Hi Olivier, greetings from Metalheads Forever. How are you today? It’s a pleasure to have this interview with you and the band?
Thanks, I’m doing pretty well. Answering to an interview in a warm place while listening to good music… what’s better? Thank you Metalheads Forever for your interest about AH and our music.
Can you please introduce the band?
We are five members in the band. Ben on vocal, Rosario on drums, Jan plays bass, Chris and I on guitars. Rosario and I‘ve played and recorded with Nick Maeder(Gotthard’s singer) in a band which was called Clean Dirt in the past. Chris released an instrumental called the trip of kai kai”. He’s teaching guitar at Geneva ETM Music School and he’s also working as sound engineer at the Royal Studio in Lausanne. Jan is a professional bass player, he’s doing recording sessions and gigs for several bands. We work together as teachers in a music school in Yverdon, Switzerland. So we are 3 professional musicians in the band. Ben & Rosario are working in the real world and are playing or have played with many others bands as well.
How did it all begin?
Oh… it’s a long story on an island…
Isn’t Switzerland in the middle of Europe?!?!?
Rosario, Jan and I have played quiet a long time together before we founded the rest of the pack. Finding another guitar player with who you’re able to share the instrument and your compositions is a tricky thing to do. But that was the case when I met Chris. Finding a versatile voice as well.
In fact, we are almost as old as dinosaurs, so old that it isn’t easy to date us with carbon fourteen. Actually, some relationship problems got rid of the very first line up. Rosario and I are the only survivors. It’s as simple as that. Nevertheless we released an album which was declared as “Demo of the month” by the Metal Hammer magazine. Then the circumstances of live (work, family, etc…) postponedthe rebirth of the band… time passes by so fast.
Did you ever think that this would never happen during those years?
For me, it’s not that music or the band were not my priorities at the time… it’s just that you can have doubts when unexpected things and mishaps happen. We have to learn how to live with our fears otherwise is there any place left to take some risks? And will this makes us rid of risk? That also puts some supposed certainties back to their place.
You have coined an amazing concept about the band, how did you come across the concept? Is it all your philosophy?
To me, it’s the grown fruit of living, meeting, reflecting and travelling experiences.
AH’s music is a part of who I am, of what I’m thinking in terms of sound or lyrics. Metal gives me the chance to care of my little inner monsters offering them some good & fat riffs. Talking about us, human beings. Talking about our systems ofbeliefs and the relation which we maintain with it. I think that many problems start right there. Do we see reality as it is or at the way we look at it? Could we live without identifying ourselves to those conditions whatever their origin is cultural, historical or religious? The actuality and the history are reminding us of this constantly. Today, it still possible to cut some heads off in the name of an ideal or any beliefs.
About the last part of your question, I don’t think it’s necessary that we all have the same point of view. By the way… is it even possible? That would be comforting if allthe band’s members were my clones (or clowns) but it won’t be helpful in my evolution as an individual. One of the biggest challenges is to be able to capitalize on our differences rather than making excuses out of it to expel or to reject.
Almost Human is your dream work or did it evolved as a team work?
It’s a little bit both ? I already need to find the balance between dream and pragmatism. The world of music doesn’t make you able to pay the bills or to fill up the refrigerator that brings you quickly back to earth. But it’s important to know the guys’ ambitions, availabilities and priorities. To let everyone express his skills, musically or other, their human qualities as well. They were some good synergies for both productions of the released EP and our coming up album. Chris took charge of the recording and production process. For the vocals, Ben and I progressively started to work together. It’s a rich experience which opens up the possibilities of the composing process. It’s also about learning the art of compromise. For example: I must keep in mind the capabilities of Ben’s voice while composing vocal lines. What could sound interesting with my voice may not withBen’s voice. It’s a paradox, but do musicians really listen to what surrounds them?
You have released your first EP, what are your feelings about it and what is the fan reactions?
We’re fully satisfied of the feedback we received especially because it’s our first self-production excepted for the mastering which was made at the Cuttinroom Studio in Sweden. Globally, the reaction of the audience and the press was really positive even for people who are not metal heads. We have been working as hard on the sound production as for the packaging creation. To make a beautiful CD working with friends or partners who share at least a part of our philosophy. The Metalheads’s feedback are pretty encouraging as well especially if you keep in mind that we’re a small water drop in the ocean of amazing metal bands
What are your plans to make Almost Human global? Have you taken any initiatives to reach globally?
Ahahahhhhh… we’re not there yet. Our self-produced EP is a good headlight but the musical jungle is fat. You need to have many things that we were missing so far to make it bigger. Personally, I’m going to make some web design but I would love to focus on my guitar rather than becoming a specialist of everything that’s surrounding music.
Do you guys plan to make a full Length album, if so how long is it going to take?
Well, we’re done with the recording process and we’re hoping to release our first album as soon as possible. The artwork is almost done but the mixing process… of course… is going to be the biggest part to end up. We have done two breaks to work on a project of two very famous Swiss comedians. In their favourite characters we’ve created, there’s a fake metal band called “Black Lion Genocide”… a kind of “Spinal Tap Humour”. We wrote, produced and recorded an EP and played in front of 40,000 people at the Paleo Festival in prime time on the main stage. We learned to work another way that will help us in the future especially to work faster than before. Collaborating is also a source of inspirations for AH.
Are you a concept based band?
I bet so because there’s a link between our name, our lyrics and the artwork, symbolic in every element.
What are your tour plans for 2016?
To end up this album and to play it on stage. Having good time with our folks and the people around.
Do you have a message for the fans?
We hope to meet you all on tour pretty soon to hear about your vision of our work and the world while having a drink. Don’t hesitate to contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thx to Metalheads Forever to give us the opportunity to express ourselves.
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