– Hello Annick, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the CAUCHEMAR’s camp right now?
Hey Tania, thanks to you for doing an article on us! Things have been quite active for CAUCHEMAR these days, we just came back from Chile where we did two gigs. Besides that, we are planning a tour in Europe for the spring and slowly working on new tracks for the next album…
– First off, as I bet some of our readers won’t know about you yet (as, though your first release, the «La Vierge Noire» was released in 2010 your debut full-length came out recently), would you mind to tell some history of the band?
Cauchemar is a metal band that was formed in 2007 in Montreal, Canada. We describe our style as heavy/doom, which is deeply rooted in the 70’s and 80’s metal scenes. Like you mentioned, we recorded our first five-song EP, «La Vierge Noire» in 2010. After a few gigs in Canada, François (the guitarist) and I went on a trip around the world that lasted 18 months. During this trip, we did shows in Colombia, Chile, Peru, India (all of these shows with local drummers and bassists). When we arrived in Europe, the other Canadian members joined us and we did 20 dates – one in Barcelona, and some festivals like Keep It True, Muskelrock, Heavy Days in Doomtown, etc. During the South American and Asian parts of our trip, we wrote 95% of our material that was going to be for our next album, «Tenebrario.» Upon our return to Canada, we reworked the songs with Patrick (drums) and Andres (bass), and then we recorded the record in January 2013. The album was released in June this year. We have since done more gigs in Canada, the US and a few more in Chile!
– Musically you are not reinventing the wheel, playing a really traditional kind of Heavy/Doom, anyway (besides the atmosphere), I think one of the elements that make you stand out is the lyrics, all of them sung in French. When decided to have lyrics in French did you ever think of this «uniqueness»? Moreover fits your music perfectly, giving an even more eerie vibe to it.
Thanks, I’m pleased to hear that it makes you feel that way. We wanted to sing in French because it is our own language, and also because there isn’t too many good heavy metal bands where we come from that sings in that language. We are huge fans of the 80’s metal scene from France (bands like Sortilège, H-Bomb, Blasphème, ADX) and wanted to show people locally that you can still sing in French and sound heavy and mysterious!
– Despite being a quite young band, you have already managed to tour Europe, South America, etc. Have your live shows opened any new doors for CAUCHEMAR? Have you noticed that on the coverage your debut album got?
Yeah, we got really lucky to be play so many gigs. We certainly see a difference in our fans, they are spread all a little bit everywhere in the world! It helped a lot to get our name out for the full length, especially in places like France and South America. I remember when we released our 12″ EP, nobody knew who we were and we had to spread our name out!
– This debut album is entitled «Tenebrario», and though it was released a few months ago, I’d like to dwell a little bit into it anyways. First off, now that it has been a while since it hit the street, what are your feelings on the result obtained with this record?
Personally, I’m really happy with the song writing, the artwork and the lyrics. I feel like the songs themselves could have had sounded stronger though, they were slightly different in my mind!
– If I remember correctly there were some delays with its release. What were some of the main reasons?
It’s the label itself that couldn’t release it as fast as we wanted it to be out… but that’s totally normal, most underground releases are delayed in some way or another. I’ve seen albums take a full year before being released – so we were lucky to have it out within 5 months!
– In general I could say it has European musical influences but, what could you say have been the most influential bands for CAUCHEMAR?
Yeah, most of our influences are from Europe! Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Sortilège, H-Bomb, Motörhead, Girlschool, Acid, Saint Vitus, Paul Chain, Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, Sorpions, Hawkwind, …and Rush! Haha.
– Compared to «La Vierge Noire» I would say «Tenebrario» keeps the same vibe and influences being heavier, darker and more «Metal», as the EP had a quite rocky feeling. Was this how you envisioned the album or did you just let things flow naturally?
It just came naturally, really! I think the production helps also, it makes everything sound much thicker than on the first EP. The drum sound really came out well on «Tenebrario» I think.
– In fact you wrote the album while on the «road». How did this affected the overall product?
It affected us tremendously. We were influenced directly from the things we were discovering and experiencing as well as bands we were getting into. We wrote many songs in Peru… there was so many things to see, to feel, and we lived in that country for two months. There is a great local Heavy Rock scene and it really influenced us to write more doomy songs! We were close to the sea, we visited ancient ruins, some catacombs… everything was there to inspire us.
– I ask so because you wrote it while having an over a year long trip through the world. Trips always move something on your inner self, and I guess your inner self is also reflected on your music so, what are some of the biggest «lessons» you learnt with this experience?
