Monday, November 21, 2011

interview with BLOOD RITES (french Doom/Stoner/Sludge GIGS promoter in Rennes and Paris)

After a Webzine Editor (Ed Barnard from Doommantia), a Radioshow Programmer (Bob from The Soggy Bog show), here's now an interview with a Gig Organizer : I've named BLOOD RITES from Rennes (and Paris)... This young association is specialized in Doom/Stoner underground gigs and has yet serious references in less than one year and a half of existence, having organized awesome gigs with RAMESSES, ACID KING, YOB, HUATA and BARABBAS, MONARCH... And this is just the beginning, there's indeed yet nice projects for 2012 !!! Let's read what Maryline and Fernando have to say about this exciting adventure :

 As an introduction, could you please present yourselves Fernando and Maryline ?
Maryline : I'm native from Rennes (Brittany's capitol), 28 years old …
Fernando : 31 years old, Portuguese living in Paris ...

How did the project to become gig organizer did mature? Did you have previous experiences in this domain ? Was it before all to satisfy personal wishes (see Acid King in Rennes, for example) or only to respond to a request from fans of doom and stoner not much served here in France and particularly in Rennes ?
M : Fernando came to live in Rennes during some time between 2008/2009, and the bubbling of concerts in Paris  was lacking him a lot ... not easy to land in a "small town" and not always possible to combine the round trip with Paris...
Then, there's been one day this fatidical sentence "Bha! put up an association and make all those bands come here and play in Rennes!"
The idea matured, we had a great reflection together, we had no real experience in the organization of gigs, but we'd been yet for quite a long time following underground gigs and saw more or less precisely how things had to be managed. So we didn't take much time to embark on this great adventure !
Although I am from Rennes, I didn't knew much people listening to doom and stoner, a few people sure but not enough to fill a hall ! So we did it for us two in some way at the beginning and now we find more and more regular people from concert to concert and it's a great pleasure to see them happy like that! sharing the passion ...
F : As just said Maryline, we started from the observation that there was clearly not enough gigs here. Thus, we set up the assoc. initially just for fun and pleasure (basically see some of our fave bands), and then seeing the same heads quite often, we realized that we could do something more serious.
The audience is here now, present and motivated, either in Rennes or Paris and it motivates us to move forward and offer interesting programms !

Are each one's duties precisely shared or more pratically does Maryline work for Rennes and Fernando for Paris?
M : It has never been exactly defined, it just all happened naturally like that ... we know each other qualities very well ; first rule is concertation about bands, those who would like to come, those who have written to us, those who are on the tour pormotors list that we receive ... Fernando handles contacts with foreign bands, considering the poor quality of my English, he also takes care of  the gig venues in Paris. So I'm more working with the french contacts and all the rest, I take care of food and drinks, lugging the material ..
F : yeah, I must admit that Marylou ends up with the how to say ... the boring job, because I have personally no means of locomotion. 70% of the job, in the development of a date, is based on her shoulders. She takes care of shopping, cooking, etc ...
The day of the concert I try to take care of everything, which is simply impossible... She's more than a great help! We alternatively stay at the entrance, so that each of us can see a part of the organized gig. My role is really basic, I contact bands or tour promotors, etc. ... I negotiate, just cool sitting in front of my PC!

The 1st gig you organized was Ramesses (+ Huata) in Rennes in 2010: not a big deal financially, but an encouraging start anyway?
M : Yeah the first gig was RAMESSES with Terrifarmer (rip) and  HUATA. In fact we saw and enjoyed Ramesses at the Purple Turtle in London, we're devourers of RAMESSES, they perfectly illustrate our musical tastes! We had great time with them and it soon became obvious to start with them .. We started with just a few contacts, but good ones ! Then we added  HUATA who are faithful servants of doom, we try to help them as much as we can, and  Terrifarmer who did a great show, but unfortuantely they don't exist anymore.
The audience was thrilled by this sound coming from beyond the grave; I think we didn't immediately realized the enormity of the set! we met a lot of doom fans etc. .., it was very rich in contacts that night, it is also that gigs in Rennes ! people who enjoy their time, like to tell it to you and just thank you, that's nice and   gratifiying for all the job accomplished !l!
F : Sure we lost some money but that's absolutely nothing compared to the happiness of the present people ! The performance of RAMESSES was outstanding and impressed very much, people quickly saw that we intended to organized quality gigs.

