Hi, Seb! How’re you doing? Probably looking forward to finally release your new album?)
Hi Alex. Yes, we are working on the latest details of the T-shirts, and so far, everything is ready for the official release in September. It’s good to have the time to finalize everything to be just perfect. We recorded the album almost a year ago, but the mixing and mastering were completed only at the end of December 2016. The graphics were also finished in December 2016, so the last 6 months were devoted solely to finalize the deal with the label, and achieve the layouts and the final adjustments according to the release schedule of Animate Records. I think this is the album whose release schedule is the best anticipated, and everything goes exactly as expected. It will be really great to be able to have all the merchandising available from September : I can’t wait!
So basically my previous question is a reason we’re doing this interview. What to expect from your new album? Is there some more gore stuff for your fans?)
It is true that we explored with the previous two albums themes more Crust, and that the gore stuffs were less present. We always had all these influences that were present in our band. But the first albums had no text and the covers were explicitly porno gore (like Mortician, Dead Infection, Catasexual Urge Motivation , Cannibal Corpse, or Carcass, …), while the last two albums dealt with “serious themes” (like Napalm Death, or Disrupt, …). As soon as we started to compose this new album, in April 2014, we wanted to return to the atmosphere of the first albums. During the tour of the previous album we put, in the set list of our gigs, many songs of each album. It was really great to play these old songs with the sound and level of the band today. It guided us from the beginning and it was confirmed during the two years of composition. We also listened all our albums with Guillaume, and there are plenty of ideas that we had never developed on previous albums that influenced our compositions. At the end of this new album, we probably have the best mix possible of all the epochs of the group. We returned to our basics, and this new album is very oriented porno gore: in texts, in graphics, and in the general atmosphere of music. It is perhaps the style in which we feel at home, and we believe that this album is probably the most effective of the band
Let’s talk about live shows. Do you like moshpits, stagediving and other stuff that is usual for this kind of gigs?)
Before being the singer of Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition, I spent my time to make stagediving during the gigs of my favorites bands. When you see a band performing, or when you are performing on stage yourself, it’s always an exceptional moment. It was even more true when there was no internet and smartphones, because if you were not at the concert, you had only the albums to listen at home, and you could not find images and videos. But even today, it’s still exceptional, cause it is a moment of sharing between the band and the audience, in the same place, in the same moment. We have to make the best albums possible, because that’s what is left at the end, but it is on stage that we really appreciate the moment. There are bands that make tour each year in every country, and you can often see them, but most bands, you see them only a few times in your life. Most of the success of a live show comes from the public. I completely understand that some prefer to watch a concert without going into the moshpit, because they want to look carefully rather than raging (I often do the same myself too!). But when the audience becomes crazy, it remains just to play the songs well and hope to have the best sound possible, and it is a certain victory! It really motivates the band to see the people go mad, and everyone remember it, even years later.
SCD is always progressing and presents something new on every record, is is essential part of your band. Seb, try to remember your biggest changes in sound and songwriting during band’s activity.
It is very important to continually explore new paths, for a band that has a significant longevity. Otherwise there is a huge risk of self-plagiarism, and the albums become less and less interesting as the years go by. It is also a risk, because we never know what it will give to change direction, and we can sometimes disappoint fans of previous albums. There are changes that can only produce results on several albums, because it is often a change of direction that will open up new possibilities, and sometimes it takes time to digest them. Over time it is very positive, and this is what allows the group to move forward and stay motivated. The first albums since 1996 to 2003 were homogeneous, and the band mainly improved its style through the years. SCD was essentially defined by Brutal Death / Grind Gore music without compromise, without text, with very short tracks, and extreme sound and graphics. There was a very unhealthy atmosphere, but also very groovy songs. In 2003, there was a major line-up change after the first guitarist and drummer has left the band. This is what has greatly enriched the band’s influences open new ways to compose. Guillaume (on guitar) and Dagulard (on drums) have joined the band and they are still here today. It was also at that time that I tried to add texts (there were none on the first albums), and that I developed different Death Metal and Crust themes, in lyrics as in artworks. The graphics have evolved in the same way as the texts so that everything remains consistent. Guillaume also brought a progress on the sound and on the quality of the compositions and the recordings: this is what have made a new step possible. “Inventory Of Fixtures” concretized this first real turning point of the group, and “Sheep ‘N Guns” was the continuity of the work done between 2003 and 2011. Since 2014, we have really tried with Guillaume to synthesize all the experience accumulated during all these years, and to find all that defines the band since its origin. We never denied the first years of Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition, but we did not want to repeat eternally what we had done in the past. It was an amazing pleasure to decided to develop porno gore themes that we had not done for more than 10 years. I think that the fans of each period will find a consistent evolution over all the 21 years of the SCD since its creation. Personally, our new album, “Raping Angels in Hell”, is our best stuff in every way. And it is the result of the risk taken with each new album. I think for example, that the texts are really better than on the two previous albums. This evolution would not have been possible without the work done since 2003. And it’s the same for compositions, graphics, and sound: It is really an album that will love all those who have supported the band for years, and that could really surprise and enjoy those who do not know us yet!
