Hello, can you write a little history of OLDSKULL? The band isn’t
new, I think you had released a demo at the time of myspace (In
2009), but I believe you have been dormant for a few years...
as a 3 piece band in 2003: Seb (vocals), Manu (Guitar) and Hervé
(Drums). Around 2005 we recruited Damien on bass and we could play
our first concert. Then Yann (Bass) joined us in 2006, thanks to
his experience we were able to move forwards new composition and
play a few gigs.
A four tracks demo was released in 2009.
we have been searching for a little different way of composing to
be more efficient.
We did a few good concerts such as the XTREME
FEST in 2015, and even played with SKELETAL REMAINS at the Pavillons
No, the band has not been dormant. We continued to
compose songs, to deepen our style and way of playing.
a concert at the Club in Rodez in 2019 (A date shared with MERCYLESS,
RITUALIZATION and SAVAGE ANNIHILATION), Nico joined the band as
It was a long time we thought about having
2 guitars in the band, to open new technical horizons to our compositions.
Beginning of 2023, release of the Ep “The Defeat Of Humanity”,
followed by a few concerts including « Une Nuit En Enfer » for the
20 years of the festival (Date shared with MISGIVINGS, CONVICTION
practice a death metal the old way and influenced by the 90’s, we
can recognize the spirit of this epoch very well. Listening to your
last MCD I hear between others : DEATH ("Leprosy"), BOLT
THROWER, BENEDICTION, some more Scandinavian influences, a touch
of PESTILENCE and maybe GRAVE at the time of “Back from the grave”…
Tell us a bit about the ancient band that you love and influence
yourselves in the compositions for the old skulls.
5 members so this is as many different influences, however we all
find ourselves on the golden era of Death metal from early 90's
such as: Unleashed, Disincarnate, Hypocrisy, Luciferion, BoltThrower,
Death, MorbidAngel, Carcass, Morgoth, Sinister, Napalm Death, Memoriam
,Cannibal Corpse, Grave, Benediction, Entombed, Deicide, Resurrection,
Vader, Pestilence, Obituary, Malevolent Creation, Dismember, Gorguts,
Asphyx, Demolition Hammer…
But also some good thrash: Protector,
Possessed, Sepultura, Slayer…
We all have our own influences
in other styles but Death metal remains OLDSKULL’s reason of existence.
One shouldn’t forget France also owns cult bands that released
timeless death metal classics such as Loudblast, Mercyless, No Return,
Agressor and Massacra.
would you describe the musical evolution compared to the first demo
? First of all I hear the more powerful production, then you new
songs seem to be more efficient in the style, and it also appear
to be more inspired ‘(Than the quite old remembrance I have of the
old myspace tracks)…
separate the two recordings therefore more experience was gained
by each musician at the level of composition, then we updated our
way of composing by sharing files online: Meeting each others on
a regular basis became more complicated since half of the musicians
also play in other bands.
Oldskull also went from one to two
guitarists in 2019, it allows to lighten the songs or on the contrary
to make the sound more massive when necessary. The integration of
Nico allowed us to dare including more melodic parts, to try some
kind of leads. We think the main evolution since the first demo
lies at this level. We chose a path towards more moderated tempos,
to give way to accelerations or effective relaunch.
the integration of Nico: It was an excellent idea because two guitars
are essential for some riffs!
Finally we are all friends since
a long time and it’s very important to be a part of Oldskull.
you have released a new CD as a self-production. Tell us about the
different steps that led to the final product (Composition: How
long did it last? Recording: Where was it executed? Cover: Who took
care of it? etc). How can peoples obtain a copy of this release?
has evolved a bit since our beginnings. The moments of reunion around
our instruments are less frequent than before. Driven by the COVID
period, we have experimented remote work. Finally it’s quite efficient,
when we get together in the rehearsal room, we also have material
to work on and bring to life.
For the composition it’s very
random, hard to give an average length, some songs were written
fast enough (Until the last breath for example), others took longer.
years ago we were contacted by a film director from Toulouse, who
offered us to compose a track for his short film. From this positive
experience was born the song “Good blood” and the desire to record
the Ep. The recording took place at the DISMALSOUND STUDIO, but
Manu (Lead guitar) did a huge post recording work to arrive at the
result of the Ep. The cover was drawn in pencil by someone we know
then a graphic designer provided the final touch.
To get a copy
of the Cd contact us on:
get the Ep as digital download or streaming:
see two members of the current line up are a part (Or were involved
in) TRASHNASTY and NECROCULT. Have they always been a part
of the band, or is it more recent? Who takes care of the composition
the most: Is it a team effort?
Manu is still
a part of NECROCULT (Vocals/ Bass).
Following the split of TRASHNASTY,
Yann also played in EXILE FOR LUNACY that he left since then, to
fully devote himself to OLDSKULL and DEFËKT (Crust punk), in which
Hervé also plays drums.
