Interview with Stéph Savage
Hello and Welcome to Acier Doux Metalzine Tunisia ! A little introduction to the band would be nice, since I think every reader didn’t hear or heard about your band in the last years… You know, we are all trapped in the deep undergrounds and sometimes the noises from what’s released on CDs doesn’t reach our own private sewer cells of malignancy, only tapes and tapes, and CD demos, and demo CDs, and tapes… So feel free to begin with something catchy and mind penetrating ?
First I want to say hello to all readers of “Acier Doux Metalzine Tunisia” and thank you to give me the chance to talk about my band ! Of course I know that Last Prophecy has been very quiet for many years for a number of reasons but here is the story : Last Prophecy is born during autumn 1992 in the north/east part of France. We play traditional Heavy Metal influenced by the NWOBHM.In the beginning the line up was complete but the guys wanted to replace the bass player, so I was the last member to join the band. And i’am the only surviving member from this era ! Funny isn’t it ! For me it was the first time I played with very talented musicians, I remember very clearly thought : this time it’s the right one ! Every one of us had brilliants ideas and the technical level was already high.Then things happened very quickly : recording the first demo, the first gigs and the first album in 1995. We played many shows until the end of 1997 then the situation became a bit chaotic : new singer, fewer concerts until the separation in 2000. The band restarted 4 years later with the former singer to stop one more time in 2008 due to health troubles with the singer. Seven years later, I decided to write the last chapter with my mates…(I hope this introduction is not too long .
Your last album “Destination Unknown” was released at 2005 and since that time the band stop recording . How do you feel about it ? Anxious to read the flow of reviews and to play some gigs?
Yeah the last album was released in 2005, a long time ago… The band stopped recording and touring 3 years later, so we had time to play some interested shows during those years. But instead of stopping the band, I should have been looking for new members to complete the line-up and continue the adventure. If I could go back, I will probably change that…Of course it was difficult to read the reviews of the album and not have the opportunity to promote this record but for me it was special : during summer 2008, I moved from France to Belgium and I had to find a new job and fixing the problems with this new life. In other words, I had my head elsewhere !Once these little concerns settled, I restarted to play live gigs with various bands so I was never anxious .
How long did you spend to compose and record this album? Is it about months or years ? Is it always easy to find a guitar part to follow this killer riffs you found? Does everything happen “live” in the rehearsal room, or do you need to record songs and take some distance to hear what’s not efficient enough ?
Recording this album was easy because there is only 7 tracks. All songs were already composed few years ago (and for some, almost 10 years earlier !) except “Mask of Fear” which was composed especially for this album. We played these songs hundreds of times in concerts and in rehearsal. So it was easy. It was the same about “Phantom of the Opera” , It’s never easy to find a “killer” riff ! Sometimes a guitar part works perfectly and sometimes not ! We have a lot of guitar riff, bass intro or drum beat recorded on cassette or digital support. Maybe these ideas will finish on the next album ! There are no rules about the composition process, if someone came with just an idea or the complete song, if it works, the song has a good chance to be on the next album ! Of course sometimes we need to take some distance to hear what is doesn’t works and so it may be that an idea never sees the day !
What are the differences between this album and the previous Album ” Shadows of the Past ” ? Which one is the the best ?
Well, there is several differences and in the same time, not so much. We still play old school Heavy Metal, this is the common point ! But the production in the 2nd album is much better.However this album was recorded in 6 days only ! For the first album, we spent 2 weeks in the studio for recording and few more days for mixing.It’s very strange because the die hard fans have a preference for the 1st album, what proves that all this is subjective ! Of course (I hope) we are better musicians than 20 years ago ! Ah ah ! So it’s very difficult to answer to your question, I think the best one is the next one !
The cover of the album looks quite ” Old school “, it reminds me of the computer generated artworks you could see in the 1998-2005 era…. Who made this artwork? What can you say about it?
I agree with you ! This cover is very old school and it was voluntary. Finally, the cover is in keeping with the music contained inside. We used a well-known image: the Tower of Babel. It was very symbolic for me to use this drawing because it can say a lot of things. In our case it symbolizes the will to build something together. In biblical stories, the tower was built to touch the sky by men speaking the same language. But as they were not supposed to do that, so God got tangled and blurred their language. Some may see the explanation of the existence of several languages illustrating the need to understand each other in order to carry out major projects. This painting was made by the painter Pieter Bruegel around 1563. It is currently preserved at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. I personally contacted the museum to ask them the permission to use this paint as a record sleeve. And luckily they agreed !
