I still haven’t come to terms with the band name DEAD COWBOYS SLUTS but that doesn’t matter musically as this is death metal from France. Need I say more? Answers by Benjamin Leclerc (Vocals). Anders Ekdahl ©2012
First of all why such a tongue twisting name for a death metal band? What has cowboys to do with metal?
-There’s no special link between cowboys and a metal band. The word “dead” is referring to Dimebag Darrel’s death. “Cowboy” is for the song “Cowboy’s from hell” of PanterA, et “Sluts” has been put here to show that we are the descendant of this kind of metal genre. The old school way ! You can see it as a tribute to this 80-90 musical scene. After all, the names sounds good, and it make people feeling curious (laugh).
Do you feel that there is a different interest for French metal these days with the moderate success of bands like Gojira and Deathspell Omega?
-For some time, some French metal bands are under the spotlights, and it gave a good impulsion to the others. For example, as you said, bands like Gojira have a great reputation in the world, and we have the Hellfest festival that is really well known too. But when you’re a small band, beginning, I think it’s the same everywhere: A lot of people try to success in the music industry but it’s really hard to get in. But it’s true, we feel more enthusiasm for metal music for few years. For me, France stays a European country where it is really hard to be famous as a metal band. It’s changing, slowly.
How much of a borderless world do you feel that you are a part of as a metal band? Does nationality still play a role?
-I don’t think that nationality has something to deal with music. As I said before, there’s some countries where metal is more present in the culture. In France, metal is not really developed, so the structures we can find are smaller than in U.S.A. For example, internet is a good way to export your music today. It gives us a wider territory to express ourselves with our music.
How hard is it to find your sound today when there are millions of bands out there?
-Our specificity is that we try to do some 90’s shit. So we’ve mixed a modern sound with old school metal style. The guitar sound has a smaller distortion than what you can hear nowadays. We really try to get close to our live version, that’s why our music is not overloaded on the record. We think that when people come to see our shows, they want to hear something close to what they’ve heard on our record. We don’t want any loss of the power of the songs. To compose new ones, we don’t try to do something special. We play some riffs and if we like it, we keep it. That’s it.
How much do you mix different styles to find your sound? What styles mixes very poorly?
-We don’t try to mix different kind of music. We do pure metal, with no compromise. Individually, we’re really open-minded and listen to a lot of different musical genres. So sometimes, the feelings we can have when we’re composing new songs comes from other genres, like hip-hop, blues, jazz, rock, house or electro for example. But the feelings we have will get out of our head as some violent metal sound! That’s the way we’re doing the mix. At the end, there’s nothing but pure metal.
According to me, metal and dance mix poorly. Every time I hear that, I feel a bit ashamed of playing metal…
How important is it to have a somewhat critical pose towards Christianity when you play death/thrash metal?
-Our album « The Hand Of Death » and our band is not based on criticism of Christianism. We’re talking about this topic in 2 songs, because we’ve noticed a lot of differences between what it has to be and what it is in real life. I think that metal bands are talking about this topic for the same reasons than us. The ideas that religious institutions and people representing it at a high level try to tell us are from another time and doesn’t fit with the way we live in the actual society. Today, most of the religious institutions are binding and force people to think in a unique way, without letting them choose to live their faith the way they want to. We don’t have anything against being faithful, but for us, it doesn’t mean following concrete rules without asking any question and thinking. We can believe in God without being a part of a religious institution or another dogma and be forced to live with rules that come from another time. Personally, I don’t know if God prefer to see a faithful person having fun in a metal show, drinking some beer, or the Vatican mafia that doesn’t stop to give moral point of views to the population.
When you chose album art work what is it that you look for in the first place? How do you know where to look for it?
-The album’s main topic is serial killers. We have interests for this topic, and we’ve read a lot of books and other kind of documentation about it. Every song and every illustration on the artwork that we’ve created are based on this theme, and we’ve put a lot of references for the fans of the genre, like us. You can discover it all along the listening of the album and by paying attention to the booklet. It is more about psychology than violence. The representation of Christ that you can find in front of the CD cover of “The Hand Of Death” is controversial, but we did it on purpose. The question is: are the religions the biggest serial killers of all time?
When you are in a band do you like build up a contact net work that you can use when so is needed?
-We like being linked only with people we appreciate, meaning that we don’t want to do things if we don’t want to. Dead Cowboy’s Slut is a completely free band, not forced to do things because we have to, and if we think that someone wasn’t proper with us, whatever who he/she is in the music industry, we won’t work with him/her anymore. We’ve got our friends, bands, organizers…with whom we have got bonds, and we appreciate to work with them. No matter what people think about us, we know that we never will be rock stars. So we don’t let anybody impose their mind. We play music we like, we wear what we like, we are doing a show because we want to, not because we have to. We don’t accept any obligation or stupid rules which are more and more present in music industry. A band is free and it has to stay that way as much as it can. For that we have to be well surrounded, with people with good values, more than a commercial aims. We do music for us, not for other, we will continue by our ways.
What is it that you as a band look for before you sign on the dotted line?
-For a record label for example, first of all we focus on band interests. We are careful if band interests are well supported, if the distribution and the band’s promotion are well managed too. We also watch out for the projects which are proposed to us.
What future is there for Dead Cowboy’s Sluts?
-Well, we don’t know exactly, it’s kind of day-to-day. For now it good for us, the record received a good welcome; there is a lot of people and great atmosphere in our shows. So I hope it will continue. We are going to record our second album soon and if people like it, we will be pleased, instead whatever! We are still doing things we like.