interview Primal FearPrimal Fear is one those bands which brings to metal its “lettres de noblesse”. Razoblade’s guitars, pounding drums and high vocals, the PF trademark is well known in the metal world. I was really waiting with impatience for the call from Germany on this september the 27th 2005, when suddenly the bell rang. The great guitarist Tom Naumann answered to my questions…

You will release in a month your 6th album now, the grandiloquent « seven seals », one of the most wonderful albums i have in my record collection. Can you give us any datas about the feedback of the fans of ?Devil’s ground’?
Tom Naumann : We had excellent feedbacks from medias and fans. After ?Devil’s Ground’, we did some touring in Europe and South-America. We did a lot of Open Air Festivals in the summer time, then we started writing songs for the new album. We had about 30 songs and, in February this year, we decided which songs will be recorded on the album. It has been done so fast and we finally mixed only 10 songs, the ones which are on ?Seven Seals’. We said that after ?Devil’s Ground’ we wanted to have a music change and this reason why we took Charlie Bauerfeind as a co-producer and sound-engineer. This appeared to be very helpful. He is a nice person and brought us many fresh ideas. It was a truly a pleasure to work with him. Then, we let the album be mixed by Mike Fraser, who is also a cool guy, well known for his work with great bands as Aerosmith, AC/DC, Metallica, and many others. I think, all the work done both by Charlie and Mike added to our little musical changes made of ?Seven Seals’ a different album from the preceding one. There is a new power, a certain freshness injected in the band, even though we have still our trademark. This surely will sound fresh to the ears of our fans?

Me : Was the tour successful?

Tom : Ah, yes, it was. It was great to play with many talented band, to travel over the world and to meet a lot of fans and friends on tour. It was really fantastic. It was also interesting to meet new friends and fans and to experience new cultures while visiting cities where we never have been before.

‘Devil’s ground’ was really heavy and ambitious. But with ?Seven seals’ you almost reached the perfection, by adopting a ?progressive? way, which will please to all, not only to the fans who prefer faster songs but also to the others who rather like slower songs with epic and more aggressive aura, experimentating some new elements as the orchestral ones, for example. Did you come with the idea to do so or was it a sort of natural feeling you felt to do some longer and compound songs ?
After we recorded ?Devil’s Ground’, which was successful, thanks to its heaviness, we thought it was the time to do some small musical changes, as we recorded already 5 albums in a same direction. So, that’s why we decided to try to do something else and to add some new musical styles into our songwriting. We brought some orchestral parts, for example, that the Ralf’s voice shouldn’t be so high anymore?It all came naturally as we needed to do so. We’re pretty satisfied with the new album right now.

You recorded the entire album in Stuttgart?
Yes. The album was recorded in Stuttgart at the House of Music studios, where we have already recorded all the preceding Primal Fear’s albums. The only difference was that we didn’t take our long time friend Achim Köhler as an engineer this time. Instead of him, we engaged Charlie Bauerfeind, who also worked with Saxon, Blind Guardian and Hammerfall.

You played the album in Stuttgart during the listening-session’s show before hundreds of reporters from all Europe the last july 30th. I guess it was your first time playing under the falling rain?
Oh, yes. It was a really funny experience, because it was the first time that we decided to make an open-air listening session. We thought the weather in the summer time could surely be good, but it was rainy?it wasn’t so rainy, only some time to time. Anyway, we have played and everybody were probably satisfied with the party. The bad weather didn’t bother us at all at the end. We played all the album and we watched the videos we shot, we did some interviews and all the listeners and journalists were really surprised by the album?

Wasn’t it too hard to play in these conditions?
Not really. We had drinks, something to eat and we also met couples of friends. The atmosphere of this listening-session was nice and friendly. It wasn’t rainy all the time, only about one hour. Otherwise, the weather was warm and pleasant. This day was okay.

