Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
Mike-I really want people to enjoy it and connect with it. It’s fun to play it. There is nothing like getting goose bumps from a great song.
Julien-I hope they find a connection to the music. Weather it’s through relating to the lyrics or the feeling you get when you hear a piece of music that really speaks to you.
Monise-I just want people to enjoy it because I enjoy making it. I hope people feel a connection to it, because is a part of us. We put a lot of work into it. It’s a labour of love.
Pascal-I’d say our music is heavy rock, with a big accent on melody. i wish people has as much pleasure to listen to it as we have pleasure to write it.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
Pascal- i think i came with the name, Mike and i just came with a few names and we took the one that sounded the coolest. It was not hard.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
Mike-We all have very similar tastes in music but we also branch out. Myself for metal I am really influenced by Guns N’ Roses and the harder 80’s bands. Pantera is huge for me. I am also a product of the 90’s grunge and a lot of the Nu Metal bands. All that stuff still inspires me today. I am also influenced by our local scene. There are some great bands in this area.
Julien-Everyone in the band is a fan of the classic metal and rock bands. Maiden, Sabbath, Pantera etc. But beyond that, we all branch out in our own influences. Everyone in the brings their different personal influences to their song writing which is what makes us sound like us.
Monise-I grew up liking whatever my older sister listened to when I was really young, especially during the “grunge” era. She and my older cousins liked Guns & Roses and Metallica for a while so that was my first exposure to heavier music. Once I got into my teen years and beyond, I started listening to different bands like Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Nightwish, Epica, along with completely different styles of music like Tori Amos, Aretha Franklin, Fleetwood Mac, and whatever fits my mood. I like to take elements of different styles and make them my own.
Pascal- I always been influence by the Beatles and the whole progressive rock scene of the 70’s, but the late 70’s early 80’s metal scene, judas priest, iron maiden, queensryche is what did bring me to play that kind of music. my influences now are still priest and maiden because they keep writing some very interesting stuff, very clever stuff.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
Mike-I had joined a band that Pascal was drumming in. I don’t think there was a name for it yet. After a bit the bass player left and Pascal and myself just decided to keep going and try to build it. There was no real direction. We just wanted to make good music. The only sound we picked was “heavy” hahaha. The name just came later.
Pascal-We just took riffs that Mike and i had and just try to write the best song that we can, we did not have any plan, our goal was to write good stuff and find other peoples to play that music with, which was not easy here in Moncton we started in 2006, Julien came in 2010 and Monise in 2014. of course there has been other people before them, but this line up is the one
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
Mike-I think albums will always be a thing, at least eps, especially from new bands. Maybe a bigger established band could get away with only releasing single tracks. I prefer albums myself. But there is a shift for sure on how people listen to music. We may look at doing single tracks later. We don’t want to rule anything out.
Julien-Single tracks isn’t something we’ve explored yet. But I do see that being an option in the future.
Monise-I think releasing single tracks can be useful in creating a buzz for an upcoming album, and if people are willing to pay for the download, that can be helpful to the band to cover production costs and other expenses that come with being in a band. As for only releasing singles, I guess it all depends on the style of music. If you go in the pop world, it probably would make more sense, but in the rock and metal genres, as well as other genres, people still seem to want a full album. Many even still buying the physical copy. I know I enjoy having a cd or vinyl copy of my favourite bands. Sometimes I do feel like a random playlist of different songs, but then again, there is something to be said about putting on a cd or putting a record on the turntable and just letting yourself get taken away by the music and looking at the artwork and liner notes.
Pascal-i don,t know, when we start working on a new album, we treat it as a piece of work, a whole thing, we make sure to set the order of the songs right, each song must connect with the next one. I thing that more and more people in metal music like to listen to whole album, we are not in the pop scene, that is not for us.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
Mike-For me the art is very important. It’s the first thing someone sees before they really even hear anything. It should reflect the music and also be eye catching.
Julien-So far we have had a DIY approach to album artwork. If songwriters are also creating the artwork, the two mediums should have a connection.
