Akiavel "’We play music full of energy and brutality''
Hailing from France Akiavel is the essence of Melodic death metal., their debut album ‘’V” has captured their style of sheer heaviness along with music that remains long with you after the first listen it is not a debut record as it is an unleashing of a new musical force.
Crikey how did you end up so melodic and brutal?
Chris (guitar): ‘’We indeed like it to play music full of energy and brutality, with a touch of
groove. We all have different musical tastes, and all have from different musical background, some of us played Thrash, Hardcore, Death Metal and even Alternative Metal with their former bands.’’
‘’When we began playing together, the alchemy between our 5 different styles was immediate and obvious, the Akiavel style was born!’’
Butch (drums):’’ When we write music for Akiavel, this is by essence brutal, but the most
important thing for us is to make sure the melody sticks in your head. If you can remember the song after having heard it once or twice only, and sing it in your mind a few hours or days afterwards, it means this is a cool song, or at least an efficient riff!’’
Chris:’’ In the course of 2018, JB (guitar) and I left our former band named ACOD, (just after the band was signed by Sony Music…) but we were not ready to stop playing (laugh).
We had known Auré and Jay for a while, they both were very active musicians in our region for a very long time, and we shared a lot of stages in the past. At a cool barbecue party, After a few beers, the idea popped up to create a new Death Metal band that would be different from all types of bands one was used to see and hear around: we wanted a genuine melting pot of all our musical influences, we wanted to remove all the boundaries that existed between all the types of metal we love. The idea of Akiavel was born.’’
Butch: ‘’I then joined the band us just after the release of the EP, and we immediately begun the writing of the songs for the album V.’’
Was it intentional and is your sound constantly evolving?
Chris: ‘’At first it was not intentional, this was just the result of us 5 playing together. The
Akiavel style is constantly growing, as long as the alchemy is here, this is a natural process(laugh)’’
Butch:’’Yes, it is important to move on, we do not want to record twice the same album, but we also want to keep and maintain this very unique touch which makes us sound different, at least to our ears’’.
How did Aure discover the voice that she has?
Butch: ‘’Auré met Julien Truchan (singer for the mighty Benighted) at a concert almost 20
years ago, and he convinced her that women could sing as loud as him (laugh). She then
worked for years and years on her voice, mainly with the Hardcore bands in which she was playing at that time. The way she sounds now is the result of a lot of pain and training, but it at least shows that work always pays!’’
Butch: ‘’Auré wrote the lyrics of our first album V after having read and studied a book (and the corresponding psychological theories) about the 5 wounds of the soul; (reject,
abandonment, humiliation, betrayal, judgment!). Each of the 10 songs of the album talks
about one of these wounds, either from the victim or from the persecutor perspective.’’
Chris: ‘’As far as music is concerned, the inspiration is mainly coming from my band mates
(laugh). Jay or I often come out with the first riffs of a song, and we then work, often
together, from this first idea having in mind the way the other musicians would play on such riffs. Hence, the construction of our songs is inspired by my band mates style of playing!’’
Butch: ‘’Yes, and out of the first demo tracks Jay and Chris propose, we gather all 5 to
improve the songs, add our personal touch, and make it sound truly Akiavelic!’’
Where does the name Akiavel come from and how does it represent the band?
Butch: “It’s from the famous humanist and political Italian thinker Nicolas Machiavelli, mainly known for what some may call “cynical” or “amoral” political theories…
Chris: and we modified the name so that it sounds more metal, and, in addition, keeping
the sound at the end of the word, which means She in French’’
The inspiration for My Lazy Doll its video?
Chris: This one is about perversion and humiliation, but Auré could tell you a lot more
(laugh)… The music video has been shot in a wine warehouse, in a small village in
Provence. The place was really cool and so creepy… The scenes with the lights,
where the victim is followed by Auré, have been shot in the basement of the hangar, that hadbeen fully closed for like 50 years, you can imagine the size of the spider’s webs (laugh)
Have you been surprised by the reaction to your latest album V?
Butch:’’ Yes, pretty much! The feedbacks are just excellent, especially from foreign
countries: streaming on digital platforms, fans on social networks, webzines, local radios… It is really crazy to witness so much energy and excitement about our music!’’
Chris:’’ The mere fact we are currently answering your questions is just crazy for French
band which released its first album 6 month ago!’’
How has it grown musically and lyrically from your EP?
Chris:’’ Following the addition of Butch as fifth musician, just after the release of the EP
(which was actually recorded with a drum machine), with his different influences and his very own style, the new songs turned out to sound more brutal and rawer than on the EP. So, when he joined us, we eventually found the line-up and the last piece of the puzzle we had been looking for about a year.’’
What influences and inspires Akiavel. Current events or literature art and film?
Butch:’’ All these elements might, by essence, influence us, but we have no intention to talk about current events or social things, this is not in Akiavels DNA. The lyrics of our first
album V derive from, and are based on, a psychological theory. We can also say that the
lyrics of the second album should also be based on psychological issues and deviance…’’
Does your local environment influence and inspire you?
Butch: ‘’Not really, our cohesion and the mix of our 5 musical approaches are actually our
best influences (laugh)’’
Who are you confessing to in My Witness?
Chris:’’ If you watch the first scene of The Witness, the confession basically begins with a girl confessing to a priest, since she witnessed (and was also active?) in a lot of sins, described in the video. But the one screaming, once the music actually begins, is the
priest himself, who turns out to be the evil… Authors, victims and witnesses of all sins might well be mixed…’’
‘’This confusion between victim and persecutor is also, and more precisely, the subject matter of our latest music video, released on 27 August 2020, and which is the last piece of the
trilogy of videos (The Witness, My Lazy Doll and Kind of Requiem), where you realize that
the persecutor might well be the one and only victim of her fantasy, or craziness…’’
Should we embrace our carnal desires?
Chris: ‘’this is a philosophical question… What could we answer the best is probably that
anyone seeks and finds the answer by his/herself ‘’
Your music has an undercurrent of darkness and violence within it? Where does it
Butch: ‘’From our guts! And our musical tastes and influence. But I can promise we are very pacific and friendly people, we prefer humour over darkness (laugh)’’
Should we embrace our inner darkness and allow it to express itself?
Chris’’: for sure if you have some inside you, you must find a pacific and legal way to
express it, but having inner darkness is not mandatory (laugh)’’
Why are all French bands so unique?
Butch:’’ I do not know if we can say that all French bands are unique, but you may be right, the few French bands known internationally are really good and creative… Has it something to see with the so-called French Cultural Exception? No one knows…’’
Chris:’’ In our type of music, Gojira is for sure the number one French metal band, and their techniques and creativity are indeed just above all the others!’’
Plans for world domination?
Butch:’’ We are in 2020, and in a specific context… we think digital platforms and social
networks may be of great help for a band like us (again, the fact we are talking together is the evidence of the power of social networks…). We also know that our local French market
is very small (Metal music is not very popular in France), so we have in mind to play live as soon as possible, but we are not afraid, and we are ready, to tour foreign countries, and especially the one where we know we have the highest number of fans (US, Canada, but also South America and Australia).’’
‘’We are now concentrating on our next album, since the dozen concerts that where still
scheduled for autumn are currently being cancelled… We should record our second album in February and March 2021, and it should be out in April 2021. And, as you know it, we love music videos, so we are also writing the story of the first video of the future album… This will be huge!’’
Top 6 greatest albums of all time?
Chris: I’d say Seventh son of a Seventh Son (Iron Maiden)
and Master of Puppets (Metallica)
Butch: Power of Inner Strength (Grip Inc.),
Highway to Hell (AC/DC)!