Abysse’s EP, ‘le vide est forme’ is a stately work of wonder that will appeal to fans of heavy bands such as Gojira as well as those who prefer the more cerebral art rock of Neurosis. A two track EP that’s clocks in at almost twenty minutes it’s clear that Abysse operate in a Pink Floyd time frame, utterly unconcerned by radio play or commercial constraints. As a result they created a brooding, masterful, challenging EP that earned it a rave review here on SonicAbuse. With a tour of Spain and Portugal (alas no England as yet) looming, now would seem to be the time to learn more about the band and we were proud that Goeffrey could spare us the time to answer some questions about the band’s history, recording and ambitions. One thing is certianly clear – with their range of influences and the remarkable talent that the band exhibit, Abysse certainly should earn the chance to tour the UK as soon as possible as UK fans are missing out on a rare treat (for evidence of this check out the band’s myspace page) but in the meantime you’d be highly advised to track down the band’s amazing EP to witness their astonishing songs for yourself.
1. Firstly can you tell us a little about how you came together as a band?
We were friends before playing music. At that time, many people had a band, so we decided to create one. Sébastien has already a drum set because his brother was a drummer, Vincent and I have always been interested to play guitars, so Jeremy had to play bass, no choice for him. At the beginning, we played covers of Cranberries, Puddle Of Mudd, Opeth… But as we didn’t have singer, we intended to create our own music.
2. I would say that your EP is pretty unique, how did you develop your sound as a band?
As we had no singer, we tried to create an original music, with a particular atmosphere in every track. We have no specific methods. At first, it’s just an
improvisation, we just take our instruments and we played together, we look at each other when it sounds great and we keep the best.
3. A two-track, twenty minute long EP is an unusual first release, why did you decide to go down this route rather than, say, an album?
We found the “2 tracks – 20 minutes” concept really catchy for an EP. We were not really ready for the album. Moreover, ‘Déviance’ and ‘One Last Breath’ are really different but complementary, so we found interesting to put only in this EP these two tracks. Our first album might record at summer 2011 in the same conditions : at Dome Studio (Lyzanxia, One-Way Mirror, Arcania…) because we were very satisfied by the work of David Potvin.
4. Given that your songs are very lengthy what sort of writing process do you employ?
As I have just said, it is only improvisation and we don’t care about the length of our tracks. Our compositions are finished when everyone enjoy them. But it’s true that we like making length tracks because we can develop ambiances and melodies as far as we want.
5. What music influences you as artists?
Each member has his own influence, and this is why it is very interesting to compose together. For example, I love sweet music (Porcupine Tree, Tigran Hamasyan, Anathema…); Vincent is keen on listening old music (Minsitry, Death, Carcass…). We have few favourite bands in common like The Haunted, Lamb of God, Infected Mushroom… We are very eclectic, we enjoy original soundtrack, jazz…
6. How important is the aesthetic of your releases? Do you do all the artwork yourselves?
Sebastien (Drums) is in charge of all visual stuff (Myspace, flyers, art releases…) so it’s easier to make our visuals, he has his ideas and each of us gives his opinion.
7. There seems to have been a real surge of creative and exciting French rock bands recently – why do you think this is?
I think french bands have more gratitude because people have a different look on Metal music. Metal music is very very various (black, death, progressive, instrumental…), so everyone can find something fine in bands. Thanks to bands who can have shows around the world, like Gojira for example, I see that American are very happy to see a french rock bands in gig.
8. How difficult is it for a band to start out in France in terms of finance, reaching an audience etc?
The french metal sphere is really closed. Medias are interested by pop rock, french variety and R’n’b, so you must be really motive in order to start out France. You have to be really motivated if you want to have to be recognized. You must do some sacrifices, our friends Kruger say to us that they often lose money when they are on tour.
9. What are the goals of Abysse?
We composed our first album, we take our time because we have no pressure from anyone, we need lot of time. It’s the only goal for the moment. After that, find shows everywhere, a good tour support.
10. Given that your EP is only two tracks what can we expect form a live performance?
The two tracks are very different so we like play them at shows, we enjoy play this track. We want give some emotions to our public. We have no singer, no leader so we have to communicate to our public. The lights are very important too, it’s give another dimension to our ambiances. We like to communicate between our selves too, when there is a part that we love, we look at each other, and we try to take all the space of the scene.
11. With the music industry somewhat under siege from digital forms (such as I tunes) do you feel that it is much harder for a band to make a career out of music?
Because digital forms, you cannot just sold CD to earn money. Have a great shows is more important than before. But it’s much harder for new bands like us, we sold CD only at shows, but it’s not a problem because it’s another way to promote any bands.
12. Any final words form the band?
Thanks to you for the interview and thanks to support us! See you soon at our shows if we tour UK!