Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What kind of artist are you?
Axel (Vocals/Story): We are Phoebus the Knight, a French-Swiss symphonic power metal band.
Adrien D. (Guitar/Music): We’re also a concept band. All the music of Phoebus the Knight tells a grand saga revolving around the knights of Heliopolis fighting an evil entity called the Beast through the history of mankind.
Noémie (Bass/Vocals): We are here to tell stories that will make people dream. As a band, we are here to tell the emotions of a saga that is bigger than all of us !
PD: Tell us a brief history of yourself.
Axel: Adrien D. and I respectively composed and wrote the first album “Ferrum Fero Ferro Feror” in April 2020. Following that, we recruited Adrien Guingal and Noémie Allet during 2020, and, when our drummer Guillaume joined us in January 2021, we launched our crowdfunding to finance the album. In June 2022, we released our first EP “The Last Guardian” and in September, played our first concert in Paris. Our first album will be released on January 23rd 2023 via Renaissance Records US.
PD: What are your musical and non-musical influences?
Axel: For myself, Nightwish, Epica and Within Temptation are my biggest musical influences. For the literature part, I would say J R R Tolkien, Olivier Ledroit, Jean-Luc Istin, François Froideval and Alejandro Jodorovsky.
Noémie: I am fascinated by Celine Dion and Bruce Dickinson for their powerful voices, I love Devin Townsend’s bouquet of ideas and arrangements and I am really inspired by video games like Bloodborne and Japanese anime!
Adrien D.: Musically I would say Rhapsody of Fire, Nightwish, Dream Theater, Verdi, Rachmaninov, John Williams and everything that will inspire me. For the non musical part I will say video games, animes, mangas and good literature. I would like to quote the From Software games, the Fate serie, Berserk and Nietzsche, Dante, Huysmans, Lautréamont or Villiers de l’Isle-Adam.
Adrien G. (Guitar): If I had to remember only two, I would say that my main influences as a guitarist are John Petrucci from Dream Theater and Alexi Laiho from Children Of Bodom. These last ones accompanied me all along my musical journey. And I’ve grown a lot by playing their music and studying their playing.
Of course, there are so many other musicians and bands that inspire me. Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Freak Kitchen, more recently bands like Haken, Animals as Leader or Polyphia.
Apart from music I’m a big fan of video games. Especially the Souls series by From Software, or even The Witcher. These are exciting and inspiring worlds.
Guillaume (Drums): In term of musical influences, I’m very versatile. In terms of Symphonic metal, I’m a big fan of Nightwish and Epica of course. But today I’m more into the Metalcore/Djent vibes, Periphery, Architect, Landmvrks, Animals as Leaders, Monuments… That’s my favorite style of metal today (but this can change with the time of course). Out of metal context, I’m a big fan of US Rap, Kendrick Lamar, Logic, Eminem, DojoCat… I also love the funk/soul with artists such as Mark Littieri, Cory Wong, Snarky Puppy… and a lot of French pop music that I love because of the work behind the sound of the drums in live, for example with Angèle, Orelsan, Louane or Clara Luciani. I can also talk about some composer like Bear McCreary, Jeremy Soul, or Ramin Djawadi for examples, I love listening some music film, I’m a big fan of them.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Axel: To create, around Phoebus the Knight, the most complete musical and literary universe
Adrien D.: For Phoebus the Knight, I would love to be able to bring the project on big stages with a good budget to be able to create a staging that would tell the saga in a grandiose way with a real orchestra. I would love to be able to develop the universe of Phoebus the Knight with a cross-media approach: novels, movies, series, a musical and maybe a video games? We’re far from all that but that would be wonderful.
Noémie: I would love to play for people who loves our music and feel all this power shared.
Guillaume: Personally, I just want to live from music. I’m not saying I want to tour internationally or become famous or anything. Just playing, teaching, doing some concerts and creating, that’s all I want.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Axel: I write the whole story and all the lyrics of the songs of Phoebus the Knight (except our title “The Queen of the Black Sun” in the first album written by Adrien Djouadou). Our songs tell the story of the struggle between the knights of Heliopolis and the black mages throughout history.
Adrien D.: And I take care of the whole musical aspect. I compose everything from guitar riffs and vocal melodies to orchestral rrangements. I work to make the music express what Axel wrote in the story so the listener can use the music to represent the scene in his or her head and truly live the emotions of the saga.
