2004. Ready for the winds of the darkside?
1. Hello! Do an introduction to AMETHYSTE!
Hello! Amethyste exists since 1993, the band was created by Greg and Pat, after an epoch I would qualify of « Learning » that consisted in the composition of several songs.
2. How would you define your style of music? What are your bigger influences?
style is more brutal, more direct than during the past.
3. Why did you choose AMETHSYTE as a band’s name? This isn’t an especially Brutal name for a Brutal death band
Pat: At this
time we really had problems to find a name. After using several
names I’ll avoid you the quote, I found the word Amethyste while
I while reading an old « White Dwarf » ( Role playing game magazine).
A sorcerer figurine in the vein of Warhammer was called this way.
The name was fitting very well to our style of this time and it
immediately pleased us, even if we didn’t know it’s whole meaning
immediately… but the fact it was a stone saving humans from drunkenness!!!
Later on we learnt about its mystical powers.
4. I was told your new tracks are quite different from your old compositions, while your older songs were more melodic. What did motivate you to be more brutal ? Was it a natural evolution, or was it because of the new musicians?
our musical approach is ways more direct and dark, and it’s true
it evolved this way since Mathieu joined us for the drums. As you
said it is a natural evolution, we didn’t say from one day to another:
« And if we were playing something more brutal?! », the compositions
naturally took form under this way, and I think we are obligatory
influenced by the actual tendency that follows the Brutal and Direct
aspect of metal.
5. Two members of TORMENT are a part of AMETHYSTE. As well as many bands, have you got a lot of line up problems? How did you succeed to make the two TORMENT bastards join your band? With money? Beer? Or anything else?
Yeah drummers and bassist are two endangered species; in 1998 we even remained without a drummer!!! And Amethyste was almost on the point of splitting up, at this moment we offered two ex members of Morphisem to play with us, this line up remained stable during 3 years, then we found the ‘Jabba the Hutt' and 'The postman', known as Mathieu the drummer and Xav the bassist.
6. Let us know more about the subjects your lyrics deal with!
Greg: The main subjects the lyrics deal with concerns the ‘human being’, particularly the human behavior to a minor or bigger scale and the existential questions that link to these; it’s adapted to several subjects. The interaction man/ environment is tackled a good amount of times in our lyrics, for example in one of our last compositions called ‘Thrown off balance’ : ‘ desequilibrium of equilibrium’ that deals with our planet: The system in equilibrium that’s perturbed by mankind who doesn’t seem to realize the miracle that occurred more than 4,5 billions of years ago! He’s far more occupied by material and egoistic considerations! The image that comes out from this track is a gigantic wall materializing the original forces that awake and slowly walk on in an unstoppable way!!! Ah ah ah ! These are lyrics that are especially important for us, with a little fantastic touch that makes it more mystic! The text is directly inspired from the atmosphere that comes out from the track, a very heavy and pounding one! So the choice of the text was very important.
of more existential and philosophical questions was introduced in
the band by Vincent, our previous bassist, who also took part on
the composition. I followed this path in a less poetical and parabolic
way : it’s far more direct ; for example ‘A world of perverstemptation’
(that’s also included on our demo) is a title I consider as quite
clear, in this text I offer a vision of the world that surrounds
us an in which we live, a world based in part on the physical appearance
and the overrated, while some of our behaviors are directly linked
to our unconscious research for identity or to self affirmation.
The deepness of the text is a reflection on the human being’s goal
on earth: is it the perpetuation of yourself through ages? Do we
transmit something to our descendants through our genes?
7. Are your lyrics written independently from the music, in accordance to what the music inspires you, or on to the contrary do you elaborate a track beginning from what the lyrics evoke?
Greg: I’m actually
trying to make the lyrics fit the best possible to the mood of a
track, of course a track is composed of guitars, drums, vocals (mainly
in this style!), but in my opinion it’s also composed of lyrics.
The composition you play live takes another dimension if the lyrics
fit to the atmosphere, and so your feelings are increased tenfold.
8. What’s your opinion about the social lyrics, the gore ones or the ones whose spirit is nearer of the pure Death metal spirit: those strictly based on the destruction of mankind, morbidity, hatred and the annihilation of any kind of life?
