INTERVIEWS                     GUESTBOOK



 l_flag_france.gif                                              l_flag_united_kingdom.gif


1. Hello! Let’s go: What should a reader who isn’t familiar with the band know before we begin? What would your biography look like if it was summed up to the most essential zests of citron?

To sum it up, Henker is a brutal death band formed in 2003 and coming from France (95). We released a self-titled first 4 tracks Ep in 2005, it helped us to make a few good gigs! Then we focused on the composition and release of our first album, it gained aggressiveness and speed compared to the Ep. Now we try to promote and play this record live.


2. Introduce us to your first album "Slave of my art" that was released at the end 2010... Are you still satisfied with it? How are the feedbacks for now? And the sales, are they gaining weight as a big baby in full growth?

Yes we are quite satisfied with our album, even if we will never totally be... We are something like eternally dissatisfied ones, same than most of musicians who left the recording studio! But for a totally self-produced album, we are quite happy. Reviews are good, we got quite a lot of articles and interviews in France, but also in Germany, Usa, Italy, Indonesia... "Slave of my art" is considered as technical brutal death, with mostly very fast tempos. But we also have a little "hardcore" touch, syncopated riffs, as well as more "mid tempo" tracks. Some American reviewers say we have a groove touch. In brief everyone can describe us the way he whishes to.
The album seems to please listeners, sales are quite good, even if we're far from refunding the recording! Since we have no official distributor, we did our best for it shall be available on most of download platforms. It's also for sell on our site (Paypal) and through some small independent distributors.


3. Five years have passed between your first demo and the long playing CD... I say to myself you could be perfectionists, or you had a lot of problems with the line up, rehearsal room, or provisioning in hash and strong alcohol... Why didn't you release a big shitting record every year to fulfill the space? What prevented you from flooding our hears with tons of big dry excrements? AhAh.

There was no problem with the line up or provisioning in hash and alcohol, that might explain why it took some time!
Yes, we are quite perfectionists. We didn't want to release a rushed first album. The lack of funds to pay all the studio hours gave us some time to think, change arrangements... But to be perfectionists also has drawbacks: You spend a lot of time in the studio, and so you spend a lot of money! And if you take too much of time, your music could become "has been" even before the release of the record! Our priority was to make modern music: If you take in account the time needed to compose music, record, press the record… A crazy amount of time is gone! So you should better put a lot of effort in your music, because every 2-3 years the styles evolve, the technical level of bands improve a lot.
I remember that after a few songs, some guys told us they didn't understand anything anymore! We were even sometimes exceeded ourselves!! We really stormed our brains. For this, we are really satisfied. According to us, our music sounds rather modern… It's obvious that those who do not enjoy the style will feel left behind at the first approach, but it's a good thing. I dare to think a real unity lies in each song.


4. This first demo was in a quite different, more core, more plastic genre, while the album was submit to a brutal refocusing towards brutal death metal and sends more burning sausages! What has motivated this change? Did your style of once become too restrictive? Do you find more freedom in technical brutal death... ?

To speak the truth we do not stop ourselves at a given genre, but it's true we like a lot the very fast and technical brutality. With more and more work since the release of the demo, we have gained a better technical level, it enabled us to perform more "brutal death" songs. And so our panel of genres, riffs and compositions has enlarged... In this meaning we find more of freedom.


5. Your style has became quite seriously technical by moments... My cartilages are creaking... Is your music always easy to be reproduced live? Isn’t it too anguishing to always be at your best and reproduce every tracks as it should be? What are your tips: A warm-up before the gig, intravenous injections in the fingers, or do you directly plug yourselves in the high voltage?

In fact the songs are hard to play and require us to warm up before playing, at least for now because we unfortunately do not play gigs everyday! We are lucky to own a regular rehearsal place were we often practice.  This said, live conditions are often difficult concerning good hearing possibilities. Our songs being fast and composed of many riffs, a very clear sound is needed so that we can hear ourselves playing! The cleanliness of playing is also a necessity, but we shouldn't forget the stage presence. You defend your music much more if you move a lot (Instead of remaining straight and calm)... We have technical plans to easily deal with onstage sound and to find the right compromise between cleanliness and onstage energy.


