Misanthrope interview (09/2004)
- Can you introduce your band in a few words for the ones who don't know Misantrophe yet? Who does what in terms of songwriting, lyrics and so forth.
Misanthrope was founded in 1989 by S.A.S de l'Argilière [vocals] hoping to bring extreme music to the scene, both technical and fast, and altogether different from other bands. Our bass player, Jean-Jacques Moréac joined the band in 1993. He soon became the artistic director as well as the producer of Misantrophe. At the beginning of 1991, Gaël Fêret went behind the drum kit to hammer like hell. He allowed the band to get rid of the pace limitation we had in some songs. Anthony Scemama took his guitar around February 2002 to play with the horde of vandals, visionaries and matadors that we were. He calmed the band, a real bridge of cohesion between Jean-Jacques and S.A.S.. Jean-Baptiste Boitel, our sonic manipulator man, is still in the shade of the band. He joined us in September 1995. The four of us are composing music together, every one bringing his stone to the final edifice, in the general sound and the atmospheres. S.A.S. writes the lyrics and creates the concepts, which are comparable to a modern character from the play "l'Alceste du Misanthrope" by Molière.
- After a 15 year long existence, what are you feelings concerning the band and your music? Do you still have the same will to play music?
No, everything has changed since. Personally, I'm not a teenager eager to showcase his complex music anymore. Our Metal is more religious and more shared than before. It allowed me to meet and to truly share something (our music) with others as did Christ during the Cana scenes according to St John's in the bible. The band members are the brothers who I always dreamt to have. I love Misanthrope because it's the best thing life ever gave me... you know, these rare feelings of goodness and communion. Today I can say Misanthrope saved me from myself, thanks to the label Holy Records and the band members. It's quite obvious that we've always wanted to play music, evidence is this boxset that took us 18 months of our life! The more we play, the more we understand that our path will be long and hard, we must never stop, that's how our audience will be grateful.
- What can you tell us about this 10th album ?
- Misanthro-Thérapie is indeed the 10th album released under the name of Misanthrope. It's a rare and hard album, it's been conceived for this special 15 years anniversary boxset. We started the recordings at the Fredman Studios at the beginning of 2000 and finished at the Manoir des Déportés in May 2004; it's gonna be released on the 23rd of August in the specialized shops. There are 11 new songs and two duo version remakes with Ludovic Loez of SUP and the guys from Stille Volk. It's a varied bomb that's definitely dedicated to extreme metal.
- Misanthrope's lyrics are still quite complex, where do you find your inspiration from?
All that is within me falls down on the paper and creates words. With these incredible sentences dictated by my repressed subconscious, I create, such as the Demiurge, Misanthrope work of art. Unfortunately for me I'm bursting with too many ideas, I sometimes even have the hardest time channeling them. There is a lot of automatic writing, that is to say my quill follows my thoughts without even having to think. Then I add one drop of knowledge, one touch of desire and the blood of my power. Only then I inspire it with the greatness that will make of it an earthly text, the one of S.A.S De L'Argilière. But hushhh, you absolutely must not reveal my recipe to the others, those who follow and fear the blank page.
- Why did you choose to make this boxset with all these bonuses? Is that a gift to the fans for the band's fifteenth anniversary?
Of course it's a wonderful gift to those who like us and want to share the special moments of our lives with these 2 hours of music and 4h10 of DVD. We don't want to do easy things, or just a special re-edition for the 15 years of the band, no, we want to strike hard the economic market of the European metal scene in general. That's how we are, we prepared our work years in advance, our compositions and our lives according to this principle. It totally boosts the band, and thus its fierce survival instinct.
- How did you end up working with Anssi Kippo?
It's because of our friends Yearning, with whom we toured in 1998 and 2001. Their last album Evershade was delayed, and as we were despairing of finding a studio compatible with the Manoir des Déportés where we had recorded our album Sadistic Sex Daemon. We only gathered information on this guy, and all his work with Sinergy and Children Of Bodom sounded totally wonderful to us. Plus we definitely wanted to separate from the Fredman Studio system. The change was handy, so we jumped on the solution, hop everybody to the airport and go to Lappeeranta, on a beautiful -30° January 2003 day. We came back there at the beginning of 2004 to mix 7 of the new songs of Misanthro-Thérapie. Anssi Kippo is a great guy, all he does is work, drink loads of 'Red Bull' and spend his nights in his Hard Core Sauna. His kindness, his metal knowledge and his working endurance are his greatest qualities... Besides, with Jean-Jacques we saw his massive penis. Wraf!
