1. Can you give us a brief introduction to the band, how you came into existence and also what are you doing doing nowadays?
JB Le Bail(guitar/vocals) started the band in 2005. The band released a mcd, «Bloody Crown», in 2006 following by numerous shows and various line-up changes until Ludovic Veyssière, our current bass player joined the band before the recording of the first album, «Ages of Decay», released in 2008. After the album came out, Clément Flandrois (guitar) and myself, Gaël Barthélemy (drums) joined the band in order to promote the album with intense touring through two european runs and a lot of shows in France. In early 2010, we began the recording of our second full length entitled «Witnessing The Fall». The album has just been released in November on Listenable Records.
2. When I listened to your album I can tell that you blend black and death metal together, what made you go for this sound as opposed to the regular French Sounding black metal sound
We listen to various kinds of metal including thrash, death, black metal, doom, sludge, etc… and other styles of music as well. We don’t want to limit ourselves to one kind of atmosphere or be predictable. We’ll always have this attitude to keep things interesting and fresh.
3. What are some of the lyrical concepts and topics the new release cover and how would you say it differs from previous releases?
The lyrics are about the fascinating ability man has always had to hurt himself and people around him. History, through wars, politics or infamous behaviors, showed us that it’s a never-ending process of self destruction. We try to tell stories about the dark sides of human being. The cover art depicts a man in suffering, in the arms of this ambiguous character which looks at you and seems to say: «You’re running to your loss and you’re the only one to blame». Half the line-up changed since the first album and i think the band matured through the live process and we were more prepared for this one as we worked together on the whole concept and took care of every details.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band name Svart Crown?
Svart is a scandinavian word meaning black. It’s kind of enigmatic and the fact that we mix two languages also represents our influences coming from the worldwide metal scene.
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
We toured Europe with Shining and Enthroned through October/November and we got really great shows on this one. I remember the show in London where the people went crazy and were shouting our name! Amazing. Well, on stage, we give 100% of ourselves as we feel a dark force surrounding us during the whole performance. We have to go off stage totally exhausted. If not, we failed!
6. Do you have any touring plans for the new release?
The tour with Shining and Enthroned started when the album got released in Europe. In early December, we did a few shows with Melechesh. Some gigs are planned in France in January, a tour in the Balkans in February/ March and other things we’re working on. We’ll tour as much as possible for «Witnessing The Fall» as we strongly believe in this record.
7. I know that the band members have some experience playing in other bands around the French metal scene, are there any current side projects or is this a full time line-up?
Ludovic has his own project called Bestial and some projects could see the light of day in the future, who knows. But Svart Crown is the top priority for us and we’re determined to go as far as possible. Everybody walk in the same direction.
8. On a worldwide level, how has your music been received by black/death metal fans?
Listenable is doing a great job promoting this album, and we get a lot of reviews abroad and the feedback is really good. We also had positives reactions during the european tours we did so we have to go further and keep the constant touring.
9. What direction would you like to take the band into on future releases?
We want the band to be in constant motion. We want to surprise ourselves and create something that didn’t exist before, add new influences. There’s so many bands out there and we would simply be a death/black metal band among others? No, i don’t want that. We’ll see what the future brings.
10. What are some band or musical styles that have influenced your music, and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Death and black metal have had a strong impact on us. Bands like Immolation, Morbid angel, Marduk, Slayer or Mayhem to name a few. But as i said above, we listen to a lot of different styles and everything we hear can inspire us. For example, Clément and JB are into post hardcore stuff while i enjoy myself some pop or electro music. These days, i listen to John Mayer, Beast (from Canada), Tool as well as Shining, Watain, or Dimmu Borgir. It’s wide!
11. Does Satanism or Occultism play any role in your music?
I would not say in our lyrics but in our sound, as the tones we use have this very dark/evil feeling. We listened to a lot of bands that take inspiration from Occultism/Satanism. It certainly had an effect on us.
12. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
I enjoy sports a lot, like Football or Tennis (watching, and playing). Cinema (mostly DVDs) and books as well. I also like to watch shows about politics on television. Nothing too unusual!
13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thank you for your interest for Svart Crown. We’re here to stay! Cheers! Gaël