1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Fabien (vox, synth): We’re Ssanahtes, we’re 5 we play dark, luminous, heavy and progressive Music, we’re From Bordeaux, France, We’ve been around since Spring 2013 and we’ve released an ep in April 2015. On the 22nd of March, we’ll release our first album
Franck (Guitar) : We're a heavy band from Bordeaux, trying to not be a [insert major band name] cover band.
2.How would you describe the musical sound that has been presented on the recordings that you have released so far?
Franck : On the first EP, we did with what we could afford and tried to define what the hell we were going for with this.
On the upcoming album, the main songwriter isn't the same person, the drummer actually wrote his parts and no drum samples were used, that alone changes our sound a lot. We went for a dirtier, more textured sound, with a lot more layers in arrangements and tones.
Fabien : Both of them are quite different, as they weren’t composed by the same person, the first one was mainly written by Thomas and it was quite influenced by 90’s bands like Pantera, Down, Eyehategod and also more « modern » band like Meshuggah, The Tony Danza Extravaganza Tap Dance, The Dillinger Escape Plan…
Our first album was mainly composed by Franck with the help of Nicolas, Miguel and Tom, it is completly different yet we’re still playing heavy music. We focused more on the ambiances, structures, textures… it also shows the evolution of the band between the Departure of Thomas (guitar) and Dylan (drums), and the arrival of Miguel (drums) and Tom (guitar)
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Fabien : It deals with my life, experiences, feelings… and the songs can have different meanings, Kumaru for instance will talk about all those people who’re hidding themselves by behind books : reading them but not understanding them, but also it talks about living in a complete lie, hiding your feelings, always playing an act. Sad Song will talk about all thoses moments when you do few but act like as if you’ve moved moutains, the lyrics in Talking in Circles came to my mind when I was in Seoul, I was walking by 2a.m, it was very cold but it was dry, so it was quite pleasant too, this song talks about being in peace and moving forward ! Let Down refers to an unpleasant period of my life, when I was put aside of music, each time I was trying to form a new band, working with people they’ll just tell answer : « I don’t know, do it alone ! you’re not made for that » and in the mean time, they were forming bands between themselves… Let Down can be about being put aside and you don’t know why ! None’s listening is about all these chats I’ve heard when I was going to different clubs, the same people were ALWAYS talking about the SAME projects, bands, the same words… trying to convince themselves but actually doing nothing. To Seal Off a Breach talks about being afraid to be alone, something very childish.
Franck : Self-doubt, hatred, frustration, depression and betrayal.
Some songs like Kumaru have political overtones, but we see music-making as a political statement in itself, you just can't escape it.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ssanahtes'?
Franck : The intention here was finding a name that wasn't taken, so we basically took the romanian word for Satan and reversed it, added two S at the beginning and there you go : it doesn't mean shit, it just isn't taken, and sounds somewhat evil and whatnot.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Fabien : After being unable to sing in a band or play on stage during many years, each show we play is the best. I’m lucky enough to work with people I can trust, we share the same goals and we will go as far as we can ! I don’t know how to describe how our stage performances are, before each set I’ll feel both excitment and anger, when the first note starts I go into some kind of a trance. I think everyone has a different approach, feeling of our shows !
Franck : I really don't know, but sharing the stage with Black Tusk was a lot of fun !
Our stage performances are what you would expect I guess, loud, obnoxious, regular metallers don't understand what the hell is going on, hardcore kids fight each other pissing off the metallers, and hipsters try to rationalize all this mess between two sips of pretentious beer or puffs of weed.
Mathias: i'm a new member, so the few I know about our show came from the tour we just ended in Spain. We're Raw as fuck! Full of hate and frustration...poeple told me they can see
demon on our faces...I guess we just live for our songs! we give every inch of what we have to bury inside in "the real life".If you want an advice for our show "don't stay in the front if you want to chill because we're going to fuck you up!" But at least we're nice guys out of stage
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Fabien : We’ve just came back from our Spanish tour with Atavisma (Doomed death metal, France), it was our first tour ever and it was amazing I’m currently show in France for May and June. I’ll book few more gigs until the end of 2018!
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of underground and post metal?
Fabien : We’re quite a tiny band, but when we promoted our first EP we had support from American, English, German, Greek and Italian webzines ! But our Spanish tour was great: we’ve met amazing bands, people… the Spanish metalheads and punks loved our music and we’ve loved touring in Spain! We’ll definitely tour across Spain again!
8.Can you tell us a little bit more about some of the other bands or musical projects that some of the band members are a part of?
Franck : Nicolas plays in Exocine, a technical-death metal band, which is kinda funny when you think about it. This guy litterally plays from 55bpm up to 300bpm. What a crazy fuck. https://www.facebook.com/Exocrine/
Miguel plays in Zazur, a progressive rock act that released a demo a few months ago. https://www.facebook.com/Zazurband/
I also play guitar in Baculum, a sludge/black band with some satirically hateful french lyrics. First album is out at https://baculum666.bandcamp.com/
And Eyora, an atmospheric/prog death metal band, which has an album scheduled for release roughly round the same time Tool will release its new album.
