Pain Of Salvation interview (11/2008)
|With:||Leo Margarit [Drums]|
|Conducted by:||FreakyMarge (in person)|
Pain Of Salvation
So, here is a little interview of Leo Margarit, the frenchie new drummer of Pain Of Salvation. I had the chance to go to the charming little town of Eskilstuna, Sweden to see my old friend, and we had this so unatural discussion (drinking vin rouge and eating saucisson) that could maybe interest you...
Be patient, the next step will be with the dualistic, tortured and genius man...
- Marge: So, you've been in the band for a little more than a year now, can you sum up what happened since then?
Leo: Well, I passed the audition in August 2007, I had the reply in September, the first gig was in October…
- In Norway?
Right, in Norway, the 6th of October I think, so we can say that it was more or less the first steps with the band, so it's been a year and a month now. So, what happened, I moved in Sweden in January, we had our first real gig together in Moscow in February and from this moment, we started working on the new songs and at the same time we had some gigs in Europe, Asia, well middle east, in Turkey and now we're preparing the new album.
- Ok. And what has been the most difficult for you? What issues did you have to overcome, and what issues have you still got?
You mean, musically?
- Everything. Your moving in Sweden, the music…
For instance the major issue is my financial condition…the rest is fine, the moving out went well, ok I miss my family and friends sometimes but it's not insuperable. So the main issue is the money, we have to play enough…
- And concerning your integration? No difficulties?
No it went well I think. They made me feel very welcome. Everybody is very nice with me. Well, I lived about two months at Daniel's house when I arrived so it helped to know each other and we've rehearsed a lot, all the members were very kind and there were no arguments or stuff like that. They always ask my opinion when opinions are needed. I truly feel like a band member.
- Did some things surprise you? That you wouldn't expect?
Maybe the way to work in the band, which is much more relaxed than I expected. I was expecting something more…not "serious" but let's say structured with precise planning made for long. Usually during the rehearsals we spend a lot of time jamming, simply playing and making music more than really working "seriously". Well, that is work, it's always useful to improve on a lot of things but that was what surprises me I think.
- In fact you have a rehearsal room and you rehearse even when you don't have any gigs right?
Yeah, we try to rehearse regularly and to maintain two rehearsals a week during the whole year even if we don't have gigs planned. If we have, we work on it but altogether we always try to improve on the composition…well it's true that we maybe worked more on the songs we play on stage because I'm new and I had to learn those but we still spent a lot of time jamming. What was the question again?
- The rehearsals.
Oh yeah yeah! So we try to keep it steady at two rehearsals a week. Sometimes we only have one if someone is missing, or we don't rehearse all together.
- But you rehearse alone too right? You have your drums there?
Yes, my drum kit is in the room and I can go there practically 24/24 so I can practice, work…I try to go there as often as possible. But I'm learning Swedish at school right now so I have less spare time but I try to go there regularly.
- What do you think you're bringing into the band?
Hmmm…I would say the "free" side in music in a certain way. I know a lot of different styles, I played a lot of different music, improvised or written so we can allow ourselves to play almost anything , we have less barriers about the style, the way to play, the way to see music and I can play everything…at least I try! (laughs). And…what else? The band can make it without me (laughs), it's not as if I were indispensable but I think it's for those reasons that I've been chosen over other people.
- Speaking about the band, basically you were a fan. How do you see them now? You consider them as equals, you don't realise it yet or it's more like a habit now?
I would say that…it always feels a little weird to be a part of it because…yeah I was a huge fan (laughs) but now I'm used to seeing them everyday and to playing with them…I am not like a kid in a candy store anymore but it always does something. I'm over that now that I know them, I think it happens with every band: when you know the guys, something gives way in a sense, even if it's not bad but you see things differently. But it's ok. They help me a lot for that to, they're trying not to show me as the new member. They made me feel comfortable from the first day, from the audition. It has been very relaxed, I mean they never tried me, humanly speaking. That's a good thing!
- And what about the songs? Didn't you get sick of it? Do you still love the songs you used to love?
