Infected Rain is about to release a full-length album called Ecdysis, with two kickass singles – Post Mortem Pt 1 and Fighter already released, we are clearly in for one amazing album. I had a chat with Lena Scissorhands all about Ecdysis, touring, writing and inspiration. Lena also spoke on The Devil’s Dozen, an upcoming Infected Rain documentary and concert special that you do not want to miss. Check out our MG exclusive interview: MG: Hey Lena, thanks again for talking with me! I feel especially lucky to be talking to you today because just this morning Infected Rain dropped the second single off the upcoming album Ecdysis. The single is called Fighter and it’s dedicated to strong women. I would love to hear more about what this song means to you.
Lena: It is very interesting because this song is very unique like that for me. So, throughout my whole career I never really touched this specific topic before, and I have a specific reason why. Infected Rain’s fans and listeners that follow us for a good amount of time, they know how much I care about not really having this classification between gender when it comes to art especially. The reason behind it being that I believe that when it comes to art, it’s all pure emotion, and when it comes to emotion we are all the same. We can be sad, we can be happy, we can cry and laugh, no matter what our sex is, no matter how old we are even, actually. So, that’s why I never really brought up the topic of like, strong women specifically, just about people in general. Everything I ever wrote about was always generalized like that for people. Now, the reason this song came out the way it came out is I believe thanks to this really interesting, accidental encounter I had a year ago with this unique, very beautiful person. Her name is Marina and she is also from my country which is Moldova, which is also where the band is from, and she moved to the United states at a very young age. Throughout her life she became a professional fighter. She is a supernova in I believe wrestling, she is a mother of a beautiful boy, and she’s a wife. Her relationship with her husband and her relationship with her career and what she loves doing is insanely fascinating to follow and to see. And so we became closer and we talked a lot. The reason she contacted me was because she had this fantasy to maybe go out to fight, go to the ring with our song. Because we are from the same country and it’s so raw and more alternative so it’s perfectly fitting to what she is doing. So, that never happened, but maybe it will eventually, but that kind of brought us closer together. Having this interesting encounter and in general just sort of being surrounded by so many powerful women including my mother, including my sisters, and all the other female vocalists in this industry, and all the other friends I have – I wanted to put that down on the paper in a specific way, specifically talking about powerful women in general. Here I wanted to bring up specifically the mothers that are so strong, everything doesn’t matter, what matters is today and right now, and you got this. They just power through, they fight for everything, sometimes even for basic needs. I remember that, when I was a small child, I remember that from my mom and I can still see it, so yeah, that’s the reason I wrote about this.
MG: That’s so cool, I love the song. I’m so glad it came out!
Lena: Thank you so much. I am insanely grateful for Marina. Her name is Marina Shafir and you guys are probably going to still hear her name here and there because I am going to be always thankful for just – without knowing even, she really inspired me a lot, without even knowing. And this is a very good example to how everything that surrounds us can inspire us, everything that happens to us happens for a reason.
MG: Your recent music videos for both Fighter and Post Mortem Pt 1 are full of such strong imagery and symbolism. I’m really curious, did the band dream up the video concepts together?
Lena: Yes, it’s always been like that throughout the career of Infected Rain. I believe there’s only one or two music videos where we gave full freedom to people that we chose to work at the time. But everything else was always us, always came from us, at least the idea itself. But specifically for this album in general – so for these two music videos and for everything that is gonna come out – which is a lot, we still have a lot up our sleeves to give you guys – everything was fully created, produced and edited by us.
MG: Do you have a favorite video so far that kind of stands out as the most fun or most memorable that you’ve worked on?
Lena: That’s very difficult to say because they are all very fun in a way. I love Black Gold for how creative it was. I got to fly a little bit, you know, I was suspended in the air – and stuff like that never happened before. I loved Me Against You, which is a super old music video because we had so much fun working with professional motorcycle racers and actually being part of something bigger than the music itself. You know…everything, I absolutely loved Enslaved By a Dream, all of the music videos of Infected Rain have so much going on and there’s so much behind it that it’s so difficult to choose. It’s like I can’t choose a song that I like most, it’s just the same idea, mainly because we create them from scratch. It’s not very easy to film them, I won’t be lying. I had to stand still on my feet for six hours during the filming of Postmortem. I was in that cocoon during all of the six hours. I couldn’t go to the bathroom or drink water, my feet were very swollen because I couldn’t even move at all because the cobwebs around me were connected to the room, so if I moved the whole room would come apart. So I couldn’t until I could in the end where I was allowed to break it. What I’m trying to say is it comes with a lot of sacrifice and sometimes injuries, but it’s a lot of fun, for sure.
MG: Well, a lot of things are happening with Infected Rain, you just finished touring with Butcher Babies and Stitched Up Heart. How did you enjoy that tour and how did it feel to get back at it with the live events?
