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Insolvency Guitarist Bruno Blackstard on How Technology and the Future of Society Inspired ‘Illusional Gates’

French metalcore band Insolvency chat about society and how the growth of technology inspired their new album ‘Illusional Gates.’

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Riding out the last two years has been tough on everyone, but for some bands, the ability to channel their feelings into something useful, like their music, has given them the perfect outlet for those feelings. One of those groups, French melodic metalcore troop, Insolvency, has done exactly that using their new album, Illusional Gates as a platform to express those themes and experiences.

Prior to the upcoming release of the album on February 18th, we spoke to guitarist Bruno Blackstard about the themes explored on the album, including the impact technology has had, and will have, on the future of modern society.

Thanks for your time. New Year for everyone, what are your hopes and plans for the year ahead?

Bruno Blackstard: “Thank you! We have a lot of hopes for this New Year with our new album Illusional Gates. COVID might affect the way everything goes for concerts we have planned… but we’re looking forward to people’s reactions to the album and video releases!”

Let’s talk about your upcoming album, Illusional Gates. What can we expect from it?

“A big slap on the face, fresh sound, and cool features… Compared to the first album, the style of the band evolved a lot to be more efficient, progressive, and slightly modernized by some keyboard and ambience. All the songs have different universes and influences: from ambient to deathcore, including post-hardcore vibes.

“The album includes some great featured artists too. We’re very happy to have teamed up with Ryan Kirby of Fit For a King, and also CJ (Chris McMahon) of Thy Art Is Murder. Besides these aspects, the album deals with more personal and deeper lyrics than the first one. This was like therapy for us to write words on our feelings, like depression, heartache, and rage.”

Theme-wise, the album deals with the ever-changing world of technology and society. Was there a particular event that inspired this?

“The album deals with many themes, including this one. We’ve always been overthinkers, and we can’t help analyzing the society where we live, we feel affected by it, and need to build awareness to help to deal with it. Music is our therapy and we put words and feelings into all of that.”

You talk of addiction to technology. Do you think technology is now so ingrained in society that there is no going back from that addiction?

“Technology is a great tool that gives us comfort, information, content quicker etc… The problem is when humans are used as cogs in the machine in the working world and more generally to control and monitor human life.”

In terms of technology which do you feel have done the most damage to our society and why?

“The problem is not the technology itself, but how some powerful humans use it against humans to get control over many things… We prefer not to develop this touchy subject, but you can understand it from various angles!”

Artwork for ‘Illusional Gates’ by Insolvency

What about on the flipside, which technologies do you feel have done the most to enrich our lives?

“Culture, socials, computers, machines, everything that helps us to save time, make tasks/work easier.”

People talk about social media being a cancer on society, but would you agree that, for many people, it has been a godsend over the past 18 months when physical interaction has been at a minimum?

“Of course, social media is cool to stay connected with people we love, learn things, and distract ourselves! It is just a matter of a whole balance… Otherwise, we can get drowned for hours in it, and forget what we have to live for ourselves.”

Looking ahead, do you think there is a piece of technology that you think would really benefit society?

“We think we should bring more ‘natural intelligence’ than ‘artificial intelligence,’ there are always humans behind all, and what’s most important is what kind of humans we deal with. So we think our society needs right now more lovers and good-hearted people.”

What about in the music industry, there have been massive enhancements in technology in recent years. Do you think the digital era has done more good or more harm to the industry and bands like Insolvency and why?

“Digital has two known big impacts:

1. More ways to get heard so more people can hear your music.

2. Fewer incomes, due to the streaming low (VERY LOW) incomes.

Bands like us need to conquer the public by ourselves, and work with the good people in good territories to keep developing.”

Given the lockdown restrictions, technology must have been a massive help recording the album, I’m assuming?

“Yes, of course, we recorded all by distance and could share tracks easily between us, and the team involved! Hopefully, our past studio and home studio experience helped us to do it right… We really wanted the best performance from each of us and also the best quality for this album, with any context we had absolutely zero tolerance for ourselves. We thank our mixing engineer James Pinder (Treehouse Studio UK) who was more than perfect to guide us and stay in close contact for that task (and for delivering great render).”

In a time when live events were banned, were you a fan of livestreams, something that again has helped many bands keep connected with their fans?

“During this period, we had possibilities, but we were too much focused on the new album recording process rather than that.”

If we were to follow this conversation up in twelve months’ time, how would you hope 2022 has been for the band?

“We really hope the band pushes another level for more international events. We’ve been working hard on what we can deliver on this album, personally, artistically and with the great team we had on the production and features.”

Thanks for your time and have a great year ahead. Over to you to wrap this up…

“Thanks for this interview, thanks for following us. Stay up to date for more cool content still to be released.”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.

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