The recording process (including mix and mastering) is finished since June 2019 but I decided to let the album aside for a bit... to comeback with a fresh ear and see if I was satisfied with what I've made. In the meantime, I took care of the graphic part... commissions for artworks and new logo, create the layout and new graphic chart in accordance with the new album, update of the website etc... Right now, as I am answering this question, I am preparing everything for the pressing plant, for the release on streaming platforms and all these kind of things which take as much time as creating the music unfortunately...
However, Kloct isn't the only project I have and lately, I have been focused on rehearsing and playing shows with my other bands (Maïeutiste, Caïnan Dawn, South of Hell, Ohio Slamboys)... That is what has really been going on since the recording.
2. In 2020 you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
On one hand, I believe that it doen't really differ from what I've made in the past.. it's more of a continuation or evolution of the music... Of course the first album I've recorded "Frei" was completely different but since the second album "The human mind path", I just feel like I am crafting my musical path step by step, trying new things, improving others whether it is technically, musically or soundwise... but in the end, I keep the same way of doing it ... spontaneous and simple! I avoid calculating what I do, hit the record button and just play.
On the other hand, the thing that differs the most compared to my previous work is that I have the feeling that I am starting to find my musical orientation...Something really melodic blended with atmospheric touches and less violence in it... I could even say "rock" sometimes. As time goes by, what I produce is becoming softer and "rocker" even if it may not be perceived this way at first. If a following album see the daylight, I could even consider have as much crunchy / clear sound as distorted one...
3.The lyrics on the new recording are a concept album, can you tell us a little bit more about the story you covered?
"Years of silence" is the story of a man who closes the door of his home for the last time and burns all the bridges with what he considered as a life for years. The title refers to the life of silence and solitude he chose by finding a place in some gigantic forest, far from all human life, to spend the rest of his days, focused on his self development, reconnecting with nature and crafting his spiritual path.
Nothing fancy nor complicated as you can see... I just decided to tell this story because this is what I sometimes feel like...
Take a step back and look at what we call life today. Our personal and social needs have been crushed by life-consuming careers and alienating systems of urban and political development that have rendered community cooperation and self development irrelevant... Our self-esteem and capacity to think freely is summarily executed through the process of public education and the search for “meaningful” work that follows. Overwhelmed and lobotomized, how could we have the opportunity to really discover ourselves and take the time to know what we individually and collectively need to fully appreciate what life has to offer? The bleakness of this modern lifestyle is devastating for us, our beings and our
minds. At least, from my small point of view..
Each album is initiated by an emotion, a thought, a feeling or an event... all you just read is what brought "Years of Silence" to life.
4.On a previous release you also went into the concept of chakras and eastern mysticism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
We could easily say that the previous album, HEALING, and the new one, YEARS OF SILENCE, are strongly linked. Indeed, as I explained a little bit before, our modern society prevent us from focusing on everything which could make us better and improve ourselves as individual beings. Mental strength, physical development (from an energetic point of view) and spiritual path are three linked aspects of life often underestimated in our occidental ways of life...
That's why I am looking into these themes on a personal level and through my music... The previous album HEALING was more like a proper study of chakras, what they are, what their mastering could bring to us physically, emotionally, mentally etc... This is a "practice / science" that we're not encouraged to explore in the ouestern part of the world... whereas it could be a first step into healing ourselves from all this life make us go through...
The upcoming album Years of silence could be considered as the "next episode" of Healing as it deals with the story of a man who literally leaves his life to isolate, reconnect with himself, with his environment, to maybe master everything that has been studied in the album HEALING... He decides and chooses a sort of Hermitage life in his own way...
5.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you have explored over the years with your music?
Through my albums, I mainly deal with Humanity in general through multiple thematic's and approaches. Spirituality, the way societies are built, religions, quest to the inner harmony... As Kloct is just an expression of my spontaneous emotions at a given time, due to specific events, experiences, or a period of my life, lyrical content are generally no more than what I am searching, looking or experiencing at these times... This approach could appear as simple or even naive but this is how I like to create.. I like when the music is spontaneous and doesn't need too much thinking while being created and I appreciate when lyrical content seems to be out of what you daily experience...