6. This question became quite a bit cliché, but I like to ask because it enables readers to have a more precise idea of the band’s music. What are your strongest musical influences? I know some musicians refuse to answer, since they don’t want to be taken as copyers, but even without voluntary copying one can find similarities between his music and those of other bands (Unless you don’t listen to other music than yours… But well…)

Dying fetus, Meshuggah, Decapitated, Beneath the massacre, Misery Index , Martyr, Candiria, Cryptopsy, Origin, Necrophagist, but also Deicide, Fear Factory, Sepultura, Pantera, ... It’s very difficult, there are so many metal bands! But we also listen to many other kinds of music, one shouldn’t remain close-minded if he wants to improve.


7. The production of your last album isn’t hyper plastified, contrary to quite many bands of the genre, we could even say it’s quite « old school » in a way (The atmosphere can escape the production, it’s not a never-ending tic tic…). Was it a volunteer choice, or a side-effect of autoproduction? Maybe somewhere you remain fans of the old Death metal albums and this might be some kind of tribute? (I read in another interview you quite voluntary choose an old school cover…)

We spent a lot of time with Manu (Sound engineer of the White Wastland studio) to get a sound that pleased us with the means of this little studio. So the production of the album is both a volunteer choice and an effect of autoproduction… The sound also depends on who does the mix. We didn’t try to copy the sound of a band in particular, the mix is the fruit of a common work. Our old musical influences certainly show up in the mix, even if we rather tried to get something that sounds modern!

Concerning the cover, we wished to remain in the same spirit than the first Ep, using the same character, all the more our lyrics are related to him. He was created and drawn by the tattoo artist called Blaise (Tintin Tattoos) who took care of our two covers. We didn’t think at all about the old school aspect. We like a lot the art of tattoo, even if Franz is the only guy in the band to be tattooed (I should add he does tattoos himself). This character perfectly illustrates our music, our lyrics deal with him and his history.  It’s a symbolic feature inspired from the samurai spirit, including the treaty of the five wheels. A warlike universe, governed by strict codes. The « Japanizing » atmospheres between some tracks are present to remember this thema and this character.


8. Can you explain a bit the principles of the « Double double kick ». Some double bass drum parts are quite surprising, so few technical details would be necessary to prove this is not necessarily computerized cheating…

Henker’s drummer uses two giant step pedals released by Sonor.  The mechanism consists of a heel-toe system activating two « kicking heads » per pedal, and so two per bass drum. A hit of toe leads a « kicking head », a hit of heel leads the other. The heel-toe enables drummers to play double bass-drums with one feet, or quadruple bass-drums with two feets. This pedal is hard to master because there’s no automation system, contrary to those of other brands.
On the album, only bass drums are triggered. Everything is played by Morgan on acoustic drums.


9. Who composes the most in the band? Have you got a quite particular way of composing, or does everything occur during rehearsals and then exchanges through emails? Your songs generally contain a minimum amount of how many riffs ? (And a sub question, just for fun : Did you transcribe everything as scores?)

The composition in Henker begins with an individual work, and finally turns to a whole band effort. The drummer can create loops he then suggests to the guitarists. The guitarists also offer riffs, particularly Laurent who remains the main composer.  Vocals come later.
We meet each others between rehearsals to gather our ideas. We also take the time to record improvisations during rehearsals. We finish everything together with arrangements. Concerning the amount of riffs, I admit the question never crossed my mind! I imagine there should be a good dozen per track, but it depends on the songs! It’s the kind of things we don’t think about.


