lunes, 17 de agosto de 2020


Good evening, thank you very much for answering these questions, how is everything going in France?
François: Good evening! It’s our pleasure, and we thank you for your interest in the band. The situation in France is not « too » bad but a bit confusing these days. In Paris for example, you have a legal obligation to wear a mask in some streets but not in others… It’s a bit hard to keep track of the rules, because they are constantly changing! But at least, and although the statistics are showing that there are still some new people contracting the virus every day, the symptoms are generally less severe as they were a few months ago and there are far less people in the hospitals than in March or April. Hopefully, this strange period will be over soon…

1. Abduction was born in 2006, what do you remember from the early days of the band? Why was Abduction created? And why did they choose this name?
Guillaume : I started this band right after the passing of Jon Nödtveidt from Dissection. This band was a huge musical shock for me at that time, and after a few years of reflection about doing my own music, this event was a trigger to start being creatively active. I’ve chosen this name for its mystical meaning : the abduction of the soul from the body by a celestial force, and also because it sounded good!

2. Abdution's career started slowly, in the first ten years, they only released an EP “Heights' Shivers” (2010), what happened in this early period in the band to take such a slow pace in terms of releases ?
Morgan: Joining the band in 2008 I think was what decided me to move to Paris to continue with my studies. We started to put things together, having our first songs and starting some rehearsals where we had fun, very creative though. It was awesome ! And then we put things together to record our first EP, "Heights’ Shivers" on our own and  released it in 2010, so it was pretty fast I think.
For the first album, things were different. We parted ways with our first singer, Guillaume Roquette, right after the release of our EP and François Blanc joined the band pretty fast. The songs were ready around 2011 and I started recording early 2012. But, we had a lot of troubles to resume the recording of the different instruments and vocals. We had to re-schedule a lot of things following everyone’s agendas. Plus, we were not satisfied with the mix and master of the album. But we had the chance to be introduced to Déhà who saved this first album in the end. So it's not we did not had any material to propose or so, it's the recording process and some lack of experience that held us back at the time. The two followings albums were made with materials Guillaume was working on during those times. We never really rested, we have to keep on making music even if we have to be patient sometimes.

3. “Jehanne” (2020), is your new album, how do you think the sound of the band has evolved since your previous “À l'heure du crépuscule”? How would you describe the sound of “Jehanne”?
Morgan: The new album is much more melodies oriented, less atmospheric maybe, more epic and much more agressive too. The extreme vocals are a lot more agressive, varied too in order to tell the story as faithfully as it can be. François was possessed by the music and the lyrics in the studio. We have this melancholy, this nostalgia when it comes to describe the melodies that we try to keep on each song and album. "Autumnal" is the word we like to use to express the mood, the emotions we feel and the atmosphere of our music. Something changing, the calm before the storm, ethereal but harsh, quiet but thunderous... It's very important for us, it is what drives us to make music, this feeling tied to different emotions and memories. This album, by essence, is our definition of what music can make you feel and live through a journey in our history.

4. At what point did you decide to create a concept album on the throne of Joan of Arc? How did you build the whole concept and structure of the album? Where did you look for literary, musical or cinematographic inspiration to build the concept? generated a lot of controversies for treating this issue on your last album?
Mathieu: Jehanne d’Arc has been one of Guillaume’s favorite historical figures for a long time. Sharing thoughts and emotions through the musical exploration of the History of France is something that is driving us forward. It’s one of Abduction’s thematical anchor. When the time came to decide wether or not to try a concept album, the figure of Jehanne seemed to be an obvious choice. As we did not want to delve too much into a cold and violent war-themed approch about Jehanne’s life, nor did we want a boring scholar résumé of her campaigns, we prefered to give glimpses of the tangle between her unbreakable faith in God and the doubts born from human weaknesses, through some highlights of her meteorical trajectory. Hence the division in eight tracks, representing eight moments of different nature and purpose. The overall shows first her stellar ascension among inimity and battles, enduring a hard path to victory, then the ambivalent end of her life, as much a succession of failings and betrayals as a rising path to martyrdom. Most of the tracks are named after cities’mottos, cities tightly bound to Jehanne’s fate, where occured some of the most glorious and tragic events that took place during her brief but fateful journey. That’s for the album’s structure. We found inspiration and informations through a lot of readings, especially XIXth century books, and some modern historical researchs. Contemporary witnesses, via chronicles, letters, and the relation of her trial, were particularly useful and insightful. Though we know the majority of the movies painting Jehanne’s life, with more or less fidelity to the historical facts, we did not gain inspiration from them. Not a lot of
controversy has arisen from this album. People are more genuinely curious about the theme than engaged in endless sterile political debate, which is fine by us. Maybe the trolls have too much ground to cover nowadays to pay attention to us. Despite their higher moral position, they can’t see everything. 

