Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …

Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …

For this new interview we are testing a new concept: the cross interview. The principle is simple: to make you discover musicians, their human side, their personality. To make it even more interesting, we put two musicians from different bands face to face who answer the same questions. And who better to start with than two bass players, the ones we rarely talk about but who nevertheless have a fundamental place in a band.

Meeting with Fafa and Crypp, two musicians as adorable as they are talented …

Hi ! We’re going to start by making introductions …

Fafa : Ladies’ honor, so Crypp, I’ll let you get started …

Crypp : Ah ah ! All right … I’m Crypp Mor, I’m not a woman, contrary to what Fafa says, and today I play mainly in two bands : Except One, whose album was released almost two years ago, and a brand new project just born, EHP (Explicit Human Porn). We’re releasing the EP in September. I’m also doing some sessions for Hip-Hop studios.

Fafa : I’m Fafa, bassist in Monolyth, a melodic death metal band. We released our first album about two years ago. I also did some vocals in various projects.

Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …
Fafa - Pic : Lykh'Arts
Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …
Crypp - Pic : Juliette Plachez

What’s your musical background ?

Fafa : I started singing when I was about 14 years old, when my singing teacher in college told me that I sang very well, she gave me more self-confidence. A few years later I started playing bass by chance, it’s an instrument I’ve always been interested in. One day my father and I were taking a walk in the underground and we came across a bass/acoustic guitar duo. I became too much of a fan of the bass player I was seeing and my father said, “Wouldn’t you want to play that ? ». I said “yes, definitely” and we went out and bought a bass. I’m totally self-taught. I had my first band around the age of 19, straight into death metal. And then, I had a big wrist problem that forced me to stop playing bass for almost three years. Then I did a lot of blues rock, and then I came back to metal. Today I still have this wrist problem but I’m dealing with it, it bothers me for some techniques but overall I’m fine. I found a solution with fanned fret, because it follows the movement of the elbow and the arm.

Crypp : I started playing bass when I was 18. I didn’t really want to make music but it wasn’t going very well in my life at that time. One day I went to see a band and one of the musicians said “if it’s not going well, play music”. I was very attracted to low frequencies and a big fan of neo metal where bass is very important. So the next day, with my first paycheck, I bought the Ibanez bass pack with the small 15w amp and the padded cover!

I’m self-taught too, but I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of bassists, and in this environment people are very pedagogical. All the techniques I know today are mainly learned from other bass players. I’ve been playing bass for 15 years now and I’m always trying to learn and improve every day.

Tell us about your gear …

Crypp : I mainly play ESP basses, I have a lot of F-series on which I mount Skull Strings with a special pull. I like to have big strings because I attack a lot and I need something that holds well. In terms of effects I play with Darkglass, I have a whole range of pedals, from the B7K Utlra to the Alpha Omega. In terms of amps I play with a tech21 withoutAmp RBI, it’s a small rack but it’s monstrous ! And to finish I play with a Two Notes amp simulation, the small “bass cab m”, which allows me not to carry 30 kg of cab anymore, I plug directly on the sound system. So there’s the preamp that does the job very well, the Darkglass that does the tube simulations, and the Two Notes that gives all the grain that could have a Gallien Krueger for example, that I particularly like.

Fafa : For basses I have always liked Ibanez because the sleeves are very thin and compared to my wrist it suits me well. My current bass with the fanned fret is the SRFF805, which is really my baby, I love the neck and it has a great sound. In terms of amps I’m a big fan of Orange which gives very round and deep sounds. I have pedals but I can’t even name them because I don’t care as long as I like the sound. It’s terrible but that’s the way it is! I’ve kept a kind of “I don’t care” that there’s a lot in Blues Rock.

How do you characterize your sound ?

Fafa : A very round sound, very matt and with a bit of distorsion. Basically in my head I materialize my sound like a big black matt ball, my sound has to look like this when it comes out of the amp. I need this roundness, this depth, which I find really important whatever the style of music. Are you familiar with synesthesia? It’s for example when you see colours when you listen to music. I have that thing, and I need my sound to have a colour and a shape when it comes out of the amp.

Crypp : For me it really depends on what I’m playing. In Except One it will be a very dry sound with a lot of bass and high mids, it has to be very sharp and powerful. On EHP it’s a bit like Fafa, a bit grunge, Rock n’ Roll, a bit round but a bit dirty. Then it depends, depending on whether I’m doing Funk or Rap, I change, I go for the sound that makes me happy.

The big question : fingers or pick ?

Fafa : I only play with fingers, with a few techniques like tapping, etc. But never with a pick, simply because I don’t like it.

Crypp : Finger and pick. I have a preference for the finger (and essentially the slap) but it’s true that at a certain speed, I lack attack with the fingers, so the pick allows me to have the same attack all the time. On the other hand I agree with Fafa on the fact that the finger is sacred and there are many bass players who play super fast with the finger.

The little thing about you that makes you… for sure you’re a bass player ?

Fafa : I’m not boring ! Ah ah !!! No, but, it’s true, the guitarists are always annoying, the singer I’m not even telling you about, and the drummers really have their princess side too. When you’re not boring, you’re a bass player !

Crypp : I think what I like about bass players is simplicity. I’ve noticed that all the bass players I’ve met are extremely simple people, but in the good sense of the word.

Fafa : It’s true, they are relax. I used to see him especially when it came to loaning out equipment. If you find yourself in trouble for one reason or another at a concert, there are very few people who’ve been reluctant to lend their equipment. Usually we’ll manage to get everyone to play on the same equipment.

Do you have any habits, rituals before you go on stage? Do you practice a warm-up ?

Crypp : I can spend five minutes warming up my hands, there are plenty of techniques. I don’t want to hurt myself, and you notice that when you warm up, you play better. When I was younger, I used to come on stage without warming up and my hands would get very badly. In addition to warming up, I need to get into character. I rethink everything that annoys me and as I go on stage I have the ability to be above it all, it’s like I’m kicking all my problems.

Fafa : Warming of arms, hands, neck, etc. I apply tiger balm all over the forearm and wrist. It’s a Camphor-based balm that warms your joints and muscles … Then we get together with the group and have fun for five minutes to boost each other. And above all : it’s important to prepare a beer.

Just before going on stage (when we could), are you rather stressed or relaxed ?

Fafa : It depends on the configurations, I’m going to stress more in small rooms where you’re close to the audience. On big stages there is a distance and I feel more comfortable. But generally, I’m really relaxed on the bass. On vocals, I’m much less relaxed because you’re in a front position, on bass we’re more in the back. I think I’m a little bit stressed because I see it as a moment I’m going to live with my mates and I’m so happy to live it.

Crypp : I’m mega-stressed, no matter what the scene. I’m not saying I’m losing it, but I’m very excited. I manage my stress with my rituals. In a way I like this stress, and I think every musician likes this stress, it shows that it’s important. Every time it’s like jumping off a diving board, you do it because you like the feeling, but in a way it’s still high.

Do you have another role in the band ?

Fafa : Driver ! Well, before the gigs I’m a driver … After the gigs I’m drunk ! More seriously, I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m the only woman because I’m not considered at all as “The chick of the band”, but I have a little bit reassuring side for them. I’m doing them good spiritually because I’m relaxed.

Crypp : In Except One I do a lot of administrative stuff (SACEM, papers, etc). I’m a real psychorigid. We have a shared server and I’m the guy who tidies everything up, who cleans everything, who makes sure that everything is in its place. … In EHP, we are only four members, I also take care of all the administrative stuff, but also commercial strategy, marketing. We have a very good composer, a very good graphic designer, a great guy who does everything on the Internet and I take care of all the communication, the publications …

Your place and your attitude on stage ?

Fafa : I know with Crypp we’re the same kind of people !

Crypp : Ah yes ! Especially Monolyth and Except One because they’re bands with two guitarists, and of course they take both corners, so you’re going around looking for your place !

Fafa : That’s it ! It’s funny because as Crypp says, we each have two guitarists in one of our bands, and each time at the soundcheck we start with the drummer, then it’s the guitarists “What do you want in the returns gna gna gna”, and you as a bass player you don’t necessarily have a return, and you’re told “what do you want to get on which return? ». So I say “you put me on bass in ALL the returns because I can’t hold still anyway, I’m going to go everywhere”. I can’t stay in one place, it’s impossible.

Crypp : It’s the horror, especially in the little scenes where you have to !

Fafa : Yes, so you go back and forth, it’s boring … The Klub in Paris for example, the strokes I put in other people’s faces because I wanted to move !

Crypp : It’s true that you have a big neck, and whether you’re right- or left-handed, there’s always a musician on the wrong side. Every time you want to go back, it’s anxiety ! Besides, I don’t do complicated things on the bass so I can move easily.

Fafa : Likewise, it’s not at all complicated what I do on bass, I can go and annoy a guitarist in the middle of a solo, come up behind him and lick his ear …

Your best scene ?

Fafa : There have been a lot of disasters, but there have also been a lot of good ones… Crypp, when you played at “L’Empreinte” in opening for Lacuna Coil, it must have been great. It’s a venue that I know very well, I’ve played there before, and I know the conditions are really great there.

Crypp : The conditions were great, we sounded furious, we were very excited. And Lacuna Coil is a band I’ve been listening to since I was a kid, long before I started playing bass. The bass player is very good, and he was there in front of me, we talked, it was great…

On the other hand, one of the craziest scenes humanly speaking, it was the last concert of the tour we did with HateSphere. It was the first tour, we’d done a lot of dates before, and that night there wasn’t a lot of people, it was our last date and I can assure you that we gave everything we had. We had spent a few days together, we drank every night, we woke up together every day, we knew the smell of everyone’s feet! And at our last gig, you know THIS last gig, we totally let it all out. That’s still one of my fondest memories. I loved that communion, we looked at each other on stage, there was no need for words, communication or choreography, we did what we liked to do the most.

Fafa : I join you a little bit because, thinking back, yes there were some gigs where the conditions were really top notch in terms of sound, reception, etc, especially at the Lions Metal Fest last year with Monolyth, but I’m still on the tours I did with them. When you get along well with the guys in your band, you have an osmosis that sets up. No matter what scenes you do, you’re on tour with your band and basically it becomes your family for about ten days or more. When I joined the band I only knew Julien, the rhythm guitarist. I left with guys I didn’t know at all. I didn’t necessarily make a good impression on them on the first night, but we left without knowing each other and came back as brothers.

Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …
Pic : Fred Bikerkiss

Your favourite period : composing, recording, touring ?

Fafa : I like all three of them very much. I compose very little in Monolyth, it’s really more Amaury, our singer, and the guitarists who compose. I’m not very good at it, I’m not going to hide from it. I like recording a lot, and touring on the other hand … if I could I would only do that !

