I've presented you CROWN about a week ago with their impressive debut "The One" (if you wish to come back on this, here's the link !) A band that can immerse you so easily in a very personnal world full of darkness and apocalyptic feelings, deserves an immediate attention to be revealed to the doomed hordes of the Temple !!! Yesterday I had a very cool tchat with Stéphane (guit/voc) on FB, the occasion to introduce them more in depth and speak about the immediate plans from a future that presents some real nice perspectives... Read this and please don't find any more shitty excuse not to buy "the one" right after !!!
Hi Stéphane, first thing I'd like to talk to you about is your logo, pretty eye-catching and captivating with the W and N assembled that can represent a symbol, free to interpret or imagine, how did came the idea and what did you want to mean behind it ?
In fact my colleague Pascal is very good in computering graphic design, he honestly always has catchy and pretty original design ideas, we choose this logo because it's easily identifiable and indeed rather symbolical... We wanted something that would be unusual, far from the Metal standards, etc... I don't know if we succeeded but, as I said, it has at least one thing to its credit : being easily recognizable !
About the fact to play as a duo, with a drum-machine... a deliberate choice or forced ? Was it maybe a way to be quickly operationnal, without having to look for the right drummer during months and months, like it's too often the case ?
The fact to play as a duo is indeed a deliberate and assumed choice, a bit like Godflesh in their early days. It's obvious that on stage we're quickly installed and don't take too much space ! The absence of drummer can maybe cool off some people, we were a bit anxious towards this at the beginning but we have had very good responses from the first gigs... We feel good being just two, there's more place in the van, more alcohol to share ! I don't have anything against drummers though, we just wanted an ultra-minimalist formula...
From which school are you coming exactly : Metal, HC, or ... ? Do you think that the future of Metal and Doom in particular will stand out through the mixing of different heavy styles like Doom, HC, Sludge, post HC and even sometimes Industrial, Grunge and Black metal... ?
Basically I'm a big fan of METAL but I've wide musical tastes, just like Pascal, I can listen the most extreme Black Metal and then right after some Mötley, Kickback, Jefferson Airplane or Mark Lanegan and finally end with Die Antwoord or Mondkopf. I listen lots of various stuff.
Indeed, I think that the mix of different styles is the most interesting way to follow, the fact to break some boundaries helps a style to evolute and get over new horizons, but that's something true for every style of music I guess...
The scene is more and more active in the Alsace/Lorraine area with you, THE PLEDGE OF CAIN, RESISTANCE, WHEELFALL, NUMBER NINE EXPERIMENT (and all the various projects of Arnaud Schmitz)... do you know any of them in particular ? there's also JIZZ LOBER that will soon release something on your label (SuperStrong), could you tell something about this new band ?
I'm a big fan of THE PLEDGE OF CAIN, I also know a bit Nathaniel from RESISTANCE and really like what they do too... As for the others, I don't know their music in fact but from what I know, each one is into DIY stuff like us, being rather autonomous. Otherwise, we do trade gig plans with switz bands like ZATOKREV and PALMER, Switzerland realy seems to like us which is pretty cool !
JIZZ LOBER is composed by ex-members of HOLLOW CORP (guitarist, bassist and drummer) with the ex-singer from NEDGEVA. I really like them, they do play a skilful mix of thick Stoner, with great Sludge parts and some Psyche moments too; a strong personnality really, that should find quickly a positive echo. They have autoproduced their ep too and are completely autonomous; in fact SuperStrong is more of a common structure between bands that take care about everything concerning all the administrative tasks a band needs to face...
Is it then just for a local vocation ? If I'm not wrong you're also distributing their stuff and another band called SIX IN LINE (plus CROWN of course !) ?
In fact it's really our first days, the beginning... As I said superstrong is above all here to help for administrative shit, like finding subsidies, take care of various contracts, royalties, etc... We don't have a distribution as usually organized, ok we're going to distribute the 3 eps but each band is fully independant; I think it's mostly a great bunch of friends that told themselves it would be better to work together, help each other, rather than each one doing his shit on his side....
SIX IN LINE is another very good band too, their ep should be release within the next months, they play some Stoner Rock, but hard to classify exactly because they blend many influences, the result is very classy.
