Interview With Guitarist Cede Dupont
Interview by Rick
One of the best kept secrets in the metal world is
Symphorce. Though they have been around for over 5 years and have
released 4 albums they are relatively unknown. With the release of their
latest disc TWICE SECOND that is about to change as they have
taken their style of modern power metal to a new level that is sure to
attract many new fans.
I have to ask you where are you from?
I am half Swiss, half French living in Switzerland. I live almost 250
km away from the Symphorce guys so we use the internet and phone calls a
lot to communicate. For me every rehearsal or concert outside
Switzerland is like a holiday.
How did you get hooked up with Symphorce? Were you living in
Switzerland at the time when you joined the band?
I have always lived here. I was playing in a Metallica cover band. It
got boring playing cover songs. I decided to put some ads on the
internet webzines. Andy saw one and contacted me and asked was I
interested in just coming over and having a rehearsal. I wasn't really
thinking about joining a German band. How would I manage playing in a
band so far away? But I said to myself I was going to have a good
rehearsal with an awesome band with excellent musicians. Everything was
sounded great playing with those guys. After a couple of weeks they said
they wanted me to be their new guitar player.
When you joined the band you seemed to bring a bit of
aggressiveness to the bands sound?
Absolutely, I am still the youngest guy in the band. Those old guys
need a kick in the ass (laughs) I was only 21 when I joined the band but
it great being in the band with the older guys. Andy is around 30. In
Freedom Call all the guys are in their mid 30s. I am always the young
It must help keep things fresh in the band that you guys come from
slightly different places in metal. ?
Its always fun. Especially when Andy and the guys start talking about
their gigs they did in 1985 and I have to say " don't tell me that.
I was 6 years old then" (laughs) They all laugh when I tell them my
first metal album was the Black Album by Metallica. But it keeps the
influences fresh and adds an interesting aspect to our music. Dennis and
I wrote all the music for TWICE SECOND and Andy comes up with the vocal
lines and lyrics. Everyone has good ideas but we have some bands that we
all like but Andy likes the 80s thrash metal bands and I like some of
the newer stuff. It makes it interesting.
new album is titled "Twice Second". What is the significance
of the title?
There isn't really any special meaning. It was just a stupid idea of
me an Andy to come up with another game of words. Since it is our fourth
album we came up with 2 and 2 is 4 hence TWICE SECOND.
This new CD runs the gamut of metal from thrashy songs like
"Face of Pain" to groovy songs like "Take Whats
Mine". The song that really caught my interest was the "Cry on
My Shoulder" which was very dark and gloomy. Was it a conscious
decision to create a CD that had so many different sides and textures?
It wasn't something we were really focusing on. When Dennis and me
started writing the song we weren't thinking about which direction to
go. It was just jamming on some riffs and suddenly when a good riff
comes out I feel it. I think everything happens really naturally. I
think its great that we have so many styles on this album because it has
something for everyone. Maybe we play a modern type of power metal but we
still have a lot of melodic stuff. We have thrash metal guitar riffs.
Fast songs, slow songs, boring songs! (laughs) Everything.
Whose baby is crying in the song?
The song is a very emotional song. Andy wrote the lyrics and wanted
to pay tribute to his newborn baby so one night he heard the baby crying
and he recorded it. So when we were recording he came along with the
tape and said he had a cool idea. He played the baby scream and along
with the guitar solo it gives the song a very melancholic touch. I like
this song a lot.
What are some of your other favourite songs on the CD?
It is hard to say because I like the whole album. I like
"Tears" very much. That's a song that I wrote. It combines all
the trademarks that make Symphorce. There are groovy parts, sharp guitar
riffs, a very cool chorus and melodic vocals and solo. It is one of my
favourites. "Cause of Laughter" is a pure headbanger. It is
hard to say which ones I like. I like the whole album.
I guess your favourites change from time to time?
Yeah, it changes from day to day. When we were playing live with
Grave Digger my favourites were the ones that we played live:
"Cause of Laughter", "Tears", "Fallen" and
"2 Seconds to Live". After that show "2 Seconds"
became one of my favourites because it has a certain power. But if we
stay here any longer they will all be my favourite songs. (laughs) The
only thing I regret a little bit is that we don't have a guitar solo on
"In the Cold". "Cause of Laughter" doesn't have a
guitar solo and I am fine with that because it was written like that and
is not necessary to the song. But after hearing the CD a few times
"In The Cold" would probably sound better with one. But it is
never going to be perfect anyway.
