Bart Frydrychowicz and Yanic Bercier of
Interviewed by EvilG
Transcription by Nick
All pictures taken by Louis-Charles Levasseur
and used by permission of troisrivieresmetal.com.
Quo Vadis is the best prog/death metal band I’ve heard since Into Eternity. Both are Canadian bands, but Quo Vadis comes from the burgeoning Quebec metal scene where a long list of extreme metal bands has emerged. For many it all began with VoiVod in the 80′s to newer bands like Cryptopsy, Kataklysm, Gorguts, Martyr, Oblivion, etc… After I heard the new Quo Vadis album DEFIANT IMAGINATION, I was instantly hooked. The album is miles ahead of everything they’ve done prior to this release. If you are into progressive death metal and bands like Death, you should already know who these guys are. I was given the opportunity to interview guitarist Bart Frydrychowicz and drumgod Yanic Bercier of Quo Vadis. The lengthy (50+min) interview covered things like the new album and why it took a long time coming, the guest appearance of bass legend Steve DiGiorgio on the album, and the band’s determination to get on the road and to make this album the one that really puts them on the international metal map.
I?ve got a bunch of questions lined up. A lot of them are about your new album, DEFIANT IMAGINATION. I heard your first demo a few years ago and I must admit you?ve come a long way since you first started.
Yanic: You mean the demo from ?95? Holy crap!
I remember listening to it and now that I?ve got your new album it?s like night and day the difference between how far the band has come. Obviously you must be quite happy with your new album.
Yanic: Oh yeah, very much so.
On the back of my cd it just says ?Quo Vadis Metal 2004?. Is this your own label or are you signed with some kinda deal with Fusion 3/Skyscraper or something like that?
Yanic: We have distribution right now with Fusion 3 in Canada and the album is released with Skyscraper.
Has there been any interest from any of the other big metal labels that lots of releases come out on these days, the Nuclear Blast?s, the Century Media?s and all those labels?
Yanic: I think that what the band is looking into right now is having control over the release. That means the distribution, any of the decision making and I think that having the band control everything that?s going on is probably what?s best for the band right now. I think that working with Skyscraper, working jointly with them, we can get everything that we want because we?re very much part of the decision making. So I think it was the best decision for the band to kinda release it with Skyscraper in on it at the same time.
Bart: You have to remember that the industry right now is undergoing tremendous amounts of change due to the new technology that is coming out, etcetera. And big labels ? I?m not gonna name any names ? what they tend to do is sign new bands for 30 years or 50 years, ten albums. And it?s not necessarily the best choice for a band right now, even if they do have a contract, to go ahead. I?ve heard of contracts where you?re a band and you sign and one of the clauses is that anything that is done outside of the band with any of the musicians is owned by the label as well. So that means any side project or anything like that. Say Yanic goes out and starts another band. If Quo Vadis signs with the wrong label, they own it. Yanic can say nothing, he cannot to anything, you know what I mean? It?s really crazy the way they?ve become, because the labels right now are aware of this paradigm shit that is going on. They?re trying to protect themselves for the future because nobody can tell what?s gonna happen in two years. From our perspective, being in charge of all your material is extremely, extremely important right now and for the next couple of years. Once things stabilize, then you can start giving things away to labels. The thing is, Quo Vadis is run right now like a label. We partner with Skyscraper and it?s working out amazingly well, we?re very happy. I?m sure that Steph from Skyscraper is happy as well, because he gives a lot of attention to the band. I don?t think I would have done it any other way. If we had all the same options and the same opportunities from the last two years, I wouldn?t have done any decisions differently.
I know the recording and the entire process of getting the cd mastered, recorded, released, everything took a fair amount of time. Was a lot of this beyond your control or were you basically taking your time to ensure things were done exactly how you wanted it done?
