Greetings, brothers and sisters! Today, we will be chatting with Lena Cataraga of INFECTED RAIN. Hello Lena, welcome to the Metal Maidens ‘zine. You are the singer for the band INFECTED RAIN (which is a very cool name for a band, by the way). Can you tell us how the band came to be?
Lena: “Hi, I'm Lena, vocalist for INFECTED RAIN. The idea to form a band always existed, but we realized this idea in 2008. Together with the name INFECTED RAIN was born our style and confidence.”
Lena, please tell us a little about your band mates?
Lena: “Our style is influenced by the fact, that the taste's of all our band members are different. Each brings something different to INFECTED RAIN. In general, each musician in the band is sociable and open-minded.”
The band hails from the country of Moldova, which is near Romania, if I am correct. Please tell us a little about your homeland?
Lena: “Moldova is a small republic, that lies between Romania and Ukraine. We have the most delicious wine, the most beautiful girls and a lot of talented people.”
What is the music scene and the metal scene in general like there?
Lena: “We have a small population in our country, but despite this there are many talented musicians. Concerts are being held frequently. We have rock pubs and summer festivals, as in all other countries.”
Your music is very heavy but also melodic enough, that you can sing along with your tunes. Was that something the band was trying to do or did it just kind of happen?
Lena: “No, we did not plan the style of playing. We just started writing music and INFECTED RAIN was born. In fact, when we start with fresh ideas, they tend to look very different than the final result. And you never know what will be the style of the next song. It is in the style of INFECTED RAIN, that we are able to express ourselves in the best way possible.”
You mix in some scratch techniques, keyboards and effect boxes with your music, which really seems to work well for the band. Do you all have a say in the music writing?
Lena: “We just really love electronic music, so we combine metal with lectronic music. This is also an integral part of the group. We especially like to experiment with such styles as dubstep and drum 'n bass. Most of these electronic inserts are written, when the song is already well established, which creates a special atmosphere.”
You guys remind me a little of the band KORN. Did you ever hear that before?
Lena: “Yes, I really like that band and I have great respect for the creativity of Jonathan Davis. But I believe that my main performance and singing in general is not much like his. Maybe we are similar, because of the hairstyle (laughs)."
The band recorded a demo in 2008 and an EP in 2009. I must say for such a young band I was very impressed with the songs, which were very well written. Can you talk about some of the tunes and maybe which ones have special meaning to you?
Lena: “I think it's a personal question and to find the answer, you just need to listen to our tracks and feel the emotions, that I experienced while writing the songs.”
You also put out two very good videos for the songs "Judgemental Trap" and "No Idols" (Two songs, that really kick my ass!) and I must commend you all on the quality of the videos. So many bands these days just throw any piece of crap video they can on the internet, just to get some exposure. In my opinion, I think it can hurt a band, if a potential fan goes to their page and sees a poorly done video. Kind of makes me think that if they don’t care enough to put a quality video out representing the band at its best, then why do I want to bother with their music? Sorry for the rant, but does that make sense to you?
Lena: “Yes, I totally agree with you. The first impression is very important. Each band makes mistakes and learns, but it must remain within the band. People need to see the finished result.”
Did you all have fun doing the videos or are they a pain in the ass?
Lena: “Actually shooting brought us a lot of fun and it was a cool adventure. When shooting the video “Judgemental Trap” for example, it was -4 C. It was very cold and we had to play to the camera and we tried not to show, that it was so cold. In general, it was fun.”
I loved seeing you crowd surfing in the "No Idols" video. Do you do that at your live shows?
Lena: “Yes, sometimes. We never intend to take actions, that will take place on the stage. We are just doing everything possible to make for a crazy show.”
I think it's very cool, when a female performer shows no fear and stage dives or surfs the crowd, but I also get a little nervous because after all a lot of the audience is usually dudes. Ever have any uncomfortable moments there?
Lena: “First of all, we focus on our music, and concerts are mostly friendly and without incidents.”
While we are on the subject,can you tell us about an Infected Rain live show and what the fans can expect?