I guess you can go back and look at every album you did and hear
things you wish you could change?
Absolutely! You are never going to write the perfect album. There
will always be little things that you would like to change. We are happy
with TWICE SECOND but the solo is something that came to my mind
On TWICE SECOND the band again worked with Achim Kohler (who
helped produce the last 2 Symphorce albums.) Why did you choose to work
with him and did you consider working with any other producers?
It was the third time we worked with him. Working with him is very
funny and relaxing but its great because he knows exactly what we want
which is good for us. He is not the kind of producer that says
"double this chorus" or "play this guitar riff in this
harmonic". The songs were finished and we knew what we wanted to
do. He was more like the guy who sits behind the knobs and makes sure
the production is blowing everyone away. It was very funny working with
him. On the European edition we have a short video that shows how great
it was working with him. We weren't too sober at some points but it was
very funny. In the future I would like to work with Andy Sneap because
he has done some huge productions like Nevermore and I think he would be
great for Symphorce as well. Checking out something new or recording in
a new environment can be very refreshing as well. But working with Achim
right now was the best thing for our songs and us.
You mentioned that you write a lot with Dennis. I believe that
Andy writes the lyrics and you concentrate on the music. What is the
songwriting process for the band? Do you create music to fit Andy's
lyrics or do you give him the riffs, which he then turns into songs?
We live so far apart that we can't get together often. I prepare
songs at my place and Dennis does the same. Then we compare and when we
think a song is pretty good we give it to Andy so he can try to put the
vocal lines together. It wouldn't sound like Symphorce without those 5
guys working together. I'm recording my songs at my computer and when
they are ready we send them to Sasha and Markus and then we jam them.
Sasha develops his own drumming to the songs. Markus and I wrote 2 songs
and we will probably write more together in the future.
The band has always used various electronic samples on your CDs
and TWICE SECOND is no different. How do you guys come up with the
various bits and pieces that go into each song and how do you decide
what fits a song and what doesn't?
Actually on the SINCTUARY album it was only me playing guitar and we
had H.P. (Walter) on the keyboards. He was working with more samples and
when he left after SINCTUARY he decided to still work with us in the
studio. He still does those little keyboard things even though he is
more in the background now. Its something he comes up. Now the new
2-guitar lineup is crunchier but HP still adds color to our songs. On
TWICE SECOND Andy plays around a bit with different vocal effects
because we wanted to try something else. I think it makes the CD sound a
bit fresher. I know everyone says it in interviews but I think this is
our best album.
Has anyone ever said anything negative about Symphorce using the
vocal or keyboard effects?
Actually we have had people come up to us and say we sound like some
bullshit nu-metal (mallcore) band. To us its important to be open minded
because Symphorce has always been a band that does what we want. We are
not afraid of trying new sounds. On TWICE SECOND we have some stuff that
could be called Korn-stylish but we can't continue to copy our old
albums. That would be boring. I can't imagine Symphorce coming up with
DJs or anything but its something that keeps us open minded. If you keep
listening to the same bands all the time you wouldn't become a very good
songwriter. I listen to some pop music and I love Blues very much and
that makes it interesting. If anyone doesn't like our sound they aren't
forced to buy our albums. It's a question of taste anyway. You can't
make it right for everyone.
of taste. The cover artwork for TWICE SECOND is very unique and
impressive. I think it is the first time that I have ever seen a
seahorse on a metal CD cover. What is the significance of the seahorses?
Thank god they aren't pink!! (laughs) Of course it is not a typical
heavy metal cover. We have never been a band to follow clichés anyway.
At first we really wanted to work with Travis Smith who has also worked
with Iced Earth and Nevermore. It was important for us to have something
blue because the previous albums had some kind of main color theme. This
time we wanted something blue. He came up with some different ideas and
the cover with the seahorses is different and looks great. Not a typical
cover but its great.
You just did a short tour with Grave Digger and Wizard? How did
you guys get hooked up with Grave Digger and how did the fans react to
the new songs?