The new album is definitively based on the choruses, strong and thrilling. Songs as ?seven seals? (my favourite one), ?Carniwar?, ?Rollercoaster?, ?In Memory? and ?Question of Honour? are really confirming this tendency?


?Seven Seals? is, in my opinion, one of the most melodic songs on this album, not very typical ?primal fear?, even though it sounds like it. It all starts with a different groove which sounds like a Jennifer Lopez’s one, although we changed it into Primal Fear’s stuff. It has a very intense and melodic chorus. After that we recorded the video to this song and, I think, it’s the favourite song on this album of the listeners. Then, we have ?Carniwar? : it’s a very hard song with a strong guitar and pounding drums. Really heavy. ?Rollercoaster? is a song which we already played live before. It was really cool to play it as the fans’ reaction was incredible. There are a lot of different songs on the album. For example, we have ?In Memory?, which is a ballad, the first one we have ever recorded for a PF album. We also have very long songs as ?All For One?, what is a song about 7 minutes’ long, ?Diabolus? : a great epic metal opera. In this song, there are lot of strings and opera lines. Then, ?Question of Honour? is also a quite long song. ?Evil Spell? is the fastest song in the Primal Fear’s repertoire, with its old-school thrash metal riffs and structure and cool vocals from Ralf. Finally, we can tell there is a good mixture of different kinds of songs on the album. But it, without losing the Primal Fear’s trademark (razorblades’ guitars riffs and Ralf’s vocal lines).

What is your composing process? Who writes the lyrics?


The composing process is very simple, you know. Everyone know that Ralf, Matt, Stefan and I are writing all the songs. Sometimes we have ideas when driving our car, when sitting at home watching TV?I get a new melody in my head, so I catch my guitar and begin to play and record it. Sometimes, you’ve finished a song and, then, play it to the guys or sometimes you only have a part of a song line and you go by the other guys, for example, I had an idea for a song and went to Ralf to ask him : ?Hey Ralf, there is a melody line missing. Can you help me to fill it?? and he came back to me some time after and told me : ?I have the melody line completed!?. So, the song-writing is a team effort and we work all together, putting our personal influences into the songs and to work this way is good. We also write together all the lyrics?

The most impressive song, according to me, is ?Seven seals?, especially the chorus (?The Final Day, The Sky Will Fall Down??). How is this song born?
That’s a question you should ask to Mat, because he wrote the lyrics to that song. But, in my opinion, it’s a very depressive song with words from Bible. There is a religious idea that the world is going down and that if the seven seals break and if we don’t care of the Earth, we will all also going down after a couple of years by devastating the world and civilisations and everything?

The second element which gives more power to this album are the orchestral parts. Did you have recorded them with a real orchestra? And if yes, who did the arrangements?
We didn’t use an original orchestra. It would be too expensive. We recorded it all at home and we arranged it at home too, then, it was easy to go to the studio to check the right sound to combine all the different instruments so that it sounds like it sounds on the album right now. But, when we composed all the stuff, we had everything in mind how which all should have to sound like and that’s why we took all our pre-production into the studio and we changed the sound, then we mixed it together in the right way. But, it wouldn’t be normally nowadays, it’s almost impossible to use an original orchestra in the studio : it takes so much time and cost money. I guess it’s 90 or 95% of the albums with orchestral parts are not real?

Me : but it sounds more powerful than some keyboards?

Tom : I think it has to be. As choosing the right sounds to mix them together in a right combination. So, it’s all about using the right sounds and the mixing stuff.

Who did the video for ?Seven Seals??


It’s a guy from Nürnberg called Volker Hanawald and we know him because he already did the video for ?Armageddon? on the ?Black Sun’ album. So, we decided to make another video with Volker. Did you see the video?

Me : yes.

Tom : It was a very nice experience to make a video like that. We tried to make the make-up and the video sadder and darker.

