INTERVIEWS                     GUESTBOOK


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1. Hello, I hope things are metallizing in the East of France. Are your bolts well oiled?

Gabriel : The bolts are trimmed, the nuts screwed on, and the rings tightened !

Jean-Gauthier : The warriors of the world are united, to the sound of thunder and steel!

2. When you want to describe the music of Prescience to someone who isn’t familiar with the band, which words do you use ? Rather technical thrash? Progressive thrash? Old school technical thrash? Or perhaps you pull other words out of your wallet to catch his attention?

Gabriel : I try to use in priority terms that accurately describe our sound. At first I tended to describe our music as “Progressive Thrash”. Over time I realized that the music I wrote had a significant part of death in itself. Our music is certainly influenced by groups like Voivod, Coroner and Vektor but also by Death and Atheist, for example. This is why nowadays I tend to describe our music as “Progressive Thrash-Death”.
I stick to “Progressive” rather than “technical”, because I am before all interested in surprising structures, mixtures of styles and thematic developments. Virtuosity doesn't really interest me. The emphasis is put on complexity rather than technicality. This may seem like nitpicking, but I think there's a real difference in nature between, let’s say, an Edge of Sanity and a Necrophagist (which I appreciate for different reasons).

3. “Out Of The Grave” is your first recording and it dates back to 2019. Are you still satisfied with the result? Why do you consider it simply as a demo, and not a MCD or an Ep? I find the result to be very good for a first shot, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of... Were the feedbacks satisfactory?

Gabriel : I think there is an important difference in nature between a “demo” and an “EP”. Both formats are short, but the demo has a more “amateur” approach. The performances are generally a bit more approximate, the recording quality average and the distribution medium is often “homemade” (CD-R or cassette). An EP comes with a professional quality in all respects, but its length is reduced. I‘d like to point out that I am not making a value judgment, I appreciate both formats.
We always envisioned “Out of the Grave” as a demo, a first recording made with the means at hand, just to be able to share our first compositions with our audience. From this point of view, I think the demo played its role perfectly. We got a lot of feedback, most of it positive. Quite a few comments on Youtube, a few reviews in fanzines. We didn't expect it at all. It’s always very touching to read your art is understood and appreciated by other peoples.
So I'm quite satisfied with the result. Even if there are approximations, I find the whole thing has character and we can perceive the ambition of the band. That being said, we plan to re-record certain tracks for our future first album, because we believe that it deserve to exist in a more accomplished form.

4. Since this first demo you must have had time to move forward with the composition... But we all had to undergo covid in the meantime, so nothing is certain... Can you tell us what your new pieces sound like? Are they in the same style than the ones of the demo, or a bit different? Maybe faster? More dissonant? More progressive?

Gabriel : Covid was a bad blow for the group overall. It's hard to find the motivation to move forward when you can't rehearse or play live. But during this difficult period, I still found the energy to work on new ideas. Today I can say the writing of the first album is globally finished, even if there are two or three things left to finish (a few lyrics and a few solos are still missing).
Concerning the new songs, it's difficult to talk about it in general. I always tend to approach each new composition as an autonomous story, with its own internal logic. And I try not to repeat myself. It’s very important for me to be able to create surprise in the listener. Even on the demo, this is something you can already notice, because the three tracks are quite different.
The new songs remain in a style close to the one of the demo, so this is a thrash-death base with progressive elements, but perhaps with even more ambition. The last piece that I composed is especially progressive and lasts longer than 10 minutes. I infused a lot of Jazz and Fusion influences into it (It’s a style I have studied a lot over the last 3 years), but it remains 100% Prescience.

5. Concerning the meaning of your band name, I was going to ask a question based on a quite foolish interpretation ("Is prescience a science that existed before science itself, a kind of more archaic researches" AhAh.. .), but fortunately I did a research which informed me Prescience is a form of gift of anticipation, of ability to see the future... Why did you choose this name? When you think about it, it could be quite stressful, even tortured, to know the future in advance, because you wouldn't necessarily be able to change it...

Jean-Gauthier :  Initially the group was called "Bone Crushers", but this name no longer fit what the group had become over time. The desire to create a narrative, concept album, with a plot, implied a name that perhaps sounded a little less like classic thrash. We all thought about it a bit and finally my proposal that was accepted, Prescience. Nothing to do with documentaries on the “great ancients” or TV UFO documentaries, nor with the slightly weird alchemist circles.
First, the choice of name. At one time, I wrote articles for several websites, mainly in music and cinema. I had the chance to cover the FEFFS (Strasbourg Fantasy Film Festival) several times, and while attending a Joe Dante masterclass, the word “prescient” stuck with me. He used it when he spoke about the ability of artists to sometimes place elements in their works that shew a little gift of anticipation, or a lot of luck. This word stayed with me, a bit like how you sometimes meet a nice person. Firstly because it kicks, and it sounds good. Since our lyrics deal with death, with the journey of a soul, and its death... And who knows more exactly? “Prescience” could so stick to the narrator of the lyrics, who is interested and tries to envisage the great after that constitutes death, the end of all things... a certain vision of what eternity could be.