The whole idea came up when I was playing at the Blind Guardian Open
Air with Freedom Call and Andy was playing with Brainstorm. Grave Digger
was also on the bill and Andy was talking with Chris Boltendahl and
Chris said that Grave Digger was doing a tour in January. We were
looking for a tour to support TWICE SECOND so we asked if they had an
opening act and he said no. That was when we started discussions to open
for them. The only thing was we needed to have a new album before the
tour. By September we were already recording TWICE SECOND. The tour
happened and it was a great tour. We weren't sure what to expect from
Grave Diggers audience. They play more traditional metal but it was
amazing. So may headbangers and mosh pits. It was great. It was a cool
experience. Wizard were a cool band and the whole tour was a lot of fun.
The Grave Digger guys were great. I was talking to Manni (guitarist of
Grave Digger) a lot about Jimi Hendrix. About half way through the tour
we said why did we play some Jimi in sound check and at the last show we
played "Hey Joe". Jimi Rules!!
Symphorce didn't tour in support of PHORCEFUL AHEAD. Why wasn't
there a tour and do you think it hurt the sales of the album?
I think the best way to support an album is to tour. We didn't play a
lot but we played some shows on the Kamelot tour. We also played some of
the big festivals like Wacken. After the last summer festival we went
into the studio a week later and I think that's why TWICE SECOND sounds
so fresh. We still had the live energy going on. The Grave Digger tour
for TWICE SECOND was unfortunately only Germany, Austria and Switzerland
but we are working on some English and European shows. Probably if we
are lucky and TWICE SECOND does well we will tour in the fall again. If
TWICE SECOND does REALLY good we can come over to Canada and the States.
That would be great because it seems like the metal scene here is
growing bigger all the time.
Yeah, it would be a dream come true for me to play over there. So
come on everyone!! Don't download the album go and buy it!!
How do you feel about people who download albums? Do you think it
has hurts sales of the album and your chance to get out and tour more?
Absolutely! Downloading a couple of songs is cool and we have samples
on our own website. But if everyone downloaded whole albums that makes a
difference. The labels wouldn't get enough money to make it possible for
the bands to record quality albums and they wouldn't have money for tour
support. It comes back to the fans. I can understand that the kids can't
buy 10 albums a month still they should think about it carefully. I
think the internet is a good platform to check out new bands.
What exactly does the name Symphorce mean?
It is just a combination of Symphony and Force. Symphony describes
the melodies we have in our music. Force stands for the ass kicking
Do you consider either Symphorce or Freedom Call your main band?
Playing in both bands is huge fun and I listen to everything from old
Helloween to Pantera so its good to play different things. Freedom Call
is a much more melodic side of metal and I like that a lot. I sing much
more backing vocals. I also have an aggressive side that comes out in
Symphorce. It wouldn't make sense to play in 2 bands that are the same.
I am a musician and a songwriter playing in 2 different sounding bands
so I can't say I prefer one or the other.
Freedom Call will headline the Wacken Roadshow starting in April.
Can you tell me a bit about this tour like how you got involved and what
other bands will be playing?
It is Freedom Call headlining with Metalium and the main idea is
Wacken comes to your town. It's a sort of mini Wacken festival with a
metal market in each show etc. I think it a pretty cool thing. It is
more an event than a concert. For Freedom Call it's a new way to promote
the new live album.
When does the new live album come out?
Its going to be release April 19th and its a double album CD 1 will
be all the live tracks and CD 2 will be the TARAGON e.p. and a couple of
bonus tracks which are cover songs.
Cede, you are endorsed by ESP guitars. How did you get associated
with that company and what do you get in return for them using your
I always wanted to have an ESP. As a guitarist you are always trying
to find the best equipment. 5 or 6 years ago I was trying every guitar
and amp to find the best for me. I wasn't happy with what I had and I
bought an ESP. I liked it and a while ago I contacted them and asked
about supporting me. After some discussions we worked some stuff out. As
a guitarist you think you should start out on an expensive guitar. It is
not the case. You have to try a lot before you find the one you like.
Are there any new bands that you have been listening to a lot?
I listen to a lot of different stuff. Some of it is not so new. I
really like Jorn Lande, his solo record WORLD CHANGER. I also listen to
a lot of the new Soilwork and Children of Bodom. There are so many new
bands coming out that it is hard to keep up with them.
Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of
I just have 2 words! METAL RULES!!!!!!
Symphorce Official Website: www.symphorce.net
Label Website: www.metalblade.com