- Describe your sound in 3 words.
Heavy, cold and melodious.
- Which artists have been most influential for you, as a band and as individuals?
We all come from different musical horizons : Heavy metal, old prog rock, death metal, cold wave/indus… So many bands impacted us as listeners, then composers of our own music.
Let’s pick up some that stand at the crossroad of our mutual influences : Tool, for their rhythmical signatures and the way they combine heavy and shallow parts. Mastodon, for their limitless guitars arrangements, multi voices combinations, incredible drum parts… It’s metal without any boundary.
But we could also name Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Wovenhand, the Deftones… who drift into something tighter, darker, colder, that seduces us as much. We love to bring some of it forward in our mix : that’s why we use to define our sound, for what it’s worth, as “cold metal”.
- What is the best metal riff ever written?
Such a cruel question! If notes were words, riffs would be like… aphorisms. Combinations of universal signs put together in a precise order to dig up some underlying meaning… A good riff goes straight to the heart : some will stab you by surprise while others will take time to grow like a seed once planted then forgotten.
In the vast field of “metal music”, let’s say they all mean something different, depending on the state of mind, the musical culture one’s in… or the course of music History : for example, the main riff of Iron Man, by Black Sabbath, is a milestone. Every single riff of Adam Jones, from Tool, is a world on its own… But if we should choose a perfect “metal” signature riff, it surely would be Slayer’s “South of heaven” : heavy, sharp and oddly melodic.
- Your tracks are usually long with heavy sound but with focus on the melodic lines too. What’s more important? The song, or heaviness. Tell us a few things about your creative process.
Of course the most important thing is the song : every piece of the puzzle must be at it’s right place. But heaviness has never been just an ingredient among others : when we started composing the album, it was a presupposition to all the songs. Not only our favorite bands play really heavy music, but we also needed to do something thick and strong. Once it’s in your guts, you just can’t cheat on it.
On the album, the process has been the same on all songs : we always got started with guitar riffs, precisely. A few were isolated ones, and we tried to build up something meaningful around. Some went by three or four in a row… It’s been endless permutations and combinations until we felt the tracks were taking their own shape.
At that point, one of us would write lyrics and a vocal line : then the song structures would be modified accordingly (sometimes hundreds of times !) until everything began to make sense. Then we spent a lot of time on arrangements, melodies and elaboration of guitar sounds before recording a first demo.
The funny part of the story is that after having rehearsed for hours together in the studio, we finally recorded our own parts alone at home one by one… sometimes adding little things none of the others had ever heard before. It’s only when it’s been finally mixed and mastered that we discovered the result of all that hard work.
- Are these days full albums still relevant? Do people still listen to full albums?
I think whether it’s relevant or not depends on the quality of the album, not on the format itself. Clearly, we are from a generation for whom it’s still the main way of discovering an artist and we’re sure that a significant part of the public has kept this habit. We still play whole albums beside playlists. I guess most of the bands still conceive each album as a homogenous ensemble, in form or content. Sometimes both.
In a way, a change of that habit may also be a good thing : as a music lover, it’s satisfying to be able to glean from this and that artist. Yes, Discovering new bands has become much easier. Yes, as an artist, it’s also exciting and reassuring to know that you can now put your music online track by track without necessarily having 10 new songs ready before releasing it… But only as long as people don’t loose the interest of deepening an artist production or a genre… And as long as, as an artist, you can still be discovered when brand new… That’s the real issue.
- If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
I think that whatever your place in this industry is (consumer, distributor, producer…) you have to understand that everything will dry up quickly without a fair remuneration of the artists. Who will run the risk of creating anything new with such a poor recognition?
- Is Spotify the music industry’s new Gatekeeper?
Or godfather ! Sad but true. As far as I know, Spotify relies on an algorithm whose only purpose is to pay its owners as much as possible. It has nothing to do with creativity, art, culture… It doesn’t care about it. Only profit matters. Worse, it tends to standardize musical tastes : be a best seller, comply to our wisely marketed mainstream standards, or disappear…
It’s relationship with music is the same as the one between any industry and its shareholders : something similar to vampirism. A bad deal curiously consented to by the most influential players of this industry (one of them being the enthusiastic consumers we all are…).
At the end, if nothing happens, the prey becomes a living dead.
- In which place or state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music? What would be your dream performance venue?
JoyfuI conclusion, thanks ! I imagine people listening to our music in the same state of mind I’m in when I listen to a song I like : a state of need. The need to feel powerful and intense. To feel complete.
Due to the current situation, I guess any performance venue would mean the possibility of playing without sanitary risk for the audience… So let’s dream of Red Rocks Amphitheatre, or the Arenas of Nîmes…
- One last thing we should know about you?
We are treats. And tricks.
Thanks Wire Edge!