Interview with VoA from Ad Inferna

The French industrial band Ad Inferna have 7 albums and over a decade worth of experience to their name. Iza caught up with their keyboard and guitar player VoA VoXyD to discuss the band’s black metal roots, collobrations, movie soundtracks and their latest release ‘Opus 7: Elevation’.
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Iza: You originally started out as a symphonic black metal band and then after debut album ‘L’empire des Sens’ you switched to an electronic/industrial style with ‘Trance N’ Dance’.
What was it that persuaded you to change the style of your music?

VoA VoXyD:
Right after our album “L’Empire des Sens”, we encountered a lot of issues with our first label, essentially some money problems. The studio we have been recording in (Excess Studio) was asking for 1 month of recording bill and it has been very tough to finish the recording with them and starting the mastering in the Kohlekeller Studio. Once everything was finally done, our label Last Episode went bankrupt, we then signed for a sub division of Metal Blade called Silverdust, everything was fine with them, but we found out that someone printed some Ad Inferna shirts with a very tricky sentence on the back – something we never claimed, some words that Arkames never wrote down. Then, we decided to stop for a while and we had a very long 7-year break. Once back, we didn’t feel comfortable enough to release a black metal album, cause we’d changed a lot, and we didn’t find any good reason to release a fake black metal album. TnD is NOT a very good reference for Ad Inferna, but it reflects our wishes to want out with the black metal scene and with our past.

Iza: Do you still follow what is happening in the metal scene or are you more interested in the industrial one?

VoA: Personally, neither, but I’m still a big fan of the black metal bands between 1990 and 2000. I really don’t have any clue about the industrial scene!

Iza: Your first electronic album ‘Trance N’ Dance’ was very dancefloor-orientated yet over the years I’ve noticed that your songs were becoming more and more atmospheric especially on the albums ‘Ultimum Omnium’ and ‘Im Mortelle’. Was this planned or were you just experimenting?

VoA: I think we are part of artists who just wanna explore more and more horizons between each album. The composition period is generally very short but intense, and depending of our state of mind, our album will be more or less metal, more or less atmospheric. I personally always enjoyed the atmospheric side and it’s so easy and logical to include it in Ad Inferna.

Iza: Your first two electronic releases ‘Trance N’ Dance’ and ‘DSM’ featured the female singer Asphodel (Penumbra). Then after ‘DSM’ you have had various guest singers doing the vocals. What happened? Why did Asphodel leave the band?

VoA: I don’t know. We’ve been very close but I think she was super busy with her other band. But we miss her, she has a huge talent and we wish her all the best.

Iza: You have collaborated with various artists over the years including Zombie Girl, Vasi Vallis (Reaper/ Frozen Plasma), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth live) and Morfeus (ex-Limbonic Art). Who has been your favourite person to work with and why?

VoA: All of them have been professional with us. Obviously, my preference is to work with Melissa Ferlaak who is my partner in life, and also because I have followed this band since the beginning, I really enjoyed working with Morfeus. But it’s always exciting to work with all of them, they all have a particular way to impress us, and that’s a good feeling!

Iza: Let’s talk a bit more about your latest album ‘Opus 7: Elevation’. Can you elaborate more about your inspirations for this one?

VoA: All I can tell you is that it’s a huge album that we are 200% proud of. We have worked intensely on this album to create a 100% unique sound and a kind of “soundtrack” for the music we really wanted to do for a while now. It’s a book, a movie, a piece of our existence that you can’t cut off such everything inside is linked together. The lyrics are awesome, and we plan to provide translations in several languages for non-French people. What you see on the artwork is what you gonna listen with the album, then if you’re interested or fascinated by religion, possession, weirdnesses and ghost stories, you’ll definitely like it!

Iza: ‘Opus 7: Elevation’ sounds dramatically different compared to its predeccessor ‘Im Mortelle’. The atmospheric/ambient elements are still there, but the overall sound feels more aggressive and sinister. Can you explain the reasons behind this?

VoA: Absolutely. Im Mortelle is more “pop”, easier to understand and to listen to. It’s a very good album because of the catchy songs like “Moïra” or “Equinoxe” but the composition of Im Mortelle has been radically different. We were focusing on making some independent good songs, one by one, trying to make a song the most efficient and emotional possible. The concept was different and deserved a very ominous way to compose. As I said before, Elevation is a book, with chapters and themes, and for that we have been focusing on a whole concept, from the beginning to the end of the album. It’s a one song album, with a lot of aggressive parts, and dithered of more or less short movie oriented passages.

Iza: In many ways this album features an interesting and complex mix of styles. We have the industrial/electronic programming and synths, classical operatic vocals and black metal screams and guitars. How would you describe this new evolution in style? Do you have a name for it?

VoA: A very good question again. I like the term of “Operatic Electro Dark” that a magazine used to describe our sound. But you’re right, and everything you mentioned is true.

Iza: I’ve noticed that the last few albums have a certain “soundtrack quality”. Some of the songs sound like they were written for the opening scene of a Gothic horror movie. What are your thoughts on this?

VoA: Besides Ad Inferna, I run my own recording studio (Akamaradara Studio) here in MN, USA, and I am a music composer, and even if I’m trying to avoid the “too much soundtrack oriented” for Ad Inferna, I must admit that I broke my rules on the last opus!

Iza: If you were to pick one song from the latest album which you would play to someone as an introduction to Ad Inferna, which one would you choose and why?

VoA: Without any doubt: Elle est Moi (Track 10) and InVisible (Track 13 only on the physical CD)

Iza: I’ve heard rumours that this will be the last Ad Inferna album. Is this true and if so why?

VoA: Maybe?

Iza: Do you have any final words for your fans and your readers?

VoA: Along with “L’Empire des Sens”, “Elevation” is the album that I’m the most proud of (as is Arkames). I would like everyone to forget the name of Ad Inferna between those both albums and just focus on the music. Thanx a lot for your interest Iza.

‘Opus 7: Elevation’ is out now on Advoxya Records.

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