1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Julian Izard (lead vocals and guitars): Existance was created at the end of 2008 by Tom Drouin (bass) and me, because we shared a common goal of keeping the musical spirit of the 1980s Heavy Metal alive. We released our first demo in 2010 and four tracks were recorded, which in turn enabled us to start gigging around France. Then in 2011 after many line-up changes we returned in the studio and we produced an 8 tracks demo simply called "Existance" which contains the 4 tracks of the first release.
In 2012, thanks to the demos being well received by both local and international media we played a lot of concerts across France, Belgium and Netherlands too. Then the "Existance" demo was re-released by High Roller Records in April 2012 on compact disc and vinyl and we also announced another line-up change in December with the arrival of Alex (drums) and Antoine (guitar) for the writing sessions of our first album.
After a year of hard working, we entered in the studio in September 2013 for recorded our first album "Steel Alive". Then we signed with Mausoleum Records in January 2014.
2. You have a new album coming out in April, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the demo's that the band have released in the past?
"Steel Alive" will contain 11 tracks. It is heavier, faster and more melodic than before and the production is naturally better than the demos. It was mastered in Los Angeles by Maor Appelbaum who worked with Halford, Malmsteen, Sepultura, Dokken and many others!
There are also some variations in the album with a slower song and a very melodic singing and some songs have great chorus and good riffs. We stayed true to the style that we defend and this record sounds like a classic 80's heavy metal album with a more recent sound.
3. When I listened to the new album it had a sound closer to the early 80's but with a more modern take, what was the decision behind going into the more classic metal direction with your music?
We did not ask any questions about the musical direction. We all grew up with this classic metal which is so powerful and melodic at the same time. Every instrument has his place so it was natural for us to take this way. During the 80’s, each band had its own personality and they all brought something new. There have been so many hits written! So we try to keep the best of all those bands and we bring our touch and feeling when we write a song.
4. Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
We take our inspiration in worst chapters of the History of the world like for « Slaughter » and « Close To The End » which is, for the first one, about the Columbine’s tragedy in 1999 and for the other one it tells a story about a young boy during the war. We have songs about real facts like « From Hell » who is based on a letter written by Jack the Ripper and some other songs are based on fantastic stories like « The Siren » or « Black Viper ». But the most important source of inspiration is about Life and our vision of it is explained in « Get Away » and « Steel Alive ».
5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Existance'?
We do not have the same point of views and we have different ways of thinking compared to most people of our generation, and this difference is a strength. So the name "Existance" has a philosophical signication. We have the right to express ourselves and create things with the same conviction as anyone because we exist! In addition to this philosophical thought, our symbol is a star: she brings us luck and shows us the path to follow.
6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how you describe your stage performance?
One of the best memories was the gig we did in the Netherlands. We played at 9 pm and 10 minutes before the show the hall was empty. We were worried but one guy told us that we should not and people will come. Two minutes later, metalheads on their bicycles came from all sides! It was impressive, trust me! Then the concert began and the atmosphere was awesome, the Dutch know how to party! More recently we come back on stage after two years without playing so we will keep a good memory of this return and the audience was crazy! We played the old songs and tried the new stuff and everybody was receptive and sang with us.
To describe our stage performance: we give everything we got. When you do this, your music comes alive and this is the best way to have a good time with the audience. If we play well, the crowd will be good and if they are good, the band will play better ... it's a wonderful feeling.
7. Do you have ant touring or show plans once the album is released?
We work with the booking agency "Rock City" (https://www.facebook.com/RockCityba). They find gigs in France but also abroad. Some are already programmed but some are yet to be confirmed. For more information you can go to the Existance's facebook page:https://facebook/existanceband
8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of heavy metal?
The feedback were very positive both locally as abroad! This is great because we feel supported by all these good things and it gives us the desire to always do better than before. We see that all our work is rewarded and it's really great.
9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We will stay true to the 80’s heavy metal. We do what we love and Existance will always follow this way! For sure our music will evolve over time and maybe one day we will write a true power ballad, this could be an opportunity to discover a new part of the band. But it is not our priority yet, we must focus on what we are doing for the future.
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Mainly, the bands that inspire us come from the NWOBHM but we are also influenced by many other styles more or less heavy as Glam Metal or Trash Metal and Hard Rock. All these kinds of music are using the same roots so we only have to do the same!
Nowadays we listen to the same olds vinyl but we listen to recent bands that play an old-school heavy metal like Skull Fist, Enforcer, Vanderbuyst or Cauldron.
11. What are some of your non-musical interests?
Apart from the music, we like jogging or everything you need to keep fit and work your breath. In the summer we love to do motorbike trips, it allows us to think about something else and of course, we like to make party with our friends!
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Well thank you, thanks to the readers to have followed with interest this interview and I hope to see some heavy metal maniacs coming to our shows and make some fuckin' noise !And don’t forget: Heavy metal is "steel alive" spread the word guys!
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