ABDUCTION is a French band that I find highly entertaining. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
Guillaume: Thank you very much ! I suppose the way I play guitar could be an explanation for those sounds, as I use a right-handed guitar but play in the left-handed way. We also do our best to work on arrangements that bring a more melancholic vibe to the melodies. Each guitar part contains between two and six different guitar lines carefully intertwined, depending on the atmosphere we try to reach for. The combination of all thoses differents guitar lines is very important to generate a melancholic and mystic atmosphere.
Creating music is the most fascinating thing to me, way more important than performing live. The emotion I get when I find a melody or a riff that I love or when I feel that a song is going in the right direction to fit with the images we want to depict is one of the most amazing thing I could feel, it really is something I need to do to feel alive.
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
-This new album is less violent and more atmospheric than the previous one. We were very happy with the production of Une Ombre Régit Les Ombres but we knew that we needed something clearer this time, as we mix a lot of different melodies all together. Déhà really managed to give a very precise and subtle sound to this album.
François: There are many details hidden in the songs and it’s important for us to know that you can hear them all. I don’t know if we fully succeeded on doing that with the first album, hence it became a priority with this one. I’m very satisfied with Déhà’s work, especially when it comes to the recording process. He gave us plenty of great suggestions and ideas during the sessions and definitely played a big part in this « pushing the sound further » process.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
Guillaume: A lot of french people are telling us they love the poetry of our lyrics, the way they are written and combined with the music, but not so many people have given us their proper vision of the message they think we express. It is important for us to express our vision of the world we live in, our passion for our History and some more personal views but we like the idea that somebody who listens to these lyrics will find something else we didn’t think about in the first place.
François: Mathieu, our bass player, actually put a lot of thinking and efforts into the lyrics. When I first joined the band, I didn’t know if I would feel comfortable singing in French rather than in English – which actually felt more natural to me at the time, for some reason – but as soon as I got familiarized with the topics, the contents and the way these lyrics were written, I definitely was « all in »! I don’t know if there really is a « red thread » to our songs, but there is one topic that you can often come across in Abduction’s lyrics: the passing of time, and the feeling of deep nostalgia and helplessness that come with it.
Mathieu : The perception of the lyrics is an intricate combination of the words themselves, the themes used, and the way François manage to give them life, with his whole heart and passion. The impact would have been less greater without the vocal lines Guillaume and him found. It’s not so much as to have a specific message than to make people feel emotions of their own while listening. Music and words are woven to guide through a journey, but the listener is invited to feel and interpret as he want.
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you indentify with?
Guillaume: I am interested to know whose bands you are thinking about. I would say the three main bands we can identify as influences when we sit to listen to our finished work are Dissection, Opeth and Primordial. These are the three references we all love even if we don’t think about them when it’s time to write music.
Mathieu : It is not easy for ourselves to identify our music with other bands or sounds, for we can lack some perspective on the matter. We think we manage to take some distance with the influences Guillaume mentioned, yet maybe others can be heard by attentive listeners. There are more and more black metal bands singing in french, maybe some comparisons will be made at some point, for example.
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
Guillaume : I discovered this painting named « L’Automne » in a museum in Compiègne (France) eight years ago and immediately decided it would become the artwork of our second album. This was painted in 1814 and figures the allegory of Autumn, a season we all love and that relates to our music, as it’s a period full of melancholic and mystic atmosphere.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
-Artwork is nearly as important as the music for us. It’s a whole package and the images you use will be the first contact with our listeners before they discover the music, it has to fit with it. It’s also with your artwork that you can trigger the curiosity of the listener. We would be very disappointed if our albums could not be released in a physical form. We care a lot about the object and gave a huge amount of time and passion to create the most beautiful digipack we could.
Mathieu : We do like having in our hands an object whose creation took a lot of time and dedication. If artwork and music don’t get along, it’s frustrating, and make us wonder what we could have done instead. For our part, the artwork and the package mean a lot, especially as we have this kind of « do it yourself » habit.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
Guillaume : It has to give a precise idea of what the lyrics are dealing with, of course, but also to show a certain form of poetry and mystery. It’s difficult to tell how I come up with those titles as I sometimes forget how the idea came to my mind, but it’s always the music that leads the naming process.
François: One thing that I find very interesting and pretty unique in the way Guillaume writes songs is that everything usually starts with the song title. He will find a topic that he likes and a name for a song and then assemble his riffs and ideas with that theme in mind. And then, when the song is fully structured, he can explain to Mathieu (bass) what he has in mind and they will sit and work on the lyrics together. I think that this is very cool because Guillaume always has these great and very specific visions in mind when he crafts and assembles the guitar parts. I think that’s the best way of doing it: the music is not a simple « collage » of riffs but really an outlet of emotions, a rollercoaster ride that goes from a very specific point to another, until the tragic and unavoidable end.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Guillaume: It surely will. The album sales are worse than ever and it won’t be so long until we can not find any record in a store anymore. But we hope nostalgic people like us, even if we are very few, will continue to press and buy records. Maybe the vinyl will keep some things alive for lovers of a real good sound, but sadly most of the people don’t really care about sound quality and the full-on experience of a complete album anymore. Most people would rather activate the « shuffle mode » on their phones while doing something else instead of digging an album from the beginning to the end and focus on this during more than 30 minutes.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
-We are very eager to play live and hope it will be possible before the release of our third album. We have to find the time to rehearse properly but we already have some opportunities to play live. Playing live is very important to offer another vision of our songs and to create a visual experience that can give a new dimension to our music. But if we have to make a choice between playing live and writing music, we will always prioritize working on the new songs. Creating music is the most important thing to us, above everything else.
What lies in the future?
-We are currently working on our third album. It will be different from the previous ones as we want to write a concept album inspired by a great episode of french History. We plan to enter the studio in 2019. All the music is basically written but we still have a lot to do on arrangements and lyrics. And as I said before we’ll try to play live as soon as possible !