Beyond Creation – Ongoing EvolutionWednesday, 22nd July 2015
Often, when death metal bands continue to push the limits of technicality they lose the soul of the music in the process. It feels cold and distant, more like a technical showcase than an actual song. One band that has been able to stay clear of that is Beyond Creation. Last year’s Earthborn Evolution stood as an intriguing piece of technical death metal that was composed of songs (with some underlying melodies even).
With two impressive albums now under their belt, Beyond Creation is set to hit the streets soon with the Summer Slaughter tour. Things haven’t come easy though, with bassist Dominic “Forest” Lapointe leaving the band earlier this year. But it’s not the first loss they’ve had to endure, and they continue to move forward in true death metal form. We contacted vocalist/guitarist Simon Girard to hear the band’s thoughts on the upcoming Summer Slaughter tour, the responses to Earthborn Evolution, and how some of the newer members are fitting into place.
Dead Rhetoric: You’ll be heading out on the Summer Slaughter soon. What are you looking forward to the most?
Simon Girard: We already did a US tour with Origin, but we’ve never been into the bigger cities, so we are pretty excited to play with all those sick bands. It’s going to be really great.
Dead Rhetoric: Any bands you are psyched to be sharing the stage with?
Girard: Of course, we are good friends with Obscura. This will be the first tour with them and we are really looking forward to that. There’s also Cattle Decapitation, who we love. Pretty much the whole band has been listening to them lately.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel that the band has changed over the course of your two albums?
Girard: As musicians, we all want to evolve in our ways. We have gotten more mature since The Aura in terms of skills, playing, and even composition. There is a lot more variety in the music and styles and [Earthborn Evolution] is more progressive than The Aura. All of us are discovering new aspects of metal and what can be put into our music. We all listen to a lot of bands and different kinds of music. It wouldn’t make sense to keep the same routine and style as we move on. We are pretty happy and proud with what was done with Earthborn Evolution.
Dead Rhetoric: There are a lot of different elements that Beyond Creation brings to the table in a tech death setting. How do you balance the technicality with keeping it feeling like an actual song?
Girard: That’s a pretty hard question. It’s pretty much about feeling. There is nothing that we say that we want to do, in terms of technicality. It’s how the songs feel and we want to develop it. When you listen to music, there’s a feeling that you want to have at first. As a musician, we want to evolve with our skills and instruments, but it’s always about the feeling first. Then the technicality comes after that.
Dead Rhetoric: The band uses 8-string guitars. What advantages does this have when you are songwriting?
Girard: We have a lot more range that we can play with. The arrangement, I wouldn’t say it’s easier to do, but you can really reach what you want to hear. I’m pretty much into lower stuff, so you can keep shredding, and at the same time having some lower notes. It’s a pretty good thing. We can develop new ideas with the 8-string guitars so it’s a plus I guess.
Dead Rhetoric: There is a very clear bass presence throughout Beyond Creation’s music. Why do you think that many bands are content to let the bass simply follow the guitar rhythms?
Girard: We don’t really know what other bands are thinking, but what we do in terms of bass is to think of it as a totally different instrument than the guitars. It can totally support the guitars, but it depends on the way we see the riffs and songs. We like to hear different ideas in music, so standing out with the bass is a good way to push the boundaries in a way. Particularly in death metal, because there are a lot of bands where we don’t even hear the bass. I don’t know why that is. It’s a pretty cool instrument. Hugo [Doyon-Karout] and Forest [Dominic Lapointe] use a fretless bass so it has a jazzy sound, which also stands out.
Dead Rhetoric: What has drummer Philippe Boucher brought to Beyond Creation?
Girard: Philippe is so good. He puts a lot of new ideas in drumming style for us. He keeps pushing his boundaries as a drummer and I think he gives us a darker ambiance at some points. He has really progressed a lot in the last few years. It’s cool to have him in the band.
Dead Rhetoric: How has new bassist Hugo Doyon-Karout been settling in? Was he intimidated at all about replacing Dominic?
Girard: Dominic was a very talented bassist and musician. Hugo is actually a good friend of Dominic. [Dominic] was an inspiration to him. He had a lot of fun taking on those new songs. It was a lot of work but he’s really good. We are looking forward to playing shows with him and recording new albums with him.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you think there is a point with technical death metal where it will reach its pinnacle in terms of songwriting?
Girard: It’s hard to say. Death metal is a style that each musician and composer gets new ideas for. It can be played with more prog or more brutal, so there’s a lot of different aspects that we can play with. Everything can always be pushed forward, with what we see and with how much imagination we have.
Dead Rhetoric: Canada seems to be identified by a number of technical death bands. Why do you think this is?
Girard: In Montreal, we have a jam spot. Almost all the bands used to play at that particular spot, so there is a lot of communication going on, and a lot of good shows in Quebec. We are developing friendships together and we take what we want from influences. It’s friendship that does everything. Montreal is a big city that is really artistic. There are always shows going on each night and people really get involved into art.
Dead Rhetoric: Based upon The Aura, there must have been a least a few offers on the table. How did you end up signing with Season of Mist?
Girard: Actually Season of Mist was one of our first goals. We really liked that label and they’ve signed bands that we like. It’s all about friendship, again. I think they are very much about music-first. It’s about having a good relationship and having a good opportunity to develop the band. We are doing great and they are a really good, solid label that we love so it’s good for both of us.
Dead Rhetoric: Have you started thinking about writing new material yet?
Girard: We have some new ideas – I’m writing some bars but it’s not a big rush right now. We are taking our time to enjoy everything that happened with Earthborn Evolution. In a couple months we will start to write for a new album. We are more into organizing tours and festivals. There’s good things coming.
Dead Rhetoric: Is it daunting to start coming up with new material since both of your albums have been so well received?
Girard: It’s always good to write music. It’s more of developing ourselves and our imaginations. I’m really looking forward to writing new stuff. We have pretty good chemistry together so we are going to have a lot of fun writing new stuff.
Dead Rhetoric: Any advice for those looking to check you out at Summer Slaughter?
Girard: Yeah, we are going to be playing early. We hope that fans come early to see us and we are excited to play that tour. It’s going to be really awesome and huge. It’s pretty encouraging.