USBMS would like to thank Abduction for thier time
Interview done by: Sarah Chiovitti
1. Hi Guillaume, I've been listening to your EP Heights' Shivers and I must say I'm quite impressed. Tell us a little bit about the concept. Was there any reason behind the songs' order on this EP?
Thank you very much for your interest! Well, only a part of the musical concept of Abduction is present on this EP, even if there is a general thematic in the artwork, based on the first song « Height’s Shivers ». « Spacewalk » is more related to misanthropy while « Banquet For Another Dead World » deals with the last dinner of an illuminated sect. In fact, the songs’ order follows a musical logic more than a real concept. About our music, I like to describe it as giving an important part to melodies and clean breaks and trying to approach deep feelings like fear, melancholia, doubt, rage and all the emotions a human being could seek during his existence in order to escape the vacuity of his own existence. The band’s inspiration principally comes from French History, French landscapes and varied atmospheres that this country provides.
2. The album art is quite interesting and from what I've read it seems to tell a story from front to back depicting the modernization of society. Can you tell us that story in more detail?
Indeed, the visual is a triptych, three pictures that stick in one. The cover shows a wilderness view, this moment in the end of the XIXth century when man was still really close to nature. Inside the booklet you can see the industrial city that begins to grow and gloomy clouds rising up. The back finally shows the invention of railroad, launching a new era of urbanization. Therefore, the first and third pictures are totally opposed while the second one shows the breaking between these two eras. All these pictures are a vision of the epic piece « Height’s Shivers ». Our purpose is not to criticize anything, send an ecological message or whatever… This is just a tribute to a decisive phase of French history that fascinates us greatly.
3. The last track, Modern Times, is a piano improvisation. What inspired you to create such a beautiful piece and how do you think its vulnerability affects the album?
I don’t precisely remember what inspired me when I played it, but the atmosphere of this track is very autumnal according to me, so I’m pretty sure I’ve recorded it during an Autumn evening, probably in 2005 or 2006. After listening to it, the previous singer of the band, Guillaume Roquette, convinced me that it would be a great idea to put this improvisation on the record. The playing is not perfect, there are some hesitations, but this is the interest of an improvisation: the snapshot of a moment, an emotion. We first thought that we should rerecord the track but finally we’ve decided to keep the true atmosphere of the moment.
4. Nature and wilderness are strong themes in your music. Describe your band's connection to nature. Is there a certain location you like to visit for inspiration?
Nature is an important theme, but not the main one in Abduction’s music. We are more interested in French History in general. Plenty of historical locations or country’s landscapes inspire me when I write music, it can be a city full of Historical memories like Versailles (where I live) or Paris, but also some places which are closer to nature, like many French villages, forests, shores or mountains. I can also write about a memory, a feeling, depending on the weather outside or on my life at that moment. It’s frequently very hard to tell precisely the origins of inspiration, because most of the time music is just pure feeling and emotion. Sometimes, I can’t really explain how an idea is coming to life when I’m playing it on my guitar… but I always know that it totally comes from me, my heart and brain, my vision of life and my own sensations.
5. History is another theme mentioned. How has history influenced your music?
We are basically fascinated by the richness and complexity of our artistic and politic History, it also shows us where our roots are (and sadly, this is something French people are too often leaving aside nowadays). The reign of Louis XIV, during the XVIIth century, is a great example of how inspirational and great French arts were, back in these times of glory, the charisma of this king also made France shining over the world. Same with tragic moments like assassination of Louis XVI, during French Revolution in XVIIIth century, his grandeur and his dignity when he was facing hatred and death is a strong inspiration for us.
6. Your music is described as death/black metal, was this originally your goal?
Not really, we just knew that we would play some dark metal, we are generally interested by darkness and gloomy atmospheres but we’re simply listening to the music that lies in our hearts, putting notes on strong feelings that we could express with nothing but music.
7. I'm aware that a few of your band members have been involved in other musical projects. Was this your first project or have you been involved in other bands?
