OBM: Firstly, can you give us a quick background on how Hacride was formed and how you came upon your signature sound?
Luiss: Hacride was formed 10 years ago in the west region of France. It started as a modern death metal band and evolved into something more progressive. The band has always been very enthusiastic about experimenting with sound and the music has become more “emotional” and personal through the years.
OBM: You released the last album “Lazarus” in 2009, catch us up on the last four years in the life of Hacride....
Hacride has toured a lot since 2009. The band has gained experience as a live act and then decided to focus on making a new album. There’s a new drummer in the band called Flo and I joined the band on vocals last September. This is our first record with Adrien and Ben who are the two original members of Hacride.
OBM: Was the storyline that you present on this record something you knew you'd be writing from the start of "Back to Where You've Never Been"?
We’re all in our thirties and so it felt natural to talk about the things we are dealing with now. The album is about a transitional phase in life during which you have to choose between your childhood dreams and the “adult” world. It’s basically telling the story of a guy who wakes up one day and realizes he has missed his entire existence. It stresses the fact that you should identify what’s truly important in your life and focus on it as much as you can. I’ve seen so many bitter old ghosts through the years it’s fucking scary!
OBM: Tell us a little bit about your new album, what can we expect?
It’s a 42 minutes long record that you can listen to entirely at once. It is meant to be heard as a whole piece because all the songs are connected musically and lyrically. The music is super heavy and angry but it’s got some nostalgic moments as well. I think it’s the kind of album that touches on many different sorts of emotions and make you mentally travel.
OBM: I really like your album art. Can you explain a little bit about why you chose this design?
“Back to…” is a very personal record that deals with human emotions. We wanted a design that would place the individual at the center of everything. The symbols on the heart of the persona represent the motor that keeps us going. It symbolizes what’s truly important and meaningful to us. It acts as a real battery pushing us further into life.
OBM: I take a lot from the title, Back to Where You've Never Been. Talk to us a bit about what Back to Where You've Never Been means and what specifically you had in mind when you wrote the lyrics from which the title is taken…
The title is expressing what it feels like to go beyond previous expectations. It implies that the only limits we have are the ones we set ourselves. It’s also referring to this feeling of “déja vu” that we sometimes experience when we get to a place for the very first time and feel connected to it. The lyrics encourage the listener to define his or her own meaning of success and become who he/she is meant to be. It is a very positive message told through the story of a guy who wastes his life away… It’s also a depiction of the cold and empty world that we live in nowadays. I don’t know what’s wrong with us, but people seem to be more and more disconnected from their emotions…
OBM: Any interesting stories you care to share regarding the writing/recording process?
The only story that I can think of right now is when we were recording my vocals. There was a lot of creative collaboration going on and everyone had all these new ideas. Flo Marcadet our drummer is very much into Hard core and he would often sing some kind of hip hop/hard core freestyles on my parts! Of course none of that shit was kept but it was funny as hell!
OBM: What sort of pressure do you face when you sit down to write a new song?
I try to write lyrics that either make me angry or make me wanna cry. It has to be fueled with strong emotions because I’m gonna have to keep on screaming those damn lyrics for a while! The pressure comes from having to write something that sounds and feels true to our emotions. You cannot fake it. You have to give up something for the greater good even if it means putting yourself in danger.
OBM: Which topics do your new texts deal with? Where do you take inspiration from (dreams, personnel thoughts, everyday life…)?
Inspiration comes from everyday life. I know a lot of musicians around me who have to stop playing music because it becomes incompatible with raising a family and keeping a steady job. I gave up music last year because I wanted to focus on other things, but Hacride asked me to join and I could not resist! Most of my music friends are like me, all we want to do is play music and unfortunately we have to stop at some point because life is dragging us away from our passion. I do not like to be forced to do a job that I hate in order to make money. I do not like the fact that I live in perpetual escapism. I refuse to become a bitter old man but I can’t help it. I think zombies are the modern metaphor for people with no passion and they embody our lack of soul very much…
OBM: What would you say is going to be the major differences between "Lazarus" and your new release?
Lazarus was more progressive and this new record goes straight to the point. Adrien wanted to incorporate classical structures with tricky riffs into the same compositions, which is an interesting challenge because it’s harder to make things simple. It is an intense album that carries a feeling of urgency all over it.
OBM: For those of us who haven't had a chance to see you guys yet, tell us what your live show is like and what is most important to you when Hacride are on stage.
We are getting warmed up in France right now and from what people told me the concerts are more intense than ever. We really try to make it super heavy and keep it melodic as well. The most important to me is that we enjoy ourselves. It is necessary that we have a good time in order to communicate with the audience.
OBM: About the summer festivals: any favorites this year?
I love Hellfest because it’s just 30 minutes away from my house! Unfortunately we won’t play there this year… I would love to go to the Wacken festival and the Brutal Assault in Czech Republic.
OBM: There are bands popping up all over the place. What about in France? Any bands we should be looking out for?
You should be looking out for Glorior Belli, Reverance and Deathspell Omega. It is the infernal black metal trio that proves France is a twisted rotten country! The French metal scene is very diverse and prolific right now. You’ve got good post hard core bands like Celeste, shoegaze bands like Alcest, sick boogie death metal with our good friends from Trepalium. We’ve got lots of great bands in France right now.
OBM: Anything else on your heart that you would like to get to the readers?
Thank you for your interest in Hacride. I hope you guys will like the new record. Keep listening to extreme metal for at least 6 hours a day and don’t forget to watch at least one horror movie every day!