úterý 24. října 2017

Interview - BENIGHTED - Each album is about a single story of a man, his childhood, the genesis of his pathology and the symptoms.


Interview with death metal band from France - BENIGHTED.

Answered Julien Truchan.

Translated by Markéta, thank you!

Recenze/review - BENIGHTED - Necrobreed (2017)


Ave BENIGHTED, ave Julien! Right on the beginning, I have to say that your latest album “Necrobreed” is great. I have not heard such a pressurized and insane album for a very long time. I have it at home, in my car and even in work in many formats and I listen to it every time I need new energy. How are you satisfied with your new album and how are the fans´ reactions? 


Thank you so much for such a great compliment man, we are very proud of this album and so far the reactions are amazing! Apparently “Necrobreed” is considered by most of the fans as our most brutal and insane act. I would say that we gave birth to our most dark and tortured album which can definitely be considered as the audio version of a psychotic horror movie.


Personally, this album is a perfect album. The sound is great but also the ideas and the cover. How do BENIGHTED compose and how was the process of composing the new album? It seems to me that with each album you have a different line-up in your band. Who has the lead word in your band and is the one who can say – this song is good, let´s leave it like that?

Benighted takes so much time and energy that it’s sometimes difficult to follow the rhythm so it’s hard to keep a constant line-up through the years but so far, each change was for a better good so I won’t complain. I am still the only former of the band but the chemistry that makes it work when we write each new album is that everyone in the band has his word to say and we write songs in a very democratic way. Each member’s influences are richness for writing process. For example, for “Necrobreed”, Manu our guitarist wrote main of the riffs and we decided all together about the structures of the tracks, breaks, arrangements… with everyone’s ideas until it’s the most effective possible.


In the spring I saw you in Prague where you played in the club Modrá Vopice and I have to say that you mature like a good wine. You performance was just excellent. You managed to bring the spirit of your albums to the stage. I felt like I was visiting an abandoned psychiatric hospital where there is blood flowing down the walls and in the corridors you can hear the screams full of suffering. An absolute massacre. How did you enjoy the concert? Did you visit Prague also? Did you like it here?

It was for our European tour with Wormed, Unfathomable Ruination and Omophagia! I keep an unforgettable memory of that gig! The crowd was so great and was as possessed as us on stage! I loved it! Aand we had such a good time with you guys after the show, I can’t wait to be back to Praha! We unfortunately had not a lot of time to visit but I was already amazed by the beauties you have in this city!

The second time I saw you was on the Nice to Eat You festival where you totally crushed me. You were one of the main bands there. I do not remember it 100% because I was quite drunk but I enjoyed it so much! We even met and talked for a while. Julien, you seem like a devil on the stage, but in normal life you are very nice person. Do you have to somehow prepare yourself for a performance on the stage? The “transformation” is amazing.

Ah ah! Then you saw the both sides of me. People around me in my professional or personal life know me as a very sweet and careful person, calm and friendly. Benighted is the way for me to let go all the violence I have got inside and make it something positive. I don’t have any preparation or warming up before going on stage, it just switches instantly when I grab the microphone surrounded by my brothers.


I have to admit that when you played live the song “Hush little baby” and you started to swing an imaginary baby in your arms, I got chills. I still cannot get the melody out of my head. It reminds me a horror movie but I cannot figure out what movie. Or is it your own creation? And then, the woman´s voice, who is that? See, I am just writing about it and I already have chills again. 

I love this intro! “Hush Little baby” is a popular American lullaby that you sing to the kids to help them sleep… I think I heard that several times but I only remember Texas Chainsaw Massacre (remake). A friend of mine sang it for us, her name is Asphodel, she is amazingly talented and can do everything with her voice. We recorded the whole intro to make it exactly like we wanted, this kind of old horror movies stuff where the mom gently calls the kids for dinner and once they are inside and the door is closed, real things happen…

There is one really interesting thing for me and that is that you perform without shoes. Why? Is it like your ritual? Do you have any other rituals?

I do that since the very beginning of Benighted. It makes me feel real animal on stage and I love the feeling of the vibrations under my feet.


Julien, you have a very variable voice – from your albums and also alive. You can go from deep death to black scratching or to grind scream. Do you practice somehow? Do you have a teacher of singing? It has to be really difficult – physically also. My colleague just whispered to me that I should ask you where do you have the power inside of you? So, where?

I worked a lot on my vocals to be able to manage every extreme style and make it interesting for the Benighted songs. I never had any teacher or something, I work by myself. The purpose is to be coherent with the basis schizophrenic concept of the Benighted lyrics. I would never record something on an album that I am not able to reproduce on stage, especially when I switch style of vocals without breathing. The only thing that it asks is to be physically healthy, but I love sports, played rugby almost my whole life so for now it’s pretty ok! Ah ah!


