As most of us know there is a beauty to the dark side that most people dint seem to be able to appreciate. From night blooming Jasmine, the seduction of a full moon, the reassurance of the evening cold chill against your skin. When I think of the wonders the night has to offer I cant understand why anyone wouldn't want to spend as much time as possible exploring the late evening hours. When I talk to people about the fabulous things I experience when the sun goes down, you know co workers and other random people, the remarks are almost always met with remarks about looking for ghouls, vampires and the like. When I hear things like that I wonder if sometimes if sometimes the scene is its own worst enemy, I mean sometimes its easier to put out an album based solely on some of the nights more destructive forces and over romanticizing death for the sake of selling albums. To bow to label pressure because they think that's what the kids want and that's whats easy to sell. Its much harder to create something truly appreciative of the dark's seductive qualities without sounding cliche or like they're trying too hard to be more Goth than Thou. One of the things that makes a band like Ava Inferi such a joy to listen to. Their music is heavy, dark and haunting. Exploring the darker side of love and lust without relying on images of monsters and death to convey the story within the songs. Recently I got to share some email time with Ava Inferi's guitarist Rune, to discuss music art and all manners of darkness.
2008 will be the first time Ava Inferi has toured together as a band, and you will be supporting Christian Death on your debut tour were you excited to get the news you would be supporting such a massive band?
- I remember even before it was secured that Christian Death was going to sign with Season Of Mist, I had a talk with the label boss whereas he uttered that it would be a perfect mix to have the both bands playing together somewhere, as he belived it to be a great package, hehe. It surely came through...indeed. We are seriously thrilled to have our debut shows with such a legendary act, no doubts about it. And I also believe that its because we all have, especially Carmen and myself, been fans of CD for a long time you know. Its been many years ago since i brought in my 1st copy of Catastrophe Ballet on vinyl home, hehe.
We further hope that our mixed energies can prolong this collaboration so that we can spread our messages on US soil as well. Would be amazing!
How did Ava Inferi come to exist?
- It came to life in Almada, Portugal around October 2004 I'd say, as a direct consequence of my relationship with Carmen. Ever since we decided to move together (im hailing from Oslo, Norway) we´d been playing with the idea of doing something unifying musically, blending our personal references and tastes in an artistically gratifying way. Since Carmen has worked her whole life for achieving a career musically as well(playing in several Portuguese bands and established herself as the most promising and respected vocalist from PT), there was a lot of shared goals that needed attention, if you get my point. Although I myself have been professional musician for several years now, i still lacked something that i could call my own, a band where an honest source for free will and energy could be transmitted. Ava Inferi is that band. No boundaries or limitations, just free will.
Since my background is of more heavy character contra Carmens more Gothic orientated history, we made the perfect blend (we believe) in between us, and thus the foundations for every song created. Its our child if you get my point.
The other members (Jaime and Joao)followed shortly due to common friends. 2 highly important team players I must add. As of now, we have adopted a 2nd guitarist as well, in order to present our music live in its fullest essence.
How would you say the new album Silhouette, is different from your debut album Burdens?
- I believe initially "The Silhouette" its a lot more outgoing than "Burdens", which was, quite frankly, a very introverted and gloomy album, in both sound and musical vision. "The Silhouette" is also of more "metal" character as well id say, more hard sounding, direct and powerful. The reason is partly due to my moods different and partly the inspiration and the energies the others put into the new album as well. "The Silhouette" is a lot more band-orientated, if you know what i mean. Everyone participated in the finalizing creative process this time, to make it even more of a "whole" product. As for "Burdens", it was more of a lonely mans thinking, hehe. Don't get me wrong, i love our debut album to death, but i think its an acquired taste at the same time. Its way more mellow, mystic and ethereal than our newest platter....and surely the eccentrics will complain in some years that, "ah, they will never achieve the heights of Burdens again..." hehe. We, we just move on. Creating what we feel. Free will!
There was only a one year gap in between Burdens and Silhouette did you have a lot of material written for Silhouette while you were working on Burdens?
