Friday, April 9, 2010
Interview With Mathieu and Arnaud From Gorod
Keeping aside all the exaggeration of the technical wankeries exhibited by droves of technical death metal bands these days in their neighbourhood garbage dumps, French tech-death band Gorod have walked tall amidst all the sub-par acts with their brand of death metal which draws quite a pull on the technical side, keeping their death metal roots intact and fist-packed. Here's an exclusive though a bit outdated interview with Mathieu and Arnaud of Gorod.
Hi! How are you guys doing at the moment?
Mat: Fine, thank you! Well, we're preparing the future shows, rehearsals, management,...we're pretty tired but it's a pleasure to take time to talk about us and the new album!
Your new album Process of new Decline sounds brilliant. How do you feel about it?
Mat: We're really proud of this album, and relieved that it's finally out, 3 years after "Leading Vision". It's the first album that will be promoted in Europe, US, and worlwide at the same time and in an efficient way by Willowtip and Listenable together.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Mat: Nothing in particular, I don't have a huge metal background, except 90's period maybe. Some riffage is inspired by Coroner style, technically. Rhythms and grooves are most inspired by the 70's music, jazz-funk, prog-rock, while melodies and chords progressions are directly borrowed to latin-jazz artists like Al di Meola or Chick Corea. I rarely realize that when I work on a new song, but it's something I hear later, when I listen to all of the songs. My purpose is only musical, I can't tell you I'm inspired by nature, birds, the darkness of the human spirit, satan or whatever...Music is the only thing that is important to me.
Is there anything you would like to change in the album?
Mat: Well, I wish we could have more time to work on the vocals maybe. Lyrics were written during the recording process so everything has been set up in a short period. We couldn't stand back and have an overall listen on them. I realize now that maybe there's too much voice...Anyway, things are set now and we can't roll back! Next time I hope we can anticipate and keep some time to get a more objective point of view on our songs.
How does it differ from your previous releases?
Mat : The new album is more direct and is a logical evolution of what we did with the two older albums, but it's also an improvement. Sound is more powerful, drums hit harder, music goes faster! Song structures are more direct, efficient, where the older maybe were too convoluted. I tried to get the songs immediately understandable, so that the listener shouldn't be lost at any moment. Of course, we haven't made any compromise or tried to follow the mainstream, this album is pure Gorod and we still do Death Metal. But sometimes when you hear DM, especially Tech DM, you can't bang your head and you have to be focused on the music to get it. Where is the pleasure? So we're done with asymetrical patterns and unremitting tempo changes. On the new album, there's way less riffs or parts, but they are more developed. The sound on this album is the best we ever had and the best I ever produced, it's very accurate and chirurgical but "wild" and natural at the same time.
A lot of technicality has gone into the making of your songs, how do you come up with he music?
Mat: Usually, I write the whole structure of the song (drums/guitars), with computer drums and an amp simulator, testing and exploring many possibilities to retain a few.If everyone is ok with that , we go forward. If not, we try to improve the structure, add or remove a part, etc... Then Benoit comes with his bass part, which we finalize together. As I said, lyrics are constantly written later, or at the studio. I'd like to tell you we spend a lot of time on rehearsals, but it's wrong. We try hard to play together once a week but it's difficult because of everyone's jobs, families etc...Everyone works on his parts at home with differents playbacks and when we meet, we just perform the whole set-list to be ready for shows.
How has your new drummer Sam fit into the lineup?
Mat: On July 2008, Sandrine announced to the band that she wanted to leave it because of her job as a psyhchologist. This job took her so much time, she didn't want to slow down the band. Also, she wasn't sure to be there for gigs, tours, etc...We spent this summer finding a new drummer. We wanted someone that would be excellent on drums and as a musician, available, and someone that we would know personally. Sam has recorded an album with Zubrowska on 2003 at our studio, he was already impressive at this time. So we contacted him by October 2008, and he rapidly accepted. During approximately 3 weeks we worked on the songs all day long, everyday, and then he recorded the album in only 4-5 days...wow! We're very happy to have met him. He's a solid drummer that plays many styles of music, but he's also a good guitarist, with a large rock background, not just a groovebox with two legs! I hope he will participate more on the future songs that he could do on POAND.
What hapened to Sandrine? What is she upto now?
Mat: Well, now she focuses on her job, maybe she will come back later with a new band, but now she hasn't enough time...We really thank her for this decade of drumming and friendship, she's still our friend and we sometimes play together for fun...
You just did a tour with Immolation recenty. How did it go?
Mat: Honestly, it was our very first real tour ever. And we really enjoyed it. Immolation are very cool guys, and the tour was a pleasure, even if it was quite short. Our music is aimed to be played Live, we are really into our music when we perform and always try to share our passion to/with the audience. Even if the sound looks a bit difficult to render, we can make it while moving crazy, giving the people what they come for. Of course, the conditions are sometimes not pretty good, bad sound, bad organization, static people, and that's what stressful for me. But most of the time things went well and I hope we can make bigger tours in the future.
What is your take on the current technical death scene?
Mat: Optimistic, I guess...There's many bands to come out these days and we are proud to be a part of this movement.
How do you get along with other metal bands from France?
Arno: The French metal scene is moving. There is many new young bands growing like Hacride or Trepalium which is preety cool! There also bands like Gojira of course or Scarve that we really like for years now.
As a death metal act, what would you prefer more - technicality or brutality?
Mat: Well, we don't do Brutal Death Metal. Agressiveness comes from vocals mainly but I try to feed it with high tempos, fast drumming and guitar techniques. My aim is not to be always brutal, cool and progressive parts are necessary to accentuate the hard ones. A whole brutal album is maybe too boring and linear in my opininon. You can't keep the attention of the listener beyond 3 or 4 intense songs. Sometimes, a groovy or memorable part, a cooler song, can ease the audition and helps the listener to keep the songs in mind. Some people told us that we could actually be an instrumental band, that vocals maybe being unecessary, but we still do Death Metal and to agree with you , I'd say that our music is better with strong vocals because they push the sound and make the structures of the songs clearer.
Is there any particular band/musician you would like to go on tour with or collaborate with?
Mat: I don't have a precise line up in mind. All I want is to tour with cool and kind people, whom I like the music or not, people with a regular ego and a some sense of teamwork. But a North American tour with Megadeth would be good too ;) Joking aside, the point is rather "where" we are playing than "with who" we are playing. Of course, it would be beneficial for us to share the stage with the great masters of technical death metal, like Necrophagist, Decrepit Birth, Cryptopsy or if they were still available Death and Decapitated. But we just want to make many good shows, no matter with whom.
Any chance of catching you guys in India?
Mat: I hope so! Your country is very far from here and I hope one day we can make a huge world tour, including india and East Asia, we know that we have many fans around there!
Any final words for your fans?
Mat: Thank you for the support and the questions!! I also want to thank all our indian fans that appreciate our sound and DeathMetal in general. That means a lot to us and demonstrates that Metal is worldwide and doesn't know physical or administrative borders!!