Hello Welcome to Acier Doux Tunisia ! Before al l, can you briefly introduce Dreamslave for those who aren’t familiar with you ?
Hello from Hell Med Manef Slama ! Many thanks to you and the “Acier Doux Metalzine” team for granting us an interview. Dreamslave is a French orchestral Metal band formed in Lyon in 2011. The band released a self-produced “Extended Play” in 2012, and then its first album “Rest in Fantasy” recorded in a professional studio in 2015. More recently Dreamslave also played in several countries during a European tour in 2016.
Are there particular explanations for the name of your band ?
Maybe because it is a pretty name, full of dream, mystery and fantasy , Peter thought about it when the band was created, Dreamslave sounded good to the ears and looked good to the eyes. This name was chosen among several propositions. We learned several years later that there were other bands from other genres that had quite the same name. We do not think that it is a problem either for them or for us, and we greet them by the way! Our orchestral metal band is called Dreamslave with a capital ‘D’, nothing more, nothing less and this is how we love it.
You seem to be pretty shy Female Vocals. How do you handle the fact of playing such music in front of uninitiated people such as your boss, colleagues…? I mean, Metal is not convenient and your compositions conveys quite an amount of Heavy Metal and intensity that could be quite shocking…hahah Joking ?
Shy Female vocals: this will please Elegy Emma and especially Peter, who makes big beasts’ sounds with his voice … haha ! It is true that metal music is often unrecognized, even in France. Singing in a classic and lyric way, as well as growling can destabilize uninitiated people. The heavy sound of drums, bass and guitars can be scary too if you are not used to them ! But once passed the surprise, colleagues, family, boss … people are quite curious and open-minded, that’s cool. For the record, the first time Peter listened to the title “Pharaon Sails To Orion” from the album Oceanborn, he was so afraid that he simply erased the music from his computer to make sure that he will never listen to it again… and now he is singing with growls … Everything can change ! People, even those who do not know Metal music, are more openminded than it seems. Do not hesitate to discuss with them and make them discover the Metal world, so rich and diversified. To simply bring down prejudices.
The band was formed in 2011. Could we say your first EP “Dreamslave” took something like four years to be composed ?
Not really actually. Since the beginning of the band and until now, the composition has mainly been the result of Peter’s imagination, eclectic and unbridled. Moreover before headbanging with musicians in a metal band and making some noise on stage, Peter was already a composer. In 2011, the 5 titles on the Extended Play were already composed. Mickaël (ex-guitarist) wrote the lyrics, and Emma joined the band during the summer. In the autumn 2011 we recorded this “model” in home studio, with JR on bass and Baptiste on drums at this moment. After that, we started the concerts in 2012 … and have never stopped them since !
Your second album ” Rest in Phantasy ” was released in 2015. Can you describe it ?
For us, an album is a bit like a collection of short stories. Each piece must have its own originality, but also find its place in a global realization. We tried to make the opus “Rest In Phantasy” respect this search for both diversity and harmony. Thus, Masquerade’s lyrics are influenced by the movie “Blade”, those of Pirate’s Anthem by “Pirates of the Caribbean” while The Vinland Saga approaches a more historical aspect. End Of Innocence and Eternitears are much more intimate pieces. Wishes Of Revenge is full of fantasy and Eastern tales, while Torments and Angel Requiem are built around Mozart’s well known themes : “Requiem Dies Irae” and “Queen of the Night”. Doomsday flirts with the religious aspect of redemption and The Dark Crusade plunges us into an epic and mystical universe such as Tolkien’s … As for the band’s musical influences, they are very diverse, from classical music to electronic music and even more traditional atmospheres, such as oriental or celtic musics. We do not necessarily have barriers, we like music, its diversity, and we enjoy sharing it in eclectic albums. More generally, we try to deal with what makes us human beings in our music and in our words: the feelings, from the darkest passions to the bright light of hopes.
In comparison to the debut Album, the production of the last album is more precise but also warmer… Can you tell us more about the place where it was recorded ? Did you wish to differ a bit from the current releases ?
