The Monolith Deathcult a aimé ma chronique de leur dernier album, puisque pour eux, la comparaison avec Slipknot est flatteuse. C'est là notre plus gros point de désaccord, car pour le reste : leur vision de la France, du cinéma, des religions, et surtout de l'humour, nous sommes pareils. Du coup, puisqu'ils ne font plus rien sérieusement, nous avons décidé d'un commun accord de faire une interview moyennement sérieuse. Pour un résultat moyennement intéressant, si jamais vous vous intéressez au groupe, puisque vous n'y apprendrez rien, si ce n'est que leur géographie n'est plus à jour depuis le traité de Verdun de 843. Since I had my recreation time with your album (thanks by the way, reviews are hardly that easy to write), you've earned yours. So I'm asking the only question you really want to answer : how the hell did you manage to write an album that sucks so hard ? I hope the answer will make me laugh as much as Tetragrammaton.
Michiel: We always search for interesting topics to write lyrics about. This time we thought (in praise of our label) to write some heroic tracks about France. For five years, we read tons of encyclopedias, watched hours of documentaries and searched the whole Internet in a desperate quest to find such a subject but we failed miserably. The only thing we found was an all-out nuclear assault against a harmless coral reef* on the atoll of Mururoa and a blistering naval warfare of the French fleet against the Rainbow Warrior. (note : well, the latter is something we are really proud of).
*Another failure of war, the coral reef is still there. Alive and kicking.
As you might understand we didn’t have much time left to write a decent album so that is why we came up with this mass of stupid troglodyte filth.
I have to admit that this album didn't disgust me, but turned out to be really entertaining listening to, as if you wanted to provoke your former fan-base on purpose. No, really, you can't be serious with Todesnacht von Stammheim, are you ? I couldn't help it, I was picturing you as a clown-band through the entire song. So I came up with an idea: a cover band called The Monolith Deathclown. I hope you'll make a saxophone and trombone cover of the song, it can't sound any worse anyway.
Robin: Now that’s actually a good thought. But we’re a bit too late to get in on the Insane Clown Posse hype. I wasn’t really aware we had a ‘former’ fan base, much less that we actually had a fan base at all. But yes, heaven forfend that a metal band should provoke someone or something. We all know that the metal scene is about the most docile, compliant scenes so provocation is only allowed in the context of religion and/or blood and gore. Maybe we aren’t serious with Todesnacht von Stammheim. Maybe we are? The cash is rolling in and the CD is out. I guess you hate yourself for secretly liking the album but your trve br00tal metal friends would laugh at you for being less myopic than them…
Michiel: If I were you I should stop coming up with ideas. The last time the French came up with a good idea was building the world’s biggest white flag factory.
Robin: It’s right next to the world’s biggest cosmetics factory. Apparently called “Vichy”. Classy, and not at all dubious.
Now on a much more serious tone, I have to say that I'm not different from many of your previous fans who liked you as a brutal death metal band and absolutely can't stand your recent evolution. But don't get me wrong, even if some of death metal fans despise the electro/indus stuff, I don't, because like most of the metalheads I'm used to it, The Berzerker proved that they can match with death metal fifteen years ago. It's what's left of your extreme metal stuff, that is completely unoriginal, and most of your basic, sometimes nu-metal like riffing, that draws criticism. Is this a recurrent reaction to your new music ?
Robin: No, not really. There are two options for a new album. 1) innovate and estrange your old fan base, hopefully gain new fans, 2) stay the same and estrange those who expect something different, gain a few new fans because a new album means exposure for something that is still the same. There are bands out there who seem to put out the exact same album each year, and just slap on a different name and album cover. I switched on the TV a few years back and saw a video clip of a band and the only thing I thought was “Christ this is a terrible Iron Maiden rip-off”. Turned out they WERE Iron Maiden….
You say in your biography that death metal has reached its limits in terms of speed and brutality a few years ago, so you evolved into something different. Did you get tired of the usual brutal death metal routine after The White Crematorium, considering you also had reached your limits as musicians (still regarding speed and brutality), and that TMDC should remain avant-garde while not seeking extremism anymore ?
Robin: The White Crematorium is as avantgarde as it gets. It’s the blueprint for Trivmvirate and as such the grandfather of Tetragrammaton. I would hardly call TWC a ‘usual brutal death metal routine’ but a logical step in a new direction. It’s all there, but it’s less pronounced than on Trivmvirate and even less than on Tetragrammaton still. I don’t think that avantgarde (a dumb label we once tacked onto something as a joke) and brutal are mutually exclusive (apparently you do, as an oldschool die-hard stick-in-the-mud).
