Nicolas Bel (guitar) & Romaric Lamare (vocals)
E-mail interview– Tuesday March 20, 2018
“It’s important for us to be part of this kind of event because you can meet a lot of new contacts… and partying « a little » of course! Work and pleasure!”
So how does it feel to get the call to play Hellfest?
Nicolas Bel: It’s absolutely exciting! Honestly we are very proud. Considering the number of bands existing, it’s kind of a reward for us.
What do you think of this year’s line-up?
Nicolas: I can’t wait to see Demolition Hammer. I didn’t get the chance to see them since their reformation. Talking about reformation, there’s Exhorder, one of the pioneers of thrash / groove metal, and we play the same day on the Altar! With Exumer, they had not released a LP since 25 years. I’m also happy to see bands like Carpenter Brut. Synthwave has common roots with metal and definitely has its place in this kind of festival. I won’t enumerate all the bands that I would like to see but it will be mostly on the 4 “small” scenes. There’s so much to see or discover.
Romaric: Yeah the line-up is really interesting this year. I really look forward to see Alice In Chains, I’m a big fan. That’s one of the cool things about Hellfest, you can enjoy thrash, groove, death, hardcore, synthwave, rock, etc. all in one week-end
Are you planning anything special for the festival?
Romaric: Yeah we are planning to set the pit on fire. Haha, more precisely, we are composing new stuff so… we could play a couple of new songs, who knows.
What are you most looking forward to at the festival itself outside of performing?
Nicolas: Reaching a new audience… that’s the point about festivals I think.
Romaric: It’s important for us to be part of this kind of event because you can meet a lot of new contacts… and partying « a little » of course! Work and pleasure!
It has felt like Malkavian were sort of a ‘best kept secret’ of the French metal scene for years now – why do you think you’re starting to break out?
Nicolas: It’s important to recall that the current line-up dates from 2011. Romaric and I played together since 2005 but it can’t be compared to the Malkavian of 2018, the style is absolutely different. But everything went naturally, we released our first album in 2014, we signed on a label (Finisterian Dead End), and the second album followed up in 2017, and here we are at Hellfest 2018. We take our time haha…
Romaric: …But we always move on.
This is going to be a huge show for Malkavian – how will you adapt to the bigger stage?
Nicolas: It’s not gonna be the first big stage for us and it’s not something we are scared of. Rather, it’s a big excitement, we love it. Sometimes, it’s harder to play in small clubs with bad conditions.
Romaric: This is probably going to be the biggest stage we’ve ever played on so far, I give you that ! We’ll prepare it of course. We always try to manage the space and energy the better we can. Yes, it’s gonna be a huge show; this being said, we’ll take it as a regular one, but much better !
This is a massive step forward for you as a band – what’s next?
Romaric: Touring more and more, and breaking down the borders!
What do you think people love about Malkavian?
Nicolas: I think they love our approach of Thrash Metal. It goes beyond the classical codes, our music got some complex structures and various influences. When we’re on stage, we wanna be like a steamroller and that’s what people love.
What drives you to create this kind of music?
Nicolas: The search for energy, violence, but also to create an atmosphere. We love the challenge into composition, to experiment new rhythmic approaches. You can find this in our latest album. For instance, « The Great Overset » is very complex, tortured, suffocating and violent but beside there is songs like « Ruins » or « Void of a Thousand Eyes » which are more ambiant but still with an evolving structure.
Aside from Hellfest, what are you most looking forward to in 2018?
Romaric: As I said, we are working on new songs, an EP is going to be released this year. We are really excited about sharing new ideas. 2018 is an important year for us, and we’re really looking forward to tour, play at festivals and do what we love.
What do you love so much about music?
Romaric: Sharing energy, feelings, power, anger, angst etc. How « only » sound can turn into all of this. That’s fascinating.
Do you have any final words of wisdom for me?
Romaric: Thanks for the support, and see you at Hellfest maybe! Keep supporting the bands, it’s very important for us!
Interview: Matt Bacon.