Yanic: I think part of it was in our control and was not in our control. I think we are a band that?s very demanding and we have specific requirements for how we want the band to sound. Once you start working with the sound engineer and things are moving forward, but not at the pace that you would like or in the direction that you want, it?s time to make a decision on a new direction to the project. I think we had to do that in the case of this project. Basically we went down to Audio Hammer, working with Jason Suecof, and that was something new that we hadn?t done in the past. We went down there, we mixed for a week, at which point we thought it would be a good idea to let Jim Morris have a look at it. Jim Morris from Morrisound has a tremendous amount of experience in the field. Jason Suca actually contacted Jim and got Jim to come to Jason?s studio at Audio Hammer to work with Jason on some of the tracks. So Jim came for one day and Bart and I were very happy with the way songs were turning out with Jim. At which point we decided to take the tracks to Morrisound, in Jim?s environment, for him to optimize the performance. He knows the room, he knows the equipment he has there and he has a lot more equipment than at Audio Hammer so there were a lot more possibilities that were available to us at Morrisound. So myself, Bart and Jason went to Jim Morris?s studio and got them mixed there for about three days. Then we got an amazing mix. We?re very, very happy with it, I think it sounds great. And like Bart puts a lot of emphasis on, this is the first time that we hear absolutely everything. That?s a very good feeling to have in this position.
How long did you take writing the album before you started the recording process?
Bart: I guess the writing process took something like six months to establish the structures of the songs, like the main riffs and all that. And then we had some line-up changes just before going into the studio and we recorded those parts in 2002. After that we continued working on the rest, the other guitar lines, the harmonies, things like that, vocals, bass. Going back to your other question, it was a bit of both because we took our time but we had to wait for about a year for different studio availabilities and stuff like that. We were ready to go, but we couldn?t, the schedules didn?t match.
Were you ever frustrated with how long it was taking?
Bart: There were times. When you?re working on a project for a long time, and this has taken two years, when you?ve already made up your mind on how it?s going to be and you can hear in your head what it?s going to sound like and there are no more questions to be answered about writing or creating, then you just want it to finish like today. Get it out! We went through like three mixes, four mixes, it just took forever with that. But right now, we?re very happy with the outcome, so it was all worth it.
Can you tell me a bit about the cover artwork and how it was developed? Did you have any input into the look and feel of it?
Bart: Basically we were working with a couple of artists. Once we had the mix done and were doing the mastering we had time to start thinking about layout and artwork and stuff, so we were looking at different artists that would be possible. We started with a couple of them, we gave them our ideas and the stuff that was coming back was? You know the feeling you get when you read a book, then you see the movie and the movie was not what you imagined?
That happens all the time.
Bart: Exactly. When you express something, when you explain to someone else, they might get the main idea but pieces of it are different, the feel is different, the perspective is different. So we were like ?oh, that?s good?, ?oh that?s good enough? and the whole time I was like ?Man, that?s not IT!? I was surfing the web the whole time, trying to figure out some undiscovered artists and that?s exactly what happened. I found this website and it had these amazing, amazing images, a whole plethora of images. The artist?s name is Skydancer and the link to her website is in the booklet. The artwork is extremely varied, from very aggressive to very ethereal. We just called her and everything worked out, we had the rights to the painting and the permission to use it. The way I did the layout, there are parts of the painting that are not on the cover, they?re zoomed out. It?s just cut in half. The reason for the album title change also was because the artwork that we stumbled upon was so perfect. The title of the piece is actually ?Seeking right? and we thought that would fit well with the title ?Defiant imagination?, because it was so constructive. I really tried to convince Yanic and St?phane [Par?] to use it. ?Uh, but it looks really weird.? I was like, ?Yeah, that?s it, it looks different!? Everything else that we were getting were these standard Photoshop covers, you know. If you look at the painting, it?s so expressive because the face has an expression, there?s a feeling in it that?s the same as I feel for the record. Anyway, I?m happy it eventuelly got on the cover.
The title ?Defiant imagination?, what meaning is behind the title and why did you choose that as the album title?