Crypp : I’m pretty excited about all three. I add another aspect that I like very much, which is the meetings. It’s the moment when you project yourself into a lot of deliriums, a lot of things that are sometimes inaccessible… I love it, there’s the emotion. That’s really my favorite time when everybody starts to have a lot of ideas. Otherwise, I’ll be frank, the tours, the studio, the concerts, it’s always depending on who you’re with. I know that recording in some of my old bands is not the most fun part. Metal is not really the most fun style to record, really not. I work in other styles where I have a thousand times more fun.

Fafa : Likewise, it’s true that metal is not very interesting to record. On the other hand, my best experience was in Blues Rock where we did live recordings and it was really interesting.

Crypp : I agree with you. With some bands it’s going to be more fun to do studio than live because it’s always arranged at the very last minute, it’s like “This note, this note, look how it sounds” “But dude, we did three fucking pre-production sessions, why are we changing now! ». I work in hip-hop studios where when I come in there’s already a bass line, I take the track and I arrange the bass. Every time we rediscover things.

In fact all aspects of a band are important as long as you have that dream part, and that dream part is talking to the right people.

There are less funny moments in the life of a band, it’s normal. There’s shit that happens to you, or we didn’t agree on this or that, but it goes by quickly.

Something you’re very eager to achieve as a bassist? (apart from a cross interview in Metal Overload of course !).

Fafa : I’ve never been good at slapping, for one thing. I know Crypp is extremely good. Maybe someday when I have the motivation… to be good at slapping.

Crypp : I’d like to do something other than a fundamental!

Seriously, there’s one thing I’d really like to know how to do technically on the bass so I don’t have to play the pick anymore, it’s the slap and return. I know how to slap, I can go pretty fast, but slap back and forth is really a comfort of play to get speed, or even a totally different rhythm.

Afterwards, thanks to Except One, and I really thank this band for bringing me so much humanly and musically, I accomplished a lot of my dreams. I made my first music video with them, my first album, I did a lot of scenes, my first tour, my first festival. Today, what I’d like us to do is a big festival, even at 10 in the morning it doesn’t matter, but I’d dream of doing a Motocultor or a HellFest, a Wacken.

Fafa : I confess I did it at the singing and it was huge ! I was a backup singer ! It’s crazy when you have 5,000 people screaming in front of you.

Do you have any other hobbies?

Fafa : Way too much! I get obsessive impulses on a regular basis. There’s a moment in my life when I absolutely want to draw, suddenly I want to create jewellery, then I want to paint … it stays in the creation. I’ve got one that’s still there is the photo. I did a photo shoot of Crypp.

Crypp : I’m in love with your pictures Fafa. They’re great !

Fafa : Ah thank you very much ! And Crypp is an excellent model.

Crypp : My first hobby is still bass. Beside that I love everything DC, Marvel, I have a lot of books, figurines, etc … I also do a lot of sports. I love series. I’m like Fafa but less manual ! I love role playing games, card games, I would like to try Dungeon and Dragons. And lately I’ve discovered woodworking. Otherwise, the thing you’re going to find a bit strange, but my first hobby besides music is my work. It’s my balance.

Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …

Do you have a pet or a comforter ?

Crypp grabbed a big Yoshi stuffed animal right next to him.

Fafa : So apparently Crypp is Yoshi ! I have a French bulldog named Noob or Boudin. And by proxy, my boyfriend has two dogs who are also my cuddly toys. One is a boxer-labrador cross and the other is a Malinois staff cross. We have this little trio that we love.

Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …
Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …
Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …

It’s a good time, your favorite vacation ?

Fafa : I’m currently on a road trip. We have a truck fitted out and we go everywhere with our truck day after day, that’s what I like: doing what we want when we want. I can’t stand the constraints.

Crypp : With two bands, I have a lot of time off for recordings and concerts, so I don’t get a lot of time off. Otherwise I’m more like Fafa, I love going on adventures. I really like guesthouses or sleeping over. I don’t really have a programme, but I can never put myself in a hotel and say to myself “I’m going to do this museum tomorrow, this site, etc”.

We’ve come to the fateful moment when we’re going to leave each other. Many thanks to you for this first experience of the cross interview. Finally, what’s your news in the coming months ?

Fafa : With Monolyth we’re at the end of our composition. I think there’s a possibility that the album will be released in the spring of 2021. There are also some concert dates that are confirmed but not yet communicated so we can’t talk too much about it. But for the end of the year, if possible concerts, there will be some with Monolyth for sure.

Crypp : With Except One we are recording the album. I think we’re going to have a nice surprise with the last line-up. I can’t tell you when it will be released but it’s coming soon. And at EHP, the EP will be released on September 9th, and other things will follow. We’re preparing a lot of things, apart from dates. You have to be honest, today a band is starting, to find dates, it’s not impossible, but I think there are other bands that deserve more the place than us. For now, we’ll keep working, and if we find opportunities, we’ll do them. We postponed the EP dates because of Covid and because of YouTube censorship on our video. The dates we were starting to get are being cancelled gradually. We don’t see it as a stress but as a good experience because despite everything, the EP is great. It’s not a good time to play live but if we are offered dates, we run! We had the chance to do our residency at the Usine à Chapeaux, it’s a huge venue that’s really good. It’s a huge venue and it’s a really good venue. We’ve got a really good show going on and we know what to do on stage.

Besides that, it’s a current event that few people know about, there’s going to be a solo album. I love funk and songs from the 90s and 2000s. I’ve been working on a project for two years now and I’m recording next year. I’m waiting to see who I’m going to work with in the studio and then I’ll contact other musicians. It’s something that’s been bothering me for a few years now. It’s going to be a concept album just for fun … and to lose a lot of money. I don’t want it to go on stage, it’s really a studio thing, a delirium.

Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …
Pic : Djinn Photography
Fafa & Crypp : dear bassists …
Pic : Freddy Gheorghe

Pic : La Dame Blanche Photography (Crypp) & Laura Lazurite (Fafa)

Interview Pensées nocturnes 1

Pensées Nocturnes, the infernal orchestra

Pensées Nocturnes, as surprising as it may sound given the complexity and finesse of this music, is the project of one man, Vaerohn. He has agreed to answer a few questions about Pensées Nocturnes, a project that will surely twist your brain and pierce your soul. You love Freak Shows and Black Metal, their latest album “Grand Guignol Orchestra” is made for you!

To begin, what is the history of Pensées Nocturnes? What hides behind this mysterious pair of words?

PN is initially a solo project and it was until 2017 that other members joined the project for lives, the studio remaining at the moment a mostly solitary work. The project allows itself all possible and imaginable freedoms as long as a coherent and logical material results from this work.

Many instruments and various influences are thus used to obtain relatively surprising effects for music rooted in Black Metal. Having debuted in 2008, the latest release, “Grand Guignol Orchestra”, is PN’s sixth album and develops a cursed circus atmosphere.

Why did you choose to set up this project alone?

Alongside the bands in which I was evolving at the time (almost 12 years ago!) I felt the need to be able to produce in total freedom, to be totally satisfied with all the choices made without having to negotiate or have to justify all decisions.

Working with others is obviously a more creative process, but it involves accepting concessions, which is not very easy in the artistic field. PN allows me to let my imagination run wild, without having to consider anything other than my ramblings. So there are genres with which I have affinities, the objective being to best meet my aspirations.

Despite its indisputable efficiency, Black Metal revolves around an overly restricted spectrum of emotions and diversifying the sounds allows it to stick to the spirit as well as possible. Being alone entails an undeniable freedom, in terms of composition but above all in the choice of instruments.

Interview Pensées nocturnes 2

We note an evolution musically and stylistically in Pensées Nocturnes, from DSBM to a sort of grandiose black metal circus-opera. What prompted you to change ways?

A work is always the image of an artist, obviously from a cultural point of view but also in terms of emotional balance. The first 3 albums, and more particularly the first, “Vacuum”, are the work of a person in search of self-definition, of the others, it is the expression of a deep void and the need to express it.

Today I’m really ashamed of this little crybaby and these albums because growing up, taking a step back, we quickly realize that everyone laughs at the crybabies and their droppings.

People follow what they care about, the leaders, the powerful, the strong, healthy, beaming and smiling.

So in the end, even if it means living, we might as well respond to this existential void with laughter, mockery, the destruction of the certainties anchored in formalisms. A mocking, provocative and belligerent laughter. This is what PN is today. Without losing sight of the pointless aspect of it all in the end, while maintaining a tragic outlook on life.

Although you are alone behind Pensées Nocturnes, you have chosen to surround yourself with musicians to bring the project to life during concerts. How did you choose the musicians who accompany you to take the audience to a dark circus for an evening?

They are only real killers in their respective fields. I already knew them personally, having evolved quite a bit together in other bands and it is this bond that allows to obtain this cohesion and this fluidity so quickly, both on stage and in band life.

The public feels this common desire to blow their brains out, in the same direction and it works really well. There is a lot of improvisation live and it was necessary to develop this bond and this fluidity to make it work.

Interview Pensées nocturnes 3

For “Grand Guignol Orchestra”, the last album, you chose to evolve in a circus from a bygone era where a genre of jazz is allied to a tortured black metal. Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you manage to bring together such different things to create a coherent and harmonious entity?

I would say that the main lines of the songs are generally defined by the place they occupy in the album but that the details are thought out secondarily, during the composition: a bit like a painter would draw the broad lines of his painting before painting the details. To summarize, the destination is known but not necessarily the paths to take, the route taking shape as you go. The experimentation being predominant in PN, it is practically impossible to know what a song will look like and that is what makes the charm of the project: the background is already thought out, all that remains is to find the form for it. the adequate one.

For “GGO”, some parts are more than two years old. True to my habit, I constantly knead, work, retouch and reshape the different parts. PN is a puff pastry that I keep folding, the layers pile up and add up without respite. A piece never comes out of the blue, everything is the result of constant work. The consequence is a certain density but also a perfect control of every detail. Everything is processed, gauged, listened to and listened to dozens of times.

Interview Pensées nocturnes 4

Could you give me between 3 and 5 albums or bands that marked and influenced your musical career, explaining why?

Diapsiquir – ANTI : for the ultra dissonant / dirty side and this extraordinary creativity.


Peste Noire – L’ordure à l’état pur : for this permanent provocation and the total lack of respect for the scene and the genre that fed it.


Unexpect – In a Flesh Aquarium : for creativity and the multitude of instruments and layers all over the place, without any respite.


Circus contraption – Our latest catalogue : the revelation for me in terms of cabaret / circus influence.


Shostakovitch – 1st cello concerto: for the madness that emerges from beginning to end.


During concerts (and also on the album) of “Grand Guignol Orchestra”, you use a megaphone as microphone at certain times. Where did this idea come from and how do you deal with this capricious little tool? Are you satisfied with the rendering?

This is indeed the tool with which I have the most technical problems in concert because on stage, we have absolutely no feedback on what comes out, or not … It has happened to me several times to give everything I had through the machine only to realize that a bad contact was blocking everything for a while …

In live it is not really useful to take the megaphone to the microphone and this freedom is quite pleasant. A bit like with the trumpet in a small room where it is not necessary to transfer the sound.