Peoples are generally more nostalgic, and come back to their 90’s Heavy Metal roots… I can feel some older metal riffs here and there on your album, but do you think it could take more space in the future ? Perhaps you would create an old school Heavy parallel project one day ?
I don’t know if people are nostalgic. In Last Prophecy, we listen Heavy Metal music all the time. It’s not a fashion, it’s a way of life ! We all go to see live gigs regularly, we wear t-shirts … it’s part of our lives. Your feeling regarding our guitar riffs is very interesting, each guitarist who was part of the band had his personal approach. They all had different ages, different influences, but in the end it sounded like Last Prophecy !That means that this band has a real identity, that’s pretty cool !Currently we have a new guitarist with us and the process of composing a new album has not yet begun.So it will be very interesting when we’ll start to work new songs. As for a parallel project, I think of it from time to time but for the moment all my ideas are used for Last Prophecy.
Some new Heavy Metal albums are very chaotic and have a very raw production which doesn’t really make it a pleasure… Some are so technical that it’s a pain in the ass to hear… Perhaps I’m becoming old, but wasn’t the listening pleasure lost somewhere? What’s your opinion about it? I ask this question because your music is kinda riffs based and can be catchy, so you might have an opinion not too far from mine ?
I agree with you (once again!) It*’s crazy the difference between an “old” 70/80 album and current productions. Sometimes I think it’s really too much and I don’t think it’s necessary to overproduce to make a good album but hey, that’s my opinion !When you say “maybe I’m getting old” you’re right, of course we’re getting old ! I don’t know how old you are, I am 45 years old (born in 1972) and I grew up with this 70/80 music and it makes sense that it feels in my compositions. However, this does not prevent us, sometimes, from finding interesting things in the current Heavy Metal bands. Before when we wanted to buy a record, we trusted the reports in the magazines (still now) Today thanks to the Internet, we can listen and get an opinion before acquiring the CD. What is astonishing also is the amount of bands, there are thousands ! There is therefore a way to find his listening pleasure in all this variety.
I see you are playing in Moonchild which is a Iron Maiden Tribute band , Can you tell us more about it ?
Yes of course ! Moonchild is a tribute band to Iron Maiden. This band exists since 1998 but I joined them only in 2007. It was quite funny how it happened : I got a phone call from Jean-Luc (the founder/guitarist) He tells me who they are and they are looking for a bass player.( I must admit that I always wanted to form a cover band of Iron Maiden ) so the answer was : “well, let me think…” 2 seconds passed and I said “yes !” Ha ha ha ! He was a little surprised that I answered as fast but he knew I was a big fan of Iron Maiden.After a few weeks of rehearsals, I played my first gigs with them in September 2007. Then we played several concerts in 2008 for the 10th anniversary of the band but you should know that our singer at that time lived in Japan (still now) So it was difficult to play several concerts in the year. The line-up has changed a lot during the following years and today we have a solid team with very talented musicians. We consider that it is not only a tribute band but rather a real Live experience with stage set-up, nostalgics stage clothes, pyro effects… Next year we will celebrate our 20th anniversary and we will be touring all over Europe. Several dates are already booked.
What will come next with Last Prophecy ? More gigs, merchandising ? Feel free to use this question as a marketing space
The near future for Last Prophecy is first of all working with Nelson, our new guitarist. We will play several concerts on the 2nd part of this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band’s existence. At the same time, we will start working on new songs that will appear on the next album. If we have time, this album will be released at the end of tis year, otherwise it will be for 2018. Whatever happens, I will take Last Prophecy to the end.Concerning merchandising, we will make special t-shirts for the 25 years. It will be available during concerts and also by mail order. We also have very nice pins !Finally, we will re-edit the album Destination Unknown plus 2 Live tracks recorded in the mid 90’s and a new booklet with the lyrics of the songs and photos from that time.
Thanks answering the questions and few words for Acier Doux ‘s readers !!
Thanks to you for this interview ! I hope your readers know a bit more about Last Prophecy and Moonchild now. And that it will make them want to discover these two bands, as well on stage as on record (at least for Last Prophecy) Feel free to share our events on FB and of course to like our pages, and don’t forget to support local bands, there is a lot of interesting bands to discover ! In the name of Last Prophecy, thanks to all our fans around the world. Cheers !
Interviewer : Med Manef Slama