Gabriel : Furthermore, “Prescience” is a short name, in one word, it’s easy to remember. And the word is the same in French and English. So it fits perfectly in every way.


6. I checked your Metal-archives, Facebook and discogs pages, but there were no mention of other bands in which the musicians participated... Perhaps nothing was recorded by these previous groups? Or maybe you don't consider them good enough in hindsight?

Gabriel : Indeed for a part of the musicians in Prescience, it’s the first « true » musical project. “True” in the sense it is a project that aims to be serious, with a real artistic ambition. And not a group of people who would just jam together or only play covers. The only exception is Christophe (guitar) who has a little more experience and plays (and has played) in other groups. In particular, he has a Punk band called Samba Léküy.

Jean-Gauthier : As far as I'm concerned, it I was new for me. I have been surrounded by musicians throughout my life, whether in my immediate or more distant family. I know I have always been attracted by the stage, and when the opportunity presented itself, I was hesitant at first, but I surprised myself liking it. The integration wasn't necessarily easy, rather because I wasn’t relaxed enough… I found everyone to be a good musician, it took time for me to fully feel at ease, to understand the role of the singer, even more in a musical style which isn’t necessarily my favorite basically. Finding the right tone, the right stage posture, etc.

7. You enjoy technical and also dissonant music, so I wonder if you also look a little further than technical thrash and metal for your listening, or your influences... Do you like 70’s prog rock? (King crimson... And especially "Red") or 80's post punk? (The beginnings of Killing joke for example), or do you find more appeal in other styles?

Gabriel : Yes, totally. Speaking for myself, I would even say progressive music is my main source of inspiration. This is the style I grew up with, and it has greatly influenced the way I listen to and compose music.
When I was a teenager I listened to a lot to King Crimson, Yes, Pink Floyd, Rush, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Magma... Then more modern, heavier things like Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Haken, Leprous. To finally reach “Metal Extreme” with Opeth, Enslaved, Death, Cynic, Atheist and so many others. So we can totally say I got into Metal through progressive music.
Concerning Killing Joke and Nu-Wave in general, it's a style I appreciate but I wouldn’t say it was foundational for me. And once again, the artists who influenced me the most in this style are the most experimental or offbeat, like XTC or Oingo Boingo, for example.
Personally, my last great musical trip is jazz. 5 years ago, I listened to “A Love Supreme” by Coltrane and it completely blew me away. The freedom, the intensity, the depth of expression. Since then, Jazz music has never left me. At the moment I’m listening to Thelonious Monk quite a bit, especially the album “It’s Monk Time”. I love this artist, he’s completely offbeat, radical and with a unique musical language. It's very inspiring. This said, the intro to one of the new songs came to me while listening to Monk, in fact.

8. I don't know if you were there in the first half of the 90s, but there was a batch of "techno death" bands (basically the beginnings of technical death metal) in France at the time and they had released cool, even very cool demos, like MESMERIZE (1st demo), EVITERNITY (The green and red cover), perhaps the beginnings of SCARVE, or if we get closer to thrash I would quote THALIDOMIDE and DROYS... And the spirit of your demo kinda reminds me this era... So am I right, do you vow a "nostalgic cult" to dusty but original old recordings from an ancient time? Or am I being fooled by the slightly old school production of your demo? (Please note, the term "old school" isn’t negative in this case). Well, if my question is too pointy, you can get around it by citing other old school groups you enjoy, for example MEKONG DELTA would do as well :) )

Gabriel : To be honest I'm not very familiar with the old school French techno thrash or techno death scene. I have already been told about these groups several times and overall what I heard did not transcend me. In my opinion it was not at the level of what was done internationally at the same time (Death, Atheist, Cynic, Pestilence for death metal; Coroner, Watchtower, Voivod for thrash). Oh yes ! There is “Killing Process” by Carcariass which I really like and dates from that period.
On the other hand, in the French old school death scene I really like Mercyless. I find their first albums have nothing to envy to the big names of the genre. Same for Massacra.
I’d like to point out I am too young to have been a part of this scene. So for me these sounds have no nostalgic value. And in general I am not a nostalgic person, I avoid as much as possible to have an idealized relationship with the past.

