interviuri rock

SHADYON: Mind Control, French Control

SHADYON: Mind Control, French Control
BANDS : Shadyon

Name the three best French melodic metal bands!
It’s not so easy, isn’t it? Not so many names come to mind. Well maybe this interview can help. Maybe these brave Britons gathered under the name of Shadyon could provide you with one of those three names you’re looking for. They’ve just released their second album and if you like your melodic metal assorted with the right amount of progressive, there is no real reason to resist their Mind Control. Founding members Maël Saout and Emmanuel Creis agreed to help us lift some shadows off Shadyon.

Metalfan: Hello and welcome to! Comment ça va? How is Brest, how is France at this time of the year?
Hello and thank you for this interview, we are fine! At this time of the year, Brest is under the snow!!
Emmanuel: Very cold now!!! I hate this period of the year! haha

Metalfan: It’s not often that we get to interview a French metal band, because... well, we don’t really know too many French metal bands. And I’d like to think it’s not just us, haha French metal is not exactly very popular, what’s the situation over there, how is the scene and the metal community? Why are there so few bands that make it abroad?
Yes you're right the French metal scene is not very popular especially if you speak about the melodic metal scene. In my opinion the most popular French metal band is Gojira and it's a more extreme approach. The French metal scene is "bulkhead" it's very hard to share the stage with the other bands, France doesn't have a real musical culture particularly in rock and metal, there is a stilted vision of music in the media here, metal is considered  as subgenus so it's very difficult to emerge to be broadcasted. I think lots of people think about old 80's bands when they try to imagine the French metal scene, and it's a mistake because the French metal underground culture is very active.
Emmanuel: You know it's very hard as a melodic metal band to spread our music, and it’s even harder to find gigs, promoters interested in an unknown French metal band. As Maël said only Gojira has an international following, but there are many good metal bands here in France and I hope this situation will change in the future.

Metalfan: Your hometown is Brest in the West of France. What’s it like, is it a good place to start a band? Is it difficult to find good musicians for a band, places to play at? Ever thought about re-locating the band into a bigger city?
Brest is no longer or hometown, actually we all live in different cities, but  I must say that Brest is a good place for music, a lot of good bands and artists emerge from this place, the musical scene is very active so you can find good musicians everywhere and there's many good place to do gigs. I don't think we need to relocate ourselves to a bigger city because in Britain we have the possibility to work peacefully and Internet allow us to expose Shadyon in the media. I don't know if you know this place, but it is a magnificent and inspiring scenery, it is an additional reason to stay here.
Emmanuel: It's right, we live in a very cool place, fed on legends, beautiful lands. We can see an emergence of many bands, but the melodic style is not again quite spread, and you can find more extreme metal than melodic, progressive bands. And as Maël said, I don't think it's necessary to re-locate in a bigger city, thanks to internet we get an easy access to the world.

Metalfan: How can one recognize a French metal band, is there something particular about their music that can’t be found in other bands? Do you think there is something in your music that points out to the origin of the band?
I'm not sure that you can actually say that we can recognize a French metal band. We can say "oh it's a Swedish metal band or this is German-style metal" but as you said before French metal is not very well known, I hope and I would be very proud if people say when they listen to our music “oh it's the Shadyon style!!" ahaha! I don't think there's something that points out the origin of the band… maybe our name!! hahaha!! The main reason being that our influences come first from the international rock and metal scene.
Emmanuel: For the moment I think there isn't a French style, because Metal is not well established in our culture. Unfortunately we can hear many preconceptions about this kind of music, most of people are very surprised the first time they hear Shadyon, because they didn't think Metal could sound like this too! Hahaha. And yes we would be very proud to hear someone say “oh this song is in Shadyon's style”!


Metalfan: Tell us a bit about how you started as musicians and what determined you to choose metal music. What were your early influences? Emmanuel, you sing and play guitar, are you primarily a singer or a guitar player?
Emmanuel and I were neighbors we started to play some acoustic stuff in our garage, we both have a similar approach to the music we want to play, powerful music with a lot of melodies, so we immediately choose to compose our own stuff. Our early influences were Dream Theater, Metallica, Iron Maiden and the AOR scene and the Miami Vice soundtracks!! After that we moved to more diverse bands like Devin Townsend, Soilwork, Winger, Danger Danger , Last Tribe, Dali's Dilemma, In Flames, and  a band that is very important for Emmanuel and me Evergrey.
Emmanuel: I begun by playing guitar and when I met Maël, he has persuaded me to sing too, because for him I had a good voice, but I worked hard and I still carry on with my vocal coach.