But beyond the DIY and nag aspect of the utensil, it is the timbre and the saturated / very compressed aspect of the voice that emerges from it that interests me. A sung voice, with a lot of grain, saturated by the megaphone fits in my opinion really very well in a BM mix.

What is your favorite song to play live, the one you feel most comfortable with or proud of?

For preference, it depends on the context and the audience. Nothing could be more exhilarating than playing reggae on a BM poster outright with “Le Marionnettiste” for example! Or tango with “Poil de Lune”. But in terms of personal pleasure and ease I would surely go for “Les Yeux Boiteux” with a rise in music, tempo and backing vocals for a strong set finale, after having chained the very slow and completely crazy parts.

You did quite a few dates with Pensées Nocturnes in 2019, did any of them particularly marked you and why?

Our best stage memories, and which will remain so for a long time I think, are our two participations at Beltane, the last of which was in May 2019. We surprised everyone in 2017 resulting in a truly extraordinary and exhilarating reaction from the part public.

In 2019, during our 2nd appearance at the fest, we were expected and the party was definitely there. It’s a little sad to say that this special little fest has ended today, but I guess it’s to make way for even more very soon.

What’s next for Pensées Nocturnes?

COVID halted us a little but affected us less than the rest of the scene because we were in a low period, between two albums. It must have been fatal to the bands which had just released their albums as well as to the labels which produced them.

So we are working more peacefully on the composition and recording of the next album, without too much distraction and it’s quite pleasant. We will then get back on the road once everything is finalized.

It is the last “question”. I let you the last word of your choice, something meaningful to you or something I didn’t approach.

Thank you to you for the time you gave to PN. I wish a good continuation to Metal Overload and see you soon under the marquee!

Pictures Pensées Nocturnes & Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Production

Want to know more about Pensées Nocturnes?

Interview Slaughter Messiah 1

Slaughter Messiah's « Cursed to the Pyre »

A while ago, I had the opportunity to interview Slaughter Messiah on the occasion of the release of their latest album “Cursed To The Pyre”. Because of the confinement, it is by “interposed keyboards” that T. Exhumator, second guitarist of the band, took a some of his time to answer my questions about this new opus.

As a big lover of black thrash metal, I can only recommend that you let yourself be seduced by these guys whose music will make you grow studded balls (even if you are a chick) and worship Satan.

Interview Slaughter Messiah 1

Who are you and what’s your job in Slaughter Messiah ?

I am THOMAS (THE BLASPHEMOUS) EXHUMATOR, second guitarist of this band since 2012!

How did the band come about? What is its story ? What were your goals, your desires with this project?

SLAUGHTER MESSIAH “saw the night” around 2008. At that time, Rod Ironbitch Desecrator (guitars, dictatorship) and E. Sodomaniak (drums, perversion) wanted to create a black metal band. After struggling with obscure members, they realized that a bassist / singer / leader was what was lacking in this rotten band. They finally took it upon themselves to enlist SABATHAN on vocals and bass. The guy was already showing a solid CV due to his involvement in a few other cursed hordes (MORBID DEATH, ENTHRONED, DAWN OF CRUCIFIXION …).

The band finally took a more “old school” turn by wanting to celebrate the big names from the metal scene. It was felt in the style that shifted to something more like speed metal. Their idea was to rekindle the flame of pure metal – and kick ass alongside the devil. A first demo has emerged …

I traded my soul to the project in 2012, as they wanted to strengthen the edge of the guitars by adding a fourth member. They baited me with cheap beer and the promise of a wild nightlife. We released 3 EPS with this line up.

By 2015, Sodomaniak had gotten pretty out of control and was becoming a threat to his own integrity (physical / mental) and that of the band. John Berry (GAE BOLGA’s drummer) came to us from Flanders and quickly recovered the leather throne which is placed behind the Gatling.

Since then we have been traveling across Europe with our black / death / thrash metal and we have released our first album not long ago.

Interview Slaughter Messiah 2

Where did you get the idea of “Slaughter Messiah” as name for the band?

The two drunken founders wanted : “a name that doesn’t sting your ears.” The first nebulous singer / bassist proposed : “Infernal Messiah of Hell” (infernal and of hell refering to the same thing in my opinion). They would have stood out but the name might have been a bit too much, so they went for SLAUGHTER MESSIAH.

What are your musical (metal or non-metal) and artistic (cinema, literature or other) influences in Slaughter Messiah?

Our eight ears are sensitive to a lot of metal and non-metal creations; but within SLAUGHTER MESSIAH it remains clear: it is about the point G, equidistant between death, black and thrash metal. In short all the wildest extensions of primordial heavy metal like HOLY TERROR, HELLHAMMER, SADISTIK EXEKUTION, VENOM, MORBID ANGEL, SODOM, …

The band was relatively inspired by obscure works (especially at the time of Sodomaniak who was then lyricist). He was digging into Lovecraft, and also many horror movies. Personally, I am not that interested by these so-called cult works for “obscure lovers”. I especially like stories about exploration, adventure, contemplation, …

Like food, I love to listen to the specific music of the place where I am, all styles combined … It is part of the soul of the place. Finally, on the metal level, I am quite sensitive to Scandinavian black metal, and to extreme scenes from Latin America and Australia; these last two share the fury.

Now let’s talk about your latest album “Cursed To The Pyre”. First, what is it about? Is there some kind of common thread or story to this album?

Not really a common thread, it’s more of a collection of our wildest riffs, and texts that sprang up listening to the first rushes. In general it is about death, fire and chaos. I wrote the majority of the lyrics for this album. It is an ode to carnage, a stone in the edifice of extreme metal, stuffed with booze and flames.

Interview Slaughter Messiah 4

Did you keep the same recipe for “Cursed To The Pyre” as for your other productions or did you change certain ingredients? If so, which ones ?

We can say that the songs are more mature, and we see a more overwhelming touch of death metal. Overall we feel like we’re still dealing with the same band, but as a friend from POSSESSION says: we have withdrawn some “yeah!” to add “ugh!”.

The work with two guitars has been more thought out in order to create more (non) harmonies and depth. There are also a few slow parts, that’s new!

Finally, these are the first tracks on which John Berry can fully express himself, because he was integrated to the composition. His more old school game was able to eventually give some air to the songs and open new doors.

“Cursed To The Pyre” was released in February. Did you have the opportunity to play the album live before the lockdown? If so, what did you think of the album’s live rendering? Has the public been receptive to this new album?

Some songs were already played live (“From The Tomb”, “Pouring Chaos”, “The Hammer”, etc.). But other than that, we haven’t really had the opportunity to defend and spread the album during concerts. The official release show was due to take place in early April.

Before all this mess, we just had the opportunity to play in Eindhoven – with the album in our hands. Generally people seemed happy and drunk; and the merch table has drawn attention.

Interview Slaughter Messiah 3

What about the reviews and feedback received for “Cursed To The Pyre”? Do you pay attention to this kind of feedback or not at all and why?

Since its release, we have received many positive reviews about Cursed…! We know that this is the opinion of people who are not always objective, and at first glance sensitive to the style in question, but it is always a pleasure to read. It’s also nice to read those who didn’t like it, to find out why.

In both cases: some opinions are enlightened and enriching, they help you to look in the mirror and take a step back about it. And others are just rags!

What are your expectations for this album and the future of Slaughter Messiah?

The idea was to spread our humble achievement, and scour the bars and venues to tear each other’s mouth out and play violent concerts. We have a few dates that have skipped. We were trying to plan a tour in the Balkans and one in South America, but everything seems compromised for this damn year. A lot of bands are in this situation, but I think other entities and especially people are in much more real and crappy things than undoing a few whatnants.

I would say we will take the opportunity to devote ourselves to some selfcare. And also to design a little sister for “Cursed”!

In all of your music production, is there one particular song that you like more than the others? If so, which one and why?

It’s hard to say, on this album we like them all because they are new and the enthusiasm of our first full length is still vibrant. So I trust the listeners, which brings us to the song “Hideous Affliction”: that title has often appeared in reviews.

Thank to the confinement, we are almost all locked at home. If you had to recommend 3 albums to discover during this period, which would it be and why?

I recently listened to the last AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR (Havoc…) which is pure jerk off. To talk about Belgium, our buddies from BÜTCHER have released a massacre (666 Goats…) and also, have a look at TERRIFIANT and its eponymous album! I’m cheating, four, but I love the latest Misþyrming, don’t erase that, I struggled to find the “þ”!

And don’t forget to listen to MOTÖRHEAD !


Want to know more about Slaughter Messiah?


INCANTATION « Sect of Vile Divinities » is out : « Crush souls with sorcery, crush skulls with death metal »

INCANTATION return with new album “Sect of Vile Divinities”. We had the opportunity to talk to Chuck Sherwood and John McEntee about their inspiration and their 30-years-career!

Incantation album

Hello John and Chuck! First of all, how are you, and how is the band dealing with the Covid-19 situation?

Somehow, do you find inspiration in it? Have you developed new ways of communicating with your fans?

Chuck: Hey man, we’re dealing by essentially being productive while the world’s on lock down. More time devotion to writing and creating videos till the flood gates open and we can return to the road. “Zoom” conferences for Q&A’s has been a great outlet to connect with our fans for sure.


Could you tell me more about your creative process as a band? Does it differ on each album? How was it for “Sect of Vile Divinities”?

Chuck: Process is primarily the same album to album, we all contribute. Whether it’s a riff, a collection or even completed songs we individually contribute then edit to the tastes of all to mold it into something greater than the sum of its parts. Ego plays no part which is mainly why we end up with so much material. Musically it as such, lyrically I can write entire albums worth when the inspiration strikes then John, Kyle and I will meticulously arrange cadence and syncopation to the music. Editing is always to the last second as new ideas forever emerge, no different with “Sect” as we had these nearly completely over 2yrs ago. If you listen to a song that long, self-reflection often dictates we refine it.

Has “Sect of Vile Divinities” a particular concept fans should know about? Where did you find your inspiration this time?

Chuck: Conceptually, the entities and deities mentioned in the album are assembled in a sort of forgotten temple as a common “sect”. As the cover portrays. All of them sharing the same “vile” nature against opposing religions (or religious ethics) and humanity’s failure.

For this album in particular I drew upon my typical muses, but adding topics unfamiliar to myself. A way to research interests, and explore my subconscious with death metal as a catalyst. Folklore, mythology, history, occultism and my dreams are within, like everything I’ve ever contributed lyrically throughout the past 4 albums.

Last week the video clip of “Entrails of the Hag Queen” was released, can you tell us more about it? How was it to work with Nader Sadek as director? How did the storyline come?

