Hi Julien, how is it going on in Benighted? You will perform for the festivals whole summer, besides these concerts are there any other works?
Julien: Hi man! Yes, we have a lot on our plate for this summer as we have lots of great festivals like Hellfest (F), Obscene Extreme (CZ), Sylak Open Air (F), Partysan Open Aır (DE)… and in the meantime we are preparing the release of our new EP “Dogs Always Bite Harder Than Their Master” which should be out in October on Season of Mist before our European tour with Aborted, Cryptopsy and Cytotoxin in November! I can’t wait to be there, it will be an insane tour with such a brutal line-up! We are also working on a new video clip to promote the EP which should be ready just before the tour!
I know that, it’s been very long since the new album had been released and also you have answered lots of questions, but I’d like toask also, Necrocreed was the most powerful recording of yours ever and it has a great concept indeed, had the reactions for new album satisfied and were they enough for your expectations?
Thank you! Man, we were so stoked by the reactions of the fans for this album, many people think that it’s actually our best one and it’s true to say that the tracks are crazily effective on stage! We toured one year and a half to promote it around the world and this album made us rise a brand new international level! We worked a lot to
make the most coherent brutal and surprising album of our career, with a very catchy chorus and breaks which give the listener the will to break is neck! Ah ah! It’s also our darkest release, I think because there are some ambient parts which come here and there to install some creepy atmospheres before the brutality is taking over again. The concept is about a schizophrenic guy whose delirium is about building his own family with dead animals he finds on the side of the streets. He brings them home, stitches each to his belly, like an extra-abdominal pregnancy, and one the infection starts, he thinks that it’s become alive again because of pain, pulse and heat… So he
cuts the stitches off and gives “his new baby” a place in his house… lovely, don’t you think? Ah ah!
You do the best cover songs ever made in extreme music! What is behind your covers appetite? Breeding so many elements in your music, do you think, makes you fit more into any song you choose or is their magic something completely different?
That’s a great compliment, thank you! We really enjoy this “exercise” because it puts us out of our “comfort zone” and it’s always a challenge to adapt some track to the Benighted way to play it. Most of the time, we choose bands and songs because they mean something for us, bands being important as an influence or simply our personal history, remembering when we were just teenagers listening to bands we considered as gods and it’s a homage to them. The exception is Rammstein… It was really a huge challenge to adapt one of their songs to our brutal death-grind music and we knew it could be totally suicidal to do it! Ah ah! We hesitated until last time to put it in the limited version of Carnivore Sublime, but when Season of Mist crew was totally for this, saying that no one ever covered Rammstein this way and that it was amazing. And we had so many great reviews about this that we don’t regret at all this choice!
Children, psychology is one of your songs most popular themes. What is the point that attracts you so much in this theme? Is there a war-political side of your interest in children psychology?
Actually, I work for 16 years now as a psychiatric nurse, so all the concepts and lyrics in Benighted come from my professional experience. Mental illness is a very common theme in death metal and I thought it would be interesting to propose some stories, pathologies and symptoms which stick to reality and not only inspired by some
horror movies and all the giant clichés you can read or watch about it. There is no political intention in Benighted, the only important thing for me is that in every concept I wrote, so horrible it can be, never the patient hurts someone else than himself. Because that’s actually the reality, people who suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disease are very vulnerable and way more dangerous for themselves than they are for the society like media want us to think.
Repeatedly 3 concept album; Necrobreed, Asylum Cave and Carnivore Sublime. By this serial, we clearly understand that you will keep on making concept albums. On this point will you give us a clue about the new album?
Absolutely, I will continue to follow this process as I find very interesting to have a story in an album that you can follow and helps you having visual pictures in mind when you listen to some parts of the songs. It makes every album unique like a movie, whole, coherent and different one from another. We also evolve on the sound on each album because we want it to fit perfectly with the spirit of the music. For example, the sound on Carnivore Sublime was in my opinion way more massive and clear, but Necrobreed has a way more aggressive and “dirty” sound which matches better with the general spirit of the album! I would like to give you a clue but I still have
no idea what it will be, I will start thinking about it in autumn. Ahah!
How are the new album recordings and workings going on, when do youthink to release?
We finished recording our new EP 'Dogs Always Bite Harder Than Their Master' but we are already working on some new tracks to be able to go to recording studio during summer 2019 and give a little brother to Necrobreed!
So, for the upcoming time are there special persons that you’d like to work with like Niklas?
It’s a bit early to tell, I need to think about a track to decide who it could be cool to invite and turn it into something original with vocals different from mine. The experience with Niklas who became one of my closest friends was amazing and the track Spit is so so insane!! We had a lot of fun during recording as he came to the
Kohlekeller Studios in Germany with us made lots of crazy vocals and ended up with some rattles of a hung man, putting his own belt around his neck to do it and strangling himself! Kohle from the studio was a bit in shock! Ah ah!
You’d said that you love to write the lyrics of the album and you’d mentioned that this is just like writing a script of a movie, also you’d said that “We’d like to write Necrobreed like a movie, it must have been cinematographic”. We highly wonder your scriptwriting skill. Besides the horror movies other types, who are your favourite directors and scriptwriters?
I actually have in my head the movie of the stories I write for each album, until the face of the character, his house,… everything. I am so so bad in remembering names of directors and others… I couldn’t tell you, I watch so many… I really like the creepy atmosphere you can find in movies of Lars Von Trier for example.
The French metal stage releases very good band in the last years, Benighted is the leading band over all these bands. Would you please talk about the positive and negative sides of French metal stage?
That’s a huge compliment, thank you! We have so many great bands here in every extreme metal style. If you want some amazing grindcore, I would recommend my bros from Blockheads or Inhumate who are devastating!! For death metal, we have Kronos, Recueil Morbide, Mercyless, Loudblast… In black metal, we have Aosoth, Svart
Crown,Déluge… That’s the very good point now! We suffered from a long time with the fact that bands didn’t propose personal music and were just following some from popular American, German or Scandinavian bands as long as it would work. But because of great bands like Gojira who really gave a credibility to the French metal scene on an international level, lots of bands are no longer afraid to play the music they like, get rid of the trendy styles and that’s such a great thing!
You are able to write in different languages. In the meaning of phonetic and explanation richness, is English the most suitable language – in general acceptance- and why?
Actually, I would say that English is the easiest language to use for lyrics, because for example, in French, you have to be very careful about words and forms of sentences because you can easily sound stupid. I sometimes use French at first because it’s my own the language of course, and also because of the difficulty of this exercise which is very challenging for me! I also sometimes write songs in German because I learn this language at school, that we have a lot of German and Austrian fans and it adds something more in vocals in the pronunciation which is very interesting and efficient for some songs.You love to travel all over the world and very closely you’d made an Asia tour. What would you like to say in the meaning of comparing with the European stage? Naturally, you’d come against good memories that you may talk about.
It was such an amazing experience! I will never forget it! People in these countries are so nice, dedicated and crazy during the shows! We had a killer time in every country, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore… I remember the show in Itanagar where a fan made 18 hours of the bicycle just to see our show! I was totally
amazed when he told me that! And in my opinion, one of our greatest shows there was in Saigon/Vietnam with a sold-out show, we were playing on the ground and the crowd was all around us, crazy, stage-diving, falling on us, it was one of the most intense and crazy experiences in my life!
We thank you for the interview. As the last word, what would you like to say to the followers of Extreminal.com and to the fans in Turkiye?
Thank you so so much for this interview, we are so impatient to come to Turkiye soon to share with you all the rage and energy we have on stage and see how sick you are in the crowd! See you very soon, guys and thank you for your support!!