November 19, 2014 Interview – David Silveria & Riz Story of Infinika
Expanding one’s horizons is something every musician hopes to accomplish over the course of their career. When veteran musicians Riz Story (Anyone 1995-2006) and David Silveria (Korn 1993-2006) got together, they threw the formula of what is to be expected from a modern Rock band out the window with their new project, called Infinika. Tired of the same old same old, the two joined forces to create a unique experience, pushing the boundaries of musical exploitation as they won over fans one by one. Recently releasing their debut album, Echoes and Traces, the band took their time putting together the material, prove to be more concerned with the final product than anything else. Recently, we sat down with Story and Silveria for a personal look into the concept behind Infinika, their experiences with their previous bands, their open outlook toward creating, and much more.
CrypticRock.com – You both have been involved in music for over two decades respectfully; David with Korn and Riz with Anyone. Infinika is a vastly different piece of work than both of those. First tell us what got you two together to collaborate on this project?
David Silveria – I was working with a guitar player friend, we were working on music. We were in a loose, casual conversation, thinking about singers, and Riz’s name came up. I remembered Riz from Anyone, of course. My friend gave me his phone number and just said, “Hey do you want to start a band together?” It basically came together like that.
Riz Story – I was kind of doing my own thing and directing films here in Hollywood. David wanted to sign my band, Anyone. We are just a struggling band, and Korn was the number one band in the world. I remember David, Munky, and the whole crew being cool, that they were into my band, Anyone, at that time. We ended up signing with Roadrunner Records, but even then, Munky wanted to produce the record. Fast forward all these years later, David called me and said, “I am starting a new project, would you like to try singing some songs?” I did and it worked really great. We ended up not using any of those songs; we ended up bringing in a bunch of my songs. That is basically how it all started.
CrypticRock.com – Interesting! So you have known each other a while with ties for a long time. This project has been in the works for a couple of years now but you actually just put out your debut album of fourteen tracks, titled Echoes and Traces. What inspired these songs and what is the concept behind the cohesive work?
Riz Story – The record is really a kind of a concept album, because on the digital format, you cannot really listen to it the way it is meant to be, which is with no pauses. If you listen to the record closely and play it on a CD continuously with no silences, there is a loose concept story in there. The inspiration for the music comes from life, as always, as with any artist. We wanted to have a concept with the album where there were no limitations. We did not want to just be a heavy band, or a mellow band, or in-between band, or a band that uses synthesizers, or has any rules. The concept was to keep it free. You will see really mellow songs to really heavy songs. There are really different moods. There is the big, blissful feel of “Tranes,” to the heavy, driving sound of “Down,” to the acoustics of “Over Before It Begins” parts one and two. We just wanted to mix it up and have a lot of moods. The coherent thing you can tell is the mood. You can tell it is Infinika on each song. I don’t know if it’s the vocal sound or the signature, heavy approach to the drums, but there is something that runs through it that ties us together.
David Silveria – Yes, I agree with everything about the concept. It kind of bugs me that people cannot hear that on the digital, you have to listen the whole CD to be able to hear it. I wish there was a way you could fix that, but obviously you cannot. It is an audio concept record that takes you through various different songs. I think it really came out well and translates different emotions.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, and with the album, it is clearly evident you are both looking to expand the spectrum of what to expect from a Rock record. There seems to be a lot of depth to the production of the record. What was the recording process like and was this a new challenge for you?
David Silveria – I don’t think it was a new challenge. I just think it was another intricate and bigger challenge. I did seven records with Korn. I am not comparing this to that, but this record took a lot more intricate details into the mixing process because of all the instruments and layers. I think it shows when you play it; I think you hear it. It took quite a bit of time and it was different.
Riz Story – Basically there is more to this than the Anyone mixes, too. Anyone was a lot more raw. It was just a trio and that was it. It was psychedelic, but it did not have all the layers like this band does. Infinika is about intricate sounds, a colorful palette, and different musical textures. I think for the both of us, it was an expansion of sonic dynamics and a bigger palette to take from.
CrypticRock.com – That is extremely evident when you hear the music. Will Infinika be going on tour?
Riz Story – Yes, we are going to start playing some shows in the Southern California area, which we will be announcing soon.
CrypticRock.com – That sounds exciting. Since Infinika is a fresh, new concept, how are you finding fans receiving it?
Riz Story – Honestly, it has been overwhelmingly positive. There are some hardcore Korn fans that may be disappointed that we do not sound like Korn. There are also some hardcore Anyone fans that are disappointed that we do not sound like Anyone. The thing about the bands where we came from is that they were original. With Infinika, if nothing else, we are trying hard not to be pinned down. We do not want anyone to say it is just that or this; you really have to listen to the whole record to get your head around the whole statement of the band. We do not want to repeat ourselves and do things we have done already. The old Korn records are there for that, and so are the old Anyone records, if you want to reminisce. It is all about the future. Music is so stagnant right now, it’s ridiculous. I think, for better or worse, we should at least try to change it up. I think the first Infinika record is definitely an effort to give a new flavor on Rock.
CrypticRock.com – It seems like a lot of people are doing a similar thing. It is refreshing to see someone trying to push the envelope.