Then came ACID KING last March in Rennes, with Carlton Melton who provided a superb first part, excellent gig again even if we could have hoped more people again?
M : Sure that ACID KING and CARLTON MELTON is a gig that will be eternally engraved in our memories ! indeed not that much people ... you know both bands are so fuckin heavy, it's maybe not that easily accessible to anyone .. The day after  they played in Paris, in front of 130 people! Rennes is much smaller than Paris, so it was not that  bad in the end !
F : Yes it is all a matter of scale, hahaha! It had risen very high this night ! : p  The most important thing is to see people happy at the end and with bands like that, only true addicts are  moving ! And when  people really involved in  the underground community come, enjoy the gig and thank you, it's just like if the box was full!
Bruno from the Mondo Bizarro,  what a man believe me, he was like a kid this night, waiting his turn for a photo with Lori ... he has brought his vinyls for some autograph! for us, that's been a real successful evening!

Last month, this was the turn of  YOB / DARK CASTLE  in Paris, much people and an absolutely awesome performance from the Oregon masters... great memories and a great satisfaction I guess ...?
M : Yes, with Fernando now living in Paris again, we wanted to make a try in Paris (anyway YOB in Rennes would have done about 80 like Acid King, which unfortunately wasn't possible to cover the costs). So we did this one in co-production with Stoned Gatherings, a great evening !
F :  Yes, an unforgettable evening! Great moments with unconventional bands and really simple individuals ! The total support of the whole audience, with some guys even coming from Poland and Sweden, has deeply pleased us !

The french doom scene finally awakens slightly and I think 2011 has particularly marked the emergence of three new bands whom you organized a new gig for last month (HUATA, BARABBAS and MHÖNOS) how was this show (I'm still bummed not to having been able to come)? With The Bottle Doom Lazy Band and Stangala, one can  feel solidarity and a positive mindset between these bands, how do you see thingsevoluting for this (still too confidential) french doom scene ?
M : This gig at the Pixi in Paris didn't happen as it was planed at all; to make it short, the boss of the bar wanted all bands to pay their drinks... also during the sets, as there wasn't much people drinking at the bar, he suddenly decided to stop everything; MONARCH couldn't even play anything, MHÖNOS set was reduced in time ... an epic evening but very formative for us ! Luckily BARABBAS offered an awesome set that night, they'll be coming in Rennes in March 2012 !!!
F. : One thing is certain our fave musical style becomes more and more popular here and we're not going to complain! Some bands are actually emerging and there's some real quality! For the bands you mentioned, respect to all of  them ! They are now exisiting for quite some time and don't give a fuck about trends ! A true friendship unites these bands, a real respect too, some haved toured together in the past and have also faced the same problems...

You have some nice projects coming next spring with THE WOUNDED KINGS and LORD VICAR + ORCHID ... hoping to place French bands as openers too and double dates with Rennes? How do you see the development of things?
M : Projects for 2012 are being in the works and the first to be concluded concern  THE WOUNDED KINGS : March  03rd in Paris with XXXX and 6th in Rennes (at The Mondo Bizarro) with probably BARABBAS and The BOTTLE DOOM LAZY BAND...
Then on May 11th, we'll do EIBON, COLLOSUS and MHONÖS always in Rennes.
Indeed we always try to introduce a French band, local or not, to provide them a stage, a cool event, it's a real good trade because they bring their friends and are happy to share a show with a wellknown band. Just like for HUATA which has had opportunities to play with Ramesses, Electric Wizard, and Aluk todolo with Monarch, as I often say this is always good for their experience.
To decide whether they'll play in Rennes or Paris, that depends of several  things, the desire of the bands above all, their rates, the availability of the venues ... it is a case by case, but rather an advantage for us to have two attachment points.
F : Concerning ORCHID and LORD VICAR it is too early to confirm the date in Paris (scheduled for April). I'm still waiting for news of their tour promotor; but in all cases this seems difficult to provide this set to Rennes ... they just have a very few dates available to play in France, so just Paris would be yet fantastic !
As for bands opening for The Wounded Kings, Maryline has yet said everything regarding Roahzon! (Rennes in Brittan). For Paris, I'm waiting for confirmations from the other bands I want to see playing... Hush, for now!
As said Maryline, we always try to place a local or national band, it's important to let people know that we also have nice bands here ! And finally yes it is an advantage for foreign bands to know that we are on two different cities, if they're interested that's two french dates guaranteed for them.

