When you take your name from some sort of Roman monument do you have a grander meaning behind it?
-Roman history has always been a fascination with me, especially since I visited Rome and Pompeii as a child, and I’m also not a big fan of war and the “Altar of Peace” sounded well-suited to that theme.
What was the idea musically behind forming the band?
-I had a progressive hard rock band in the 70s in Montreal called Landslide (inspired by Rainbow, Deep Purple, King Crimson, ELP, etc.) and another band from the same period called Blade that was into Led Zeppelin, and I wanted to reunite with some of the members from those bands for fun, so we got together in January 2003 and formed the band. That lineup didn’t last and we went through a lot of changes. All three albums were recorded with different lineups except for myself and also Lizzie has been on the last two, she has been a constant for over five years now.
Canada is a large country but sparsely populated. Does that ever feel claustrophobic, like you only get to play to the same crowd over and over because touring the country would be too hard, too many long drives?
-No, not really, we’re used to travelling long distances to get to a show.
You are now onto album number three. Do you feel that the career curve is pointing in the right direction? Did you get the maximum out of the previous two albums?
-The other 2 albums were a build-up and a learning experience. They don’t sound at all the way I would like them to. I wish I would have had better production on them and a lot of those songs I would like to redo some day as I really like them. But album three has been worked on a lot more and it shows, I’m very happy with it!
What kind of reactions have you been getting on the third one so far?
-It’s been really good – the main point is the variety of styles, either you really like it because your metal tastes are eclectic or you don’t because you’re more into only one style.
With this being your third album, the hard one, do you feel that this is the do or die, the break it big or not break at all album?
-I think they all count.
Does the metal scene bridge the fact that there is a French and an English side to Canada? What is it like to live in a country that seem to have two major but different cultures going at the same time?
-There is a separate French metal scene here in Quebec (the francophone province of Canada), with its own shows, but mostly, both scenes happily mingle at festivals or bar gigs.
This might be a hard one to answer but has being Canadian affected the way the band has developed compared to had you come from south of the border? Is there something specific Canadian?
-There is less patriotism from the Canadian side as there would be in the US, although the French side is much more patriotic towards Quebec. Also, I think our approach is little bit more left-leaning than in the US politically and less religiously-influenced.
When you bring so many different influences together who takes charge of it all? Who is the captain of the ship?
-I seem to be the guy who puts it all together, but everyone has a word to say. Mathieu is excellent at arranging, and John is a stickler in the studio and gets everything going perfectly and Lizzie is the happy one that socializes a lot and is the face of the band.
What will the future bring to AraPacis?
We are working on a special project right now in the studio and we are also going to start writing for our fourth album soon. We have two big festivals coming up as well this summer. Camping Metal à Fullpadge http://cmf3.com/ in August and Hellfest https://www.facebook.com/events/398703466820783/ in July.
Thanks very much for the questions and cheers and \m/ to all the readers of Battle Helm!
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