1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about he musical project?
Growth was created in 2007, in France, as a one-person band. It blends extreme metal with electronic elements, and influences such as synthpop or gothic rock. To put it short, I label the music as industrial black metal, but to some people it sounds more like death metal, or even grindcore.
The band was restarted in the end of 2019, and has since released 4 EPs (2 tracks each) and a cover of a Carnival in Coal song.
2.Recently you have released a new ep, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I like to try different things with every new release. This time, because of the theme, I wanted to create a christmassy atmosphere for the track Santa’s Claws. There are still black metal riffs and blasting electronic drums, but also a chorus in major scale, and choirs and bells rather than synths. The second track, Blood under the Christmas tree, is more in line with the usual style, using more electronic elements.
3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the anti Christmas themes, that you cover with the newer release?
Christmas seemed to be a fun way to make a political commentary. In France (and elsewhere), kids are told that Santa brings presents to everyone who deserves it. This poorly hides the fact that you actually get what your parents can afford, and equality is bullshit. But kids are not stupid. Santa’s Claws is about one of them discovering that the game is rigged.
Blood under the Christmas tree deals with the elves, exploited to provide us with cheap goods. They are pictured working in many factories all over the world, until they realize that they can unite against this oppression. There is a bit of hope in both songs.
Antichristmas seemed to be an obvious title to gather those two track. The pun with « antichrist » is totally black metal.
4.On your previous release you also covered some political themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
I do cover political themes, but to me, all art is political, wether it is intentional or not. To sum up, I’d say that Growth’s lyrics satirize the narratives used to justify power structures in rich western societies. Christmas tales are one example. The previous release mocked the worshipping of billionnaires, often presented as benevolent job creators while they exploit workers to the point of driving them to suicide. There’s also a song about landlords, who can rightfully own your home and siphon your incomes, which seems normal to many people because that’s the way it is.
Because of these themes, I use the RABM (red & anarchist black metal) tag to describe my work, although the music might not fit precisely under the « black metal » label. It is also a way to contribute in making leftist ideas visible within the genre.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Growth'?
At the very beginning, the lyrics were focused on the fact that the richest countries keep seeking economic growth at all cost, even if it fucks up the climate. I had turned this concept into a whole album, starting with a merry ode to growth, supposedly the solution to every problem. It ended with an agonizing humanity on a barren planet. Growth can also refer to a tumour, so it was the perfect name for this project.
In hindsight, it was maybe not the best choice for a french person, because I probably pronounce it very badly.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new ep cover?
So far, I made all the artwork myself. Each time, I try to create a picture related with the lyrical themes of the EP. Antichristmas was probably the easiest to come up with: an evil santa with bringing blood-stained presents. It connects to the lyrics of both songs. The corpsepaint and misty forest in the back add some black-metalness.
7.From 2008 to 2019 there was no music being released, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
At the beginning, the music was only made with cheap midi sounds crushed with distortion and very low-fi voice recordings. I released a bunch of songs under the Myspace supremacy, but back then I didn’t have the gear or the know-how to record properly. I had gathered some more skillfull friends to help, but that went nowhere. I think I got fed up, ended the project and moved on. All the tracks released during this first period can still be heard on the Growth and decay of mankind EP.
I only began releasing music again in 2017, with my other bands Astre Noir and Playgirl Killer. Both involve other people, so I wanted to have my own project on the side, to write and record black metal by myself, more spontaneously. While reading old lyrics from Growth, I thought that there was material that I could still use. So, in 2019, instead of creating something new from scratch, I decided to revive this project. But this time, using real instruments as well as electronics.
8.Since 2019 you also have released a good amount of music, do you spend a great amount of your time writing and creating music?
Yes, especially since we spent a lot of time locked down in 2020. I have not been able to rehearse and play live with Playgirl Killer, Astre Noir is moving very slowly, and I had plenty of motivation and time for Growth.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of industrial and black metal?
Today, everyone can craft and release their own music. If you do so, even in a niche genre, you are drowned in the neverending flow of new music. If you’re not good at promoting yourself (which is my case), you can’t expect much reaction. But the feedbacks I had so far have been mostly positive. The Antichristmas EP seems to have drawn a little more attention than the previous ones, probably because of the seasonal theme. There was even one song broadcasted on a british radio show, which was a very pleasant surprise.
10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
All the tracks released in 2020 will be gathered into an album, along with a few new ones. I will remaster everything to the best of my ability, to make it sound even. Then I’ll start a new cycle of writing and releasing songs, hopefully on a regular basis.
I will probably stick to the 2-tracks format: it is short enough not to get swamped into the recording and mixing process, yet you can showcase different sides of your music, and work on a common theme for both songs. New music should also be released in 2021 with my other bands.
11.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?
I think I should mention Rammstein, which was one of my first metal shocks. It rooted my taste for the blend of electronics and heavy guitars. A couple of years later, I got into Carnival in Coal, a french band that used to mix genres such as disco and death metal. It must have have shaped the way I blend genres in my music. I should add black metal in general, post-punk, gothic rock, new wave… Devo or Frank Zappa could also be mentioned.
Nowadays, I find it more difficult to get hooked by something new. I mostly listen to stuff that I already know. But the current band that I listen to the most these days is probably Tribulation.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for your interest! If someone wants to keep an ear on Growth’s music, check the Facebook or bandcamp page.