Xavier Malemort (vocals)
Saturday January 6, 2018
“I see writing it like a quest, not an excuse to release an album to tour and discuss”
Malemort released Ball Trap at the end of 2016 and received an excellent reception from the French media. How did 2017 wind up going for Malemort?
The biggest French publications loved the record and they let people know, from Rock Hard to MyRock by way of Metallian and Hard Force what was especially notable was that we did this ourselves, without the support of a big machine. That being said it’s still within the microcosm of metal, web and fanzines give us crucial support. The record appeared on a lot of end of year lists when it came out. We just continued to play shows as we have for a long time but the people we interacted with began to talk to us about Hellfest especially with regards to the reception of the record. At the beginning that seemed totally unrealistic!
How do you feel Malemort fits within the French metal scene?
It’s perhaps because of our unique place in the scene that explains the interest given by certain people to our music. We defend our musical liberty with tooth and nail. The term « Free Metal » has followed us for a little while now. Heavy, thrash, rock, punk, hard rock and who knows what else ? There’s only one goal, to write good songs ! This has allowed us to open for everyon from Death Angel to U.F.O, Crowbar or Diamond Head without genre restrictions.
How does the composition work at the heart of the band?
I compose the basis of the songs then Seb Berne (keyboards) works on them to refine the arrangements and structure.
Malemort has survived multiple lineup changes. Has it more or less stabilized or are there changes still to come?
We have had a few significant changes, Julian Lambert who replaced Seb Berne on the guitar was recently confirmed so Seb could move exclusively to the keys/samples and backing vocals. We really like that formula, it seems promising.
What will happen in 2018 for the band?
The upcoming months that separate us from the spring will be largely dedicated to the preparation for Hellfest and Metaldays without forgetting the requests for us to play that are becoming more numerous. We will announce a few more shows between now and then! There will of course be others coming after the summer festivals too!
What are your projects after 2018? Have you thought about these? A new album maybe ?
Next fall we will take the time to breathe and reconnect with our musical desires to finish putting together the followup to Ball Trap. Every album is an intense musical adventure. I see writing it like a quest, not an excuse to release an album to tour and discuss.
Talk a little bit about your participation at Hellfest. You are opening up the 2018 edition on the Mainstage. Does that mean there’s a little pressure ?
Who am I to say otherwise ? But we are hard workers and it has been six years that Malemore has been going everywhere possible to play. We know that we can count on the die hard fans at Hellfest who support French bands to bring the energy to us. That being said – the size of the stage blows my mind!
What was your response after seeing the complete flyer after the 13th of December? What were the bands that really struck you and why?
We are before everything fans, and some of us frequently attend Hellfest, so we understand the importance of the event. Thank you Ben Barbaud! As a fan I love Judas Priest and so I’m overwhelmed. Otherwise I’m looking forward to At The Gates, Alice In Chains and Carpenter Brut as well as our friends Bukowski and Iced Earth whom our bassist JC loves. Baroness because Purple is a masterpiece, Accept because our drummer plays in a cover band for the German masters, Megadeth of course but also Benighted or Black Bomb A for the madness.
What should festival-goers expect from your performance opening the festival?
Once a festival-goer arrives at Clisson there sense of excitement will have been growing for weeks. We are responsible to welcome them to the site, so believe me, it will be a brutal one ! (laughter)
A final word for the fans?
Friday June 22, as soon as the doors open go straight to Mainstage 2 ! Malemort will open the gateway to the damned with you!