Lena: It was incredible, it was really awesome, but the main thing being: it wasn’t just the tour itself that we actually all missed so much doing, it was also not only we finally got back to it, but we got back to it with friends. I am very close friends with Heidi and Henry from Butcher Babies, and then we met Stitched Up Heart on tour and they became super close and dear to us. It was such a friendly and family-like type of touring, we helped each other out every time anybody was in need of something and it was a lot of fun. Also the feedback from the U.S crowd was even better than we expected, so it was a lot of fun
MG: And now you’re getting ready to embark upon the European tour in early 2022, are you really excited to get back to the European fans?
Lena: Yes, I am! But I am just excited to get back to the routine of constant touring and constant travelling because as soon as we get done with that tour we are basically right away going to go again. It’s just some things that we didn’t announce yet that we are working on, but the plans are very big for next year, so I’m just excited in general for the life, to be back at this so-called new normal.
MG: So on November 26th fans will be able to see the live concert The Devil’s Dozen, and I read this will also be a documentary. What can you tell us about this?
Lena: Yes, thank you for asking, actually it’s a big deal for us. It’s dedicated to our thirteenth anniversary. Thirteen years passed since our very first show which happened in 2008. We actually were nurturing this idea for a while. We thought to do something similar for our tenth anniversary, but then at the time we were touring so much and we just didn’t have the physical time to dedicate to it. It takes a lot, a lot of time and money, and a lot of production, a lot of people to make this happen. There’s a lot of things that have to be involved and it just wasn’t possible. You see, thanks to the lockdown and the pandemic we got certain opportunities that we didn’t have before, so we just rolled our sleeves and tried to work on all these big projects that were never possible to do before. I’m very happy we waited on because I feel like the amount of time and effort that we were able to put into it now was just perfect. And yes, there is going to be a very big documentary movie about how everything started, what we’ve been through, certain situations and stories that we never really rebuilt before, even. And yeah, a very big show, the show is going to have twenty-two songs, some songs that we’ve never played before, some songs that we haven’t played in years. It’s all gonna look incredibly beautiful because we had a huge production for that show. We literally invented a stage we like in 3D and then rented a company that built that stage for us. So it’s very beautiful, and something that we never did before.
MG: Sounds awesome, I’m really excited about it!
Lena: Me too honestly!
MG: So I just have to ask you about inspiration. I admire you as a songwriter and lyricist as well as a vocalist. Do you find inspiration to be kind of a fleeting thing that you have to take advantage of right away, or can you sort of dig for and manifest your inspiration when the time calls for it?
Lena: Thank you! A little bit both, I definitely do both. However, specifically certain situations or certain people, ironically mainly bad situations or like, something really negative that happens in our lives. One thing that helps me go through difficult moments is sitting down and writing ideas down on a paper. Now, they are not necessarily right away lyrics, they are not necessarily right away songs. They could just be ideas, phrases, words, or bigger pieces, like little poems. I do that for sure when something is happening where I’m going through something. Or just emotionally, I’m in a worse place, you know? It’s just how it is, it’s sad but true. Just pain is probably the, I guess, the strongest influence when it comes to art in general, any type of art, really. So I do that when I have to even just bring my thoughts together or deal with my own fears and insecurities, or if I’m in a deep depression, or something big happens. However, sometimes I go back into it when my mind is more clear. So I feel like I polish my lyrics better when my mind is clear, when I am not in that dark place mentally. But the ideas themselves come mainly when I go in that state of mind, for whatever reason. Our mind is very tricky, sometimes nothing very serious has to happen for us to just not be okay. It happens, we get worn out, upset about certain things, we take things personal. I don’t know, it’s just life, we are human beings. That’s the process that works with me, I guess.
MG: I’ve noticed about you too, that you’re an artist who is generous with fan interaction, do you have something that is your favorite aspect or way of connecting with fans?
Lena: It’s always music. I love to connect on all the visuals that I do as a model, or any other type of videos. But I think my favorite is when I have sincere and genuine people talking about the themes and ideas from the songs and lyrics that I write. Or some videos that I put on my own YouTube channel, like personal videos, I share a lot of personal stuff there too. I like connecting on that because I know I’m not the only one, I know people can relate to that. Because I’ll say again, every single artist is a human being with it’s fears, with its ups and downs and with everything. We are just human beings and understanding and connecting on that level makes people understand how vulnerable you can be, and fragile you can be, just as how badass you can be on stage when you scream your lungs out during a set. I like showing that part of me. I like it, but it’s also difficult for me. I can be an introvert and I can also sometimes feel uncomfortable to be so open and so transparent with my feelings. But I know how important that is for the fans, I know how important that is for them to understand that you know, this is what i’m going through and it’s okay. I don’t have to be a machine that turns off all its feelings and I love that.
MG: I won’t keep you too much longer, so for my final question about the upcoming album, Ecdysis: what would you like to tell fans about it to get everyone pumped up for the release?
Lena: If you have been a fan already then this is gonna be just a newer page in Infected Rain’s career, in the same book though, a page of the same book. We don’t ever like to classify our new material as something completely different that we do, it’s still us but more mature, more emotional, more raw. If you are a newer listener I would say this is a good album to start with because there are so many things and themes that you will definitely relate on, definitely a hundred percent. Just give it more than one try, and let it sink in, that’s all I ask for.