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Interview - DAWOHL - Bestial death metal that reeks of sulfur and tainted blood!

 

Interview with death metal band from France - DAWOHL.

Answered vocalist Maxime, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - DAWOHL - Leviathan (2022):

Ave DAWOHL! I am currently listening your new album “Leviathan” and I can´t help but think that this is the kind of music which will be played during the end of the world. I think it is a great masterpiece. How do you feel about your new album? Have you received any feedbacks? From fans for example? Have you played new songs live already? Do they work?

Ave !

I sincerely thank you for your enthusiasm! The feedback is excellent whether from the public or the press! We put our soul and our blood into this album.

We had the opportunity to play some songs from the album before the crisis. The energy in the audience was perfect ! We have created the tracks in order to release a maximum of power before any other aspect. I think that's why the songs work as much on CD as on stage, it wouldn't have been the case if we had bet on the technicality or the atmospheres only.


How do DAWOHL compose? Are you a traditional band who go to the rehearsal room and compose or you prefer going online and send your ideas via email? I am really interested in your composing process.

Unfortunately our method of composition is not very organic and traditional... First of all, I give a fairly precise musical direction in order to ensure the consistency of the compositions.

We have always worked remotely, with exchanges of tablatures and recordings, then the different members can intervene and enrich the compositions. . When we arrive in the rehearsal room we have generally settled 90% of the details.

In my point of view, the advantage is to have a greater perspective on our compositions and to be more demanding on the writing work.

Lyrics are a separated topic of DAWOHL. Who is the author of your lyrics? And what are your lyrics about? Where do you find inspiration for your songs? The lyrics on “ Leviathan” just fit so perfectly to the music. What was first – music or lyrics?

It's an important part of Dawohl's identity (just like our artworks). I am the author in full but my influences are very present. The main one is "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, the dystopia is more pernicious there than in other novels dealing with totalitarianism. The theories of information and propaganda are described there marvelously well. But more important to me is how science and rationality is used in this context.

To this first great influence we can add less fictional books... "Discourse on Voluntary Servitude" by Étienne de La Boétie "The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli etc. etc but especially "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobbes which gives its name to the album.

In this book and in my lyrics The Leviathan is not mythological but the incarnation of the State, superior to the sum of individuals, and who becomes in my writings a quasi-divinity... a prospect I find dizzying.

Usually it's the music that comes first, but more and more we're going to try to change that.


Also your cover is amazing and it fits with the music! I am frightened with the cover. How and why did you choose Business for Satan? Did you hear any of your songs to create the cover?

Thanks you ! “Business for Satan” is a tattoo artist and illustrator friend I knew long before our collaboration. When I started to imagine the concept of the cover, it was quickly clear that a collaboration with him could lead to a work which would fit perfectly with the concept ! Moreover, I wanted to get away from the cliché graphic style that you usually find in death metal.

At the time of the creation of the cover he could only listen to our first EP.

The sound of the album is great. It is dark, cold and sharp at the same time. Which studio did you chose for recording? Did you have any opinions about the final sound and mastering, were you able to change anything?

The sound of the album was the result of a lot of work and reflection. I had a very precise idea of the sound I wanted. Neither too old school nor too modern, the reference album being "I Monarch" by Hate Eternal, particularly in its treatment of the drums. Despite a lot of power, the retouching was minimal, which allowed us to keep a lot of detail in the playing of the different musicians. With a little hindsight I would not change much in the work of Frédéric Gervais (Studio henosis) he was able to capture precisely what we expected.


The new album was published by French Dolorem Records. Why this label? Were you satisfied with their work?

Alex from Dolorem Records has been supporting us for many years and has always been very interested to work with us. He managed to bring together very coherent bands within his label. Dawohl was a perfect fit in this roster...it was a pretty logical decision. Since our signature, his work has been excellent! It was the right decision

You have been playing since 2009. How was the beginning of your band? How did you create the band and what was the first impulse to build something death metal? Did you have any idols? How was it to play death metal in France?

Quickly after some disappointing experiences in local bands it was clear to me that I wanted to create something more artistically ambitious. The specifications were clear from the start: no artistic or technical compromise. Dawohl had to be brutal, swift and martial. Such a drastic approach wasn't very common in my region. It was both a weakness and a strength : it was quite complicated to find the musicians with the necessary level or motivation but we stood out directly ! Clearly my passion exceeds rationality. Dawohl is not a choice, it’s a necessity for me.

I don't think I have any more idols, but I greatly respect the work of artists like Eric Rutan.

Unfortunately, death metal is not the most popular kind of metal in France, despite many quality bands! It's always quite funny to see the people who listen to us come from all over the world rather than our national audience.


You can see how much you enjoy your music in your band. Do you have any target which you want to hit? Someone wants a famous label, the other one might want to play on big festival.

The first goal was to release an album we're proud of: and I'm already happy about that !

The 2 objectives you mention are highly desirable but honestly and purely personally, I especially wish to be able to continue to develop our universe (on future releases, other media etc.) the rest are only tools to continue to do this, not a finality.

Maxime, unlikely from the other death metal singers I can actually understand what you are singing. Singing death metal music must be very difficult for your vocal folds. Do you take a special care for your vocal folds? Like prepare singing before a concert?

Death metal vocals are extremely dependent on the physical condition. If you want to have enough intensity, this is extremely energy-intensive. I am therefore more and more vigilant about this. Otherwise I always warm up my voice with guttural songs that can resemble “Tibetan overtone” chants (it's super effective in addition to being quite pleasant).


How is it to play death metal in France? Do you have a lot of fans on concerts? Do fans support bands? Do they buy CDs, merchandise, etc.? When you organize an event how many people will come?

The death metal audience in France isn’t huge. Playing in front of 200 people as the first part of a recognized band is already a performance. Fortunately the public is very active and supports the band by buying a lot of merch, vinyls and CDs.

Death metal is a demanding hobby and an even harder lifestyle. What does it mean for you? What do you enjoy most about it and how do you perceive it? How did you actually get to him?

It's a completely irrational hobby, the investment is monstrous. But like I said, it's not a choice, it's an obsession.

I deliberately ask this question to all bands to do some promotion for the future. Please tell us what DAWOHL is planning soon? What can we look forward to?

We are currently working on a rather ambitious video clip, completely in line with the aesthetics of what we are developing. And at the same time we are preparing concerts to defend this new album !

Thank you so much for the interview and I wish DAWOHL a lot of sold CDs and only sold out halls. Be happy in your personal life. I am looking forward for your next death metal apocalypse!

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