Interview With Akiavel

Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, I’m Keith, how are you Chris and everyone in the band?

Chris (guitar): Hello, we are doing very well, thank you!

Butch (drums): yes, happy to be there with you!

You released your self titled EP in 2018 and your first full length in album “V” in December 2019, can you tell me about the songwriting behind this album?

Chris: the EP was initially considered as a demo-test, we wanted to see how the 4 members (we had no drummer at that time) would go along, and how the music created by these 4 very different persons, having so different musical backgrounds, would sound like.

Butch joined us just after the release of the EP. With his different influences and his very own way to play drums, violent and groove at the same time, the new songs turned out to sound more brutal and rawer than on the EP. The songwriting process was very natural, each musician having the opportunity to express him/herself freely, and the album was completed fairly quickly.

Butch: For our album V, and the same goes for the writing process of the new songs to come, the riffs are mainly written and recorded by Chris (guitar) and Jay (bass), often with a very basic drum part. Then I write the “real” drums parts on the demo tracks, and we finalize it altogether once the structure and atmosphere of the track has been determined.

Chris: Once the song is almost in its final form, Auré (vocals) writes the texts and submit them to the rest of the band. We all give our opinion on all components of the tracks; we really work as a team!

Post release of the album is hit with Pandemic and it put a stop to touring, how did you guys manage the situation and what would be the plans for the band?

Butch: The album V was released just before the global lockdown, in February 2020… We had a 16 shows tour initially scheduled from April until June 2020, but everything was completely postponed to October to December, and then fully cancelled…

Chris: We are now working hard on putting all this back on track for 2021, when all this situation is over!

In the meantime, we are currently finalizing the writing of our second album, which should be released barely one year after the first one, in April 2021.

Butch: and we have a couple of music video which are being prepared and that we should shoot soon… Stay tuned!

Tell me about your first experience in Hellfest Off Festival in June 2019, and how do you feel about it?

Chris: we were happy to be contacted by the promoter of the Hellfest Off, even if we had never played live as a band and where almost one year before the release of our first album!

They new some of us from our previous bands, and were confident on the fact that the gathering of these 5 musicians could well lead to good music… So we played the songs of our EP, as well as a couple of new songs from the album V, and also 2 covers…

Butch: a couple of weeks before playing, we were contacted by Stephane Buriez (Loudblast, Sinsaenum), one of the top metal guy in France, who asked us if we would accept him joining us on the stage for two covers… We ended up playing Roots (Sepultura) and Destroy Everything (Hatebreed). It did actually destroy (almost) everything, on stage and in the public! This was so good for the first gig Akiavel ever played as a band!

Tell me how Akiavel started and what does the name stand for?

Chris: the name Akiavel comes from the famous humanist and political Italian thinker Nicolas Machiavelli, mainly known for what certain might call cynical or amoral political theories…

Butch: and the name was modified so that it sounds more “metal”, plus keeping the “EL” sound at the end of the word, which means “She” in French 😉.

Chris: As to the beginning of the band, In the course of 2018, Jb (guitar) and I left, together, our former band named “ACOD”, (just after the band was signed by Sony Music…) but we were not ready to stop playing (laugh).  We had known Auré and Jay (bass) for a while, they both were active musicians in our region (in the South of France) for a very long time, and we shared a lot of stages in the past.  At a barbecue party, after a few beers, the idea popped up to create a new Death Metal band that would be different from all types of bands one was used to see and hear around: we wanted a genuine melting pot of all our musical influences, we wanted to remove all the boundaries that existed between all the types of metal we love.  The idea of Akiavel was born, and Butch joined just after the release of the first EP, as we said.

Your music is so powerful, beautifully engineered and great riffs, musically you guys are amazing, how do you feel about the band?

Chris: Thank you for these kind words! We just want to play the music we want to hear, fast and powerful. Luckily, we all found the 4 other buddies that actually allow us to do so!  Our music is a mix of Groove, Thrash and old school Death Metal, with a touch of melodic riffs, heavy rhythmic and hardcore sounds.

Butch: Yes, it is a pretty accurate description (laugh). The music of Akiavel is a mix of all our influences, each of us having very different tastes and musical backgrounds. But mainly we can say we are a Death Metal band, somehow a bit different from other Death Metal Bands (laugh)

What are some of the greatest moments you guys had over the years?

Chris: The bad is fairly new, and the lockdown refrained us from seeing each other as often as we would have liked for several months. As we have not been able to tour, and to share these moments, let’s say the best moments we have shared yet as a band are the shooting of the 3 killer music videos we made over the past months.

Butch: yes, that part of creation of the atmosphere and image you want to stick on your music is just crazy, and we did it altogether, creating this cool trilogy, from start to finish, for all 3 videos, these were really cool band moments.

What would be some of the plans for the future for the band?

Butch: First of all the recording of our second album, we are really impatient to come back in studio, at the Artmusic studio, the same as for the first album. We are so happy of the raw and powerful sound Sebastien Camhi, our sound engineer, managed to give to this album, that we want to do it again (with a lot of knew idea, of course)

Chris: Then tour, tour and tour to meet our fans everywhere!

What is the most happiest thing you feel about being in a death metal band?

Chris: creating the music you like the most, the way you want, with no real limitation but the tastes of all 5, and sharing it around!

Butch: Having really positive feedbacks on our music from all over the world, this is unexpected and so crazy! We really enjoy discussing from fans from abroad, metal is so universal!

What would be some of the opposites that you guys love I mean non-metal or anything that you love to do which are odd?

Chris: walking my dogs in the countryside (laugh)

Butch: discovering new countries when I’m on vacation (and when there is no travel ban…), as many people I guess (laugh)

What would be the metal destination for you guys (Country)?

Chris: North America for sure, then South America, where we have a growing fanbase.

Butch: Eastern Europe would then be third on the list I guess…

What would you like to tell the fans around the world?

Butch: For those who don’t know us yet, go and listen to our album on all streaming platforms, if you like female fronted death metal bands, you should love Akiavel!

Chris: yes, even if Auré’s voice is so powerful that you could not tell the singer is not a guy! Anyway, you can begin with our 3 music videos, this is a good way to get to know our world…

Butch: and for those who are already fans… Thanks you all for your support, we are looking forward to coming to your country to show the world how deeply powerful Akiavel sounds live!

Chris: Thanks you all for your time!