“Entrails of the Hag Queen” is about a Balinese/Hindu legend that says during the reign of Airlangga in the late 10th century a witch’s daughter couldn’t be married due to her mother’s use of witchcraft. The witch killed crops, caused disease and floods from being widowed. Now in outrage from an unwed daughter she sacrificed a child at the “temple of death” to Rangda, a child eating demon that leads an army of “leyaks” against Barong (their benevolent god) was unleashed. Leyaks themselves look human by day but by night their heads and entrails fly off from their bodies looking to suck baby’s blood or eat a newborn from the womb. If you ever saw the flick “Mystics in Bali” it’s loosely based on the same story.

Working with Nader was an amazing experience, so understanding. We were inspired just as much as we were to have it released. After a brief introduction through a Zoom meeting he had tirelessly created a script. The extremely short timeline posed issues and concerns and he persevered to everyone’s appreciation. Signature traits are noticeable along with every aspect of the afore mentioned story within. It turned out fantastic in our opinions, would love to work with him again.

Do you already have new materials and ideas for a new album? Or compositions you haven’t used on this one that may be released in the next future?

Chuck: Indeed we have nearly 10 songs at this point. Some complete others in more a skeletal form, which need attention. The lyrics are completed and being arranged to the material with a number completed thus far. We had exhausted most of our “over stock” of unused material. Save for just one that is too be edited in the future.

Incantation has been quite a big thing in the underground scene for many years. After 30 years, how do you explain that you’ve got such a strong fan base with some of them being there from the very beginning and new ones popping out? You’ve gained a “cult” status with « Onward to Golgotha» however it seems you’ve never rested on your laurels. Am I having it right?

Chuck: The ebb and flow of the scene and fan base is unpredictable to say the least. Although there are three distinct eras of interest I notice from people that can either be exclusive or like them all. While even in the past decade the new interest from younger folks is truly humbling. All are ardent and have a dedication that never goes unappreciated.



Do you feel like Incantation has become something bigger since you’ve re-signed with Relapse Record in 2016?

Chuck: Hard to self-reflect ones popularity without coming across as egotistical in my opinion. These recent years there has been a considerable amount of support. To attribute it to one factor wouldn’t be accurate just grateful to have Relapse behind us. It’s been amazing, their communication, keeping us abreast of all steps, their willingness to help and understanding when we may not see eye to eye. Very fortunate to say the least.

Speaking about your musical career, what are your biggest achievements as a band?

John: Really just to be still doing it 30 years after we started. We have a lot to be proud of. But most of all its our dedication to our style and the will to transcend all the metal trends.


What do you think of the underground scene nowadays? What would be your advice for new bands trying to emerge?

Chuck: Always impressed that the scene endures regardless of taste changes, alternatives in style or even pandemics. Many amazing bands have surfaced in these more recent years which gives hope to the stability for years to come.

For new bands I’d say to keep inspired, focus on things you truly enjoy. Till you develop the drive to always learn and expand so as to not become stagnant. The wealth of tablature at our disposal these days is staggering. Cultivate and nurture your talents regardless of how fast or slow it comes, there’s always someone better then yourself. Just enjoy your craft, and apply it.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Chuck: Many thanks for the interview, we’ll see you on the road for “Sect of Vile Divinities” hopefully sooner than later. Crush souls with sorcery, crush skulls with death metal. Till then!

Thank you for your time! I wish you all the best and I hope to see you at the Mass Deathtruction Festival here in Belgium in November.



Jungle Underground

Discovery : With Jungle Underground, the party never ends !

Today, we present you Jungle Underground, a rock group from Liège in the company of François, singer, John, drummer, and finally Kuff, guitarist of the group.
Fan of Rage Against The Machine, this group is made for you and we are going to present them via an interview full of humor and jokes in their image!

Tell us a bit more about yourself. What are your musical backgrounds? Have you had other projects before? Where did you meet?

John: All the stories actually tie together.

Kuff: We’re all inbreds group actually.

François: To begin with, John and I started a band a few years ago. 10 years ago.

John: 10 years ago precisely.

François: 10 years, 10 years, 10 years. * Play with the microphone *

Kuff: 9, 8, 7, 6 ….

A band called “Back to Bac” which we started with : we did a bit of our beginnings, our first scenes, etc. It lasted five years anyway and we met Kuff surreptitiously during … we had to put it there. We were having a release party at the “Caserne de Fonck” and our former bassist at the time knew Kuff. He came to play a song with us and it’s the first time we met.

Back to bac

John: The idea of ​​the release party was to take people from bands that we knew. Some time later, “Back to Bac” stopped …

François: Why ?! * laughs *

John: Everyone has taken different paths musically

And suddenly, John went to join Kuff in his band which was called “ The Clinche’s ” and for my part, I left to join another friend. We created another band called “ Last Night Session “. It works two years like this: separated. I was separated from John for 2 years, it was very hard. I cried a lot. * laughs *

Kuff: Me, I was happy * laughs *

The Clinchee's
Last Night Session

François: Later, the two projects “Last Night Session” and “The Clinche’s” more or less stopped at the same time.

The basic idea was to make a duo but we realized that we didn’t know how to sing … When our band stopped, there were three of us in the group. We tried to be four but we never found a singer who suited our musical style properly and in the end, we decided to stop. The bassist left on his side and didn’t particularly want to continue to invest as much in the music as we wanted in any case. So both of us on our side, we continued, we composed songs. We really went in duo mode and we realized that we couldn’t sing.

Kuff: Yet we tried! It was very funny!

François: There were recordings of this? have you tried?

Kuff: Hush hush!

John: We’ll talk about it between us!

François: Even me, I’m not aware! I would be very curious to hear that!

John: So, I said to myself “I’m going to ask François a little if he wouldn’t be keen to come at least try”. I knew he ended with “Last Night”

François: Why ?! * laughs

John: A long time buddy, old band together, … I said : “I’ll ring at Francois!” We had a concert three weeks later for “Fête de la musique”.

The “Fête de la musique” were at the Auberge Georges Simenon. It was done by the 6K Fest and there were 3 weeks left. It was the “clinche’s” which, at the base, were requested. There were no more “clinche’s”. And they were still playing.

Kuff: We said to ourselves “We are going to resume the concert”. We will try, we will do a test.

François: Three weeks to try to tweak something. Let’s be very honest, that was really it.

John: In the end, there aren’t that many songs from the first concert that we kept. We may have three songs that remained.

François: So, I land there: good energy, etc. It makes me think of a lot of things and “Yeah, why not give it a try?” We left on that.

Where did you get the idea to create Jungle Underground with this style of music and why this name?

John: It just happened. The style really came on its own.

Kuff: We wanted to do Stoner originally with John. We made our style. I don’t even know how you can call it.

François: I think it’s still neo metal.

Kuff: Then François arrived and he directly said “Yes, I’ll do that”.

John: What’s quite funny is that, musically, the three of us are quite different in what we listen to at daily. The three styles mixed together of what we like, it gives that.

I think that after analysis too, we realized that we played a kind of music that we listened to when we were teenagers: Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit, System Of A down, .. . stuff that we have listened to and still listen to. Unintentionally, we have reproduced a style of music that looks very much like this.

For the name of the band, we had our concert in the next 3 weeks and I have Nico from the 6K Fest who told me: “Listen, I need a name for tomorrow!”. The three of us spent an evening around a fire.

François: What we advise to do to all bands looking for a name.

Drinking beers and chanting names all the time. A big brainstorming around a fire. End of the evening, we haven’t found nothing. * laughs * The next day, Nico asks me again … “Well, guys, I say” Jungle Underground “? OK, it’s good! Knock it out and move on!”

John: We thought at the beginning that we might change after that it’s not because we give a name a time that we could not change. In the end, we kept it.

We got so used to it … It must be said that at the base of the search for the name, we went on “Fireball Superstar 3000” … John didn’t agree . There was everything, really a bit of everything!

How do you create your songs within the band? Is it the rhythm that brings the lyrics or the reverse? And what do these say?

In general, what happens is that Kuff arrives with a riff or rather a panel of riffs, etc … that he will have composed on his side or ideas that come to him like that at the beginning of rehearsals. We try and as soon as there’s something we like, we’ll work on it. Me, I’m more in the arrangement part of the song, etc. We will both work on this on our side. François arrives to give us a hand when we log and asks him some words.

Guillaume (Editor): What do the lyrics say, in general?

In general, there are two things in the lyrics. There are many: Us in fact. In some songs, we talk about “Jungle”, it’s self-promotion after all. Saying that we are moving forward, we want to move forward, we want to go further … and suddenly, you can have a song that will just talk about “Jungle” and its desire to advance in music. And then you have everything that is happening in the world, everything that generally pisses me off and that you want to type on paper: it can range from politics, to people’s attitudes … there I think it’s pretty much like everyone else. Like any singer who finally wants to express something. There is so much bullshit in the world right now that the inspiration is permanent! * laughs *

2 EP in 2 years, it’s productive for a band from Liège. What’s your secret?

Kuff: Beer …

John: The talent!

Guillaume (Editor): A third idea to go with the other two?

François: Drugs!

Kuff: The real secret is just: We are ambitious, we have ideas, we have desires, we give each other means to achieve them …. We put from our own pocket … In the EP for example ….

I think the big problem with bands that are trying to really grow: at the start, it’s really the dough. Money is always the problem! If you want to advertise, you have to put in some money. The advantage we have is that we are a little older and we all had jobs. So we could put money directly to go to the studio, to go recording and it took a thorn out of our side by saying “Well here we are each putting money to make sure that we can produce that” . Which, sometimes, takes a year, two years, if we also crowdfund, can take a lot of time.

Kuff: I would also add that the important thing is that we are 3 great friends and we all want the same thing : move forward …. Except him, he’s an asshole! (François).

François: I was sure he was going to throw the first insult! * laughs *

John: Also the thing is that we did 2 EPs but they didn’t cost us that much either. We worked a lot on our songs before arriving at the studio. The two EPs were completed each time in 1 weekend. One or two takes and it was good.

Speaking of studio, how was the collaboration with the Studio 5 for the recording of these? Did you make any changes to your recorded songs compared to the live versions?

François: The collaboration went very, very badly … We met a guy, Maxime Wathieu. Disgusting .. * laughs *

John: We met Maxime and we fell in love straight away. He saw that we were big calves and he made us sound like big calves.

We challenged him a bit too. Because he himself didn’t really believe that in one weekend we could record four songs. Recording, mixing, mastering: it still represents, as a rule, a short week of work for four songs. And even he told us: “Guys … that won’t be enough!” “Yes, bother we’re going to go.” I think we kind of put him in an atmosphere where … we maybe raped him a bit I think … * laughs *

He also gave of himself in the end, because he still spilled over his hours. But I think we liked him as well as our outlook on life, etc … Our music …. The second time we arrived at the studio, since what we do reminds him of Rage Against The Machine, he had all the Rage albums ready on the mixer. It was already hot potato.

The second time was even faster than the first, finally. He knew the style a bit. He had already listened to some gross but good recordings. He already had an idea and it was gone! He knew we were going to get there in “Go, Go!” And so suddenly, Maxime, it’s a cream. It’s a hummus!

