HEKSEN is a really cool French band that impressed me enough to wanting to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-On the first demo, lyrics were based on the Inquisition, so we needed to find an heretical name. What better choice than calling the band “witch”?! We naturally came up with the name by taking the Finnish translation, “Heksen”.

How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
-If you like old school death metal, just as Entombed / Dismember with a slight touch of modernity in the same vein as Bloodbath, then our music is a perfect match for you, ha ha. SWEDISH STYLE!!!

We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-There is no doubt that the greatest influence on our sound comes directly from the Swedish scene: Entombed. This band has always had a real impact on me, it’s definitely a part of my metalhead lifestyle. “Left hand path”, “Clandestine” and “Wolverine blues”… Those albums are really an inspiration to us. In my personal opinion, I have always found that the Swedish scene sounded more “real and pure” than the American one.

What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-A local scene is more important than all when you want to develop your band. It’s always nice to assist one another, to share information / contacts and to get on stage together. Some bands would try to do things on their own, but it’s really hard to do so nowadays. I think it’s very crucial to support your local scene, not only as a band but also as a spectator. You can’t just expect to play in front of a huge crowd when you refuse to go to any concert in your area! It does not make any sense at all.

Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Absolutely! We feel kind of invincible, just as nothing could stop us! It’s a really weird feeling. It may seem a little bit haughty, but that’s absolutely not the case. It’s something that allows us to do things we would never do outside of the band.

When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-For sure, unicorns and others little imaginary creatures are not part of our vision of great album cover, ha ha. A good artwork must describe the concept, the atmosphere within an album. It must give an idea of the theme covered by the lyrics. It can be a source of interest for any listener, that’s why it really needs to deliver a first message.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-Well, it’s a quite tough question… Digital helps more easily a band to make itself known, it’s a good promotion tool. Nowadays, many people don’t buy CDs anymore, but why? “Why would I spend money for a CD when I can listen to it on any music streaming platform for free?” These words really aggravate me! Buying a CD is a very good way to support a band and to urge them to go forward. Even if most of people would abandon physical in the long run, some collectors and devotees won’t care at all and will still go to their local record shop to find a rare pearl! Let’s just say that with the major comeback of the vinyl we are currently seeing, physical still has a bright future.

What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-At this moment, we play mainly in small concert halls, clubs. We already had the chance to get on some bigger stages and honestly it’s a pleasure to play under such circumstances. We hope we can reiterate it as soon as possible.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-We don’t pretend at all that one of our shows can be an event, but I wouldn’t say this can be a party either. This is clearly a great time, that I would see more as an outlet. The perfect time to let loose and to shake yourself out of your torpor.

What would you like to see the future bring?
-Some Jägermeister, ha ha!! More seriously, we would like to continue to get on stage, even on some bigger ones, to write new songs… We would like to live as long as we can to continue to enjoy our own stuff, that’s it! But still with some Jägermeister.

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