DRONTE: Acoustic Metal


French experimental act Dronte is not your everyday’s metal band. Back in February last year, the band launched their debut album entitled ‘Quelque part entre la guerre et la lacheté,‘ what roughly translates to ‘somewhere between war and cowardice.’ Contrabass player and bassist Benoît Bedrossian spoke for Prog Sphere following the group’s appearance on Progotronics XX compilation.

Define the mission of Dronte.

Beyond the world conquest itself, as Pinky And The Brain would have said, we would like to show that music doesn’t depend on instruments used. Beethoven didn’t wait for distortion to invent violent music. In many quiet music bands, you can hear extremely saturated electric guitars. Music note remains music note and it goes the same for rhythm. Quality itself is only dressing and can’t be used to define a musical genre. So we thought we could prove to the world that metal music can be perform with acoustic instruments.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent album “Quelque part entre la guerre et la lacheté”.

This first album, which defines our style, comes from an accident. At the beginning, we were three musicians playing with electrical instruments : two guitars and a drum. Summer was coming and all studios in our region closed for the holidays, so we continued to compose at home and we had to use acoustic guitars. Back from holiday with the studio opening, we retry playing with electrical instruments. Turns out result was ugly and we were so bored about it. So we decide to pursue with acoustic instruments and we adapt all songs according to this choice, asking for friend to come by and play with us, then another friend… from needle to needle to finish with seven players and a lot of strange instruments to perform metal music.


Is there a certain message you are trying to give with “Quelque part entre la guerre et la lachete”?

Through texts, we intend to raise the duality that we all have within us. That we all are mutineer and lazy at the same time and that we finally do absolutely nothing to change situations. We also are inclined to judge others all the time, considering ourselves as impeccable, in a pretentious and self-absorbed way. We intend to emphasize these topics and show that we aren’t better than our neighbour. We also mean that if you want some changes, you should act to get it.

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

I guess we did pretty much like many nowadays artists. Meaning we first play during hours, register ourselves, and then listen it and clarify what we consider the most interesting. Then we start to structure in a more concrete and defined way, write on scores, adding all selected elements. After that we ask ourselves about texts : what, how and were.

Describe your approach to recording “Quelque part entre la guerre et la lachete.”

In the past, we all played in standard electrical bands of different type (hardcore, punk, rock, death, grind, etc.). We never really practice acoustic instruments. When we returned to the studio, we thought naively that it would work the same. “Big mistake” would have said Jack Slater (Arnold Scwharzenegger in “Last Action Hero”)! We discovered that an acoustic instrument does not accept mistakes unlike its electric version. It was sometimes necessary to parameter it differently, acoustic instruments is more sensible and needs to be set very finely and contextually. We also discovered that some instruments does not marry very well together because of the sound’s range. We were a little depressed because of all these new discoveries, we went back home and try to modify some arrangements to avoid all these problems.

How long “Somewhere between war and cowardice” was in the making?

I think we spent about three relaxed years on it. We wrote and thought the disc in two years (music and lyrics). Then, about a year of recording, post-production, with many modifications, and self-wonder, because we were moving to an unknown target (and an unknown way to do it). Clearly, today, it would go much faster.

Benoît Bedrossian

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the single?

Tens?Hundreds ? Thousands? I don’t know. We are music lovers, we listen to music of every style. It brings us close friends. We enjoy as much listen to The Beatles, Cannibal Corpse, Tangerine Dream than Dvořák. And we all have different music tastes. We could spend the entire month to list artists, but it wouldn’t make any sense.

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology is good. We are not reactionary conservatives. We listen to electronic music and also modern stuff (Pan Sonic, Unkle, Zombie Zombie, Igorrr, Author & Punisher, Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin…).

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

Texts are not just esthetical.

What are your plans for the future?

Again, try to conquest the world. [laughs] Seriously, we are currently writing new songs for next disk. We hope to release new productions in 2021.

Quelque part entre la guerre et la lacheté is out now; order it from Bandcamp here. Follow Dronte on Facebook.

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