It is a great honour to be able to present and interview with MERCYLESS, a classic French death metal band. Read what Max has to say. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
What pressure is there in releasing a new album so long after the last one? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release and album, that it sorta is for real now?
Max Otero/ There are no particular pressures for MERCYLESS , The only thing is that we care about doing things right. Since we’ve played a lot the last three years , we were only waiting for the right moment to work on the album, we’re not used to put pressure on ourselves because it’s toxic to the composition of an album , which demands a lot of work.
MERCYLESS is one of the classic French death metal bands. Do you feel that represent a sound of the past when you write new songs? How much freedom do you feel that you have when you write new songs not to stray too much from the classic MERCYLESS sound?
Max Otero/ In fact each album as something to do with self questionning, we don’t like to repeat ourselves in general. We sure have a really representative sound and we’ve been sticking to it for years , but we’re open to new formulas for each recording sessions. We like to feel free , in order to create and forge our own sound, We don’t put ourselves barrier for the composition process aswell for this genre needs freedom and is limitless. Of course with the years passing through we managed to create a style very proper to MERCYLESS.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
Max Otero/ People knowing our songs during a show might just be the greatest accomplishment for us. The fact that they listen and love our music stay the most important thing. It’s some kind of reward and it is true that sometimes , certain songs belong more to the audience than to the band itself , it’s our whole work that’s highlighted.
To me you guys have always had some pretty cool album covers. How do you chose when it comes to lyrics and art work? Does it have to follow in a certain style so that those that bought the previous
record will recognize your sound/lyrics?
Max Otero/ We’re trying to match the theme of the lyrics and the cover as good as we can, so that there’s an impact on people buying and listening our albums. It’s peculiar to metal genre in general , it’s losing it’s authenticity these last years. We easily find really nice album cover , some masterpiece we could say but it never really matches the lyrics and that’s what we want to avoid with Mercyless … We put a lot on visual creation with directive lines and our global vision of the album. It’s an important work that needs a lot of time because the artwork can evolve and vary with time.
Can we speak of a French death metal sound? What sets French death metal apart from the Swedish or the Floridian?
Max Otero/We can speak of a somewhat French death metal sound , because it has changed a lot these last years and through different albums that affected the French Scene. I also think that every band as a sound proper to themselves. When you listen to bands like Necrowetch , Agressor , Loudblast , Phazm , Skelethal you soonly realize that they have a different sound we’ve a Floridian or Swedish “Spices”, which is great , because if you take any band as a reference then you can prevent sounding like one or another.
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
Max Otero/ I think that might be the toughest part , because you need to keep a directive line proper to the sound and genre and the band. You have to look inside of yourself and try to bring something new and original.
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
Max Otero/ Our influences are probably our everyday lives , there’s so much to say… THis world around us that contains so much things , irritating and intoxicating us . Our inspiration is quite easy to find , the overdogma of religion , obscurantism , corruption of the masses , Why find so far in our beautiful world , isn’t it ?
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
Max Otero/ In depends on who , Alas ! I’ve seen numerous label that managed to sell more and more albums , way more than years ago , But It might be because of the new Label Policy of price in Labels and the fact that fans come back to a more retro culture , with things such as the resurgence of Vinyl. But now let’s be honest , there’s a huge gap between the digital and the physical sells.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
Max Otero / The biggest fraud of this modern world, How can you make people believe that it’s that easy to propound dowloadable music for a so fair price and so easily findable.They’re mocjing us all day long , there are the eternal downfall of Internet , intoxicating this world full of lobbying and easy profit.
What lies in the future?
Max Otero / a Tour in November (France/Spain) with Putrid Offal , another one in April 2017 with Avulsed and I frankly hope so much more shows and fest this summer in order to promote this album , we really want to come back on stage ! In the mean time I hope that the album will appeal to a lot of people , Keep it true , and STAY EVIL!!