- Report by Faye Coulman
INCINERATION FEST ORGANISER STEPHEN MOSS TALKS FORTHCOMING FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
As the high-grossing likes of Download and Bloodstock Open Air continue to amass ever-increasing commercial momentum, it’s heartening to know that, in these unpredictable and continually testing modern times, there remains truly unwavering passion and support for those artists who reside on the furthermost, subterranean peripheries of the genre. Those artists whose intensely frostbitten and visceral, nightmarish vibrations spark in the hearts and minds of but a select few absolute fanaticism and adoration. Indeed, from the brutally pulverising, pitch-black audial assault of Swedish extreme metal icons Marduk and the inimitably grandiose, ritualistic anthems of Greek titans Rotting Christ through to the ghoulishly disquieting orchestrations of genre-obliterating French aggressors Celeste, it’s safe to say the ever-passionate and industrious founders of Incineration Fest have us pretty well covered as far as uncompromisingly ferocious sonic extremity goes. Ahead of next month’s absolutely blistering 2023 edition of the fest, organiser Stephen Moss had the following to say about this hotly-anticipated outing…
DM: With Incineration now just a month away, how are you feeling about this latest instalment of the fest? Pretty busy and excited, I’d imagine.
SM: Busy and excited - absolutely! This is the final stretch, so we’re slamming in the hours to do whatever we can to make this edition of the festival as killer as possible.
Tickets are selling very well - this will be another sold out Incineration Fest, so we owe it to the fans who are coming to the event to give them a memorable weekend.
DM: As well as asking you about what fans can expect from Incineration 2023, I thought we’d begin with a bit of background on the origins of the festival and the vision/motivations that first set things in motion. Clearly darkness and extremity figure prominently among these.
SM: First and foremost, this festival is organised by true fans of extreme music and supporters of the metal community, and I think that is a very important point. Our motivation from the beginning has always been what can we do to further build on the exceptional metal scene that we have, not just in London, but across the UK.
Throughout our festival history, we’ve bought bands such as Emperor, Mayhem, Bloodbath, Abbath, Marduk, Septicflesh and many more to our shores, and we like to consider that every time we piece together an edition of the festival, we’re further adding building blocks to solidify this great metal scene that we have in the UK.
And of course, darkness and extremity always!
DM: Between Brexit and COVID-19, you’ve faced more than your share of challenges in recent years. Could tell us a little more about these and how you went about overcoming them?
SM: Covid has been the most challenging, but I’d say challenging in a mental-sense rather than a business-sense - for sure that was hideous too. But trying to maintain motivation and to continually be grinding to build the strongest version of the festival that we can takes fairly tough skin in normal times, but during an era with ever changing rules, restrictions, and goal posts, it was mentally taxing to say the least.
But, that was then and this is now, and as bizarre as it is that Covid vanished so quickly, our focus is on giving extreme metal fans one helluva extreme metal party!
DM: Returning to Incineration 2023, what, in your opinion, will be some of the major highlights of the festival? I see you have some big, iconic names together with a number of talented, lesser-known artists. A great mix in my opinion.
SM: Too many to name really, but certainly something that we’re very pleased about is the amount of Incineration Fest debuts we have happening in 2023, with the likes of Enslaved, Suffocation, King Dude, Lamp Of Murmuur, Antichrist Siege Machine, Profanatica, Devil Master, Party Cannon and a ton more!
On top of that, your classic bands such as Marduk, Asphyx and Rotting Christ are basically the reason why the festival exists in the first place. The love we’ve had for bands like this for many years is another piece of inspiration that led us to create the festival that we have today.
DM: In closing, do you have anything to add by way of a message for the fans/festival-goers attending this year?
SM: Yes - thank you for your continued support and we look forward to standing beside you all shoulder-to-shoulder, banging our heads together next month!
To book tickets or check out the full festival line-up, visit incinerationfest.com
Check in again soon for Part II of our Incineration 2023 special, when we’ll be previewing our top five must-see highlights of the fest…