Bart: We tried to write material that is technically challenging to play so we?re not bored playing it. But at the same time we didn?t want to get into this ?math metal? thing where there?s a lot of time changes and chord changes that are sometimes very interesting to play but that don?t necessarily carry the feel of the song. What?s important to me is that when you go through different rhythms and beats and whatever, syncopation, we?re using a lot of non-linear stuff that isn?t in our writing, I always try to maintain the pulse of the song. The beat and the pulse is not the same thing. It?s really challenging to write like this and I think we came across fairly well. I?m really happy with the results, it?s the best material we?ve done. It was about writing technical material that?s groovy enough to get into and not just technical, so in a sense you have to be imaginative and the defiance in it is the part that?s aggressive, that maintains the aggression and that maintains the power. Usually power is very linear, if you disperse it too much, then you have no power and you can?t apply force.
What kinds of topics inspired the lyrics here? Do you write a lot of the lyrics yourself? I saw your name credited for a number of them. Are you more of a person who?s inspired by daily life or what you read or whatever?
Bart: It?s a bit of both actually for the songs I wrote. One of the songs, ?To the bitter end?, was actually based on a dream I had one night which I thought was really interesting. I don?t think I managed to really portray what I wanted to talk about, but it came out that way because I wrote it in like a day. We had one song left with no lyrics and it was like ?ah fuck, I?ll write this? and I finished it at six in the morning. But Yanic wrote a lot more more lyrics this time for the record, he would write like one song or something, and I think he did an amazing job. The difference between Yanic?s lyrics and my lyrics is that his always tell a story. For example on ?Fate?s descent?, which is a song that was dedicated to Chuck, it tells the story of a person who is dead and looking at the remaining people that are mourning him or her. It?s written from that perspective. He?s very imaginative in that way.
The band is still somewhat of an unknown entity to some people but I think most people who are into technical or melodic/progressive death metal or whatever you wanna call it, have heard the name. Do you think the band still has further to go, that more fans of other forms of metal might become more interested?
Bart: Oh, totally. We?re not stopping here. What I?m 100 percent convinced of is that we need to get out of Canada and start playing in Europe and the States. We?re actually working on that right now, we have one shop booked in Germany in March. It?s a festival in Augsburg and we have a co-headliner spot, so we should get good exposure from there. What happens to a lot of bands, if you look at it from the perspective of time, you get very, very good bands that never make it or never get out of the territory. They have their loyal fans in their province or state or maybe their country. They never push, or maybe they push but they never get the break to go outside. I think that?s the next step for Quo Vadis. I think if Quo Vadis is exposed to an international audience in the same way that it?s exposed to the Canadian audience, we play a lot of shows, we get a lot of support and we?re very happy after every show, we get no disappointing turnouts or something like that, I?m sure that the same things the Canadian fans appreciate about Quo Vadis, other fans will appreciate as well.
Do you find that some of the more melodic or progressive elements are drawing in fans already who don?t usually listen to the brutal death metal type of music? Or do you think on the flipside, some of those elements might turn off guys who are hardcore death metal fans who don?t usually branch off from the brutal stuff?
Bart: I think this record has a lot of elements of different genres. I?m sure the melodic parts will turn off the brutal people, some of them anyway and I?m sure the brutal parts will turn off some of the rock fans. I mean, music is interpreted in such a personal way. There?s always gonna be someone saying ?oh, that?s too progressive? or ?oh, that?s too melodic? or ?oh, that?s too hard?. These people have their own thing that they listen to. I just think that metal is not for everybody and different subgenres of metal are not for all the metalheads. I?m sure there are parts that will turn off some people, but that can be said about every single record.
Have either of you considered mixing in more clean vocals? I know there are some choir type vocals already, but I mean actual singing parts? Or do you want to stick with the death metal style of vocals?
Yanic: I think Bart had mentioned that actually at one point or at least pushing the limit in terms of vocalists. But we haven?t really talked about it in more details since the vocals have been recorded for the cd. I think it?s something that we may end up trying in the future, but like I said, we haven?t tried anything or talked about it since the recording of the vocals. I think Bart did a really good job with the choirs, so I?m sure there?ll be other types of choirs on the next cd and things like that.
Bart: I don?t know. Maybe I?m choir-ed out. Usually for me, I?m very open. One thing I just don?t want to do is change the style of the band. If I want to do something that doesn?t fit the style of the band Quo Vadis, I?ll just do something on the side. That?s my only criteria. If clean vocals can express a point or underline something we feel is what we want to express with Quo Vadis material, within the constraints of a metal band or a death metal band, we?ll use it. Otherwise, anything goes. Your imagination is the limit.
