Musicscan: First of all: Who am I talking to? How are you and what have you lately been up to, when your Osmose debut “Icon” has been released?
Benighted: My name is Julien, and I’m the singer of the band. “Icon” is now out on Osmose Productions for three weeks and we are just back from a French tour of ten dates to promote it, and it was just great! The fans were really crazy, and the pit was a big fury for all the gigs! I’m really satisfied and proud of this album, and really happy to work with such a great label as Osmose!
Musicscan: Does it feel good to you to now have a well distributed record? What are your thoughts and feelings seeing it being available in (hopefully) all big stores now?
Benighted: It’s a big step in the career of the band and it’s a great retribution for us and all these years with Benighted. Our fans everywhere around the world always told me that our precedent albums are really difficult to find and the things will finaly change, that’s cool! The most important is now to play everywhere the album is available!
Musicscan: What made you settle with Osmose? You’ve come a long way before you got this signing…
Benighted: All our precedent albums were on Adipocere Records, a french label which really helped us in France, but not well distributed in an international dimension. They met some problems and had to stop all their production activities. So we posted a new on the web that we were searching for a label for the new album. I’ve been contacted by phone by the boss of Osmose the day just after and we quickly accepted the deal. We are really proud to be part of the Osmose team!
Musicscan: What's your attitude towards Benighted now, and how did it change since you once started?
Benighted: I keep the same pleasure to compose, record and sing on stage. It’s my most important purpose and it will stay like that. The guys who support us are more and more with the years and that’s very cool! As the band is growing, we have to make a bigger work, and be careful to be serious and professional in all that concerns the band, but it’s so fantastic, it’s not a problem.
Musicscan: How do you feel about Benighted’s place within the heavy music scene? You gained a lot of attention lately and are told to be one of the best kept metal secrets... (At least that’s, what I have read and heard ;-)
Benighted: I think the impact of our albums has been limited by the distribution and promotion possibilities of our precedent label. During all this years we’ve played everywhere in our country and we have now a big name in France, but it’s only the beginning. With our signature on Osmose Productions, the things will change and we’ll begin to play everywhere around the world.
Musicscan: When the "Icon" album – or even when “Identisick” - was released were you surprised that a lot of people of different musical tastes were getting it?
Benighted: A bit, yes. But I think our music is composed to be played on stage before all, so the tracks are at the same time brutal and rich of lots of influences which can be interesting for lots of people. The tracks are extreme but each one has its own feeling and identity.
Musicscan: How do you feel about the viability of having extreme “crossover-metal” or even brutal death-metal become the ‘new' thing in heavy music?
Benighted: Extreme metal takes a bigger place with time, and I’m not really interesting in “which style is the most popular at this moment?”. It always change and change, it makes cycles. We just play the kind of music we like, if the other like it too, that’s cool!
Musicscan: Do you feel that Benighted has already found its "own" sounding with “Icon”?
Benighted: Yes, I think. Even on the both precedent albums, we were near that, and from an album to another, we try to change the details which could make it sound better yet and have the most powerful result as possible.
Musicscan: As this album is your first full length record for Osmose. How do you think it weighs in comparison with your former albums?
Benighted: The most importnat is that this album will be easier to find for the fans and we hope it will help us to make a big step to defend the French extreme metal in the all world.
Musicscan: With “Icon” you kept on following your path to discover great complex metal tracks in between death metal, grind and hardcore. Why did you choose to take this direction, or did it happen by accident?
Benighted: We like to play direct and effective music, then these styles you’re talking about have a spirit we feel very close to. Nothing has been thought about the direction, we just combine all the music we like around a brutal death spine, and it makes Benighted music.
Musicscan: When you wrote the material, did you want it to be chaotic and complex or did that decision come during the writing process itself? Your songs combine chaos as well as brutality perfectly…
Benighted: Thanks for the compliment! We don’t have the impress to make complex music. We compose in the way to create interesting tracks with catchy chorus and sometimes surprising riffs or parts. It has to be brutal and groovy before all.
Musicscan: Beside Benighted is sounding very modern i would say you try to include some kind of traditional appraoch as well, right?
Benighted: It’s a long time we listen to extreme metal, more than 15years for most of the members, so I think it comes very naturally in our music because of our musical culture and roots.
Musicscan: Did you have something like a main focus while working on “Icon”, and have there been certain issues you specifically wanted to address with this new record?
Benighted: We just wanted to release the best album we never made, combining our influences to new things we never experienced before. And as I told you before, we kept a big attention that each track has not to seem like another.
Musicscan: What were the most prominent influences for Benighted at the time of songwriting in terms of other bands, sounds or even philosophies?
Benighted: For sure, Napalm Death! We really like bands like Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy, Aborted or Kataklysm too. We wanted to find more organic sound, closer to our live sound, and the spirit we were in during the song writing is as strange as the psychotic delirium I met at my work! (I work in a psychiatric hospital)
Musicscan: What were bands goals for “Icon” and were they reached, or perhaps altered along the creative or recording process? Has the band been able to surprise itself with the actual result? If this is the case – in how far?
Benighted: “Icon” has been written in only six months, so everything was very instinctive. All the goals we had in terms of compositon quality, sound, concept and lyrics, and new musical experimentations have been released. So we are satisfied from a point to another.
Musicscan: You guys are masters of your instruments. How important is that for you and do you feel you'll always keep that brutal edge to your music?
Benighted: Benighted is the top priority for each of us. If someone wants to play something calmer, it will not be done in Benighted but in another band, I think... (laughts)
Musicscan: Where do you see the line drawn between progressiong on what you do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound? Especcially in context of Benighted…
Benighted: The future albums will certainly contain things we’ve never done. We’ll try all the new ideas we’ll have if it stays in the Benighted vein and if it’s interesting for the music. We have no limit of experimentations, in composition as in sound. The result has just to be powerful and recognizable as Benighted music.
Musicscan: Do you feel like Benighted is out to make a difference or more to make people more aware of heavy music?
Benighted: I don’t know, but I really hope so.
Musicscan: Is there something you miss within todays heavy music scene? I often miss passion and originality. Do you think originality is still possible?
Benighted: It becomes hard but not impossible. I think the most difficult is to make the difference of what’s new and interesting, and what’s new but shitty...
Musicscan: If someone where to only listen to one song of “Icon”, which and why would you recommend?
Benighted: “Slut” is a good combination between savage brutality, catchy chorus and groovy parts.
Musicscan: A last question: What do you think is the impact your music has?
Benighted: I’m not sure of the answer but I really hope that lots of necks will be broken as listening our new album!!! (laughts)