Monday, March 19, 2018

Squidhead 2018 Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Well, we’ve been very busy preparing our very first show which was actually the release party of the album so, it was a lot of pressure for us. We had to prepare our costums and also learn how to play with those on. Playing with masks and full body costums for the first time was quite a challenge, I must say !
We also needed to bring some merch, scenic decoration, and physical copies of the album. It may sounds a bit basic but, as we are a self-produced band, we have to manage everything ourselves and it was a lot of work. We really wanted to give the best first show possible.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

On the musical point of view, we are playing a sort of modern melodic death metal with industrial textures. It’s a good mix of my personal favorites bands so, you should recognize influences of Fear Factory, Meshuggah, strapping young lad, etc…

The big difference is, of course, the fact that we have vocals now and we’ve also tried to make something a bit more catchy, more suitable for the stage.

3.Originally the band was all instrumental, what was the decision behind adding in vocals?

The strange thing here, is the fact that the project was always meant to be a « regular band » with vocals. But, a the time of the first record, I was alone doing the project. So, it was more convenient to do it all by myself and I’m not a good singer (like, really not). So, I took the situation as a good opportunity to release an instrumental EP. With a first record out, it was easier to find new bandmates because I had something to show them. It was like « hey, here is my music, do you want to join and make it evolve ? ». So, the instrumental EP was a good start, we had a lot of good reviews of it but we knew people were expecting more of the project. So here we are, more than 3 years after with an actual band and a full album to play live.

4.On the album you explored the writings of H.P Lovecraft, can you tell us a little bit more about the song writing?

We wrote the lyrics together with the bass player and this was new for us. We didn’t have much experience on this and we wanted to have this Lovecraft vibe on the album. The good thing here, is the fact that our bass player is also a writer that did release a first book inspired by Lovecraft universe so, it was not too hard for him to get it done (I just had to push him a bit and he did a pretty good job). From my side, I’m a roleplaying game nerd so, it was not too hard to find inspiration in those very rich backgrounds. Regarding the process, I always start writing songs titles, to set the mood of the track. Then we choose which title inspire us most and just keep writing until we have enough material for our singer. He is doing the final vocal arrangements and choose what to keep from all those lyrics.

5.On the new album you also went from being a solo project to a full band, can you tell us a little bit more about your decision behind hiring a full line up?

It’s simple, I’ve always wanted to play this music live. But the first EP would not have work well live, it’s more of a studio material. The idea behind forming a band was to get that « real band » vibe. I wanted to have real bandmates that would be involved in the creative process, not just session guys.
It’s a lot of extra work of course, because you have to deal with real people, with different personalities and you have to find those special guys that understand were you want to go and also want to go there with you. I must say, I’m very lucky to have found these guys, the’ve been doing an amazing job and the album sounds much better with their energy and creativity on it.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has done so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Well, we’ve only did our first show so far so, I would say, this one was the best ! (lol) It was a lot of stress for us to make this first one because
We are trying to make it look more like a ceremony and not just another local band gig. We’re using our own fog machine, a bit of light show, some esoteric banners and we enter the stage with costums and masks on, acting like members of a cult. When wearing full costums, you can’t just play like you’re in a rehearsal room, you have to play a character from start to finish. We’re doing our best to set a occult mood at the show and to stick to this Lovecraftian vibe we have on the album lyrics and cover.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

No touring yet as the band is only starting to play but we’re already receiving offers to play in different cities around so, we hope to have as much gigs as possible on the local scene and hope that it will help us build a good live reputation for the band. We’ll see what will happen !

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer material by fans of extreme metal?

So far, we are still waiting for most of the reviews (this can take some times as you most probably know). But the first feedback are very good so far so, we hope for the next ones to be as good. We’ll see in the coming weeks.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I honestly have no idea so far but, one thing for sure, I want to have the other bandmates more involved into the composing process. Those guys have a lot of personal influences that I don’t have and I’m sure we can get something a bit more agressive or darker but we’ll see what comes in the coming year. We will also see how the songs work on stage and it will most probably influence how we will forge the next sound of the band.

10.What are some of the newer influence you have brought onto the newer recording?

The newer thing on this album (except vocals of course) is the industrial vibe. This was the first time I’ve ever added keyboards and samples part on all songs of a record. I’ve always loved those sound textures that you can find in industrial music and it was a leap of faith for me. It’s nothing big on a technical level (I’m really not a good keyboard player), it’s just there to had a certain color to the whole sound and I’m glad it works. It add this little something to the ambience and I’m really happy with the result.

11.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

I would like to thank YOU first, for this interview and for helping us to be seen so far away from our homes. It’s a great feeling really. And I hope you guys will enjoy the album. JOIN THE CULT.

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