|As you could see with our enthusiastic review of “Progressive
Darkness”, this canadian Newcomer has left such an impact on us that we did
one of our rare interviews. As the album will be released by end of May
only, they aren´t featured in the press yet, so this was another reason
to send our questions. Drummer Cap answered them as follows:
First, there seems to be some changes in line-up?! Members mentioned on the promotion-sheet are partly different to the line-up stated on the album?
You’re right, shortly after we finished recording «Progressive Darkness» Vince(lead guitar) decided to leave the band. He wanted to concentrate on other interests and wasn’t able to put enough time in the band anymore so he left.
The album is 4 years old already? Please tell a bit about the band, foundation and changes.
The band has had a lot of line-up changes over it’s 8 years of existence. In fact the only original member still in the band is Roby(lead singer). Between 1996 and 2000 the band had played a couple of shows and recorded a demo which rapidly sold out but it still wasn’t really serious at the time. The real effort to break the band and put it onto the map began in 2000 when I(Caps) joined Roby and Vince(lead guitar). Shortly after Davey(bass) and Thierry(keyboards) completed the band and we were off to Sonum Studio to record our first full-length album: «Progressive Darkness». Like I previously mentioned our lead guitarist left the band so we began to search for a replacement. We finally found Fred and after that followed a period in which we did many concerts. One day the people behind «The Metal Observer» webzine became our managers and that’s when we began working together to find a record deal. After a German label let us down for cause of bankrupt, we continued our search and finally a couple of months ago Escapi decided to sign us.
It seems your singer isn´t with you anymore; could you find a replacement who can keep up the range between growls and clear vocals?
Don’t worry our singer is still with us. The only different band member is our new lead guitarist Fred Bédard that replaced Vince in 2002. If we ever lost Roby(singer) I guess the band would be over, cause few singers have is vocal ability and he is the main composer for Moonlyght’s material so…
Why did it take so long to get a deal for such outstanding stuff and what helped you keeping the faith? A lot of other bands would have given up I think…and how did you get to a swedish label with german distribution?
Being here in Canada, very far from the main metal scene certainly didn’t help. We sent hundreds of records to label but no one seemed interested and we got the feeling they simply didn’t think we were serious. What helped us keep the faith was that we were getting good response in our live shows and people repeatedly asked for a record. We also knew «Progressive Darkness» was a good record and we were really proud of it. The record had taken almost a year to complete and cost several thousand dollars so we were determined to do something with it. One day the guys from the Metal Observer called us and offered their help. Thanks to them, labels finally started to show interest in us. First we decided to sign with a German label but it went bankrupt and finally cancelled our contract. A couple of months later Escapi signed us and I have to say up to now they do a great job. They have a well organised distribution which should help spreading it all over the world. We just hope everything will work out this time.
There´s so much happening during the songs it seems that you get your influences from everywhere?! Violins, Flute, Black and Death Metal, the whole range can be found on the album – is it difficult to arrange and compose the songs with so much in it?
We pretty much get our influences from everywhere. We all listen to different stuff, really different stuff. Our musical tastes are so vast and diversified it would be to long to list them out but believe me, all those influence certainly do have an effect on our music.
It’s certainly hard to arrange songs that have so many instruments and different melodic lines at the same time. That’s probably the main reason why it took us more than 8 months to get it done. Trying to get everything to be heard right was so difficult, that we had to choose and cross a lot of stuff out. Still it’s jam packed with sometimes almost inaudible details. One of the great things about this record is that if you listen carefully you can discover new things each time you put it on and I think people dig that. I get the impression fans really begin to enjoy the record after 2 or 3 careful listens and don’t get tired of it so fast.
What´s behind the title “Progressive Darkness”? What do you mean with it? Please also tell a bit about the lyrics in general.
The title refers to a lot of things and I think the best is to make your own opinion of what it’s about. In my mind it’s about what we are slowly turning our world into. If we don’t change our way of living, darkness will soon be total. Our planet will become a huge trashcan, a place where only rich people will have the right to live and eventually a fucking zoo!
Roby(lead singer) is the one that writes all the lyrics, but what I can tell you about them is that they mostly deal with feelings like pain, joy, anger, love. What's nice about Roby’s lyrics is that they look like cute and simple medieval tales, but when you go further in your analysis you realize they are saying a lot more than you first thaught. You can easily transpose these tales into your every day life and believe me if you do, you'll probably learn precious lessons. The reason why he chose medieval tales as a medium is that he is fascinated by this era in which «the world was untouched by dirty hands of today’s society.». His lyrics are mostly inspired by the sad reality of loosing something in life so that’s why they are so full of melancholy and sadness.
