You come back from an south american tour : With whom
did you play ?
Alex : We've just come back from Colombia and Mexico
it is said that crowd is totally crazy overthere : do you confirm it ?
Yeah ! It was totally unbelievable. We made couple of shows by ourselves and 3 shows with Mayhem and people were waiting for us, not only on stage, but also at the airport. It was really a great and amazing crowd. It was really a great experience. Playing together with Mayhem was a brutal show. Of course, for the promotor, it was interesting to have black and death metal bands in one show cause you attract more people then.
One cool thing is that you have Many dates programmed for the next weeks in central Europe : you must be enthustiastic !
We're gonna tour with Cannibal Corpse for 2 weeks. It's not so long but it's 14 or 15 gigs. We're enthusiastic and like to play live. We try to get on tour the most as possible but we have also, of course, our jobs and everything. So we have to combine all things together and make the more shows that we can.
This is not the 1st tour with Cannibal Corpse
Actually, last time that we tour with them was in 1994 in America and before we tour couple of times in Europe like in 1993, so 10 years ago already !
Savage or Grace was recorded in january and february and former guitarist Ron recorded that time.
Yes, he did all the songs for this album
Why does he reappear on studio and not on stage ?
Well, he's like a family man and too much time at home. So the deal was to come again with us and he said " okay, let's record a new album with you guys but I don't have time to go on tour and everything". We said okay because we have Pascal and he's doing a very good job live and also on this album. So there's no problem : we've got Ron for cd's and everything with us and Pascal makes the solos on cd and plays live.
Does the work still boring in studio for you ?
Well, for me, I like being in studio cause you have the good feelings about the songs and see if they are as better as you hopped for. But for members like the drummer, he's not a big fan of it, but it's a fact that working for 3 weeks in a studio is boring a while.
Concerning the production in itself : you must have some help to record the music.
Yeah, we always 2 guys in studio overthere : they're called Hans & Danis. We worked with them for a couple of years. They helped us with technical things but the band decide at the end what have to be the result, how the album has to sound.
Do you need also somebody to have an other point of view ?
Yeah, of course, and I think that's the Hans's job.
Creative Killings, your previous album was on Hammerheart : it appears that you have resigned with Nuclear Blast : why do you come back, and, by the way, did you signed with Hammerheart 2 years ago ?
Well, for us we did 5 albums for Nuclear Blast so the contract
was expired. They offer us a new contract, but also Hammerheart. We said maybe,
after 5 albums, there would be a great option to go to an other label, a dutch
label : the communication would be easier. We saw good things about the label
and were confiant about them but at the end, it was really disappointing : lack
of promotion, lack of good distribution like in the USA and places like Japan.
So it was not as good as we thought and things were getting worst and worst
during the months. We decided to go back to Nuclear Blast after several disappointed
feelings about this story.
So you hope a lot of markets like USA or Japan
Not really, but it's always good to have cds in the stores overthere, especially in the States. I've got several emails from the USA were people said "how the fuck can we have your new cd ?". And also there was the lack of promotion and America with Hammerheart : only 2 interviews with magazines whereas I have for this album maybe 25 ! It's a big difference of course and concerning the tours, Nuclear Blast has a company overthere and they can support us, which was not possible with Hammerheart. So I think that Hammerheart didn't have the money, the promotional and the skills to do a really good job that Nuclear Blast has.
By the way, Hate & Bastard Saints have been released in a digipack 2 years ago : did you approve the package ?
No, I saw that on magazines and I said "look, they're combining the cds". I said "shit". So I called Nuclear Blast to give me a couple of copies but I like what they did, combining 2 cds, that's really a good thing.
I've heard that you had to record a cover CD : what about this project ? What the songs would have been?
This is an idea that we had for Hammerheart after the release of Creative Killings. We have to record 90's bands and also old thrash bands like Kreator, Infernal Majesty, Autopsy. Shit, I forgot all the bands ! In fact the foundations of the music that we made at that moment.
It is said that this new album is back to your roots, back from the debut album Cross the Styx : really fast & extremely technical, more than in the past.
This is definitively more technicle, but not too technicle like strange rythms but more like guitar wise, like a lot of our albums. There is also a little bit of thrash, kind of a new influence on this album I think. This is the main difference from the previous album.
What are the improvements between Savage or Grace and Creative Killings ?
First, the production is a little bit better. Otherwise, the songs are more interesting than in Creative Killings, catchier, more technical in a good way. We have also good solos on this album. The vocals that Rachel did are better and better than on Creative Killings. So it's a new step from the previous albums.
This is the second time that you record an album with Rachel : did you feel some improvement from Creative Killings from her part ?
She sings deeper than on the first album.
Concerning the lyrics of Sinister, they were about occultism and satanism in the 1st times to deviate to antichristianity : is it still the case for the next opus ?
No, it's a little bit different. I write most of the lyrics nowadays and I change a bit the themes. We've got for example one theme : the use of power, what you do with it. It depends if you use it in a good sense of way or for a wicked stuff. It's the most important topic of the album.
The cover artwork is really cool : is it still an idea from Aad ?
Yeah, the tittle is from Aad and he basically gave me the idea and I gave it to the artist. Of course you can see the difference between good and evil on the album, that's really clear I think.
It reminds me old european christian paintings : is it a link to antichristianity ?
Not really. It's just the idea of the artist. But the lyrics don't deal with religion or antichristianity anymore.
You have toured with the most brutal bands like Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, etc. What would be the bands that you'd like to tour with ?
I don't know. We have played with most of the bands already.
So the next step is playing in first part of Metallica or AC/DC ?
Yeah.(laughs) I think the next one will be Bon Jovi and we'll copy their style in the future
I've heard that Grip Inc wanted to call their band in their beginning Sinister…
Yeah I know they wanted to entitle Sinister but someone must have told them that an other band called Sinister.
Did they offer you a million dollar to change your band's name ?
Yeah but we refused. (laughs)
What's the best that we can wish you for the next months ?
We have a nice tour with Cannibal Corpse for the next weeks in the Northern and in the Eastern Europe and we hopefully come back at the end of this year, maybe in december, trying a headlining tour this time, so that we can play a little bit longer also.
Interview réalisée par Johann