Few weeks before the interview with the band, I ask myself a question. "Did the French bands have again their place in the industry of music?" Personally, I think yes! But, to be sure of my opinion, I decided to talk about that with a real good band from France. This group is Manigance. With a first EP in 1997 called Signe de vie and their newest album called Ange Ou Démon in 2002 and a recent tour with some excellent group like Freedom Call, we can say that a beautiful career is in front for this French headbangers! I choose to interview these guys, because their originality and their success, so, I'm sure you will think the same thing than me next you have read this fabulous interview with them! The questions were answered by Didier.
A special thing about Manigance is that you write the lyrics in French. Why did you choose to sing in French, because everybody think that if you want to have success, you need to sing a little bit in English?
We have choose to write in French, because everybody in the group wanted to sang in the language of Molière. On that, most of the metal bands sing in English so, it made Manigance an original group. If we talk about ourselves, the French words take all their sense and they are dogged.
This year, you have signed with a Japanese label and it's very impressive, because it's uncommon for a French band to do that. How did you do to obtain this and what was your first reaction after you have singed with Avalon / Marquee?
Olivier Garnier had sent some disks to a Japanese friend disc seller. Some days after we were number one in his store, it has interested the responsible of Avalon. After signing we were proud and happy to be in a Japanese label. It's a great surprise for us to be in this amazing label (Adagio, Sonata Arctica, ...). The Japanese critics were very positive (90/100) in Burn! It motivate us for the future.
After only two release, we already can see a difference about the lyrics and the music between Signe de vie and your newest album Ange Ou Démon. Is this the result of an evolution about the mind of each member of the group?
It's sure with years the musicians and their mentality evolve, because new bands arrive with new sounds, it makes inspiration for the others. It's why after listened Dream Theater, Vanden Plas or Stratovarius, the composition of Ange ou D6eacute;mon has evolved. Then take times to review our minds about our lyrics and our sound of the album. We have searched more mature words than the 1st album. The evolution of our sounds come to the fact that we totally change the material to register Ange ou Démon.
Are you disappoint to not meet the deserved success, because your live performance and the high quality of the music made of you an excellent group?!
I think that the success is daring. It's not controlled. The importance for a group is to be loyal to its toughs and objective, it's for us the realization of albums of quality and show live where we give all we have for the public.
You just passed a wonderful year. A new contract with a Japanese label and your album Ange Ou Démon know a certain success. This latest events have probably show you some new horizons for the year 2003. What is your wishes and your projects for the new year?
For the years coming we want to make a re-edition of Signe de vie with the label NTS. It will be remastered and contain bonus tracks, songs in English and video.
It will be available in March 2003. Then some concerts will follow, but we are concentrate on our new album, it should be available at the end of 2003. A year of composition wait for us.
For you, where is the most interesting place to give a concert?
Sure we would dream to play in Japan, it's a metal's sanctuary. But we are interested in all the countries.
When come the time to create some new text and melody, where do you take all this inspiration? Do it come from a specific subject or from anywhere?
The inspiration of the lyrics and melodies come of the whole life, of the facts in general of actuality or things that touch our heart.
Now, on the musical scene, many reasons motive the artist to continue their work. For example; some of them do it for money and prestige and another one do this because it's his passion since long time. So, I just want to know what is your motivations? Do you think that all the artist are a little crazy to support all the passion?
Since many years, we are motivate by a great passion for the music and particularly the metal. The passion is supportable when we make the things with heart, without searching success or glory. Now we can affirm us, but we are loyal to our musical convictions.
Can you give me your opinion about the metal world? Many people find that this scene is more diversify than the 80's and the beginning of the 90's!
The metal scene is very diversified. It creates many opposite styles and the fans can listen what they prefer. If the groups can live in harmony it should be benefic for the metal of the 2000's. But we must be interested by all the styles. We are, for example, not near of the neo-metal or of the trash, but we come to make a fest where there were only groups of these styles. The public has been surprise at the beginning but at last it has like.
Your career have probably not started lonely! What did you do to be recognized by the public and the and the industry?
We have behind us a past of groups and musical experiences diversified. When we have formed the band, we have searched to work in good conditions (jam room, studio, ...) adapted to the time of each member of the group. It takes time, but now but now each member can register want he has toughs. To be repaired by the label, we have just realize at the best of us our work with the maximal quality compositions, the lyrics and the sound.
You have recently participate to an European with some other band. How was the chemistry between the groups? Did you have met any problem or the nothing enough important to be mention?
We come to finish a tour (France, Switzerland and Belgium) with Freedom Call, Thunderstone and Malediction. The ambiance between groups have been fantastic. Now we wish return on stage with them, they are pro;fessional and they became friends. We had trade many positive things and we learn much in tour.
Do you want to forget something about this tour with Freedom Call? Maybe you have had some bad surprise with the material or a sick member before a concert.
Some concerts have been less successful than other, for technical problems or shy public... But there's a part of the job and what we withdraw is a increased experience.
What's the best moment during this trip around Europe?
The strongest moment of the tour has been lived at tours where Freedom Call has call us on stage to jam in a encore. There were our last date and we have finished to fall in the arms and congratulate us, our friendship were strong with us. I think the public this night have really appreciate. Then, but in the privacy of the tour bus, Dan Zimmerman and his acolytes have prepared us a remake of the holiday, for celebrate the end of the tour. There were a unforgettable moment!
On the cover of your newest album Ange Ou Démon, we can see the silhouette of a human face with some snakes around it's head. Can you give us some details about the concept behind that?
The cover represents the contrast between the angel and the demon hiding in us. We have juxtaposed snakes and female human face to put in images the contrast between good and evil.
Do you already have some new compositions for your next album? I know it's early to ask this question but the inspiration can come anytime!
The inspiration is always present in a musician. This is why we have many plans and outlines of new sounds. Nothing of defined still well, but which very quickly will take form. We preferred to await the end of the tour to be able to withdraw from it an experiment for our future sounds. We remained very a long time without playing and this tour will be determining for next the composition of Manigance.
To conclude, do you have some advises to give for the band who want to have a name in the industry of music? It is possible for a metal group to live correctly only with their music?
To manage to bore in metal, it is necessary to be armed with much patience. It is then necessary to give oneself the means of working under optimum conditions for comfort in order to present models specific to the labels. It is also necessary to have this inspiration which often makes the difference. But I believe that there is necessary to remain humble and faithful to its passion and its convictions, without never doubting. To finish, it is very hard to live only of the music (Metal), because to make it possible, it is necessary to sell many albums.