Anyway, if I had to briefly sum up and give a general picture by album it would be :
FREI : This album deals with our relationship with the intangible world and the religious questions. Evil, God, Death and men...The daily presence of the devil, side by side with men, instilling them his seed and guiding them to the decadent side of life. It highlights the true human’s weakness and face, willing to sacrifice his sibling to get where he wants...How are we gonna repent
THE HUMAN MIND PATH : Humans are sinners by essence. All along their life, Mens are torn between choosing to be someone good or letting themselves drown into the darkest places, thoughts and acts. While walking on the road of life, their mind evolve and changes but in the end, history repeats and they will have to face choices and follow one path or another.
HEALING : The way we live in our nowadays societies, focused on professional responsibilities, materialism, the number of followers we have on social networks ....and several other factors, prevent us from seeing the true purpose of our presence down here. We forget to take the time to know ourselves as Human beings, to elevate our minds spiritually and to develop our real potential individually and collectively.
What I attempted through this album is to explore some keys to start a process of self development, to find the balance guiding to the path of the inner unity and mindfulness which allow to access another level of vision...to see clearly, beyond what the physical world shows us.
YEARS OF SILENCE : see question 3
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Kloct'?
When I started the project, I already had the album recorded but did'nt have a name. Based on what I was talking about in the lyrics and the thematic's, I was looking for something corresponding to the idea of "wisdom" or "wise"... Indeed, through my music and lyrics, there is no certainty, I'm constantly searching, trying to go step by step in the life process, finding a path without thinking it is the unique or good one... I try to be wise and humble as much as I can in my approach because you never know...no one never know.
As I was young and inspired by northern pioneers of the genre.. long story short, I didn't want an english nor french name and simply looked up for words in Finish, Swedish or Norwegian corresponding to "wise or wisely" and ended up with "Klokt" which mean "wisely" in finish...to finally make KLOCT which sounds the same...
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
I am really satisfied and happy with this artwork designed by ALTAR OF SORROW whom you should check out the work. I sent him some ridiculous drafts (even a 2 years old would draw better) and he turned it into something better than I could imagine.
There is no secrets or particular concept in this cover, it is just a picture of the albums story.. you can see a man on the right bottom corner, standing here and beholding at the forest for which he left the life he has been living for years.
8.With this project you record everything by yourself but have experience working with a full band, how would you compare the two?
Create as a band or alone are totally different processes which both have their benefits from my point of view. Band work is something interesting because it stimulates "collective creativity" to finally come up with ideas you may have never imagine by yourself. You make some arrangements, propose, try and see how whole thing works. It is a team effort but at the same time, it allows you to focus more on the execution of your own instrument when the time comes to record !
Creating and recording by yourself is something else. You are alone with your feelings, your moods, sailing in an wide ocean of freedom and potential directions to take... The negative side of it is that you may not take enough steps back to look at your work and maybe try something else, improve, modify, because you do as you feel and think at the time. You also are facing your capacities and limits as a musician. In my case, I am originally drummer but with Kloct I play everything and sometimes, I don't have the skills to reach what I want... Same thing about all the production and recording parts, I am not a sound engineer and can encounter some difficulties to get the sound i want or find a function in my software... But in the end, I really like to have my own thing going on because it forces me to learn every aspect from the creation to the production, how to find my way around problems or limits. It even helps me learning a lot about all the "post album" tasks such as promotion, making layouts for pressing plants etc...
Both experiences are useful to me.
9.The new album is coming out on 'Ultra Mundum Nostri', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Well, I wouldn't tell Ultra Mundum Nostri is a "label" as we generally mean it. To sum up the idea behind the project, U.M.N is a black metal collective focused on a circle of bands sharing common members, crossing paths, thematic's and aspirations.
If you look at the U.M.N roster, you can find Kloct, Caïnan Dawn, Maïeutiste and Allobrogia at the moment. To explain a little bit more how the bands are linked, we can say that I am the drummer for each of these projects, Keithan who plays with me in Caïnan Dawn as bassist is also composer, guitarist and singer for Maïeutiste, Allobrogia is Avrguun's project who also is guitarist in Caïnan Dawn...you get the idea, we're not the first bands to have mixed line up.