When I saw the ground was falling down under your feet, I believed you would fall or something?It was scary?
Tom : (laughs) Hahaha, yes, but we are still alive! (laughs)

Ralf is singing better than ever on this album. That’s not surprising, then, that he was one of the chosen candidates for the Rob Halford’s replacement in Judas Priest. I think he should have been chosen because he’s hundred times better vocalist than Tim Owens?
Yeah, but I’m happy that Judas Priest didn’t take him because if they would have taken Ralf, there wouldn’t be any Primal Fear. So Primal Fear exists and this is fine like that.

The guitars parts are really explosive and the rhythm section is as precise as swiss’ clock. The harmonies are wonderful. But, as a guitarist, do you prefer to work on riffs, harmonies or arpeggios?
When I write songs, I just try to make them sound good with those melodies and I try to combine them with the heaviness of playing really strong guitar. I was never really an arpeggios guy or I try to play that with feeling. To combine melodies and fast shredding?

You’ll play as a support on the Helloween tour this year?
It’s not really a support tour, we are like special guests. So, it seems like we will play more than one hour and that we’ll have the same stage size as Helloween. I feel very honoured to play with one of the biggest metal bands in Germany and I know Helloween for a long time, I know all the guys and it will be a great tour. We are really impatient to make this tour together.

Some rumours say that you’ll play not only in Paris, but also in Bordeaux. Is that true?
I don’t think so. For the first time of the European tour, we will only play in Paris, but after we’ll finish that tour with Helloween, we will play another tour and it can happen that we will play some more dates in France. It’s not sure we’ll play in Bordeaux. I know only one metal club in Bordeaux called the Koslow?is that right?

Me : yes.

Tom : I’m not sure we will play there?

Me : there is another good club here, but in Toulouse : the Havana Café. That’s a great and pleasant club?

Tom : cool!

What is the origin of the name of your band (except made of the song)?
When we started to write some songs, we thought about using the song which expresses heaviness and the brutality, if I can say, of metal. And I think a title as ?Primal Fear?, or only the word ?fear?, sounds, at least for me, very scary. Then, we needed to have something special like a mascot, a symbol, as the Iron Maiden’s Eddie. That’s why we took an eagle, because eagles are strong and majestic. An eagle just fit perfectly to the name ?Primal Fear?.

Me : like the music?

Tom : Oh yeah! Thank you very much!!

What is your musical background? Your personal influences?
My personal influences are?I started to listen to the Beatles when I was young, then I listened to Judas Priest, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, and a lot of stuffs. I was literally influenced by so many kinds of music and I am still today listening differents kinds of music. I’m not only into heavy metal but also in rap music, jazz, and everything. It’s wrong for me to listen to only one style. Even if metal is still my favorite kind of music.

Me : who gave you the will to become a musician?

Tom : I started playing music after I was at a Judas Priest show. I was a huge JP fan and I was once in the 2nd row and after the show, Glenn Tipton clapped and touched a lot of hands of the fans, mine too, and I said : ?I wanna do this in my life!?. I began to practise guitar and now I’m on the stage and I come to clap and touch the hands of my fans. That’s f*cking cool! This was the main point of my decision. It was an amazing event for me and I still have the ticket hanged up over my bed in the sleepin-room. I can touch it with my end. So, it was a very important scene in my life. Without going to this concert and touching Glenn Tipton’s hand, I guess I wouldn’t be a musician?

Me : So, I have to say a big thanks to Glenn Tipton!

Tom : Definitely!! He ever was for me a big influence. I never had the chance to meet him personally, but I would like to have the opportunity to talk to him once in my life and say how proud I was when he touched my hand and that he made my musical career to start?I saw Judas Priest playing several times but I never had the chance to meet Glenn even though I talked to Rob Halford. But, I hope I will meet my idol someday.

Me : I wish you that because I know how it’s important for a fan and a musician to meet his idol. That’s the same for me with Iron Maiden?

Tom : Oh! That’s very nice! Thank you very much! 