- No. Not to put out too big words about myself/ourselves but i consider myself/Ava Inferi, as a highly creative person/band. I have made, as in created, and recorded 3 albums in 2 years now, 2 with Ava Inferi and 1 with Mayhem. All whom im very very proud of. But it doesn't stop there; the energy i feel towards Ava Inferi and its mission make me wanna pop out albums each year(similar to when this kind of music was young, in the 70s)..It is possible, surely. Speaking of it: we have several ideas for the 3rd album going on already. We don't waste time, we use it. And I feel that we've only just begun.
Most of the members of Ava Inferi are involved in other projects in addition to the band. Do you guys often find it difficult to juggle such a variety of projects?
- Not really, well, at least not up until now. These days we are getting more and more requests for Ava Inferi as well, so surely there has to be made some compromise in the future. Its really pleasing my heart though, to see the attention we are getting recently (on our side of the Atlantic), with requests etc for doing festivals and one-off shows constantly flowing in. Its really inspiring me, to see the development of the new born. On the other side; I'm the one with the most sessions and shows on the agenda so its a luxury problem for me. But I'm also a hard worker and i hate to let people down, so I'm gonna sacrifice my health to keep up with things, surely, hehe.
Since the tour with Christian Death with is your first big tour as a band what can people expect when they see Ava Inferi live?
- Well, its not really a big tour as its merely a few shows, but it is big in the sense of being able supporting this cult-band. As I already hinted at; we are huge fans and it will be awesome to finally see this legendary band in action as well, not at least to support them. Its going to be a great and rich experience for us. Also, i believe its a good musical and visual package, a great mix between to odd worlds.
For these shows, what people will get is; a very tight band, highly professional and entertaining. I believe we are a very energetic band, and I don't mean that were jumping up and down on stage(we leave that to others) but in the sense of the depths that we present. I believe A-I to be a very dark band with a strong presence, so it will be interesting to see how the people will react to this. A little secret; I've never felt this powerful energy during rehearsals as i do these days. We are certainly building something that's gonna live its own life pretty soon, if you receive the picture I'm trying to paint...
Where did the name Ava Inferi come from?
- The name Ava Inferi means (almost) literally "Up High/Below". Its can be interpreted as our Yin/Yang actually. Ava, represented by Carmen, is the white, the goddess, the pure and untouched spirituality whereas Inferi (perhaps represented by the rest of the band, or just myself) would come to mean something like "those below" and thus represent the darker aspect of all above-mentioned things(and more). Its the duality of everything actually, like life/death, day/night etc.
The origin of the names or words itself is from Greek(Ava) and Latin(Inferi)origin.
There are a lot of great bands that have come from Portugal through the years, how have you seen the Goth/Doom music scene there evolve over the years?
- Its getting better I believe. Although I'm not too familiar with the scene from the past, as i am one their "new" countrymen, hehe. But surely there are many good bands here, and the scene and the self esteem is kind of growing as well I believe. That being said, we in Ava Inferi doesn't really feel like a part of the Portuguese scene though actually, well, at least not myself anyway. I see music as the limitless light(sound?) and therefore without restrictions to or from anything. But it certainly doesn't help that I'm a Norwegian either, hehe. No, seriously, things are happening here, and I wouldn't be surprised that there will be a massive offensive from these shores in close future. There are more things than just Moonspell(cheers!) dwelling in the shadows. Whether it be Gothic music, doomsday news or plain old-school BM.
What sort of messages do you like to impart on your listeners as a band?
- First of all, we as a band don't have any intention of telling people what to do with their lives. We leave that to others. Our ultimate effect is in telling you how we feel! Life is full of darkness and obstacles, and that is exactly what we deliver. In a haunting and beautiful way...
What things can we expect to see from Ava Inferi in the future?
- Lots of work indeed. We are in the preparations of working out the 3rd chapter in the story of Ava Inferi. Hopefully the album will be recorded in September/October this year. Other than that, our main goal is to play as much as possible to spread our name truthfully. We believe in our magic and we aim to convince you about these matters.
Thank you for the interview. A pleasure. A-I