If you didn’t manage to make it out to one of Infected Mushroom’s Northwest stops on their current tour, you missed out. The group’s high energy music, live stage presence, and incomprehensibly loud output of sound made for one of the most intense shows to hit the Northwest in recent memory. The unique selling point of these performances lies not just in the artists, however, but also in the animatronic stage that accompanies them.
As far as stage design goes, it was a novel concept. After witnessing the monstrosity in all of its pseudo-fungal glory on Thursday night at The Showbox, we were extremely curious as to how exactly Amit Duvdevani and Erez Eisen were inspired to design an animatronic show. We spoke to the duo briefly after the concert to get some insight into the creation.
Amit: After the 3-D mapping, the Fungusamongus tour, we were looking for something completely different, we wanted something kinda raw. We’d done the 3-D mapping, and many other groups were doing it too, you know, Deadma5, Datsik, and so on. We’d been going to Burning Man for many years and with them came up with the animatronica.
Looking at the stage, you would never guess that it was inspired by Burning Man, a festival predominately associated with the celebration of communal humanism and artistic collaboration. In contrast, the stage is a pulsating behemoth, with snapping metal maws protruding from the mushroom construct. Grotesque tentacles sway, and small fungal sprouts with blazing eyes oscillate in time to gritty rhythms. For lack of a better description, it’s metal as hell.
Oh, and it shoots fire too, by the way.
Amit: First time we’re going to do it (shoot fire) in Arizona, the 16th of May, which is a festival which is outdoors. The problem with fire indoors in the United States is…it’s a no. It’s a no. You cannot do it, there’s specific rules, it’s very hard to do fire indoors, so we do steam instead.
Considering that Infected Mushroom performs live with a full band on a regular basis, the synchronization with the animatronic stage was phenomenally coordinated. From an audience standpoint, the group didn’t seem to miss a beat, and the construct conducted a flawless set. Understandably, we were curious as to how that could be accomplished in a live setting.
Amit: Well, 80% of the live is playing from the computer, but the 20% that is live could change every fucking time, and that’s fucking…you know, we do a lot of mistakes, we bullshit, and I sing wrong lyrics the majority of the time (laughs).
Erez: There’s a lot of not changing, we’ve thought about it a lot.