PD: How do you promote your band and your shows?
Axel: We use social networks and word of mouth as best as we can.
Adrien D.: And, recently, we started a partnership with Markus Eck from Metal Message to promote our upcoming debut album “Ferrum Fero Ferro Feror”.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Axel: The internet has changed the music business for better or worse. You have to live with the
Adrien D.: It’s not the main problem of the music business but it can obviously cause some troubles to the more financially fragile bands.
Guillaume: If it’s done legally, I don’t have a problem with it, because the artists will make money from it. I’m a big consumer of online music myself. But if it’s done illegally, I take it as a personal insult. The music world today is so unfair and driven by the streaming platforms (I’m not complaining, I’m a big consumer of them). Music is getting really cheap for those who want to consume it. And not paying the artist is, for me, the biggest insult you can do to them.
PD: What song would you like to have written and why?
Axel: I would have loved to write “Tutankhamen” by Nightwish, it would fit perfectly into our band’s universe.
Adrien D.: I would have loved to write some Wagner or Puccini pieces like “Turandot” or “Die Walküre” as the orchestral work is crazy and the harmonies and melodies are so astonishing. But I’m gonna need some years of work to get to this level haha.
Adrien G.: This is a tough question but I’m going to say “Metropolis part 1” by Dream Theater. The song is amazing from the beginning to the end. The riffs, the vocal melodies. The instrumental development in the middle of the song is phenomenal. The general atmosphere that comes out of this track is magical.
There are a lot of songs or riffs that I would have liked to write. I also think of GOAT from Polyphia. With the guitar riff that is so inventive.
Guillaume: « Bring Me The Horizon: Parasite Eve » – Bring Me The Horizon is probably my favorite band. Parasite Eve is not my favorite song of all time, but I really like the composition. The lyrics are just amazing, Oli (BMTH’s singer) just summed up in a few words what a whole world was thinking, whether you were on Planet Earth. It’s so powerful and catchy, I love it.
They also do a huge job on the sound of their songs. For this one, they get Mick Gordon to help out a little bit with the synth. And the sound of this music is just f*cking loud. I’m a big fan of the synth sound because it’s something I work on a lot for another band, and this song inspires me a lot for that. The composition, the lyrics, the production, the guitar sound mixed with the powerful synthesizer… It’s not a complicated song at all, but everything is perfect.
PD: What are some of your Pet Peeves?
Adrien G.: Rats, these bugs are the incarnation of evil.
Adrien D.: I would say incivilities and injustice. Those are not pets, but I hate that.
Guillaume: Spiders. I. HATE. Them.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Axel: When the audience is enjoying the show and appreciating our work.
Adrien D.: Definitely when people tell us that the music really touches them and make them live an adventure out of this world.
Adrien G.: To play in front of an audience that likes what we do and to be able to share our music with them.
Guillaume: A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go on a Hugh TV show with another band. We were filmed and gave an amazing performance. I’m not allowed to talk about it right now, but to be on a Hugh stage, on a TV set with my friends, playing a pretty unique style of music in front of famous people, that’s something that blew my mind.
PD: What are you working on at the moment?
Adrien. D.: We’re currently working on our Patreon EP, “The Cursed Lord” and our second album. I’m finishing the music of the second song of the Patreon EP and we’re working on the vocal lines for the album.
Axel: I personally still have to write two songs and finish two chapters for the Patreon EP. But I also work to finish the novel “Ferrum Fero Ferro Feror”.
Guillaume: Basically 3 things : the promotion of the first album of Phoebus the Knight, the composition of songs for my rap band and I’m learning a pop/funk setlist for my next shows.
PD: Tell us about your upcoming shows and why we should be there.
Axel: We are playing at the Manoir Pub in St Maurice on December 10th and at the Rouge-Gorge on March 10th 2023. We are a concept band playing a complete story on stage, that has the merit of being intriguing doesn’t it?
Guillaume: Of course, Phoebus the Knight’s shows! I’m very excited to play with the band on the 10th of December! I havent seen the band since our last show in octobre and I really want to play our song on stage again! We have an amazing place to perform and the energy at our show is always very powerful! And I think that’s one of our strengths.
Adrien D.: You should be there because we really give a lot to the public on stage with the music and the story. We’re really here to transmit something with great pleasure and give the best to every people there, be them 10 or 100 or 1000. Thank you very much for this interview!
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