5. The album was produced by Dehá (ex-Clouds, Maladie, We All Die Laughing) at his Opus Magnum studios, why did you decide to work with him? What do you think Dehá brought you as a producer to the final sound of the disk?
Morgan: He brings so much to our music. He is like our fifth member. He knows us very well, we are friends and he keeps on improving each time we work with him. He knows what Abduction is all about and he knows what we are capable of as musicians and as persons too. He always pushes us beyond our limits. It is always a great pleasure to have those "Familiy meetings" when we go recording in his studio. As for the final sound, he brings the osmose within each instrument and vocals, the balance that distills the global atmosphere and ambiances of the album.

6. Why did you choose this illustration for the album artwork? And in what way is the figure of Joan of Arc reflected in it?
François: Guillaume’s initial suggestion for the album artwork was another magnificent painting that was representing Joan Of Arc in armor on her horse, holding her white banner, acclaimed by the crowd for having freed the besieged city of Orléans (on the 8th of May 1429). I immediately thought that this stunning painting would, indeed, fit perfectly. But then, after more thoroughly researches, Guillaume stumbled upon this far lesser known depiction of Jehanne, and realized that this quieter scene, showing our heroin in a more intimate setting – Jehanne is alone, and turns her eyes to the sky – would be even more appropriate for what we were trying to tell with our music. You can feel the faith and the bravery of this young woman by gazing at this image, which is very powerful on its own.

7. I suppose that achieving a sound so full of nuances and depth with such a diverse vocal section should not be easy. How is your way of approaching the composition and recording of an album? Are you very meticulous with the whole process?
Guillaume: Sure we are! We spend a lot of time taking care of every single line of music, arrangements and connections between all the different parts from the story, as it is a concept album. The way we write music is very simple, we take our instruments and play, until inspiration leads us to something we feel emotional and powerful, then we work on this raw idea to polish it. We try as many different ways of playing it as we can, until we feel we’ve reached the emotion we were seeking early in the process. Then, arrangements are very important to us, the harmonies born from the multiple layers of guitars bring a deeper feeling to the melodies we are working on, and we always try to add something deeper with the bass and drums as well, instead of just following the vibe of the guitar lines. It’s important for us that every single note is meticulously crafted. There’s no place for total improvisation in Abduction, even if we added a few lines when we were in the studio for the recording sessions.

8. Unlike other bands within black metal that embrace Satanism as a source of inspiration for their music, Abduction has a more spiritual and religious vision of their proposal. What is your opinion of Satanism? And why do you go away doing black metal and look for other lyrical themes?
Morgan: I don't know if "religious" is the right word to describe our vision of our music, spiritual indeed. Spirituality is something important yes. We have a deep interest in the History of our country, our heritage and our legacy. As a result, time is an important element, something that has always been inspiring people, something we all fear and respect.  It's important for us to know where we come from, to know where we are going to.
Satanism is something I was very interested in when I was younger and started listening to Black Metal, yes. It has this form of rebellious manifestation, sometimes a bit awkward but full of raw emotions. For me, it was these sense of anger, proving my differences, refusing to be like everyone else, be someone, an indivual. But as time passes, I am less anxious about what I am or what I want to be and I found balance in my emotions. And these emotions, it's what Black Metal is all about for me, the perfect way to express all kind of emotions with music.
Guillaume : We already live in a satanic world, and we’re not interested into talking about modern stuff in our lyrics.

