Hacride – Moving Parts

Friday, 29th March 2013

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)

For all of its intricacies and variances, French metal doesn’t draw nearly the fuss of Norwegian or Swedish metal. It’s hard to pinpoint and we can primarily attest it to the fact there is no “French metal sound,” or rather, a band that defines its sound. Sure, Gojira continues to make headway toward world domination, but they’re only one band and one the willfully borrows from several other bigger bands (i.e. Meshuggah, Morbid Angel, and Strapping Young Lad). Trailing not far behind is Hacride, who very well could have the moxie to embody the French metal sound.

The quartet first burst onto the scene in 2007 with the striking Amoeba, a tantalizing foray into the pristine cyber metal, yet was spiced up with subtle hints of melody and shrewd songwriting choices. Its follow-up comes in the form of Lazarus, a seven song platter that takes epic and technical metal to new heights without overextending itself. The album is raw and uncompromising, but carries a wealth grandiose structures and well-executed riffs, some of which are of the jaw-dropping variety. And don’t be taken aback by the fact it only has seven songs – these are “songs within songs,” if you catch our drift…and you had better.

Guitarist and primary songwriter Adrien Grousset caught up with Blistering via email to discuss the new album and its various quirks, along with the road leading up to Lazarus and yes, those nearly-unavoidable Gojira comparisons, to which Grousset remained quite diplomatic, something we at Blistering always enjoy…

Blistering.com: Amoeba could be called Hacride’s “breakthrough” album, especially on North American shores. For you, what does it represent?

Adrien Grousset: For us, Amoeba is our first album. Deviant Current Signalwas more a demo re-recorded to be released. It’s still a very cool demo [and] I think there are some songs on it we really like, but there is not the album work if I can say so. I mean that you can take Amoeba and Lazarus as a whole, cause there is a concept behind it, the artwork, the lyrics, the songs everything is connected. I’d say Amoeba is our first complete piece of work then. Second thing, it’s the first album we played outside of France. WithDeviant Current Signal, we only played France and Switzerland. With Amoebawe toured with Dying Fetus, Divine Heresy and we did big European Festivals like Graspop, Hellfest, Brutal Assault, Metal Camp, Summer Breeze…

Blistering.com: The album garnered very positive critical reaction – did that help spur the writing process for Lazarus?

Grousset: I think the critical reactions in general shouldn’t have an influence on what you write. I mean for example, on Amoeba, people seemed to like our kind of Meshuggah-like riffs and our Flamenco cover so if we had follow the critical reactions on Amoeba, I think we would have try to go further in one of those two ways. But now people like the more atmospheric and progressive side of our music so I think it’s just better to follow what our guts are saying and not to try to please other people than us when we are writing, ‘cause I think people recognize if the music is sincere or not, you can’t fool them.

Blistering.com: As for Lazarus, it’s more natural and organic sounding album than Amoeba. What prompted this approach?

Grousset: We are all metal fans, but we listen to a lot of different kinds of music so it was natural for us to escape from the typical death metal sound. We spent a lot of time talking about it; we wanted something more natural, organic like you said, more rock if I can say so. We also have the advantage of working with the same sound engineer for concerts and in studio so we know each other by heart and it was a real team work to find the sound of this album. This album really comes from the guts like I said, so it needed this kind of sound.

Blistering.com: Furthermore, it’s only seven songs long, but a lot of the tunes are lengthy and are crammed with great ideas. Was this done on purpose or did the songs naturally develop?

Grousset: It just came naturally, most of the songs where even longer, I think every guitar player knows that feeling – you can just play around the same chords, the same riffs during hours, you change it, find interesting variations, the more you work on the same song the more you find variations, breaks… and you want to keep them all cause it’s all about that. This album is about what’s happening inside someone’s head, it’s about being alive and feeling those things you can’t control happening inside and outside of yourself. The album is one story and each song is one chapter but that’s something that just came to me as evidence while composing.

Blistering.com: Break down the writing process for Hacride – is it a group effort or do a lot of these songs stem from one person’s input?

Grousset: It’s a teamwork at the end, but I am the one writing the core of the songs. I composed this album between 4am and 10am during few days then I recorded what I had done on a CD to submit it to the others. I asked them to be objective and to say everything that seemed wrong to them to make it better, then we worked on the songs all together. They kept on changing ‘till we went to the studio and even when we were there cause we wanted to have the most perfect album we could, according to our idea, of course.

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