The main objective behind this collective is to create one single channel of communication and informations about these bands (new gigs, new reviews, new albums, general promotion etc...) but also to merge forces and bring support to each other to evolve in our respective paths. When I say helping each other I mean, sharing contacts , lending equipment's, teach Technics to one another in terms of mix, instruments, videos etc...We mutualise our knowledge's and capacities.
Beside this "collective" aspect, U.M.N is meant to be a small support label / distro for bands of the circle by releasing new materials like the upcoming Kloct's album, limited editions, repressing sold out materials, distributing already released albums. You could also find ephemeral projects or musical essays by any member of the circle released through the label.
I just would like to precise that bands of the U.M.N circle are not obviously signed with U.M.N. At the moment, Kloct is the only entity signed, other bands have their respective labels (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre, Osmose production, Asgard Hass).
10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
The real question is, are there people listening to my music outside of my friends and myself ? (hahaha) .. I have to say that I'm not sure my music is listened to a lot or not... I am not playing shows, I am not promoting a lot, I have few reviews... but that is fine you know... in the over saturated and wide market, my music is just like a water drop in the ocean....maybe one day I'll get more recognition maybe not... I play in 3 Black Metal Bands and 2 Death Metal bands, it is enough gigs and reactions... Kloct is primarly for myself and I prefer to have 10 people listening to one of my album 100 times rather than 100 persons listening to it 1 time and swipe.
11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?
I've recently joined Maïeutiste, just before the release of their new album VERITAS (https://maieutiste.bandcamp.com/album/veritas) which I have to say, is one of the most refreshing and fine things I've listen to in a long time. Try to picture this : Opeth progressive parts mixed with an Emperor melodic feeling, executed with an Enslaved vibe... at least this is how I perceive it and this is why I joined them with no hesitations beside the fact that there is a level of musicianship in this band which forces me to push myself. Due to the release of the album we are actively looking for gigs and have already book some shows for 2020.
About Caïnan Dawn, the latest album FOHAT has been released in 2017 through Osmose Productions and after an active year of shows in 2018 we are now focused on composing the next opus.
Allobrogia on his side has been on "stand by" for quite a while...We're are thinking on what is going to happen next but really take our time. Furthermore, Avgruun, Heruforod and myself are also playing with Caïnan Dawn and when a band is actively playing or composing, we put the other one on stand by.
Outside of the Black Metal world I also compose and play guitar for OHIO SLAMBOYS (brutal death metal / slam - FFO Dying Fetus, Internal Bleeding) and play drums / sing for SOUTH OF HELL (old school death metal). Ohio Slamboys started as a studio project but we plan to bring it to the stage late 2020.
12.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
I don't really know... music takes an important amount of time in my life between gigs, recordings, drums sessions for other projects but i can't say that I could earn a living from it... at least not from metal music.
All members of my bands including myself have a "casual" job and music finances itself with merch and cd sales... We are satisfied with it.
However, I have other projects outside of the metal world that I will try to implement and earn from, maybe not a living but something anyway. Because even if metal will always be what I love to play the most, I like experiencing and composing other types of music (rap beats, Ost for videos or other types of shows)...
13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
If you take a look at my walkman right now, you could find anything but metal music... except for some albums that never leave me (Inveracity - Circle of Perversion / Cradle of Filth - Damnation and a day / Suffocation - Soul to Deny)...
I listen to lots of Movies OST composers : Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream, Ghost in the Shell, The Fountain), Johann Johannsonn (The Theory of Everything, Mother), Hans Zimmer (don't need to tell you who he is), John Murphy (28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later) and also Nick Phoenix et Thomas J. Bergersen who's firm 2 steps from hell produces nice albums of epic musics. I also listen to a lot of US Rap and pop punk and rock music such as Real Friends, Chunk No Captain Chunk, Deaf Havana, From Monument to masses.
Concerning metal, if I have to give you 5 bands I am regularly listening to I would say Suffocation, Inveracity, Nehemah, Rinoa, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Meshuggah
Any music I listen to influence my creations in a way but what has the most influence on it is daily life I think.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
First of all, I'd like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell a little bit more about what I make... As I told before, it is not often that I have the occasion to speak !
Years of Silence out January 18 2020 through Ultra Mundum Nostri and all streaming platforms.