely want to deliver us a message with your looks at all?
I think it’s a reflection of the era. We wanted to stand out and let our personalities shine. Kiss was the flame when it came to our appearance. When you 10 years old listening to the Love Gun album, staring at the cover for hours it has a lasting impression. We came from different musical backgrounds but all under the Heavy Metal tent. We had a common goal at the time to write the heaviest, satanic thrash metal music known to humankind.
If anything, probably the only aspect that got a little critique about ‘None Shall Defy’ was the album cover and we can’t deny it surely catches one’s eye; in my personal opinion to the band’s advantage. What is your own opinion on it?
You are exactly right, it catches the eye. This was the intention. We wanted it to stand out. When we commissioned the artwork we described to the artist, Fred Fivish, that we wanted an image of Satan tearing through the fabric of space revealing hells inferno on the other side. Everyone really liked it. Admittedly I was a little disappointed, but overtime I began to change my opinion. Looking back now I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
How satisfied are you with the reactions on your new album released this year, ‘No God’ so far?
We are thrilled with the reaction its receiving. The reviews have been excellent. Honestly we did not expect this strong of a reaction. We anticipated the worst and hoped for the best. It’s so difficult to know what will happen with reviews. We didn’t try and break any new ground, we just wanted to bring back some of our roots into the music and focus on a dark heavy atmosphere and flow. Its out now on High Roller Records. They are awesome to say the least. We new we were in good hands when they chose Good Friday to release the album worldwide.
If I know it correctly you had your last live concert in 2011 in Canada, performing ‘None Shall Defy’ in its entirety with Corpsegrider from Cannibal Corpse. Now that the new album is already out I’d like to ask, is there ANY chance of us being able to see you guys somewhere in the near future?
Its one of our highest priorities. We are working everyday trying to get things figured out, to bring our show on the road. I will have some major announcements soon. Everything we do is up on our Twitter feed, Facebook Page and Instagram or you can sign up to our newsletter for the latest info. Now you mentioned Cannibal Corpse, yes indeed the Corpsegrinder showing up to do a set with us was phenomenal. There is lots of video up on YouTube if anyone hasn’t seen it yet and the entire show will be up on our YouTube Channel soon.
Is there anything else you would like to tell me about?
Just to say thank you, I really enjoyed this and a shout out to Hungary. When we toured with Malevolent Creation and Vader in 97 we fell in love with you. We can’t wait to return.
I finally have my first video out where you can get to know me [in case you didn’t] and what you can approximately expect from me to do – this time in the form of a review of Infernäl Mäjesty’s cult first album ‘None Shall Defy’.
My cutting skills still surely need some polishing but everything will hopefully just get better as I’m also getting new ideas every day. :) Please feel free to let me know what you find interesting to see and what could be changed on in your opinion; or if you have any subject in mind you’d like see a video of.
Have the best Monday that’s possible to have!