“We don’t have one way to write songs.”

AD INFINITUM have become a force to be reckoned with. They have released their debut album Chapter I: Monarchy that has received high praise from fans and critics. Lotty Whittingham speaks to vocalist Melissa Bonny about this new album, their process when writing songs and how she has been coping with lockdown measures.

So, you have released your debut album Chapter 1:  Monarchy. Given the title has the word chapter, is this going to be part of an ongoing story?

Yes, there will be Chapter 2 but actually we looked at it this way. The Ad Infinitum story is like a book; the past, the present, the future. 

Is this based around your historical bios on your website?

No, actually. There is a time travelling story, we have everything written on the website. I won’t go into full detail as that could take a long time but part of the travelling story there is a stop in Versailles during the reign of Louie the Fourteenth. The album is based on his life and the people around him.

Do you have a personal favourite song on the record?

I think my favourite is See You In Hell because I like the atmosphere and I was really inspired when I wrote the lyrics. I also really like the track Maleficent.

Is that anything to do with the Disney villain?

I think just the title. It’s the story about the voice in your head telling you what to do, what you can do, what you can’t do and I call it Maleficent. 

You had an online release party for Chapter 1: Monarchy, how did that go?

It was super fun. I think it was a great opportunity to do a release party for people from more than one area. When you do a release concert, there’s only a limited amount of people who can attend because it’s easy to get to by train, car or foot. This way we could have people from all over the world so it was great. 

It was very different obviously because we could not perform and we are very impatient to perform these songs since we have been working on these songs for a while and have now released them. We were supposed to go tour so we are very impatient about performing these songs to an audience and have a direct response. The online party was a great alternative.

That’s the tour with Visions Of Atlantis. Are there any places you are looking forward to performing after lockdown?

Firstly, we were supposed to have another tour around the release of our album. This was going to be with Serenity, Dynazty and Victorious. We also got the chance to go on this other tour with Visions Of Atlantis, which wasn’t planned originally and I really hope it will happen.

I have to say I am really looking forward to playing Switzerland because I was born there. I haven’t been there since Christmas. I don’t live there anymore and our boarders are currently closed so I haven’t been able to go for a while. So, I am looking forward to performing in Switzerland and play for my friends, family and for those who attended the very first shows I started play in a metal band.

What songs are looking forward to playing live?

I think we will play the singles. I would also say Infected Monarchy because I really like the power it has or Maleficent. These are both very powerful live songs. I can’t wait to play them live.

Between you as a band you have a collective amount of influences, who are your personal influences?

There’s a lot of artists who inspire me, not just metal music. For example, I always mention Floor Jansen, who I admire a lot or Roy Khan who has been in Kamelot and Delain. Within Temptation also. I also like to find inspiration either for writing music or vocal technique. Singers like Ariana Grande and Demi Levato inspire me, I listen to all kinds of music and I find something interesting in pretty much everything I hear as long as it’s well done.

How would guys describe your style of music? I used the phrase Epica meets Lacuna Coil, don’t know if you agree or if you like to add to that.

I agree because I think it’s a little bit hard to just put a band in a box. The easiest way to describe us is symphonic metal. There are some songs that are influenced by power metal, others are influenced by death metal. In general, if you want to put the band in a box it would be in the symphonic metal box.

When you write the songs, do you have in mind which songs you want to add your guttural vocals to as well as your clean vocals?

We don’t have one way to write songs. It comes naturally. Sometimes we start with the vocals and then everything comes around it. Sometimes you start with the drums because you have a rhythm in mind. So, it really depends on how we start. 

For example; the song Marching On Versailles, the demo was written by Nick our drummer. I remember being in my car listening to it for the first time when he sent me the song without the vocals. I remember it was logical on how the vocals were supposed to fit in that song. I was playing it in my car and singing along, recording what I had in mind and what came naturally when I was singing along. This was to remember exactly what I was doing and I remember in the pre-chorus is exactly the way I sang it in my car. It was the same with the chorus and the growls. It fits the atmosphere of the song.

Big thumbs up to This Is Halloween cover as a bonus track on the album. I love it.

Thank you, we originally recorded it for Halloween last year and I thought we could include it as a bonus track on the album. 

I like how you managed to incorporate some of the original song and Marilyn Manson’s cover.

We did a mix of the original version and the Marilyn Manson version. The Marilyn Manson version was part of this record called Nightmare:  Revisited and I really love the way he sang it. I also love the way it’s sang in the original version with that Disney mood in a way. When you listen to a Disney song, there’s a lot of interpretation and I like it very much. You can hear several characters singing, it’s not just one voice. So, I really want to re-produce this cartoon atmosphere.

At the moment, we are in lockdown. There’s a lot of uncertainty, what’s helped you cope through this and what tips would you give to those who aren’t coping so well?

I think it’s a good time to reflect on yourself and think about what really matters, what you want to do. To take the time to develop your passions. For me, it was easy as we just released the album so there is a lot of work to do. So, it doesn’t feel like a lockdown, it just feels like I am working but the shops are pretty much all closed except for groceries and the basic stuff. There is also a lot less people outside, so to me there doesn’t seem to be much change.

For people who work in offices or in places that are closed for example, I think it’s a good time to think about what they really like to do and how they want to get back to life afterwards.

Thank you, Melissa, for speaking with us today.

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