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Interview - AUTOKRATOR - On our new record, we wanted to bring new elements, to make it sound more versatile, more brutal.

Interview with death black metal band from France - AUTOKRATOR.

Answered Loïc.F (Guitars, Bass, Samples), thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

!Greetings to the French underground! I admit that I was really looking forward to the new album "Persecution". I discovered your band in 2016, when you released the album "The Obedience to Authority". I have been following you since then and I must say that this year's album is really great. It seems faster, more bestial. Was that the purpose? Where did you want to move from the last recording?

Hi Jakub! Thanks for your appreciation.

On our new record, we wanted to bring new elements, to make it sound more versatile, more brutal, more versatile, while keeping Autokrator's essence and sound.

We started with a question about a new album, but I'd like to ask you if you could introduce your band. I know the members are Loïc.F and David Bailey, but Kévin Paradis recorded the drums with you again. Is he a permanent member of the band? Or how is it? Could you please guide us through the history of AUTOKRATOR?

We started Autokrator in 2014 when i ended my first project NKVD.

In 2015 we released our first album "Autokrator" on Iron Bonehead / Godz ov War Productions / Inferna Profundus Productions with Oleg.I on drums, David Bailey sang half of the songs and Brandon Polaris (a session member) sang the other half.

In 2016 we released "The Obedience to Authority" on Krucyator Productions / Godz ov War Productions /Larval Productions / Signal Rex

On this record David took care of all vocals, and Septimiu Harsan played on drums.

We came back in 2018 with "Hammer of the Heretics", released on Krucyator Productions, Death Kvlt Productions and Deaf Sparrow.

The line up is our current line up, with David on vocals and Kevin Paradis on drums, who is a session member, but who plays on Persecution too.

And we re releasing this year our new album "Persecution", released on Krucyator Productions, my own label.

The cover for the new album "Persecution" was created by Néstor Ávalos from Mexico. If I'm not mistaken, anyone else make a cover on the last record, right? Or am I wrong? Why Néstor? How did you get together? Personally, I really like his dark covers.

We worked with Nestor on all our albums, except "Hammer of the Heretics", which cover was made by Elena Samko.

I discovered Nestor when he did the Blut Aus Nord cover "Debemur Morti" and became immediately a fan of his work.

His style fits the best with our music, it's a kind of part of our identity.

So when we worked on our first album i contacted him to collaborate, and he agreed, as siply as it is.

Nestor is very dedicated, meticulous and pro.

Your music is demonic, dark, ritual. You play death metal, but you will also find pieces of black, drone, doom metal in it. Where do you get inspiration from? And how do you create new songs for AUTOKRATOR? How is the process of creating a new song?

I don't think there's anymore drone or doom elements on our last record.

Persecution is a pure suffocating black metal influences record.

For this record i changed my way of composing.

Instead of letting ideas and riffs come by themselves, i woke up at 2 AM everyday, plugged my guitar and played for 2/3 hours and then working on structures at night.

If I understood correctly, you take care of the sound, mastering, mix and production yourself as a band (Loïc.F). Does that mean you want absolute control over the sound? Did you record in Krucyator Studio? Have you changed your approach, the procedure compared to the last record? It seems to me that the new album is darker, crazy, more massive.

Guitar and bass has been recorded at Krucyator Studio, vocals has been recorded by David and drums by Kevin in their own studios.

The album ahs been mixed and mastered at Krucyator Studio.

Of course i want the absolute control of the sound, and it has been the same for all the album i recorded since my first project NKVD, i can't let me my music in anyone else hands.

The main difference with the other Autokrator releases, are the guitar.

That's the first time guitars are such versatile.

We used a lot of dark harmonies, tapping, hammers pull offs, variations in structures.

If you listen carefully, a riff is almost never played the same on the album.

The chapters in AUTOKRATOR are the texts themselves. I admit that I am very pleasantly surprised. Inspiration from the time of ancient Rome sometimes appears in extreme metal, but it is usually relatively superficial. You focused on the period when Christians (Marcus Aurelius, Diocletian, Domitian and Trajan) were persecuted. I have to say that it was interesting to read it. Good job! From what sources did you draw inspiration? And how do you perceive these historical events in relation to the present? Some parallels offer themselves, unfortunately.

Inspiration came from a lot of different historical books i read.

In fact, the songs are more our own vision and interpretation of rather than historical references.

What's interesting, is that history repeats, and human behaviours are more or less still the same.

Do AUTOKRATOR actually play concerts? Do you perform often and does Kévin Paradis take part in the drums or do you have another drummer? It must be quite difficult to bring the atmosphere of your records live. Do you have a special scene, proprietary, do you perform in costumes? And I'll ask right away - can we look forward to tour with the new record?

No we don't play live.

The French extreme metal scene has always been interesting to me. I know a lot of great bands from you. But when I visited your beautiful country, I also saw that Christianity still has a long tradition in your country. In the Czech Republic, we are mostly atheists, perhaps thanks to the socialism we have experienced. How do you perceive faith? And how do your opinions imprint on AUTOKRATOR's music?

Opinions and religions have no impact on Autokrator's music.

We still have a lot of historical monuments and traditions that come from Christianity in France.

But Christianity is becoming less important nowadays, as a religion, and have less and less followers.

What about the French underground? With AUTOKRATOR, do you get space in the media, magazines, concerts? And what about the fans? Do they support you, buy merchandise, go to concerts? You are a big country, do you have in France some area where it "lives the most"?

Yes fans from all over the world support us, not in France exclusively.

We have some support from french medias, as we have from foreign medias.

We have our friend "Ben" from Isere region, who promotes all Krucyator ans Autokrator records on the field and does an amazing job spreading the label name in gigs, association, fests...

I'm always interested in how musicians perceive the style of music they play. What does death metal mean to you? How do you "feel" it? Like a lifestyle, expressing bad and ugly things through music? What do you really want to express with your music?

You know metal is a part of me, i listen to metal everyday since i m 12 years old, and i m now 39. Despite working, taking care of my family, and doing sport, i spend all my free time promoting music, sending records, mixing, mastering, playing guitar, listening to metal, so it's a like a second nature for me.

Thank you so much for the interview. I appreciate your words and look forward to going home when I will play "Persecution" again. You really succeeded with the new album. I wish you the biggest sales, sold-out concerts and good luck in private lives.

Thanks once again for your support, long life to you and Deadly Storm Zine!

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