Interview Julian Izard
Salut and Welcome to Acier Doux , Underground salutations ! Before all, a little introduction to DEGIAL might be necessary for those who didn’t cross your musical paths. When was the band formed, what are the important points of your biography and what are your aims ?
Salut ! I created Existance in the tail end of 2008, we come from France and we play an 80’s Heavy Metal style inspired by the NWOBHM and more… We released a self-titled EP “Existance” in 2012 via “High Roller Records”, our first album “Steel Alive” was out in 2014 via “Mausoleum Records” and our new album “Breaking The Rock” is now available on our own label “Black Viper Records”. We are four in the band, I am the lead singer, I also play guitar and my partners in crime are : Antoine Poiret (guitars and backing vocals), Julien Robilliard (bass and backing vocals) and Nicolas Martineau (drums and backing vocals).
What are the last news from Existance camp one would need to know to be decently updated ?
We signed a deal in December with Spiritual Beast for the promotion and the distribution of “Breaking The Rock” in Japan. We also signed a contract with a new Booking agency for touring this year and promote the new album, but it is just the beginning so things are still in negociation. One of the last update, for the first time we’ll be playing with Evanescence et Guano Apes in Plovdiv, Bulgaria at the Hills Of Rock festival, July 1st. If you don’t want to miss a thing just take a look on our website and our facebook page .
Tell us about the subjects your lyrics deal with. Why didn’t you choose French as a language, maybe because it might be hard to make it sound right in Franch or because you want foreign listeners to understand your message ? I know some old French Heavy fanatics would love to hear a band of this kind sing in your homeland language , I’m sure it would sound even more nice in their hears… But would it be something right to do ?
First, our lyrics are speaking about our life-style on the road, our vision about music with new material (streaming, digital platforms, mp3…). Sometimes we’re telling stories about war because the North of France (where we come from) was really involved during both World War I and II and there’s so much to say ! We also wrote “We Are Restless” after the attack of Le Bataclan in November 2015. Just take a look on the lyrics and you will understand. So we cover many different subjects about life, fantastic stories and rockin’ all over the world ! Then, my father made me listen to french and english bands when I was younger…in both cases I didn’t understand anything (laughs). Songs with french lyrics sound really different compared to the way we speak everyday, for the metal style actually. But I listened most english bands. That’s why I decided to sing in english, it’s even easier for me ! But you’re right too, it is easier to send a message to anybody in english, that’s the deal.
As a whole, how would you describe the style of the band ? Rather Heavy metal, rather Tradionnal … Or rather both since we don’t give a fuck and have better things to do than dissecting music One must choose between thinking and Heaving ?
We’re playing Heavy fuckin’ Metal, that’s all !
Well , At the level of the composition how does things occur ? Does each musician write riffs ? Have you got a catalyst of inspiration ?
It depends, concerning the first record “Steel Alive” we wrote the album all together in rehearsal. “Breaking The Rock” was composed mainly by Antoine and I because our bass player and drummer left both the band at the time. When the new rhythm section arrived we just worked on our demo tapes and the whole thing was done pretty well. So riffs are coming from guitars, either at home or in the studio. But we never work all together to compose a whole song yet !
How many times a week do you rehearse and what does it take to have the songs all tight and technically Ok as you imagined ?
We actually rehearse 2 hours a week in the studio and everybody work everyday at home. We are doing this since one year, and we prefer rehearse all together less time a week but every week, instead of a whole day long per month .
I see that Existance plays many gigs with good French bands , do you plan to play with ADX band , tell us about the upcoming dates ?
Exactly, we’ll be playing with ADX, among others, in September at Fertois Rock in Fest. We’ll be playing in many venues we never gone before so we’re really excited ! All our tour dates are available on our website and the facebook page !
When I listen to the last two releases ”Steel Alive ” and ” Breaking the Rock ” on your website, something cool catches my attention ! It has some really cool riffs with two guitars’ melodies reminding me of golden Heavy Metal era ! I didn’t hear this kind of cool riffs since a long time! Are you fans of the old school Heavy Metal or is it unvolunteer ?
Thanks a lot ! We are true fans since a long time, you know? We grew up listening to this kind of music, that’s why it’s a natural thing for us !
How would you convince a Metaller to put an hear on Existance’s music ? Would you force him with free beers, beautfill babes… or do they generally agree ?
We don’t want to force anybody ! People are free to listen what they want but if they miss our music, it’s a shame (laughs). We keep free beers and beautiful babes for us…
Hahahah Okay , Are you listening to Metal since a long time and with which bands did you begin the Heavy metal thing ?
As I said just before, we grew up with Heavy Metal. We all have different favourite bands and we’re trying to bring these different source of inspiration in Existance’s music indeed. I listened first Saxon, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Dio. Antoine and Julien love Iron Maiden, Accept and Judas Priest while Nicolas listened Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax or Motörhead but also some bands who come from USA like Van Halen, Dokken, Warrant, Skid Row…and many many others !
What are your five fave Heavy Metal albums Guys ? Which are the five last Heavy metal albums that you like the most ? And concerning the demos ?
Julian : 1987 (Whitesnake), Defenders Of The Faith (Judas Priest), Skid Row (Skid Row), Future World (Pretty Maids) and Strong Arm Of The Law (Saxon) .
Antoine : Somewhere In Time (Iron Maiden), Metal Heart (Accept), Power And The Glory (Saxon), 1984 (Van Halen) and Under Lock And Key (Dokken).
Julien : Powerslave (Iron Maiden), Painkiller (Judas Priest), Ace Of Spades (Motörhead), Paranoïd (Black Sabbath) and Rust In Peace (Megadeth).
Nicolas : Cowboys From Hell (Pantera), Countdown To Extinction (Megadeth), Lick It Up (Kiss), Overkill (Motörhead) and Heaven And Hell (Black Sabbath).
What’s your opinion about Heavy Metal in the French Metal Scene , for me it’s one of my best ?
Yeah we have a lot of great bands in France ! But most of the people don’t care about this music here in France, we are still a minority, but I’m sure it’s gonna be more and more “mainstream”…maybe in twenty years we will see it on the TV as a normal thing (laughs)…Nevertheless we have one of the biggest outdoor festival in Europe, the Hellfest which means there is a big interest for this music…this is a paradox! A lot of metal maniacs spend their time on creating festivals every year and it’s even better when it’s made by the fans for the fans.
Okay , That’s all, this is the last question. Tell us about your future projects, feel free to conclude , Merci !!
We will continue to write music, doing shows and enjoy this life in this crazy rock ‘n’ roll world…so thanks to all of you for being true metalheads ! Keep supporting bands you love, buy music, go to shows and festivals…drink beer sometimes, make love and Heavy metal will never die ! Merci, au revoir !
Interviewer : Med Manef Slama