Musicscan: How big is the interest in Dagoba being back with a new album? Do you get lots of requests from your fans and press people? What are they asking or telling you these days? Are there unexpected questions, or something that is different compared to when you released your previous releases?
Dagoba: Well we just released Post Mortem Nihil Est a couple of day ago in France, and I can say that we never had such a big interest, from fans, press people, webzines ! It’s very good to feel that support, coz each time an album get release it’s like a reborn. A time full of stress, hope, pride, you know, every feelings at the same time !!
I’m actually answering a lot of interview from all around the world, wish is something good for a band. It means that your music touches people from anywhere. As an universal language. It’s like “ok we come from a small city by the seaside, but we can talk to anyone anywhere”, and damn it : that’s cool !
As you can imagine there’s some weird question, but most of time people want to know about the composition, the new guitarist, our news labels, new management, the mix with Logan Mader…they wanna know what’s going on there !
Musicscan: As high expectations sometimes lead to disappointments: do you somehow worry at this point? All the creative work has been done and you have to wait for the actual street date now…
Dagoba: You’re right, it’s sometimes very long to wait for a release, and I’m still waiting for the European release, June 14th.
For the first time we got a strong label in Germany – EarMusic – so it’s a brand new excitation we feel !
As the main composer, all the creative work you’re talking about is done since September 2011, so you can imagine how good it is for me to see the album out now !!
But we got many things to do, like video, trailers, press pics, planning the tour, interviews hehe…so our days or well scheduled.
Musicscan: When a band writes the songs for a record over a longer period, I'd say that these songs can easily stand for a certain period in a band's career, right? But would you say that Post Mortem Nihil Est is representative for what Dagoba wants to stand for in 2013 and beyond?
Dagoba: First time I read this thought. Interesting...
When I compose something, I really want it to represent a certain state of mind, so most of time it’s talking about a precise period.
But of course I want the speech, and the sound to stand as long as possible. I tend to think that when a song is a good one, then it can stand for forever.
My favorite album ever is still …And Justice for all, so you know what I mean haha !
And I’m pretty sure we will play songs from our brand new record for a fuckin’ long time !
Musicscan: Being around the scene for awhile, does it bother you when you see or meet metal listeners who ignore you or who have a different understanding of what metal means to you? Who is listening to your band? What can and have listeners to expect?
Dagoba: It doesn’t bothered me at all ! Nobody can please to everybody tho…So I am, some bands please me, some other don’t, that’s all what art is about ! Plus I really don’t trust to people that absolutely wanna please to everyone. Hypocrites for sure. Or complexed.
We’re doing what we want, the music we’d like to listen at, we wanna stay sincere.
There’s no special kind of people who listen to Dagoba, we meet old school metal lovers, girls, bikers, but also very young metalheads after show. Wish is very cool, the party is better when it’s mixing the kinds !
On this album, we’re still playing a very powerful metal, with brutal riffs and heavy and black metal parts, with some orchestral and industrial adds !
But this one is the most brutal and contrasted, it’s darker, and lightener at the same time.
It’s dancing with Mike Tyson haha !
Musicscan: Can you perhaps tell us something about the intention and the spirit of Dagoba when the band came to be. Has the intention / the spirit changed in any way until today? What kind of philosophy is the basis for what you are doing today?
Dagoba: We always give our best in everything we’re doing. From the rehearsal room to the biggest summer festival, we simply want to to as well as possible our music.
We want to feel free to add whatever we want to our music, we wanna stay Dagoba. We don’t wanna follow anyone or any fashion.
And being on stage is in our DNA, we simply love to be on the road, further as possible, meeting people, different crowd, man…we just wanna make metal for a living !
Musicscan: How do you feel about your place within the metal scene at all as well as in between tradition and gaining new ground to bring forth what the metal heroes you grew up with did before Dagoba were around?
Dagoba: I think we’re that kind of French band that always wanted to travel outside our country. Meeting different crowds, talking to different persons. For the very first day we started Dagoba, we decided that.
We had the opportunities to open the show, or share the stage, with all of our icons. And believe it’s a big pride. Coz’ before being musicians, we’re still big fans of metal heroes !!
I can’t judge the place of Dagoba within the scene, I think we can be proud of everything we already did, but I know too that the best is yet to come, and as a great philosoph said : “it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock’n’roll !!!”
Musicscan: Looking on heavy music in general you can find lots of sub-scenes and styles, the interests of musicians and listeners is changing all the time. Are there bands you feel connected with that might have a similar agenda to what you have with Dagoba?
Dagoba: Actually we feel connected to band from death metal scene like Septic Flesh, and all that kind of band that add orchestral material in their music.
We really appreciate cinematographic atmosphere, but we also love bands with big riffs that make you headbang like a motherfuckin’ freak !
