Since the album came out we've had lots of feedback from the media, news and articles, for the most part very positive. We've played a few gigs too, but not as many as we'd like. We also recently released a music video. All of this allowing us to gain notoriety, listeners and fans, little by little.
2.In August you had released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
That was in February... it was the video that came out in August. What's changed with our new album, compared to our older ones is probably that it's more mature and definitely darker. We have some tracks that are more violent, almost black metal, on this album. The previous one was more ambient.
3.This is also your first album in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
We are not full-time musicians, so unfortunately we can't invest as much time in the band as we'd like. During the past few years we've worked on our old tracks to better perform them and written some new ones. Recording the album also took almost a year, from initial planning to release.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore on the new album and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
Our lyrics on the whole are pretty dark tales. They are sometimes based on true stories such as “The Family” about the Manson family, on fiction like “The Rope” about a deserter during war times, or on a personal observation of society like “Market” about consumerism. Many things inspire the lyrics, such as watching a documentary or film, or reading a book or a news article about a certain subject. I did not set any rules or themes in particular for the album. Lyrics just need to adhere to the general feel and rhythm of the track. Regarding evolution, whether in the text or the music, I'd say that with time we are indeed more and more mature. This is to be expected because as we age we gain experience musically but also at life in general.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sick Sad World'?
The name comes from the MTV cartoon “Daria”. It's the name of a TV news report, often cynical, in this also cynical cartoon. To begin with Sick Sad World had a bit of a crossover punk-metal side. It was precisely this cynicism that suited us. Eventually, with time, the group evolved towards a darker and more melancholy style of music. The name ultimately still works well, although on a more literal level now. I'm afraid that this might go along with the changes in the world today.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The cover art was done by illustrator and tattoo artist Berenice Tattoo. It began as a photo of a dead crow, which she retouched to create something more aesthetic. The crow is a unifying thread for us, as they were present on our previous albums cover art. On the last album they flew, now it's a single dead crow. This ties in with the darker evolution of our music. The rest of the art was done by Karoline Horn, who supplemented the work done by Bérénice.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
This all depends on what you mean by “best shows”. Those with the biggest audience, those where we've laughed the most, those that have given us the most pleasure... Often concerts where we're the opening act for a “big” group are cool because there's a big crowd and we're just there to warm up the room, to give our all in a short period with nothing to lose. This was the case when we played with Rosetta or with Hypno5e, for example. We've also played some gigs in small bars, with smaller audiences but where we really had a good time, were welcomed warmly by the venue, and enjoyed good food and a friendly atmosphere. This is something different, but equally pleasant.
On stage, when we're in a venue that allows for it technically, we play with little lighting and often a bit on retreat, and we play a video on a screen behind us. We don't have a particular desire to be in the limelight, so becoming shadows within aesthetic lighting effects, with the film as a backdrop which goes with the music creates a different ambiance, which allows the audience to enter the vibe, enter our universe, without scrutinizing everything we do.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
One of our members will become a first-time father in about a month, so we've decided to slow down the rhythm a bit until the end of the year. We have some concerts planned in the West of France: Rennes, Bordeaux and maybe Nantes. To be honest, we're not always very active in seeking out gigs, we usually rather wait until they come to us.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of metal and hardcore?
As I've mentioned in other interviews, something that surprises us each time we release an album or video is that we have more success internationally than in France. Our music must not be suited to France, as most of the interest in our band, most of the fans who contact us, and even most merch and album sales come from foreign countries. Reactions are 100% positive so far. It's rather funny because some fans must take us for a much bigger French group than we really are. We've had some comical surprises, like seeing one of our tracks used in the Instagram video of a New York chef, or following debates about our album on Russian forums. We struggle to understand this!
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I honestly don't know, as our recent compositions are all over the place. The most recent track, for example, is clearly doom, almost psyche. That said, we enjoy exploring different styles. When we finished recording Imago Clipeata we decided that the passages that were more violent and tinted by black metal suited us well and that we should accentuate that. But ultimately, once improvising in our practice room, we ended up creating some doom! We try to set rules and structure ourselves but we never stick to it. In the end we improvise and we let ourselves be guided by the feeling.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
There are 5 of us and overall we all have different musical tastes. There is always one member that doesn't like one or another group. When it comes to groups that all 5 really like, there are but a few: Deftones, Russian Circles, Obscure Sphinx. On the other hand, when it's groups that the majority enjoy there are more options: Cult of Luna, Amen Ra, Solstafir, Envy, My Sleeping Karma, Mono, Agalloch, Emperor, Will Haven, Tool... In general we go for groups who play strongly on emotions and ambiance and who avoid clichés. In terms of what I'm listening to at the moment (I'm not sure for the others) there's Wear Your Wounds, Brutus and the soundtrack from the series Dark.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
This also depends on the members. Some of us are fans of cinema or TV series, others are more sporty and go climbing, diving or wake-boarding. Some of us love art, exhibitions, museums, drawing, tattoos. For others it's nature, reading or ecology. There's just too much to include everything, and as with our musical tastes we would never find common ground for all 5 of us.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Simply: go listen to the album, and tell us what you think! These days everything is done at a distance, in a clinical way. People go onto platforms like Spotify, YouTube or Bandcamp, they hear our music, they like it or they dont, then they move onto something else. All we get is statistics. If you've enjoyed it, send us an email or a Facebook message, or make a comment. It's great to have a direct link sometimes.