Mathias: By now i only focus on Ssanahtes because it takes all of my free times and their is
so much to do with those dudes that i can't get myself into another bands with people.
So i have two project solo. One called Ash Hole, basicly it's some ode to the good old movies i've grown up with. you can check it here https://ashhole.bandcamp.com/music (and older project or bands too). Plus i'm working on an electro punk 80's horror project, still under the name of Ash Hole, butas i want to release a full album… only Franck and my Roommate heard how it sounds
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Franck : We have a few leads about that, we already started recording ideas and demos. Some of them are pushing in a more industrial/shoegaze direction, while others are going further into slow, dragging and downtuned riffs. But this time we don't want it to be one person bringing in finished songs and then arranging them together in the box, we want to take the time to jam together in a room, see how that goes, and overall change how the band writes it's material -again- to keep things fresh and exciting. I really like the idea of a record being it's own little world and for that to happen you have to change habits from record to record.
Fabien : As Franck said, we already have some demos, jams and ideas recorded, I’d like to have shortest song
Mathias: i think they hired me to offer something else for new songs, so i guess i would love
to introduce 80's punk hardcore or 2000 hardcore'n'roll bass line (and i bet Fabien will love me for this!)
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Franck : Neurosis is a big one, but you'll also hear hints of Kickback and Russian Circles. I really suck at comparing what we do to other people's stuff. Nowadays I've been enjoying a lot of chaotic and dissonant forms of death metal and black metal in the likes of Gorguts and Portal.
Miguel : For me Everything except metal and Rock nowdays. Of course in the past as youngsters we did listen to bands like Isis, Cult Of Luna, Post rock stuffs that led us to get out of more traditional metal or hardcore context. I think that the more you listen to other types of music, the more you are performing in the style you play actually because you must be creative with other tools to create what would have been obvious (and so very shitty and unoriginally sounding) by listening to bands playing in the same “scene” the same “style”. I would say, to be more extreme that you don’t need to be influenced musically to be a good composers or musician, you need to FUCKING PRACTICE your instrument methodically, CLOSE YOUTUBE, CLOSE FACEBOOK and make work your intuition.
Fabien : I’m currently listening to Monolithe’s brand new record and I’m listening a lot to “Time will die and love will burry it” from Rolo Tomassi! in 2017 I’ve listened a lot to : Drab Majesty, Higher Power, Hightower, Code Orange, Oasis, Thundercat, The Internet (and all their solo acts !), Aphex Twin, Nine Inch Nails, Laibach, Boris, Full of Hell & The Body collaborations. I’ve listened a lot to Daniel P. Carter’s Rock Show, Phil Taggert’s Bedtime Mix and Gilles Peterson’s worldwide music !
But as Miguel said I won’t listen to a lot of doom, post-metal, sludge… I’m already playing this kind of music and I try to listen to different kind of music, even if I still have this «rock and metal » oriented background !
Mathias (bass): I'm an open minded person, so i listen so many different things... that doesn't make sens. For me, music is just about feeling! I need to listen something that fit the mood i'm in.
But i'll also join Miguel's point of view. You need to feed Yourself with so many different influences to enjoy yourself and to create something the crow didn't heard 3000000 times.
Most of the time i Listen to my old Punk Hardcore records (Black Flag, Minor Threat,
Ramones, GG Allin,Zero Boys,Adolescents) Capenter Brut or Mastodon.
I'm into a lot of horror music shit too like Danzig, Misfits, Nekromantix, Calabrese or Horrorpop.
When i'm full of hate it's mostly violent thing like Slayer (especialy Disciple!) Slipknot (2
first album only),Nine, Kvelertak, Black Cobra, Gallows, Black Hole.
When i can't stand poeple their only thing i want to listen is Le Klub des Loosers,it's french
and really hard to explain...but i would describe him as "a french rapper, who can't stand
how poeple act or drive their life". really filthy and rough but with sensitive beat. That's feed
my depresion and i enjoy this! Also the 2 first records of The Horrors, and PUP!
As i am a Pothead i git into Stoner like Red Fang, Fu Manchu or Asteroïd and Bare Wires
I also enjoy shit like Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Weezer (blue album only) or Katy Perry
(when i'm in a good mood but don't happend that much).
I really listen sooo many things so i can't really make a list.But Mostly i love it violent,
rought, filthy and old!
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Franck : Really unhealthy amounts of poor quality coffee, then complaining about still being tired, but with a faster heart rate.
Fabien : I’m studying archæological sciences and Japanese art, I love martial arts, reading, playing video games and I try to draw when I have the time.
Mathias: Music i a big part of my life since i'm seven, so i guess that lead me to all that
"artistic bullshit", like comic books (black hole, ghost world or scott pilgrim).
Cinema (good old horror movies), Tattoo, video games, Internet memes, photography,
Turbojugend, Skateboard, Midget Porn and so many other weird things about human
degeneration and behavioral study. I'm also a cat lover
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Franck : "Think for yourselves, question authority and never repeat whatever bullshit other people say.
Fabien : Thank you for this interview and thank you to anyone who has listened to our music, came to a show, talked with us… this interview is dedicated to DIDIER ! and JORIER !
Miguel : Thanks to Pulko.
Mathias: VENI VIDI MEJEJ