What was it like to arrange the choir type sections in here for some of the songs? I assume a lot of the work was done by Roxanne Constantin.
Bart: Yeah, Roxy did an amazing job on that. The music for the choirs was written actually a while ago and it wasn?t written as choirs. The intro to ?Fate?s descent? was written as guitar harmonies and we actually even recorded it like that initially before it was turned into a choir. And the second choir was written four or five eyars ago as a guitar riff and harmonies. Basically what we did was that I wanted to add an extra dimension to the record because I thought it was too fast and too furious. As I once told Yanic, I listened to it before the choirs and oh man, I got stressed listening to this album. It was really, really fast so I just wanted to give another element to it. And Roxy who?s just finishing her bachelor?s at the conservatory here in Montreal agreed to help us out. She did parts of the canons on the album as well. She took all the music that was written and arranged it and also helped us with the translation of the words to Latin. Without her input, it wouldn?t sound like this. She knows where to put the altos and the basses and how to split the chords into the different voices and such, she did an amazing job with that.
Do you think you?ll be using her for the next album or you haven?t thought that far ahead yet?
Bart: Like I said, the only limits are that it has to be metal and your imagination. If there?s stuff that fits her input, yeah, why not.
The famous bassist Steve DiGeorgio on the album. I was wondering if you could tell me the story about how you hooked up with him and was he a fan of Quo Vadis before the cd came out?
Yanic: He was a big fan of the band. Actually he contacted us and begged us to take him.
Bart: [laughs] No no no!
Yanic: Bart, you can answer this question, this is your baby.
Bart: Well, you know, we had some lineup changes in 2003. After our bassist parted with the band, we were looking at different options. One option was to get another bassist, another option was for me to play bass on the record. I always appreciated his playing, because on my favourite albums, accidentally, he plays on them. Like Iced Earth?s ?Horror show?, to me that?s an amazing record, ?Individual thought patterns?, Control Denied, things like that. I just started thinking about contacting him. I won?t name any names, but someone left a message on my phone saying ?That?s the dumbest thing I ever heard! The guy would never consider us! You?re nuts and you?re wasting time! Just finish the record! Blah blah blah!?
Yanic: It wasn?t me though!
Bart: I said, ?Oh yeah? Just watch me!? So I just sent this anonymous one line e-mail to him, and the address had nothing to do with the band, ?Would you be interested in doing some session work in Canada?? I thought oh yeah, that?s the last thing I?ll hear about that. So I go out doing other things and boom! I get an answer, ?Give me more details?. Oh shit! So I send him the band bio and all this stuff that I think he wants to hear. And he mails me back, ?I don?t want that crap?. [laughs] So I send him the pre-tracks that we had already done. Then we started talking to Steve, we got Yanic and Steve on the phone and thought about how we could arrange it, it?s a big trip and he?s in Europe with Testament and blah blah blah. In the end, it worked out and he came here. Actually as Yanic put it in one point, it was a choice between Bart or Steve. I guess I?m not good enough of a bassist for Yanic! Just kidding, but seriously, I?m such a big fan of Steve?s work. It was such an honour to work with him. He came here for a week, right off the Testament tour when they were touring in Europe in 2003, stayed at my place for four days and learned the whole album in four days, recorded it in three and this is the third dimension of the album. There are so many cool bass parts and fretless parts and he added some many new melodies and it shows that when you put somebody else in the mix, like another musician, that will always bring a different perspective to everything. Some of the stuff when we listened to it, I was bored with it. Remember, Yanic, on ?Dead man?s diary???
Yanic: I remember that about a lot of songs!
Bart: Remember what you said when he asked us to go back to the studio and listen to the parts?
