Trepalium interview (09/2004)
- Could you write a short presentation of the band, for all our readers who don't know you yet ?
The band is composed of 5 members : Kéké on vocals, Harun and Nico on guitars, Sylvain on drums and me on bass. Trepalium exists for about 3 years now and plays a kind of brutal syncopated death metal.
- So tell me, this first album, "Through The Absurd", is it like in your dreams ?
We worked on it for 3 years and we made it concrete with an album released by a label in which we trust a lot. The dream has become reality and we're all extremely satisfied with it.
Things have gone so fast that the "dream", we're living it right now. I was hardly conscious that I'll realize a childhood dream that we were already in the studio. And moreover, I just realize that the album is going to be released soon as I'm answering this question.
- Well, the atmosphere developped in your demos is well brought out by the album, I would say it really shows a typical sound of yours. How would you qualify or perceive this atmosphere?
"Through The Absurd" represents this whole world apart that madness and insanity can create in "deranged" people's mind. To us, the atmosphere of this album is oppressive, dark and weird at the same time... As for me, when I relisten to "Through The Absurd", I find that it its real own sound! We have searched for a sound pattern which is simply our own touch.
- How do you compose your songs and lyrics? Does everyone participate?
I don't really take part into the musical creative process, I give my opinions from time to time when the song is being built but that's all. My turn comes after... We agree on an certain atmosphere, a theme, and I work on it until I'm completely satisfied.
… About the music in this album, it's a real team work !... I came up with many basic ideas that we have developpedas a group. I often propose a basic riff or some transitions, and Sylvain would interpret it regarding the rhythm we're seeking, he would give the themes a rhythmic power with his interpretation... Nico, he is more on adding amelodic touch depending on the track's feeling... (being a guitarsit too, we're perfect complements). As well as Ludo, whose aim is more on getting the song "louder"and be the link between rhythm and melody. So that he adds dynamism to the whole song... As Kéké doesn't intervene directly on the composition, he will give the songs some "guts" with his voice and his highly deranging lyrics.
- You have signed with Holy Records, but what were the other labels' reactions towards your music?
Holy found us by chance when we were playing with Misanthrope. The other labels we sent our demos to replied with typical generic letters they send to everyone sending them demos. I'm unable to tell what the other labels thought about what we do because of those letters without any justification...
In fact, we didn't really had time to canvass labels. We may have sent our second demo "Pain's Threshold" to a few labels, 3 or 4 maybe, no more. It's true their replies were hackneyed ("it doesn't interest us at the moment, but keep sending us your next productions"), but that'sa bit what we expected, that was just a try. We wanted to record something much better to find a label, and finally Holy sent us a contract after a show before we record this album. Once we were done with the album, we were already engaged in talks so this way we didn't really have to search, we didn't have any other label's opinion.
And the guys from Holy have taken a great risk, without knowing what was to expect...
- You did a good amount of concerts, mostly with young and promising (well, some were...) bands but also with more famous bands such as Misanthrope or No return. Well it still isn't about stadiums and frenzied groupies, but what do you think about the audience's response to your shows?
We give our maximum on stage cause Trepalium is meant for this. We try to take the audience with us for a walk into our dementia. It's a bit like a sado-maso relation, we play for a willing audience that we want to see moving and screaming on our music... The more the audience asks for, the more we give them! The energy that we share is a sort of reward and I think that music, it's about it; what we give is emotion, and when you're given a response made of screams and sweat, that means you have done a "good" job".
- Before going on stage, what do you take? Lager, brown beer, etc.? Because Harun always looks like he's "possessed" in some way while playing, so I'd like to know what's the secret!
If you're talking about beers, every kind of beers, and pastis, whisky, pineau, red wine, brandy, in short, everything thatgoes through our throats. But concerning Harun, it's different, he has his own recipe: music turns him crazy.
... Let's say that when you're on stage, emotions become intensive... and a certain osmose is created between the lyrics and the music. The vision of what you play become quite material!... This "fictitious violence" grows through the audience. The more they go wild, the more the violence felt from your music takes advantage!
- Let's dream a little : you can share the stage with one groupe and in one country, which band and which country do you choose ?
The country err... The United States (I know,not so surprising) or Norway. And for the band... err I'd go for the bands that had us doing music. For me it would be Sepultura at the time of "Arise" or Pantera with "Far Beyond Driven".
Moi ce serait plus avec les petits chanteurs à la croix de bois au Vatican, et nous on serait les petits brailleurs à la gueule de bois.
Sylvain (drums), Harun (guitar), Kéké (vocals), Ludo (bass), Nico (guitar)
- Now that the first step has been made, when can we expect a second release? Which new elements would you like to explore in the future?
We will keep talking about the same subject : madness. But we will develop a real storyline along the songs: the story of a serial killer.
From the musical point of view, the 2nd album should be as brutal as the first one but will probably be more eclectic... this will be the sequel to "Through The Absurd", but it's too early to tell more!
- Well, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, I hope I'll see you soon at one of your next gigs. I leave you the last words.
Thanks to you and to the whole staff of Metal Storm for this interview, see ya !
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