If you go back about 8 years, what are you most proud of? What has changed and what are the biggest challenges for you in the next years?
It’s weird to think it’s been already 8 years since we decided to create WHEELFALL ! Time flies… and I think it’s what I am the most proud of : we were friends when we start the band, and even if there were some line-up changes, we still are friends, bounded by passion. That’s really important for us to be passionate about what we do. The biggest change was of course this gap/hiatus between our first album “Interzone” and the second “Glasrew Point”: It takes time to become what we are, and I think “Glasrew Point” is what we are. I’m really proud of it, it took WHEELFALL to a higher level in the scene, and the challenge is now to keep releasing better and better albums and tour the whole world!
What was behind the driving forces behind you writing the material for your actual “Glasrew Point” album? Did you know when writing and recording the album that you had something special on your hands? “Glasrew Point” is really special and bizarre album…
Thank you a lot, I take it as a great compliment! Actually, before writing it, I got the idea of making an album which would be related to a book, with several original painting, photos. I really wanted to make a total work of art mixing literature, music, visual arts. It was kind of crazy to do that as an underground band, after a hiatus, with a big shift in our musical identity… But week after week, we done it and released it under our own label, to control every aspect of the album : a total freedom ! Musically, I only let myself speak, no borders, it felt natural… So much things to say, it ends up as a double album. The whole concept was already crazy, so why not haha! Now, taking a step back, I understand it is seen as a bizarre album : full of many emotions, influences, atmosphere, the length in itself, maybe not easy to listen. It was a real psychological journey to make it.
What was the writing process for this album like?
For the first time in WHEELFALL, I did everything musically (it explains a little the shift between “Interzone” and “Glasrew Point”), and brought the songs to the band, which helped me to arrange the whole thing and to sort the ideas. Even if now the writing process begins with me only, the other band members have a big part in this. It is the same process for the next album, I think we found our way to do, it’s really productive and things get only better!
Your sound is a diverse blend of sludge, post-metal and doom metal to simplify it. How would you class it and did it just evolve on its own or there was deliberate intent to go in this direction?
I think it was kind of natural, with me composing the whole thing, I just let my creativity flows with its influences. It was deliberate to allow me this freedom and it came as this ! Plus, the album follows a story (of the book we wrote), so I needed all my influences to musically illustrate it. Classifying it is always a little hard haha, but I often say that we’re an Industrial Post-Metal band : post-metal is a very vague term, but yes it’s for me an evolution from genres like postcore, doom metal, with experimental things, ambient etc. It’s sort of avantgarde, finally, a very modern thing that look forward. And Industrial because I think there’s a LOT of Industrial Metal influences (MINISTRY, GODFLESH, NIN) in our post-metal. So…that’s it!
Please, can you tell me something about mystical and occult face of your 2CD? Visuals seem to be very important in the WHEELFALL band, do you see music and visuals as a whole, enforcing each other and therefore as an art concept?
Absolutely, it’s an art concept. For me, visuals and music have to be parts of a whole. It’s only a different way to express an idea, it helps making a mythology, a world around the concepts. Basically, I compose the music as I make a movie (I direct sometimes some videos) : with a narration (with words or not), with an atmosphere and different points of view. And I really love to put myself in a thriller/horror type of atmosphere, feeling some mystery, let the imagination do its work. “Glasrew Point” is the most honest thing I could do.
Do you think that its graphic content of album release translate perfectly to the lyrical side? That I would see those images and relate them to a certain song?
I don’t know if it’s perfect, but I think the graphic side fits really well the music, and the lyrical side. The book we wrote for the album is not yet translated in English, but those who read it said that they easily associate one song with one paragraph or chapter… Which is really great! And the graphic side helps the listener to put himself totally in the “Glasrew Point” world.
How important is occultism for your life? Is it something like a philosophy, symbol of your lifestyle or arts confession?
I like the fact we have so much things we don’t know, things that are hidden to our eyes or way of thinking. In my lifestyle, philosophical skepticism is a real driving force. I think it’s really important to question everything and yourself in particular, to evolve, to make our own experience in this world, to become yourself in fact. And I put these beliefs in my music, not only lyrically, but in the way I create music/art.
What kind of film would you like your music to be featured as its soundtrack, either one that exists already or one that you’d envision for it? Which things give you maximum inspiration? Is there au underlying philosophy or criteria for what you will be producing?
