Most bands write and record demos, but the California trio Infested designed and constructed a deep space torture chamber. At three tracks, plus an intro and outro, clocking it at 12-and-a-half minutes, the intergalactic aural sadism that is Grotesque Remains may not last for long, but, like wounds and trauma suffered during a brutal alien abduction, they will stay with you forever.
Released last month by Sewer Rot Records, which is owned and helmed by Chris Johnson, Infested’s frontman, Grotesque Remains finds the infected, purulent head between the festering likes of Torture Rack and Impetigo and smashes it brutally with a cruel spiked hammer. There’s much to celebrate about the arrival of a band like Infested and it’s all encapsulated in this sickly, tentacled and gore-purging quarter-hour-long demo.
We caught up with Infested guitarist/vocalist Chris Johnson AKA Father Mullet, bassist Sasha Gallant and drummer Ethan Ayala to discuss their universally repugnant debut Grotesque Remains. According to frontman Chris Johnson, Infested started back in 2020. “I was in Ecoffinized at the time and wanted to do something a little different so I originally started Infested on the side.”
Sasha Gallant tells us, “Chris definitely started Infested, I was brought on early on in the band for bass. Chris and I knew each other mostly from like seeing each other at shows and a couple parties. Chris knew Ethan (Ayala) through Sewer Rot bands and we brought him on pretty much right before we recorded the demo.”
Besides sounding like a monster-operated killing machine, Infested set themselves by focusing their themes and resulting sound on one specific, awesome movie series. According to Chris, Infested call themselves ‘Xenodeath,’ because “Xenodeath is a shortening of Xenomorph Death Metal, inspired by the Aliens franchise.”
Grotesque Remains sounds at once everywhere and right on top of you, smothering you with its repulsive mass and oozing mouths. Its production makes it seem like it was recorded deep in the refinery cargo of the USCSS Nostromo. Actually, according to the band, Grotesque Remains was recorded “at Soul Chamber studios over in Whittier.” They says, “We had a few setbacks during the process, we had to switch drummers and Ethan pretty much had to jump right into it, so he’s a real one for that for sure! We decided to go to Earhammer for the mastering, and Greg did a great job.”
Infested want our readers to know: “We play super raw, sloppy, and fast. Our songs are far from technical, we have very meat and potatoes and straight to the point riffing. The point is more for fans just to feel the kinetic energy of the music and ignorant style of playing and go hard, there’s other bands that will leave you awe-struck with technical playing for sure, but we’re just more like revving a rusty Pontiac Firebird all the way and hoping it doesn’t fall apart!”
Not to mention the artwork for Grotesque Remains will make your brain bleed. According to Chris, “Nightmare Imagery did the cover art for the demo. I first came to him to ask him to do it because he’s done work with me before for Encoffinized. I had two visions mostly for it, originally the inspiration was drawn from The Thing. But later I wanted to throw in more of a hive type setting and then I drew further inspiration from Aliens and just kinda threw it all together. Kyle Messick from Maimed and Sewer Rot did a lot of the Xenomorph art as well for our inserts on the CD, as well as the art for the shirt that Gruesome Graphics put out.
“We have the demo out on Sewer Rot records on Tape/CD/Digital formats, we’re working on getting more copies of the tape put out, and also to make sure our release is available through European channels as well so it’s easier for our overseas fans to get a hold of it.” Chris says.
Looking ahead, Infested say, “We’re writing right now for a full-length release. We’ve been playing in the LA area, and San Diego later this month. We have a small international tour cooking up with some great bands that’s pending confirmation/announcement. We also have some plans for Texas and other states as well.”
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