Genre: Power metal
demo – 2010
Julian Izard – Vocals, Guitars
Thomas Druin– Bass
Laurent Louvrier– Drums
Frederic Labasque – Guitars
High Roller Records
1. When was EXISTANCE created? How did you come up with the band’s name?
Julian: First of all, thank you Ioannis for your interview. EXISTANCE was formed in 2008 in order to play heavy metal as it was in the 80’s. I met Tom (bass) and Fred (guitar) and very quickly during the first months, we played several songs like “Dallas 1pm” (SAXON), “Cold Sweat” (THIN LIZZY) and many others. After that, we felt the need to write our own songs: “Innocent” and “Warrior Soul” were our first ones. We decided to record a demo in the beginning of 2010 to be able to do some concerts. Then, we returned to the studio in 2011 to record 8 tracks for our second demo. The final result of the recording was so good that we decided to show it to some record companies. High Roller Records liked a lot our material. That’s how the second demo finally became an album.
Shortly after recording, the line-up changed: our first guitarist Fred Labasque and Laurent Louvrier, the one who recorded the drum parts on the album, left the band. Christophe Maguin, our new guitarist a few months now has joined EXISTANCE to replace Fred and we are currently looking for our new drummer.
To answer your second question, the name EXISTANCE was chosen to show that heavy metal still exists, although it is far less popular than in the ‘80’s. We want to prove our existence and our devotion to the style that we particularly like.
2. Which are your influences as a band? I would say that EXISTANCE have been influenced by IRON MAIDEN.
We always were impressed by heavy metal 80’s bands like SAXON, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST… Now each member of EXISTANCE has the bands that he prefers, but all like German, American and British heavy metal Bands from the ‘80s. In our songs we work on having our own style and not to sound like other bands. After that, everyone can have his own opinion. We were told that our style could be compared to HAMMERFALL, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, IRON MAIDEN…
3. In which other bands did the members of EXISTANCE play? Name them and give us some basic information about them.
Tom: All of us already had some musical experience before EXISTANCE but nothing serious, just playing for fun with some friends. Personally, I always tried to create small bands in high school but never really succeeded, failing to find guys motivated enough… Until I met Julian. So we can say that EXISTANCE is our first real band.
4. Tell us about some good bands from France. Give us some basic details about these bands.
Julian: Nowadays in France, we have good metal bands. The ones from the 80’s that are still active as VULCAIN, ADX, BLASPHEME, DYGITALS… We were lucky to share a stage with all of them. In our country there are also quite recent bands such as HURLEMENT, ANTINOMYS (with an ex-ATTENTAT ROCK), IRMINSUL, FREAK SHOW with our friend Tony, whom I thank for helping us as a replacement during a concert or our friends of STRATAGEME where you can hear a very good guitarist. By the way, I‘d like to inform the readers that their first album is coming soon.
5. Are you satisfied until now by your manager Christophe Bailet and by High Roller Records?
Tom: Very satisfied! It’s amazing what Christophe has done for us in recent months! This is a true professional, he shows us the way forward and when you know he has worked with bands like SORTILEGE, ADX, NIGHTMARE, SATAN JOKERS, MANIGANCE or MALEDICTION… you can only sit and listen to what he says. He introduced us to High Roller Records. This is a great label that immediately believed in us. They will publish our first album on CD and LP (in 3 different colours) on April the 13th (today).
6. Why did you choose to re-release your debut album? Which are the differences between releasing an album on your own and releasing it via a strong independent record label?
Julian: As I already told you, it was released as a demo before, and it’s not a reissue but just the first official issue of the album. On the advice of our manager Christophe Bailet, we chose to release this album through High Roller Records. With this label, we now have a professional presentation of our album, that will satisfy bothold fans and younger ones as well as collectors, something that was impossible to reach with a simple demo. Christophe made the right decision because we have very good reviews from all over the world and very positive feedback from the audience.
7. How have the press and the fans accepted the work of EXISTANCE until now?
Tom: The fans have always been very receptive to what we do. We also went to Holland last year, where nobody knew us and at the end of the evening, we saw some guys wearing our T-shirts: it was simply magical. The press also has always supported us. I am thinking of all the magazines, sites, webzines and radio programs that have spoken about our album in such a good way and I thank them for that. We are really lucky to be so well supported, and we are grateful to everyone who believes in us.
8. Make a comparison between your demo and your first album. Which are your favorite songs from the album? I personally like “Son of Wolf”, “Soul Warrior” and the homonym track.
Julian: The album sounds a lot better than the demo. Well, it is very difficult for us to have a favorite song, because we give our best every time. Besides that I am very fond of “Dark Day” and also songs like “Son of Wolf”, “Waverly Hills” and “Diary of Eternity” to name just a few.