9. In the album we can find a couple of collaborations, on the one hand the cellist Lon Sophie and the voices of Fleur, how did the possibility of these collaborations come about? And what do you think they have contributed to the final result of the album?
François: We always took pride in making quite atmospheric music without ever using keyboards, and only relying on the band’s performances. That being said, there were two little parts in the album that really deserved some classical instrumentation in order to shine and convey the right mood. We made a few tries with synthetic sounds while working on the demo versions of the songs, Guillaume and I agreed that cello would be the perfect instrument to use. When we told Déhà about this, he put us in touch with Lon Sophie, as he knew she would be perfect for the job. And indeed, she nailed it! Fun fact, she already heard about the band before working with us, which was quite flattering...
The story behind the use of female vocals is intricately linked to the lyrics. In order to be as close as possible from the historical events, Mathieu and Guillaume thought it would be nice to have some « quotes » from Jehanne hidden in the lyrics, words she actually said and that were carefully noted by the people travelling with her. And we thought that we needed a young and innocent voice to give life to these words. I was hoping my niece Fleur, a 21 years old metal fan, could do it. And indeed, she was a great fit! Both these guests are bringing some extra flavor to the songs and add some variety and depths to the music. Fleur and Sophie were very easy to work with and I couldn’t imagine the album without them.

10. Are there possibilities of taking the performance of “Jehanne” live after everything calms down as a result of Covid-19? How has the emergence of Covid-19 affected you as a band?
Morgan: Not really I think. The release date of "Jehanne" was set for some time. We had some delays to deal with concerning the making process of the CD and LP versions. We were worried with shipping delays too. But in the end, everything came out pretty as intended I think. We even had the chance to release a tape version !
We tried to keep in touch very often knowing that we were discussing a lot around the release of the album. And now, we are even more longing to see each and everyone of us. Thinking about rehearsing and working again together, yes.

11. How do you see the black metal scene in France today? Is there a resurgence with the emergence of a new band and the consolidation of a differentiating sound within France? How do you think Abduction is integrated into this scene?
Guillaume : To me, the french black metal scene is one of the most fascinating in the world. We have a lot of amazing bands, as the scene is very productive. Acts like Darkenhöld, Aorlhac and Vehemence even gained great responses from all over the world. It seems that french black metal bands have a « thing » to translate medieval times into music and I’m very proud of that. But not only medieval influenced bands are interestings, as bands like Belenos or Opprobre are also very special.
It’s difficult to really know how Abduction is integrated into this scene, but we had a lot of amazing reactions for Jehanne, even from other bands from this scene, and many reviewers made us the honor to consider us as interesting as all those bands we have so much respect for, like Darkenhöld, Aorlhac or Vehemence. I think the fact that we have chosen a medieval figure is an explanation for that. But as we are not a medieval oriented band, we’ll see if this comparaison lasts! Through the years we became friends or had contacts with a few of those bands, and we can feel that most of the time the respect is mutual, as we all share a true passion for this music.

12. Almost a decade and a half as a band, I suppose they go a long way, what is left today of the Abduction of 2006? Do you think you are right now in your best moment as a band?
Morgan: I can't talk much about 2006 but right now, yes it's our best moment as a band. "Jehanne" got a lot of awesome feedbacks, reviews and comments around the globe. It's always surprising and very much appreciated because, even though we are making the music we love, we never know if people are going to appreciate it, even more with a concept-album like this one! So yes, we are very pleased and even more convinced as a band that we can do better each and everytime. We have a lot to explore yet and we are excited about things to come in close but also distant future as a band.

