Interview – Outcast
With latest release ‘Awaken the Reason’ doing the rounds since early 2012 and receiving plaudits aplenty in its wake we spoke with Nicolas Soulat, guitarist of Parisian five piece Outcast about the release, signing to Listenable Records and working with Textures Jochem Jacobs.
How would you describe recent album ‘Awaken the Reason’?
Musically the album is more complicated and more melodic than our previous album, ‘Self Injected Reality’. In many ways this album is better produced and the composition took a much longer time than the previous album. We began in 2007 and it was finished at the end of 2010 so it was very long. We took more time because we wanted to stay away from a death metal cliché and every other old metal music which was our main influence on the previous album. We wanted it to be closer to what some would call ‘modern metal’, like djent or maybe similar to Textures or some other group like that so we took more time to achieve these compositions. I would say it’s more melodic but maybe a little bit more inaccessible because of the structure of the songs. There are many turns on every song but that’s the way we wanted to do it.
You talked about Textures there, you actually worked with Jochem Jacobs on the production side of things. What was it like working with him and what did he bring to the process?
He played a solo on the previous album on a song called ‘Allegiance’ which he kindly accepted to do and we kept in very good contact with him since then. Both during and after the composition process we wanted to give the album maybe a more professional production and we knew that Jochem was constructing and building his home studio so we wanted to ask him to see if he would agree to mix the album. He listened to the composition and accepted to do the job. His position on the album was not really instructive but he gave some ideas especially on the instrument placements and he gave us a very organic sound on every instrument and that’s what we wanted. His application was really instrumental. Telling us maybe we could do some parts lower and some parts higher. He accepted everything we had to say so it was very cool.
At the time of writing the album where you listening to any bands in particular that helped concentrate your mind and inspire you?
Yes it was the time when Periphery had just released a new album so we were a little bit inspired by that. I didn’t listen to too much metal music. I am the main composer on the album and all the ideas of the songs were composed in improvisation so it was all very spontaneous. All the bands we listen to keep on influencing us even if we aren’t particularly listening to them at that time.
You recently signed to Listenable records, how did that come about and what does that mean for the band?
We signed with Listenable Records, that was two or three months ago now…
… So you had the album ready and took it to them then?
It was ready for a while, since the end of 2010. The mixing process with Jochem took place in November 2010 and the mastering process took place December/January at West West Side Music by Alan Douches. Then after that in January/February we tried to find some proposition. The deal we had had with our older label had ended and we wanted to find distribution. We sent the album [to] many, many places. Listenable had given us good feedback but not an overall positive response to that. At the end of 2011 they contacted us and said that they wanted to work with us. It was great news as we wanted to go down a more professional step and we hoped that it would open some doors such as in touring and gigs. Live playing is very important to us, so we hope that signing with Listenable Records will bring us many good things in that side of things.
What’s the French metal and underground scene doing at the minute from your point of view?
I think that French metal is doing fine because of many bands that are beginning to have an international recognition like Gojira. Other bands that were at Listenable like Hacride and another I want to mention even though they’re Swiss is Sybreed. French metal seems to be very appreciated for the French touch you can’t find in other types of music. When you look at some bands like Gojira and Hacride you can find something a bit fresher, more organic on the sound and maybe that’s what everyone likes about it.
What’s next for you guys?
The very next thing is to play live. We want to play as many gigs as possible, we are in touch with many associates and we have organised some events but I can’t say too much about that right now. We hope to invade Europe and play as many countries and places as possible. To play the music, which I composed live, I think will perfectly fit the live conditions.
Words: Nicole Magill
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