9. Are there any plans for a new album? If yes, when should we expect it?
Tom: Yes, we are currently working on our second album, several songs are already written. We just know it will come out towards the end of 2013 and it will be heavier than this album. But we will keep the tuneful side that is our trademark. The only thing that I can tell you is that it will be possible for the fans to recognize our style easily but it will sound a lot more mature.
10. Which stuff is now available from EXISTANCE? Has the band have any official site?
Julian: EXISTANCE has a wide selection of merchandising (T-Shirt, Guitar Picks, patches, badges, wristbands…) these products are possible to get from : our MySpace page: www.myspace.com/existancehardrock or from our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Existance/163993136973567 We don’t have any official website but to know our latest news, you can visit our Facebook page.
11. Tell us some things about the nice cover of the album.
Tom: The cover is simple: our logo on the “Existance’s Star” on a faded black background. This star will follow us on the albums to come in the future. Let’s say that this star is a kind of talisman of the band. We wanted at the same time something simple and catchy as a cover. I would add that the CD version of the album released by High Roller Records will feature an 8-pages booklet.
12. Tell us some things about the lyrics of your songs.
Julian: Our lyrics are many-sided. We can speak about personal matters like in “Son of Wolf” which is a dedication to my father Didier Izard (ex-singer of H BOMB) and also about real events (“Waverly Hills” and “Innocent”) or some from our imagination (“Kill Me Madness”, “Diary of Eternity”).
13. Describe to us one of your live shows! Are there any plans for live shows across Europe? Is it a chance that we can see you live in Greece?
Tom: One of the best moments was during a concert in Holland, the one when we opened for the US band BITCH in Den Haag when I saw Betsy (the singer of BITCH) coming on stage to sing with us the refrain of “Kill Me Madness” with the audience! I even didn’t need to sing the choirs! It was something really magical and a gift to us for all the efforts that we did.
We really hope to give some concerts in Greece. But for now we focus on the writing of our next album. The next dates will not be before the end of 2013. But Greece is a country that we all want to discover where the 80’s metal scene is really important.
14. Tell us your opinion about the Internet. Does it help the bands to become known or does it harm the bands by “offering” whole albums for downloading? If it is true that both happen where does the balance hang out more?
Julian: The Internet is a part of life today and whether you are for or against it, you don’t have a choice, you have to go with it! Sure it’s not only good for music, for example you can have on your computer for free an album that’s not released yet! The writing of an album takes many months for musicians and to get it for free in 10 minutes, it’s sad and unfair. On the other hand, if an album is really good it’s going to sell successfully. I think that the MP3 format will never replace the pleasure of having an album in your hands and the same for e-books in comparison to real books.
Fortunately metal is a style of music where fans are faithful to the bands they love.
The Internet also has some very good things: it helps to promote an album, to get in touch with people and to be closer to your fans.
15. Tell us your opinion about the following French metal bands: a) H-BOMB, b) SORTILEGE, c) ADX, d) STEEL ANGEL, e) NIGHTMARE, f) MALEDICTION, g) SATAN JOKERS, h) STRATTSON and h) TRUST.
Tom: They are all great bands of their time, we still listen to all of them today, some have really brought something to the French scene: H BOMB = the precursor of speed-metal, SORTILEGE = very technical classical heavy-metal with a wonderful singer, ADX = technical heavy-speed metal and funny guys, STEEL ANGEL = cult for a lot of people, NIGHTMARE = very good band, I hope to meet them one day, MALEDICTION = many people saw in them the revival of French heavy-metal 80’s scene. It’s really sad they split, SATAN JOKERS = heavy metal with jazz influences in the 80’s, STRATTSON = for collectors, some good songs on their unique album, and finally TRUST = engaging lyrics.
Julian: H BOMB, SORTILEGE, VULCAIN, TRUST, WARNING… all had a big influence in France, we are glad to have met some of them. It’s a real pleasure and a reward for our work.
16. @ Julian: Has the relationship between Julian Izard and Didier Izard helped EXISTANCE? Is there any chance that we can have the albums of H-BOMB re-released again? Is there any chance of an H-BOMB reunion?
I would lie if I tell you no. My father brings us so much. His musical career as a singer in H BOMB allows him to give us very beneficial advice so that EXISTANCE can move in the right direction.
New reissues of H BOMB, I don’t think that it will happen, knowing that both albums have already been reprinted twice.
About a reunion of H BOMB, my father will never return to the band for sure. He has definitively turned the page with this band. He wants his fans to keep the good image of him in their memory and not to disappoint them.
17. Thank you for our interview! Send a message to our readers.
Thanks again Ioannis for giving us the opportunity to speak. We would also like to thank all the people who support us.
Tom: I hope we will have the chance to come to your country and to headbang with you! Thank you for the interview.
Julian: Heavy Metal is our Faith ! Spread the word guys. Keep on Rockin’ and See you soon! You rule!!
Ioannis “Knight of Light” Kaskamanidis