Interview BETRAYING THE MARTYRS
Lucas D’Angelo (guitar) et Boris Le Gal (drums) – Friday 16 June 2017
« It’s true that certain bands are very selective with their touring and others like to go non-stop. For us it’s our vision to win the hearts of the fans. » – Boris Le Gal
So how are you guys doing?
Lucas: Well we just played the Main Stage 1 of Hellfest in front of 30,000 people. It went really well and we are over the moon. It couldn’t have been better!
Boris: I think I just played the best show of my life, in fact I’m sure of it. It was really moving for me, especially since I’ve come here so often as a fan. So to find yourself on the Main Stage 1 is magical. I really loved that!
The last time we spoke was back in January while you were promoting your new album The Resilient that was about to come out. Now that it’s been out for a while, are you satisfied with the results?
Lucas: We only had great feedback from every side so we are super happy. People who thought they had moved on from the band came back. Our biggest fans loved it too. It was a success all across the board from press to fans!
Boris: A lot of people say that it’s our best album and that really makes me happy!
Lucas: We think so too! The trial by fire on stage was very positive. From the release of the record we rapidly left on tour for a month in Europe. It was our first time really relying on those new songs. Not only did we have a lot of fun playing them but we want to play them more than the other stuff. We really felt a new level of connection with the public thanks to these tracks.
Boris: After the European tour we did a bunch of French dates. After Hellfest we will tour for 2 months in the USA.
You’re essentially doing two tours in a row. You had to cancel European festival appearances this summer due to this tour. What makes you want to go play the USA?
Lucas: The choice was a difficult one because it always hurts to have to cancel. But we are signed to an American label and have not toured in the USA for a long time and wanted to go back. There, concretely, we had the opportunity to do two tours back to back. Based on our label’s recommendation and with the goal of not playing favourites we decided the best choice was to tour once again in the United Stated where our fans haven’t seen us for a long time and we can present our album in a live setting. It’s thus with a lot of frustration and sadness that we had to cancel our European appearances excluding Hellfest. It was inconceivable to cancel Hellfest. But I think I can assure you that next year we will do a tour of European fests.
Boris: Since I only joined the band in 2015 this will be my first tour in the USA. In fact it will be my first time even going there!
Today’s concert was filmed, are you preparing anything with that?
Boris : We filmed the entirety of the set with the idea of doing a music video for the track « The Resilient ». We are going to try to release it as quickly as possible so it coincides with our American tour.
Lucas: Igor Omodei, who works on our videos, and who most notably did « The Great Desillusion » and « Lost For Words » works hard and quickly. So it seems likely that in the next couple weeks the clip will be released. We want to have a good souvenir from Hellfest since it’s an important step in our career as well as a promotional tool for our tour in the USA.
Betraying the Martyrs is a band who always engaged in heavy touring. It’s been said that those who tour are trivializing their art and not really respecting the work. What’s your view?
Lucas: That’s the basis of a very interesting debate…
Boris: It’s true that certain bands are very selective with their touring and others like to go non-stop. For us it’s our vision to win the hearts of the fans.
Lucas: We are definitely more selective than we were before. At the beginning we would do whatever tour came our way, eventually we learned to weigh our options. In the states we had a lot less choice obviously because we are less present. That’s part of why we are going to do tours over there, but keep in mind both are great tours. We want to be seen as a band who tour a lot even if we are reducing the rhythm over the years. But it’s the order of the day for now!
Boris: I don’t know when the cycle will end but I think we will be pushing it until the end of 2018.
No work on the new record then?
Lucas: For the moment we have nothing concrete. We are going to see how things go, there’s a gap between some of the tours so we can get back to writing. In the immediate future we need to get through Europe and USA before we can maybe come back to Europe as a headliner. We will be working on it of course. We are going to be doing quite a few dates in France in order to solidify the market there. We are surrounded by a French team who can really help us capture the local market and who really have helped since the beginning of our career. But get ready for the end of the year, there’s going to be some really exciting stuff going on, it’s being prepared. We should be able to tour every weekend in France. Then with the cycle of The Resilient we would like to explore new territories, especially in Asia even if we have nothing concrete there at the moment. We are really proud of this record and want to share it as much as possible and maximize its lifespan. When it comes time to do a new record we will do it.
If you take too long do you feel like you will forget how to write?
Lucas: We ran into this problem in the past. We were able to easily craft our first record Breathe In Life (2011) in our homes. The album came out and we got signed to a US label and did 250 shows in a year. We came out totally drained. Rather than take a pause we wrote our follow up record Phantom (2014) between two tours. That didn’t always work super well for us. It’s still a good album but it could have run a little better. For The Resilient we decided to take a year off outside of a few select dates. When you take the time to write and do a little pre-production before going into the studio you feel the results. Some groups are able to write records in a bus, but for us that doesn’t work. We have to take our time to write effectively.
So how are you planning on wrapping up your weekend?
Boris: I’m a little annoyed, I was hoping to stay all three days, but we have to get back tomorrow afternoon since we leave for the USA on Wednesday.
Lucas: There are tons of things that we need to prepare before our departure. Without these tours we would stay all three days like we did in 2012. Even though we leave tomorrow we are hoping to have a good time with all this, there’s a superb bill. I made myself a schedule so I can see everything I want. We also are going to go drink beers with all of our friends who are here to celebrate this event in the career of our band.
The band not to miss?
Lucas: Yes, Behemoth. But also Deep Purple. I grew up with them and they were one of my dad’s favourite bands. He’s very proud that we are playing on the same stage as them today.
Boris: Behemoth, like I said. I’m also annoyed I will be missing Animals As Leaders who will play at the same time as Textures.
Many thanks to Elodie & Charles (HIM Media).