Finally, after that great first album entitled “Vana Vigala Loits”, you decided to unleash this second opus. How do you feel towards it? Has been the response good?
Explosion of Elements is our second album, and i feel very proud with this release! Without being arrogant, i think this is music and it deserves many listenings to really match the point!! In fact, each album man listen to should be deeply listened for the best understanding of secrets of music! Most of the reviews has been good, sometimes it wasn’t, and i’m sure it’s only because lot of people are dumb! Ha! It’s crazy how i see sometimes people listening to music, it’s a real lack of respect for what i see as the expression of magical way of living, transcendantal aspiration!
Music is something serious, and it’s a shame to see how things are nowadays with Her, how people could “listen to” shit! So... you see i’m really happy when in the second question you’ll ask me about the “progressive” elements of our music, it shows you really listened to our album! Hehe!
Right now, our EP The Third Escape has been unleashed by Blood Harvest rec, with 3 new and exclusive songs, and i’m even more proud of those new songs! It was a real pain for our band brain to procreate them, not the easiest part of my life!
“Explosion Of Elements” shows again the quite unique style of Bloody Sign, which can seem quite raw and straight aggression at first listen but which has a lot of technique and progressive elements too if one pays attention. How would you describe Bloody Sign’s music? Sometimes I've seen your music being defined as Black Metal, do you agree with that? I don't see so much Black Metal in your music, maybe only some guitar parts which can remind a bit to it...
Thanks for noticing the “progressive” elements! Very few people told it to me! I think it’s something very important in our music! of course it’s death metal, but there are a lot of harmonies, specific chords, weird rhythms, which are influences from our inner selves and also due to the fact we listen to a lot of other shit than extreme metal! It’s not done really on purpose, but it’s in us, so… we just let it speak! I know people are sometimes defining some black metal parts, but… well, I listen to all metal genres, and sometimes death and black metal are absolutely not far from each other! Also, I am very interested to play with chords structures, and usually people refer this kind of stuff to black metal! Actually it’s not, just specific chords with morbid feeling inside!
Hard to describe the music of Bloody Sign, I would maybe say dark death psychotic/psychedelic/nightmarish/dreamy/cloudy metal! At least that’s what I would love to do! Haha!
I think the best way is to listen to our brand new EP out on BLOOD HARVEST rec, it really shows the darkest stuff we did, and also all those weird chords, melodies and rhythms. That’s our path, and the next album will definitely be more and more in this way.
Music is a quest in life, made of several paths which should lead you to the darkest landscapes of secret understanding of life and death! That’s my believe! I live for music and have so much respect for her!!!
Again, I think the production had a big role on the highly aggressive sound of Bloody Sign, as you don’t use the same kind of sound most Death Metal bands do, from the Brutal ones with a cleaner one to the typical old-school ones which search that Swedish kind of production. Where was this new album recorded? Did you achieve the kind of production you wanted for “Explosion Of Elements”?
The album has been recorded in north Italy, at Dissonant studio, owned by guys from the technical death metal band Illogicist! I’m quite divided when it comes to the production! I wish it could have been rawer and more eerie! It was really great to record, and the sound guy was very cool, but at the same time he’s absolutely not in our way to see how our death metal should sound, and sometimes it was hard for him to understand words like “more reverb” haha!
Of course I really don’t want to have a typical death metal sound, I want my own sound! I don’t have really words to tell what I want, just pictures, or let’s call it abstraction! I like when the sound is like a circle, round, rooted in the earth, but with the magical power to invade celestial landscapes like a triangle attack!
But what I like in our album is the organic overall sound, and a kind of eerie! For our next album I really want something between this sound and the sound on our last ep, which is really dark, intense, devilish, a bit chaotic too! A mix of both would be great!
The album was again released under Ibex Moon Productions, the label Of John McEntee from Incantation, and which European office you are managing by the way. How did your friendship and collaboration start with such an underground god as him? How is all working by your side? What are you exactly doing?
Well, when we recorded our first album, I sent some copies to some of the bands I respect the more! Before that I never had any contact with mc entee! So he received a copy of the album, and then he wrote to me he wanted to release it on his brand new label IBEX MOON RECORDS! That’s the story!
I sent the copy to mc entee because since my teenage era I was crazy about Incantation, and listened to their album all the days!
So, right now I try to spread the music of Ibex Moon Rec in European zine, webzines, distro here and there! But it takes time to collaborate on the right time schedule…
I don’t think it’s quite usual to find a Death Metal band speaking about nature or things which are not so related to death, gore and 2rench2m, so I’d like to know a bit more about your lyrics and concept of Bloody Sign’s music. Where do you take your influences from? Do you reflect your inner thoughts on them?
Definitely! Lyrics from Bloody Sign are almost the way I see life 100%! I never was into gore, Satanism stuff, and speaking about nature in Bloody Sign’s music is absolutely not linked to frozen landscapes and Vikings or Celts!