Why did you choose Animate Records? Do they provide tastier worms?)
After the mastering of the album, we contacted, in January 2017, several labels that interested us. At this point we did not know the guys at Animate Records at all. I had a lot of albums released by this label : most in vinyls and some in CDs (Napalm Death, Lock Up, Master, Agathocles, Terrorizer, Kataklysm, Purgatory, Cryptopsy, Unleashed, Krisiun, Vomitory).
This is one of the labels that seemed to me very great for Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition, because their productions:
– are exclusively in our kind of music (Brutal Death and Grind)
– are not limited to the underground, but also include major bands
– have distribution objectives that correspond to those of SCD
– have standards quality products such as digipacks and gatefold vinyls
They answered very quickly to indicate that they were interested to produce our album. So, I looked more closely at their productions, and the more we discussed with them the more we realized we were exactly on the same page. We had several other labels with whom we were also discussing and all of them also had real qualities (like our common friend, Pavel of Fatass records), but at this stage of the evolution of the band, Animate Records seems to me the better choice. It took a few weeks of discussion to agree on all the details, and to choose between the different proposals that had been received. It’s really great when you’re lucky enough to have positive and interesting answers from several labels, but it’s never easy to choose, because there are a lot of very decent guys in our style of music, with whom it would be a pleasure to work with.
It’s hard to miss that you started to write lyrics, and that’s unexpected since you were doing great without them. Why you decided to write lyrics all of a sudden?
I started to write lyrics in 2003 for the album “Inventory of Fixtures”, but it was not yet a major element. There were no texts on the first albums and it was even claimed as a trademark of the band: it was part of the idea of extreme music without compromise and it gave even more space to the graphics. But I’ve always liked the lyrics of the bands I’m a fan of, so in 2003 it was an opportunity to try and see if it was also adding interest to SCD songs. On “Inventory of Fixtures”, the placements of the voices were made before the texts (as on the first albums): Then the texts adapted to the grunts which were already made. It was interesting to see what it could add as atmosphere for the songs, but it surely has influenced much more artworks than voices. I am not sure if that’s possible to really sing all the lyrics on this album: I do a mix that does not include all the words anyway! On “Sheep ‘N Guns”, the lyrics and voices were composed at the same time (which is much more traditional), and the lyrics were really grunted on the album. But it was with our last album “Raping Angels in Hell” that I’ve really managed to find an interest in texts as strong as the graphics: it’s the work on the two previous albums that made achieving this result possible. When the texts are strong there is really something much more interesting in the songs and in their interpretation. It seems obvious but it was not natural for me in the first place
You always tell that SCD is still trying to find itself. What about you? Did you find yourself, your place in life, or still in process?
I was talking about constantly reinventing our music, and always keeping the urge to do something new. But it is also true in life in general. We always have the possibility to continue to evolve, but I’m 43 years old, including 21 years as singer of Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition, so I have probably found my place in life, and I just hope to continue for many more years. The first years of a band are the most complicated because there are many parameters that can completely change the way and the opportunities. Professional or family life choices are the first decisions that often determine the path that will be followed. It is necessary to dedicate to the group almost all his spare time for years, then it is necessary that this passion remains always present for each one. It is also really important that each member find his place in the band. It is more than just a friendship because we share a lot of dreams and passions and we need each other to accomplish it. It’s been almost 15 years that we play together with Guillaume and Dagulard, and everyone knows what it brings to the band, and the pleasure we have sharing this adventure together over so many years. It’s great to know for each new album that we still have plenty of gigs and festivals to play where we’ve never played before, and lots of things to discover and live with SCD everywhere in the world : we love it!! I have the same fun to play in Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition as when I started, and I have no other desire but to keep doing it as long as possible.
Some of my friends were lucky to see you live and they said you were awesome. Quality and style of performance is almost 100% on par with your records. Do you rehearse a lot?
