A Interview with Elena Cataraga AKA Lena Scissorhands of Infected Rain

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Ever the expansive genre, Metal is truly an entity unto itself. As is often the case when it comes to all music and genres, one band tends to beget the next. Though most bands are different, that is to say- they each have their own singular sound, if you look hard enough, you tend to find a through line from one to the next. Europe has always been a proverbial hot bed for Metal and that is something that I don’t believe will ever change. In some cases, the European Metal scene become a safe harbor for bands who have fallen out of favor in North America. Other times, completely original bands are born and bred on European soil, and that is precisely the case with Infected Rain.

What I love about Metal is the passion and the culture. If you’re not a Metalhead by trade, the aesthetic can be a bit jarring, if not alarming. Lots of black clothing, tattoos, occult themes and vivid, ghostly imagery tend to permeate the genre, but once you dig in and dissect the thing, you will find Metal is a truly beautiful and sincerely artistic genre in its own right. The scene is absolutely loaded with some of the most passionate and dedicated fans you will ever meet. Some of music history’s most endearing and interesting figures have come out the Metal scene, in particular, the European Metal scene. One of the more recent, and truly talented players in that history is font person and singer, Elena Cataraga AKA Lena Scissorhands.

You guessed it. Today, I’ve got Lena Scissorhands “in the house” for an interview. Infected Rain are working on a new album, which is slated for a 2021 release, so head over to the band’s website here to learn more, and stay tuned for new music to come. In the meantime, take the time to get to know one of the truly unique and powerful voices in Metal today. I hope you enjoy getting to know Lena. I know I did. Until next time- cheers.

Andrew:
Lena, thank you taking the time to talk with us. It’s been a very long and strange year, hasn’t it? How have you been? What have you been doing to pass the time?

Lena:
Thank you for having me! It’s a really strange year indeed. I am basically trying to stay as busy as possible. Keeping the body and mind occupied seems to be the best cure nowadays.

Andrew:
Tell a bit about your origins. What was it that got you into music?

Lena:
I was introduced to Alternative music when I was 13 years old. Since then, I’ve always loved to listen to it and support it. Friends and musicians got me into music. And just like that, I find myself singing in a band with them. 🙂

Andrew:
You’re one of the founding members of the Metal band, Infected Rain. Tells us how the band got its start? What are the origins of the name?

Lena:
The guitar player Vidick and his friend DJ Kappa invited me to sing for fun in their new project. That’s exactly how everything started. Over the passing of time, I became super addicted to it. The idea of the name came from Vidick. We all loved it and felt like it was perfect for what we are doing.

INFECTED RAIN - An interview with Lena Scissorhands - Femme Metal Webzine

Andrew:
You grew up in Chisinau, right? What was the music scene like there? How did growing up there inform you musically?

Lena:
That is correct. Moldova has a lot of talented musicians and people of art. Talented and hard working. However, the country has no opportunities for the younger generation to evolve. The only way to survive as a band is to play in other countries, and continue creating new music despite the moral and financial difficulties.

Andrew:
As a front person and musician, who are some of your biggest personal influences? You’ve got a unique stage presence. How did you develop your signature style?

Lena:
It is difficult to name the so called influences. Everything that surrounds me can influence and inspire me. The way I look is not connected to the band only. I started experimenting with my looks since I was 16. I had tattoos and dreadlocks long before I joined the band.

Andrew:
Sort of following up on my last question, who were some of Infected Rain’s greatest influences as a band?

Lena:
I honestly have difficulty answering this question every single time. Why do people think there is something, or someone specifically that influence the choices of a musician? In my opinion, music in general is inspiring. You just choose what suits to you the most and stick to it.

Lena Scissorhands, Infected Rain: Českou republiku nikdy nevynecháme |  Rocksound

Andrew:
Often times, songwriters will tell stories with their lyrics, but have no real connection to them. Other times, lyrics can be intensely personal. Which is it for you? Where do you draw your inspiration off of as a songwriter?

Lena:
I write about my past experiences, my present and my future ideas and concerns. Writing and then singing about it is like a therapy for me.

Andrew:
Your given name is Elena Cataraga, but you go by Lena Scissorhands. Can you tell us the origins of the stage name?

Lena:
I was given this nickname by my friends when I graduated the school for hairdressers. Since then, I used it a lot and it just stayed with me. I used to work as a hair and makeup artist for a long time before becoming a musician.

Andrew:
Shifting gears a bit here. Despite the efforts of amazing organizations such as Women Who Rock and Women in Vinyl, women in general are still greatly underrepresented within the music industry. As a strong, female front person, what do you think needs to happen to level the playing field?

Lena:
We just have to stop thinking about it that way. Metal is not about your sex, your religion, your age or upbringing. Metal was always about something more profound than that.

Lena Scissorhands | GoldMidas

Andrew:
Let’s talk about playing live a bit. You’ve always been an incredible live performer. What is it about playing live that you love the most?

Lena:
Performing live is difficult and challenging at the same time. However, it is the most rewarding and pleasant thing I have ever experienced in my life. I love the addicting feeling of purification of the mind and body while on stage.

Andrew:
I know this is a broad question, but who are some of your favorite artists and why?

Lena:
I love so many different artists in music and not only. It would take a couple of pages to name my favorites.

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Tapes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? Where do you like to shop for music?

Lena:
As a matter of fact I collect vinyl. The best places to find good rare vinyl is at antique stores.

HD wallpaper: metal music, Lena Kataraga, Infected Rain, Lena Scissorhands  | Wallpaper Flare

Andrew:
What are a few albums that mean the most to you?

Lena:
– Nirvana, In Utero
– Korn, Untuchables
– Defrones, White Pony
– Bring me the Horizon, Sempiternal
– Gojira, L’enfant Sauvage

Andrew:
2020 was a weird year, but we still saw a lot of great music released. What are some of your “must have” albums of 2020?

 Lena:
– Puscifer, Existencial Reckoning
– Lamb of God, Lamb of God
– Sevdalisa, Shabrang
– Alpha Woolf, A Quiet Place to Die

Andrew:
Once COVID-19 is done with us, what’s next for Infected Rain? Can we hope for new music soon?

Lena:
We are currently working on our new album. It is coming out in 2021.

Andrew:
Last question. A lot of people have preconceived notions regarding what it means to be “Metal.” What are your thoughts on that? Is “Metal” an aesthetic? A genre? Or a lifestyle?

Lena:
It is everything.

Lena Scissorhands

Interested in sampling the music of Infected Rain? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

Published by Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island and works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night.

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