Our lyrics, are based on what I think is an own way of paganism… the real topic in our lyrics deal with elements of nature, symbols, signs, a kind of own polytheistic view of things. It’s more the way to create your own cosmology, which is a mix with appolonian/dionysiac thoughts within art, the power of secret nature’s key to the understanding of life and death. The way we see paganism is more a freedom to have your own freedom, with your own rules. So, polytheism is the right word!
I’m interested by ancient cultures, civilizations, myths from all over the world, for example I am really into inca civilization, and the specific “cosmic” way of living, or ancient middle eastern cultures, or India!
Influences are very varied, but when it comes to me, the big magisterial influence is French writer Antonin ARTAUD, which is I think one of the only real crazy mystic of XXth century, with symbols, magic poetry, paths of the unknown, death, life! Also influences are taken from interest in old civilizations, old greek philosophers, Orpheus myth, India, Taoism, Nietzsche and the will of power, way of how art should be (concepts of Apollonius and Dionysus), kafkaian absurd, 3rench existentialism… it’s endless arghhh!
And also, everything linked to the music! Music is a lyrical inspiration! Music has always been linked to all kind of ceremonial moments in life… music for life, music for death, music for weddings, birth for example! There’s always music in all kind of rituals, music has always been see as something dark, I mean it opens the gate of specific knowledge, specific paths, it’s definitely linked with nature forces and primal elements! There’s music in fire, water… in the sky, in the trees! It’s the overall concept we will be dealing with for our next album!
I’m fucking 100% musical being, that’s for sure! Ha!!!!
On “Vana Vigala Loits” you covered “Parricide” from Pestilence, and on this new album you did again a cover, this time from cult 3rench band Massacra, with the song “Apocalyptic Warriors”. Why did you chose them? It seems you like that early Death Metal with a lot of Thrash influences. Which other bands would you cover or influenced you in the past? Any new band that still makes you feel those same vibes?
We choose those bands, because I think they’re (or were) forgotten! When we recorded the pestilence cover, Martin van Drunen was far from being again in Asphyx, he didn’t play in Hail of Bullets, I think he was fucking forgotten! I’m really happy to see that he’s again praised as one of the most original death metal vocalist with such a crazy voice! Same goes for Massacra, they’re really forgotten nowadays, and only a few maniacs (especially in France) care about them!
Each time is also a tribute to the bands that had a huge impact on our “extreme metal learning days” hehe! And more than that, we really love to play covers! We have a half living cover band named Siffle Chopes (with my great friend Nathaniel from French thrashers Resistance and used to do Mutilating Process zine as well as contributor to Voices From The Dark Side years ago; and all the others in Bloody Sign), we play Pestilence, Asphyx covers, as well as Celtic Frost, Sodom, death, Autopsy, Morbid Angel, Dark Angel, Dead Kennedys… the list goes on!
Yes, I’m definitely rooted in the old death metal scene… in fact a time where death, thrash, black were almost the same thing, at least not far from each other! I love those kind of vocals, aggressive riffing, or very dark and doomy down tuned riffing, pounding drumming with bestial attack. Something very fresh, intense, not that much “thought”! recently I think the original feeling is dead, there are only worship bands! Ha! But the last one that gave me this kind of feeling is german based Necros Christos, I think they understood a lot about what “death” metal really means, catch the atmosphere of early death metal, but at the same time they play in a way it would not have been possible two decades ago!
The cover of “Explosion of Elements”, as well as the one of your previous album, is quite original and unatipical, and I really liked it. Who was in charge of it? Can you explain us its meaning?
Cover has been done by a great friend of mine called Jean Linnhof! He’s not really into metal music or metal covers, more into heroic fantasy illustrator and even surf (damned!!!)! the cover is an Explosion of Elements! Hehe!!! The rest is yours ha!
On the CD you included a video from a live show, of the songs “Serpent's Sky Secrets”, and I must say it's a fucking blast. I can see there that your songs sound even more aggressive live. I think you played two tours in the past, one across eastern europe and another by Europe with your label collegues Estuary, with some dates in Spain. How did they work? What was the best and the worst part of those shows? Are you thinking about playing outside France soon again? Which band would you like to play with?
We really like to tour and play to the death! We plaid some tours yes, in eastern Europe few years ago as well as last spring, south Europe with our crazy label mates from Estuary, south America few years ago too! We hardly manage to play in France, where the scene is absolutely not into this kind of metal, except some… it seems we will maybe play again in South America in autumn, but nothing sure for now, it should be Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, it would be fucking crazy!
We’re also working on how our shows should sound in the future! We’re all really crazy about how early Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple shows could sound, with a lot of chaotic improvisations, it’s really living… in the middle of a song, to link songs between each other, the best example is led zep show from 1970 royal albert hall, it’s fucking amazing ! I always like to improvise, and in all our shows there are kind of interludes or longer soli, drums soli, chaotic distortion parts on bass! Playing live must be more than just “covering” your own songs, playing live deserve a lot of concentration (whenever you’re drunk or not ha!!!), and definitely you can speak about a kind of ritual with the energy you should spread all around! And it’s really great when the people you play with understand that and play the rules of the game with you! If the audience doesn’t really understand, it’s not that bad hehe!