- By the way, how has the recording gone? Some anecdotes?
Ah ah ah so what do you want to know, all that has been ridiculous I suppose? Unlike Sadistic Sex Daemon, which was for me the hardest stuff to record with Libertines Humiliations, Misanthro-Thérapie has gone like a hot knife in butter. About funny anecdotes, we've done some guitar jams in Kriss of Korum's kitchen, that was quite rock'n'roll. The recording of the duos was more than epic, my vocal line on L'Antéchrist has been done with just a pilot click and piano line, actually the music was written by Jean-Jacques around the vocals. The At The Gates cover was mixed on the Internet, Anssi Kippo was in Finland, we were in France and thanks to a few Mp3s sharing we equalized the slightest details of this song... the new technologies are crazy... and as usual Jean-Jacques Moréac played and mixed the intro of his instrumental 'Bassiste de Coeur' less than 12 hours before the mastering, well, we've always been in a rush and some things never change!
- You're used to releasing albums quite frequently, isn't it a bit hard to have to be inspired so often?
We organize our lives in such a way that we can actually release an album every 18 months... otherwise there would be a huge gap for us. Yes, our private lives suffer from it but we like it above everything else and we're not ready to change our way of life. None of us has kids. This allows us to mix our jobs (which are actually directly related to Metal) and our passion for our professional hobby, Misanthrope. You know, everything we earn with Misanthrope is immediately reinvested in the equipment, the studio, the rehearsals, the trips and the promotion of the entity Misanthrope. In France you cannot do such things on an independent creative level without being in love with the Art of Extreme Metal and our life as Misanthrope that we want to share for as long as possible.
- About the concerts now... Have you planned a tour, or to play in festivals? Any dates?
Yes, we are going to play 6 or 7 exceptional dates with rare and new tracks for the fifteen years of Misanthrope in October, November and January. The biggest show will be on the anniversary date on Sunday 16th January 2005 as headline at the Locomotive in Paris. We are waiting for you all!
- As a pioneer band of the French metal scene, what do you think of it, and what do you think about new French bands that really start to be recognized like Scarve or Furia for example?
The scene is huge, vast, talented and inspired but generally speaking, French musicians want to become stars even before understanding that the most important part is the work, the quality of the music and the sound... Success comes only if the rest is good... and if you're lucky. The overload of bands, labels and magazines is going to decrease within 2 or 3 years, there's gonna be a deep cleansing.
About Scarve, Dirk is an angel and I'll never be able to thank him enough for putting us in contact with Gaël Feret. The guys of Furia pull all out and bet a lot on their band, they've been the opening band at least three times for Misanthrope. Write that they play Satanic Sympho Black Metal, it'll make them laugh...
As long as the French musicians smile when in front of you and don't say in your back that your band sucks, there's no problem. But when it happens, these guys really suck... There's a shitload of these pricks in our beautiful country, everybody eventually knows everything, nobody must forget that. French metal is not a joke, we have to be proud of it.
The new album of the band in its DVD boxset edition
- I think that music-wise, the style and ther songs on Misanthro-Thérapie are quite varied. What can you say about that?
Yes as it's an anniversary album it's more lighten than other albums and the songs are very homogeneous. Sadistic Sex Daemon is much more monolithic and direct. Every song has the same sound and has all have been written in a few months only. An album is the milestone of an instant of a band's inspiration. Having songs from 2000, 2002 and 2004 on Misanthro-Thérapie has a lot of advantages, you get bored less easily and you discover the changes in the sound from one track to another. Emotionally, this album is richer than a classic Misanthrope album. That's the truth. I for one really like doing both things. Creating strong albums with a unity in the sound and the general songwriting. And releasing albums a bit more special recorded over several years with a real diversity, a rare abundance and perfume... it gives a real freshness and perfectly alternates in our discography. Actually if you think about it, every 5 years we release a CD that is not a real album:
- 1994 Miracles: Totem Taboo
- 1999 Oeuvres Interdites
- 2004 Misanthro-thérapie
but don't get used to it, that doesn't mean we're going to do it every time... anyway, it's not been planned yet hehehe.
- Thank you for your answers. One last word for the readers?
A great thanks from the depths of our hearts for your lines, your relevant questions and you desire to make all your metalstormers discover Misanthrope. See you soon on tour, concert bookers, you can contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Try everything you can to listen to our music and beware of what our detractors could say... they are all pestilence and jealousy.
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