Monise-We come from a very DIY kind of background, so for our album, Ascension, we did the artwork ourselves. I did the cover art, Julien, the bass player, added the band logo and text for the album name and song titles and all that, as well as the inside layout. I love making crafts and mixed media art so the guys asked if I would do something for the cover. I was super excited, but also very nervous about that because I was still new to the band at the time, and I had never done any artwork for anything other than my own enjoyment, but I gave it a shot. I really wanted to capture the feel of the music and create something different, and with the album title and some suggestions from the guys, I think I managed to make something that fit well.
Pascal-i think the art work must reflect the music, we don’t try to do something outrageous just to get attention or something like that, it has to reflect us and the music.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
Mike- Yes it has. There is still the traditional routes that are very important still, but you also have to have a very active social media network. It takes away some of the mystery but the trade off is that you are in contact with your fans 24/7 so you can connect with them in real time.
Julien-Social media plays a huge part in promoting the band. It’s the best way to promote upcoming shows and music releases. It’s also a great way to stay connected to our fans.
Monise-It definitely changed the game in general. We still use more traditional ways of promoting our music (playing shows, putting up flyers, sending our music to radio stations for airplay and to different publications for reviews, etc), but we also take use social media and other online resources such as sending our music to blogs and web radio. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Pascal- absolutely, it is a more do it yourself attitude, you can reach people anywhere in the world now of course they are still some conventional outlets, but a lot of magazines are publishing only on line now, so we can write our music, record it in our studio, get it mix, put it on line and send to mags that can critic it and promote it.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
Mike-Both. I love being in the band with these people. Also we have been able to meet and play with a lot of nice, very talented bands. Also to see the unity in the scene with everyone that comes out to support is great to see. It feels very special.
Julien-There is definitely a big network of musicians and fans that keep the rock and metal scene going. Every time we go on tour, we meet more and more people that are as passionate as we are.
Monise-Absolutely! My bandmates have become dear friends and since I joined the band, I’ve met so many great people. I went for a long time without doing anything musically, so being here now has been an amazing experience. Our region has a great scene, even though sometimes it can be difficult to find places to play with venues closing or changing ownership/management, but the ones that remain are excellent and the people are awesome!
Pascal-Of course, what is the point of playing music all by yourself, great bands are great because of the sums of the members in those bands, if it was just one person, every solo album would do better than that band’s albums, but it rarely does.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
Mike- We play and tour as much as we can. Touring and gigging gives people a chance to see you live, which is where I think we shine the brightest. There is no feeling like seeing a band live. It’s and experience you share with the band and the people around you.
Julien-We want to tour as much as we can. It’s a great way to spread the word. We always gain more fans and friends with every tour we do. It’s also a great way to make connections with other bands.
Monise-We do tour, so far mostly eastern Canada but we’re looking to branch out into new markets. I’ve been on 2 tours with the band since joining. The first one went very well and the second one went even better, so I would say touring is definitely still a great way of spreading the word. I’ve had people tell me they’re fans of our music, but the live show is even better. That’s an awesome thing to hear because we love performing so we’ll keep playing until we can’t.
Pascal-We try to play as much as we can and we have been doing a short tour, 4 to 7 dates in other provinces for the last 3 years. We try to make it profitable enough that we don’t lose money, break even. and yes it is a great way of reaching a new audience.
What will the future bring?
Mike-Hopefully lots more shows and tours. We all love to do it. We would love it to become bigger so we could do it more often and be able to sustain it. Being on Sliatrick Records now we hope that it helps us grow. We are working on figuring out how to get to Europe as soon as possible.
Julien-A big milestone we are working towards is to make the trip to Europe for a tour. We have just signed to Sliptrick Record and have a new album in the works. The future looks good!
Monise-Well, I can’t say for sure, but I hope we can keep making music and playing it for people. Hopefully we can reach more people in different places and make some new fans. We’re recording some new material and working on a video, planning more shows and just doing what we love.
Pascal-our album ascension will be release in April by sliptrick records, we are now recording the new album. we have a few gigs in April and May, and we are planing an other summer tour for August. so we keep ourself busy, like a shark, we keep swimming, if the shark stop swimming, it sink to bottom and dies. And that’s not gonna happen with us.