(Note : no, I don’t, since I used the word “remain”. English is tricky, I know, dear Dutch fellow. And it’s “avant-garde”, with a “-“, it’s a French word, that’s why it’s so dumb).
Music put aside, there's something completely flawless about TMDC : your sense of humor. The lyrics I understood (because my German is as bad as your French, and my Dutch is even worse) were once more utterly provocative.
Michiel: I can’t imagine that you even understood one lyric. There are all in English and we all know that the French only master the French tongue and the black tongue of collaboration.
Robin: The black tongue accentuates the white flags nicely. And actually, English is about 50% French but the French pretend they can’t understand it because they know the English have taken something terrible and made it better. Provocative? Because history is provocative.
I especially liked Martin Luther King's famous speech in “Drugs, Thugs & Machetes”. The Transformer theme is also perfect, I can't emphasize on how much this album reminded me of a Michael Bay movie.
Michiel: Yeah, I felt the same about the album. Full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing…and to accentuate the Michael Bay vibe on this album we hired Optimus Prime to polish the turd and to fulfil the tragic role of a conductor trying to check tickets of long-dead passengers on a disintegrating coach hurtling uncontrollably toward an inevitably dramatic train wreck.
Or maybe you misspelled and meant “devour the Unicorn”, which is good too, because unicorns and basically horny horses, and we, the Frenchies, love to eat horses. And we're horny, for sure.
Robin: Yes, if you wouldn’t have eaten all your horses in 1940 the world would probably look a lot different right now. I can’t comment on the horniness: almost all French people I’ve ever seen were over a foot shorter than we are so they’re like little scuttling critters at our feet.
(Note : ever thought about reconverting in basketball guys ?)
Regardless of your statement that nobody important lives here, will you come back to France for a gig anytime soon ? I'm asking because your only show in our country was so bad you recognized you fucked up, and I guess there are people out there who want to see you play in better conditions, and with the guitars actually synchronized to the drums this time.
Michiel: Of course we are coming back. We are huge fans of military memorabilia and we were told that antique shops sell many unused French army rifles.
About the show: we were shooting video clips for Master of The Bryansk Forest
and Wrath of the Ba’ath (both taken from the classic albums TRIVMVIRATE.) We were not aware of the fact that we were plugged in and focused on choreography and iconic shots instead of proper playing.
Robin: I think that show was in Belgium (note : sadly, your geography isn’t as good as your history)
. Which is basically the same as France, i.e. a failed nation with pathologically exaggerated hubris, kept alive artificially by the EU to make sure the third world (Spain, Italy) doesn’t get too close to civilization. But of course we’ll be back. Give it some time, if history tell us something it’s that it’ll take on average 7 weeks for the half of the French fans to lay down and submit and the other half to happily start collaborating.
Well, guys, nobody reads us anyway, so you can admit you turned into a cover-band of Rammstein and Slipknot because it's way easier to play live. Nobody will hold it against you, this kind of thing happens when musicians get old.
Robin: Sure, why not. Slipknot and Rammstein are more brutal and entertaining than 99.9% of all death metal bands out there. It’s a compliment.
Any last words to share with our readers ? Thanks for taking all of that not too seriously, because I don't take your music too seriously either.
Robin: Buy our merch
, finish your degree, wear a condom (where practicable), prepositions are perfectly serviceable words to end sentences with, always report your p-values in exact values and use confidence intervals, buy our merch, backup your computer once a week (like us on Facebook while you’re at it
) and buy our merchandise to make us filthy, filthy rich. There is no such thing as ‘owning too many books’. Have the common courtesy to introduce yourself before engaging in coitus with carbon-based lifeforms. Buy our merch after or before said coitus. Read the list of ‘common misconceptions’ on Wikipedia at least once a month and learn to recite Carl Sagan’s baloney detection kit by heart. Buy an item from our merchandise store. Read a poem by Keats at least once a month and make notes. Make sure you write and keep updated your own obituary, do it in ottava rima if you feel stylish. Buy our merch, as well. Did I mention our merch and our Facebook page? You should try everything once except heroin and morris dancing. Bonjour et putain de trottoir que la vache qui rit!
(Note : actually, my German is better than your French)