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1. Hello, for those who didn't follow the history of Death metal in the North of France, CRITIC was born from the ashes of BYATIS around 2004 or 2005 (If I'm not wrong). Can you briefly introduce the band? Can you tell us more about the reasons for the split of Byatis and the change of moniker? (Should the two bands be seen as totally different incarnations, or is there some kind of continuity? )

Hello Gab! You are right, CRITIC was created at this time, following the BYATIS adventure. Because of the departure of Flavien (Lead guitars and vocals) we had two choices: Going on with this project, or moving on. The lovecraftian and mythological universe of BYATIS was both based on the lyrics of Marc and the compositions of Flavien. Since we were conscious the style of compositions and what would come out would necessarily be different, it seemed obvious the best choice was to start on new foundations.
So BYATIS and CRITIC are two different entities, even if one can find similarities due to the presence of Vincent (Behind the drums) and to the vocals of Philippe.
CRITIC was also born from a desire to keep on playing music together. Maxime, who was a roadie for BYATIS, joined the band very quickly. The remaining of the lineup took more time to be defined, with the arrival or Erwin (Bass guitar), and more recently Nicolas (Guitar).


2. On the labels' advertisements and distro lists, one can regularly read "For fans of", so we will follow this scheme here: In your opinion the Death metal of CRITIC could please the fans of which bigger bands? To find potential listeners, would you rather search in the brutal death or old school death metal scenes? (I find your music is located in the middle of both genres...)

It's always a hard question to answer, because the feels vary from a person to another when it's about to compare of categorize bands, it's even harder since it's our own music.
We are clearly in the Death metal branch, the additional qualifiers (brutal, technical, melodic, old school, ...) are present, but perhaps not strongly enough to be precisely categorized in a genre or another, the first feedbacks on "Eveil De L’Esprit" tend to confirm that.

3. Your first CD entitled "Eveil De L'Esprit" was recently released, can you write an introduction? Who is it destined to?

“Eveil De L’Esprit” is a seven songs Ep. the CD begins with an introduction, followed by six compositions of intense Death metal, with varied atmospheres and conscious lyrics. And we hope it will please the great majority.


4. This recording was self-released, was it a choice or a matter of facts? How deep did you explore the "Do it yourself" concept? From the compositions to the final product, are you responsible from most stages of the elaboration process? (Pre-production, recording, mastering, visuals, manufacturing ... Tell us more).

To self-release the MCD in an almost complete manner was a conscious choice. We wanted to be able to appreciate and master each stages of the creation. So the recording was done in our "home studio". We were also very present during the mixing and mastering phases, we wanted to entrust to professionals (Noord Production and Kevoork Mastering).
Concerning the artwork, the illustration was created by Ed Hooijmans, and the remaining was completed by Philippe.
All the following steps, such as manufacturing, distribution or promotion are managed by ourselves, with the precious help of Marie (The band's production manager), so we can remain totally independent on this project.


5. Does the title of the CD "Eveil De L'Esprit" ("Awakening of the Spirit" in English) refer to a poltergeist, as a ghost would wake up in the middle of the night to snap the doors of an haunted house, or should one be more serious and think about the awakening of the critical mind, as you would refer to the ability to think for yourself?

It's you to see! :-)


6. I saw CRITIC live in Lille about 10 years ago, time flies fast! I feel your current style is a bit less old school and gives a more brutal impression...  Listening to your MCD, I wonder if this impression of brutality might not be due to the quite thick production, to the "big sound" effect one doesn't always find live... Do you confirm a somewhat more brutal evolution of your compositions? Or perhaps my remembrances of the gig in Lille are slowly entering in a state of decrepitude, and are distorted by the space time continuum and the liquefaction of my musical tastes? :-)

Oh yes, the time flies fast, too fast! Concerning the big sound, so many parameters can change the final impression: The room, the hardware, the sound man... We also didn't have a bass player when you saw us live at this time, this might change your feelings.
Anyway, we didn't aim to be more brutal, we always composed in a same manner. Concerning the production of the Ep, we wanted to be as close to our conception of the band as possible, and to respect the presence and the understanding of each instruments, without artifices.


7. Who composes the most in the band? Very often the musicians contribute to the arrangements, but one of them brings more riffs ideas than others... Is this the case with the band? Are the musicians of CRITIC perfectionists?

Philippe writes the lyrics, composes the riffs, and Vincent writes the drum patterns. The arrangements are the result of the work and feelings of each musician, vocals included, for example I can quote Erwin's bass lines or the leads Nicolas brought during the recording of the Ep. Perfectionists? Let's say we pay attention to details.


8. Expect for the vocals in french, do you think one could hear you're a french band somewhere?  This said, does "French death metal" still mean something at the level of the style in 2019? With globalization, accelerated communication at every levels, the genres tend to melt together and the regional touches tend to smoothen (I remember the beginnings 00's, the french death metal bands were quite close to old school brutal death metal, you could find a "retro but brutal" touch in quite many french bands...)

Our origins are most probably present in our music even if it's not volunteer. You can often find particularities in the music according to its country of origin: Peoples still talk about Swedish, German, American, Japanese or Russian metal... So why not a french sound? But we didn't aim to play french death metal. This said what could be the french touch?
Globalization leads to an open-mindedness, a musical diversification, but the creative approach remains to each band.
Standardization perhaps also comes from the means of production and broadcasting (Mass distribution, streaming platforms...).


9. How would you describe CRITIC to someone who wouldn't be used to the brutality of metal, neither to the "guitar and rebellion" side of the rock culture? (Yes, it exists, I knew a trainee from Senegal who was discovering Europe, for him rock music didn't exist before arriving in France, and he seemed to be quite confused with the "extremity" of Metallica...). Which meaning would you give to the music of CRITIC so that he could understand your approach?

In our eyes, rock is the best way to convey the feelings of frustration, anger etc... And with Death metal we found a way to express our feelings the best possible way, as well as our rage and desire to reject some drifts of society.


10. As well as in rock music, I don't find new bands in Metal to become really big, that last in time, that become musical highlights to the point of turning into references... The current economic situation and the evolution of the standard listener's relation with music won't help... For the big bands, there remain old ones such as Cannibal Corpse or Morbid Angel, but you must be quite motivated to follow each of their releases and listen repeatedly...
In your opinion, is underground condemned to suffer a frequent renewal of quite ephemeral bands, or do you believe we could see the emergence of new references that could last long enough to stand the test of time for decades?

According to us, when a band becomes a reference, it's not a part of the underground anymore and so this scene will renew itself automatically. But some bands will keep on standing out from the crowd, get more "success" and become new references..


11. Which bands appear the most often in your playlists? Are you rather into the old bands/ the classic records, or the newer releases?

We are five individuals so the question is very wide, even if we have some tastes in common. We are more than never true to our roots, but we still enjoy so much the discovering of new things, records that speak to us in a different way.


12. What are you future projects? This is a promotional space with product placement, so you can use it :-) Feel free to conclude.  

We are focused on the promotion and communication concerning the Ep, it's still available for sell on Bandcamp. This task takes an enormous amount of time and we also prepare ourselves to the forthcoming live appearances. We are also thinking about future merchandising, and the idea of a video clip sounds interesting, but this remains in reflection for now.

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