were you able to sign with Nuclear Blast and what happened with
First of all, Roadrunner had listened to our last album released
with Relativity, and we signed a contract for one album, which
was not a bad idea after all because I wasn’t satisfied
with the way they managed Symbolic… After honoring the contract,
I regrouped a few ideas I had for another project, Control denied,
on which I am working now, before releasing the new Death album…
When I started composing again for Death, I contacted a few record
labels and some contacted me. One of them was Nuclear Blast, to
whom I sent a cassette of 4 recordings we had made at my place…
They loved it! I sent the same cassette to other labels, but for
me, Nuclear Blast had a greater understanding of heavy metal.
I appreciated the fact that they have a number of bands I like
such as Primal Fear and Hammerfall. A lot of people were surprised
that I didn’t choose a big commercial label, but I didn’t
want to work with people who know nothing about metal.
new DEATH line-up once more a band to your image or is it a completely
I still compose everything like in the past, but at the same time,
we form a band in the sense that everyone can fully exploit its
talent. I don’t see why you would have good musicians if
they can’t show their skills. Working with good musicians
is a must if I want to feel free to write what I want without
following any trends. I want to abolish trends. I’m tired
of America and it pisses me off!! This country is so hungry for
trends that it has become sickening. In America, when you are
original, you get laminated by trends, but here (in Europe) there
are tons of fans that are addicted to pure metal, and this is
exactly what the new DEATH album proposes! We can’t wait
to go to Europe and around the world, but America is still the
country who needs the most help. I really hope this album will
be a turning point in the American metal scene because most bands
only follow trends. I am not accusing anyone in particular, but
a lot of big American bands have forgotten the roots of metal.
being too nostalgic, we see DEATH is a mythical band in the metal
scene. Since you are the forefather of a style, many have positive
or negative thoughts and expectations on the upcoming album. What
does this new challenge mean to you?
I think it’s great! It’s easy for some people to underestimate
the capacity to surpass yourself from one album to the other.
I can’t wait for the album to be released because I think
it surpasses by far what a
lot of people thought I could do. It is sincerely what I think:
I put myself in a fan’s point of view and I compare it to
everything that has been released. I really don’t care what
people will say about me because DEATH has always been sincere.
And since I’m a heavy metal fan… I listen to heavy
metal and I buy heavy metal…
view, is this new album a continuum of Symbolic or is it a comeback
I think it is a compromise
between Human, ITP and Symbolic but with more depth. It is super
aggressive, super technique… it is violent like Human, technical
like ITP and has the feeling of Symbolic. In my view, it is a
very good compromise between these albums, without being deja-vu…
the advantage to exploit new musical aspects?
Yes indeed, there are a lot of things on this album that I hadn’t
tried before. But don’t worry, there is nothing eccentric
or silly, I don’t mean to scare people. In a sense, this
album gives a lot of freedom to the guitars and the melodies.
America, when you are original, you get laminated by trends, but
here (in Europe) there are tons of fans that are addicted to pure
metal, and this is exactly what the new DEATH album proposes!”
the metal scene has evolved a lot, where do you see yourself now?
I hate categories, there are too many. I think DEATH is a metal
band and that’s the end of it! People always try to categorize
us but I keep saying we are a heavy metal band. When our demos
were released, people started saying we played death metal. Back
in the day, I thought the name was cool, but with time I started
disliking the negative aspect of the term because I talk of more
positive subjects. Today I’m 31 years old and I have progressed
a lot musically, and what we do today is a lot more metal than
before. I refuse to be categorized, and so I am always evolving,
textually and musically, but in any case, DEATH is and will remain
give a few details on this new album recorded at Morrisound?
The title of the album is “The
Sound of Perseverance”, and of course, the subject is
perseverance, commitment and passion.
The new band members and simply incredible and I’m very
proud of this line-up. Everyone is devoted to heavy
metal, an essential quality to be member of this band. One song
is called “Flesh and the Power it Holds” and lasts
over 8 minutes and “A Moment of Clarity” that lasts
about 15 minutes. I think a lot of people will be pleased with
this album. There will also be shorter tracks that will still
last around 5 minutes!
question… who wrote this album?
Well… I wrote all the
lyrics, and the music! This is all very natural for me, but I
don’t control the band like many people say I do. For me,
composing is like breathing. It is something I need to do. Everything
I write linked to my everyday life, and people can relate to it.
ever think of changing the band name for your come-back?
Yes, and it would have been
something very easy for me to do. I have been away from the scene
for a while and it wouldn’t have been difficult to say “Hey,
I’m back with a new band”. But the fact is that I
chose the name DEATH when I was 16 and it has since become famous.
It would have been stupid to change it. People need to have something
to relate to. I would have been sad to get rid of this name. And
also, I don’t want to disappoint anyone of my fans.
your period of silence, what has marked you the most in the metal
A lot of CDs I bought have
disappointed me. I didn’t buy the new Metallica because
what they have done lately disgusts me, and I say that as a fan.
They have said that they are not a metal band anymore and that
they don’t care about the scene. I take this as a personal
insult, as any metal fan would, but anyway, music is something
personal, whatever the style.
on Dynamo Open Air for your come-back. Are there any concerts
planned in France and in Europe in the coming months?
No, we will not come to France
this time, and I regret it because I like France very much. But
we will be playing across Europe.
you were talking about a side project… Does it have a place
in your schedule?
Yes, and it is very important
to me! I am hoping to start recording the Control Denied very
soon, which should be released by Nuclear Blast as well…