INTERVIEW! The Infernal Sea at Damnation Festival 2016

November 10, 2016

Its been a good year for UK blackened metal act The Infernal Sea. The strong start included the release of their debut album 'The Great Mortality' that was released through legendary UK record label Cacophonous Records. In addition, the band have toured relentlessly in support of the release which has included some standout shows in particular with the likes of Arch Enemy & Anaal Nathrakh.


it only seems right that the year, as its drawing to a close is ended on a strong note and what better way than to end things by playing Damnation Festival 2016 where the band played a special hour long set to a packed crowd. Mosh pits and crowd surfers promptly turning this years 'mine' stage into a warzone, we managed to speak to frontman Dean Lettice on all things Damnation, Live music and dream lineups. You guys have been super busy this year, how’s all the touring going? Any particular highlights?


Dean: Hails, the tours have been great, we have shared the stage with many great bands, made new friends and gained a loyal following. Our fans are great and follow us around from show to show and we really appreciate their dedication to our plague. Supporting Arch Enemy and playing a near sold out show in London with Anaal Nathrakh are high on the list. …and now you’ve ended the year on a lineup with one of the UKs most prestigious metal festivals, how were you guys feeling about that? Pretty elated I’d imagine? 


Dean: We are still buzzing from the experience, Damnation is a great festival and it was an honour to have been invited to play. Even though we clashed with Cult of Luna we were still able to pack out the Mine stage and the crowd reaction was phenomenal, we had a massive pit as well as crowd surfers. That isn't something you see at your average Black Metal show, it goes to show that we have a great crossover appeal.  It’s a festival that many bands want to play and it’s a big honor for most, where does TIS think the Damnation Festival successes lie?


Dean: As a punter it caters for a wide range of tastes and the ticket is affordable for the amount of bands that perform each year. It is not often you get to see bands like Hang the Bastard share the stage with Abbath or even Cult of Luna. The line up has always been diverse and that is the reason for its success. You also get an opportunity to see upcoming bands as Damnation gives rising bands the chance to reach a wider audience. From a band perspective, the festival is professionally run and the hospitality is incredible, you can tell that everyone involved is passionate about the festival, the bands, the music and it really shows. How do you guy’s approach something like this? A festival or show you’ve wanted to play for years, how do you prepare, what are the mindsets going into it? Any nerves? Or just excitement?


Leading up to the appearance we ensured that we were well rehearsed, the difficult part was deciding which songs to play, we actually added 'Purification by Fire' to the set, a song we have not played live for some time. We wanted to showcase the album as well as throw in a few fan favourites. Of course we were excited and it is only natural to have nerves before any show but we embraced the opportunity to show Damnation what we have to offer and we gained a load more followers as a result. Damnation Festival had some killer bands this year, who were you guys most looking forward to seeing and why? Who impressed?


Dean:Collectively we were mostly looking forward to seeing Abbath, Enslaved, Akercocke, Venom Prison, Electric Wizard, Darkher, Hang the Bastard. Every band mentioned were sublime and it was great witnessing Abbath destroy the main stage with his icy riffs. If you had other festivals on the bucket list to play, what would they be? 


Dean: Download simply because it is the first major festival I attended way back in 1996 (It was known as Monsters of Rock then), Graspop, Maryland Deathfest, Brutal Assault, Hellfest... In fact there are far too many to mention, but it would be an incredible experience to perform at any of these. Give us your dream lineup for a show you’d love to play, The Infernal Sea and 3 other bands…GO!


Dean: If we are keeping within the Black Metal genre then Immortal, Isengard, Satyricon and Khold would certainly get me excited. If it was a non genre specific show then I would say Iron Maiden, Mortician, Deicide and Iron Monkey. Do you have any interesting/funny/crazy stories from the time you’ve spent on the road?


We have loads of funny stories but I'm afraid most of them are not fit for print. Over the past 6 years of the bands existence we have seen a lot of strange stuff and been in some tricky situations but we managed to come out the other side unscathed.


(EDITORS NOTE: have heard some of the stories and we can confirm, they are indeed a bit wacky, We’ll just leave it at that!) You’ve all been doing the band thing for so long now with The Infernal Sea being one of the more successful of the bands that make up your collective histories, what do you think makes TIS different from all the others? What’s been the recipe to success?


The Infernal Sea is a well oiled machine, we have taken on board all our previous successes and failures and applied these formulas to TIS. It is something we are passionate about and I feel that this shows in the way we present and portray ourselves. We also mix together different styles and are not afraid to push the boundaries of black metal, it keeps the music fresh for us and our followers. This is very important to us and our brand. 2017 is quickly approaching, What’s next for the band, what can the fans expect?


Dean: We are going to take time off to work on material for the next album. We won't be playing any live shows until April and even then they will be sporadic. Once the album is released we will hit the road with a bigger, better and more savage version of The Infernal Sea


The Infernal Sea's latest album 'The Great Mortality' is available everywhere now. Be sure to check out the latest video from the band for the track 'Plague Herald' below.



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