Of course, for “Glasrew Point”, I hope there will be a movie about the story behind it! But if I had to choose, it would be a dark thriller with elements of horror. As many movies from David Fincher, or the great Kill List directed by Ben Wheatley. That kind of movie where the you don’t know really from where the menace comes from. Movies are a great form of inspiration, because they have the elaborate images, the movements, the sound, the soundscapes, the music…
Do you think its necessary to evolve too much as a band? What do you think about band, which prefere old school face (image, retro sound etc.) A lot of music today looks back to the past for inspiration…
I think that we all evolve, and music is a way to express ourselves. If that ‚ourselves‘ evolve, the music has to. If not, I think you betray yourself, simply. You’re not honest. I never understood those bands which keep doing the same things during 20 years! Speaking about this glorification of the nostalgia, I think it’s a really bad thing. You can use nostalgia to do new things, but glorify it like a time travel machine, I don’t like that… At the time, these bands wrote their music for their times, it’s clearly impossible to do as good as them, because we’re not living THEIR times. Plus, nowadays, if you want to listen a band from every decade or century you want, Internet allows us to do so. So why creating these erzasts? This is non-sense, in my opinion.
A lot of bands now days tend to take some drastic steps when evolving and often ending up in a total different genre. Is it way of your band too?
Between “Interzone” and “Glasrew Point”, yes it was very drastic, but it was natural. We did not change our genre to try new things. It was the way the music comes, simply. But I respect all this artists who want to try new things… I think 90% of my favorite artists are among these ! It’s very important to try something new, and see if we’re comfortable with it. The error is to not try !
Please, tell me what daily life is like for a french band your size? Is it difficult to do the things you want to do without having to live some sort of double life working and playing in a band? Can you introduce ideal condition for WHEELFALL?
The ideal conditions for WHEELFALL would be we can create and tour whenever we want, without think about paying bills. It’s very common for a band to have this goal but… It’s true! At the moment, the situation is not that bad honestly. I have a job which pay my bills well and which let me enough space to create music and tour, so actually, I’m kind of lucky. The next step would be to not need this job anymore. The other members have jobs too, it became a routine to have this „double life“, and the fact that we’re really passionated help us a lot in this, because it’s natural to take time for the band. It’s not an effort.
What is your opinion about the French metal scene? Are you satisfied with current situation?
The French scene is awesome. Believe me, there are tons of bands which are excellent, which could be at an international level (or already are). The issue here is the inability to play. It’s weird because we have so much excellent bands, but it’s so hard to make a gig… Sometimes I see bands that play in front of thousands of people outside the country, and when they’re here, only hundred. The French system for culture is a thing that politics have to improve, before it’s too late. In my city, there was, years ago, some great clubs ; today, they all closed. If I would play in my city now, I don’t know where I could do this. But I’m optimistic, there’s always a way. We have to think the things in different ways.
French presidential election 2017. It’s big theme… Could you tell us about any pranks and the reactions you received over there in your country?
This election was really special, over broadcasted, with tons of revelation about corrupted candidates, tons of weird things in the system… And for all that, it doesn’t shook the political class at all. As if they don’t care at all about the people and what we have to say. There is a real separation between the power and the people, the tricks are more and more visible and we have to be extremely suspicious about media. In WHEELFALL, it’s a theme often broached in the lyrics, so this election was very interesting to follow. And as a citizen from France, I really hope that we the people will do something about this unbearable situation. As I write, the right wing was beaten, happily, but there’s so much thing to do…
Are there any countries you’re interested in touring or performing in?
Yes ! We really want to tour in every Europe country, and I understood that we have a lot of fans in the USA and Canada, so it would be great to visit these country! We’ll release a new album in 2017 named „The Atrocity Reports“ with Apathia Records, so we plan to tour intensively for it.
As regards music, should we expect something really different in the next album comparing it with the previous one?
The new album is the continuity of “Glasrew Point”. Of course, it will not be the same album, it would be boring if so. I really loved recording this new album, and the result is awesome, mush more aggressive and more focus on this „Industrial Post-Metal“ thing! Can’t wait to reveal the first songs.
Thank you Fabien, it was a great pleasure doing this interview. All the best!
Than you a lot for theses questions, it was a real pleasure to answer to them ! Have a great day!