Five Minutes With…Infected Mushroom

We recently got the chance to talk with Duvdev from legendary psy-trance act Infected Mushroom. We had a chat about the band’s new album ‘Legend Of The Black Shawarma’, and […]
We recently got the chance to talk with Duvdev from legendary psy-trance act Infected Mushroom. We had a chat about the band’s new album ‘Legend Of The Black Shawarma’, and about their collaborations with Jonathan Davis and Perry Farrell alongside some of the group’s huge plans for the future.
Infected Mushroom
“The new album is a food diary with a few concepts thrown in”

S] You have a lot of rock-orientated special guests (Jonathan Davis and Perry Farrell) on the new record – is this a reflection on the more aggressive tones of the record?
Duvdev] Having Jonathan Davis come in from Korn was certainly a good move as he brings in a more aggressive sound and that really helped us out on ‘Smashing The Opponent’, and he’s also in the upcoming video. Of course, having Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction took the sound in a completely different direction for the track, ‘Killing Time’. It reflects the efforts of myself and Erez to bring different styles and vocalists to the album.

S] Not many people would write an album about their favourite places to eat – why pay this kind of tribute alongside a variety of other, more serious issues?

Duvdev] As you know with this band, we spend all of our time on the road and we have these food temples around the planet that we have eaten at for so many years, and we always tell everyone about them. So we decided to create a food diary, as a tribute to them and to these various places. Also, a few other names and places came up when we were writing the songs for this new record. So, it’s like a diary with a few concepts thrown in.

S] How do you feel that you have progressed as artists over the last two years since you recorded ‘Vicious Delicious’?

Duvdev] I don’t know how much we have progressed in the last two years because we are always out on the road. However, we are constantly trying to progress and change our style. I think that this new album is a little bit heavier than anything we have produced previously, and it’s much stronger and less commercial. It’s very diverse and it’s showcases the evolution of psy-trance and there’s also songs with some breakbeats in and stuff like that. It’s really a continuation of what we did on ‘Vicious Delicious’.

S] If each member of Infected Mushroom could invite one person, dead or alive to dinner and to listen to the new album, who would you choose and why?

Duvdev] (laughs) I would invite Jim Morrison from The Doors and of course, I would feed him a shawarma in keeping with the theme of the meal.

S] What three key things do you need to survive on an Infected Mushroom tour – it seems like you never stop?

Duvdev] I think that you certainly need a good crew, some good food and to get some sleep whenever you can – these are the essential things that will keep you alive while you are on the road.

S] Which track from the new album do you think your fans will most identify with?

Duvdev] Our psy-trance fans are always going to love and identify with this style of track the most. I think that on this album, they will enjoy ‘Franks’ and ‘Herbert The Pervert’ as these are much more dancefloor-orientated tracks. Then, there’s some really diverse tracks on there like ‘Can’t Stop’ and the opening track ‘Poquito Mass’. There’s a lot of soul in there which many of our new fans will like and one track called ‘Project 100’ which is the the big soundtrack that we have on every album like ‘Heavyweight’ from ‘Vicious Delicious’ and I think that people will really get into that one. It really is a diverse album. I hope that people will listen to it a few times and like it.

S] Do you guys have a favourite place to write your music and get inspiration from, or do you only write in the studio?

Duvdev] Inspiration comes every day for us. A lot of it though, comes from dancefloors around the world. I mean to see the reaction of people when they hear the music at parties and when we perform, that’s what keeps us going and inspired to write stronger dance-orientated tracks. Of course, I could get inspiration, like for ‘Poquito Mas’, from eating a good burrito in Mexico. (laughs) Inspiration really does come from everywhere – from listening to the radio, or watching the television or the various places that we have been around the world. We are always going into the studio, so for us every day is a good day for writing a new track.

S] What have you guys got planned for the rest of the year, will you finally be taking a rest?

Duvdev] We have lots of parties planned for this year, and a few special things that we haven’t done before. We are going to be touring and of course promoting the album. I hope to be doing some producing as well. I hope that we get to take a little bit of a vacation because we have children who are new additions to the Infected family.  Hopefully, at the beginning of next year we will get to have a little vacation and then of course, we will go back to doing what we do best which is touring and making some new music.

S] Obviously you guys cross genres so well, blending metal, rock and electronic sounds – what do you think of the worldwide crossover (electro-rock) scene at the minute, obviously there are bands like Pendulum around now, so what’s your opinion?

Duvdev] For us it really is cool to see this kind of transaction happening. Of course you mentioned Pendulum, who are the kind of band that are really pushing the electronic and crossover style forward. Obviously, you also have The Prodigy who are back now with a new album that’s very rock but with a lot of electronic elements in there. It’s really cool you know? The electronic world will always be inverted and if we have a few more bands doing it, we will work with them because we want to create a full-on explosion and with more bands it will happen. So yeah, it’s pretty cool.

Infected Mushroom the bandS] What makes you so passionate for the psy-trance genre and does the style still excite you as much as it did when you began is it still just about seeing people dance?

Duvdev] It’s not only to see the people dancing but that’s obviously a big part of it because we’ve been doing parties for so many years and seeing so many people dance to our music even as we are progressing. I think it’s because psy-trance is where we came from and it still keeps us interested. We love hearing a good psy-trance track and seeing how it makes the people move. We really like it and I think that we will keep doing psy-trance forever. Some people don’t even consider us psy-trance anymore but still we hope that everyone likes this new album and we will keep crafting the sound in our way on everything that we do as Infected Mushroom.