Coming back to the proximity of Switzerland and Germany, do you feel it's easier to be reckoned there than in the inner parts of France, including PAris of course... for the moment at least ? After a recent gig with ZATOKREV in Bâle, you'll be soon back in Switzerland taking part at the Impietus Festival with MONKEY 3, great perspective ...!?
Fuck yeah, Switzerland is more opened to these kind of heavy scenes than France, french promotors are often too conventional, contrary to Switz or German ones... ZATOKREV are one of my fave bands, they're totally apocalyptic on stage, I'm so impatient to listen their new album. We're great friends with their singer Freddy, just like with another band from there PALMER.
We're deeply honoured to be a part of the Impietus Fest line-up and share the stage with the excellent MONKEY 3.
About the diversity of your sound, the song "orthodox" includes some ambient parts which (at least to my ears) sound almost oriental, even in the vocals, while being always ethereal... How did you manage to introduce those refined sounds in a context that remains very apocalyptical ?
We enjoy so many types of stuff (Pascal and myself) that this comes out just naturally, we like to imagine the listener having a great journey with our music... "orthodox" is epic while remaining minimalist and psychedelic at the same time, we like contrasts.
What is the song "the one" dealing about ? Why did you choose it as the album's title ? By the way, for you is that an EP, a mini album, a full length ... ?
"The One" deals about an obscure ritual, just like all the other songs, inspired by imaginery rituals but which always have as guiding line : our friend "the devil", be it through a human, animal or any other form of existence. I'm very much attracted by darkness, he he !
In fact, it was also an idea from Pascal, basically this is an EP but generally eps don't have a title or rarely and as the length is more of an album than an ep, we thought to give it a title ! "the one" imposed itself quickly as it's our first release.
What's your opinion about the french scene ? Do you also feel some positive evolution that starts to find an echo abroad ?
The Sludge/Doom scene in France is competitive with MONARCH!, LOVE SEX MACHINE, CELESTE, MARS RED SKY, our friends from THE PLEDGE OF CAIN, etc... and indeed it starts to gain recognition from aborad which proves its quality and better than ever health !!
You're going to the next Roadburn in April, pleased at the idea to meet you there ! Which bands are you the most impatient to see playing ? Which have been your highlights of 2011 ?
It's just the best Festival of the universe ! For me it's the Montreux of the avant-garde musics with horns, he he ! I'm impatient to see KILLING JOKE, YOB, OM, SLEEP, CORONER, CHELSEA WOLVES, TOMBES and VOIVOD. About last year : JESSE SYKES, SUNN O))), WEEDEATER, RWAKE, TRAP THEM, ALUK TODDOLO and above all SWANS !!!
Coming back to gigs, you're soon gonna take part in the regional selections for the big festival LEZ ARTS SCENIQUES, how many bands will be selected to share the stage with some very big international names ? Even if unfortunately the result isn't positive, that'll be a great occasion to reveal your sound to professionnals from other musical horizons ... ?
I don't know exactly how many bands will be selected, one per day logically, so certainly 3 in all. It's really an excellent festival, with each year a very good METAL line-up (among others). We hope to be a part of it this year, moreover as MINISTRY will be there and I'm a huge fan of them. It would be a fantastic opportunity to play there and share our love for heavy sounds on a big stage !
Well, thanx a lot Stéphane for those enlightenments on the obscure world of CROWN, please remind us how we can find and buy "the one" and add anything you feel important that we might have forgotten ... now I let you enjoy your Saturday evening and "bon appétit "with your tasty raclette !!! (meal with cheese spread and cooked pork meats)
Hey Thanx to you Stéphane ! It's been a pleasure, thanx for this interview, thanx for your great review, thanx to support and believe in our CROWN !!! We definitely have more to come in our quest to darken the sky with CROWN, I think an album will be ready for 2013. As for now, we expect to give many gigs and share our stuff with as much people as possible... The best way to get "the one" is to go on our Bandcamp page, it's already availalbe on digital format for 4€. The CD version will come out by March 06 for the price of 5€... When you buy the CD, you can download immediately the stuff for free, time will then pass more quickly until it arrives in your mailbox... Ok, now indeed I'm gonna put my destiny in the hand of the God "raclette", we'll see what happens !!!