What is your opinion about the today’s metal scene in Germany?
I think we have a good metal scene and a lot of good bands and a strong metal fanbase. We have a lot of huge festivals in Germany as the Wacken or Bang Your Head festivals. The thing is that heavy metal is banned from the medias : no metal in theradios or on the TV, but we still have a lot of fans and we still do a lot of shows and festivals. So, there is a great popularity of metal. But, we have definitively a good scene in Germany.

Do you have some side-projects?


Hm, no, because I hardly find the time to have a side-project : too much things to do with Primal Fear and PF is the most important for me, actually. Otherwise, my girlfriend would go crazy and she would leave me! (laughs)

Do you have a last thing to say to the fans?
Yes. Thanks you for the support since 1997 and I hope that we made an album that you will like and listen to. I hope to see you somewhere on tour. Stay heavy! Support metal! Be respectful to each other and party on!!!

En savoir plus sur Primal Fear

interview Pagan's MindThat made two years that your preceding album, the very good \’Celestial Entrance\’ has been released. The fans got really impatient. What did you make during this period which was a bit inusual for Pagan\’s Mind ?
First of all, hello France and thank you for the interview! Due to an extensive gigging and the fact that making mew material takes a lot of time, we really needed the two year period to pull everything off. Although we are working on new songs all the time we wanted to make sure that the material was as good as we could make it, trying out every possible combination with riffs and parts in order to be satisfied. Hopefully we succeeded and the wait was worth it all. In the meantime we also re-released our first album \’Infinity Divine\’ which received a facelift and a new mix and mastering, and we even added a couple of bonus tracks to it. Another point is that we do not go in studio before all the songs and all the arrangements are set and final. This is just the way we work.

On 16th may, you released your new album \’Enigmatic : Calling\’, which is, to date, the heaviest (and thrashy) album that you ever realized. Is this evolution natural or did you decided to go in this direction, as some members (Jorn Viggo Lafstad, mainly) have like influences some thrash (Metallica) or power metal bands (Pantera)?
The evolution, as you perceive it, is progressive I find. Hopefully we evolve as a band, and you are right. The new album is more heavy, more extreme and even more progressive(when it gets progressive) than its predecessors, basically more \”in-your-face\”. This was not done intentionally, but rather a consequence of the evolvement of the band, I think. All the songs for the new album are all a product of an ever ongoing process. This is not something we set out to do, we did not decide the sound of the album before we started writing. I Thank you for the comparison, though, reminding you of both Metallica and Pantera, the ultimate thrashriff kings! We are all influenced by whatever we listen to at any given time, and this time around it just seemed right, making out the structure of the songs as we did.

It is also possible to note that the songs are more progressive than in the past. The production is, it also, very different, clearer and sometimes making think that of Queensrÿche, period \’Operation : Mindcrime\’. The voice of Nils have lot of common points with that of Geoff Tate. What do you think about it ?
Very true, indeed, because when it gets progressive it tends to break off into something completely different, a change of moods. But I think it still sounds PM. Anyway, we can only sound as we do. Trying to sound different would be mere copying, I find. The entire flow of the album is much better this time around. Regarding the production, Fredrik Nordstrom and Patrick G Sten did the mix once again, and these guys have an incredible ear for details and power which we like a lot, grand but punchy. We all grew up listening to QR and were influenced by them, at least me and Nils. It is an honour to be compared with such bands today. Nils is a big Geoff Tate-fan and as I said earlier, the melting pot we call PM is a product of all our influences, ranging from thrash/black metal to symphonic rock to commercial music which makes it more interesting to play and be a part of. I can hear some QR in our music, hopefully without us being copycats.