Fernando is maybe more connected to doom while Marilyn is more into Stoner, am I wrong or not ? It is not easy to mix pure Doom and pure Stoner, because without denying or  ignoring each other or being rivals so far, both scenes don't mix that much together in France, unlike other countries like the USA, England or the Netherlands .... what 's your opinion about that ?
M : I have an ear that was formed with great blowing rock n' roll like Rose tattoo, Motorhead, Ten Years After, Janis Joplin ... so yes I like it when it shakes and so I love Stoner but I am equally a fan of doom, heaviness and greasy slowness. We always kept a common thread in the selection of bands ...
Just for fun and my own pleasure, I organized a small gig at the Bar'hic in Rennes, alone to a smaller scale, with JUMPING JACK and MISSINGMILE. It was a solo test and it has been pretty successful, so I think to reiterate that !
F : We have different tastes, but the Holy Riff (as says Rodolphe from Barabbas) gathers us in our quest for decibels!  Some purists will say that both musics should not be mixed, but we absolutely don't give a shit about that! Could they be Doom or Stoner, we do organize gigs for bands we enjoy, that's all.

The venue "les Combustibles" in Paris where YOB played recently is a pretty cool place, do you prefer working with a venue over another (for musical and human conditions especially)? How is the collaboration with Stoned Gatherings going  for the organization of some concerts?
M :  The place offers pretty good conditions. Sure, the scene suffers from  a lack of space, but we managed to install all the material ... the only problem is the lack of visibility for a part of the audience, after the 4th row it's a bit complicated to see easily the scene.
F : Yes great place, good conditions for the bands and nice site! The agreement with Mathieu from The Stoned Gatherings was all natural, no worries at all for the date of yob! We'll certainly work again together in the future if there's good occasions like this one...

Beyond financial constraints, what causes you the most difficulties: administrative constraints, material constraints or maybe specific requirements from some bands ?
M : The financial constraints are of course the main thing but beyond that, we always try to give everything to host the bands in the best possible conditions, for example we need a minimum of cooking material to eat for sometimes more than 15 people! it also takes time. but with good sense and organization, it seems I'm ok for that, just considering Lori swallow her jambalaya! hahaha, we even had  Ronan (singer of HUATA) to bless the pie ...! So everything is ok !

Beyond the pleasure of the fan to be able to see some of his favorite bands,  do you have time to share good moments with the musicians?
M : The evening goes always super fast, but we always find time to chat with them, when eating or after in most cases; we also leave the entrance alternatively to enjoy some moments of  the concert, of course it's not the most optimum, but it does not matter, if we'd like to, we can still go and see the band to another gig, just for our own pleasure !

Can a band like KINGS DESTROY or DOPETHRONE who'd like to play in France in 2012  contact you directly or you are working specifically with tour promotors ?
F : Any band can contact us, fortunately we do not work exclusively with tour promotors. I do not like too much when there's intermediaries . After it's obvious that we need to enjoy the band and that the required are affordable and realistic.
We're still waiting for news from DOPETHRONE, I just know that they'd come without any material, just hands in the pockets, but if we really do it, there will always be someone to lend material ...

Thanx a lot to you and all the best for the future,  anything to add ?
M + F : Thanx a lot to the fans who come at gigs and to the bands who trust us. Thanx to you Stéphane for your support !
F : “Take the Slow Boat to save from Drowning!!”

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