How´s your experience playing live?
We love to play live shows. We have a great chemistry within the band and it really shows on stage. For us playing live is a big party so we really give it all out there and rock like hell. I particularly enjoy witnessing people forgetting about everything else and just having a great time for a couple of hours. What amazes me is that most people really seem to listen carefully to our songs. Of course there is some headbanging going on but rarely do we see people slamming together, they just seem captivated by who knows what!
Could you play outside Canada already?
We would love to and we are more then ready to kick some ass on stage! I’m pretty sure will cross the Canadian border before the end of the year.
If the album´s 4 years old there should be new songs already?! Can you give an idea to where the band will go in the future musicwise?
Yes, there are new songs and in fact we almost have enough material for a new album. I’m not saying it will come out this year, but it’s beginning to take form. We don’t feel the urge of getting something out really soon. We waited more than 5 years for «Progressive Darkness» and took almost an entire year to record it. I see our next record better than P.D so I guess we’ll have to take our time to do it right.
As for the musical direction we are leaning towards, I’d say it’s really hard to describe, just as much as what we did before. All I can say is that you’ll recognize the «Moonlyght signature» in these new songs. In general the songs are more extreme. What I mean is that we tried to reach more extreme dynamics and feelings. Some songs are really fast and furious others are really slow and calm. The songs are also a bit less melancholic than all we have done before, but the sadness is still in the air. I really think these new songs are better than all we have done before.
What do you think about the metal-scene in general?
The metal scene is great in general. There are numerous great bands that bring something new and refreshing into metal these days. I guess that’s necessary because without that musical exploration we would be tired of metal by now. Like in any other musical style I think there is too many bands that sound almost exactly the same. I find most metal musicians particularly afraid of trying stuff out. They always say things like «will this sound metal enough» or «this instrument isn’t aggressive enough to be in a metal song». I really don’t see the point of closing myself and try to really fit in a specific gender. We always thought of ourselves as musician not necessarily metal musicians. Some people hate us because we use weird instruments and put some odd and sometimes very soft riffs in our songs. Most true metalheads don’t like us either because we’re not always dressed in black and not always down. Of course the situation is probably different in Europe but here it really is a closed circle. We like to have fun and smile on stage and like it or not we’re not gonna change to fit in!
Do you listen to the widely spread influences that one can find in your songs in private as well?
Sure, most of the guys listen to a lot of metal bands but I can name only a few which we all agree on: Dimmu Borgir, Metallica, Opeth. As for the rest, our inspiration may come from very different kind of music so it’s really hard to tell you exactly where it comes from.
Is it any disadvantage that your native language is french? Or do you raise with both languages (sorry for asking but I don´t know very much about Quebec)?
I would definitely say it’s not a disadvantage. I’m really proud to speak French and to have been exposed to this wonderful culture. I personally lived for a couple of years in the United States so I learned English there. Of course my English is not that good! People here are mostly raised in the French language but since we’re such a small bunch of French people surrounded by all these English, most people have no other choice than to learn English for their job and stuff like that. This biculturality is what makes us who we are so it can’t be bad.
Is there a room for the band in the area you live, are there other bands that you know or would recommend?
There sure is a public for our kind of music although the metal scene down here is much smaller than the one you have in Europe. Since there is less people(only 6 million people in the province of Quebec) there is of course less metal fan. In Quebec if a metal band sells 1500 records they are a really big act. So you can easily imagine we can’t play that often and in front of that many people. So we’ve got our fans and even if they’re not that many they’re really crazy! There is a couple of good bands around Quebec City, among them I would name Liva and Hidden Skyes.
What are your plans for the future?
First we’d like to visit you guys and tour a bit in Europe and in other parts of the world. We also have a live DVD project with our label which will probably feature the best moments of our next tour and some other special footage. Finally we are currently working on new songs to complete the next album which will hopefully be out before the end of next year.
Any final words to those who read this?
First thanks a lot for the interview. I would also like to invite music fans all over the world to come and visit us at www.moonlyght.ca Your comments are very precious to us. Brutal Pop Music rules! Peace!
You read it, guys. Take a look on their site and mark your calendars on 24th of May, as one of the best albums of the year will be released then!