While speaking about Queensrÿche, does not you find that there are many similarities between your respective discographies? \’Operation : Mindcrime\’ is the third album of the Tate\’s band, just like \’Enigmatic : Calling\’ is your third studio realization. Even the titles of the both bands third albums show a certain similarity. Moreover, the production and the compositions are also very \”queensrÿchians\”. And another thing : both are concept-albums. Then, coincidence or not?
Again, this was not done intentionally, I swear. By the way, OM was their 4th album if you consider their first effort(the EP) an album as of today. I am really proud of that comparison, though, feeling that we found our unique sound in this jungle of well-sounding productions. I can see your point but I find that we sound more up-to-date both with the production and the cover art. Our latest effort is in fact a conceptional album but we never went for that in the first place. This is just how it evolved. Nils is so clever with lyrics, and towards the end of the recording we found that there was indeed a thick red line between the songs and it was sort of woven together as a concept album, but so are all of our records really, dealing with the eternal questions dealing with the origin of mankind, etc.

\’Enigmatic : Calling\’ is a conceptual album. As we can see the cover and according to certain titles, such as \’Enigmatic Mission\’ or \’Entrance To Infinity\’, one has the impression that the developped story is that of Stargate SG-1, series created by Roland Emmerich. Can you say us a little bit more about?
Actually, the film \’Stargate(a gateway to the stars)\’ had a tremendous impact on all of us, as well as the movie \’Contact\’. We all grew up with sci-fi and the philosophy and intrigues of alien lifeforms coming to visit us, and we all found that quite intriguing growing up. Even books by Erich Von Danicken and his theories are still important today. But I have to stress the point that our music and lyrics are not religious in any way. We just flirt with the theses that we were put here by a highly evolved intelligence as part of an experiment. Quite intriguing, I find. All of our albums deal with the same thoughts, so in a way we could call all the albums conceptional somehow.

Which are your greater influences?
We all listen to all kinds of music, from jazz and pop to black metal and symphonic music. I have to speak for myself. I listen a lot to Mars Volta and Neal Morse these days. I grew up with a very dedicated family which listened to everything from Beatles and Pink Floyd to Cabaretmusic and Jazz, so in a way I was lucky to be introduced to so many different forms of music. Earlier on I used to listen a lot to PF, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, Maiden, ELP, Scorpions, Ozzy, Van Halen, Zappa, David Bowie, Chick Corea, Steve Vai, Return to forever, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orch, etc.

Any side-projects out of Pagan\’s Mind?
We just finished a new Jorn(singer of Masterplan) solo album which will be released in the fall sometimes. I am also involved in a project doing more bluesoriented heavy metal, release not confirmed yet. We all gig heavily with Jorn Lande, as well. Stian has his Firewind(drums) and Nils has just taken over the vocal works with Eidolon(Glen and Shawn Drover currently gigging with Megadeth) so you can say that we a re quite busy outside of PM.

What do you think of the current norwegian scene ? And of the power prog\’ scene in its entirety?
Regarding the Norwegian scene, I have learned that there are more aspects to music deriving from Norway than black metal, which Norway is known for abroad. But it is quite hard for Norwegians bands not playing Black metal to have success abroad really, because we are well known and highly regarded abroad. It is damn hard coming from Norway and trying to make it big playing Heavy metal but we have experienced a boom in the non-blackmetal scene the last couple of years with bands like Circus Maximus and Griffin and even Octavia Sperati. I find that very positive indeed. There is more to us than meets the ears? We have highly qualified musicians here, but not being part of the EC makes it that more difficult for us going abroad, though. The prog metal scene both in Norway and abroad has evolved beyond my expectations and I find that very positive since there are in fact other artists and musicians coming out of Norway. .Abroad there seem to be only a few bands that make it, DT and Symphony X due to their high recognition as pioneers of the genre.

Do you have booked some concerts? Which band you will do the tour with? Are some tour dates in France envisaged?
No tourdates in France yet but the first chance we get to come and play in your lovely country, we will grab it instantaneously!! Please make us come and play?. We mostly have gigs lined up the rest of this year in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Holland. Next year we are going to play Progpower UK in England. This fall we are headlining Progpower Europe in Holland, which will be a blast. So far this summer we did a couple of major festivals here in Scandinavia and loads of single gigs. No band has offered us any support tour yet, but we still hope for that to happen?.

