So you are on tour to defend your new album “Meditations”, could you tell us a bit more about it ?

Yes, Meditations is the thirteenth album of the band. We exist since 25 years old and that makes old men from the metal world. We’re not so old because we started this when we were really young.

Meditations is an album which means a lot to us because we’ve written it altogether in the same place. We haven’t done this for years.

We Kataklysm, live in different cities: I live in Dallas, Texas. The singer lives in Chicago and the twp others are Canadians. So it sometimes creates conflicts when we have to write or to play together but for this album we decided that we would take a place together to write altogether there.

We haven’t done this for years and this created a sort of magic, alchemy which transpire all along this album and I’m very proud of this.

The recording, the production, everything went well. The result is good so I’m proud of it.

And living together while recording the album, how was it?

We know each others like brothers in the band. We also argue with each others like brothers. It goes in both directions you know. We’ve lived a great creation moment from the recording to the production. Everybody had great ideas, so we each came up with it and we made a big meltingpot and the result sounded cool. I’m quite satisfyed of the reaction of our fans who told us that they loved our album.

It anticipates my following question but how are the feedbacks about this album ?

In general, it is more positive than negative because we often release albums and as a band with a long longevity, many people tend to say that they prefer another album or that it was better before. With this album people have directly accepted our artistic choices.

Could you define Kataklysm as a band ? When we hear your name it doesn’t really make people think about unicorns and rainbows. So, what’s behind the name ?

We’ve got a song on that new album which is called “Outsider” and this one talks about what we do. We have always felt that despite the fact that we are playing Metal, the way we do things places us apart from any categories. We’ve always followed our own path without preocuppying ourselves with what was going on around us and this is what we do a unique thing that works.

I have the impressions that our fans are the best in the world. They always support us and find us very unique.

We’ve started this back in secondary school as we were young teenagers. We’ve decided to make a band, we were very frustrated by our life and the society we lived in. We wanted to be the most chaotic band. We’ve started like that and we drove the media attention to us.

With the time, we’ve become a little bit quieter and we became better musicians and song writer. But still, this idea of chaos is our heart.

We promote freedom of speech and “freedom to be”. We love it when people do whatever they want at our concerts of course it’s great when it is done with respect regarding the others.

Is there a real Metal scene in Quebec ?

The Metal scene in Quebec is very strong. Which means that when we started to get out of our country, we realized that it was different out there. I find it cool that the Metal fan is in general, all over the planet, the same person. He wants to have fun and to listen to some music that makes him thrill. There are more of them in certain countries but the thing stays global in most parts of the world.

You’ve released your first EP back in the nineties, what is the most important change you’ve seen on the Metal scene ? What do you think about nowadays scene in comparison to the one you’ve started in ?

It is nearly as if we had started this back when there was no electricity *laugh*. If we go back in 93, 94, in the beginning, there was no GPS systems to go on tour. There was no computeurs, no internet… We had to send tapes by post to each other. For the recording, we didn’t have nowadays technology. It was a different world concerning promotion, recording and tours. Those old-time technologies had some charm. Some things were lost but there are many postive things in playing music in 2018 I think.

I think it’s simpler for the artistes. But I found it cool to go to the record dealer in order to buy Lp’s or tapes. Now people download everything online, it has advantages like promoting music quicker than before. They are now more people attending concerts, the audience knows all the songs because they can easily listen to them.

I don’t mean to complain but I think that we’ve lost the spiritual experience we could have with albums.  As a musician, I wouldn’t change modernity. We have to deal with it and to follow it.

If you could only change one thing to the musical industry, what would it be ?

It’s the same thing we hear in nearly all conversations. As an artist, you try to earn money for your living and the ways to make money are becomming more and more difficult. Before, we would sell our stuff and get money. Now it is the live perfomances which allow us to live. If you are an artiste who wants to live from its music, you have to tour and make many shows. It is not a problem to me but it would be great to find a solution to pay the artists better than now.

Can we say that today in 2018 Kataklysm makes a living thanks to the music ?

We are lucky, the band is good. We do not need another job, we live thanks to our music. We’re not rich either, I don’t have a big house with 3 Ferraris in the garage. We live humbly but happy because we do what we love in our lives.

If we could find a solution to better pay the artists about their albums. Il would be a good thing. Also, for the bands who tour less or who don’t have the chance to have a as supportive audience as we do. For a band who has not that chance but who has great albums, having a little bit more money would encourage them to create more and more quality music and it would help people in general.

If you could tell us one funny fact about Kataklysm, what would it be ?

It’s hard, there so many things. I would say that we have lived all the clichés situations that a musician can experience. It seems that when you go on holiday, everything is fine but when you are a musician on tour, everything is going to be chaotic.

You know the trailer is going to explode, the tires are going to be flat, the plane is going to take you somewhere else… You’ve forgotten some guys at the gas station during the pause… I have so much party memories as well. The last one for example: I was having breakfast and some people told me : “What happened last night ? Somebody destroyed the hotel with a fire extinguisher.” It was a wonderful hotel in Germany by the way. So, I told them “Well, I don’t know. This is not us, we are not like that.” Then I continue my breakfast and so on. And then I see Stéphane who stands up covered in white and he tells us: “The extinguishers of yesterday, I think it was me.” *laugh*. I ask him “what did you do ?” *laugh* and he answers me “I drank a little bit too much, I lost my mind. I don’t really remember it, I just have flashes coming back in my mind.” These are really impossible things. He told the hotel that he was responsible and he payed the fine. *laugh* I have so many stories like that to tell, it is so hard to choose one !

If you had to name the worst stage experience you’ve had, what would it be ?

I don’t have any problems to tour in small venues with less people. I am more a guy who likes when the technique functions. To me, a nightmare show would be a show with many technical problems. My amps which stops functioning and so on… You loose the energy when it happens. To me it is the kind of nightmare that I usually do and wake up like “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”.

What do you think about the bands you tour with so Hypocrisy and The Spirit ? Did you choose them?

Hypocrisy are old-friends of us, we have toured with them kind of 15 or 20 years ago. We have made a few tours with them, we have shared tour buses. We have done many crazy things with them. They came back after 5 years and told us that they wanted to tour. So, we directly decided to do it together. Here the tour is fine, and the guys are nice. We are older now, so it is more relax. And we get on well with each other. The Spirit is a young band which was suggested by the promoter because we wanted to give the chance to a young band to enjoy a beautiful tour and to play their music in front of big audiences. We always thought that we would have enjoyed having this opportunity when we were young, so it is great to be able to offer this chance now.

What about you living this tour altogether ?

It goes well. The guys are very nice. Sometimes it happens that the younger ones try to kind of impress us. So, we are like “Calm down young fool”. But no, it is great, really.

Any last words to our readers ?

A big thank you to everyone because without our fans’ support, we probably wouldn’t be here anymore. They make our world live. Thank you to the Belgian public who has been there since the beginning. We when do things like Graspop or smaller venue like today, it is very cool. We have come for 25 years now and it is always a party.

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