Interview with Chris and Auré (Akiavel)
Hello all, thank you for joining us today. How are you?
Chris: Hello, I’m Chris, guitarist to Akiavel, I’m fine and happy to be with you today!
Auré: Hi! I’m Auré, vocalist to Akiavel, and also very happy to answer your questions!
Tell us a bit about your new album, Væ Victis, what was writing and recording for this album like?
A: Our new album is inspired by some of the darkest and most depraved monsters in history: serial killers. Each song represents a true event, even if the way we tell the story is ours, and is adapted to lyrics of our songs (laugh)
This album is our second album, the writing of this album has been fairly easy since we know each other, each others’ tastes and the way each other play, well better after a couple of years of existence of the band.
C: In terms of recording, as for the first album, we went back to the Studio Artmusic, in the South of France, pretty much next to where we live. Again, the premises and team were the same, so it was pretty familiar to us and it went well and fast.
Given the current state of the world, did it poise any issues towards the completion of the Album?
C: Well, the problem with the pandemic is mainly for live music, since we cannot meet those who want to hear and see us perform on stage. But for all the rest we don’t consider it to be only a problem. When we realized the situation would last a bit, we decided to set up our own studio (Akia Studio) to prepare the recording of our future songs and albums, Jay (bass) being a really talented sound engineer. We also created our own record company (Akia Records) in order to take care of the marketing, distribution and merchandising things for Akiavel. As you can see, we were pretty busy over the last months and are now fully independent on musical, technical and legal points of views!
A: We also took some time to shoot several music videos (we have like 6 of them now, which is not bad for a 2 years old band (laugh)). We also played 2 live songs for the Slay at Home Festival in February, the video of which may be seen on social networks.
We have plenty of new things in mind that we will be doing over the next months. Especially since we do not tour and have a lot of time now. But of course, we really hope the situation will come back to normal as soon as possible, all this has lasted long enough!
Of course the current state of things isn't ideal, have you started to plan for what comes next once the world starts opening up again?
C: Yes, we have already scheduled (or we should say rescheduled) some shows in France. We were to begin our first ever tour in France and Belgium in March 2020, and the first show was scheduled... on the very first day of the lockdown in France, so the tour has been, of course, entirely cancelled. Now that our fan base is growing rapidly abroad, we also work with our manager in order to set up some tours abroad, and, first of all, in North America, as soon as the situation makes it possible.
A: When the world returns to normal, we will just play live, play live and play live again! (laugh)
Tell us a bit about yourself as a musician, who influences you?
C: I’d say mainly Metallica for riffing, Iron Maiden for melodies and Slayer for speed (laugh)
A: I was actually born with music, my father and uncle were musicians. When I was a child I wanted to play drums, but never really went into it. Then, when I was 20, I discovered that women could also sing pretty well on metal songs... As from this moment, I've been training a lot on Cannibal Corpse! I have always loved, and still love, Chris Barnes’s voice !
Who is your biggest bucket list band you've shared the stage with? Who would you love to share the stage with next?
C: With my former band, I played with many bands on various festivals, but never really on a proper tour. I would love to play with our fellow French band, Gojira, their music is above everything these days (laugh).
A: With my old bands I played with Agnostic Front, among many others. Haha! I actually dream about playing with Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, Aborted, Benighted, Milking The Goatmachine, Dying Fetus, Brujeria.....
What are some of the main themes behind the new album? What story are you trying to convey?
A: This album is a concept album, like the first one, V, which was about the 5 wounds of the soul.
In Vae Victis, we wanted to talk about the psychological torture that exists behind most of, or all, crimes. We wanted to talk about the way victims, but also killers, actually feel, the way they are suffering in different ways, in their bodies but also in their heads.
But even if we talk about the reasons, or ways, murderers are suffering, these songs are before all designed as tributes to the victims of these 10 monsters.
Last but not least, is there any message you would like to share with your fans?
C: Thank you to all those who follow and encourage us, mainly on social networks! Without you we couldn't be here, and all these positive feedbacks are really crazy! We can't wait to see you on stage! And, in the meantime, stay tuned on all social networks, there are many great things to come from Akiavel over the next months.
Thank you so much for your time you two, Akiavel's upcoming album is available April 23rd and can be found on their Bandcamp!
A: Thank you for your support!
C: Thank you for your interest in us, and hope to see you all soon, on a stage or at a bar!