ADX is a classic French heavy metal band that I remember from the 80s. So when I saw that they have a new album, “Non Serviam”, out now I had to interview them. Answers by Julien Rousseau (bass). Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Why was it that French hardrock/metal acts only sang in French back in the 70s/80s? To me that seemed strange as the French are very intellectual.
-At the begining, ADX was a young french band singing for young french people. French bands of this generation played mainly in France, they were’nt distributed out of the country… Plus, I have to admit that french people from the 70s/80s did’nt have so many skills in english too !
You still sing in French. Do you think that fans today are more open to non English singing acts? Or is it as bad as it always been?
-For us, singing in french has became a sort of trademark… The band experimented english with Weird Visions as it was a condition from the label and we can say it wasn’t a success. Some of our fans abandonned us. We have many examples of international bands that are non¬english, I guess, the most important is to be coherent with ourself, if Rammstein begin to sing in english, I don’t think the result would be better.
You have a very easy to pronounce name. What was it that made you chose to name the band ADX to begin with?
-In metal industry, ADX means “Acier DouX” (soft steel), the best way to describe our music : strong and melodic ! Plus, this name is so catchy ! And, to be in the front row in the records stores isn’t so bad yeah
When you released albums in the 80s did it feel like you were part of a French metal explosion together with Sortilege, H¬Bomb, Killers, Morsüre etc?
-There was a kind of explosion for sure, the french heavy scene was very active for a decade but it stayed underground. I mean, these bands never played so much out of France and today it’s still the same. For our “old” fans, 80s french bands is a family, they are incredibly loyal to us and we discuss souvenirs like old friends at gigs, But today, there is a new generation of true old¬school heavy fans in France and around the world, they love old french bands and are ready to die for… So this wasn’t an enormous explosion yes, but it’s still blowing for sure !
When you release your 2008 album what kind of reaction did you get to it? What kind of reaction did you get to your reunion? I remember you from the 80s.
-In the 90s, the Grunge arrived and killed the scene. In the 2Ks, the Nü¬metal re¬introduced metal to the youngest, back to serious things ! with the arrival of internet, the come¬back of ADX was asked by old and young fans on some forums, it wasn’t expected but the band found the pretext to go back in business ! Division Blindée was well received and is the favourite album of many. The title track is one our more requested song !
You can never recreate what has been but how does your 2016 album represent ADX? How much do you look to the past when you write a new album? Is there an ADX sound?
-We don’t look so much to the past, we love our old records but we prefer to be turned towards the future. But when we write new songs, we still want the same things : we want it melodic, fast and epic, speed¬metal is our way to do
I might just have a romantic notion of it being noble to be an artist in France. What is it like to be a musician in France? Are you met with respect or is hardrock/metal looked up with suspicion?
-About metal, one thing is sad in france : we don’t like our bands. French people underrate bands french bands before even listening to them. We are lucky to be considered as a cult band so we have a minimum of respect but it’s not always the same for young bands.
Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
-We have the chance to have fans who will want any things we produce. Fore sure, some poeple listen to music on Internet so they didn’t buy albums but, the life of a band are the gigs and, if they like our music, they will come to our shows. Other thing, we can’t have our albums in sale in any music¬shop and, some people doesn’t have enough money to import it… Personnaly, I prefer to know that if a person really want to listen to us, he can… Streaming and internet is a form of promotion we don’t have to do. We receive words from die¬hard fans from asia or south america… Without internet they may never be abble to listen to us…
What is the live scene like if you don’t get invited to the festivals or big tours? Do people come out and support your gigs?
-We never played in Japan, we never played in USA… Any gigs we played, we met fans from unexpected countries… We met scandinavian, south americans, africans, asians fans… We never played in there coutries so they came… We don’t sold¬out stadiums or main¬stages it’s true but every gig we play is like a party and an opportunity to meet fans and friends.
What will the future bring?
-For now, we will support Non Serviam, We are doing a hard job to get back the rights of our other records because some of them are sold¬out… And for sure, we will write new material very soon.