Kuff: And he’s a Vegan motherfucker … * laughs * Cut! Chopped off ! (And no I do not cut it !)

François: Second insult!

Kuff: What Vegan? * laughs *

Ambiance lounge au #studio5 avec Jungle Underground. Recorded by Maxime Wathieu.

Posted by Le Studio 5 on Saturday, September 22, 2018

If you had to present one of your tracks to our readers so that they discover you which one would it be? And why?

General: Impossible! Impossible!

John: We did some thinking before the interview.

François: Because yes, we had the questions before the interview. We are big cheaters! * laughs *

John: We said to ourselves: “Oh yes, but this piece is good! This one is good! This one is good! …”

Kuff: In fact there is no song that suits us …

François: No! They are all bad! * laughs *

Guillaume: And one per person either?

General: Ha! …. Ha! Ha! … There you will create a mess …

John: So I start I say “T”!

Kuff: Ah I knew it! Me too that’s what I was going to say!

François: Me, I would go on “Fuck Trump” seen as that remains the song on which I was the most unleashed. And still now, it’s still relevant, which is wonderful.

Kuff: I hesitate between “Turn the towels” (Patrick Sébastien – French singer reference) and uh …. * laughs * … Come on I would say “Badass”!

François: It’s a bit like your life * laughs *

You are there to party and have fun on stage, do you have any anecdotes of amazing or funny things that would have happened to you in concerts / backstages?

Kuff: Ah! Very good anecdote!

The others: I was sure he was going to talk about it!

François: Is it me who must say it?

The others: You have to tell it like before!

We were supposed to play at the “ Home Made Music Festival “. And besides, we greet Gilles and Sun! So, we had the idea of ​​making a fireworks behind the stage. We gathered some information and there are batteries of fireworks where things would have gone crazy. And frankly, we spent a week watching fireworks with improbable names …. We come across a fireworks where there were videos and all that … “Oh it’s going high!”

Kuff: Better than August 15th!

It’s going to be awesome! End of the concert, someone behind lights the thing and “Boom!”. I submit the idea to the organizers of the “Home Made Music Festival” and the guy sent me a picture of the stage. There you see lots of trees but with frankly only trees around the scene … And there he says to me “Your idea is nice but we will never have the authorization of the firemen. And there, it’s to put the festival on fire your idea. ” Suddenly, we said to them “It’s okay … But we’re planning something else … and we won’t tell you!” “So what is it?” “No, we’re not saying anything!” We stay with the idea of ​​fireworks.

We’re just going to say that, before giving the fall, the festival organizer told me, after the concert, “Oh damn, I saw you arriving at the end of the show, you, with your flamethrower and I started to shit on myself! ” * laughs *

We started with the idea of ​​fireworks anyway but we can’t do something that explode a lot so …. We said to ourselves “But otherwise, you know, the little tubes that shoot some little balls … It’s funny when you have one but if you have 6 in each hand … Couldn’t that make the mood a little bit … “And so , we did little tests in John’s garden to see how it was going … 1, it was going … 2,3,4,5,6 … We said to ourselves “Come on, let’s tape all that! And how do we light that? ” And John: “It’s good, eh! I have a flamethrower …” * laughs * And so at the end of the concert, we had programmed a little background music, etc.

Kuff: Atmosphere of dubstep … * laughs *

The concert ended, John takes out his flamethrower and I think that’s when Gilles said to himself “What’s going to happen?”. And we each start to light the wicks and let’s go … Frankly, it worked really well!

Kuff: We started to dance and set the mood.

One of the last balls that left almost killed someone in the audience, I think … * laughs * We downgraded the mess for the last one too soon. Well, luckily no one is dead! No one died and everyone had a great time! And us, we laughed like pigs to prepare this. It was truly extraordinary! Next time, we’ll put on the fireworks with the improbable name.

Jungle Underground - Home Made Music Festival
Jungle Underground au Home Made music Festival

With the problems related to COVID-19, how is your confinement going? Do you have dates when we could see you live? Maybe in 2021?

John: Dates, we had some anyway …

Already, we were planning to play in June and July. It all fell apart, obviously … We were all … a bit at home. Suddenly, yeah, there is the “Guerre des Gaules” which should happen in November …. We are waiting … It’s a permanent wait without knowing if, at some point, we will be able to do it or not . So it’s planned: we must play the “Guerres des Gaules” on November 14th at the cultural center of Chênée. In the meantime, for the month of September, there is a concert at “La Zone” which is also on the rails but, there too, we are still waiting. We don’t really know. And maybe for the anniversary of “Primitive Music” too …. There are plans, but we are always a little …. We do not know!

John: There are plans, there are things in sight but ….

François: And for the year 2021, there are people who watch a little …

Guillaume (Editor): And in terms of productivity? Did you have time to work on new songs?

So, during confinement, we did a song that we composed, recorded, mastered ourselves. We did the best we could, with the means we had, each at home. We sent songs to our drive, etc …. I think we didn’t do too badly for the level, which is equal to zero, that we have for all that. The song is available on YouTube, by the way, with a little video we made at the time of the deconfinement, where we were able to return to the Rehearsals rooms …

François: Liberation! We said to each other, “We might as well take advantage of the three of us being there to film.”

Kuff: And since time, we’ve been devoting ourselves to new songs for a possible new album.

In 2064! * laughs * But no, it’s true that, here, we take the opportunity to start thinking about other songs and rehearse, possibly, for other concerts … But we don’t know. It’s difficult.

We want to continue to enjoy music but it’s not easy when we know that all our concerts will be canceled! Crap, COVID asshole! * laughs *

3rd! What is especially frustrating is that we always worked on the first two years … because we exceeded the first two years of the group … on an ultra aggressive dynamic. We did concerts, we recorded, we did that … we chained, we chained because we liked it, after all. We want to be productive, we want … and all that hit us in the face and slowed us down a bit. So, we timidly try to pick up on the thing because we can’t go all the way as we did before. So … wait and see.

We leave you the last word to say what you want to our readers / your fans. So, there I think we will increase the count of insults! * laughs *

Kuff: So I’m selling a Punto, 6 doors, from 1982 with subwoofer … Contact me on 04 … 42 37.

François: And enjoy life as long as you can.

Kuff: … Punto * laughs *

François: I am told that the Punto is sold! * laughs *

John: Thanks everyone!

François: Thanks to Metal Overload!

Kuff: Thanks to Primitive Music!

François: Thanks to the office bweeeeeuuurkkkkk!

Kuff: Thanks to my mom! Hi Mom !

François: Hi mom! I know her well too! And thank you Guigui !

Want to learn more about Jungle Underground?

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

Some time ago, I received a very strange object in my mailbox. All sparkling in the sun, it was “La Quête du Saint Grind”, the latest concept album of the French band Ethmebb. After this musical adventure, I had a few questions to ask to this bunch of merry men. So I sent them an interview. Now that I have received their answers, I can finally tell you a little more about Ethmebb and their quest!

First of all, what does Ethmebb mean? How did you choose this name for the band?

Ethmebb is the anagram for The Bemb.

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

Could you give us a little rundown on the genesis of the band? Who are you, where are you from? What were your motivations for creating this band?

The band started off as a joke by Rémi Molette’s at the end of his puberty. He always wanted to make music to show off and to impress the girls.

At the beginning, it was a very freaking Grind band that we had called Ethmeb. Several line-ups of merry men followed one another until 2013 with the arrival of a more stable line-up as well as a keyboardist to give a more epic dimension to our music. It’s also when Ethmeb became Ethmebb, giving up on Grind to do more stylish stuff.

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

What was the basic project, the story behind « La Quête du Saint Grind » ?

The idea was to make a concept album that tells an adventure throughout the songs.

La Quête du Saint Grind is about the adventures of Tathor, a knight who wakes up one morning and has lost his “Grind”. He is super angry and we quickly understand that his Grind allowed him to have all the girls of the kingdom. He will therefore undertake a journey to try to find it until he realizes that in fact he does not need it and that his life is better without it.

In the end, it’s a bit like the story of Ethmebb, with its beginnings with Grind and its limitless musical evolution!

When you get ready to listen to « La Quête du Saint Grind », , you would expect to have a majority of Grind on the album. On the contrary, the Grind is, in my personal experience, quite a minoritary and there are plenty of varied influences. What were your sources of musical inspiration and why did you choose the “Saint Grind”?

Our differences greatly influence our music, that’s obvious.

We all come from different backgrounds. For example Rémi likes to pile up video game figurines and buy expensive cars while François prefers to spend all his time in the countryside in charentaise with a plaid on his knees… Damien is more the kind of guy who loses at video games and complains when nobody helps him to set his gear on stage… And then Victor… He plays the guitar and that’s why he’s super strong.

Apart from music, you bring some touches of pop culture in your “quest”. What were your influences for writing the lyrics?

Among the most influential ones: La cité de la peur, the Monthy Piton, Dragolebol zed, Enjoyphoenix, l’Assommoir of Zola, and of course, les Feux de l’Amour onTF1 at noon (in addition there’s Victor Newman, who has the same first name as Victor, what a coincidence…).

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

We will also not hide that we are also (a little) inspired by, espacially, the story of the guy who falls in love with a ring and who insults his friends, or the story of those who “should come to this side because they are too much in the light” but who are trying to resist, or even, to finish, the story of the afterbeing, not very fairplay but really charismatic, who is disgusted because his boat is in a bottle with a miniature zombie monkey.

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

Considering the eclecticism of this album, is it difficult to play live or you manage to render the album in all its complexity on stage?

Do we have the right to say that we have stopped eclecticism for a long time because it makes us sweat too much? It’s a bit of a personal victory.

Since we have been playing the album for quite some time, we’ve started to master the parts. On the other hand, we are not going to lie, there is always one who plays more the role of baker than musician.

But what we’ve been working on for some time now is everything about scenography, creation and interaction of characters, etc. it makes the show much more interesting for everyone and even if we had a cape on stage at the beginning (which we dropped because it was too hot there), we had never really pushed the thing further. And seeing Victor tumble onto the stage as a hairy mini camper, that’s priceless.

I read on your Facebook page that you are starting to hit the stage again this year and that the next album is being written. What more can you tell me about future concerts and this next album?

After focusing on the composition of the second album, we wanted to resume the scene (which we all miss) and find dates to have fun and make (re) discover the quest for the Saint Grind to those who have the nerve to pretend otherwise!

We had booked a date at la Boîte de Concerts in Pontault-Combault (which is a bit the stronghold of some of us), in a brand new hall that we had the pleasure of using to train on scene. At the same time, we were scheduled in Rouen at the Pagan Nordmanni Fest with other bands that were not gross at all. We couldn’t wait for it all!

But, in between, there was the containment due to Covid-19. So we had to cancel everything in March. Like just before the scheduled concerts. So we are disgusted.