Yes ! Our first album “Rest In Phantasy” was recorded at Noise Firm, an excellent professional French studio in Rhône – Alpes. We would like to thank Thierry (Dyslesia) and Sylvain (ex-Vital Breath) for their energy, creativity and exemplary professionalism to give birth to our first album. We also thank every people who have participated in this adventure. Like the composition of the titles and their originality, we wanted a production as perfect as possible for this first album. So we worked hard to have a powerful, precise but warm sound, like our music is. The challenge was to mix the heavy sound of the band, with the finesse of the orchestra and the greatness of the choirs. This was not easy, but the hard work allows the result to meet all our expectations. Now we can say it, the production of “Rest In Phantasy” was really a crazy job, requiring so much energy at every moment, and also during a long period … and we are looking forward to doing it again for the second opus !
Dreamslave’s music is heavy , and too more melodic, with by moments roots emanating from the true symphonic Music … Is it important for you to remain intelligible ?
Dreamslave plays orchestral Metal music. Our music has not only eclectic influences, but is also at the crossroads of different popular musics, such as rock, metal and classical music. We consider it as a chance, because it opens vast horizons with various atmospheres, collaborations, fantasies, and often leads to beautiful surprises … Some may think that our music is not “Metal”, not violent enough or too melodic, other say that it is not really classic since too rhythmic and aggressive, but they are “purists, and we are not ! Our style is metal orchestral, even if it is reducing. Metal for the heavy, powerful and rhythmic sound of the band. Orchestral for the presence of a philharmonic orchestra and choirs. To sum up, the “orchestral metal” can be seen in a way as the meeting between the sounds of both the underworld and paradise, an Epic encounter !
Do you think Dreamslave is a good live band ? What do your gigs consist of, and are some cover-songs played in front of the beheaded audience ?
For sure, Dreamslave is a good live band, we write and play our own music, covers are not our field. You should come and see us one day, you will fill your eyes and your ears with our music and maybe you will come back “beheaded” like you said! We love killing people like any good metal fan… The concerts are intense moments for us, we live and play our music with our hearts, we put in it everything we have in the guts! Our music is fast and energetic, and we are the same on stage, we always offer the best of ourselves, for love of art and respect of the public. Concerts are always superb moments during which the group can share the pleasure of being there with the audience, and vibrate together in fact, and that’s just it.
Could there be typically European Symphonic Metal influences in your sounds, or maybe the French Metal sound, and if so where would it locate ?
This is another very interesting question ! Yes, our “influences”, or rather our “spiritual fathers” come first and foremost from Europe. Dreamslave’s music is often classified and categorized as “female Metal singer”, so by analogy to “Nightwish” or else since they are “mainstream”, without trying to get a better understanding of this music. If it is not so bad as a first approach, it is a very restricted view of the diversity offered by Metal and music in general, maybe by convenience or lack of knowledge ? We do not know, but it is certain that human beings are very sensitive to voices, to words, to songs. It is normal, we are made to interact with the language. We believe that if Dreamslave had chosen a male singer with a clear voice instead of a female voice, critics would have probably brought us closer to Stratovarius or Sonata Arctica because of our our very energetic speed and melodic riffs. But if we had chosen a 100% growling singer, our music would have undoubtedly been compared to Septic Flesh for example, because of the orchestra, the instrumental passages and the aggressiveness of certain moments. Yes, we play metal, yes we work with an orchestra and choirs, yes our main singer is a woman, yes we love and respect the work of our elders, and yes we have some codes in common, but we think that Dreamslave has its own identity already highlighted by the first album, and it will be developed more intensely in the second one.
What’s to come from Dreamslave in the following months ? Will there be merchandising or something else ? Did you already gather enough Fantasy parts to re-compose new Songs ? Thanks for the cavernous answers.
Lots of fantasies are on their way ! First of all, concerts in France and abroad. Then, for the 2 years anniversary of “Rest In Phantasy”, we have planned a special event to celebrate : our first video clip. Finally, the writing of the second opus is completed. We plan to record the instruments and the voice during studio sessions in a few months with all the musicians: Emma (Singing), Nils (Guitars), Peter (Keytar), Sajih (Bass)and our futur drummer. The album should be released in 2018 ! And for those who would like to get some merchandising, you can visit our official website . You’ll find albums, t-shirts and lots of other nice goodies. Thank you Med Manef Slama, and many thanks again to all the team of Acier Doux Metalzine Tunisia, it was a pleasure to answer to your interview. See you soon! We hope to meet you all, on the web, during a concert… or in hell !!
Interviewer : Med Manef Slama