French metal hASYLUM PYRE has always tickled my fancy. Nothing new about that in 2012. Whenever a French band comes my way I pay extra careful attention to them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
OK let us start with a short introduction of the band Asylum Pyre?
Asylum Pyre : So, we are Asylum Pyre from France. The band exists since 2007 and we play Melodic Metal with many influences in Power, prog, heavy, ambient or Speed Metal. We are 6 in the band:
Chaos Heidi as main and female vocalist
Johann Cadot as guitarist and male vocalist
Herve Schiltz as a guitarist
Tony Decaillon on Keyboards
Julien Peuch is our Bassist but he is currently replaced by Olivier Louis-Servais as Julien has just become a father!
Finally on drums we are currently working with 2 session drummers (Vincent Kreyder, who has recorded the album, and Jean-Pierre Lecarpentier)
We released a first Album “Natural Instinct?” in 2009, which has received many good reviews worldwide. We try to write songs that have different parts and that give emotion through atmospheres and melodies. For further information about us go and check our website: www.asylumpyre.com or our facebook page (www.facebook.com/asylumpyre)!
I don’t really care what gender the members are but do you feel that lately there’s been a bigger interest for female-fronted metal bands ?
Asylum Pyre : We don’t really know… If this can bring us more listeners, that’s good news! But we just hope it won’t discourage others… You know, concerning the female vocals scene, sometimes, just because you have a female singer, you are immediately put into a little box and we are a bit tired of this. We play metal and have a female singer behind the microphone, that’s all. We don’t want to sound like Nightwish or Within Temptation even if we like their music.
Imagine something lost in the middle between Helloween and Pain of Salvation with varied female vocals…
Chaos Heidi : As a female singer I would say bands like Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica and so on brought something new a few years ago and with them followed a passionate trend, particularly in symphonic metal style, which is lately sometimes criticized and denigrated because there’s many female-fronted bands and some of them are accused not to be creative at all! People kind of react like this: “oh please, a female-fronted band, AGAIN??” But I’ve never heard anybody saying “oh please, a man-fronted band, again?”. So I would say there’s more or less interest for female-fronted bands depending on the kind of music that plays the band, not exclusively due to the fact the singer is a woman!
What is the hardest part getting started as a band?
Johann : I’m not very experienced for Asylum Pyre is my first and only band. But I would say, finding the right people with some common tastes in music, common goals… and working in a good atmosphere … And never give up!
Chaos Heidi : To make good quality music! That’s a good start! Be sincere with the music you play and then try to meet your audience. Quality and sincerity is the very beginning for me. You may have good or bad luck, meet the right people or not, be on the right place or not, be appreciated by people or not… all of this can have an influence on your career, but in the first place you must have something to say.
How do you know that you’ve found the right kind of label to sign with?
Asylum Pyre : Time will tell! (Laugh) It’s a great honor for us to be signed on a Label like Massacre Records who has been in the metal world for more than 20 years now! They offer us the possibility to be known and have our album released worldwide. So we are happy with that and things are going very well with them so far!
When you are in the studio recording what is the hardest part? How do you know when to stop and to get on to the next?
Chaos Heidi : The hardest part is when you can’t stand anymore listening to the same chorus for the 100th time!! Hehe. Sometimes it’s hard to make up your mind between a take and another, so you have to listen to it dozens of times and it really can drive you insane! More seriously I really had fun recording the vocals in the studio, so nothing really seemed to be hard or unpleasant. In fact I am really looking forward to go on recording again!
Johann : I quite agree with Heidi. In addition, when you want to make everything professionally it takes a lot of time. And time passes too fast! That’s quite stressful.
But when you are in the studio and you can hear that something good is happening and songs sound better than you’ve ever imagined, you want more and more! It’s the lack of time that makes you stop!
How competitive is your local/national scene? Do you feel that there is a camaraderie between the bands?
Chaos Heidi : As nobody asks people to choose between 2 bands, so there should be a place for every band! I’m sure there’s sometimes jealousy and those kind of feelings between some bands, but it’s not leading anywhere! Actually we can easily find bands to play with and things are very pleasant! We sometimes share tips, advices, network or addresses… Some bands are more supportive than others, but in general I can’t say there’s a unhealthy competition between the bands, it’s more emulation, I think.
How do you find your niche in this universe that we call metal? How do you make your mark?
Johann : As previously said, we are in the middle of many styles. I think that our mark is to be able to mix them with coherence so as to create our own identity. Our songs are rich and tell stories. There’s always an evolution within a same song. We want each part to be the best, melodic and with the right atmosphere that fits with the lyrics.
Be catchy but not easy or simple is the equation we want to solve!
What is the hardest in promoting your band today with all the social media and their ?likes?? How do you know if it is real admiration and not just virtual?
Johann : Whatever you do, the hardest part is to find money or earn a little with what is left after illegal download and the increasing amount of bands.
Everyone who plays a bit of an instrument is able to start a band today… It brings confusion everywhere.
But social medias are very useful for us and a great way to promote our music worldwide. Is this admiration or virtuality… I think it’s all the same than for people… Something around 50/50 !
Chaos Heidi : All those social medias on the Internet could make people think it makes things easier for the bands, but I’m not sure it really is… I think it’s really hard to get known because people are assailed by requests by plenty of bands every day, from very beginners to bigger bands! How could they make a choice? Social medias are a useful tool, of course, but bands need support from people or organizations that have credibility and a good network like labels, medias, promoters, booking agencies and so on to really have the possibility to reach many people.
What kind of touring opportunities are there for a band these days? Is it just festivals and package tours?
Chaos Heidi : Well I think it depends on the band! I think as we’re still newcomers we have to work hard for touring. Great opportunities unfortunately don’t drop down from heaven! Presently we book our shows ourselves. Festivals are most of times great opportunities but the more the festival is big the more it’s hard to get booked on it! In a first phase, we’re booking shows in our own country, in France, and our point is to meet the largest audience possible by playing in different kind of areas and venues in the country. Then we’ll also apply on festivals and venues in other countries and we hope everything is gonna work out! If a booker is interested in working with us, feel free to contact us!!
What kind of future do you see for the band?
Johann : In near future good shows where we can share our music with as many people as possible! And have fun with them in France, in Europe and maybe further. And other albums! We are already working on it… And the first songs let us hope for the best! But maybe we can talk about it in a next interview after the shows… but I already thank you for this one!
Chaos Heidi : The best, possibly? We would like to make a 3rd album, go on growing, attracting more and more fans, playing gigs not only in France but in other countries in Europe.