Mobius Interview with Heli Andrea and Adrien Brunet
By Keith Clement
Mobius the next big thing in Modern Progressive Metal, A band of highly talented musicians with in-depth knowledge on music and they do a lot of research and work it on their music. Never heard about them, this is the time for you to tie your boots on and listen to this wonderful band from France.
Heli – Lead Vocals
Adrien – Drums
Guillaume – Keyboards
Xavier – Guitars
Alexandre – Bass
Recently made friends with the vocalist of the band and found they had amazing stuff in their coming album and thought of doing this interview with the musical genius. Heli and Adrien were so happy to answer some of my questions I had for them. Let’s hear from them.
Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine Heli, It was a pleasure to know you and the band, how is everyone in the band?
Héli (vocals) : Everyone is really excited about the video release and the new album we are composing.
You released your new Video Single “Abhinivesha” couple of days back, A great song, you brought progressive elements with a bit of Carnatic music (Indian Classical Music) and wow you did it so amazing, the vocals were so perfect, can you tell us a bit more about this mostly on the writing and production of the video?
Héli : Thank you! I’m really interested in world music and the way the voice is used in different cultures. I’m not a specialist of Carnatic music, but I’m learning about this.
None of us is indian. But everyone in the band is interested in indian music. So we don’t want to say “We know indian music” because it would be pretentious. I think it’s more a tribute. We take what we love and try to make something interesting with the Mobius sound.
The real challenge on this album for me is that : I’ve never been to India, I don’t speak hindi, can’t read sanskrit, it’s not my native culture. And it is really important to me to do my best to respect indian culture. So I work with a great singer who can read and sing in Sanskrit, Kathyr Aryaputra (from the vedic metal band Rudra). He helps me a lot to pronounce the sanskrit words and to verify their meaning. I discovered him when he put his voice on the song of Rotting Christ “Deva Devam”. I love his voice, and I think he will be a guest on the album.
I’ve been listening to indian music for a long time but never wrote some. So it’s a great work, but it’s also exciting to try this.
I knew konnokol, but it is the first time I sing it. My drummer wrote this part. This rythmic way to sing, with percussive syllables was really nice to learn, and I love this particular moment I share with my drummer. We play the same rhythm exactly, we are percussive together.
About the video : It is our very first video. We wanted something personal, original but not too expensive. So we had to be creative to make it : home-made candles hoarders, carbon dust, black curtains to create a studio… We wanted to set a real atmosphere with few things. So we have incense, candles, and a light ambiance to create a kind of funeral mystic ceremony atmosphere.
Your second album “Kala” is scheduled to be released by end of this year or early 2019, what can the fans expect from the band?
Adrien (drums) : More FATNESS, more poly-rhythm, more curry and more “slap that bass bitch”. With Kala we want to explore different sounds, different ways to sing for Héli, and create a unique universe with the influences of each members of the band.
Can you tell us about your First album “The Line” since it was your debut how things worked in that album and how things are going to change in your upcoming album?
Adrien : “The Line” was on one hand really motivating and on the other hand really hard to make. It was our first album experience. Some songs were 5 years old, and others were just finished to be composed one month before the recordings. We made most of the arrangements with our sound engineer during the recordings (Raphaël James).
We didn’t have enough money to go in a real studio, so everything was home-made ( electronic drums, some curtains and a sofa set vertically for the vocals takes, reamping, etc.). And about the promotion, we also made it by ourselves and to tried to have web-zines with us to promote the album and share it with the more people as possible.
So we learned a lot with “The Line”, and now for “Kala” our second album, we are more relax, we have a good and methodic way to work. About the music, we just get inspiration from what we love now. Plus, we have the tools to make a real good pre-production with details. So we know how to get ready to go in studio, and we are looking for something more organic than “The Line”.
There was a change in the guitarist and bassist, what made this changes?
Adrien : More bacon and more beer on the catering list! Xavier plays on an 8 strings guitar and his skills give us a real richness in the sounds, in the lower sounds mainly. He has an instinctive and really efficient way to play, so he gives to the songs something brutal and organic in the same time. He is like our island barbarian.
Alex is a guitarist first, and he took the bass to play in the band! Such a sacrifice says a lot about what he brings to us…(ahah!) More seriousely, he is a real sound geek like us, and so we are on the same wavelenght, it’s priceless.
Today we can say we have the perfect team to have fun and to give the best we have.
The band was born in La Reunion and currently you guys are in Lyon, Is there a specific reason for the move?
Adrien : Yeah, we hate sun, beach and to chill on a paradisiac island!
With Guillaume and Anton (our ex-guitarist), we left our island to study mostly, but also because playing music on an island and willing to spread it, becoming bigger is really hard there (in metal even more). That’s why we came and settled in the same city.
How did you get influenced by Indian Classical music, how did you learn that vocals, being a man from India and the place were Carnatic music was born, I was totally taken away by your amazing vocals?
Héli : I grew up in a town in which many immigrants lived. So my friends were from Pakistan, India, Congo, and Algeria, mainly. So I spent my time with them, in their home after school watching TV and Bollywood films, listening to Indian songs, and learning few words to say “Hello” to their parents. So, I’ve always been living in a huge mixed culture. And it’s like I’ve always wanted to travel, and to see their countries I’ve heard of for years. World music was a way to travel.
