Beyond Creation and Obscura are my Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden for Technical/Progressive/Experimental music, and can say helped influence the creation (HAR HAR) of my website. It’s with immeasurable excitement to announce I have successfully interviewed bassist Hugo of Beyond Creation, Brought By Pain and Equipoise. Enjoy the read people! I hope you’re as excited as I am!
TMR: You’re such a proficient bassist and well trained….what made you want to jump into a death metal subgenre? What influenced it?
First of all, thank you for having me on here! It’s truly a pleasure for me! Thank you for that comment! I always loved the energy and uniqueness that metal has over other music styles and technical death metal is one of the subgenres that shines with those qualities. Also, I’ve always liked the challenging aspect of performing death metal!
TMR: Tell us how the Equipoise recording went.
Pretty good overall, with quite some challenges too! I recorded the album at home using minimal gear and focusing on getting the cleanest takes possible, which ended up being very time-consuming but worth it in the end! I started recording right after my last studio session recording Beyond Creation’s ‘Algorythm’ so I was pumped and ready to do Equipoise’s ‘Demiurgus’ right away!
TMR: Are there any plans of playing some Equipoise shows?
We have been talking about it, but it’s still at that phase for now. There are 7 people in the band – most being in active and/or touring bands – so it would require proper management and scheduling to make it work for all of us. I think that touring is going to be inevitable at some point, but we’ll see!
TMR: Your main squeeze Beyond Creation released a fantastic album “Algorythm” last year. It seems to have been well received so far! Tell us about how the shows have gone supporting the album, and how making the album was as well. What did you guys specifically set out to do differently?
Thank you so much, I’m super happy you enjoy the record! Indeed, we are very grateful for the great response so far! All the shows we did supporting ‘Algorythm’ turned out amazing actually! We got on the road to perform the album in its entirety only about 2 weeks after it came out and we were surprised on the amount of people knowing the material, lyrics and song titles, it was truly a wonderful tour! The actual recording of the album was a very special experience for me, being my first time recording in a ‘real’ studio, and Christian Donaldson (Cryptopsy) at The Grid made it so much enjoyable! We actually have studio update videos as well as tour recap video on our Youtube Channel for anyone who wants more insights on the studio/live side of things! For ‘Algorythm’ we wanted to do something a bit more dynamic and rich without going off the tracks of Beyond Creation’s signature sound. We’re always trying to reach the next level musically and to make music that we would listen to ourselves. Also, we took the opportunity to reach new kind of fans and welcome them into the tech-death subgenre with this progressive and intricate album.
TMR: What and who made you want to pick up a bass?
I had musicians in my family, but none of them played bass, so I though I’d just fill in on bass! I stuck to it and made it a passion and priority! I also learned guitar and drums not long later, but have not been able to practice as much as bass! As with any skill, you need to focus on one at a time to really shine!
TMR: Describe your emotions and feelings on recording your first album with the band since you joined.
It’s a pretty awesome feeling to finally be playing my own bass lines after so many shows playing Forest’s. Don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely love his work and what he brought to the band’s sound! But for some reason it’s always more exciting to deliver you own material and I have to say that BC’s fans and fellow bassists have been giving me the most amazing feedback, which I want to thank everyone for! This kind of duty obviously comes with its challenges but it turned out immensely positive overall for me!
TMR: Let’s be honest, when you joined Beyond Creation you had huge shoes to fill with Forest Lapointe leaving. And I’m in the crowd who thinks you’re doing a fine job at that, and adding your own style to their music and now helped write your first album with them. Was any of that going through your head at first?
Thank you so much man! Yes of course. Forest is and always be one of my favourite bassists so at first it was quite inconceivable to take his place in the band. I have to admit that circumstances made my life a bit easier, having joined the band only a few months after the release of “Earthborn Evolution”, I had plenty of time to develop my technique and sound as a fretless bassist before actually having to write and perform on a record. Also, as I mentioned above, I’ve been receiving tons of supportive vibes from the fans as well as from my bandmates so it’s been quite smooth.
TMR: Can you give some fellow artists tips to shrug off negativity? Not all of us can always handle it. Some people have ripped Algorythm I think they’re nuts for doing so!
