WHYZDOM is a French band that has been around a while now hence people should know of them. If not read this interview with Vynce. © 2016 Anders Ekdahl
As I am not at all familiar with your band perhaps you could introduce it?
-Sure ! Thank you for this interview ! We are a french symphonic metal band, based in Paris. We started in 2007, and have released three albums since then. The first one “From The Brink Of Infinity” was signed on Ascendance Records in the UK and the two others : “Blind?” and “Symphony For A Hopeless God”, on Scarlet Records in Italy. We have played on some nice stages in Europe, opening for several renowned band like Epica, Tarja, Delain, Sirenia, Draconian and more.
Our music is a blend between modern heavy metal and pure symphonic orchestral music. I mean, not a few synthetic patches of strings played on top of regular metal songs, but songs really based on orchestra sounding like a real one, with metal band sounding like part of the orchestra.
We are fronted by the lovely Marie Mac Leod, a great mezzo soprano. Though she’s a fully classical trained singer (think Tarja Turunene), she sings 90% of the time with her rock voice, and sometimes even grunts.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-Finding a name was quite easy actually. One important thing for us is the concept of contrast. As a contrast to the power and the anger of metal music, we thought that the idea of wisdom was really nice. We opted for a different spelling simply to draw attention.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of metal you play? What inspires you today?
-All musicians of Whyzdom actually come from a progressive background. The bands that turned us to music are to be found amongst band like classic Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Queen, and so on. More recently, progressive turned to metal, with bands like Dream Theater or Symphony X. I don’t think we specifically find inspiration in other bands these days. Symphonic metal genre has shrunk these days, and while bands seem to go in a less symphonic direction, we are going exactly the opposite way : more symphonic, more epic. So I guess we go our own way, and I think it’s rather a good thing.
What is the advantages/disadvantages of cd verses vinyl these days of internet promotion?
-For the moment, we are only distributed on CD, not vinyl. But things evolve very quickly these days. Buying a CD is now considered as a way of supporting an artist and to get a sort of “collection item”. In this regard, pressing a vinyl version sounds like an interesting option in the future. And we just hope that people who like our music purchase it legally on the internet.
Is digital killing the album format?
-I don’t think it can kill the album format. At least not in strong genres like metal. When we work on new music, in Whyzdom, we always prepare many songs, and then chose a dozen that we want to share with our fans. An album with 10 or 12 songs is exactly what I like when buying music from my favorite artists. One hour is more or less the ideal length in my opinion… a album. By the way, it’s the same for the movies. Typical length for films is around 80 – 90 minutes… This will not change, whatever internet does.
What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-In Whyzdom, artwork is very important. We work a lot on the whole coherence of our universe. It’s not limited to music. For example, we work with a great artist on the dresses our singer wears, and also pay a lot of attention to our music videos. When we release an album, we try to make the most immersive creation that we can. And we try to reproduce this atmosphere on stage too, trying to include some theatrical ideas.
Is it a whole different way to promote a cd today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-Social media channels are a very positive thing when you want to get heard. Word of mouth can work very well there. And we like a lot to chat with our fans and friends all over the world. But obviously, this would be meaningless if we didn’t play as often as possible live, and meet people in the *real life*. I think both are very complementary. We often see out our gig people we met on social media !
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-In the case of female fronted metal, this is very clear. We are totally part of the international scene – which is quite small, by the way. We have fans all over the world from the USA to Europe, Africa, Japan… And that’s really a cool thing !
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-Gigging is very important for us. We have approximately 15 gigs per year. That’s where our music comes to life. It’s not only to spread the word, but more simply because, we have the feeling of “being alive” on stage. It wouldn’t make sense to make all this music and just sit back behind our computers in a virtual world.
What will the future bring?
-We started working on our fourth album. We are very impatient to share new songs with our fans !