Actually, I would say there’s no “worst” concert, I really laugh a lot when there’s only 10/20 people for our shows, and they just don’t care hahaha!!!! Very good! This kind of thing are not lonely, generally you have no food and no drinks too! It happens many time, due to bad promoters who really have no respect for music and the way to promote it! I also use to organize gigs, and belive me, I do the maximum to satisfy the band (no limit on alcohol, food, good place to sleep, money for the travel/playing, promotion months before the gig…)! But of course there are a lot of “best” show… in Europe, the craziest country we play were Macedonia, people there are really worshippers of metal! When we plaid in south America, each show had a kind of “best” side, but arequipa in peru, quito in equador were crazy concerts!
There are too much bands I would like to tour with, and at the same time I don’t really care as long as the bands are not into emo core hard core shit, and play real metal!
You've got quite a lot of releases(four demos and three splits), apart of these two albums we named before. It seems you're quite active, and that should have made the name of Bloody Sign more reknown, but you're still quite an underground act. Have you thought about re-releasing some of the older stuff? Where this releases on the same style you're playing nowadays?
Yes, we had few demos before our first album, there’s a time for learning and looking for what you really want! We began with the band when my brother (our drummer) was only 12 years old and I was 15, so it took some time to know how to achieve what we want! The style was already kind of death black, and there are still demos I am proud of, like the Dionysos contre le Crucifié, which show in a kind of naïve way the path we are walking on nowadays.
I don’t think it would be useful to re release them, except maybe one day the last demo we did Estonian session! Also when we toured in Peru, we recorded 3 songs there in Horizon studio (owned by guy from Darken, great doom metal!!) in Lima, and it would be good to see this recording not engrave by dust! Hehe!
Our last release (which you should absolutely get! Haha!) is an EP entitled The Third Escape, released on BLOOD HARVEST rec, which is for me one of the very best vinyl label in all Europe! It’s a 3 songs EP recorded here in our home county, lyrics have been written by our former singer, and deals with the trilogy of birth/evolution/death of civilization! And the writing of the song, its atmosphere is really closed to the lyrical symbolical content! I’m really happy with this EP!
Let’s speak a bit about the french scene. In my opinion, since it’s very beginning, the problem for the french extreme Metal scene was people preferred to look at other countries music better than at theirs, just as happened/happens with Spain, but maybe nowadays we could say it has changed a bit, especially with its Black Metal scene. What do you think about this? Which are your favourite bands nowadays? Don’t you think bands like Gojira, Arkhon Infaustus, Alcest, Deathspell Omega or Scarve, just to name a few, have more to offer than a lot of well-known Metal acts from the US or Sweden?
Yes, you match the problem! But there’s not just one problem! It’s sad yes, to see how bands like MASSACRA were treated in France, and each time we plaid in foreign countries they were the first band named! France had a bunch of very good bands Massacra, Agressor, the sadly forgotten Mercyless (who ended playing bullshit, but first two albums are totally great!), Crusher, Mutilated, Abyssal…
The other problem is that in France, a lot of people play metal, but they are not into metal music. their first will is to put modern stuff into, to be original, but they even don’t know how to put their feet, they have no clue about how metal grew, and even if those people are usually kind of fucking hippies they have absolutely no respect for the fundaments of metal music! the result is skilled technicians, but not really musicians, technical ability to play thousand notes per second, great drummers, guitar player, but no quest for the inner sound of death! Again, result is in the brutal technical death!
Another leprosy in France is funny porn grind which really makes me puke, music for teenager’s Saturday parties speaking funny thing about shit and piss, easy listening, again, well done, but really does it mean a thing (… if it ain’t got that swing…!!!). and another joke from france is ns black metal bands, who absolutely don’t know how to handle an instrument, play boring and useless riffs with horrible sound, but think they’re the “elite”!
Also you can take it for good or not, but nowadays france is really trendy when it comes to “religious” black meta, lot of bands just jumped on the trend! I really like Deathspell Omega, the aura of that band is awesome, even if the religious aspect doesn’t really appeal me! I don’t like scarve, gojira, I didn’t know Alcest! Nowadays my fave bands from france are not that much known, but you should definitely check Ritualization, Ingens, Vorkreist, Borgia! There are of course not newcomers like Drowning, or Impureza, Deep Vein, great doom bands like Rising Dust, Bottle Doom Lazy Band, my great friends from Resistance who hold up the flame of dirty thrash metal, bands like Inhumate with a real underground dedication! My all time fave in France is not metal, but fucking mystic driven psychedelic band MAGMA, and the old death/thrash scene here!
Ok, that's fine for the moment, we know a bit more about Bloody Sign now. Thanks a lot for your time. Make the name of Bloody Sign grow, and play again on our country soon. Add anything else you want...
It was a pleasure to answer some untypical questions! Be sure i’ll spread the name of Bloody Sign! To all of those who read the interview, stay on the darkest path of life, where the light of music shine far in the heart of the earth and the heart of soul!
Thanks for the support!!!
See you in hell!
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.