Metalfan: Why Shadyon? Is not so easy to remember for a band name (I speak from experience, haha) Sounds like the name of a place or a planet hidden in the shade... What did you have in mind when you chose it?
It 's exactly what you said, a hidden place, you just have to imagine the place. We don't want a name that you can define immediately, it's like our music, you must take the time to appreciate it, it's no easy listening, it’ got a lot of details and atmosphere.

Metalfan: The band started in 2002, took 4 years to release the debut album and then another 4 to put out the second one, Mind Control. What happened in between? Were you guys actually working on an album for 4 years or you ran into problems that prevented you from releasing them sooner?
The second album was finished in 2008 but we changed 2 members (keyboard and drummer) so we choose to return to the studio with the 2 new members ( Jorris and Fançois) to record  the album again. After that it took very long to find a good label, this can explain the delay, but so you know: now we've got more than 15 songs quite ready for the third album, to compose music is not the most difficult thing, but to have the time, the money and the opportunity to record and release it.

Metalfan: Inner Wound Recordings, your current label, is located in Sweden. That’s pretty far from home, isn’t it? How did you get signed by them?
I contacted Emil Westerdahl in September 2009, he immediately loved the album, because he thought we had something different. When we mastered the album he asked if we were interested in signing with Inner Wound Recordings and we accepted. The relationship with him is really good! He supports us the best he can and we are grateful to him!

Metalfan: As I understand, the songs are written for the most part by you two guys. Did the other members of the band come up with suggestions of their own or were they pretty much satisfied with your original ideas?
Yes Emmanuel and I were the main composers until now, but this is gonna change for the third album, because we want to open the songwriting to the other members. It's very easy for Emmanuel and me to write songs because  we play together since the beginning of our musical experience and I don't only speak about Shadyon. The main structure came very quickly but, it's true that we like to take the time for arrangements,
Emmanuel takes care of the vocal melodies and I deal with the arrangements. It's my favorite part (to put details and surprises in the songs) from one basic structure you can bring the song from power metal to AOR depending on what you choose as arrangement.
Jorris brings the keyboard parts. The goal is to put a song in a song, to have catchy songs that you want to listen again and again, because there is a lot of details that don't come immediately to your ears.

Metalfan: What are the lyrics on Mind Control about? Some of the titles suggest science-fiction themes, are they just fictional stories, no personal stuff or deeper meaning? Any particular sources of inspiration?
You are right, most of “Mind Control”'s lyrics deal with science-fiction themes, paranormal activities, and it's only fictional stories, but it's also about human beings in front of these phenomena. I am a big fan of Twilight Zone series, Lost and all Stephen King's stuff, and this kind of lyrics suit perfectly to Shadyon's music, you can hear and see with the help of the lyrics a lot of the different moods.

Metalfan: Have you ever considered using French lyrics in your songs? I know a band that does that, Manigance, maybe you know about them, they have French lyrics and I think it sounds awesome, makes them special. What do you think?
Maël: Manigance
are a very great band their songs are awesome but I prefer English. In my opinion it is a more musical language.
Emmanuel: I agree, English is better for our kind of music, it just sounds better than French. For me French is a good language for literature, but not for music.

Metalfan: Most of the reviews of your new album agreed in describing it as a mix of progressive metal and melodic rock, I guess that’s pretty obvious. Some might say that FM, AOR and melodic rock are too cheesy to be considered metal. What do you have to say about that?
Yes, it's true, some listeners could say that it's too melodic for metal and too metal for AOR , but I think we don't have to change anything. In fact it's simply what we like in music: aggressive riffs with catchy choruses. If people don't consider us as a metal band, I don't mind, I prefer people saying it's Shadyon and only that, we don't need to enter in a certain category, it's only music, our music, we all have different influences and we try to mix them to do an unique musical experience.