Abduction is my first real project, and will always remain the main one. I just played keyboards in a heavy metal band when I was in high school, but I left it after a few months. I’m also playing live guitar for an amazing French doom metal band named Angellore, led by two close friends of mine, including Abduction’s singer François. I also wrote music for his personal project called Betray-Ed. But these are exceptions, I’m not really interested in creating or playing music outside of Abduction, simply because everything I want to do is already included within this project.
8. Music is very much open to interpretation and I believe that everyone hears music in a very different way. What is Abduction to you and what do you hope listeners hear when your music is played?
Abduction contains all the musical emotions I’m looking for, it allows me to express many things words are incapable to describe. Everything that constitutes the band is much related to our four different personalities. I hope listeners will travel through a very strong and emotional journey and find a rich and varied mix of melancholy and power. I hate Manichaeism, that’s why I love music that is constantly mixing violence and melody, despair and hope, chaos and melancholy at the same time, like did the almighty Dissection from Sweden.
9. With the departure of vocalist Guillaume Roquette and the arrival of new vocalist François Blanc, your band's sound must have changed. Has the change in vocals swayed the musical direction at all?
This is something I can not really tell for now, cause we’re starting the vocal recording process next week! But I must say we are very confident, there’s no doubt that François is a really talented singer, and the most important thing is that he is truly passionate about music and feels Abduction’s personality in the same way than we do. His vocal range is also a little bit larger than Guillaume’s one, this means that we will be able to try different vocal lines on the album. Guillaume is also a great and powerful singer, and he’ll sing with François on one track of the album.
10. The band's bassist Mathieu Taverne is the mind behind the lyrics. What's your favorite lyric he has written?
Indeed, after long discussions about lyrical themes and feelings we wanted to express, Mathieu put his words on the music, he is really talented to express feelings in a very poetical and literary way. According to me, the best lyrics he has ever written at this point are the ones for the song « Les Frissons Des Cimes », a new tune which will appear on the first album (we’ve finally decided to write every single word of our titles and lyrics in French). I’m really looking forward to release this album that took more than two years to achieve, we’re about to record the vocal lines and last guitar additions within the next months, then we’ll have to go through the processes of mixing and mastering, we hope to release the album before summer 2014.
11. As for Abductions live performances, do you incorporate many visual elements or is it all about the music?
We haven’t started to play live yet, but the visual elements will surely be very important. We are not looking for a bombastic staging because the music should always remain the main purpose of a show, however it’s important to immerse the audience in our universe, we want people to travel through a musical and visual journey. For this purpose, we may try to use some videos, drapes, special lights and objects related to French history, to create the true atmosphere that can help to sublime the music.
12. What is the best format for music distribution in your opinion? Are you a collector of vinyl? Will Abduction ever release their material on vinyl?
Vinyl, definitely! I love this format, its pure and authentic sound, and the fact that it brings cover art into highlights… You can be sure that we will release our material on this format because we’ve already decided that our first album will be released on vinyl first. Anyway, the CD support is nearly dead in 2013, while the vinyl is reaching for a new life…
13. You've been working on your first studio album for a couple years now, can you tell us what the process has been like and what your listeners should expect from it?
The process was a real pain in the ass, due to a lot of technical issues and agenda difficulties, this is why it took two years to record this album. Also, we will rather take our time to be sure to be 100% satisfied, sometimes some ideas - even some very simple and secondary ones - need a lot of time to grow up and reach maturity. Listeners should expect a complex, varied and atmospheric black metal release. Our identity is also clearer than on the EP/demo, cause we learned a lot during this first recording process and the new songs were basically written before the release of this EP. Some of them are five years old or more and the second album is already basically written (the cover art is also ready) but it takes a lot of times to do things the best way we can and we’ll never make a rush on anything. I guess the result will worth the wait!
14. Thank you so much for your time, is there anything else you'd like to say to the readers?
Thank you very much for your interest and support, this is really motivating for us while we’re trying to make the most authentic and honest music we can!
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