So we are impatiently awaiting the resumption of activities to play again in front of crowds – which will have tripled in size because of the confinement – it’s always good for us, it makes it seem like there are more people.

If we look even further, what is the ultimate goal of Ethmebb (concert of your dreams, festival, label, …)?

I would like so much that we can tidy up the gear in less than three quarters of an hour repeating it because half the band has already left at that time … (we can see here the redundancy of the subject)

Any dates planned for Belgium this year?

It would be a great pleasure to come and play in Belgium. Unfortunately, nothing is planned yet.

We are coming to the end of this interview. I will leave you the last word.


Yes because in fact it is important to mention it, and we forget to do it most of the time. I remember when we were little we would go after a ball. Besides, I have to salute the designers, who knew how to choose the right fabrics – those that stick but don’t leave a mark.

Ethmebb, travel to Strangeness

It also marks the beginning of the real competition between happy toddlers, between those who have brand new flashy colors and those who have old rotten stuff which smell the sweat of the classes who used them before.

Already at the time, we were making a selection for two-tier education. While in reality, two speeds is not enough. Look, it would look stupid on the highway in a car if we only had the first and second.

The guys were really smart about it. You can see that before, they were really thinking about the mass / power / speed ratio which takes into account the derivative of p = mg, with g = 9.81 something, and stuff like that.

Today, we don’t care if it works, it just needs to pick up 4G. It suits us a lot, because everyone can listen to our album everywhere like that.

Ah, life is good! We can always say that some are pulling the strings, that others decide everything and nothing… Well, what interests us most is to sell our CDs, because to be honest, we haven’t had the return on investment we were hoping for yet, and I would love to eat something different from celery.

Photo par Deuskin Photography

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Asylum Pyre : Join the Resistance !

Asylum Pyre : Join the Resistance !

Asylum Pyre is one of those bands that do not leave one indifferent and that one has little difficulty in remembering.Discovered for my part two years ago during their only gig in the North of France, I remember being impressed by their ability to take over the place and captivate the audience. From the very first seconds of the show, the band pours a breathtaking energy throughout the venue, without ever letting up, and the more the tracks come and go, the more you ask for more. The same goes for their fourth album, simply entitled N°4, released a little over a year ago by M & O Music.
N°4 is a concept album that propels us in 2052 into a devastated world. Each member of the group represents a character from an association of resistance fighters, defenders of Mother Nature. The album tells us their story, their struggle. The introduction sounds like the first page of a book that opens gently, we feel that it’s the calm before the storm. With its rhyme-like allure, this first track allows us very quickly to get acquainted with the two main voices of this album. This is the first opus with the singer Ombeline Duprat, alias Oxy Hart. With the eleven tracks that follow, we’re tossed between very powerful tracks like Dearth, Lady Ivy or The Right to Pain, and other little sweets like Into the Wild or On First Earth (which was recently published with a “lockdown video”). Two singles were released shortly before the album: Sex, Drugs and Scars with a Lyrics video, with the participation of Beast In Black singer Yannis Papadopoulos, and One Day with a video clip worthy of the biggest productions where we can discover the different characters embodied by the band members.

Musically, this album is full of surprises. On the drums, forget the blast beats, it’s with groovy patterns that we kick your ass. The bass is very present and gives all the depth to the sound, while giving a nice little solo part on One Day. Guitars want clearly be incisive with heavy distorsion, with a special mention for Lady Ivy’s smashing debut. The solos are played by Nils Courbaron (Sirenia, T.A.N.K). The whole is enhanced by numerous synth sounds which give a modern electro side to the album. As far as the vocals are concerned, Oxy reveals here the extent of its capacities. We feel at ease as well on calm and laid down parts where we almost have the impression that she whispers in our ear, as on passages where she can let all her power burst, as on the after-solo of Lady Ivy. The male vocal parts are provided by Johann Cadot, guitarist, main composer and author, and the symbiosis between the two singers is remarkable.
The album ends on Cemetary Road, a nugget in my opinion, which once again allows us to appreciate the diversity of Oxy’s vocals and the work of nuances brought by the whole band.
To sum up, this N°4 is the album you need when you need a big musical slap in the face … But beware, future “Fighter”, when you’ll have pressed “Play”, you won’t be able to do without it.

Asylum Pyre : Join the Resistance !

A few days ago I met virtually Ombeline, in Bosnia for the lockdown, and Johann. They tell us a bit more about the band and the upcoming projects.

Asylum Pyre is 10 years old! Johann, when you started the project, did you imagine it would go this far ?

J. It was never really thought through, I never even thought about having a band when it happened. They were just people I met a few times by chance, we made a jam one day, and then we brought a composition, we found a name, we made a demo … Today we’re almost thinking about the next album while we’re recording the current one, but at the beginning we didn’t know what we were doing, where we were going… we didn’t know how to play… [lol]

If you had to do it all over again, would you do it all the same way ? What would you want to change ?

J. I think I’d work a little more on the theory and the instrument before I get started. There have been a lot of mistakes in the history of the band. Some people’s choices were not the right ones at a certain time, some behaviours were not the right ones either, including me. Taking a step back, trying to be more confident at some times… I don’t have the answer, actually. Apart from an album that we should have stopped during the recording process, rested and started again from the beginning (Spirited Away), the rest was the natural evolution of things.

I would have liked the first bassist, Julien, could have stayed in the band. I love the members of the band today, I don’t have any problem, on the contrary, but it’s true that he’s someone with whom we built the band and who brought something else to the project, someone interesting, and I regret to have lost this contact. I’d like to have him too but I wouldn’t take any of him away from the current team.

Ombeline, you joined the project quite recently, I believe it was two or three years ago ?

O. Even more so now, at the end of 2016. It’s getting old! I do feel like it was two years ago, but it’s going to be four years this year. Johann was just starting to make the No. 4 demo when we met.

What made you want to join the band? How did it happen: was it you who positioned yourself or did the group come to you?

O. It was a recommendation. I already knew Asylum, I had seen the band play before and I was very happy when Johann contacted me. It was a friend, Steve, well known in the Parisian metal scene, who told Johann to contact me when he was looking for a singer. One day, I was at work and I got a message from Johann: “Hello, I’d like to talk to you” [lol]. Then I had an audition. That day, when I left Johann’s home, I clearly sulked, I wasn’t happy at all. It must be said that Johann has a rather special way of auditioning. I arrived at his home and he introduced me to the new songs. He gave me one of them and said “OK, sing ! ». It happened pretty much like that. I think we were together for at least two or three hours and I left without even saying goodbye [lol]. It wasn’t against him it was to me, I really thought I wasn’t being good enough.

You have a great team with you, can you tell us a little bit about the other musicians ?

J. No … [lol]

O. We love them very much, we miss them very much.

J. Actually the oldest in the band after me is Thomas, who arrived 7-8 months before Ombeline, when we were preparing the two tours with Stream of Passion and Luca Turilli. He’s an excellent drummer who brings a touch of rock and a lot of groove to the music.

O. And tribal, a touch of rock and tribal I would say.

J. He really brings something interesting to Asylum. In fact, it’s from one of his drum patterns that we reviewed almost all the copy on Dearth that became what it is today. In the beginning there was something we weren’t happy with. We reviewed some passages with Thomas, and then the chorus and some passages with Ombeline, and finally the song has nothing to do with its first version.

Then there’s our friend P.E. on bass… Then on bass and now on guitar, because he came first as a bass player, then he left, and he came back. He had to leave because of personal problems, we weren’t angry, he didn’t have time. And finally he had time again and he came back as a guitarist, which was a big surprise. We reinstated him and we are very happy to have him back. He’s got a lot of experience, he was in a band called Heavenly, which is very well known by Power Metal fans, he toured a lot with Stratovarius for example, or Edguy at the time. Excellent musician too.

And the last one, Fab, otherwise known as “The Salmon”, who joined us since our little expedition to Slovenia for the MetalDays where he had just had to replace P.E on bass, and who has since joined us as a proud bass player. Excellent musician, super nice too.

Asylum Pyre : Join the Resistance !

What are you most proud of about Asylum Pyre? What do you think is your strength?

O. If I may say so, I can’t speak for the whole career of the band, but on a personal note, this is the last album and especially the fact that, for the one that’s coming up, we’ve all got to know each other. With N°4 we made a first try of each other’s influences, and Johann managed to appropriate and combine them while keeping the Asylum Pyre style. Sometimes when you have a composer, you recognize his own touch and that’s all, but Johann is very open to what we can bring. He includes all the ideas, we rework them, and that’s really nice. So there’s still Johann’s touch which we recognise perfectly as a songwriter and essentially as a composer, but there’s also, for instance, the slightly fusion, African rhythmic side of Thomas I was talking about earlier. Johann is very open about that and it’s a real pleasure to be able to have patterns … you know “Toum toukoutou koum” [Ombeline sings us a rhythm of African percussions … a real pleasure].

J. Indeed, I would say that I manage to mix everyone’s influences. I come from nowhere musically, I don’t have any base, I didn’t take any lessons, I started from scratch … As a very good friend who played in Asylum as a bass player said : ” To be where you are with what you know is incredible “. Maybe that’s the pride of the band, starting from nothing at all and with very few basics, to be able to do something nice and to have been able to make albums (especially the last one) that have a good face, to have been able to play last year in 1500 people venues with a warm welcome, that’s a real satisfaction for the band.

O. As a small aside, I bounce back on what Johann was saying, there’s also something very Franco-French where you have to have studied music etc.. You always have the impostor syndrome: because you won’t have done such a music class, you’ll be pointed out sometimes. For me it’s a question of listening, of assimilating what you’ve already been able to listen to, then of course there’s the part of talent that makes you know how to put things together. It’s also the role of Johann, the conductor, to manage to mix it all together.

With the album N°4 you brought a whole universe with stage outfits that are rather topical. Where did this concept come from ?

J. It’s an evolution since the beginning of the band. When you look at the lyrics from the beginning it was already a little bit about these things. Last year we made a history of what each album tells, and even if it wasn’t necessarily conscious, we realized that there was a natural evolution of the themes from the awareness to the near future, to a hypothesis of the more or less near future. And then there were exchanges, discussions on these subjects related to the environment, to the protection of the planet, which touched me a lot. We often talk about these things in the band, we can joke for a moment and then suddenly talk about politics or the future of the world. We never get bored as a topic of conversation. We talked a lot about that world, especially when we discussed the cover and what the lyrics said. So it’s kind of a long and common maturation.

