There’s an old saying “Music is life”, and though that is our belief here at Metal Meat, the fact is, sometimes life still
gets in the way and $h!t happens. In the music world, bands come, and bands go. Sometimes the same band comes
and goes and comes back again. An example of this is with a Buffalo New York based band called Aspired Infliction.
This band started in 2010. But in 2015 they disbanded. But metal has a way of bringing people together and as of last
fall, they are back. I had a chance to talk to Mike Marlinski recently, guitarist and founder.
Here is our latest installment.
Current line up is;
Tony DiPaolis - Vocals
Mike Marlinski - Guitars
Jason Hylkema- Guitars
Bill Spencer- Bass
Ben DiPaolis- Drums
How long have you been on the music scene?

It's been 17 years. I played my first show at Showplace Theatre on drums with a band called Heavy Visual in 2001. We were theatrical rock
with an eccentric vocalist who is now an accomplished stage actor.

What age did you get started and why?
I started playing drums in 2000 and played in a handful of metal and rock bands until 2006 (Catalyst, This Gun
Smiles, Destined for More, Awaiting Ruin, Burn the Beautiful). After that, I took a break and was just a promoter
for awhile. I picked up guitar around the same time and started Aspired in 2010 as a guitarist and main
songwriter.

Was there any moment or event that stands out as the turning point that led you to metal?

In the winter of 98, I gradually started wanting more aggressive music, so I took in several bands I now laugh
about. I used to love Korn, Rammstein, Slipknot, 40 Below Summer, Finger Eleven and System of a Down, just to
name a few. Metallica and Pantera were big for me then too, but those were default bands for pretty much
everyone. I needed something new. Everything was sounding the same. I spent about a year cruising Napster
and Bearshare (lol), looking for the perfect sound for me. I eventually found it in two bands. I'll get into those with
the next question.

Biggest influences?

In 1999/2000, I found two bands that have stuck with me to this day: Nightwish and In Flames. Nightwish gives me
my orchestral, big movie score sound fix and In Flames had killer riffs and melodies with aggressive vocals. It was
the perfect blend to me. The first melodic death song I ever heard was "Swim" by In Flames, and I've been
addicted ever since. IF sucks now in my opinion. US dollars have turned them into westernized nu metal, which I
hate now, but I still love their first 5 albums to death. As for Nightwish, I still dig them and just saw them for the 5th
time on Friday. Epic. My other main influences include At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity, Iron Maiden, The
Absence, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Arsis, Battlecross, Eluveitie, The Black Dahlia Murder and countless others in
the melodic death, power metal and folk metal realms.

Biggest influences?
In 1999/2000, I found two bands that have stuck with me to this day: Nightwish and In Flames. Nightwish gives
me my orchestral, big movie score sound fix and In Flames had killer riffs and melodies with aggressive vocals. It
was the perfect blend to me. The first melodic death song I ever heard was "Swim" by In Flames, and I've been
addicted ever since. IF sucks now in my opinion. US dollars have turned them into westernized nu metal, which I
hate now, but I still love their first 5 albums to death. As for Nightwish, I still dig them and just saw them for the
5th time on Friday. Epic. My other main influences include At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity, Iron Maiden, The
Absence, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Arsis, Battlecross, Eluveitie, The Black Dahlia Murder and countless others in
the melodic death, power metal and folk metal realms.

How did you come to play your instrument of choice?

As a drummer, I never felt fulfilled. I was always taking orders. I wanted to write the songs, so I picked up a
guitar, forced myself to start riffing and wrote lyrics to said riffs. Thus, Aspired Infliction was born. In the
beginning, I was the main musical and lyrical influence, but after 8 years, it's becoming a true collaborative effort
between the 5 of us and I love it.
ZT Amplifiers - The loudest little amps in the world
How did you come up with the name Aspired Infliction?

A former member actually came up with it. At the time, we had no clue what to name the band and our old
guitarist Mike had several names just written down. We liked Aspired Infliction the best out of that list and
decided to go with it. It was different, confusing and kind of a tongue twister. They say you're supposed to have
an easy, concise band name, but when you write music like ours that has no firm direction, I think it fits perfectly.
To me it refers to everyone's internal desire to inflict some kind of pain or suffering on the people who have
wronged us. We all think about it, even if we never act.

How many songs do you have so far? Tell us about any releases you have available.
How many songs do you have so far? Tell us about any releases you have available.

Since 2011, we've released 10 singles. That's it. We've seen the changes in the music industry and in people's
attention spans, largely due to the internet, so for awhile we steered way from EPs and full lengths. We tried to
do a full length 5 years back, but it just wasn't meant to be. This year, we are finally going for it again. We started
recorded our debut album, "The Undying" with Anthony Potenza from Studio A Recordings on March 26th. It
should be done by the middle of April and will be formally released in August. We will however have another
single or two out before then. There will be 10 tracks on the album. As for how many songs we have total? After
8 years of writing, if we were to being back every last song, we'd have around 35 originals. But currently, we are
only focusing on the 10 album tracks and 2-3 older songs that are still in rotation.

