Interviews

Oldskull Interview With Manu

When I heard the new EP by the death metal band Oldskull put out by Nihilistic Holocaust, I sent off some questrions to guitar player Manu and here is what he said to them:

Where were you born and where did you grow up? What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Manu: I was born in Albi and grow up in a small ancient mining village surrounded by forests and fields.
I didn’t know what I want to be, but I still don’t.

Was music a big part early on in your life or did that come later on?

Manu: Not really, I can still remember listening to the same old tape of The Beatles in my father’s car again and again. There were some rock teenagers in my town, and a heavy metal band, we used to hear rehearsing.

When did you discover heavy metal music? What did you think of it? What were some of the bands that you heard early on?

Manu: My cousin was into heavy metal, during holidays he introduced me and my brother to heavy, alternative rock and punk rock music.

Now the underground metal scene. How did you discover that and what did you think of it? Did it take a few listens and then you were hooked on it like a drug?

Manu: Another cousin of mine came with a VHS tape full of video clips of Morbid Angel, Dismember, Cemetary, Pestilence, Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, etc… and it’s been so evil music, nothing I have heard before i was immediately hooked by.

Now I have no idea who is doing the interview, but if it is a band member that plays an instrument, what lead to you picking it up? Some of your favorite players?

Manu: I play guitar in the band, and I originally came to musical instrument thanks to my brother who bought a bass guitar. I don’t really have a favorite player.

Oldskull 2015
Oldskull 2015

So were you in any bands before Oldskull? What led to you wanting to form or join a band?

Manu: I play in another band called Necrocult. Teenagers, and friends of mine (David and Loran from Necrocult) used to play thrash covers. They played guitar and drums. No bass. And as my brother get a bass, I one day took it and make some music with them. It created Necrocult, we still play together after almost 30 years.

So I read you began as a 3 piece and didn’t add a bass player until 2005. What did you do, just fuck around with cover tunes and stuff until 2005?

Manu: We started the band without bass but directly play our own music. Our first bass player stayed with us for around 2 years I think, when he left the band, I asked my brother ( who was playing with Trashnasty at this time) if he’ll be interested to replace the first bass player. And he was ok and still plays together today.

What was your 1st concert like? Where was it? Were you nervous? Did you play covers or originals or a mixture of both?

Manu: My very first concert was with Necrocult in 94. Yes, I was nervous. We played our original compositions. we only played 2 covers later with Necrocult: “Reborn” by Hypocrisy and “Trick or Betrayed” by Deicide.

In the first concert with Oldskull, we played original songs and played later a cover of “Before the Creation of Time” by Unleashed.

Now when did you come up with the name Oldskull and were you aware of another band with the same name or you found out about that later on?

Manu: We started using Oldskull without knowing of the other eponymous death metal bands. We found this name in joking because yes, our goal is to play old-school death metal. Many years after we discovered them. Except for the US hardcore band, we are the first referenced Oldskull death metal band (Apologize if I’m wrong).

So between 2005 and 2009 were you writing many songs? A 4 track demo came out in 2009. Did you send that out to any places to get it reviewed or was more to sell at concerts you played?

Manu: Yes new songs written, more solids and serious than our debut songs. So we recorded them, in order to get a demo and sell it during concerts. Only one review by “les hordes metalliques webzine”.

Oldskull Death and Metal Demo 2009
Oldskull Death and Metal Demo 2009

Tell me about the Xtreme Fest you played. Did you get a good response from the crowd?

Manu: Yes good response, we were announced as a hardcore band and the crowd discovered our traditional death metal. We killed them… Small audience in the middle of the afternoon, playing on the asphalt of the skate park, 35 degrees, full sun, and no shadow to hide…

Now after the 4 track demo, nothing new was released music-wise until 2019. Why such a long way, in the underground with so many bands out that could be seen as the kiss of death so to speak?

Manu: Don’t care about the time. We have nothing to prove nor playing in a contest. We use the time we got between jobs, families, distance, and other musical activities.

Do you feel the sound of the band had changed from 2005 to 2019? If so in what way?

Manu: Yes we have progressed in terms of a band, and individuals. We dived more deeply into the depths of death metal.

Now I want to talk about your latest release, “Death Of Humanity” release, which is a crushing blast of old-school death metal. How did you come up with the tunes and where was it recorded? How long were you in the studio?

Manu: We had 5 of these songs already and a friend of ours asked us if we can write a song for his new short movie. We said yes and planned to enter a studio for that song (Good Blood). And we realized: oh if we go to the studio, why not record 5 more songs?
Drums, bass, vocals, and rhythm guitar were recorded by Olivier at Dismal sound studio ( Tarn, southwest of France). I think Herve stayed for 2 days, Seb one day, and Nico and Yan for 2 days. I recorded my guitar with Geoffrey at Mass sacred noise studio for one day. Several days of mixing and mastering by Olivier at Dismal Sound studio.

What has the response been like I think the release is a death metal lovers’ dream.

Manu: The responses are good.

Now I know it was self-released on CD by you, but also now Nihilistic Holocaust picked it up for release on tape format. How did you look up to them for that?

Manu: Gabriel from Nihilistic Holocaust (https://nihilistic-webzine-distro.fr) contacted us. He was interested in releasing a tape version of our new release. So we thought it was a nice proposition, so we said ok. Gabriel is in touch with so many contacts in the world, we cannot decline his help. Thanks again.

Describe each band member to me.

Manu: Seb is the singer, Herve on drums, Yan plays bass, Nico is the rhythm guitar and Manu on lead guitar. We are close friends first of all, Nico and Hervé are friends since childhood, the same with Seb, Yan, and me.

For someone who has not heard the band, what would you say you sound like?

Manu: We started the band to celebrate the real death metal. We sound like the US and European stage mixing. I worship bands from Excruciate, Seance, Luciferion, Morgoth to Devastation, Brutality, Solstice… They are so many to name. Hail the masters.

Please plug any merchandise and where people can find you on the internet.

Manu: We tried to start a Bandcamp page where you can get the digital version, we are working to get the cd version available too, it’s in the work. Also, you can get the CD directly on the Facebook page of Oldskull, send us a message :
https://www.facebook.com/oldskulldeath
You can also check the tape version from the Nihilistic Holocaust distro:
https://nihilistic-webzine-distro.fr

Horns up for the interview, any last words to say?

Manu: Thank you for your interest and for giving us a place to speak about our band
.
https://www.facebook.com/oldskulldeath
https://nihilisticholocaustrecs.bandcamp.com

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