Photo by PeeAsH
One band who has been taking some big strides lately is France’s Hacride. With their evolution on Lazarus, we see a much more personal, epic, and open-minded Hacride. Those who’ve been tuned in should know we really dug Lazarus, and The Metal Minute is happy to follow through with Samuel Bourreau, vocalist of Hacride. Samuel explains Lazarus, their thirst for gigging, a glimpse into the French Metal scene, and more. Come join the fun over here, but remember to bring yer own booze.
Metal Minute: France lately has been a place emerging with originality, unique mind-bending moods, and a ton of low end on the extreme metal guitar tones. How does it feel adding such incredible sounds to the creative French metal scene?
Samuel Bourreau (vocals): It feels very good to be part of a scene which is moving and improving day after day. I know France hasn’t always been very active in the metal scene in general but things are moving, bands get signed to bigger labels and starting to move ahead. Things didn’t seem easy at the beginning, and still it's not, but it’s very motivating to see mentalities are changing in France and outside France concerning French metal bands and festival--I especially think of Hellfest here.
MM: The production on Lazarus is amazing! You guys have made it such a compelling piece of art. From all the hearty experimentation to the production of the bass creating such a heavy sound when the brutal parts come through, you guys must be very proud of the record you self-produced?
SB: We are very proud of it yes, and every time we go onstage it’s like a struggle to make the better out of it and to give the album a new life, bring it to a new step to share it with the people in the crowd. I had lots of doubts before actually hearing the finished version. That brought me adrenaline cause it was a real challenge for us. It's like a new album of course, but with the pressure of going further in our own way. We like our previous ones but music is exciting when you push it further every time. We wanted to make something more violent and more atmospheric at the same time, to reproduce everyones' feelings. I think and talk to people’s inside minds.
MM: Also, the artwork on Lazarus is beautiful! Care to give some promotion for that?
SB: We asked a young American designer to do it, Alex Eckman-Lawn. He really did get what we wanted and if you have the album I guess you saw the rest of it in the booklet. Making the CD a nice product is very important for us because it gives a new dimension to the album concept. Music is more important of course, but it’s one other sort of art. The meeting of those two arts makes it stronger.
MM: So the Lazarus double LP is coming soon for us vinyl lovers. That’s awesome; I bet you guys are excited about that?
SB: That’s the following of my previous answer. It’s because the cover is good, but also the LP helps to appreciate it a bit more. It’s our first vinyl release so sure, we are excited about it. I really like LPs so...
MM: In the evolution of friends in Gojira, Hypno5e, Eryn Non Dae, and of course Hacride just to name a few, all of you guys still hold an original sound, and have all evolved from being very dense and dark, to a much more personal and virtuosic sound. With Hacride’s evolution in Lazarus, is it a very organic process creating the music you do?
SB: I think we are all taking our own way and that’s why it’s still interesting and that’s also why I’m proud of being from that scene. We have in common the fact of being modern and dark, yes, but I also meet bands from other countries going to the same direction, another proof that music and art have no borders. We wanted a more organic album and sound to again speak to the soul. Adrien, our guitarist, composed this album while we were ending our tour with Amoeba. We sat at home between 4am and 10am, when everyone is or getting up or going to sleep, and that’s why I think you have this strong atmosphere like when you’re the only one still awake sitting in your apartment at 3pm thinking about life ad the world, nothing to disturb you, when you’re hypnotized by silence and quietness. Regarding the sound, we chose to record the drums in a studio doing normally folk, jazz and pop rock stuff to have a more organic sound instead of the common heavy drumming. It was a global choice and you really pointed it out well.
MM: Any future plans on material to expand Hacride’s sound even more?
SB: Nothing for the moment but touring. Especially on the weekends which is a bit hard sometimes (we have only one weekend free until Christmas) but it's so good when we are onstage. We have the chance to defend our album onstage so I don’t want to complain about it, of course. Live is the real musician's food, it’s such a great joy to share our music with the others. Nothing else upcoming for the moment or nothing very concrete.
MM: Like I’ve said earlier, metal in France has truly been sticking out as its own. Any shout-outs to any fellow French bands you guys have played with or are friends with?
SB: I don’t know there are lot of bands we really like in France, other than the ones you mentioned before or other bands from our town like Klone our Tanen. It’s hard to talk about one or two. Maybe I’ll say to Om Mani (Rock Metal band from North of France) “Don’t worry, you’ll have your drummer back,” because as our drummer is a father for one week now, we’ll do the upcoming concerts until November with their drummer, Mike. He did his first gig with us last weekend at Hole in the Sky in Norway while Olivier’s wife was giving birth at the same time.
MM: Does Hacride have any plans and dreams to come tour the US? I’m sure there would be a lot of people here excited to see Hacride live.
SB: That’s one big dream we have of course. Nothing planned yet but we really want to come over to the US. So if someone’s reading it and is interested, go ahead and contact our manager, she’ll be happy to sort it out!
MM: Out of Hacride’s whole discography, what are some of your favorite songs to play live?
SB: My favourite song to play live are “My Enemy,” the last track of the new album because I love the energy of the beginning and the atmosphere of the ending part. This song really has two faces and I like both. It’s the one we usually play first after the instrumental “Phenomenon” to open. The other is the last song from Amoeba called “On the Threshold.” Same thing, I love the energy of the song; it’s really the transition between Amoeba and Lazarus. We usually play it last onstage cause of this feeling of “To be continued..."
MM: If you were to create a dream tour, who would be on it? Feel free to name a full scale arena festival if you wish.
SB: That’s a tough question because the dream is to share the experience with the maximum amount of people anyway. Big festivals like Wacken are great, sure, and it’s always impressive to be a part of it and see the organization of such a big event. But I really love the atmosphere of smaller and more specialised festivals like the Hole in the Sky we did in Norway one week ago, or the ProgPower festival we are doing in a few weeks. Regarding bands, touring with Opeth, Enslaved, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater or Mastodon would be huge. Anything, as long as it’s a great experience regarding the crowd, the people we meet and the different cultures we can see. Even just the fact of entering a new country, seeing the landscape and stuff is nice. Every kind of experience makes the man and improves the sensibility of someone whose purpose is to create right?
MM: What music has been playing in your CD player lately for your listening pleasure?
SB: I recently rediscovered Coroner. For a long time I didn’t listen to it. Otherwise, I’m listening a lot to the new Mastodon album, I really, really like it. I’m also curious to listen to the new Alice In Chains album.
MM: Lastly, you guys have such a great family with Listenable Records, and the responses so far for Lazarus have been great! How does the future look for Hacride?
SB: Yes, we are very happy about the response we received so far. I don’t know what the future is made of. I’m curious to see, but I guess for the moment it’s touring and when the time will come for a new album I guess our guts will tell. We sure want to push it as far as we can, but the main purpose is to defend our album. It’s our third album now, we are improving step-by-step like we always did and we’ll continue this way, being true to us and to the others. Life will bring the answer to that one.
(c) 2009 Alex Gilbert