O.That’s right, it also follows the evolution of society, more or less recent awareness. I was already aware of this before I joined the band, I was already militating for WWF in particular, so the themes Johann deals with are issues I’ve been aware of for about ten years or more. There’s an ecological awareness and to become part of the world, that’s the advantage of this album and also of the album to follow and the next ones, it’s that we follow our own paths. Concerning the mask and the fact that it was designed like that for the cover, we have a cynical spirit, we have to admit it. Not in the bad sense of the word, always criticizing everything, but rather putting things under observation, confronting them. I had seen that Louis Vuitton proposed masks in China with their acronym, and it’s quite interesting to see that this tool, which is not at all aesthetic, had finally become a fashion tool. It’s completely cynical when you look at the way they’re made, it’s toxic, it’s an ecological disaster, but you’re still on the fancy side and it corroborates exactly what we could say in the lyrics. There are always two-way messages, you can understand the lyrics in a detached way as if it was a story, but if you dig a bit deeper you have a lot of references to a lot of current things.

J. It’s true that the mask which is becoming a fashion accessory, we didn’t think it would come so quickly !

I heard that the next album is already well underway. What can you tell us about this one ?

J. It is very likely that there will be a part I and a part II because we already have a lot of initialized tracks. So even if we will certainly work on it again, there is at least the basis for about twenty tracks. We’re going to record them as two albums, but thematically it’s going to be closer, there’s the idea of having two parts. In terms of story, it’s going to be the continuation of what we did on N°4. In terms of music, there are still some evolutions, more tribal. We had fun coming up with a name for the band music style one day. As we couldn’t define our style, we used to say modern power metal, but that’s very short. So we said we were doing modern and traditional power speed electro pop metal with tribal touches. So it’s gonna be something like that.

Ombeline, on the album N°4 everything was already almost done when you arrived, this time is it you who will compose the vocal parts in their entirety ?

O. No, it’s Johann because he has much better ideas about singing than I do, if I have any suggestions of course I’ll let him know. I’m not bad at doing all the double vocals and the little arrangements because of my influences, but that’ll come afterwards.

J. There’s a real World touch that Ombeline brings on some passages.

O. And Jazz! That’s what Johann calls “Oxysing” the song. I have a background of saxophonist, so there’s necessarly some stuff that’s a bit… swinging! That’s my speciality.

J. There will be even more mixing than before, in fact, there will be a few small passages that will surprise people I think.

O. We’ll be able to say that we make some “bitching” music again.

What are your ambitions for this new album, and more generally, for the band in the next few years ?

O. Logically of course it would be to be able to promote the album. Then I think what we need to mature on are the stage elements, to reinforce the visuals that have already been developed. It’s not for everyone, you have to be able to think about things graphically, you have to have an idea of the scenography, and when it’s not your job, it’s not always easy to envisage it.

J. For the moment we don’t really know when the concerts will be able to come back. We’ve got a number of shows that have been cancelled, we’ve got one in England normally in September but there’s a big risk that it will be cancelled too. So it’s complicated today to have this kind of visibility, unfortunately.

O. I also think that as far as Asylum is concerned, we should try to use the new media tools. As Johann said, we don’t know when the concerts will start again, and we should take advantage of this time to better position ourselves from a digital point of view. This can also be part of the band’s projects.

Has this period of confinement allowed you to achieve things that you had left aside before, for Asylum Pyre and/or for other projects ?

J. Many things yes… tidy up, first ! And personally I’ve progressed on a lot of projects, so now I have 5-6 albums just waiting to be recorded and arranged.

O. Only ?

J. Yes, I speak for those who are finished.

O. I was a little disappointed, actually.

J. No, or there’s 17 of them! I’m only counting songs that are pretty much structured, if you add all the ideas, things where there are only bits or a chorus, you can multiply by two. What about you Ombeline?

O. It was nice to finally be able to settle down and do little things, even if it was only to review the demos, everything that has already been done, etc. It was a great feeling to finally be able to settle down and do little things. I usually run out of time. And next to the band, I have projects of series. I was finally able to settle down, and fortunately I had taken my cameras before leaving, I take advantage of being in Bosnia to be able to shoot what I had in mind. Finally it’s time to win on the sequel, when we’ll have to go back to work full time. I also had a web series project on Bosnia on which we’ve made really good progress. And I updated my site, a lot of little things. It’s been profitable for that.

We all tidied up around us eventually…

O. Yes from a physical and mental point of view as well!

It’s allowed us to re-focus, to realise the little things that we tend to forget, especially in the Paris region I think. In the end you get attached to things that are far too material, comparisons with others. Yesterday it was stormy, I was in bed and I was thinking to myself “that’s really the ultimate happiness” when you can start to fall asleep with the storm and the rain, what more do you need! It’s the kind of thing when you’re in too much turmoil, especially in Paris, you end up not even appreciating it anymore, you don’t even realize you have it around you. The fact that things are going a bit slower, at least on my side, has allowed a kind of refocusing that was absolutely necessary.

J. I quite agree with what you’re saying here, and it reminds me of a pun that I read not long ago: « Je ne veux pas revenir à l’anormal »  [« I don’t want to go back to the abnormal » in English] and that’s a bit like that. When I saw the people in the streets, all the cars, I said to myself « no, I don’t want to go back to that ».

Thank you very much for answering these few questions. We look forward to listen your fifth album and to see you on stage again. Any last words to conclude?

O. I used to say “stay curious”. We used to talk about the positive effects of being in lockdown, at least for those who were lucky enough not to have sick relatives, there’s the fact that they’ve been able to discover things. Of course some people got bored, but most of them started to learn a new language, or to get back to an instrument. So: let’s try to ensure that what we were able to learn during the lockdown can continue, let’s remain curious.

J. No better !

Photos : Alban Verneret

Pour suivre l’actualité d’Asylum Pyre :

Four Year Strong

Do you know ... Four Year Strong and Brain Pain ?

There are bands like these that you don’t know what to expect and you discover with surprise. One of them was Four Year Strong. From the first songs I told myself that I had to present them to you but also their new album! Alan Day, singer and guitarist of the band answers some of our questions about their new album and the band.

Good morning, how are you ? Your new album Brain Pain came out February 28th, how do you feel about that? How was the first reactions from your fans?

I’m really excited about the release of Brain Pain. Its my favorite album we’ve ever made, but obviously I’m biased. The reaction from fans has been better than we even hoped it would be.

A small question about your past, what were the influences that inspired you to create the band that you are today?

When we first started the band, I came from a pretty punk/alternative background and Dan was in a hardcore band. When we met I was just starting to get into hardcore/metal and Dan was starting to get into emo/punk stuff, so we thought of starting a band that kind of smashed the two together. It definitely started more on the emo side of things with a little bit of heavy, but as time progressed and we wrote more and more songs, the heavy side of it just worked its way in and started to play a huge role in the sound. At first people really hated it, people at the local shows didn’t really seem to get it. But it felt right to us so we kept going with it, always trying to hone it in and have it make more sense to the listener. I’m glad we stuck with our gut and it finally started to catch on 6 years later.

How do you create your songs ? Do you start with the music itself or with the lyrics ? For the lyrics, do you find a theme and do you create around this theme or do you work around a catch sentence?

We always start with the music. It usually starts with a guitar riff, and we’ll base a song around a musical “theme.” Once the vibe of the song starts to take shape, we try and write vocals that fit the feel of the song, usually starting with a basic melody. The lyrical content will usually come around by happenstance when we’re ad-libbing around a vocal melody idea, and then things start coming together. But thats just the most common scenario, we’ve written songs in a lot of different ways over the years.

I’ve seen that you didn’t want any deadline for this album and that you wanted to take your time to do it right? When and why did you say “OK that’s the moment to release it” ?

Yeah that is true, we were in NO rush to put out an album. We just wanted to make sure we were putting out the RIGHT album, no matter how long it took. I think we ended up booking studio time with Will Putney when we had a handful of songs that we knew were going to be on the album. At that point I believe we had written get out of my head, talking myself in circles, learn to love the lie, worst part about me, and a few others, so we felt like we were in a good place to start moving forward.

Except for that, did you change your way of working for this album compared to the previous one ? If yes, how ?

The biggest difference between this album and any others is how many songs we wrote. We probably had 40-50 song ideas floating around. I’ve always known the advantage of writing more songs – the more you write, the better chances of writing something great. But until brain pain we never practiced that method. On our self-titled album, we only wrote the 10 songs that are on the album, and once we finished recording them it didn’t feel like enough and we just added go down in history from our EP we put out before it on the end so it was longer. It just didn’t feel like we had put our hearts into it the way we used to, so we wanted to remedy that and work harder than we had in YEARS to write songs that felt right to us.

I’ve also seen the music video “Lean To Love The Lie” where you explained :

“It’s about being stuck in a mutually miserable relationship, but you’re both too much of a coward to leave. If you’re going to lie to yourself about being happy, you might as well learn to love it. Lets not kid ourselves…We’ve all been there”

So have you learned to love the lie in your life or were you brave enough to leave ?

That song was loosely based on real life events, but was more of a  narrative written about situations we’ve seen our friends and family in. Its such a common occurrence, and it just felt like a great theme for a song that we thought people could connect with.

You’ve announced 6 shows / festivals in Europe. Do you know if you’ll have more dates in Europe or maybe in Belgium for our readers ?

We will definitely be doing more shows in Europe on the brain pain cycle, but theres no plans currently because of the covid-19 situation. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon and everyone can safely go to shows again!

In which country (ies) do you dream to play and why ?

We’ve been fortunate to play a lot of amazing countries, and we hope to keep expanding on the territories we’re able to play. I know its not a country, but a place we’ve always wanted to play that we have not yet is Hawaii.

We leave you the last words of the interview to tell everything you want to your fans or/and to our readers.

We just want everyone to check out our new record and keep your ear to the ground for when shows start happening again. We can’t wait to be playing music for you all again!

Photo: Gavin Smith

Want to know more about Four Year Strong?

Les Acteur de L'Ombre - INTERVIEW-2

Meet Gérald from the label Les Acteurs de L'Ombre

A while ago, we contacted Les Acteurs de L’Ombre and Gérald, the label manager, took the time to answer our questions about this French label focused on black metal and extreme metal. At the end of the interview, you can see the links to their social media and their catalog where you will certainly find something to delight your ears! We previously published several interviews of bands related to Les Acteurs de L’Ombre like Hyrgal, Aorlhac and SETH.

First of all, who are you and what is your role within the label Les Acteurs de l’Ombre ?

Hello, I’m Gérald, manager of the label which I created in 2008.

Les Acteur de L'Ombre - INTERVIEW

Les Acteurs de l’Ombre, how did you choose this name?

I created Les Acteurs de L’Ombre in 2001 with 3 friends. I proposed this name at our first meeting. The idea was to find a name that reminds both the members of the underground scene and those who defend it in the shadows. A name that brings us together in our passion and our activism to defend the underground and bring it to life.

Can you tell us the story of the label?

Following a professional transfer in 2008, I had to leave the presidency of the association LES ACTEURS DE L’OMBRE created in 2001. I took the opportunity to launch the label independently from the association. I am a passionate of black metal since 94. Since then, I have never stopped investing in the scene, through bands, a fanzine, a webzine, an organization of concerts and festivals. In 2011, the show organization branch and the label were split into 2 different self-managed entities.

