Interview With Heaven's Cry

Heaven’s Cry have had quite a bit of downtime over the past decade, but with a reunion and a bold new album coming later this month, this Canadian prog metal band will be making waves once again. Definitely a band worth checking out!

Hey, how are you doing?

Pierre: Actually pretty good, living my life as an artist and musician! ;-) The only thing that’s bothering me is the outside world!

Sylvain:  I’m pretty scared right now! I’ve been thinking lately that I was the only human being on the planet! I guess there are others living in the same place?

The necessary question: for anyone who hasn’t heard your band’s music before, how might you describe yourselves?

Pierre: I guess we could say that what we’re doing is creating music without compromise.  We like to explore new textures musically and the lyrics are about us, as human beings.  Progressive music with a soul taste to it!

Sylvain:  Crazy, insane people making music for the fun of it believing it means something and hoping that it will reach others too. If we don’t change our way of living, I truly think we are in deep shit this time.  LOL

Heaven’s Cry is an interesting name- the celestial imagery definitely fits your proggy mold. What was behind the decision of naming your band as such?

Pierre: I don’t really care about the name, Sylvain chose it! Hahaha ;-)

Sylvain: Eh! What the heck! I guess I was high during the nineties LOL! Simply what interested us in the name Heaven’s Cry was the fact that it had elements of peace and urgency.  What will happen when Mother Nature decides that it had enough of us?

Although Heaven’s Cry has been on-and-off in terms of releasing new music, you guys first formed in the early 90’s. How did you first form? Being a progressive metal band at that time must have been pretty exciting!

Pierre: Sylvain and I met when we were teenagers; he actually auditioned for my band at that time. Then we became friends. He didn’t get the job because he was only 15! Hahaha ;-) 3 years after that, we formed Wideside that soon became Heaven’s Cry!

Sylvain: I think the music reflects the state of mind we were in, I still believe what we did is good and look forward to whatever lies ahead!

Lyrics can be a small or big thing for progressive metal bands- some tend to use them as a vocal placeholder whereas others use them to create massive storylines and plots with the music. What’s the importance and purpose of the lyrics in Heaven’s Cry’s work? What do you tend to be inspired to write about?

Pierre: I believe that any aspect of our art is as important as the other. We are perfectionists even though in my opinion perfection doesn’t exist. Every detail will be checked out, believe me.  I’m sure you got that our main reason to create music is not money or greed. It’s about personal healing and growth.

Sylvain: I try to write lyrics that make sense to me so that others can relate to them as much as I relate to others.

Unless you’re talking to a geologist, a decade can be a pretty long time. Babies can grow up into cynical teenagers, and disco can go in and out of style like mercury-laced headwear. What’s gone on for you in between the release of “Primal Power Addiction” and the ultimate Heaven’s Cry reunion? Have your musical tastes or goals changed at all?

Pierre: We all got into different projects that got us in the music scene. For instance, Eric was with Despised Icon touring around the globe about 8 months a year, Sylvain joined Karcius and just released an album with them, I started to work as a producer and joined Non Human Era, another prog metal band from Montreal… We all have lots of projects going on. Eric also has two beautiful 16 months old twin daughters.

Sylvain: Life. Learning and growing as a musician and a human being… doing it my way! ;-)

What are your thoughts and recollections of…

…the 1993 sampler?

Pierre: I think the essence of the band was already there, only our voices sounded a bit like teenagers! Haha :-)

Sylvain: Interesting times, learning our craft and the beginning of a quest for identity.

…the full-length debut, “Food For Thought Substitute”?

Pierre: Without the intention of sounding pretentious about it, I think that the lyrics and the meaning of the whole album is about things that many didn’t talk about back then.  The name of the album expresses that in a very significant way. It depicts a supplement that replaces the media, another point of view. It’s surprisingly still very relevant today!

Sylvain: A lot of confusion, I think that back then we had formed a closed circle and we were experiencing something that felt like claustrophobia.

…the follow-up, “Primal Power Addiction”?

Pierre: This album got people a bit confused since we left a little bit of the heavy metal influence in this one. Although there is lots of it… I sometimes believe that if we started the album with Komma, a heavier song, people would have connected with it more! I personally love what we did on this one. It’s an acquired taste but if it stays with you for a little while, it will never vanish.

Sylvain: At that period, the band was aiming for creativity and really wanted to push our musical boundaries. I guess we thought that if our music was complex enough to draw attention, then the end justified the means!

Heaven’s Cry’s next album, “Wheels of Impermanence” is set to be released at the dusk of September. What can listeners- both fans and newcomers alike- expect from this record? Having been one of the lucky few to have already heard it, it’s definitely got some kick to it!

Pierre: I simply love this album. It is very genuine, very profound but still simple enough and emotional. We brought back the rock feel and high gain guitars. The human factor is all around since we recorded most of the music live in the studio, all together with René Lacharité, our drummer. What you hear is a live band’s performance. The vocals have been recorded in 4 days and the album mixed and mastered in 3 weeks. It was a hell of a ride!

We’ve asked Jens Bogren to do the mastering, he worked with many great bands including Opeth, Katatonia and James Labrie. Yannick St-Amand, whom produced pretty much every Despised Icon album, signed the production with us.

Sylvain:  Glad you like what you heard ;-) Let’s hope there are more of you out there :-)

What advice could you give to other musicians, particularly the ones who haven’t yet gone through the arduous process of making and releasing an album? Any words of wisdom you’ve come across?

Pierre: Very easy, stay true to yourself and show it through your art. It might not get you rich but it feels very good!

Sylvain: Just keep on working at it. Someone is bound to get tired of you knocking at the door! :-)

What lies in the future for Heaven’s Cry? A tour, perhaps?

Pierre: We have some cool events that we will announce very soon. You can expect some Youtube videos and Web logs of the recording of the album also. We already started to work on new material! Stay tuned!

Sylvain: The ProgPower Europe 2012!!!

Favourite beer?

Pierre: Belgium beers are just awesome, but any beer would do! Haha ;-)

Sylvain: I’m a sucker for Guinness.

Favourite sort of cheeseburger?

Pierre: The ones made with bio beef, blue cheese and greens!

Sylvain: The one that’s homemade because it’s got the taste I’m looking for! Haha :p

Final words- anything I missed?

Sylvain: It feels definitely great to have Prosthetic records believing in HC. Teamwork is the key and we are out for a vengeance! LOL

Pierre: It feels good to be back home, Heaven’s Cry is home to me; A lifetime project. You might have missed something or not, hard to pinpoint. Haha ;-) To all the people that stand with us, we are grateful for your support and love. Thank you and see you soon!

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