Yanic: Yeah, that?s exactly what I was thinking about, actually. That?s something that really hit me right in the face. This guy has a lot of experience, he?s worked with a lot of musicians, and recorded on a lot of top albums and he comes in the studio where he?s recording and he always wanted approval of what he?s recorded or written. ?Oh, are you guys happy with this?? I remember at one point Bart and I were listening to a song that he had just finished or something and he was in the corner. I don?t know if he was chewing on his nails, but he was nervous of the approval of what he had recorded. Not because he wasn?t confident, he just wanted us to be extremely happy with his work and I thought that was just great. I mean, that was something that was really important to him.
Have you stayed in contact with him since he played on the album?
Bart: Oh yeah, totally. We?re in touch and speak like once every couple of weeks. And sometimes he tells me or sends me e-mails with ?look, someone?s mentioned the album here? or ?someone?s mentioned the album there? wherever he sees them. I heard he got a couple of compliments for the record as well, for his bass playing. When we were working on the bass parts, like Yanic says he was asking ?Is this good?? He was used to the guitarist always trying to keep the bass under wraps. Like in Iced Earth, he was not doing that exciting stuff and there?s always the guitarist that says ?play the root?. I was telling him ?Do whatever you want man, go crazy! Go brrrrrrrrrrrrr!? He told me this was the first record in a long time where basically he was ASKED to go crazy and I think he liked writing this stuff. I?m not sure he enjoyed recording it!
Yanic: He said it was the most challenging album he?s had since ?Individual thought patterns?. To play, I?m not sure about to write, but to play he said that it was very fast. Did he say it was challenging to write as well?
Bart: I think it had more to do with him having like four days to learn the whole record.
So is your new bass player, when you play live, going to have great difficulty mimicking any of his bass likes you think?
Bart: He doesn?t have to mimic. I mean, he plays and he adds onto it. The bassist is Augury?s Forrest Lapointe and he?s got a fretless bass. He?s capable of doing everything that Steve?s doing and sometimes he even adds his own little fills and stuff like that. I?ve been really, really happy with Forrest?s work for us. He picks everything up on his own. I just tell him to learn these songs and boom, one week later he?s got them. It?s really fascinating.
Yanic: And he plays tight as well with the rest of the band. The chemistry is really important as well.
Bart: On stage, we have a lot of fun.
In Canada one, if not the strongest, metal spawning grounds seems to be that of Quebec. A lot of cool bands seem to come out of Quebec, obviously a lot of bands from the more brutal side of the spectrum it seems. What would you attribute some of this to and do you think it?s simply that there?s a good fan base for heavier music there than there would be in other parts of Canada?
Bart: From my point of view, there?s definitely momentum in Quebec for metal. That tends to help musicians that wanna play. If you look at Montreal, we have like 200 something bands. Just metal, death metal and thrash, you know, aggressive types of metal. If you have like four people per band, sometimes six, and just bands show up at shows, you already have a huge show. These are people that support the music, appreciate the music, they play it obviously. So it?s a self-sustaining system where good creative work is actually appreciated by other people that understand the music. It?s probably different in other places where, say you want to start a metal band and you?re playing in a vacuum.
Yanic: I don?t know how it got started. I don?t know if it has something to do with VoiVod, which is one of Canada?s big bands. And then taking off with Oblivion, Cataclysm, Cryptopsy, I don?t know if that helped build a momentum. I don?t know how it all got started, maybe it?s all due to that, which strongly encouraged people to get their bands together and things like that. But right now, as Bart was saying, it?s definitely going strong.
Do you have any thoughts about why it hasn?t blown up anywhere else in Canada? Vancouver is not too bad but it seems like Ontario?s pretty quiet lately.
Bart: I really don?t know. I know why it maintains, but why it doesn?t start anywhere else? It might be that you can play amazing music but if you play it in your own basement or in your garage or in front of three people, it?s never gonna get out. You can be the best band in the world and that?d be so sad. Here you have the fanbase, the fanbase sustains the bands which sustain the fans and it just keeps going like this.
You obviously have a very supportive scene for your own band locally in Quebec. I know you?ve played a lot around there and I believe you played shows in Ontario. Have you played in any other provinces in Canada?
Yanic: We had a Canadian tour in 2000 or 2001. Do you remember exactly which year it was?
Bart: It was 2001.
