Interview: Mario Infantes Talks ‘Antidote to a Turbulent Mind’

How does an artist create without their primary weapon, their best means of communication? How do you ensure the best parts of yourself are presented? To use The Lord of the Rings as an analogy, it’s like Legolas without his arrow, Aragorn without his courage, or Samwise without his very repressed-yet-clear sexual attraction to Frodo.

That’s what Cult of Lilith vocalist Mario Infantes sought to do with his instrumental solo outing. Antidote to a Turbulent Mind is the fantastic result of an artist nailing storytelling and mood, a vocalist telling a thrilling story without their, uh, voice. Thanks to a respiratory disease (you know the one), and a pre-existing desire to explore musical worlds outside of the constraints of Cult of Lilith (to be fair, that band ain’t constrained). The result is a love letter to soundtracks of all stripes, telling a cinematic and emotional psychological spy thriller set in a Japanese spa. So how did this album come to be?

“The easy answer to that question is anxiety, that was the main motivator for the creation of this record. When I started writing this album, my band was going through a rough patch and things were very slow, and back then Cult of Lilith was my only creative outlet. I felt stuck, and the anxiety was unbearable, so I decided to start writing my own stuff as a necessity, I wasn’t even thinking about releasing any of this or making my solo project ‘a thing,’ I was using this as self-medication.”

“Regarding the lack of vocals,” he continues, “there are mainly two reasons. I listen to a lot of movie and videogame soundtracks, and some of my favorite artists make instrumental music, so I have always wanted to do something in this vein. I think this record gathers all of those influences from my favorite soundtracks and artists, mixed with my personal view of the world and art. The second reason is I simply lost my voice for a few months after the last time I got Covid. It attacked my lungs, leaving scar tissue on them, and I thought my singing days were done, which as you can imagine was devastating for me, and I think some of the more melancholic tunes in the record reflects that.”

Antidote to a Turbulent Mind is available to order from Bandcamp. Follow Infantes on Twitter for future updates.

Image courtesy of Sonia Neisha

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