Do you have any last words for the readers of Spirit of Metal?
Stay hard, stay metal! Look to the sky, there might be more than meets the eye out there. What, me worry? What does not kill you, makes you stronger! Heinecken forever!!!!

En savoir plus sur Pagan’s Mind

interview Urgent1)Ma première question porte sur le style de musique dans lequel vous évoluez et que, personnellement, j\’aime beaucoup. Mais, n\’est-il pas un peu risqué de sortir un album de hard FM, sachant que les derniers représentants de ce style à avoir eu du succés sont Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper et Europe qui, bien que faisant de la musique de grande qualité, ne sont plus au top, et que de nos jours, les jeunes préférent les formes les plus agressives du métal, telles que le néo ou le death?
Risqué est le mot, mais en étant réalistes, il est plus intéressant de se faire plaisir à jouer la musique qui nous va le mieux et qu’on écoute tous les jours plutôt que d’essayer de coller à des mouvances plus actuelles, ou tout du moins qui semblent être plus « porteuses ». Le seul regret qu’on peut avoir est qu’il est vraiment dur de s’exprimer dans ce style aujourd’hui, et particulièrement en France ! Déjà le terme HardFM semble un gros mot pour beaucoup. Ensuite, y’a qu’à voir le nombre de concert de grands groupes dans ce style en France (Bon Jovi mais aussi Gotthard, Pretty Maids ou même , ils évitent presque tous de venir jouer ! Disons que le côté un peu daté du style n’est pas un atout pour vendre aujourd’hui. Heureusement, il reste quelques passionnés dont nous faisons partie, ainsi que Brennus qui permet encore à pas mal de groupes de sortir des albums de qualité avec des conditions succintes mais qui ont le mérite d’exister !

2)\’Out of Time\’, sorti récemment, est votre premier album. Or, le groupe existe depuis plus d\’une décennie, maintenant. Outre les nombreux changements de line-up que vous avez subi, quels ont été les autres obstacles qui vous ont empêchés de débuter un travail de composition et d\’enregistrement plus tôt?
Déjà, Urgent est à l’origine un groupe de potes qui voulait s’amuser. Ça a commencé (et continué pendant de nombreuses années) avec des reprises de groupes qu’on aimait (Queen, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Van Halen etc?). Le travail de compo est surtout arrivé après mon départ de Nightmare. Le plaisir de faire du studio, de monter des morceaux et de jouer sur des scènes plus grandes m’a fait pencher la balance vers cet aspect, un peu plus exigeant et plus sérieux, mais aussi très valorisant et plaisant quand on accouche d’un bébé comme « Out Of Time » !

3)Ce premier disque est une puere tuerie, non seulement au niveau de la production, claire et puissante, mais, également, au niveau des compositions, fraîches et mélodiques, ce qui est plutôt rare pour un premier effort. La composition a été un effort de tout le groupe, mais, comment a-t\’elle été répartie? Qui écrit les texte?
Disons que souvent l’idée première vient d’une seule personne qui la soumet au groupe, après un travail plus ou moins abouti dans son « home-studio ». Ensuite le groupe se l’approprie en répet’, le modifie éventuellement, puis le chant et les ch?urs sont posés dessus par la suite (dans la majeure partie des cas). Un ou deux morceaux ont également été remanié et finalisé en studio?

Les textes sont souvent l’?uvre d’Yvan le chanteur, même s’il m’arrive de m’y pencher également.