9. You do enjoy CORONER, it can be heard, that’s cool! For a while there has been news circulating about a new album… But I think the style will be closer to "Grin" than to the first records, which were more to my tastes... What do you think of it? Are you rather enthusiastic about the idea, or not specially? What are your favorite Coroner albums?

Gabriel : We are hearing about this hypothetical new Coroner album for a long time. I also think the style will be close to Grin. A more refined, groovy metal. With Industrial Metal influences. It would fit in with Vetterli's projects after Coroner, for example his albums with Kreator or 69 Chambers. I really like Grin, so I wouldn't have a problem with that. But bands’ comebacks after a long hiatus are always hazardous, I think.
Globally I appreciate the whole Coroner discography, I find each album has something unique that is worth the hear. If I had to keep just one it would probably be “Mental Vortex”. This album achieves being catchy and refined while remaining progressive, which is quite rare.

Jean-Gauthier :  I come much more from hardcore, neo (especially Deftones) and that scene. I remember that one of our first musical discussions with Gab revolved around the “best Swiss band”. I have always had an attachment to this rather incredible scene considering the size of the country: For me the Young Gods are at the top. I have other favorites like Nostromo and Underschool Element.
But when he heard my statement about the Young Gods being the best Swiss group, Gab told me about Coroner. I knew the prestige of the band but I didn't listen more than that. I mainly started listening to Mental Vortex again and again. We were doing a cover of “Divine Step”, and I can't count the times we had to listen to it to make it our own. Afterwards, I started listening to the whole discography, and liking it. We actually talked about it again this summer. For me, I think it would be hard to choose just one, but at the top I would say it's No More Colors, which has a good kicking side. Grin is also fabulous, and we all have a love story in the band with “Paralized, Mesmerized”. Recently I re-listened to Punishment for Decadence, which I find just as grandiose.

10. At one time Strasbourg was kinda the stronghold of grind and brutal death with SKULL FUCKED Prod and its festival, at another time it was more of an old school metal area with old-fashioned death and black (like Bloody sign, Necros...). But in 2023, what's good in your region? Which styles predominate? Which associations are worth looking into?

Gabriel : Death and grind still take an important place, especially in the Alsatian scene. We have leaders who are still active and regularly play concerts, like Mercyless and Inhumate. And more recent bands like Warkunt, Necroscum or Haut & Court continue this tradition.
In the East we also have a very active Hardcore scene with many different styles. It goes from brutal beatdown to more math or emo things. In Strasbourg for example, we have projects like PIEDBOUCHE or Jeanne which illustrate this diversity.
Regarding associations: In Strasbourg we have Music Shoot, Murder by Decibel and Kawati (which organizes the excellent Itawak Fest festival every year). In Colmar there is the Aching asso.
And it’s funny you tell me about Bloody Sign. For the story, I took a few guitar lessons with their former guitarist (Kalevi)…

11. If the spirit of Prescience's music had to be symbolized by the work of a painter or illustrator? Which one would you choose? Would you rather go to the experimental Germany of the 80s, the heroic fantasy of the 70s?

Gabriel : I have always been a big fan of Costin Chioreanu’s work. His universe is sinister, strange and at the same time esoteric, psychedelic and cosmic. I think it would fit well with our music. I really like the visuals he did for SIGH (Graveward), Grave (Out Of Respect For The Dead) and the video he did for the song Iconspiracy by Voïvod.

Jean-Gauthier : For the lyrics, if I think of a visual impact, apart from literary influences… The visual has a great impact in the mental films I have while writing: I would say the work of Gaspar Noé on Enter The Void, a stellar aesthetic in the style of 2001 by Kubrick, it’s unavoidable, and a little hint of Giger for the suffocating anguish.

12. What are the future plans of the band? You can present the available merch, then conclude the interview... Thanks for the answers.

Gabriel : To begin with, we would like to have a full line-up again, because we are currently missing a bassist. It’s in the way since we are in the process of holding auditions. Once that's done, we'll get down to finishing our first album. All the songs are composed and we have even started working on pre-recording demos. We really hope to be able to go in the studio during 2024... Fingers crossed!
Regarding the merch, the second pressing of the demo is still available on our bandcamp page(prescienceband.bandcamp.com). It is a unique, entirely handmade item, screen-printed and folded out. So it’s definitely worth the detour!

Gabriel and Jean-Gauthier : Thank you for the interest in our music, and thank you for these precise and informed questions.

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