Sure thing! Remind yourself why you’re doing music in the first place! Also, consider yourself lucky enough to have people actually check out your stuff, even if they leave negative feedback, can’t be worse than having zero feedback right ? There are so many bands out there trying to get their name out, there’s no time to get caught up in negativity! Take their advice for what its worth to you and move on. Instead of reading comments, you could be playing music, or just enjoying life, going outside, meditating etc! Even though musicians usually do music quite seriously and tend to blend their personal life with their professional life, I think it’s crucial to be able to disconnect from what you’re doing in life and tune in to who you really are deep inside. If you think what you’re doing is important, you need to take a vacation!
TMR: What tour plans do you have with Beyond Creation this year and next year in 2020? And please don’t take another handful of years between albums again
So far we have a Latin America Tour planned in April 2019 as well as an Autralian/New Zealand tour in May. Everything else is still in the works/not ready to announce yet! Oh don’t you worry we will absolutely take another handful of years until we release another record brother! We have ZERO interest in rushing into new music! I don’t think it’s fair from fans to take a band for granted and act as if they owed them any new music. As a matter of fact, that is the kind of pressure that would likely discourage an artist from creating and releasing an honest piece of music. This is serious business guys, some people actually end up taking their own life because of that kind of pressure/attitude from fans towards them. Part of the problem is that we are getting used to consumerism and instant gratification in modern society, so we are constantly in need of new things to keep our brains filled with more and more dopamine. That’s why people like singles and EPs! They get their fix, stream the song a few times online for free and move on : their brain chemistry is unbalanced! Again, it’s not fair to expect anything from an artist based on our own perception of time. With that being said, I will be working on new music all year with my other bands Conflux and Brought by Pain (on top of Equipoise’s album release March 8th and tons of session work). Back to Beyond Creation, one thing that we enjoy a whole lot is touring, especially in places we’ve never been before. So we’re really looking forward to take the time that we need to visit as many countries and continents as we can on the ‘Algorythm’ album cycle. And that alone can take a handful of years
TMR: You guys seem to have a solid chemistry artistically and really “click”. Explain the band dynamics and how important being fluid and understanding each other musically and as people as well.
I think that the easiest thing about being in a band is playing your instrument! What’s not so easy to everybody and also not that obvious is the requirement in social and communication skills to thrive as a bandmate. Most of the things that happen in a band do not require to play your instrument, especially in self-managed band like Beyond Creation. Think about what’s essential to develop to be able to go out on the road with 4 to 20 other people for 25+ consecutive shows without losing your mind, but actually enjoying it from all faces and being excited to go back multiple times a year, for many years to come. To me, it has always been important that everyone feel part of the same “family” and have the best time possible doing music altogether, and luckily it’s been a priority for Simon, Kevin and Philippe as well. Everything else seems to come naturally when you already have sense of fulfillment from being with each other and living our craziest dream!
TMR: What’s your favorite song from “Algorythm”?
I always tend to consider the title track as my favourite, but I think that each song has a very unique vibe that deserve my own recognition.
TMR: Describe your favorite tour you have been a part of, and what made it great or special.
Great question! When I look in the past, I try to learn from it and move on. So I would say each and every tour was my favourite since they each provided me with so much personal growth and insight about what makes me happy and give me a sense of fulfillment. Each tour has been super special and made it possible for us to meet new friends, fans and develop better practices as a business, so I highly value each one of them equally!
TMR: Any new Brought By Pain music?
Yes, as stated earlier! We’re working on a full-length, which I’m pretty stoked about!!
TMR: Tour plans for Brought By Pain?
Yep, nothing concrete as of right now, but we definitely plan on getting this band on the road again and again!
TMR: What was it like getting that band off the ground and on some tours? Do you expect it to be a constant or just occasionally tour?
It’s been great! We consider ourselves lucky to have so many dedicated followers and fans that are constantly spreading the word about us! It’s always more demanding to get things rolling properly and get out of the ‘friendzone’ (if I can allow myself such metaphor) but always worth it in the end! I think in the long run it’s going to be both constant and occasional, taking the opportunity whenever we can, without forcing things!
Don’t forget to check out the latest Equipoise single from their upcoming album!
Here’s my favorite song from the latest Beyond Creation opus. Yeah, maybe Hugo’s tasteful bass lead at the end has something to do with it. It RIPS. Don’t fool yourself.