4)Stéphane a fait partie du plus grand groupe de heavy métal français, Nightmare. Etant plus influencé par des groupes de heavy old school tels que Maiden, Saxon ou Judas Priest, tous issus de la N.W.O.B.H.M., n\’était-il pas \”handicapant\” pour lui ainsi que pour tout le groupe de s\’orienter exclusivement vers un style plus soft et plus mélodique que ne le sont les groupes sus-cités?
Ce sont également des groupes qu’on adore pour la majorité d’entre nous ! En plus, ça reste tout de même dans la grande famille du métal, c’est pas du jazz ou du rap non plus ! Mais comme tu le fais remarquer, on a essayé de s’en distancer pour faire une musique plus soft tout en restant énergique (le dosage est parfois subtil). C’est aussi une vision des arrangements, des tempos un peu moins soutenus et un chant moins féroce qui font de Urgent un groupe moins heavy que Nightmare. Mais il nous arrive quand même de reprendre du Maiden ou du Saxon et de speeder un peu nos compos en live. Tout ça dépend également de notre humeur !

5)Quels sont les thémes que vous abordez dans vos chansons?
Disons que pour faire simple, on est dans la grande tradition Rock US avec principalement des chansons qui traitent d’amour et de filles (mais n’est-ce pas le plus important dans la vie ?) !!! Mais également quelques sujets plus sérieux ou plus fantasy comme les voyages dans le temps, et un hommage à nos idoles avec « Rock’n'Roll Heroes »?

6)Chaque morceau de \’Out of Time\’ est un hymne, plus particuliérement \”R.O.O.T.\”, \”Life Goes On\”, \”Rock\’n\’Roll Heroes\” (le morceau le plus heavy), \”The Wild and The Young\” (un mélange d\’Aerosmith et de Kiss, surtout ce dernier sur le début de refrain qui me rappelle un peu le \”Gods of Thunder\” du même groupe) et \”What Love is All About\”. On peut, donc, vous considérer comme la reléve du genre. Quand avez-vous décidé d\’évoluer dans ce style?
Merci pour ces compliments ! Comme je l’ai dit plus haut, on pas volontairement décidé de s’orienter vers ce style, on est né avec !!! Les groupes que tu mentionnes font partie de nos influences et on essayé de faire un album qu’on aimerait acheter. Du coup on y a mis tout ce qu’on aime : beaucoup de guitares, de jolis solos mélodiques, un peu (mais pas trop) de clavier, une section rythmique efficace (et pas forcément à la double !), de gros ch?urs et pas mal de feeling? ce qu’on retrouve sur beaucoup de disques des années 70 et 80, et nettement moins sur les sorties actuelles.

7)J\’avoue avoir été un peu perplexe sur votre style de musique quand j\’ai vu l\’artwork de \’Out of Time\’, plus caractéristique du métal progressif. Elle m\’a notamment rappelé la pochette du \’Train of Thought\’ de Dream Theater. Seriez-vous, également, des fans de progressif?
Bien sûr, tout du moins en ce qui me concerne ! DT mais aussi Yes, Kansas, Pink Floyd ou ItBites sont pour moi de très grands groupes que j’ai vraiment plaisir à écouter. De là à faire un « sous-sous-Dream Theater » (comme il en existe beaucoup de nos jours !!!), cela ne nous disait vraiment rien et puis il faut bien reconnaître que nous n’avons pas le niveau technique de ces illustres aînés !

Pour en revenir à la pochette, nous voulions d’une part éviter certains clichés (bagnole, gonzesse?) et d’autre part avoir un visuel à plusieurs niveaux (de loin comme de près) et qui reprenait le concept du temps, présent dans 2 ou 3 chansons? On a été particulièrement pénibles pour se mettre d’accord sur l’ArtWork et j’en profite pour remercier à nouveau Boris (notre « 6e élément ») pour son aide et sa patience !

8)Parlons un peu de toi/vous. Quel est ton/votre parcours musical et tes/vos influences personnelles?
Mon parcours est relativement simple ! Après plusieurs formations locales, j’ai monté Urgent vers le début des années 90 avec à l’époque un répertoire de reprises. Puis fin 99, j’ai intégré en parallèle Nightmare pour le concert de reformation aux claviers. J’ai ensuite joué avec eux (aux claviers mais aussi comme troisième guitariste) sur plusieurs concerts (dont le Wacken Open Air 2000 et les premières parties de Saxon, Maidein ou JaddedHeart). J’ai quitté, en bon termes !, le groupe lors de l’enregistrement de Cosmovision pour me concentrer alors avec Urgent sur le travail de composition, travail qui se matérialise aujourd’hui avec la sortie d’ « Out Of Time » !

