Interview BEYOND CREATION
Simon Girard (vocals & guitar), Hugo Doyon-Karout (bass) & Philippe Boucher (drums) – Sunday 18 June 2017
« People in Quebec are more fucked up. It’s the snow, once it’s gone people go crazy » – Simon Gerard
How the hell are you guys?
Simon: Good! It’s an intense experience with a lot of bands and shows to see and places to go.
How long are you here for?
Simon: We’re here for the whole festival!
Who are you hoping to see?
Simon: We went to see Behemoth yesterday and our friends in Cryptopsy.
Hugo: Deep Purple was awesome.
Obviously for French bands to play Hellfest is a big thing, how does it feel as a Quebec band?
Simon: It’s nice because you can talk to everybody! It’s going to be cool to talk to our crowd in French! Usually we speak in English so people understand us. But this will be our biggest show ever and we can speak French.
How does this fit into the Beyond Creation plan?
Simon: It’s beyond anything we could want!
Hugo: Hellfest is one of the best festivals out there so to get invited is an honor.
How much experience did you have with outdoor festivals before Hellfest?
Simon: We played some festivals in Quebec, we did the two biggest ones, Heavy Montreal and Rockfest. We played both, it was very nice, good crowds, people were there for us and we had a lot of friends there.
To what extent do you find a difference between French festival goers and Quebecois ones?
Simon: You can’t compare them, it’s not at all the same vibe or people. People are more polite here, at least from what I see. People in Quebec are more fucked up. It’s the snow, once it’s gone people go crazy. Festivals as a whole are a lot of fun though.
That’s something else I wanted to ask about, if you’re locked in for 6 months because of snow how does that impact your music?
Simon: Obviously there are some snow sports but mostly we stay inside practicing. Spending most of your time inside obviously forces you to spend time recording and composing. There’s a lot of really talented musicians in that region. I don’t know if those bands could do it without the winter to work. It’s just the way we think over there, Montreal and Vancouver are pretty much the only cities in Canada with bands that go places and have good scenes. I think it has to do with the thinking.
What about the thinking in Montreal makes those bands successful?
Simon: Montreal is a city where art is very prominent. There’s a lot of people at every show, no matter what style of music. People really like art. It’s a good way to get your band out there. That’s a huge part of it.
How does it feel to be on a festival where you play technical death metal and you also have stadium rock?
Simon: We do lots of hand clapping for the smooth parts! (laughter) Hellfest is more of a heavy metal fest than a rock fest. 70% of the bands are really brutal and heavy. French people really like lots of heavy stuff.
How do you maintain your energy over a long intense festival like this?
Simon: We drink a lot of water too!
I get the impression there are varying levels of healthiness!
Hugo: You gotta have it!
Who is the healthiest?
Simon: Probably the two brown guys are the healthiest! We only ask for veggie stuff on the rider. I’m trying to be a vegetarian. When you take a plane and the only thing you get handed is a chicken sandwich I’ll take it, but when I have the choice I would rather choose healthy stuff. You need to find your energy so that had to happen to me.
What do you love so much about music?
Hugo: Diversity. The community. Everybody feels so connected to each other. It’s universal. Everybody can dance and air drum. It makes us feel good and there are so many different genres and we accept every one of them.
Interview: Matt Bacon.