Yanic: 2001, ok. I think it was ten or twelve nights, something like that, and we went from BC all the way to Manitoba. We had played Ontario in the past, so we went from BC to Manitoba and did a lot of shows there. I think it was a great opportunity for the band and it probably got us a lot more known there, because we hadn?t played there before. So I think it helped the band. The scene was different than what it was in Montreal, a completely different scene. I don?t know? Bart, what was your feeling about that?
Bart: I don?t know, I can?t really say. We played a couple of shows per province in different provinces, so it?s really difficult to se what the scene is like. I mean, people would show up at shows and stuff and they would watch. I didn?t reall come away from there with any specific comments. However we do have a shirt that we played with Vagina Overta! Which wasn?t our fault, by the way! [laughs] That?s the only thing I remember from that tour!
Have you planned a tour in Canada for ?Defiant imagination?? Is there gonna be a Canadian tour or, you already mentioned one date in Europe, I don?t know if you hope to set up some kinda tour from that?
Bart: We?re working on it, right now everything?s open for 2005.
Yanic: I?d like to go East, because we haven?t had a chance to go East more than Quebec. We haven?t played in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland? We haven?t played there and I think that it would be a lot of fun and it would be great for the band to play there. How?s the scene in Newfoundland? You?re saying you?re from Newfoundland, right?
Yeah. We had Infernal Majesty here in July which was a big deal because no bands come here. You can?t drive here, you need a boat to come here. There is a scene but it?s not very big of course. A lot of younger bands and a lot of heavier bands, hardcore and death metal type bands. There is a small scene I guess, like there is in most cities, but nothing too big.
Bart: You guys know that in different regions people mosh differently? In the Northeast of Quebec, they mosh in a circle. You know Neuraxis, right? One of the last shows we did, they did something we hadn?t seen before. They did something called the wall of death. What Jan did, the singer from Neuraxis, for the last song he went into the crowd, separated everyone into two sides and then when he gave the sign, everybody just slammed into each other and a guy broke a leg. They just came from an East coast tour, maybe they picked it up over there. Hey Yanic, I have the permission from Jan to use it for the next tour! He sold the idea for a cd.
Yanic: To break people?s legs or have a wall of death?
Some titles and lyrics on your album are in Latin. Obviously you had some help from I believe it was Roxy?
Does she speak Latin?
Bart: She speaks several languages. She doesn?t speak Latin but she did study it at one point.
Regarding the track ?In articulo mortis?, I looked it up on the Internet, and the meaning came up from the new Catholic dictionary.
Bart: What?! It means ?death is coming?, that?s what it?s supposed to mean.
It said it was Latin for ?at the point of death?, a phrase used to express indulgence granted to a person ?in articulo mortis?, i. e. about to die. I was thinking, ?is this some hidden religious topic that they?re trying to get to here??
Bart: No way! No way! Basically you?re probably gonna get a lot of Latin references from Catholic stuff because they conduct their masses and stuff in Latin. I guess ?at the point of death? is kinda accurate because the lyrics are like ?death is near?, ?death is coming? in English, so it?s basically the same thing. And ?Ego intuo et servo te? is ?I will always watch over you?. It all has to do with the song for Chuck that we wrote, it was basically one thing. Yanic wrote some amazing lyrics for this.
I can hear a big influence from Chuck and Death in your music, it?s obviously had a deep impact on your style and your life maybe as a musician. Can you sum up in any way what it meant when he passed on?
Bart: Yanic, I handle the music part and you handle the lyrics part, ok?
Yanic: Ok, all right.
