Check out the song: “Acid Mist Tomorrow”

I recently had a chance to speak with Gredin, bass player and backing vocalist for the French experimental metal band Hypno5e, about their new record, Acid Mist Tomorrow. If you haven’t heard these guys yet, you owe it to yourself to check them out. While definitely metal at the core their music is also experimental, abstract and adventurous. Here’s how the conversation with Gredin went.

Now that your brand new CD, Acid Mist Tomorrow, is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Gredin: We are so relieved that our album finally came out, we recorded it in April 2010, since then time has seemed quite long! As a consequence we’ve had time to work on its sound and we’re pretty glad about it, it sounds much better than the first one.

What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Gredin: Emmanuel wrote the riffs and we gathered to puzzle the whole stuff, put aside the ones we didn’t find appropriate and fill in the blanks. It took quite some time.

How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple takes?
Gredin: We all record separately; it is different according to who’s playing. Drum takes are pretty long, guitar takes are pretty fast and sometimes just crafty, for me on bass it took one day, usually I only do two to three takes per songs, but there the songs are really long and difficult. As we record at home the whole process can be spread on several months, the mixing is the longest thing to do: we record all guitars on clean channels and re-amp them on several amps to find the best sound possible.

Do you decide on a suitable sound fairly quickly, or do you tend to tweak tones obsessively?
Gredin: We have headaches. Mostly Toby and Emmanuel, with the help of Zool (Studio Le Chevre), are obsessed with perfect sound.

What is the significance behind the title?
Gredin: This is the story of a character that we follow from one stage to another. On “Des deux l’une est l’autre was a character faces the end of something. In “Remors Posthumes” (final title of the debut album), we wanted to come to some sort of statement on the end of something nostalgic. On it is the idea of the way in which everything is a hazy blur, where there is no reference, a kind of journey through life to death. Acid Mist Tomorrow starts on the execution of that same man, and tells about that road that leads him from life to death, until the sanctuary of Gehenne and the most heavy obscurity in “Brume Unique Obscurité”. This album tells the story of a road made of mist and earth, a crossing line between two states of life and death; it tells the inability to identify a path that that yet is so familiar. This record speaks of the impossible, the impossible relation to each other, and the impossibility of being.

Is it difficult translating the songs into the live setting?
Gredin: This record has been composed to be played on stage, I think that’s why it is more fluid than the first one, we wanted those new compositions to be powerful and now when we play them live we damage our gear unpurposely almost every time, it is beginning to be a problem, I really have to restrain myself at each show if I don’t want to smash my guitar on the floor.

Are there any tracks that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Gredin: I really like “Gehenne”; I find it the most powerful song of the new album even if it is hard to play, the more we play it the more I enjoy it. In comparison “Tutu Guri” is the simplest song of the set, as it doesn’t need much concentration we can really let ourselves go on stage and it often gets violent for everything surrounding us, we just cannot play this song in the middle of the set.

Check out the ‘Acid Mist Tomorrow’ album teaser!

What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a theme or themes behind the writing of this record?
Gredin: When we write the songs, the only thing we have in mind is translating what we’ve been crossing until the process of composition. We consider the feelings, experiences that we’ve been through, and that we want to give life in this album. It’s about reconstructing our personal mood into music, so our music can be as deep as possible. It’s a king of automatic writing, as surrealist could use.

What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Gredin: In the studio you soon realize that you’re not as good a musician as you think, you have to reach a higher level of concentration than usual. On stage I noticed that the more the public responds to our music the more we get excited, and there is no limit to that.

Do you think about distinguishing performances and sounds from release to release?
Gredin: We’re endlessly evolving; I think everything changes without us noticing it at first sight. The first album used to look like us at the time we recorded it, now we look more like the second, I personally really identify to Acid Mist Tomorrow, it’s the first time in my life that I record something I am totally satisfied of.

What is next for Hypno5e?
Gredin: Tour! Tour! Tour! Go back to Australia in May, back in Europe in June, back in Canada in September… To witness the evolution of the seeds we planted with the first album Des deux l’Une Est l’Autre and water them with Acid Mist Tomorrow!