Lena: “Well as I said, we do everything possible to convey to people our emotions, that we share with the music, lyrics and movement on the stage. We try to make sure, that no one leaves without a good show.”
Lena, are you the main lyric writer for the band?
Lena: “Yes, the only one.”
I have always been into lyrics and some of your songs seem to be speaking to me on a very personal level, especially the tune "Homeless", which I just love the lyric "I'm just a Freak removed from Heaven", that is just brilliant writing, my friend. I also really like the way you did the chorus, very original. Where does the inspiration come from for your lyrics?
Lena: “I really like to write lyrics. In these moments I feel face to face with myself. And all I'm writing about is my experience and my emotions. Homeless is very important song to me, as it brings me back to my childhood.”
Are you the kind of writer that gets inspired from watching the news or are your lyrics coming from more of a personal place?
Lena: “Inspiration can come from anything from the outside world, from people, situations or emotions from the past and present.”
So tell me Lena, what made you want to become a singer and how did you originally get into heavy metal music?
Lena: “It all started, when I fell in love with heavy music. And of course I liked to sing along to my favorite bands. But later, somehow it happened spontaneously and I got involved with INFECTED RAIN.”
Who are some of the band's or musicans that have inspired you?
Lena: “It's hard to say. There are a lot of them. Here are a couple of names: NIRVANA, PPANTERA, MUDVAYNE, KORN, SEPULTURA, SLIPKNOTl, DEFTONES, METALLICA, TOOL, SOULFLY and others.”
There seems to have been an explosion of female fronted bands in the last few years, which all I can say is it's about freaking time. Do you think some of the barriers and stereotypes about women in heavy metal are finally starting to fade away or do you think we still have a long way to go?
Lena: “Female vocals in heavy music has reached a good level. Often better than bands with male vocals. Of course there is always something to develop in, because the music is always exploring new styles and trends.”
Are the crowds at your live shows still mostly male?
Lena: “As at any concert of metal music guys always slightly outnumber the girls.”
Are you comfortable as a possible role model or mentor for young women who may want to follow in your footsteps and what advice would you give to them?
Lena: “I do not feel like a role model, but even if it's so, I want to wish them all to be bright and open-minded people.”
The band is currently unsigned. Is there anything in the works for a label picking you guys up and maybe releasing a full length CD?
Lena: “Yes, now we're working by ourself, but we are actively looking for people or labels, that would deal with us. We are open to any suggestions.”
What about the near future for INFECTED RAIN. Are you currently writing new tunes or preparing for some new live shows?
Lena: “Yes, we are preparing new material and the new songs are very cool. Hopefully, in the near future we will be able to record the first album and shoot the new video. In spite of this, we regularly give shows in our country and abroad.”
I have no doubt in my mind about how very talented this band is, as I am sure you all believe in what you do as well. What do you as a band have to do to go to the next level and help get your music out to rabid metal fans worldwide, who I know will love you?
Lena: “As I said before, we are actively looking for people or organizations, that will deal with us. We want for the entire world to hear and see us play.”
Where can potential new fans hear your music or buy your merch?
Lena: “You can see us on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/blackdvdrain; hear and learn more about us at: http://www.myspace.com/infectedrain and connect with us. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50987743846 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anything at all you would like to add to our interview, Lena?
Lena: “Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to respond to such unusual questions. I hope that soon everyone will be able to see and hear us.”
I am hoping somehow to see you guys play in the states someday. Just let me know when you’re coming and I will make sure the beer is cold (haha).
Lena: “Visiting the States is one of the main goals for the near future, so for sure we'll see you and have a drink a beer together.”
On behalf of myself and Metal Maidens I want to thank you for taking time with us today. I really love this band and I think it is just a matter of time before INFECTED RAIN will dominate the world (haha). I wish you all the best of luck with the band in the coming new year.
Lena: “Thank you! And sorry for my English.”
No problem Lena, your English was very good and it was a pleasure to interview you.
Visit their My Space at: www.myspace.com/infectedrain