There are some band names that at first glance might look easy to pronounce but aren’t once you try to. But don’t let that stop you from checking out MITHRIDATIC. Answers by Kevin. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Well it is hard to say for me, because I was not in the band when they chose their name. I guess it was not to hard, because our vocalist, Guitou, has alway good idea for lyrics and stuff like this. Recently, our music went pretty dark, it express anguish, something violent etc… it is not just Death Metal, it is not only war, there is something else. And because of this dark side, the name of the band « Mithridatic » does have a particular meaning. The king Mithridate used to take some poison, very little dose at the beginning, and then more and more, in oder to immune himself against severals different poison. In Mithridatic, the poison is anguish, and somehow, we get immune to it thank to the music…it doesn’t mean that we get the rid of anguish, but it mean we try to stand next to it, to enjoy its beneficial power. Usually, anguish is hard to stand, and we try to run away from it with entertainment. But what if we miss something by doing this ?
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-Well we have all difference influences, but some of them are the same. We all listen to Morbid Angel, Mayhem, Ulcerate or Nile. But then, some of us listen to punk music, other to progressive rock music, so well you know, there is a lot of different influences in the way we make music together, and it is hard to say they color our music. I guess, anyway, none of us want to copy paste any of our influence, we just forget about them, and we try to make music by ourself. Of course, what we listen to is still acting in our creation, but in a more abstract way. Everything is blending together in our mind, our memory choose by itself what it prefer and remember the most, and then something come out !
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Well it is not really about if you play at fast tempo or slow tempo, but it is more about if you play articulate things with all instruments or not. When you play fast, or very articulate things with all instruments, you have to remember that everything has to sound in live condition, so everything has to be clear and cutting. When you play slower, or when you use atmospheric riffing or drumming, it is quiet the exact opposite, if everything is too sharp, it sound too light ! But the things is that you can have a fast drumming on an atmosphering and slow riffing, and that works too.
How does your music work in a live environment
-Well we hope it work great, as our music is for a good part composed live, in rehearsal. Romain always brings riffs already put together, but then we discuss a little bit…everything ! If it doesn’t sound during the rehearsal, most of the time we change things. If you want to be sure that your music works in live condition, don’t spread hours and hours during the rehearsal to make it sound great; probably you are just too focused on technique. Get back on the music, you will find others ideas.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-Well it depend. If you already have a lot of friends and contact in the music industry, mostly bookers/promoters and in the media, you don’t necessarily need a label. You can manage your own promotion and find gigs. But for us, being a part of Kaotoxin was great for exposure, to get reviews, and to have more gigs too. If we had released our album on bandcamp, I’m pretty sure we would have sold maybe 10 copies, no more. You know, a lot of label are doing this for the music, no to make money on your back. They invest money on your band, so of course at the end, they take their money on your CD and T-Shirt. If you can make their work, you don’t need a label. If you can’t, you need it.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-I don’t thing at all that the easy access has change the connection between fans and bands…and in a way, it is bad. Let me explain my though. Today, some bands, about the same, just rules the market and leave no room for others bands. People don’t want to hear more than the band they idols. In metal we don’t trust in god… oh really ? Then maybe you should a little bit take your distance with the couple of bands you love to discover others bands… even if the music is more accessible, it is still hard to exist on the market. The music is more accessible, but it is way more difficult to be creative, not because we are less creative, but because people don’t necessarily look for something creative. So I’m pretty sure that the problem is different for the accessibility of music. People who love a band still support them. Peoples that just want to listen something else for 20min go on the internet, and don’t support the bands they are discovering.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-To my opinion, to have to suggest severals interpretation, it have to contain a symbolique power. If you understand that there is a clear meaning when you see it for the first time, then there is something wrong. It is a drawing, or a picture, not a clear sentence. It have to leave some room for interpretation, without being meaningless.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-We feel this a little bit, as we have played a couple of french metal festival. But I guess, to feel like a part of a national scene, you need to be there for a couple of years, and we are still too new to be totally significant. Nevertheless, we have find people that trust in our music and us, and it means a lot ! Beside that, I guess the french metal scene is not too bad. Way too many people complain about it, but we have great bands, great show, good venues. Of ourse, not everywhere. There are some no man’s land of metal music in France ! Or in some city, it is hard to find a venue that suit your need, for example, they are very creepy one, or very big one. But well, it is the case everywhere !
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I’ve no idea, I guess we should not make great prediction about this. It is hard to say. Well on some new computer you don’t have a CD player inside ! But hey some days ago we had K7 player and other stuff that had disappeared today, so who know ? I guess we have to find others ways to find the money we need to make music, like to sell merch at the shows, if nobody buy CD anymore. Maybe people will buy only great artwork, not just like a 2D image on a CD box, but like a 3D sculpture, with a code written on it, which will allowed you to download the music on the internet ? Then you will still have a physical things linked to the music, and the music. At the beginning, the physical things attached to the music was a necessity : there were no other solution than to put the music on a physical support, which was then, an artwork. But now, the link between the physical thing and the music is freed. So, it also open new possibilities for the artwork.
What does the future hold?
-As soon as possible, we are going to work on our next album. We are still looking for shows, maybe more festivals than tour at the moment, but we are looking for shows in place we have never been yet. We are working on a video clip also, we have some ideas, and I’m very exited about them, so I do hope we are going to make it ! I really hope we are going to play together for at least 3 albums. We have a lot of fun together, and it is a huge pleasure to play music with these guys !