Interview with METROPOLIS CHILD

Metropolis Child

Define the mission of Metropolis Child.

First, Metropolis Child was created to share the pleasure to play together a progressive music. Coming from different horizons (mostly metal), we tried to develop our identity as a band, thanks to lyrics in french or in english and from ambiant clean arpeggios to heavy riff. We wanted to gather progressive fans and play this kind of music our way.

Tell me about the creative process that informed the “As Dreams Make Us Live” EP.

At the start, our goal was to bring people to discover our music. After our first 3 track demo, in french only, we wanted to present the band’s progression, and also our individual evolution. As our musicianship and our technical abilities growing up, we were quickly able to record a richer EP, more elaborate, and which easily define us. We chose a 5 track format in order to show, in the better way, every horizons we could cross along. The hardest part was to choose those 5 songs among one hour and a half of our live music. So we picked up the pieces that established our universe’s basis and cover most of the directions we took, while trying to build a logical evolution inside the CD itself.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Most of the time, someone comes with an idea, a first draft of a song, and then we make the song grow while playing it together. So the way we document the music depend on who is coming with the first idea, it can be a recorded draft, a Guitar Pro file or simply something we come and play.

As Dreams Make Us LiveIs the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected or is it an organic outgrowth of performing them together?

It is not usual for us to let hesitations in our mind while we are playing this music, so we must carefully write our tracks. We obviously make the song grow in a more organic way when we are working on but when we thought a song is good enough to be played live we fix it, without refraining from changing it later.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

After setting our goal for the EP and choosing the songs, we met Quentin Regnault. He did an amazing work recording and mixing our music. Then we sent this to Guillaume Bideau (One way mirror) in Denmark, who did a great mastering. In the recording process itself, we started with programming the drums parts, then we recorded bass and guitar parts, a time to make a few final changes in the arrangement before recording lead and backing vocals.

How long “As Dreams Make us Live” was in the making? Tell me about the themes this release captures.

We began drums programming in may 2014, and after recording bass and guitar parts in june, we finished with the vocals in july. Mixing and mastering took a few week while we worked on the artwork with Arnaud Malherbe. Finally we were able to release the EP on September the 14th for the band’s second year anniversary.

It is really hard to gather the song together on common themes, we don’t abstain from talking about any themes. We are glad to explore the world that surround us and to sing what we see. For instance, on a 5 track EP, we manage to talk about an utopian life, music in general, and other darker themes like death, schizophrenia and political climate. On a second hand, we can broach the subjects of hope, love, dreams and success, which are less common in Metal music.

Provide some insight into the group’s chemistry that allows this music to emerge.

The alchemy is creating itself thanks to the liberty and diversity that comes from progressive kinds of music. Our musical tastes gather with this style, and the love of playing music is doing the rest. We met in a music school so we build first a friendship relation and then a bandmate relation. So, for us, the harmony that we have etablished through numerous rehearsal and with touring is really important.

How do you know when a piece is complete?

We don’t know. We stop when we like the song so we can play it live, when we feel the song complete and worthy. Beside, live experiences are a very good test for a new song, and we often change a song when we think an evolution may be important. For instance, the song Noir Zéro, the last one on the EP, is one of our oldest song and we changed it several times in order to brought it to completion.

Metropolis Child

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Our influences are very varied, that’s why we gather with the progressive notion. If we all like Metal, this term alone doesn’t mean anything precise.

Jyhell: My main influence is Dream Theater, I admire how they structure a piece, there is a lot of ingenuity in their music. I really like some bands from the Metalcore scene like Architects or Killswitch Engage for the energy released by this kind of music. In France, I am inspired by Klone or Noir Désir, especially with the vocals.

Emilien: I’m heavily influenced by the new prog scene, with bands like Periphery, Monuments, Tesseract or Sky Harbor, particularly for the rythmic complexity. However, I am not into a specific kin of music, good pop music can inspire me as much as extreme metal.

Bill: Like my brother and guitarist, I can only put Dream Theater in a first plan. Even if they are, for me, the best musicians ever, they are so more, in composition, switching atmospheres, and I don’t know how much I could pay to have a mind like pettruci’s one. In the way of singing, there are more names : Bruce Dickinson (how could I not quote him ?) John Gallagher for his deepness, Robert Wyatt because he is one of the freer, if not the freest, and James Labrie because he is the only one able to do all what he does. In french, which offer lots of differents way of singing, we have Jacques Brel, Goldman (french pop rock), Kool Shen and Akenaton (french rap) and mainly Bertrand Cantat and Romain Humeau (Noir Désir and Eiffel, french rock) who are 2 artists who make me singing this way, trying to feel and live the music before playing it.

Flo: I’m mainly influenced by two musical movements: Death Metal and Progressive Rock. In Death Metal, I like the way bands like Gorguts, Autopsy, Suffocation, etc. create a very dark, deep and intense mood in their music. In progressive rock, it’s a music full of imagery and colors. I like the 70’s vibe, and the sense of research, of experimentation, especially with bands like King Crimson, Soft Machine, Van Der Graaf Generator or Hatfield and the North. On the EP, the way Colin Martson (Gorguts, Dysrythmia, etc.) thinks the Bass guitar, added to Hugh Hopper and Richard Sinclair’s bass lines influenced me a lot.

What kind of gear do you use for recording your music?

Usually, our drummer is using a Mapex drum set with Meinl cymbals and a Black Panther snare but knowing that recording a drum could be as difficult as expansive, we chose Addictive Drums to program it. The guitarist is only playing on PRS guitars with Mesa Boogie amps. The bassist plays with Ibanez bass and Trace Eliott amps.

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology can be very helpful, it brings a lot in the conception and in the production, but we are careful of using it too much, because we want our live music to be as faithful as possible with our recorded music. The music we like is living musique, played with instruments, so we don’t forget this angle.

Do you see the band’s music as serving a purpose beyond music?

We write our songs, our lyrics, in the mind of what we want to talk about. So we write about all that can touch us, whatever the theme, and we would like our audience to be touched the same way. We just want to share our point of view, we are not involved in something specific, although our hopes and our political opinions are clear.

What are your plans for the future?

For the moment, we want to defend our EP live, in order to grow a wider audience. Later, we begin to think of several things, making a Videoclip, finding a label, and even later an LP will be on our thoughts.

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Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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