Do you have a songwriting process?

For a long time, I would map out the songs myself in terms of guitar riffs and then write lyrics to them. Nowadays,
things are different and it's more of a collaborative effort. It usually starts with a small collection of riffs from that
either Jay (guitar) or myself will flesh out and then turn into a full song. The lyrics come later and Tony (vocals) is
finally writing on his own, which has been really cool. I like not being in charge of the lyrics and vocal patterns
anymore. I like to be surprised by our singer once the song comes together. It's like the icing on the cake.
What is the bands philosophy or mission statement (as it were)?

There are two ways I can answer this. In terms of songwriting, our goal is to not be defined. We hate the
subgenre game and just want to be known as a metal band. If you were to listen to every song we've written over
the years right in a row, you'd swear you were listening to a different band sometimes going from song to song.
The differences aren't "huge", but they're enough to avoid being classified within a single metal subgenre. Then,
in terms of who we are as people, we're just 5 laid back dudes who play metal. There's no image that we follow
and we don't really play the whole digital popularity contest game. Our goal is to take this band as far as we can,
but at the same time, we're 5 adults with priorities that stretch beyond the band. We do what we can, when we
can. We understand the importance of social media in music these days too, but we'll never be spam artists. lol

How would you describe the metal scene in your area?

I'll always be partial to Buffalo because of my nearly two decades of time in the scene here. But if we're being
honest, the scene has been in a bit of a lull lately. Back in 2000, when I was 16 and first going to local shows, we
had a slew of great bands, a killer variety of venues and a decent number of all ages options. Things aren't how
they used to be. Now, we only have a handful of cool venues and most of them are 21+. It's tough when there's
no younger generation coming up behind you to immerse themselves in the scene. I'm not saying there haven't
been any newcomers or that the newer bands aren't as good, but over the past few years, I've been seeing the
same tired 30 people at our local gigs over and over again. Honestly, the punk, hardcore and post
hardcore/metal scenes around here are flourishing compared to the good ol' metal scene. Furthermore,
Rochester has really impressed me in the last 5 years or so.
I love the Rochester New York scene's venues, bands, crowds (more than just other band members) and overall energy. All of
this is why I started "The Metal Webzine". I'm trying to spark some change around here and to get more people into our
awesome local bands. Not everyone uses Facebook, which is why I publish articles and show announcements on WordPress.
Visit
www.themetalwebzine.com to check out some amazing bands from around Western New York state.
HOSA TECHNOLOGY
In your musical career, you must have seen some crazy stuff at least
now and then.
Tell us some stories.

I'll share one from each chapter of my time in bands, since I've been a
drummer, guitarist and vocalist.
Back in 2003, I was drumming with This Gun Smiles at Voelker's bowling alley in Buffalo. Our singer got pretty drunk and wrapped his mic cord around the legs of my bass drum
without me noticing. There was no stage and the floor was slippery. As soon we started the first song, he jumped forward and started screaming, then ripped the front of my drum
set completely away from me. He must've dragged it 5 feet before he realized what happened. It was embarrassing, but really funny after the set.

Back in 2011, I played my 2nd show on guitar with Aspired Infliction with The Agonist, Blackguard and Alestorm. We met Alyssa from The Agonist, who is now the vocalist of Arch
Enemy for those who don't know. Anyways, she was miserable. She hated Broadway Joe's and she hated our compliments after their set. I don't know her personally, so I have no
idea if she was just having a bad night, but I will never forget that standoffish attitude. Ever since that night, I've vowed to always give people the time of day, no matter how small
the compliment. Even the typical (and often false) "Hey, man! Sick set!" gets recognition from me. I never know when people are being honest or not with that shit, but I still talk to
as many people as possible at every show I play. I guess that wasn't really a funny story, but it's something that's always stuck with me.

Finally, last spring, I went on tour with The Last Reign. It was a killer fun experience and I'll never forget it. It was only 9 shows, but they were all special in their own ways. That
whole tour is my last story. The first night, we played to an empty room in Lakewood, OH. It was a free show on a Friday night that wasn't promoted at all. Awesome. From there
we went to Chicago, Wyandotte (MI), Pittsburgh, Greensboro, Richmond, Philadelphia, Westfield (MA) and Auburn (NY). After that Lakewood disaster, every other gig ruled. The
other bands, the crowds the energies, it was all textbook greatness. The best show however was the final show at Jitz's Tavern in Auburn, NY. For those who haven't been there,
it's a little bar with no stage and a great sound guy with a cool system. It's tight, intimate and in your face. We had the biggest and most energetic crowd that night of the whole
tour and for most of the set, we were part of that crowd because of the floor set up. In my opinion, those are always the best shows for metal. Fuck stages and barricades. As
long as you have a great crowd and no one is getting hurt, put everyone on the same level. I can't go into every last person I met, or every last funny situation, which is why I'm
just lumping the whole 9 day period together. If you ever have the opportunity to tour, even on a small scale and you know you're going to lose money, do it. You won't regret it.