Among the surprises of this early part of the year are the French Asylum Pyre, whose fifth album captured all my attentions, so much so that I was induced to learn more about them, thanks to the availability of Johann Cadot, guitarist and male vocalist of the band..
I want to talk about your new album starting out. I think you have a great album out and I think it’s probably one of the best albums I heard in the first quarter of 2023. Well … I just want to know how happy you are with the final product.
First of all, thank you very much for that ! Well, we are very happy of the result. Maybe most of all because the feedbacks are awesome ! :)
Not all of our readers might know you guys, so maybe you could start off and tell us a bit about the background for Asylum Pyre?
Well, just in a few words, we're born round 2005, we have just released our fifth album and, though, at the beginning we were into Operatic epic Metal, today we play what we ironically call Modern & traditional Power Speed Electro pop Metal (with tribal touches). We are 5, classical, Drums, bass, 2 guitars and a lead female vocalist! With Additional programmation and male lead vocals too.
Well... to me this sounds just like "Minipimer Metal" :) ... what were your musical influences early on? How about now?
At first bands like Helloween, Blind Guardian, Pain of Salvation, etc. Now we’ve added elements from modern metal, extreme metal and pop music.
What is you creative process? It does seem not so easy to create your single songs, right?
Well indeed, it’s a long task! :D Most of the time come up with the first version of the songs with lyrics, a main structure and main melodies and riffs and then we work on it, complete the missing vocal parts, arrange the rhythm section and change everything until we are satisfied by the results!
I notate and appreciate your great efforts on vocals lines, which are really complex, how much time do you spend on them and how you choice how have to be sung the various parts?
Thanks a lot ! Sometimes the line comes naturally it is often the starting point of a song in fact. Sometimes there are part without lyrics and we co-design it with Oxy and her sensitivity. The share is often natural. I often do the demo by singing everything and when a part really fits me I may keep it but otherwise, Oxy is and will remain the main singer as she has great vocal capacities.
Last but not least , the share may be done according to the story we tell !
And how important are the lyrics in your creative process?
Very important, for a us a song is a combination of words, melodies a and atmospheres that have to fit the lyrics. In addition, we develop a full story about the earth, so the lyrics are really important. It impacts a lot the atmospheres.
"Call Me Inhuman - The Sun - The Fight - Part 5" should be a concept placed in a pre-apocalyptic world, so there are a lot of strange titles between the songs. Can you tell us few words about each one of them, for example what about "A Teacher, a Scientist & a Diplomat"?
For this, I invite you to take a look at our websites and on our social media where we will explain each song but, to sum it up, we follow the Fighters, the resistance united in M.E.T.A.L. (aka My Eternal Trees Amok Legions) that tries to save what can be saved on our beloved earth. It’s a call to save Gaïa. In “A Teacher, a Scientist & a Diplomat”, we sum up what would be a direction to follow if we really want to. Use science, have a global vision, a global care for everyone, spread it to everyone and synchronize everyeone wherever you come from. That’s why a diplomat is mandatory.
What are the changes, musically, between the earlier albums and the new one? ... ok: "saying that the new one is better", isn't enough!!
The story evolve. We evolve. We have added many elements from tons of musical areas from Jazz to black metal and funk or power metal. Most of all, this album has been created with a stable line up taking into account the identity of every member ! Also it has been written exactly for Oxy’s voice.
I found very well done the recording and production of the album too ... a really clear and sharp sound, what about these?
Thanks a lot, we’ve worked closely with Angelo Emanuele Buccolieri our sound engineer and Mika Jussila at Finnvox. In addition, Fabien (HED) and P-E (WIK) are also into sound engineering. So it has helped!
Mixing more than 100 tracks per song was a challenge that Angelo managed very well and we’ve spent a lot of time on every detail. We are really happy about it.
What was the inspiration for the artwork and for the "very long" title and how do these relate to the themes of the various songs that constitute the album?
Yes, it is like a summary of all the songs. We wanted to express the atmosphere of the lyrics, of the album title while keeping this female character that symbolizes Gaïa, mother earth!
You have realized "Call Me Inhuman" as a self-production. Considering the value of the album, I can't imagine that you didn't find a label interested in supporting you, and I think it was an intentional choice on your part... or am I wrong?
We wanted to work with a big label but none of them wanted us. Not bankable. To quote them: “Your album is good but you don’t have enough spotify followers”. It almost killed us at the beginning of 2022. Instead of choosing a small one, we decided to go by ourselves.
How hard is it to be a band struggling to get noticed in today’s cauldron of bands all over the place?
Well, the previous answer may give you a clue! :D It is very hard. There are plenty of good bands, 50 metal albums are released each week. Our card is to go for creativity and originality. It may be a good choice. Not a choice in fact. It is just us and we decided to be ourselves.
And how important do you see it for bands to make videos nowadays? Sure, it's one of the better ways to get your band promoted around, for example the video of "Fighters" gives us a vision on the live attitude of the band, right?
Videos are really important nowadays. We have to propose images! Quality images. In our videos we tend to be a lot quieter than on stage, we try to set an atmosphere that fits with the album. Maybe we’ll do a real live video some day!
Come on, have you just written new material? Tell us some curiosity about the next album...
We will try to evolve while keeping the same spirit and atmosphere. We won’t do “Call Me Inhuman 2” but sure there will be bridges. We’ll explore new musical horizons. We really enjoy it! Maybe try to challenge ourselves in song’s structure too!
What is coming next for Asylum Pyre? Is there a tour planned, festivals and such?
We are slowly building it. A few fests at the beginning of the summer and more at the end of the year. We are really looking forward to it!
To end this interview, do you have anything you’d like to say to your Italian fans?
Yes ! So far we’ve never played in Italy. That’s unbelievable but we are really craving for it. We hope it will be the good occasion. With Italians friends, fans and our sound engineer we must manage to do it!!
Thank you so much... I really wish you all the best for the future!
Thanks to you!! Hope we’ll meet soon.