Interview With Akiavel's Auré Jäger August 8th , 2020 • Interview #167
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Auré. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. So, before we talk about your latest release V, first off, how are you doing?
Auré Jäger: Hello! I'm fine and impatient to play live with Akiavel, this lockdown period has lasted long enough!
MPAP: 2020 has turned out to be quite the year so far, so how are you holding up during this pandemic?
Auré: We did not waste our time! We took this opportunity to prepare our third music video that we shot in July and released on August 27th, and we began working very quickly and efficiently on the second album.
MPAP: Very nice. So once again, we have Auré from the band Akiavel with us. Akiavel is a death metal band from the South of France, that also mixes in a bit of groove, thrash, and old-school death metal into their sound. What else do you want to say to about Akiavel to grab everyone’s attention?
Auré: We all come from a different musical universe, and it turns out we have excellent personal connections. All this creates a unique alchemy between us five. When we created Akiavel, it was with the purpose of creating and playing the music we like, a mix of all the styles you mentioned, which remains death metal before all, but in a modern way, notably with a 'classier' image and a rawer sound.
MPAP: Let’s talk about your V release. Tell us a little bit about it, and what can everyone expect? Pretty much, what do you want to say to the new listener that will grab them by the eardrums and want to check it out?
Auré: V is our first full length album, released on February 2020, just before the lockdown. We issued an EP in 2018, with no actual drummer, but a drum machine. The result was pretty good and allowed us to be signed by our record company. But something was missing to create the genuine Akiavel 'style'. The songs of V are the first songs we wrote altogether. Once Butch, our drummer, joined us in late 2018, with his very own thrashy and groovy style of playing, this brought a new energy and influence in the creation process. As you said, the musical background of each of us is really different and complementary, we all had different experiences in various local and national bands over the next decades. What else to say… we love the result, and we hope the result is worth listening to. (laugh)
MPAP: Your latest music video release is called "Kind of Requiem." Tell us about it?
Auré: This 3rd video has been shot with Mr. Cana Photography, who also directed our first music video "The Witness." It basically ends the trilogy of our three first music videos, the one where you discover that the victim of the persecutor is not the one expected…
MPAP: Now let’s back up, and talk about that song you just mentioned, "The Witness." It begins with you saying: "Bénissez moi mon Père, parce que j'ai péché. Je confesse à Dieu Tout Puissant, je reconnais devant mes frères, que j'ai péché en pensée, en parole, par action et par omission. Oui j'ai vraiment péché." When translated is: "Bless me, Father because I have sinned. I confess to Almighty God, I acknowledge before my brothers, that I have sinned in thought, word, deed, and omission. Yes, I really sinned." Tell us a bit more about this? Is there a profound message behind this that you’re trying to get across to everyone listening?
Auré: "The Witness" is about the feeling of humiliation, the loneliness of human beings towards human violence, which is here represented by the seven deadly sins. The confession is actually the one of an evil, which is indeed certainly the actor as well as the witness of all the sins…
MPAP: V was released February 20th, and then, unfortunately, a little over a month later, the world as we knew it would shut down due to the COVID-19 virus. How hard was it on you to release your first full length, and then, practically, like hitting face-first into a brick wall, you could do nothing after it?
Auré: All our scheduled gigs have actually been immediately postponed, and our first gig was due to take place on the very first day of the lockdown! As I said, we used this time to write our next album remotely, this was a weird, somehow difficult but very productive period for us!
MPAP: Of course, this deadly virus won’t hurt megabands bands like Metallica, or even Iron Maiden, but do you think the virus has worried you as a band since you were relatively new to the music scene and hadn’t dug your roots in deep enough yet?
Auré: The virus is for sure very complex to handle, but thanks to social network, thousands of new listeners have come to know Akiavel very quickly! For sure, things need to come back to normal and we now want to play live to show the world how Akiavel sounds live, and to meet our fans!
MPAP: Word of mouth can spread like wildfire if fans like a new band that they just saw at a live show. But if there are no more shows, there are no wildfires. How bad do you think the pandemic hurt the sales of your first release?
Auré: For sure live concerts are essential for bands like us, especially playing our type of music! However, as I said, nowadays, social networks and digital platforms are very convenient for newcomers as us, at least at a first stage, to get to be known. But now, we are more than ready to play live our songs, and we know that a lot of new fans have discovered us during the lockdown and are eager to see us live!
MPAP: It might not be until late 2021 until music venues, especially large ones, could start returning back to normal, and by then, your V release could well be over a year and a half old. Do you think V will have lost some of its momentum, with no live performances for fans to witness?
Auré: Yes, we will be releasing our second album probably when live performance will be largely allowed. For sure, V will have had a special career, but is maybe its fate. (laugh)!
MPAP: Tell us more about the new release.
Auré: Yes, the writing of the next album is almost done…It should be recorded in early 2021, and out probably in April 2021. Stay tuned for some fresh news in between!
MPAP: Let’s finish this interview with another band that’s also from France, a band named Gojira. You mention them as being an inspiration for Akiavel. Tell us why, you would want to collaborate with them for a song, throw out an idea, and even a song title that might catch their interest?
Auré:Gojira is for sure the number one French metal band. Their techniques and creativity are just crazy. Our style of music is not exactly the same, but for sure it would be awesome, and a huge honor, to have such a featuring on our future album. On our first album V, Julien Truchan, singer to Benighted and a very good friend of mine, sang on "I&Me." That was crazy to have the opportunity to sing this powerful song with such a unique singer, and the result is absolutely stunning! As to the theme of a song we could do with any of the Gojira's members, that's a good question, we will give it a thought, but for sure that would be crazy and would clearly sound big!
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Auré, for doing this interview. We look forward to what Akiavel does to finish out 2020 and beyond. Any last words for all your fans out there?
Auré: Many thanks for your interest and support, and we really hope to see you around once live concerts and tours will be massively possible again, in Europe and abroad!