That’s right! We were 100% free, had no stress, and were discovering new things every day. The biggest lesson I got while traveling is that you don’t need much to be content. The less we own, the more happy it seems we are! Although I did miss my records a bit. Hehe
– All this about «Tenebrario» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Life, death, rebirth
– Last August took place the Wings of Metal festival, in Montreal, which you are co-promoter. How did everything go?
Wings of Metal was my first real experience organizing a festival. I don’t think I ever lost so much sleep over something in my life, but all that hard work turned out extremely well. We were able to gather a dream line-up with a mix of legendary names, as well as exciting new comers, and we were able to sell-out a few months before the fest went on! We did not lose any money, and had one hell of a good time. Seriously, everything went so smoothly and everyone was happy as hell. I kept things simple – one venue, one stage, central location, best sound. And I think people really appreciated that as well.
– You are also the author for «Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook», which I bet every metalhead on Earth has heard about. How did this singular idea arise? And was it an easy project to do and get the cooperation of those different bands and artists?
Haha yeah, it turned out to be a pretty well known book! The idea came one Sunday morning when I was going record shopping. Usually, I’m totally hungover on Sundays because I usually party or go to shows on Saturday nights. So my brain is not functioning properly… haha. Back then, I was really into buying new cookbooks and trying new recipes, so I would always look for used cookbooks when record shopping. Then the idea just dawn on me, in my poor hungover brain, to mix the two ideas together. A cookbook of metal bands! Asking bands for their favourite recipes! Why not! The whole day I was thinking about it, and I thought it was a great idea… so when i came back, I started writing down my favourite bands names in a list, and contacted them. It was surprisingly hard to get these recipes because they are not just like interview questions that you can respond in any situation – recipes you got to think about more, try in your kitchen to perfection, etc. I’m surprised I got so many! It was exciting times to check my mailbox all the time haha. It was a lot of fun.
– Besides all this, you also have and have had different fanzines, so you are aware of what’s going on into the Metal world. That’s why I would like you to suggest some interesting Canadian bands, as Canada had back in the 80’s a strong Metal scene with a lot of classic bands such as EXCITER or ANVIL among many others, but nowadays it’s also quite healthy with bands as CAULDRON or SKULL FIST just to name a few.
Wow! Yeah! I’ve been doing fanzines for almost 10 years now – my first ones were MORBID TALES (#1-#6) and then I switched on to LES TEMPLIERS (#1-#3). There are so many good Canadian bands… here, let me do a list: Rush, Sex, Thundermug, Anvil, Warpig, Exciter, Black Knight, Thor, Voïvod, Aceum, Witchkiller, Lord Ryur, Thunder Rider, Trop Féross, Deaf Dealer, Slaughter, Sacrifice, Piledriver, Razor, Aggression, Soothsayer, Outrage, Obliveon, Blasphemy, Gorguts, Megiddo, Goat Horn, Akitsa, Tombeau, Occult Burial, Bastardator, Iron Dogs, Chapel, Inepsy, Axxion, Chthe’ilist, and a million more that I’m forgetting and I’ll probably be regretting not to write them here haha!!!
– From Queens of Steel we have always brought special support and promotion to women into the Metal scene, so I can’t actually help asking you a couple of things in concern. First of all, could you say there’s discrimination into the Metal world? As even though many people respect and admire female Metal musicians doing their own thing, into the Metal world people tend to illustrate differences between both genres instead of highlighting similarities.
I often get asked about women metalheads being discriminated. To be honest, I don’t see that myself, but I think it really depends on the culture and the country where you live. In Canada, women that are into metal are totally respected, especially if they have good taste hehe. I think that in our modern times, men are not surprised about women being into metal anymore. It’s no big deal.
– And are there any female artists that have influenced you as musician and songwriter?
Hmm, not really that much, my vocal-style comes from nowhere really, and my I learned bass by playing along to Black Sabbath. But I do respect female musicians
tremendously! Especially guitarists and drummers! They are so rare, unfortunately!
– Finally, what are your near-future plans?
This spring, Cauchemar will be doing a mini-European tour, and then I’ll be spending a couple of weeks in Europe in the summer. I’m also working on Wings of Metal II, which will be at the end of August. We’ll start announcing band names in late December! So many plans!!
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
No problem at all! Hails to you Tania for writing an interesting interview, and for being dedicated to the metal scene. I also absolutely love the Spanish metal scene – with bands like MURO, BARON ROJO and especially SANTA!! Oh and more recently, PROCLAMATION. Salud, y muchas gracias!!!