Pour les influences, elles ont nombreuses, mais pour faire une réponse collective, je dirai le Hard Rock des années 70 et 80, avec d’immenses groupes comme AC/DC, Kiss, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Scorpions, Van Halen, Queen , Bon Jovi, Extreme, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden? mais aussi U2, les Beatles ou même Abba dans des styles différents.

9)Qu\’est-ce que tu/vous préférez : le travail en studio ou les concerts sur scéne?
Éternelle question ! Disons que les deux sont vraiment très importants mais qu’ils ne ressemblent en rien. Le studio est plus précis, plus éprouvant? La scène est plus spontanée, plus énergique avec tous les aléas qui peuvent survenir, mais aussi avec un retour immédiat du public, ce qui est vraiment agréable ! Perso, j’aime vraiment les deux .

10)A propos de concerts, avez-vous des dates de prévues dans les semaines à venir?
On joue le 9 septembre à l’Art-Scène À St Martin d’Hères (banlieue de Grenoble) pour une soirée un peu spéciale puisque c’est la Release Party du nouvel album de Nightmare, au côté de BigBalls et avec quelques surprises tout au long de la soirée? Sinon on devrait aussi participer vers le mois d’octobre au 10 ans de l’assoc qui nous permet de répéter. On a également une touche pour jouer avec Revenge sur une date de leur prochaine tournée, mais rien n’est sûr?

On essaie par ailleurs de monter un concert un peu plus ambitieux (avec d’autres groupes de Brennus ?) pour la fin d’année sur la région. Bon, maintenant, si Bon Jovi veut également nous avoir pour la première partie de leur tournée européenne, on est preneurs !!!

11)La traditionnelle question que j\’aime poser : ton/votre opinion sur la scéne hard/métal française actuelle et la scéne européenne?
La scène française, tout du moins en Hard, me semble à l’image du pays, totalement en décalage avec ce qui se fait autour de nous? Elle est bien plus fournie en groupe de reggae, de rap ou chanson à texte, ce qui correspond plus à ce que l’on entend à la radio? C’est pas forcément un mal, c’est juste un fait et il faut faire avec !

Mais avec un peu de recul, je suis impressionné de voir le nombre de personne qui écoutaient (et écoutent encore) AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Trust, Gun’s ou même Accept, Marillion, Thin Lizzy ou Whitesnake? A nous (je parle au nom des groupes) d’aller les trouver et de leur faire voir qu’on peut faire autre chose que de regarder la Star’Ac?

La scène européenne est elle bien plus fournie avec les particularités de chaque pays (ou devrais-je dire « marché ») et il y a encore de nombreux groupes qui tournent régulièrement. Mais on est plus dans les années 80 et l’arrivée de nouvelles scènes (néo, black, etc?) permet d’avoir un vaste choix. A chacun de trouver son bonheur dans tout ce qui sort?

12)Avez-vous déjà commencé à travailler sur un deuxiéme opus?
Pour faire brefs, disons qu’on en est à la première étape, à savoir le travail de compo chacun de son côté. Quelques riffs, 3 ou 4 idées de structures, 1 ou 2 ébauches de textes? mais rien de définitif à ce jour ! On va s’y remettre sérieusement dans les semaines qui viennent après la rentrée.

13)Un dernier mot pour les lecteurs de Spirit of Metal?
Merci pour votre soutien et à bientôt, on l’espère, sur les routes ! Long Live R’n'Roll !!!

Je vous remercie d\’avoir répondu à ces questions. :-)
De rien c’était avec plaisir !

Je vous souhaite une bonne continuation et à bientôt!
A+

Steff

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