Musicscan: Do you think it's more important for bands to observe the traditions of their style, or to push the genre's boundaries? Is there a way to achieve a balance between progression and tradition? What’s to say about what Dagoba are doing in this regard?
Dagoba: I think that man never change. We he tried to, the nature bring him back to the beginning.
So is Dagoba, we don’t wanna change, but we want to evolve, and push ourselves to the further, the faster, the louder we can be !
Yeah as you say, making the right balance between progression and tradition. But we don’t think about all this when we create. We simply want to increase each point we’re good at.
But for sure we will never follow any fashion.
We also never compose two time the same record. We don’t like to say twice the same thing. It’s like the same man, talking about something different. Same values, same honesty, but other subject.
Musicscan: From my point of view your taste in music has become wider over the years. True? So were there any musical elements you meant to incorporate in the music for Post Mortem Nihil Est by choice?
Dagoba: I always listen to anykind of music. We mainly listen to metal and all it’s version, from glam rock to brutal death, but as a composer I really appreciate to listen to movie scoring, electro, pop or whatever. Just to discover new sounds, new kind of mixing, you know : what’s happened in the world !
I like to decide what kind of orchestral sound I will incorporate in a new record before I start composing the machines. To give each of our record a different color.
I chose the violins, the cellos, the brasses…and I keep ‘em on the whole record. But most of time once I use em of an album, I never use it again.
Musicscan: What is the writing process like for you guys? Do most of the songs come out of jamming or are they consciously constructed from one person's idea?
Dagoba: I always composed most songs / riffs for Dagoba, and then we arrange ‘em all together, playing ‘em again and again, searching for the best structure, the biggest impact.
But for this one, I compose and arrange almost all the songs, excepted two of ‘em for wish I use the drummer parts to add my riffs on.
It’s very difficult for a band like Dagoba, using orchestrations, machines, to jam…everything should be written as an architecture.
The rock’n’roll part is backstage on the road, not in our rehearsal room !
Musicscan: The music Dagoba is playing finds separation through passion and honesty, something you are not hearing too often these days. It’s well balanced, brutal and having a good dramaturgy to keep things interesting. What is your attitude towards metal in general and towards being Dagoba in particular?
Dagoba: As I told you, coming from France it’s already a big pride to make metal for a living.
So we’re very respectful to everybody who support us, and we stay as simple as possible, because we know that the long is still very long. We don’t wanna lose our fans sight on the metal scene.
But thank you for you analyse, I really like the dramaturgy you’re talking about. Creating something that’s not commonplace is very important to me.
Musicscan: Listening to Dagoba makes one wonder about the intensity of the songs. It´s definitely more than just music. It´s also the atmosphere you create. Is the mentioned intensity something you are striving for?
Dagoba: For sure ! I told you about Mike Tyson before..! we really like to see the crowd becoming one, so we really think our song for the live.
And the atmospheres are there to add emotional intensity.
Musicscan: You are always creating records that consist of different layers and extremes. On the one hand side they consist of rude arrangements, on the other hand there are parts that create an incomparable atmosphere. Do you think that this diversity makes Post Mortem Nihil Est a stronger record?
Dagoba: Yes. Definitely. Post Mortem Nihil Est is the most contrasted album we ever recorded.
From the tempo to the vocals, we wanted it to inspire this diversity. And I’m pretty sure this is the main strength of this record, yeah.
Musicscan: Do you think it is necessary to create a certain distance between you and the music in order to get a better understanding of its inherent quality – how do you handle such questions?
Dagoba: For sure I try to keep a distance with the music. I like to have certain period I don’t listen to music at all, I don’t touch a guitar…but when I got something to say musically, then I really love to be into it, I like to embrace it. I want my riffs to say what my mouth couldn’t.
It’s all about sincerity, if your riff are not expressing your guts exactly, it’s not good.
Musicscan: Did all of you guys had an equal vision about how the new album should sound like right from the beginning of the working process? What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the band during the writing and recording? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the final Post Mortem Nihil Est?
Dagoba: Yeah we know how Dagoba should sounds. But fortunately we always had producer that know how to deal with that (Dave Chang, Tue Madsen previously). And Logan Mader did a fantastic job on this record. The mix is fat, and it was such a good time to be in L.A with him I’m sure you can also ear this fun we had !
Musicscan: Do you feel that Dagoba has found its “own” sound already, or is it still evolving? Which is the direction you are heading for by choice? What come to table naturally by evolution?
Dagoba: It’s our fifth album, so I think we found our own sound. Even if it could evolve, we won’t get lost in the future, Dagoba was, is and will stay Dagoba.
Musicscan: Is there something like a guiding line listeners have to know about to get a better understanding of what you are trying to tell them with Post Mortem Nihil Est?
Dagoba: It’s talking about the Armageddon throughout 11 people sights.