Interview with guitarist Jean-François (JF) Dagenais
By Peter Atkinson
All photos from https://www.facebook.com/kataklysm
Veteran Canadian death metallers Kataklysm enter their third decade with a bruising, brand new 11th studio album, Waiting For The End To Come, and a pretty good head of steam that has been gathering slowly over the last few years. The band’s last album, 2010’s Heaven’s Venom, managed to crack the Billboard 200 for the first time, sneaking on at #196, and Kataklysm marked the first two decades of their career in 2012 with the aptly titled live/documentary CD/DVD Iron Will: 20 Years Determined. 2009 also saw the emergence of Ex Deo, a Gladiator-meets-death metal side project of Maurizio Iacono’s that blossomed into a full-blown band incorporating the rest of Kataklysm – guitarist Jean-François (JF) Dagenais, bassist Stephane Barbe and drummer Max Duhamel – and garnered a surprising amount of attention with their debut Romulus, which carried over to the follow-up Caligula in 2012.
Despite a recent bump in the road when Duhamel took leave of both bands to battle his alcoholism, Kataklysm barely missed a beat – so to speak – by hiring on Oli Beaudoin, who had performed a few shows in Duhamel’s stead in the past. Beaudoin was behind the kit for Waiting For The End To Come and most likely will stay there as the band tours on its behalf into the new year. During a recent phone interview, Dagenais offered his thoughts on the past, present and future of both Kataklysm and Ex Deo, the situation with Duhamel (who had left the band on two other occasions, for several-year periods), and what happens when “Northern Hyperblast” meets Southern hospitality.