- Could you make a short presentation of "Scarve" for our readers, who is the song writer etc ?
Patrick Martin (guitar) and myself formed Scarve in the end of 1993. The current line-up has been active since 2001 and is completed by Sylvain Coudret (guitar), Guillaume Bideau (vocals), Pierrick Valence (vocals) and Loïc Colin (bass). We have released a few demos, the mini-cd 'Six Tears Of Sorrow' (1996) as well as three full-length albums : 'Translucence' (2000), 'Luminiferous' (2002) and 'Irradiant' (2004). Most of the music is written by Sylvain, Patrick and myself, but the other three members take part in the shaping of the music as well, mainly by writing their respective parts.
- What can you say about this first album ? Where did you find your inspiration for example?
In fact, " Irradiant " is our third album. We wrote most of the songs during the first half of 2003, and I think our inspiration has come mainly from the hard times some of us were going through at a personal level. The tours we did for the previous album 'Luminiferous' have also helped us finding a direction for the new material. Overall, I would describe 'Irradiant' as being more direct and focused than our previous work, while retaining or characteristic atmosphere, melody and brutality.
- What are the themes of the lyrics of " Irradiant "?
Most of them are pretty bleak, because Pierrick and myself had a lot of personal stuff to get out of our system. I think the words speak for themselves, really, so I'm not gonna go into details, but I can say that if some songs are rather negative (like "Mirthless Perspectives" or "Boiling Calm" for example), there's also a ray of hope in "Asphyxiate" and "HyperConscience". To me, writing lyrics is all about transcribing a certain atmosphere or feeling, and each song goes back to a certain moment in my life.
- Can you explain me how you chose to do this "progressive" Death Metal, and why two singers ?
It's funny that you should say that, because at the time of our first demo 'Scarve' in 1994, we described our music as " progressive death metal "! We've always done things our own way, and the idea was never to simply play a certain style with its limits, but to experiment and create something of our own. Bands like Coroner, Atheist, Cynic and Death were our musical heroes when Patrick and I started the band. As for the two singers, we've been working this way for seven years, simply because we enjoy adding a large vocal range to our songs. Pierrick and Guillaume are both very good at what they do, and their voices complete each other perfectly, so it just feels like this is a part of Scarve.
- Why and how did you choose to work with Daniel Bergstrand? How was the recording sessions ?
Daniel already produced our first two albums, but they were recorded in France and then mixed in Sweden. This time around, we went to Daniel's Dug-Out Studio during five weeks to record 'Irradiant' from scratch. It was both our and Daniels wish since a long time to do a Scarve record from A to Z, we just needed to find the right moment and as well as the budget. It has been a tough experience at times, but we're extremely satisfied about the outcome and Daniel has invested a lot of time and effort in getting the best out of us.
- How hard is it for a French band to get a contract with a label? How was it with Listenable?
Listenable started showing interest in Scarve at the time of our first album, but it took about a year to finalize the deal. During this time, we got to know each other's way of working, and since they released 'Luminiferous', everything has been getting better and better for Scarve. They're doing a great job, they believe in the band and we're on the same wavelength about a lot of things. Of course, being from France doesn't always make things easier, but we're proud to represent our country (even if I myself am Belgian, hehe) and our passion for music is what really matters to us. People seem to enjoy 'Irradiant' regardless the country they live in and regardless where we are coming from.
- How would you qualified the response from the audience and the press? Which country was the most welcoming for "Irradiant"?
'Irradiant' is getting a great response! Most reviews are very good and we've been receiving loads of fanmail. All of this year's shows have been excellent as well. In our home country, we seem to have reached a certain status now where Scarve is considered as a "band that counts" in the metal scene. With the enormous amount of albums released every week, it's hard to get noticed, but a lot of people have supported us in France for many years (especially magazines like Rock Hard and Hard Rock, as well as webzines like Violent Solutions) and in the end, it pays off.
Irradiant, the last album of the band
- Concerning concerts, any tour in the making? Any dates? What are your best gigs memories ?
We've been on the road regularly since the beginning of this year, playing in France, Switzerland and Belgium, and a lot more is to come in the next months. It was a great experience to play at festivals such as the Fury Fest, Graspop and Dour in front of massive crowds, but some of the best shows we've done were in clubs, such as Quimperlé in 2002 where the crowd went totally over the top! Right now, we're working on a European tour, and several one-off shows are scheduled in Holland, Belgium, Spain, Scandinavia and Switzerland… without forgetting France of course.
- I saw you at the Graspop 2004. How did you do to play in this festival? What are the feelings to play in this kind of really big show ?
I've met Bob (who organizes Graspop) several times, and he had seen Scarve play live during our 2002 tour with Nile. When Enslaved cancelled their appearance at Graspop, he offered us the spot. It was an amazing experience to play on such a huge stage, I enjoyed every second of it and the crowd seemed enthusiastic! We had a great time and I really hope we'll be back there in a few years.
- Dirk, you have replaced Soilwork's drummer for one of their tour. Well, how was it?
That was also a crazy experience, as you can imagine. The European tour was totally killer, and the guys from Soilwork and I got along really well, so I ended up doing all of this year's touring with them, in Japan, Australia and at the summer festivals. I'm really happy to have the chance to play in such good conditions with great musicians and technicians who are also very kind and respectful people!
Scarve at Graspop Metal Meeting 2004 [Belgium]
- Is it not too hard for you to play in a lot of bands like you do ?
I haven't been home much recently, that's for sure. The most difficult thing is to schedule everything, and overall it's of course a pretty exhausting job. But I love playing drums and every opportunity to enjoy doing that is good to take. When I think about it, I can't really see any bad aspects to it!
- What are the plans of Scarve for the future?
We're gonna be touring until the beginning of 2005 - make sure to check http://www.scarve.net for all the confirmed dates. Also, Listenable will re-release our first album 'Translucence' with a bonus DVD, which we're working on right now. And after that, it's gonna be time to record a new album I suppose, so we'll have to find the time to write some new songs as well…
- Thanks a lot for all your answers, I hope to meet you on tour one day… Your last word is ?
Thanks to you and Metalstorm for supporting the French scene! And to the readers : keep on blasting!!!