Interview: Mario Infantes
It was never clear to me what kind of album it would be, or what genre, but I did always know the title of the album. When I was at my worst peaks of anxiety, for some strange reason, this title popped up in my mind, “Antidote To A Turbulent Mind”. And I think it's because, back then, making this record, starting this solo path, was the antidote to my own mind. . .
Mario Infantes, the Spanish born lead singer of Metal Blade-signed band Cult of Lilith, is a visual and music artist based in Iceland. His show-stopping vocal power has drawn the attention of metal fans and publications across the world. Recently he began experimenting with synths, drum machines and virtual instruments and the result is his first instrumental album – Antidote to a Turbulent Mind
E&D: How would you describe yourself?
Mario Infantes: I am a musician from Jaén, Spain, but I´ve been living in Iceland for seven years. Some of you might know me for being the vocalist in the technical death metal band Cult of Lilith, but what I bring today is very different. I devote most of my time to music, but I have many more interests: I´m a Shiatsu massage therapist, that’s my specialty. I love painting miniatures, dioramas, abstract painting, and I also love cinema and videogames.
E&D: Why did you start your solo project?
Mario Infantes: It was a time when things in my band were pretty slow, and the touring situation absolutely fucking sucked, at a global level, so anxiety was eating at me. So I needed to do something about it, at that moment, the band was my only creative outlet so I had to work on something where I wouldn´t depend on anyone else, and that´s how it started.
E&D: What’s the meaning behind the album’s title?
Mario Infantes: It was never clear to me what kind of album it would be, or what genre, but I did always know the title of the album. When I was at my worst peaks of anxiety, for some strange reason, this title popped up in my mind, “Antidote To A Turbulent Mind”. And I think it’s because, back then, making this record, starting this solo path, was the antidote to my own mind, so I hope it’s the same for some of the listeners.
E&D: How was venturing into ambient music coming from a death metal background?
Mario Infantes: Very therapeutic to be honest, I think it´s not good to become stagnant in any genre, and even though I´m known as the vocalist in diverse metal bands, I´ve always listened to all kinds of music, ambient, soundtracks, world ethnic music, I love strange instruments and weird music. So venturing in something completely new, fresh, and as a composer, is a very exciting challenge for me.
E&D: Why are there no vocals in the album considering you are a primarily vocalist?
Mario Infantes: I think it’s very easy to paint an image, or a feeling, a story, when there are lyrics and voice, I reckon the message is much more explicit. I think it´s very interesting to tell a story with instrumental music, because the message is not as obvious so it´s more open to interpretation, and each listener will make the stories their own. Also, I had Covid three times that year, and I literally lost my voice. It affected my lungs a lot and I thought my days as a vocalist were totally done, “the drama”. But no, it’s fine, today I´m well and I can ensure there will be lots of vocals in my second album.
E&D: What does the album sound like?
Mario Infantes: It´s very complicated for me to encase the record within a particular genre, I think it doesn´t do justice to the quantity of diverse sounds inside the album. But I imagine you could include it in the ambient music genre, or instrumental music. I like to think that the album is the soundtrack to a movie that only exists in my head.
E&D: What inspires you to write music?
Mario Infantes: I find inspiration in everything that happens in my life, mainly art, music, cinema, videogames, books, painting.. Although, at the end, what inspires me the most are my personal relationships, nature, my view of the world, basically. I feel very grateful for being such a curious person, since I was a kid, and that I´m into so many different diverse things, therefore I can draw inspiration from everything.
E&D: Who created the album artwork?
Mario Infantes: All the artwork for Antidote to a Turbulent Mind was made by my good friend, illustrator and tattoo artist, Striga. She comes from the Czech Republic, but she has also been living in Iceland for a few years, and I think she’s done an excellent job. She has captured that essence of magic, fantasy and curiosity of the album. You can find her on Instagram under the name of @strigaartist
E&D: Thank you for talking to us.
Mario Infantes: Thank you very much for following my work and I hope you enjoy the record.
Antidote to a Turbulent Mind, was released on July 7 2023 via Lost Future and can be pre-ordered HERE