"...it’s an album full of gravely vocals that range through characterful singing to full on bellows and flailing roars, its rough guitars hacking their way through track after track with a solid and very tight rhythm section..."
"...at times you hear elements of One Minute Silence, RATM, Mudvayne, Soundgarden and during the song “Hollywood” there is even a suggestion of Slipnot...."
An INTERVIEW with
Self described as a neo-giga-brutal band, this French four piece from Nice have just had their second album "One More Piece" released across Europe, but that is about the extent of our knowledge of them, so we talked to Nico from the band who told us a lot more.
Hi there, I’m Rigsby from the UK based eZine iwillbeheard.co.uk - I hope you are well. Could you please briefly introduce yourself and your position in the band?
Hi! My name is Nico and I play guitar in the band.
For the benefit of the UK audience many of which many not have come across the band, could you very concisely summarise the history of Sikh, who you all are and the style of metal the band play.
We are Sikh from France, we've been playing with this line-up for just one year (Roswell on bass is a new member) but Gael, Kal and me have been together since 2002. We did many gigs in France and other European countries but we wish to play more in foreign places coz it's the first time our album is distributed out of France. We play a kind of metal with groovy influences, Meshuggah, Snot style, so quite large influences.
Is there a story behind the name Sikh? Is there any correlation with the Punjabi originated religion or is the name simply abstract?
Absolutely not. The word "Sikh" was found when Kal and myself were young, we just found the word funny and graphic. We don't have many Sikh people in south of France, so we didn't know about this religion. But after all we decided not to change it, as you can see!
I understand that most the members of the band play in other bands / projects. How does that work with pushing Sikh forward, what is the ethos of the members and do you consider Sikh as the main priority?
Sikh was our first "real" band, playing "real" live shows, touring a.s.o. for Kal, Gael and me. Roswell used to play many years in Eths, a quite famous French metal band. Kal and Roswell also play together in a funky band named RAS and Gael plays in a death metal combo named Vetha. He’s as well the live drummer for modern rock band "Demians". I also play in a rock metal band in Paris but my main project is Sikh, you'll have to ask the others to have a more precise answer!
Who do you currently feel are the most influential bands out there for you? What bands have really made an impression on you and what genres do they fall in?
Now in 2009, there is no more a single "big influence" for Sikh. There is not only "one" kind of music that we like, so the results in Sikh is maybe just a music we like to create and play together. Hope the mix is good!
Would you consider bringing in aspects from other styles of music into the Sikh sound, for instance expand on the funky bass groove in many of your songs or are the objectives to keep the music firmly in the modern metal camp?
There is no plan for future material by now. We'll see what will happen when we sit down and try to make a new album. I think the groovy parts will always be there, but we'll have an evolution for sure, and I don’t have a clue about how the songs will sound like in the future.
I have seen very little press or promotional information about the band outside of French written publications, and indeed your website and myspace are predominantly presented in French. However, have you received much international press to date and more generally how do you think the music press deals with the bands style of music?
Actually, we had many interviews and reviews in European press, for the promotion of “One More Piece”, which is a good thing for us. The music press always wants to “classify” music, that's the negative point, but it seems normal that people wants to know what they are going to listen.
We reviewed your latest album “One More Piece” and enjoyed it very much. It was quite a long time between your debut and this second album and I hear that it took a year in the studio? Please tell us how happy you are with “One More Piece”, why there was so long between releases and so much time spent in the studio?
Thanks! Glad you liked it. Of course, one year after the release, it's difficult to not to think "Oh we could have done this or that in a better way”, but we're proud of this album. It's pretty hard to have a good judgment upon our own material; we'll see what will be the people’s reactions. In France the feedback is good on this album.
"One More Piece" has actually been home recorded. In extent of we're all working in sound production, in studio or for live gigs, we knew how this album should sound like. So it took such time for pre-production, the recording was quite fast, and mixing was long of course!
I really enjoyed the unashamedly downtuned heaviness of songs like “Blizzard” from your early material. How would you compare your latest material to your first album or even to earlier demo's? How do you think it has progressed?
I think we fully succeed to integrate our influences (some were obvious as you listen to the first album with all the Meshuggah / Pantera / Snot stuff...) Maybe this one is more personal. It's more "Sikh sound"
It is always an aspect of any band to balance live shows and the creation of new material. Do you have a preference between writing and recording or playing live? And which do you find is the most rewarding?
Personally, I think playing live is the best; I don't really like studio coz every detail is subjective, according to the moment, to the guy who thinks and tells what he thinks. It's a bit complicate to deal with all those things for me. On the opposite playing live is just having fun and share it with people.
What are the future touring plans for Sikh and do they include any UK dates? Have you played the UK before now?
We did an European tour with hed(pe) "Only In Amerika" tour, but because of a cripple tour manager we had to cancel the UK dates. We stayed in the bus but without playing! We also toured in Ireland a couple of times. Our goal is to play in Europe, including of course UK. We're expecting a lot of the "One More Piece" European release, because it's like a new album except for France, so we'd really like to play this record live.
Finally, is there anything else you wish to add to finish the interview?
I hope to see you as we'll come and play live in your country!
Okay, I’ve just about run out of questions to ask you this time around. We wish you all the best with the future of the band and thanks so much for taking time to answer them for us.
You’re welcome, thanks very much.
by Rigsby (January, 2009)