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A Dirty Dozen with JONATHAN EGMORE from THE INFERNAL SEA – February 2024

| 14 February 2024 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “The Infernal Sea have been a plague on this Earth since 2011, composing fierce and terrifying Black Metal with their unique UK imprint, and conjuring compelling tales of English & European history throughout the Medieval period. The Infernal Sea hail from the East of England, an area of bleak, flat, desolation that echoes throughout their music. Much of their storytelling draws from this area, in particular on their new album Hellfenlic, which centers around the brutal persecution of men and women by the most infamous Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins. It tells of his obsession, his religious fervour, his brutality, and ultimately his downfall.” We get Jonathan to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We are very D.I.Y when it comes too recording, so any sparks of creativity we conjure usually end up on record. A drill, a piano, some 80’s synth. Our good friend Nico from the band Aklash, plays violin on the last track “Messenger Of God” also. There are a few very on the nose influences on display on this record – perhaps these are not that hidden though!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realised you wanted to be a musician?

Music was always on in my family home, so growing up throughout the 80’s, I was always listening to Michael Jackson, Madonna, Huey Lewis, etc. Movies were a huge influence, especially films like Back To The Future, and Top Gun. These films essentially gravitated me towards guitar music. Especially the guitar scenes in BTTF.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

A key moment for me, was watching Metallica play “Enter Sandman” at the 1991 Video Music Awards. I instantly put in a VHS tape to record it. This was my first solo discovery of anything heavy metal related & instantly changed my life. Pre internet days meant having to collect the VHS tapes or watch on MTV’s Headbangers Ball or ITV’s Raw Power/Noisy Mothers shows. I was very drawn to the aesthetic. Iron Maiden Live After Death, Slayer Live Intrusion, and Sepultura Under Siege were all vital.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Bruce Dickinson. Need I say more?

5. What is your favourite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I really like going to the coast but I think we all like very different things.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I tend just to say that we’re pretty heavy to someone who doesn’t really know or understand what we do. It gets annoying having to explain genre that’s notoriously silly. To me if I had to describe it I think we are something like, 2nd wave black metal worship with influences from all over the spectrum of rock, punk and metal. I’m really not sure about the second part of that question. We have people make comparisons all the time, but honestly, we are grateful for anybody that is trying to give us praise through other artists that they admire. It can be extremely humbling at times. I’m sure there are ones we’ve disagreed with but I can’t think of any off the top.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We get on very well but really only get to see each other for band-related things. We all have our separate busy lives, jobs, families etc. I’m not sure what you imagined but I think we have literally never got the acoustic guitars out for a singalong! A few of us do like a drink though so there is usually plenty of hilarity when we do get a chance to unwind in the same place. Our drummer J.B is a barbecue master – he cooks.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Igor Cavalera outside of The Black Heart in London.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Getting to have a good time on the road with friends and see different places. My dream job would be to work in the guitar industry in some shape or form.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

“I know the guys in Manowar and they want you to tour with them for the foreseeable future. Can you do it?” Put me in touch with that guy please. “Tell us about the name of the band.” or “Tell us about the origins of the band.” Boring!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I would definitely want the first album we created to be recorded differently, with the knowledge we’ve all acquired over the years. I think if we did it today it would sound killer. I think we would not have done any interviews on camera and especially not in our ‘normal’ attire – it’s one thing to do these text based interviews but I think to reveal ourselves so plainly is a bit of a mystery killer. We are never happy with them when we see them.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

It would have to be …And Justice For All. I’d love to see the mindset & dynamic on what was going on with the guitar & drum sounds. Unlike The Black Album, there’s a great lack of any footage or documentation when it comes to this record, & it still sounds wild today.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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