Metalfan: Is this combination something you designed or it just came naturally? How do you keep the balance between intricate arrangements and chatchy melodies? Are there moments when you say: „hey, stop, this is too complex” or „no way, this is too cheesy let’s not go there”?
As I said before, we don't think too much when we compose: if it's good to our ears, then  we keep it. I think that makes Shadyon unique, I like cheesy parts and more proggy elements, so, naturally, the songs came with this combination of different elements. I must admit that I prefer the more catchy parts and Emmanuel is "the specialist" of the prog stuff! haha!! The arrangements can't push this mix into a more AOR or progressive direction, our main identity is the voice that, in my opinion, brings this AOR feeling.
Emmanuel: Hahaha, yes Maël is right, when I write a song, I have a proggy approach because this kind of music is the most complete, you can find great melodies and powerful riffs! And I think what is unique with Shadyon is the mix of these different elements: prog metal, AOR and Scandinavian touch  (with Maël's touch! Especially with his incredible arrangements!)


Metalfan: The production and sound (mixing, mastering) of the album have often been criticized in the reviews (mine included), do you think it’s justified? Did you work with a producer for this album or did you produce it yourselves? What are you going to do about it in the future?
I agree with this criticism, it's not the best production in the world, but it sounds natural and organic, with not too much effects. For me, it makes that album less boring and clinical. We don't have the time and the money to go to a well known studio, we work with the Dramatic Studio and the Studio Capricorn in Lorient, a town near Brest with Jean Louis Esvan and Gwen Kerjan, and I want to thank them because they did a great job for this album and helped us for some arrangements. In the future we want to work with them again but we must take more time in the studio to improve the final result.

Metalfan: So far I’ve asked you about what the listeners have discovered in your music. Is there anything in particular you wished they’d notice while listening to this album? Any specific aspect you are particularly proud of?
I hope they will notice that we have a unique approach on music, that we don't copy any band, but try to make simply what we like instead, a sincerely and honest approach of the songwriting. I am particularly proud of the final result and I think you can come again and again to this album, you will always find something new.

Metalfan: Most of the songs on Mind Control were written 3 years ago, to what degree do they still represent the band now? Are we going to see a different face of Shadyon on the next album? I understand you started working on it already.
Yes, we've got more than 15 songs quite ready to be recorded. We will keep our style but I think you could discover a more extreme approach, more Swedish guitar parts and more AOR vocal lines!! hahaha! I’m listening to the new James Labrie "Static Impulse" and to the new Soilwork " Panic Broadcast" album, it's a strong influence actually, and Emmanuel and I are in our Journey and Steve Perry mood, so I let you imagine what the future of Shadyon could be...

Metalfan: What are the highlights of your live activity so far? Your bio mentions a Brazilian tour in 2006, how many shows were there and how did you find Brazil’s metal community?
You know it's very hard for a band like us to play a lot of gigs, because we are an unknown band and promoters and labels don't invest in new bands. We must create and make our name known and give thanks webzines like yours for helping us in doing this!
The Brazilian tour in 2006 after our first album release was incredible, people are really crazy there, very passionate. We spent 2 weeks there and we have played 4 shows.
We have met the guys of Angra and Shaman, and played in Roça’n’Roll Festival, in front of 3000 people. So, great memories for us and we hope to come back again there!

Metalfan: How about your future shows for promoting the new album, do you have a booking agency to arrange that for you, does the label do it, or you do it yourselves?
The most difficult actually is to find gigs (opening act or festivals) we are now searching for a spot as an opening act in a tour, the label helps us but it's a very difficult job, so let's see what happens.

Metalfan: Mind Control attracted a lot of attention towards the band because it received mostly positive reviews. Do you think that this will make things easier from now on? Are you like the next big thing on the French metal scene right now?
I think this album will help us to promote the band and to expose the name Shadyon to the metal scene. I think things will become easier, but we must confirm the expectations with a third album and do this very quick.  If we want to establish Shadyon as a viable band, we must come back to everyone’s attention without too much delay. I hope it will enable us to play more shows, we are a live band in the first place.

Metalfan: Thank you for your time, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Maël :
Thank you for this great interview, va multumesc foarte mult pe curând!
Emmanuel: Thank you very much for your interest in Shadyon, and Hope to play in Romania! Keep Rocking!!

Autor: Klawz
   December 06, 2010  | 0 Comments  | 9284 Views « BACK

Comment on: SHADYON: Mind Control, French Control


Other Interviews