About Carnatic music, I heard of Sudha Ragunathan. To me, she is one of the greatest singer in this genre. Her voice is like a little bird flying. It’s precise, sensitive, free and light. It’s really inspiring. I listen to many videos she makes, and my dream is to have a lesson with her one day.
About the konnokol, Adrien my drummer wrote it for me. He has his own culture, from his island. La Réunion is a mix of african, european, indian and asian cultures. So we share this love for world music influences.
What are the current plans for the band?
Héli : Now we released a debut album, played with great bands like Leprous, Car Bomb, Hypno5e and others, we wish to be signed by a great label to release our second album. And most of all, we want to make a tour abroad to spread our music, to meet people and to present them our show, our universe on a stage.
Would you be interested to tell about the band’s history for the readers who are new to Mobius and the future fans?
Adrien : At the beginning, Mobius was just a cover band with friends. We named ourselves “Amnezya”! When we arrived in Lyon, we began to really compose our own songs. And we had the will to find a bassist and a singer. We put an advertisement on a website, found Héli and Julien, and there we began to be Mobius, with the will of making our debut album, playing on stage, having our identity and going further.
Unfortunately, Anton and Julien had to leave the band just after “The Line” was released but we didn’t give up, and finally met Xavier and Alex who are sur-motivated and ready to fight with us!
I was really touched by the story you shared with me regarding your Sister’s father who died lonely and how his body was decomposed and become like a burned wood and how you correlated life and death, can you tell us about this in detail?
Héli : He knew he was going to die soon. He wondered if he realized his dreams or not, what he would left after his life, and he was a bit afraid of this moment he would die.
He didn’t want to live with the family. He died alone in his flat, and we found his body few days later.
I often imagined this moment, when he died. I imagine when he felt his heart stopped. I wonder if he struggled to stay alive, if he panicked or at the contrary, if he died peacefully. Was he scared ? Released ?
I imagine this instant through life and death, the second in which conscience leaves the body. The precise second while we become dead.
The song « Abhinivesha » is like a freeze frame at this precise moment. We are floatting in this second during the whole song. We wonder about our life, if we are ready to leave it. We perceive echoes of our past life and in the same time, echoes coming from death. Everything is a bit mixed, we can’t precise from where are coming these sounds. It’s an imagined instant, in a mystic atmosphere.
When my sister and I went to the morgue to see his body, it was in a state of advanced decomposition. With the heat, his body became fastly damaged. It was dry, hollow, and black as carbon.
I thought I would become traumatised, seeing his body like this. But actually, I thought it looked like a burned tree, and it made me think about something vegetal.
I thought « if this is how we become, then I think it’s beautiful, it’s ok ».
That’s why at the end of the video, we are all covered by carbon. We are between death and life during the whole song, and at the end, we cross the line, we enter death.
Metal music has taken a lot of changes over the years, we have seen a great collaboration of metal music over the years and we have seen lot of sub genres in metal and you have brought to the world Progressive metal in collaboration with World Music, how do you feel about this and what made you thought of this collaboration could really work for you and the band?
Héli : Progressive just mean “do what you want”. There’s no limitation about the duration of the songs, nor about the style. You can even put non metal tracks in your album if you like. We don’t limit ourselves, we just enjoy putting what we love in our songs. And if Xavier wants to try new guitar sounds, if I want to try a new vocal Technic, or if Guillaume wants to try new instruments, we propose our ideas, and we check this out all together. But most of the time, we give a chance to any idea.
When Adrien came with his idea of getting inspiration from indian music, I thought “Awesome, that’s something I already like but never tried it”. “World music” is really in our culture, and we are always curious of discovering new things. And now, it’s been a while we play together, and I think we all have this will to challenge ourselves. We always need to go further in the music, to discover and to learn.
We are not the first band doing it : mixing world music with metal. But I think it’s still something rare and no one does it the same way. So, personaly, i’m really thrilled of learning tons of things and challenging myself, trying to understand indian culture, history and meeting new people to build this (Kathir – Rudra).
You have made a new beginning in the path of Metal for Mobius, you guys are great musicians, highly talented and the road you are travelling is going to bring great things for the band, I wish the band all success and looking forward to see you guys soon somewhere near.
Héli : Thank you, coming in India to play would be great, we hope to realise this dream as soon as possible!
Would you like to share a few words for the fans and readers of the magazine?
Héli : A huge and sincere Thank you. As an emergent metal band, the fact that you talk about Mobius is really meaningful and it helps us a lot to spread our music. So Thank you to all Metalheads Forever readers, to you for this interesting interview, and we really really hope that we will meet you all soon during one of our show, in India or another country !
The Band and Metalheads Forever Magazine wanted to give our special thanks to “Above Chaos” for designing the logo for the band and the official photographers “Femtography”, “Cat Lala” and “Hugues Chantepie”
Thanks Heli and other members of Mobius for this interview with us, It’s a pleasure to know you and the band, and thanks again for your time, much love from team Metalheads Forever .
MHF Magazine/Keith Clement