When I saw this band’s name the first time it made me think of Queen’s video with all the nude girls riding bicycles. But that is an entirely different matter. This is FORSAKEN PEDDLERS. And they don’t ride bikes in the nude as far as I know. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Could you please introduce yourself to those of us in the dark?
-Hello. My name is Alexandre. I am the singer and the bass player of the band Forsaken Peddlers.
This band started in august 2010, at that time I was only the singer, and the other band members were Hugo on guitar, Christophe on bass guitar (who played guitar in Fatum Elisum) and Roland on drums. This was the line-up that recorded Songs of Fate and Freedom in Spring 2014. After that recording, we had a one year hiatus as Christophe and Roland left the band and as Hugo and I were focuses on other projects.
In March 2015 we decided to restart the band with still Hugo on guitar, my brother Christophe on drums (not the same person who played bass before) and me on bass guitar and vocals. Since then we worked on new songs, and we played some gigs.
My brother, Hugo and me used to play in a doom death metal band called Fatum Elisum. Hugo is also a member of Ataraxie (doom death metal). Hugo and I also play together in a band called Malemort (we are in the recording process for our first album). My brother and I play in a rock band called Ormesis. And I also play in Mhönos (ritual doom metal, our second album LXXXVII will be released soon).
I often wonder how people discover that they can do what they do. How did you discover that you can sing and play instruments?
-I began to play bass guitar twenty years ago, but there were nothing serious until we founded FatumElisum in 2007. In 2009, I joined an ephemeral doom metal band in which I was the singer. That was something new for me, and it was very stressful as our first gig was in a doom festival in our hometown in Rouen. I practiced singing in a no academic way, singing alone in my car while listening mostly to Manowar. So, that was the way I learned to sing. I began to do some clean vocals in 2009 in FatumElisum, but it was very short lyrics to sing, but the more we wrote songs, the little more I had to sing. So last year, when we decide to restart Forsaken Peddlers, I had to work hard in order to be able to sing while playing bass guitar.
Hugo learned how to play guitar when he was teenager and worked a lot to obtain some degrees on guitar practicing. But before playing guitar, he learned how to play drums, also in a school of music.
My brother learned to play drums when he was fifteen: I remember him playing drums in his room in our parents’ house. That was a fun time, and we tried sometimes to jam altogether.
When did it become a revelation that you can do this and maybe get paid for having fun, instead of just putting out all the money?
-All of us used to have some bands, playing in a bedroom, in a garage or in a attic. But we do not play in a band to gain some money: I think playing in an Epic Doom Metal band is not the best way to earn once life. The more important for us, and for all the bands we are involved in, is to play and create the music we real enjoy and we want to play. Even we are seriously involved in those projects, that’s also where the revelation came in. We are also able to do something like the bands we all enjoy to listen to. But there is also a part of fun in it. And there is nothing more joyful than creating and writing music, playing our songs in gigs and recording them.
When you spend an amount of your life on a band does it ever feel like you have wasted time, that you have fought one too many windmills?
-I do not think I wasted my time while playing in a band. Even some projects led to nothing, and I played in many bands that led to nowhere, it was always a good time to play with friends, and to learn how to play with other musicians. I must admit that splitting a band is not the best thing to live, but sometimes, as Neil Young said: “it’s better to burn out, than to fade away”. By the way, this is not a daily job for us, and whether a project works or doesn’t work,It will never have some impact on our lives.
No matter how small or big you were as a band you will leave a legacy behind you. How do you want people to treat this legacy?
-It’s something I never thought about. And I prefer to think about the way we can progress as a band and write better songs and do better recordings as the previous ones. It’s fine to have some good returns about our music, but I’d rather think about the future, than being obsessed by the past.
Is digital taking away the mystery of waiting for a new album now that you can upload as soon as you have written a song?
-Even we have a bandcamp page, we prefer to present to the people an entire album, rather than uploading a song when we have just written it. More over, writing a song is a long process for us as we always think and take care about the details and the way we build it. I think our mantra is: the emergency is to wait. We have no deadline, our sole goal is to produce an album that we are very proud and very satisfied with, in all its aspects: compositions, recording, mixing, order of the song, artworks, etc.
How important is image in separating you from all the million different styles of metal there is out there?
-“Heavy metal, or not metal at all, whips and posers, leave the hall”: that’s a part of our philosophy in Forsaken Peddlers. We are not aiming to be a unique band, or a false arty concept project. When creating the band, our goals were to play a tribute to the bands we love, like Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Solstice, Bathory and Manowar, to name a few. And that’s still the main goal today: we are here to play Epic Doom Metal and to show to everyone that doom metal is a genre which roots came from heavy metal. This is something that is very forgotten nowadays because of the hipsters trend whose think that doom metal is only Electric Wizard or bands with the psychedelic or stoner vibes, and omitting that there were bands like Trouble or Candlemass. By the way, our image is not very important: we are not heavy metal fashion victims, and our artwork will always reflect what all our songs and album are about.
Do you deal in different topics lyrically or do you keep to one, just using different variations?
-On Songs of Fate and Freedom, I dealt with different topics for each song. Some of them dealt with history, The Brave is about William Wallace, and The Conqueror is about Guillaume le Conquérant, and the others are about our society. The next album will follow this way, dealing with different topics about society, with a lot of critics about economic liberalism and individualism.
Do you consider yourself a live artist or do you like to spend most of the time secluded in a studio?
-Even we spend a lot of time in our rehearsals room to write our songs, we consider Forsaken Peddlers as a live band: there is nothing more pleasant than playing gigs.
How much of a touring band are you guys? What memories do you take with you?
-With Forsaken Peddlers, we are not a touring band. As we are mostly unknown, we did not have yet the opportunity to do a tour, and we only played local gigs to be honest. We have good remembrance of those we played lately, for many different reasons. More over, we are playing in many bands, and we have daily jobs, so it is quite difficult to have enough time to do a tour. Maybe one day. But we are searching for good venues to play, whether it will be in France or outside of our country.
What does the future hold?
-“Songs of Fate and Freedom” will soon be released by Heathen Tribes, in a tape version. We have some gigs scheduled and we are working on our next album; three songs are mostly finished.