Eths - Interview @ Espace Julien (Marseille, FR) - 20.02.2009
We met with Candice and Staif from Eths before their concert in Marseille, their native city. We talked about their tour in South America for their last album Tératologie. They explained to us how this album was created, and in which way it's different from their first EPs Autopsie and Samantha. Since Tératologie was released in October of 2007, we learned that they just started working on some new material. The interview is available both in English and in French. Don't miss the subtitled video message.
Metal-Ways: Your last gig in Marseille goes all the way back to May 6th 2005, which is over 3 years ago. Is tonight's gig special for you, seeing you're playing in your hometown?
Candice & Staif:
Yes, obviously, this makes us very happy.
M-W: Tératologie made it possible for you guys to do some gigs in South America in June 2008. Were you nervous about that, and looking back on it now, did you learn from them?
Staif: It was very mysterious, we didn't know what to expect. Looking back on it, it was just great, people just went crazy.
Candice: It was huge! People knew the words to the songs!
Staif: They sang in phonetics, that was brillant.
M-W: You had dates planned as a support act for Superbutt in America in May last year, but they were postponed. Any more news on that?
Candice: For the moment, we don't talk about that, cause we really don't know.
Staif: We need a lot of money...
M-W: Coming back on Tératologie, could you quickly present the concept of it?
Staif: I dont know if you can actually talk about a concept...
Candice: When you create something, you write it, and then it just turns out a certain way. After that, the cover and stuff like that just sort of comes along with the atmosphere of the songs. It also depends on the people we work with.
Staif: Yes, atmosphere is really important. Each album has its own and and with this one, there were only three of us left. So it was different, we wanted something new, and we tried a lot of things.
M-W: And do you like the final result?
Candice: Yes we really let ourselves go on the compositions, didn't put any limits whatsoever. We did the complete opposite of what we've done on Sôma. We tried to get the best out of us. Also, you kind of grow up, evoluate, and you learn from your past mistakes, so you can do better.
M-W: Talking about mistakes, found any on Tératologie?
Candice: Of course!
Staif: Yes, because we put so much more on it, we kind of overdid it. Like on the arrangements, stuff like that, but you know, we just wanted to try.
Candice: You just have to go through things like that, so that the next time you can do better. But still, we're very pleased with the result!
M-W: The album has a very disturbing theme, but one song really jumps out: Anima Exhalare. The words are about feelings instead of bodies and its malformations.
Candice: Exactly, and those lyrics were written by Staif.
Staif: Actually, it's the follow up to Animadversion. It's more about myself. That's why there's so much difference with the other songs where Candice really goes off into another universe. On this one we worked together, I didn't just write it in one go, I had ideas and phrases and then Candice just put that all together.
Candice: It was his universe, and I really tried to stay into that, and just work on the emotions.
M-W: You pay a lot of attention to the artwork. Where do the ideas come from?
Candice: We worked on that with people that are not in the band.
Staif: Yes, we always do that for the artwork. We start off with some brainstorming and then we go like "Oh let's work with that person". As it turns out, all our covers were actually made by friends. Sôma was done by Daniel (bassplayer of Tripod), Tératologie by Matthieu (singer of Babylon Pression).
Candice: As well as that, those people really know our universe, so they can get inspiration out of that. And that just works out really well with what we want.
M-W: The artwork gets more and more provocative, which obviously tends to draw the attention. However, did it ever close any doors to you?
Staif: There was a bit of a scandal about Térato, due to the rabbits. But it's not our goal to chock people, it's more about the esthetics of horror, which we've always done. Samantha was like that, but it's a lot harder for people to accept when animals are involved. It was definitly not done to belittle rabits or anything like that. It was more like to point out that humans are animals, and animals are human.
M-W: Concerning sales, entries, solicitations and festivals, what's the evolution compared to the Sôma period?
Candice: Well... [laughs] that just goes together with the crisis. Let's just say we're more known, but we sell less albums.
Staif: It's different, we're not that good in the studio, but live there's been a big evolution because a lot of doors got openend abroad. But like anyone else, we had to deal with bad stuff as well.
Candice: Also, times have changed. Nowadays it's very hard being an artist, it's a real struggle.
M-W: Looking back on things, how do you feel about your first two EP's, which were a lot more brutal and less progressive then the two albums?
Candice: We were really young, that's all. The first one we did in 7 days, there was like a kind of rage taking over... I did my vocals in like 2 days. The way things went in those days... really weird!
Staif: We had like a ridiculously small budget, which meant things had to go fast.
Candice: After that, for Samantha things went differently... Actually every recording is different.
Staif: It all depends on where and with who you record. So many things other than the band come affect it. Of course the band is important, but even more so, is the person in front of you, the soundengineer, if there's only one or more...
M-W: On gigs you still play songs of Samantha, is that important to you?
Staif: Oh yes, because we still really like the songs.
Candice: Yep, we don't just play songs of the last album.
M-W: On the other hand, no more songs from Autopsie?
Staif: It's not that we think they're less good, but there are others we really want to play, so you just have to let go of certain songs.
M-W: How about the new kid on the block: Morgan, does he fit well in the band?
Morgan [just happens to pass by]: Not at all! ... Yeah, everything goes very well, they're really nice. We play in quite huge conditions, that's cool!
Candice: We just bite him a bit, and after that... it's sorted.
M-W: Tératologie was released in October 2007. You've been touring a lot with this album. Have you started working on new songs?
Staif: We just about started now.
Candice: We need to settle down in order to write, we have to be zen, think about what it is we want to do.
Staif: We had a period of just one gig after the other, followed by a break, because of some health issues, which made things quite difficult. Now that everything is back as it should be, and there's less gigs, we got started on that.
M-W: You're on list for the Graspop Metal Meeting this summer, which is the largest metal fest in Belgium. Impatient for that?
Candice: Oh yes, we're really looking forward to that!
M-W: Candice, you collaborated on a Kells song, La Sphère of which the video was released recently. You wrote the grunt parts yourself, based on the lyrics of Virginie. Did you also come with the idea of the environment that surrounds you in the video?
Candice: Not at all, I just... acted.
M-W: How about a live duo with Kells?
Candice: We talked about it, I know they would like me to be there for the Paris gig in April. I'm looking into it, see if I can do it, because obvioulsy if we have our own gigs, I can't do it.
M-W: You participated in two Female Metal Voices fests, last one being last October. How were you received?
Candice: There weren't that many people on the last one, so the welcoming was kind of cold, really weird night.
Staif: The night we played, Girlschool was headlining, and the crowd was kinda small.
M-W: Staif, you cite David Lynch as an inspiration source in an interview. Just out of curiosity, is there a particular film that caught your attention, and did you use the inspiration of it for a particular song?
Staif: In terms of sound, it's Mudholland Drive. I watched that film after having started doing some demos of Samantha and I rediscovered something I loved without knowing it. And obviously there's Lost Highway. Saying that, I love everything he does, too much even. His last film, I really got into it, and I have friends that go like "Yeah but I don't understand anything, this film is really horrible!".
But i love his twisted side. You get the impression he's someone with a really dark side. And we also got that side in us. We just love to have loads of fun, act stupidly, and in the music that just translates to more darker things.
M-W: To end things, out of all your songs, which one do you like the most?
Staif: Anima Exhalare
, probably because it's so personal.
Check Candice and Staif's video message here!
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