Oh yeah! Even more I would say. When playing them on stage, I can almost be… in a trance. When we play my favourite songs like Beyond the pale, The perfect element or Diffidentia, well, for those who saw me on stage, I put a lot of energy and emotion in it (laugh)
- It was the first time you played beyond the pale on stage? How did it feel?
Oh, it was good! (laugh). We had to fight a while to make Daniel accept to play it but…
- Why didn't he want to play it?
Well, this song is not easy to sing, especially if you're a little tired or stressed or whatever it can become difficult, and there's a lot of harmonies to do for everyone, even the drums are difficult. But actually that's when I play this that I tell myself "fuck, I'm playing my favourite song with my favourite band!" A song that I've listened to a thousand times so it's good (laughs).That was a kind of dream.
- And what about the members…what do you admire in each of them and what don't you like?
Well (laughs), it's hard to answer…
- Well…What do you admire in them as musicians?
What I admire in them as musicians is all the work they've done till now, the albums they recorded…
- And personally?
Honestly, it's hard to say. About Fredrik, I don't know, he wrote Inter Impius you know! (laughs) There is not much to add. I mean, the sense of melody… Altogether it's the same for each of them, the passion, the sense of melody and of how to pass on a kind of emotion and energy in the songs…songs which can be very simple but also…entrancing. Well it does that to me: you listen to those songs and you're somewhere else, you're really into the music. Even if you don't get a word of the lyrics you feel…A lot of people find themselves in the lyrics, a lot of people find themselves in the music but you can really find yourself in everything, there is emotion in every part and I think that's what I admire in the band.
- Ok…and even worse…describe each of them in 3 words
I would say…calm, thoughtful, and the last word would be…let me find the word I want…mysterious I would say in the sense that he is…
Yeah right! Unfathomable! It will be the third word!
Johan is the "comedian", the funny guy. But not funny as in idiot, funny as in the one who always makes jokes. Humorous? (laughs).The muscular? Haha no it's stupid. Honestly it's not easy! In fact he has the fun side, less dark. He's more cheerful.
Yeah, that's maybe the word, cheerful, positive.
- And Daniel?
Daniel I would say…dualistic!
- Gemini, and Peter-pan!
No but dualistic fits him well. Tortured…because he's always thinking and asking himself questions... and maybe genius.
- And your most memorable memories? Positive or negative, what struck you the most?
I didn't really have anything negative…as positive stuff I would say the first real gig…finally feel that…I was there!
- You mean, in Moscow?
Yeah. In Norway it was different…I was really…well I was scared you know. In Moscow too actually but in Notoden I only had two songs and a solo to play. Russia was different, really. I was the drummer, I was alone, I was there…I had a lot of things to prove, I had to play an entire gig so it has been very good, great emotion. More generally, all the gigs.
- No bad memories about one of those?
Mmmm, I would say the gig in Istanbul, which was the second one and which was really good on all levels but I found my performance pretty terrible. I had some technical problems with the pedals and stuff so I wasn't feeling comfortable, not concentrated enough, it was tough. It was the only gig when I wasn't happy at all when leaving the stage. Of course it's never perfect but this one was the worst, even thought it wasn't that bad.
- On a more personal plan, do you have some other musical projects or gigs?
Well, I still have my other bands in France but I can't play with them right now because I'm not there, but here I've got some gigs with local musicians, some cover bands, that kind of stuff. And we'll see what happens in the future but I hope to have more and more requests, do sessions, play on albums…since I like to play all kind of music (laughs), it doesn't bother me to play hip-hop for example. Well, I say hip-hop like I could say anything else but we'll see. First I have to show what I can do with the upcoming new album.
- Talking about that how is the recording going?
Well, we had some minor technical problems as always at the beginning of the recording process especially when you do it yourself but it begins to take shape and we've done three, four days for the moment and we already have some good recordings. It seems promising!
- Well, let's not say too much! (laughs)
To finish, what can I wish you for the year to come?
Good sales for the album, and tons of gigs, all over the world. That's what I like to do (laughs)
To be continued...
Many thanx to dude Leo, and to Collin who made this interview understandable
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