Happy to hear that. We do our best, and the more we are prepared the easier it is to have fun on stage. We rehearse three hours a week together, but the rest of the time each one works on his side. It is a routine to keep a great cohesion between us on stage and outside. We can do more rehearsals if we need to work something, but most of the time it’s enough. There are things that are difficult to control such as the quality of the sound or the atmosphere in the audience, but it is up to us to be ready to play a set list prepared in advance. In live you can be distracted by a lot of things, such as what happens in the crowd, sound on stage, heat, … or alcohol … so everything has to be automatic in any circumstance. The more we play the more it comes naturally. I cannot wait to do gigs and festivals everywhere with our new album, to see what people will think about it, and how they will react in the crowd.
What do you like and what do you hate about live performances?
I love almost everything, especially when we have not done it for a long time: it is really starting a new adventure. We are really enthusiast to see how the new songs will work in live. The best is obviously the moment on stage, but I love to travel and discover places where I would never have been otherwise, with the amazing atmosphere of the concerts: it is the best conditions ever. I hate nothing, but what is the least fun is often to wait, sometimes to be tired, and in winter the cold: so the worse is when you combine the three! When the audience is great, everything else does not matter!
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you used to make SCD logo and designed first artworks yourself. Is it true? Do you continue to make art-covers etc.?
Yes, it’s true. I drew the logo before joining the band in summer 1996, and I keep doing all the graphics of SCD. I also do the lyric-videos for the new album (this is also the advantage of singing the lyrics!!). I’ve always drawn, but when I discovered Death Metal and Grind I drew the covers and logos of my favorite bands on the jacket that I was wearing over my perfecto!! I was necessarily influenced by Repka, Dan Seagrave, Marshall, Vincent Locke … but I had really wanted to draw porno gore artworks!!! I never draw for anyone else than SCD, and it’s a great pleasure for each album to try new techniques and new ideas. I often have a fairly accurate idea by starting, but it is by working out the details that I see whether it is worth continuing or not. For this album everything came very easily. I used a technique directly adapted to the traditional prints of T-Shirts, using only a few colors without gradient, as soon as the images were created. I think the result will be great on albums as on T-shirts.
A lot of musicians in their career play in a lot of musical formations, while you a faithful to only your band for 20 years. Did you have any thoughts that maybe you have to try something new?
I had not planned to sing in a band and I do not play an instrument, so I joined the band only because I was friend for years with Bruno the guitarist who had founded the band. Bruno had formed the band with our first drummer (Yov), in February 1996, and composed two songs. But there was no voices on these songs when they asked me to join the group. I first refused, and I just agreed to draw the logo of the name that had been chosen by Bruno “Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition”. After a few weeks, they asked me to come in rehearsal to try to grunt, because I often sang for fun, the songs of the Death and Grind bands we were fan of Singing in a microphone is completely different, and it takes a bit of adaptation before being comfortable, but before the summer of 1996 I joined SCD. I have never stopped since, and I never tried to play in another band. It’s a very special kind of voice that does not suits in other types of music, and I never wanted to sing anything else anyway. I always did exactly what I wanted with SCD, so I did not need to try other groups. It is also a collective adventure that is even more important when we are faithful to the people with whom we build the group and its success. We only owe to ourselves what we harvest, and it’s great to enjoy it together. Guillaume, who composes all the songs of the last albums, has been in the SCD with Dagulard for 15 years, and he does not play in other formations while he has a level that would allow him to do it easily. If one of us had to do a parallel Metal project, it would have to be something more interesting than what we have been building together for years. Nor is it forbidden, but it may be as much a question of opportunity as of fidelity between us. We are totally involved in this project, and we share everything together, so it’s already great to have that which belongs to us and the confidence of those with whom we do it.
Do you remember the dumbest thing you heard about Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition?)
I’m really trying to remember, but I do not find anything specific. I may have a selective memory, or I have fortunately repressed this grief in my unconscious
Well, our interview is over, thank you so much for this conversation! Would you like to say something to our readers in conclusion? 😉
It is a pleasure to share this moment with you. I hope that you have enjoy this interview and that you have learn some stuff about our band. The official release of our new album “Raping Angels in Hell” is in September 2017. If you are a fan of Death Metal and Grind Gore, I’m sure that you will love this album. So, I challenge you to test it!!
Thank you Alex for this interview, and hails to all the readers of Good Guys Go Grind. See you on stage!