I saw you play with the drummer Romain Goulon who is for me one of the best drummers. Looking on his performance is absolutely amazing. How did you get together? Is he and will be a permanent member of your band?

He was official member, but unfortunately because of some neurological problems at his ankle that appeared while we were touring and threatened to become kind of constant if we continued to play that often, we had to stop with him and we are looking for a new one. I was pretty sad about it because he is definitely one of the best extreme drummers on earth…

I saw that you played in Moscow this year. In the Czech Republic there are some legends about Russia – a lot of vodka, mad fans, a huge country with rules which are different than in our country. How did the concert go and how did you liked Russia? I cannot help myself and I have ask – did you saw Lenin in the Mausoleum?

We had such a killer time in Russia and the cool fact is that we had time to visit a lot, which was pretty cool! You are right about everything, vodka, crazy fans… In Moscow in particular the crowd was totally unleashed and it took almost an hour after the show before we could actually get off from stage because the fans invaded the stage to make photos with us and sign stuff, it was amazing! About Lenin, we only saw his statue, not the Mausoleum. But both Saint-Petersburg and Moscow are beautiful cities!


Somewhere I read that you work on psychiatry, Julien. I has to be very difficult and demanding job. How do you handle it? Does BENIGHTED´s music somehow reflects your job? Can you give us an example of lyrics which are connected with your work?

That’s true, I am a nurse in a psychiatric hospital but the balance between my work and Benighted is just perfect as I use music a lot to help my patients and all my inspiration for the lyrics in Benighted comes from my professional experience of the mental pathologies. Each album is about a single story of a man, his childhood, the genesis of his pathology and the symptoms. For “Necrobreed” the concept is inspired with the true story of one of my schizophrenic patients who thinks he can be pregnant and has hallucinations about giving birth to children at his home who are not there anymore the day after. So the story I wrote is about a schizophrenic man who stitches dead animals to his belly and when he feels the warmth of the infection burning, he thinks he gave them life again, cut the stitches off and gives them a place in his house, building his own-bred-dead-family. He finds those animals on the side of the road most of the time and the theme of his delirium comes from his childhood. As he was 9, he was abducted for 2 hours and brought back to the same place and the only comfortable memory his mind kept from this unspeakable moment was a dead cat on the side of the road he was string at to try to forget what he was submitted to…


I had not listen to your music until you started to play death metal mixed with grind and black. But originally you were just a black metal band. Why did you decided for this change and how would you describe the evolution of BENIGHTED? 

It’s almost 20 years ago, black metal was way more present in our music than nowadays and I would say that maybe it took one or two albums to find our real musical identity… We didn’t really think about anything, just wanted to play extreme brutal music and things went pretty naturally by themselves.

I love your country, culture, monuments and beautiful girls. But during the last years France happened to be like a well of great metal music. You play music a little bit differently than other bands. I like SVART CROWN, DEATHSPELL OMEGA, but also the veterans like MERCYLESS, or new bands like RITUALIZATION, SKELETHAL…there is a lot of great bands – how is that possible? It is because of the wine?  Can you mention any other good bands? Do you see any differences between playing concerts in other countries and in France? 

We are pretty lucky to have a great metal scene now in France in every metal style! I think French bands for almost 10 years now propose a way more personal music, there less and less bands just trying to reproduce the music of a fashionable American band just because “that’s the big thing for now that people likes”… I would mention also my brothers from Blockheads, Inhumate, Recueil Morbide or Deluge.


In the autumn you will play in the Czech Republic (3.11 – Litoměřice and 4.11 in České Budějovice). I cannot wait for your performance and I hope we can meet again. What are other plans for BENIGHTED for the next few months? Do you work on any new material? I will soon need another portion of your music! :)

We are actually thinking about a new material to celebrate our 20 years of existence in 2018. We have a lot of upcoming gigs for “Necrobreed” promotion, like an Asian Tour in November, lots of festivals for 2018, we’ve just been confirmed for the 70 000 Tons of Metal Cruise which will be pretty funny, and we also have an American tour in July and European one in October then. And in exactly 2 weeks, we will record another twisted and deranging vidoeclip which should be out at the beginning of the year.


Thank you so much for the interview and for your great music and I wish BENIGHTED to have a lot of sold out concerts, mad fans who will broke your hands for your merch. I wish you a good luck, success and well-being in your persona lives. 

Thank you so much bro! Hope to see you in November at the gigs in Czech Republic! Thanks to all our Czech fans for their support, you are amazing!