S] What is the best memory you have of working with both Jonathan Davis and Perry Farrell respectively – musically you come from completely different backgrounds, so were they completely blown away by your sound?

Duvdev] To tell you the truth, both artists have always really liked Infected Mushroom. I mean Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction actually had our first albums which he came into the studio with for us to sign! Both of these artists really knew the project and that really blew us away because we have been following Jane’s Addiction and Korn for so many years. Even though this was the case, they were curious to see how the collaboration would sound, and through all the studio work and then after the track was finished they both really liked it. I mean, Jonathan really liked ‘Smashing The Opponent’ and he ended up in the video. That’s a great compliment for us and we’ve become friends, so it’s really cool.

S] When did you first decide you were not going to just stick to one kind of sound and amalgamate a bunch of genres and what advice would you give to some other musicians who might be inspired by your approach?

Duvdev] I think for us the decision to crossover genres really came on our fourth album (‘Converting Vegetarians’), until then and for our first three albums we are very psy-trance-orientated. Then, we decided with the fourth album that we were just going to explore ourselves and do other stuff. I mean, we come from a classical background but we were heavy metal fans back in the day, so, we just said, ‘Let’s start doing some other stuff.’ Basically, we were just fed up of doing the same stuff all the time. I mean, we have said that we really love psy-trance but I do not think we could have evolved only within that genre. I think that shows the natural progression of an artist, you know? Each artist starts with his own genre but then he goes on and he explores himself and becomes something much bigger. I think that this has to happen for an artist so that he can keep himself interested and for the crowd also. It takes time to go and change your style and evolve but as a musician I definitely think that you have to do it.

S] Can you tell us about the more serious themes and ideas on the new record?

Duvdev] Some of the songs are all about the lyrics and are composed with me, basically sitting down at home with a piano and just writing words and then putting music to it. So it kind of diverts away from the food thing. I mean with ‘Project 100’ – that’s a very metal, crazy thing and it’s got a very serious and hardcore beat going alongside so many other elements. We really take each track at a time; it’s not all about food. We will sit in the studio and think about it a lot, and we will spend a lot of time on it and then just put all of it on to an album. I mean a lot of tracks didn’t actually get on this new album because we either didn’t like the concept or we thought it wasn’t that special or just not suitable enough for this project. We really took our time on these tracks and we are very happy with the result.

S] Has there been a favourite moment for you guys over this creative process for the new album?

Duvdev] I think on this album it was definitely having Jonathan and Perry coming in. It was certainly the highlight of the whole process and it was so different to what we usually do. The entire time we were like, ‘Is this really happening?’, and it’s really something that I will look back on and say, ‘Wow, we did that?’ Now though, we are already moving forward and we’re working toward a new album for after this one. Already I’ve got three new tracks and there are some more projects, but with this album especially I am happy that we could collaborate with so many artists. I mean, I already have some new tracks collaborating with Matt Sorum of Guns N’Roses, so there is a lot more to come.

S] What happens when you want other bands and artists to get involved with Infected Mushroom – how do you approach it?

Duvdev] I can’t say it’s simple. It’s a very hard project to approach a band with their managers and stuff like that. Then, making it actually happen especially with people that tour a lot, like with Jonathan and Perry – to set things up it’s a really difficult thing. I will say that there are two places where it’s much easier to do that and these are the UK and the United States because the bands are certainly more approachable, but you just have to try. I mean, I had approached a few more artists for this new album that didn’t end up taking part but maybe it will happen in the future. Most of the reactions that I got from people when I asked them to come and do something with us were very positive, so, you have to just work at it and eventually it will happen.

S] You have such positive feedback about your live show, how are you planning on expanding that in the future – will there be any new concepts or visual elements?

Duvdev] This year we are working very hard on a new show that will support the music. There’s going to be a backscreen that’s going to make everything look so much better visually. Of course there’s the five of us live who have been playing together for the last three years and we are always striving to improve. We give it 200 per cent on stage and go absolutely mental each time we go and perform live and we do it for one reason, to see the people on the dancefloor. We’ve been getting better and the visuals are a new adjustment to the tour, we will have three huge mushrooms on stage with us! There’s also going to be more of a story going on within the visuals behind us on stage but we are currently working on it with some of the video guys in LA and it’s not complete yet. Maybe, for some special shows we will have the guests from the album come on and do a special appearance and that’s also a unique thing that we are thinking about doing next year. We will give it all to the live show.

S] What message do you have for fans in the UK?

Duvdev] Well, me and Erez are coming to do a DJ set at the Ministry Of Sound which has become a unique thing because we don’t really DJ a lot anymore, so you’re going to see us come back into the DJ world because we like it and it’s really different to our live show so people should come and check it out because it’s going to be a very diverse set. Also, we are coming over with the live show in November and we will be doing a show with Fabric at Matter in the O2 Arena , that’s going to be an explosive new show that will support the album. The UK fans have always been good to us and they always come with so much energy and there is always a big crowd so we are really looking forward to both of the shows.

Infected Mushroom will be DJing at the Ministry Of Sound on July 24. Buy tickets here.

For more information visit the band’s Myspace. Click below to pre-order the new album from the band’s site:

Legend Of The Black Shawarma

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