David Silveria – Yes, that was exactly the goal with the album.
Riz Story – There’s a lot of us who give a fuck with this record. There’s a lot of us not caring about what was expected of us. There’s a lot of us just rebelling of what everyone thought Infinika would probably sound like. We wanted to, more importantly, describe life and all of its different moods and feels, opposed to being one mood for an entire album. If you drop the needle and listen to the record from beginning to end, you go on this ride. There is definitely traffic for the ride to kind of make sense. Neither of us were really concerned with blowing it up huge with a major record deal. We wanted it to be a very organic release, almost like in the old days when an independent record came out before a band had a record deal. It was about how the root fans found the band. Right now, root fans are finding us and giving us a lot of support. One person at a time, those are our real friends, opposed to just shooting it out there and having everyone have to look at it. We are growing it naturally and want people to find the band, support the band, and talk about it amongst themselves.
CrypticRock.com – That is the best way to go about things. That is where you will be building your strong fan base. You both had strong music careers. David, you spent thirteen years with Korn before leaving in 2006. You explored other endeavors in your absence from Korn and music, but what was the deciding factor for you to get back into the music game?
David Silveria – Just missing it, missing playing music with friends and having the whole experience along with how much fun it is. My last few years in Korn, I did not even feel like I was playing music with friends. It was like the friendship was gone. By the time I got together with Riz, I was really missing the friendship aspect of playing music with friends; the general fun that it is to make music.
CrypticRock.com – One would want to have a friendship of some kind with who you are playing with. You mentioned how you are not too concerned with the general consensus of Korn or Anyone fans. That is obviously a good artistic outlook to follow what you want and everything else will fall into place. Some passionate fans can be reluctant to the new project. How are you both approaching that possible negative backlash?
David Silveria – I really have not thought about approaching it. If I am approached by anyone and they say anything negative about the music or bring up our past projects, I just say we are not trying to be like those old bands, it has already been done. I think it is apparent we are on a new trail, and the past is the past. It’s already out there. If they are looking for that sound, the band is already out there. We are not trying to redo our past sound.
Riz Story – As for me, my response to that question is pretty much the same. I have not really thought about how I would address that question because it never really comes up. There are people who just want the original bands to stay together forever. The reality is that they still have those old bands there. Korn is still going, and now they have Infinika on top of it. Now they have two bands. I do not think our fanbase is going to necessarily be a bunch of Korn fans at all. I think that it is obvious, the sounds are much different than Korn, obviously. We have nothing to do with that sound. We are drawing a lot of support from other areas; other bands following and other scenes that are digging into it. That is what I am hearing in terms of feedback.
CrypticRock.com – Right, as you know we are living in a time where it seems everyone likes to be negative for the sake of beginning negative. It can be exhausting with a lot of the negativity people spew on the internet. Now Riz, it has been fourteen years since the major label debut of Anyone. That record was received extremely well by critics and those who knew of it. For some reason, it did not get the mainstream success it so deserved. What do you think prevented the album from reaching more people?
Riz Story – After September 11th, the label we were on at the time dropped a bunch of bands which were deemed to be subversive or controversial and we were one of them. The band was doing really well, selling a lot of records and really blowing up. We did make enough of an impact where, to this day, there are still a bunch of people waiting for a reunion. Infinika came along and that is where I am putting all my energies for a Rock band. Anyone had an impact, there is still a lot of feedback coming back from those days. It was a good thing artistically, for me personally. I really enjoyed Anyone.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, it was a great band. People who knew of it, appreciated it. What are some of your musical influences?
David Silveria – My earliest influences were everything from Country music, old school Country, to Led Zeppelin, to the early Motley Crue, even. It is really hard for me to put a category or name on the music that influences me. It really varies from old Country to the old Rock arena. I do not really know. I can’t think of specific bands that have influenced me. I know it sounds kind of lame, but I really cannot name any specific bands.
Riz Story – It is pretty much the same for me. At this stage, all the influences have blended together. I am not into anything in particular, I am just taking in the entire rainbow of music at this stage and it is all influential. You are exposed to all of the music of the culture, so all music influences you, whether you like it or not. I had pretty much the same attitude when I was younger that I have now. I soaked up all the music of the culture, and there were a couple of bands I gravitated to for one reason or another. Just like anyone else, you have your favorites. I tended to like bands that were set aside for being creative and adventurous. All those bands that were put in that category tended to be my favorite, whether it was David Bowie or The Beatles, and branching out from there.
CrypticRock.com – Well it is good to have a broad musical taste. My last question for you is regarding films. CrypticRock.com is a Rock/Metal and Horror news site, so we like to focus on all genres. Are you fans of Horror films, and if so, what are some of your favorite Horror films?
Riz Story – I think for me, the classic The Exorcist (1973) and The Shining (1980) is on my list.
David Silveria – It is definitely The Shining for me as well.
CrypticRock.com – Those are two great films. Riz, you have been involved in films. What is your opinion of practical effects to CGI effects?
Riz Story – The technology is expanding and becoming more realistic day by day. I am a fan of using whatever newest tools are available on the cutting edge. It is every director’s decision of what they want to use to create an image.