Following the release of the excellent ‘Fifty Years Later’ album, Planetmosh caught up with the rising stars of French Symphonic Metal, Asylum Pyre and spoke to guitarist and co vocalist Johann Cadot about the bands history, how the current album came about and the bands future plans.
Firstly, take us back to the beginning, how did Asylum Pyre form?
Johann: Well, the first seeds were sown when Julien (Bass), Cédrik (ex-guitarist) and myself met at our job place and started playing together for fun back in 2003 but at that time we did not know how to play at all. Then, we tried to work on some songs and thought that it sounded good so things became more serious, and we found musicians and a female singer. Later on we recorded our first demos and our first Album “Natural Instinct?” came out in 2009. It received very good reviews all over the world.
The bands musical style is quite varied, you must have had a lot of different influences from the start?
Johann: Thank you! Yes we love mixing different styles. Even if I do love some bands that always play the same kind of music, as a musician, I can’t see myself playing just one style. Asylum Pyre was somewhat meant to create this mix of styles, something between Pain Of Salvation and Helloween with some ideas from any kind of metal, prog or ambient music. It would require full pages to name all the bands that have influenced us.
I had the pleasure of reviewing the latest album ‘Fifty Years Later’ recently and I was really impressed with how it all fitted together. When did the writing begin for the album and what ideas did you have going into it?
Johann: Some songs were started even before the creation of the band or before ‘Natural Instinct?’, for instance: the chorus of ‘Fifty Years Later’, many parts of ‘Any Hypothesis’ and some riffs of other songs. We never stop writing music so the songwriting started as soon as the first album was recorded. We started to work on these songs with our former vocalist with whom we parted ways a short time before the recording of “Fifty Years Later”. Same things with our former drummer… so, musically, many things had changed just before entering the studio and once in the studio we tried and changed some things with the help of Didier Chesneau.
Now obviously the dual vocal sound is a big part of the band’s music now, how did the female/male vocal idea come about?
Johann: Well, at the very beginning we thought we would be a male fronted band. I took charge of the vocals while we had no singer. Later on, we thought that having a female vocalist would be a good idea but as our music tells stories and is kind of theatrical sometimes, with lyrics appealing for some exchanges between the characters, I decided to keep some parts. That allows us many more possibilities for each part of each song and it brings some more variation.
I noticed from the press release that you had some live shows in the pipeline, tell us about those.
Johann: Well, we had already played some shows in the past few months in different places of France. The best one being our opening set for Doro in December! Great Show (and a great Woman in all ways!). Now we are going to play every corner of France for the months to come ( Bordeaux, Lille, Nancy, Lyon…) but we are also looking for dates in Belgium, Germany, England or anywhere else. Nothing planned yet.
As regards new material, have you any ideas as yet?
Johann: As I said before, I never stop composing so I can say that I already have rough ideas for around a dozen new titles, all good tunes that are already stuck in my brain, which is a good sign! With Chaos Heidi we have also found the probable title of the next album!! but we have not started to work on them together as of yet.
2013 promises to be a tough year in the music business. With everything that’s going on with the Euro how difficult is it these days to get your music out there?
Johann: Very hard my friend, very hard… everything in music requires money… It’s a full time job where you have to pay to work! So, time will tell.
What would you say are the best and worst parts of the music industry?
Johann: It’s hard to say. The best part is to be able to share music with many people. Worst… hmmm… the music industry is really weakened by illegal downloads, so, even more than before, the music industry is forced to rely on commercial music. And also, many musicians are ready to kill to be known!
If everything goes to plan, where do you see the band being at in 12 months time?
Johann: Recording the 3rd album! Or maybe touring with a great band!
For those not yet familiar with the band, how would you best describe yourselves?
Johann : Something that is regularly said in the reviews is that we can’t be only limited to the “Female fronted band” family. And that, even if it will please the female vocals lovers it may also please people who are more into male fronted band.
We are often summed up as Melodic Metal, because no other style describes us completely. I would say if you like good melodies and atmospheres, if you like changing tempos from slow to upbeat, if you like varied and powerful vocals, if you like it with some progressive, modern and acoustic touches then you may like our music!
Many thanks once again and best wishes for the new year.
Johann: Thank you very much and we really look forward to meeting lots of you on the road this year! Happy Metal Year!!
‘Fifty Years Later’ is out now and available via http://www.massacre-records.com/