Bart: For music, when I was in a sense absorbing death metal, ?Symbolic? came out, ?Individual thought patterns? came out, ?Human?, all these albums that were in a sense pivotal to the style. At least for me. I remember there were a lot of firsts for these records and when I was listening to them I was amazed by the drums for one thing and amazed by the bass playing on ?Individual thought patterns?. For ?Symbolic? I would go like ?Oh wow, this is so good with the melodies and everything!? Obviously, when Chuck passed away it was a huge loss to metal, to the metal community world wide. You can just look at Chuck?s page where they have all these thank you?s and they just keep coming and coming and coming. Even right now a record label is issuing the unreleased portions of Control Denied. The guy is still alive in people?s minds and it?s been so long, it?s been years. It?s the same thing for me. What saw a lot of people doing was doing a Death cover for the record. I didn?t wanna do that, I wanted to do something more. That?s the whole idea of the music from ?Fate?s descent? and the choirs was that I wanted to write a song that sounded to me like the feeling I get listening to ?Individual? and ?Symbolic?. So in a sense I wanted to write something that sounded like those albums. To me, that would be the biggest homage you could give. Imitation is the biggest form of flattery. So the music was written in memory of Chuck and I think it came out pretty well. You can judge it all you want, I don?t care ! [laughs]
Yanic: I think for myself the band has had a great impact on my playing on drums. Just looking at the drums here, we can talk about the music after, Sean Reinert playing on ?Human? and Gene Hoglan playing on ?Individual thought patterns?, those are two of the probably four drummers that have influenced me the most for drumming. I think the music has influenced me in terms of, maybe not in terms of writing lyrics like in topics, not really for that, but mostly musically. Bart was the one who introduced me to ?Symbolic?. I had been a fan of Death since, I think, 1988 and after ?Spiritual healing? came out I didn?t really lose interest in the band, but I wasn?t listening to that type of music as much. I was listening to other types of metal and when ?Symbolic? came out, Bart said to me, ?you gotta buy this album?. I bought it and I?m glad I bought it because I started getting more and more into the band after that. I think it had a great influence on my playing. I?ve been told in the past that, ?oh you can hear some Gene Hoglan, some Dave Lombardo and some Sean Reinert influences here and there?. I think Death was a great band that I?m sure had a lot of influence on a lot of other people, in terms not only muscially but in their lives as well.
Yanic, you wrote the lyrics for ?Fate?s descent?, was that a hard one to write or did it flow pretty easily when you started the lyrics?
Yanic: Actually, the music to ?Fate?s descent? is a tribute to Chuck. The lyrics, I didn?t write them with that perspective. What I wanted to talk about actually was that I told myself it?d be neat to talk about a funeral and have the soul of the person that just died hovering over everyone and making them feel comforted like ?hey, everything is still ok? and have a link with the people that are still living. That was the idea I had. Writing it, I wrote differently than I usually write lyrics for songs. I wrote down ideas of what I wanted to say in the song and after that I organized it, sort of writing the lines with the ideas. So it was written differently than I have written other songs.
Has any other musician influenced you as much or a band influenced you as much as Death? Or would you both say that Death is a key band for you as musicians?
Bart: For me, the main influence for the guitar would be Joe Satriani. If you listen to the solo on ?Silence calls the storm?, the first one, you can definitely hear that whole section going in that direction.
Yanic: For myself I?d probably say Death because of Gene Hoglan and Sean Reinert, I?d defnitiely say Slayer, absolutely for sure, and Testament. Those are the bands that I was listening to in tle late 80?s, early 90?s and I think the greatly influenced my style of playing. Other than that, Dream Theater somewhat, not as much as those bands, not necessarily close, but Dream Theater I would say. And Metallica in the early days for sure as well.
You recently recorded a video for your song ?In Contempt?. Has it been finished yet? Can you tell me a bit about it, maybe where it will air or will you put it on your website for people who don?t get it on TV?
Bart: Actually, we?re filming the additional parts for it today. There is already editing going on, we found some gaps so we?re just adding stuff to it. The video is hopefully to be aired whereever it can be aired. The video is right now in the editing stages, we have all the shots, they?re all synchronized with the music and we have to pick the ones that we want but there?s still some gaps that we need to fill, that?s all.
Will it be out before Christmas or are you not sure?
Bart: I hope so, but I don?t wanna rush it. Just like the record, I don?t wanna release it until everything is perfect.
So is there anything else going on with the band, you have any shows coming up or any other news?
Yanic: We?re starting to look into the release show actually, slowly but surely. We?re waiting for confirmation of the European date. Once that is set in stone, we?re gonna look at different details for the release show. We want an amazing release show, we wanna have something that?s big. Once those things are confirmed, we?re gonna go full speed ahead.