How does the current situation which put the world asleep affect the label?

We are impacted like everyone else in the music and entertainment industry. Everything is on standby, as if the world had fallen asleep. Besides the fact that physical distribution is almost at a standstill because the stores are closed, people are less ordering on the internet and I have learned that Amazon is currently pausing. Due to the cancellation of tours and festivals we will not be able to hold the stands as we should have done. This will generate a huge shortfall which jeopardizes the releases that follow the summer. We need to find a solution to generate enough cash so that we do not carry it over.

What are LADLO’s criteria concerning the bands that you integrate the label?

There are many criteria to consider, of course the artistic and musical quality of a band is the most determining thing. But we must have a global vision, because what has often made the difference for us is the seriousness or professionalism of the band combined with its motivation. The feeling in our exchanges is also particularly important. When a band comes to us showing a real willingness to collaborate with us while approaching our possible collaboration in a professional way, it lets us bring more credit to each submission. By that I mean, a band that comes with a concept and a successful graphic universe, a medium and long term vision of their career, a desire to play live with a real scenography and who know how to surround themselves with competent people to develop their art. The band must also agree to support us in promotion and to be available. On the contrary, we sometimes sign bands that need management, so we put them in contact with graphic designers, photographers, recording studios, bookers and we support them at different levels.

Is there a band in which you did not believe at the beginning but which surprised you during its evolution?

We do not collaborate with bands that propose us an album that we would not like, we believe in each release, including bands in our roster because we only commit to one album at a time. We are all volunteers and since our opinions all have the same weight, we choose our releases by voting by majority. Thus, some of us work on releases of which they are not particularly fans, but it turns out because, like our tastes, we produce very varied albums. However, it can happen that bands exceed our expectations in terms of reception and feedback from the public.

What are the 3 best releases this year from Les Acteurs de L’Ombre?

In my opinion, we propose a rather wide range of what we can find in extreme metal with a tendency to black metal and all of our releases deserve the same attention. I think there is something for almost everyone. I have the feeling that our catalogue offers quality and true diversity. This is the feedback we have received from people who follow us and who can buy our releases with their eyes closed. I have never regretted a choice of release, even old ones, because we lead the label with sincerity.

Also, I could not tell you that one release is better than another, they are all different, and I am proud of each of them. I took a long time to answer your interview since it was sent at the end of 2019, so I adapt my answer. Currently, we have 3 releases completed in 2020:

MONOLITHE, 8th album, “Okta Khora”, released January 31, 2020 (progressive doom metal)


SONS OF WANTED MAN, 1st album, “Kenoma”, released on February 7, 2020 (blackened post metal)


BORGNE, 9th album, “Y”, released on March 6, 2020 (industrial black metal)


And I’m blocking quite a bit on GRAVE CIRCLES “Tome II” album to come. GRAVE CIRCLES is one of our artists who remains the most faithful to the original style, without being limited to it. If it does not revolutionize the genre, it has found its identity through various influences. The result is a tortured black metal in the image of the themes addressed in the lyrics. An intense and varied album, with sometimes complex structures and brutal riffs, but also throbbing or melodic, with airy and occult atmospheres. An underground beast, creeping and dissonant, punctuated by an infallible drums and almost ritual incantations.

If you could change something in the music industry, what would it be and why?

I would say that it is a cog that has been made over time, that it is difficult to adapt, and also, that it tries to adapt as best as possible to the continual evolution of modes of communication and broadcasts. There would be lots of things to change because there are a lot of inequalities, but at our level, the problem that we regularly face is the problem of artists’ rights and their remuneration. Many of them are not SACEM affiliated, that can causes problems at certain levels, and on the contrary we have additional costs for those who are affiliated. It is not always obvious because we operate in total self-management, and the fact that we are not in the circuit, and do not benefit from the help and agreements with the different organizations, it represents a cost for us. Not to mention that artists who are novice have trouble recovering their rights due to their disorganization. And I am not even talking about ridiculous royalties on streaming …

Do you ever work with other labels? How are the relationships between the different French labels?

Yes, many times, but it has never been a good experience. Collaborating on a release implies a certain organization, rigor, and synchronization between the two labels. Unfortunately, things are such that the internal workings of each are not necessarily in adequacy and complicate the whole process. We often have bad surprises with poor workmanship depending on who managed what. And then, you have to agree on deals, visuals, media, merchandising, distribution … Always quite difficult.

The relationships between the French labels are pretty good, we give each other a helping hand, we also have fun together. We are not competitors and have known each other for a long time.

What are your expectations and goals for the coming year?

I just hope that we can continue our activity as long as possible with the same fervour. I dream of always more rewarding collaborations and memorable moments. Given the current economic situation, our priority is to find a way to be able to maintain the planned releases after the summer. We are currently thinking of alternatives, and are relaunching in these times of confinement, projects that have remained dormant for years. All that remains is to keep our faith and hope that we will at least partially make up for the deficit.

A last word for our readers?

Thank you and Metal Overload for your support. I just encourage the readers to come and have a look at our roster: https://ladlo.bandcamp.com I think our bands are still too largely unknown and yet very deserving.

Picture of Gérald by Thomas Orlanth

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Tersivel : a journey through History & Feelings

Tersivel : a journey through History & Feelings

Born in Argentina in 2004 and now based in Sweden, Tersivel is an independent metal band evolving in a pagan/folk register, to say it simply. It’s Lian Gerbino (vocals and guitars) who introduces us to this unique project which is wisely mixing History and inner struggles on a strong atmospheric background balanced with deep and heavy riffs.

To begin simply, who are Tersivel?

We are Franco Robert on keyboards, Danny Ebenholtz on drums, and myself, Lian Gerbino, on vocals and guitars.

What does « Tersivel » mean and how did you choose this name in particular?

In short, Tersivel is a made-up word which I relate to the word “gathering”. I’ve been writing about it a lot, for years, trying to polish its meaning and significance. An in-depth exploratory explanation will be available in my book, which is planned to be out by the end of 2020.

How that name came to be the one for the band… I guess, in the early days of the band, we were a bit too much influenced by Tolkien. I personally was fascinated by the creation of languages, words, different races, places, and, for some reason, it seemed right to create a name for the band, instead of using something that already exists. In our first record, “For One Pagan Brotherhood”, I persued that trend of creating names and places, therefore characters such as Vosslat and Brënn and places such as Endera and Elveria were created.

Tersivel : a journey through History & Feelings

You’re considered as one of the first pagan/folk band from Argentina. What brought you to this particular style and what were your inspirations at that time?

It was a sort of evolution, I guess. It wasn’t like I decided to form a “pagan/folk metal band” per se, I just wanted to make some noise, you know, make music, express myself, explore. Now, 16 years later, it has a completely different meaning. Back then, I recall that I was (and, in many ways, I still am) very fragile emotionally and I didn’t know how to deal with that. A sort of emptiness devouring me from the inside. So, like every other human being, I needed to find a way to face Chaos. Music, poetry and books, especially from ancient Rome and Greece, started to fill that void and, for better or worse, to give me some answers about myself. What I like, what amuses me, etc. Music-wise, I’m addicted to music. There are so many records I love and got inspiration from, that it would be impossible to talk about all of them.

Also, how do you explain the fact that you were the pioneers of this style in your country?

I think it was a timing thing. In the 2000’s, there was a demand for new music. Thanks to globalization, movies, games, and of course, music; people, especially teenagers, had more entertainment options. Their taste was… Sophisticated, so to speak, and that opened a gap for folk metal in Argentina. I used to say: “Remove Lord Of The Rings from History and probably you remove folk metal as well”, at least in Argentina, that seems quite true.

At that time, there were only 3 bands, including us, playing this style of music in our country. The term pagan/folk metal came years later. We were simply known as the band playing in skirts (wannabe kilts) or the band in costumes.

You’re there for a while now, so is this style more popular in Argentina now? Are there other bands in the same field that you could recommend to us?

I don’t think it’s more popular than before. I dare to say that it’s less popular even. Remember that gap for folk metal I mentioned before? Well, the “gap” is really a gap, not a huge space. And in my opinion, that gap is closing in after the novelty for dressed-up bands have passed. Of course, there are diehard fans that won’t let the genre disappear into oblivion, but still, the gap is closing in. As for Argentine bands: Skiltron, Tengwar, Cernunnos, Vorgrum, Einher Skald, Triddana, Wulfshon spring to mind.

Tersivel exists since 2004 already. What are the highlights of your career?

I don’t know, I’m the kind of guy who’s always looking into the future. It’s hard for me to think of something I did as a highlight moment. I’m proud of what we did so far, of course. Our catalog has some good moments. We have some cool music videos too. We toured and met cool people. But again, I think that the best of Tersivel is yet to come.

On another hand, I read that you’re now based in Europe, what happened? Are the metal scene and the culture different here than in South America?

Just life stuff. None of us make a living off the band so when I moved to Sweden, it made sense to focus our efforts here. As for differences between South America and Europe, culturally is not that different. Especially in the cities. I don’t know how it’s in remote places, of course, but basically, the “New World” is mostly an extension of western civilization. As for specific differences, I’m inclined to think that metal music, in general, is way more popular in Europe than in South America. And that popularity helps to shape a healthier underground/middle scene. You might saw Megadeth playing in Buenos Aires for 50,000 people but 99% off that audience won’t go to see underground/middle bands ever. You get the picture…

You describe your music as « ever-changing, sometimes epic and esoteric » and it’s funny because it’s exactly what I felt while listening to your last album « Worship Of The Gods » (2017). Could you please tell me more about this album? What is it about?

Well, everything around us is changing constantly. We, as individuals, are changing constantly. I embrace that instead of fooling myself about absolutes. If the music is the language of the soul, and my soul is an immortal manifestation of indestructible energy, and that energy is flowing through the river of time eternally, then the conscious or divine creation of a piece of music is a unique act. Maybe the ever-changing aspect is just an allegory of uniqueness.

As for “Worship Of The Gods”, it’s a record with Julian The Apostate as the main character. It’s not a verbatim biography but a reflection of modern issues and personal subjects I struggle with. It has a lot of historical references but those are just one of the layers. The listener can dig deeper if he/she wants. I even included a full biography list in the physical “Worship Of The Gods” release, for those who are intrigued enough to dive there.

You also release a single last year « Satyrs Wine Part II ». What is the story behind this long song?

It’s very personal. The lyrics reflect a particular moment in my life. Some things that needed to be buried. Some others that needed to be born. It’s an inner talk.

You planned to release a new album this year. What can you tell us about it so far?

We are working on it as we speak. We are also working on a new stand-alone single that won’t be part of any record. Hopefully, it’s gonna be out really really soon.

Finally, do you have other plans for this year? Can we expect to see you on tour, for example?

Only the gods know that now. This Covid crisis is taking its toll. We are/were planning something in the near future. I hope I can be back to you soon with news about that.

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