Infinity Shred Thrive on Killer Noodles, Minimal Pastels
The road is not a pretty place. Tour Is Hell collects your favorite bands' war stories, some of which make Cormac McCarthy look like Dr. Seuss. Today, we get in the van with Brooklyn-based synthwave trio Infinity Shred. The up-and-coming instru-metallers recently dropped their first new album in three years, Long Distance (streaming below), which exhibits influences ranging from "progressive trance [to] black metal and church choirs," and that's just in closing track "Catch These Blessed Hands." In addition to extolling the virtues of Indomie noodles, the band was kind enough to share candids from their November U.S. tour.
What album can everyone agree on in the van? What’s the most divisive?
Nathan Ritholz: Our big crowd-pleaser has to be Love King by The-Dream. Damon [Hardjowirogo, synths and visuals] got me into him a few years ago, and now I think we’ve successfully converted Clara [Warnaar, drummer]. Most divisive is Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory, in that we love it dearly and anyone else in the car gets very upset.
What’s the strangest gig you’ve ever played?
Damon Hardjowirogo: Seems weird to throw a house party, but not give a fuck about the artists you’re hosting. You can also not throw house parties.
Tell us about your biggest onstage clusterfuck.
NR: At the last show we played at 285 Kent before it closed, we tripped all of the power for the stage and PA in the middle of a song. The place was packed [and] sweaty, and everyone was drunk. Us and the staff were pushing through people and searching in the dark to figure out what happened. I eventually found a power strip that had overloaded and noticed that they were running all of the power for the stage and PA off of this one power strip. SMDH.
Describe your craziest afterparty.
DH: Our craziest afterparty was driving seven hours overnight to return to this Airbnb in western Pennsylvania so we could cook and go on a sick hike.
How do you deal with going days or even weeks without a shower?
Clara Warnaar: Weeks?! Whoa, no, we’re pretty clean. Jeremiah [Johnson, of Nullsleep], who we were touring with, was the most clean / high-maintenance of all of us on the tour, which put me in a great spot as the only girl on tour. Made me seem pretty low-maintenance in contrast, but with the added perk of being able to borrow his hair dryer.
Be it an accident, crazy fan or place to crash, what’s your scariest experience on the road?
DH: There was one hotel room that had exactly four dress shirts in the closet. Us collectively wearing a lot of color is pretty spooky. Also, there was a giant spider hanging out on Nate after chilling in the woods one night.
What’s your universal must-go restaurant or road stop?
CW: Nate found a great spot called Momo Ghar in Columbus, Ohio. It was a tiny Himalayan / Nepalese counter in the middle of an international supermarket called Saraga Market. After posting a photo of the place online, I got comments from two friends who had been on separate tours, and they had both been there. Bonus points for being in an amazing market where we shopped for car snacks like yuzu gummies and fennel mints. I also bought us some cheap bowls and chopsticks there, and Damon got his fave noodles from his childhood (Indomie). These noodles are beyond belief; they’re so good.
DH: Shouts out Shifty’s in Syracuse and Big Star in Chicago.
Who drives the most and least, and why?
DH: I drive the least because I don’t particularly love doing it — I only got my license about three / four years ago, so driving is mainly a reminder of my mortality. I think Nate put in the most hours — he has the most touring experience and is really self-sufficient as a driver, whereas Clara and I both like having someone else checking on the map for us along the way.
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep?
NR: Back in, I think, 2008, before SXSW, I played a show with Anamanaguchi at the Bell House in Brooklyn, and then immediately got in the car and drove 20-plus hours to New Orleans. I was awake a solid 36 hours for that.
How do you try to stay healthy on the road?
DH: Clara led yoga a few mornings / nights, and I could see that becoming an actual routine on longer tours. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to best avoid relying on fast food for our next tour. We’ll probably bring a hot plate and a rice cooker, and try to pick up some veggies to eat with Indomie whenever we have the chance. Fernet also keeps you healthy.
How do you amuse yourself on long stretches with nothing to do?
DH: Having lots of very different playlists at our disposal was great. We all have very different musical backgrounds, but tend to appreciate everything that everyone else is into. Sometimes silence and not interacting with one another is just as valuable as good conversation, though, and I think we all appreciate that fact.
CW: We go to Walmart and buy DVDs and shirts.
What do you argue about the most?
NR: We don’t really argue, but the most tension definitely comes from problems with technology. We’re currently using this huge PC setup for all of our live processing and tracks. It has this foldout hacker-looking screen and keyboard, which looks sick, but is pretty clunky and awkward. Any problem-solving usually triggers someone getting frustrated with the damn thing.