Greg: I think the gore or morbid lyrics have a limited interest, not to say anything else; I even don’t speak about the sexual lyrics. I’d say our lyrics are quite near of the purely Death metal ones, but with a less radical approach, even if the deepness are more or less the same.
Pat: I think metal can, and even should, be used to express anything else than purely destructive ideas. Our work follows that opinion.
9. Who composes in the band and how does the elaboration of a track occurs?
Greg: Generally speaking, Pat and myself do compose the tracks on our guitars, that’s to say the main carcass of the song is established with a beginning and a finishing, with a quite precise idea of the drum patterns to paste on these ones. But Mathieu is free to offer any suggestion! I mean when myself or Pat bring a new track, we know the way it should sound!
10. Did you ever try to play other kinds of music? Maybe you even have musical projects that have no direct link with metal … (Or maybe you have metal side projects !)
Greg : Never in a band. Speaking for myself, Amethyste enables me to express a part of my personality. On a musical point of view, I’m opened and sensible to many other styles, and I can feel some pleasure playing some stuffs that has nothing to do with metal. The guitar is the predilection instrument of Rock, it’s even maybe it’s symbol, but I think it’s a shame for a guitarist to have interest in this instrument through metal only. Obviously, when you discover Jazz, Flamenco, Blues… it gives the need to every guitarists to try these waves, but unfortunately one can’t play everything, because of a lack of time. Everyone has got its specialty!
11. Why do you play Brutal death metal ? What does Death metal means for you ? Are you the same individual in « everyday life » and in the band?
Greg: As I
told you before, to play Death metal enables me to express a part
of myself. All I can say is I try to be ‘myself’, might it be during
rehearsals or in the ‘normal life’, I mean to play in a band and
to practice an instrument is essential for me, it’s vital. In no
way it would be an artifice that would be used to give a false image
of myself, something that wouldn’t reflect the reality.
12. In 1998 I heard one of your tracks on the 3rd issue of the High Radiation compilation, and I got in touch with you. Why didn’t you send me a promo? Weren’t you satisfied enough with your compositions so that you didn’t boost the promo? Maybe the mail was lost, or the name of my zine (that could sound nazi) was a problem for you? Ah Ah
Pat: At this time Christophe, our first bassist/ vocalist, was taking care of the contacts and all that deals with the band’s promotion. It’s highly possible he was repulsed by the name of your zine, because he had a strong hatred towards all what has something to do with a fascist ideology… even if we are far from that in this case.
13. The metal scene of the « Nord Pas de calais » (Northern suburb in France) is stronger and stronger! There were never as much bands in here! BYATIS, SCARVENGER, GERBE OF LIFE (rip), DISGUST, TORMENT, etc! What’s in your opinion the cause of extreme metal’s awake in our suburb, but also in the whole French country?
Greg. Pat. : The bands you mentioned, BYATIS, SCARVENGER, GERBE OF LIFE (RIP) and DISGUST, exist in the suburb since a dozen of years. In fact the metal scene has always existed in the suburb, one can’ talk about the ‘awake’ but rather of a new a gain of interest from a potential public.
I wouldn’t talk about the awake of the metal scene, for example the bands you make reference to exist (at lest for some) since a quite long time (Hello to BYATIS !), there’s actually a trend effect pushed by the Nu-metal that makes more peoples interested in this kind of music and it’s sub-genres. This cycle repeats itself, the positive point of this ‘trend’ is some guys will discover his music and will evolve to it’s extreme side.
14. As well as the guys of BYATIS and TORMENT, I think you enjoy HATE ETERNAL. What do you think of this band? Personally speaking, I think their first album was inspired, while the second one was more demonstrative with less feeling…
This is some strong stuff from the USA, of course we enjoy this band ! They are one of our many references. To speak about their second album, they one more time succeeded in pushing the limits over the top,The album is really monstruous even if we also have a preference for the first one.
15. What are your future projects with AMETHYSTE?
The demo that was scheduled for October 2003 was delayed to January 2004. This demo will contain 7 tracks, including 4 unreleased ones. We hope to be able to play more gigs this year.