Dylath-Leen interview (07/2007)
|With:||Kathy, Jérémy, Magaly and Igor|
|Conducted by:||Darkside Momo (in person)|
Well, this is my very first in-person interview, so I was quite uneasy at first. A big thanks to the band, who were kind enough to answer my questions and not to laugh at my beginner's mistakes…
This interview was made and recorded in french at Hellfest, on Friday 22rd of June, after the show of the band on the Discover Stage. So yes, I also translated everything in English - another source of possible mistakes.
Thanks also to Radio FMR, who lended me the recorder. Without it, it would have been catastrophic, with the rain and Hatebreed playing not far from us!
First I'll ask you to present the band: who's in it, how was it formed…
Kathy: I'm guitarist/singer since the formation of the band in 1999.
Jérémy: Hello, I'm bass player, since 1999 too.
Magaly: Hello, I'm on keyboards since 2002.
Igor: And me, on guitar and vocals, since the formation of the band too.
Kathy: There's also Arnaud, on drums, who's with us since 2002 too.
So, the formation of the band: what were the ideas you began with, your influences…?
Kathy: Well, from the start we wanted to make a professional CD immediately, without recording a demo. We all already knew each other in the band, and so we decided to mix all our influences, because, at the core, we didn't listen to the same things. And now we still don't, it ranges from death to thrash to black, and we mixed all that to make the Dylath-Leen style.
So, since the formation in 1999, we got in the studio in 2001 to record our first album, Insecure, with Stéphane Buriez of Loudblast.
About this, how did you got the 'Défi Jeunes' of the CROUS? How did that happen? After all, seeing the CROUS logo on a metal CD is quite strange!
(DM: the CROUS is a state organism in France in charge of student life: financing scholarship, for example. They also organize promotion actions like this Défi Jeune, literally Youngster Challenge. But, in France, seeing something like this granted to a subculture, is quite rare. Moreso if you're speaking of metal)
Igor: Let's say that this kind of proceeding is quite atypical both for them and for us and, well, we had to convince people accustomed to a certain kind of cultural products, that a project to defend a subculture like death metal is also valid. It's not because it's the culture of a minority that it shouldn't be mentionned, and also that we shouldn't have the right to have a real production. And so, we had to make them discover this culture, awake their interest, and be convincing enough.
And so it worked! You did you do this?
Igor: Ah, well, a bit of rethorics, also I think they mostly saw our will to to it. We all had experience, we weren't coming out of nowhere, each of us already had experiences of the stage, or of being in a band… And the project seemed convincing because we ourselves were confident, I think.
Ok! Next questions, about the lyrics. Who writes the lyrics, on which themes… And also, where does the name of the band come from?
Kathy: Dylath-Leen comes from H.P. Lovecraft, an american science-fiction (and horror) writer. He created a quite special universe where we recognized ourselves well, and Dylath-Leen is the name of a city in the Dreamlands, with individual that evolve in strange ways… So it tagged well to the atmospheres we wanted to evoke in the music. Then, about the lyrics, on Insecure they are mostly from Igor, I wrote few of them (three), that's about insecurity, an important theme for Lovecraft.
Quite an actual theme, even if you didn't approach it from this point of view.
Kathy: It was the goal at first, but that's sure we found ourselves with this … sort of thing…
Igor: That's true we talked about this theme that's important to Lovecraft, of course. But for what the lyrics describe, we just imagined ourselves at the place of some Lovecraft characters; we thought 'well, he is strange, this sounds surreal, but in society.. there are people like this too'.
Jérémy: Well all characters are somewhat like this, and we tried to describe in the songs the personnality of the characters, their state of mind, their sentiments.. And then try to go a little further.
And about the songwriting, is it a collective work, each one of you brings in his own compositions, or ther's only one of you that does it all?
Igor: Let's say that on Insecure, everyone participated on the composition, we really tried to work on the mixing of all our influences, to see what kind of hybrid we could obtain with all that.
So this explains that the album is really varied?
Igor: That's it, really diverse, riffs which can be similar to certain styles, but it what written this way. Whereas on the second album, we're starting on something more personnal, we're really finding a way and an indentity, something that's really ours, more recognizable as being us, and less similar to other sings maybe.
Live at Hellfest, from left to right: a bit of Magaly, Igor, Kathy
So the new album is on his way?
Igor: Exactly. We're contacting labels to hope for a release, say, in september - october… And also to answer the question, I've done most of the writing for the second album, shall we say, and then everyone worked to finalize the songs so that each one of us could recognize himself (herself) in.
OK. You were saying you're contacting other record companies. Were you signed up on Thundering Records for only one album?
Igor: Er… Let's say that we have a contract (DM: I don't know if the term 'preference contract' exists in English, but that's the litteral translation from French) with Thundering, but it doesn't exclude that we can sign with another company if there is a better offer elsewhere. After all, it's logical to look at the proposals. So, we don't exclude to sign again with Thundering, but we're looking elsewhere too, that's it. So we sent the CDs and we're waiting for reactions.
Now, about your performance this afternoon. What did you think of it, are you happy, disappointed, how did you live it?
Magaly: What we could be disappointed about is the time, because we were forced to shunt one of our songs. So we are quite not sated because playing only five songs goes really, really quickly. This said, the audience was really present, really receptive and I really had a good time! So, er.. yeah it was really great, really great!
Next, a personal question: do you play role-playing games?
Kathy: I did, even if I play less now.
You haven't got the time now, I suppose.
Kathy: Oh, not really that but, let's say we played a lot of Lovecraft (DM: the Call Of Chtulhu role-playing game), and I needed to have a break, to play more later!
OK, and the others?
Jérémy: I'm waiting to be initiated… (laughs)
Magaly: No, I don't play, no.
Igor: And yes, I do!
You addicts, like me ! Well, a forgotten question, about the choice of the vocalist on your first album. Who wrote the lyrics, and then who decided whether it would be Igor or Kathy who would sing?
Kathy: It's all about the feeling. We first write the music, and then, considering the atmosphere of the song, we see which singing is the best to enhance the song. We never were settled on one particular singing, i.e. 'this song it's your turn to sing', we never really count, whether it would be 50/50, or 40/60… It's really a question of feeling. At, the end, anyway, on Insecure it's 50/50 but it wasn't on purpose!
That true it's that ratio, yes.
Kathy: That's it. But it was really the tone of the songs, which either tagged better to Igor's deeper singing, or to mine. And for the lyrics, if anyone had a good idea, bringed in a good text which transcribed well the song, it was in.
Finally, any last words?
Kathy: Thanks a lot for the interview, and happy to have been able to play in Hellfest.
Igor: Yeah and most of all thanks to Hellfest's audience!
Everything is said?
Kathy: And may Chtulhu stomp on you!
||Posted on 15.07.2007 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.|
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