Interview with Vincent Simonin of HENRIETTE B

Henriette B

Swiss djent / progressive metal / metalcore outfit Henriette B released their sophomore EP titled “Tales of Reality” in February. The band is currently promoting the release by playing select shows. The interview below was conducted with guitarist Vincent Simonin before the EP release.

Define the mission of Henriette B.

With Henriette B we don’t have any political message to share. However we want our music to enter into every listener’s body and make them headbang, even a little bit! It’s more to give the audience a good feeling which makes them want to move than an emotion.

You are working on a new EP, how far are you from completing it? Tell me about the creative process that informs it.

We are almost done, it’s currently being pressed. We will release it on the 20th of February and it’s called “Tales Of Reality”. It will be available on every standard platform like iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, etc.

It took a long time to create this EP because we started to write the first songs in 2014 and because of lineup changes, we fell behind. Our writing process starts with a first draft of a song produced by Vincent (guitar). This first draft contains, guitars, bass and drums. Then Thierry (guitar), Fabien (bass) and Vincent review the chords, they give their inputs and ideas. When this is done, Fabio (drums) rewrites the drumming with his own style and ideas. When the song is done, we start to play it together and Ian (voice) starts to write the lyrics.

Tales of Reality by Henriette B

Is there a certain concept in the story of the upcoming EP release?

It’s not really a concept EP, but all the songs are bounded by the same theme: reality. Our singer Ian writes all the lyrics and he always want to work on a subject to give a solid base to the whole. In “Tales Of reality” the songs are mainly about how we perceive the world around us, how we feel about what’s going on in our every day’s life.

How do you document the music while it is being formulated?

We usually describe our music using the words metalcore or melodic metalcore. If you’re not used to these styles, it’s a blend of extreme music (fast drumming, blast beats, high tempos) coupled with a lot of melody and rythmic parts.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Yes, we definitely took time to analyse the dynamic flows in our song by listening carefully to our old songs and by watching the crowd during our shows. We think it’s important to give the audience a “rollercoaster” feeling.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

We received a pretty good welcome with our first EP “Red Dawn Of Humanity” and Vincent (guitar) created a lot of songs during 2014. At the beginning of 2015 we selected 6 songs to create this new EP and started the pre-production. We  took a long time to improve the songs with additional leads and samples, we reviewed the drums and finally started to record it. We recorded the chords at home, then the drums in studio with Raphael Crivelli (our record engineer since 2013) and finally the voices. The mix and mastering was done by Atrium Audio in the USA, they worked with bands like August Burns Red and Texas In July. We are really happy with the work they did!

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

From the beginning of the band (2009) we were highly influenced by August Burns Red and Parkway Drive. But during the composition process, we amazed by the last Texas In July’s album, “Bloodwork”. The work on the guitars and the drumming are awesome.

What is your view on technology in music?

We try to stay on the flow! There is a lot of technologies nowadays in the music industry, like MAOs, amp simulation, etc. These technologies bring a lot of benefits to the musician and I think it is important to learn new way of creating and playing music with it rather than struggling against it.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Not really. If the people who listen to our music are enjoying it and if the crowd in our shows had a good time, we already reach our main purpose to make people happy during a few minutes!

What are your plans for the future?

We are going to play some shows in Europe (France, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium) during February to promote the EP and then we will focus on playing in Switzerland during this year. We are planning a tour later in the year but we are still working on it.

Links:

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