Manu is the main composer, then we refine
the songs together during rehearsals. But the riffs and ideas come
from everyone. For example the opening riff of "ln the name
of science" was found by Seb (Vocals).
is a quite flowered band name, I find it would suit very well a
perfume shop or a store for decorative tissue flowers AhAh… It probably
comes from on word play on the words “Old school”, but do you give
it another meaning? For example “Old school” might as well be the
cranium of a narrow-minded and quite grumbling old death metaller
it, this is a quite average word play on the terms Old school. The
skull has a strong image in death metal and the morbid side of things
We are over forty or more… so we are old skulls.
The advantage is the older we get, the more the name of band takes
its full meaning… We were always interested in old school
death metal and we tried to compose a music that respects this identity,
so this word play seemed to be obvious to name the band.
are located in the South of France, while I’m in the North… Even
if we have access to the internet, we can’t be informed about everything…
Tell us if you have a nice local scene, with bands worth the earshot,
and bars worth the beer mug?
The local underground
scene has always been active, but we cruelly lack of networks with
the other areas to organize concert exchanges with other bands.
It always works by word of mouth, for example we met Vayron during
a concert in Tarbes, we hooked up well and they offered us to play
in their area in Dordogne.
Yes the south of France owns a good
scene with associations and bands that move their ass. It can be
in the Tarn with the asso Profusion, the bands Defekt, Spit the
curse, Necrocult, Exile for Lunacy, Pestiferum, or the pyrenean
scene with the assos Be gore in bigorre, Troopers of doom or Pyrenean
metal, the bands Asile obscene, Smashed, Tentation. And the Toulouse
scene with snakebite prod, Corporal punishment and Noiser. There
are a lot more on the east, west, north and south of Occitanie we
probably aren’t familiar with and that keep the underground extreme
Concerning the bars, we only know the Celtic Pub
in Tarbes were we played recently, in Albi it’s dead. In Toulouse
there’s also l'usine à musique, the Rex etc, but rather than
bars it consists of structures dedicated to concerts
you familiar with the Thai band that bears the same name? They also
play death metal the old way (I have their first Ep “Oldskull of
death” that was very cool)… On one hand the fact two bands play
a quite close style and bear the same name is a bit bothering, on
the other one they are located far enough I would say… What do you
think about it? I don’t believe you plan to make a career in metal
(Especially for death meal in France, to achieve this you would
have to sell your underwears, or more Ah Ah) but well…
our attention by covering BOLT THROWER during their concert, and
we listened to their album before which is not bad at all. They
also play good death metal. There are also polish and German bands
that use the name Oldskull.
We thought about changing the name
for a while to avoid confusion, especially since this word play
is becoming more and more common. But we never found anything hard-hitting,
then Oldskull suits us well and it seems that we started before
the other bands mentioned.
It’s the same than for Incubus: There’s
the good one, the true one, then the other one…
Thailand so there’s not much risks of confusion, we discussed a
name change several times in the band but as explained above OLDSKULL
suits us so well ... and the band was created 10 years before the
Thais so ...
9. Do you
think it’s still possible to create a music to be both original
and deeply inspired in metal in 2023? Some bands that practice more
modern styles are able to compose musics that sound original/ different,
but I find the emotions globally remain “on the surface”… At least
I can’t find the emotional intensity and depth of soul of old school
metal from back then… It’s a bit as if when trying too hard to be
original/ complex/ never-heard we lose the spontaneity and sincerity…
Are you listening to old school music only, or are you hears also
tempted by more modern genres, or styles that don’t belong to metal?
OLDSKULL : If you have the right riff with good vocal lines, double
bass drums and a big two times, that works ! Then tastes and colors…
We are all conscious about it therefore our influences lie in the
past: The peak of death metal leads us back to 1993, so for us anything
composed after this date will sound good… But many will have a taste
of ever heard… But yes, there remains a lot to be done in this kind
of music, we believe in it! The founding idea of OLDSKULL was and
remains to play “traditional” Death metal in its original conception,
to resume your words: sincerity and spontaneity.
The same thoughts
arise for each new idea: Does it sound like death metal? Is this
riff good sounding? Is this break efficient? Etc…
what we enjoy listening, each has its small preferences but once
again we all agree on 90’s Death metal.
It’s the playlist question, can you tell us which bands or albums/
Eps you have listened to the last weeks ? Are there new discoverings
we shouln’t miss?
There are dozens
of bands coming out every day, it’s impossible to check out everything,
but it’s certain there are good ones in the middle. Then we also
discover quite a lot of old stuffs that didn't get noticed back
then but remain worth the listening!
There also remains the elder
bands like Obituary that still produce very good music for example
(Barely alive, our necks didn’t recover yet…)
Vayron’s 2022 Demo
is very cool, the recent albums of Asile obscene and Smashed are
also very good. We can also advice Corporal Punishement’s “The New
Plague” Ep and Cruz’s “Confines de la Cordura” with closed eyes.
For the international bands, the new Enslaved, Enforced.
still and always our good old death metal collection that will accompany
us until our last breath.
What are the current and future projects of the band?
In the close
future : New compositions and a «video clip»! To play more concerts
and to keep on progressing in group cohesion.
Today and tomorrow
: To keep on offering a sincere death metal and all the more to
perpetuate the death metal tradition!