13. How were your beginnings in music: first albums that you bought, first concerts you attend? Why did you decide to create a band and dedicate yourself to music?
Morgan: The first album I fell in love with was in 2001, "Lateralus" by Tool, I clearly decided I want to play drums no matter what. Then I fell in love with In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Opeth and a bit later, Dissection and the whole Black/Death swedish Metal scene with Sacramentum, Mork Gryning or Dawn.
It was at one of my first concerts, a In Flames concert in 2006 in Paris I met Guillaume Roquette and Guillaume Fleury in personn ! Then Mathieu Taverne at a Hellfest edition... And at a Septic Flesh concert I met François Blanc I think.
Guillaume Roquette our first singer introduced me to Guillaume (Fleury), knowing he was creating a band. I already knew I wanted to share his vision of music so I decided to move to Paris. It was obviously the music I wanted to create and play, thanks to him.
Guillaume: I began in music mostly with classical music, as my father loves baroque music. He also introduced me to bands like Led Zeppelin. Then I discovered Metallica and all of the european heavy metal scene from Europe in the late 90s, and then the black and death metal scene. Black metal became my favorite style of music and that’s why I decided to create an extreme metal band. My goal was to express my feelings through music. It really was something I needed to feel good. We don’t really have ambitions of touring and being professionals : we simply want to create authentic and emotional music and to release it in physical format!
François: If I remember correctly, the first album I bought with my own money was Kiss, « Destroyer ». I was fortunate enough to get initiated to metal as a child, as my elder sisters were huge metal fans. I’ve been listening to this music since my birth! The first metal show I attended was Nightwish in 2004. It felt really special as they were my favorite band back then. I really don’t know if I chose to dedicate myself to music: I’m so passionate about it that I don’t feel like I have a choice! Creating music with my friends is probably the thing I enjoy the most on Earth, plain and simple. I have started several projects and played different types of music in my life, but nowadays, my two main focuses are Angellore, my doom/gothic metal band, and Abduction of course. 
Mathieu: Can’t remember the first albums I bought. Although I know that as a child I had some classical Cds, especially Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and many violin concertos. Must had appropriated them from members of my family, without their formal consent. Or knowledge. Memories are kind of foggy. Same for the first concerts I attended. Remembering is not my strong suit. 

14. What was the last album that you have bought and why? What is your preferred physical format for listening to music? And what musical instrument is the most precious of those you have?
Morgan: The very last album I had enjoyed listening lately was the last Night In Gales album, "Dawnlight Garden". A very reminiscent album of the 90's Gothenburg melodeath scene. After this one, I decided to buy some album of these scene I never bought at this time, "Fields Of Salvation" by Burden Of Grief for example.
I have a little collection of LPs and I have to admit, this format is so enjoyable. There is some kind of warmth, a soft one, that i love in it.
At the moment, I don't really have an instrument that is that precious to me but I am really digging some drum kits for the future and I already know I want a bronze or copper snare, that's for sure!
Guillaume: I guess the last album I’ve received was Rex from the swedish band Vampire, an amazing mixture of black from the 90’s and thrash from the 80’s. My favorite physical format is the vinyle but I’m also coming back to the tape, because, despite its reputation, I love the way it sounds when it comes to black metal.
My most precious instrument is my Gibson Flying V Classic White 67, because I love its shape and sounds and because it was the guitar my heroes used to play!
François: I was very pleasantly surprised by the newest « ...And Oceans » album and ended up buying it this summer. It’s less atmospheric and much more powerful than what they did back in the days, but I love it nevertheless! Listening to CDs is fine by me. I’ve been a CD collector for something like twenty years now... I have some keyboards at home, Yamaha PSR especially, but I don’t care much for models or stuff like that. I see instruments as a way to express myself and nothing more. I’m a poor musician myself and doesn’t need anything fancier than what I already have!
Mathieu: Helioss – Devenir le Soleil, a french band mixing extreme metal and progressive elements. Because Guillaume recommanded it. It’s growing on me, so luckily for him I won’t be plainly obnoxious with his next twenty pieces of advice. I buy Cds for a practical purpose, it’s the only kind of format I can play while driving. I enjoy most of the music I like in my car, where no one can hear me sing in all kind of bad tunes or mumble grumpily about things. And I just have one bass guitar, so let’s consider it my most precious one.

15. The French record label Finisterian Dead End has dealt with the release of your last three albums, how did the possibility of working with them come about? Are you satisfied with the promotion and editing work done by Finisterian Dead End?
François: I knew Finisterian Dead End had a solid reputation and I was already in touch with Laurent, founder of the label, before I told him about Abduction. After he listened to our first album, Guillaume and I had an “in real life” meeting with him that went so well that we decided to trust him with our music. Laurent is an honest, passionate guy, very responsive and easy to work with. We’ve been totally pleased with everything FDE did for the band thus far and intend to keep on working with them in the future.

16. What immediate future plans do you have for Abduction? Are you working on new material?
Morgan: It is a bit too early to talk about that, we are trying to figure out where to go for things to come in any close or distant future. But sure, we are always working on new material! We will never wait for five to six years again to release an album (if we don't have any personnal issues to deal with hopefully).

17. Thank you very much for the time dedicated to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something more for Abduction fans this is the place. I hope the questions have been to your liking.
Morgan: Thanks a lot for this rich interview. It was great pleasure!


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