10. Is self-release a choice or a need? According to the content of your album, I say to myself an American brutal death label could have dug it… So tell us everything: You prefer to deal with everything yourselves, without parasiting, at least you know what is done (And what has to be done), or in 2011 does it become quite complicated to find a label that correctly releases an album? (At the level of distribution, promotion and others)

Self-release was needed! Of course we would have preferred to find some help! We didn’t find a label even though some tracks were circulating. We had few contacts, but nothing concrete.
We would have liked to get financial help to release the album, to promote it, etc… But it also takes a lot of time through searches and communication, and our listeners were becoming impatient!
Hopefully, thanks to the web or the small distributors it’s now possible to release your music yourself. But we would need to find a manager who could help us to develop the band. We currently work on spreading our album and are still searching for a label, tour organizer, distributors, etc.


11. Choose one of these bands : NAPALM DEATH, ORIGIN, PESTILENCE. Tell us what you think and feel while listening to their music, and which of their albums is your favorite.

Napalm death: The « Greed killing » track remains a little killer, in my remembrance. « Inside the torn apart » is a very good album. I love the guitar riffs as well as the very fat voice of the singer!!


12. And if I really had to force you to choose another band from the previous list, which would one would it be? Héhé.

Origin of course! A reference of the brutal!


13. What do you think of:
-Black metal.

I don’t listen to this style, but the fast and technical aspect, particularly drums, is quite efficient live. I saw a couple of good gigs when black metal bands shared stage with brutal death ones.

-Sluggish brutal death.
It should be boring !

-Paper fanzines (Does it exist in Paris?)
There should be some, but I’m not informed. At least I didn’t see it. Every ways of communication are good to spread musical information, it helps to develop this music.

-The « Nord pas de calais » (My area).
We got a great welcoming during a gig in Dunkerque, especially by the organizers : Beach, restaurant, big sound, living crowd, and especially the slang of the north that remains timeless.

-Traditional provincial cheese (Does it exist in Paris?)
It’s the same than for music and bands, you can find some very good ones and others that stink! Then, each one his tastes… Personally speaking, I like well traditional cheeses from Savoy and Jura! On the other hand, I don’t know any traditional one from Paris!

14. HENKER is officially located in the « Ile de France » area, close to Paris… When I see the amount of bands to play there I find it to be quite hallucinating, there’s almost every « big » bands… On the other hand I read local supporters even became jaded because there are quite overfed : Too many gigs, they saw everything, etc…
Is it an anti Parisian-guy myth from the depths of deep France, or would you confirm this phenomenon? How is the atmosphere in general during gigs in this area ?

It’s true an enormous amount of gigs take place in Paris and its surroundings. Each week you can visit metal gigs. So, the offer is so big that the crowd becomes very selective. In Paris, the crowd of metal gigs is composed of at least 80% of musicians who also have bands! If they don’t know the band, they will generally be focused and look, without moving, observe what you’re doing, and if they don’t like they won’t give a fuck at all. If the crowd knows the band and likes it, then it’s war in the pit! In the surrounding areas things are a bit different, the crowd is younger and will easily move, even if they just discovered the band…


15. Do the musicians of HENKER play in parallel projects? If so, are the styles different or quite close? Would there be projects to find in non musical areas?

We all play in musical projects that has nothing to do with metal! Depending on the guy, it can be classical music, hip hop, electro, jazz, flamenco, reggae…! We all are individually quite opened to every kinds of music.


16. Is there a link between Hulk and Henker? Speaking about it, what does your moniker mean?

No there’s no link with Hulk! « Henker » means « executioner » in German.


17. What are the future projects of the band? Some merchandising, gigs or other things are planned? I leave you a bit of living space to make the final promotion and conclude…

Of course we wish to play live as much as possible, we’re actively searching for new dates. T-shirts are in the making. We have a few drafts of new songs, we would like to release a small transitional Ep before the second album, just to add a stratum of brutality.
For those who want to listen to our album, it’s available as download and physical CD on our website, it will be a pleasure for us to send it! STAY BRUTAL !


Web page: http://www.myspace.com/henker1