What was originally meant to be a standalone interview with MONUMENTS, had quickly grown into another interview with French progressive metal band, KADINJA.
Since guitarists, Quentin Godet and Pierre Danel were also present while
the initial interview was being done, I thought it would be interesting to
have them join as they also have had a quite eventful year complete with the release of their sophomore album and conquering Asian audiences.
In the end, the boys from MONUMENTS started chiming in with their own questions and comments so we ended up with this wholesome conversation between the five of us, while still enjoying the warm concrete of the noisy parking lot behind the venue of Radar Festival. Check the first part of the interview here.
Thank you guys for letting me do this interview with you as well! Why don’t we just start off with introducing yourselves, in case our readers are not familiar with your band or your music.
Quentin: We’re a progressive metal band from Paris, France and we have been playing for 6 years, since 2013, I believe and it’s been going great! We already have two albums out (ed. “Ascendancy” (2017) and “Super 90’” (2019) and we are gonna release the third one this September —
Oh! I was not prepared for that! Nice!
Quentin: Good news but it’s not the kind of album that you’d expect from us.
So you have taken on a different direction?
Pierre: It’s a kind of surprise, so we can’t tell any more about that.
Quentin: It’s not like our previous albums. It’s going to be a surprise for our fans.
Alright but let me get this straight; you have just released the latest album this January, so is the third one already in the making?
Pierre: It’s already done! We have just finished the mix and the master and everything is pretty much ready to go.
Quentin: Actually we had a very busy beginning of 2019. Pierre and I went to L.A. to the NAMM show to do demos, so we worked on the album there as well. Just after that, we did the Asian tour in China and Japan, which was really fun. At the beginning of April, we began working on the new album and it was wrapped in pretty much two months from start to finish. It’s been a pretty crazy experience! Now we’re just looking forward to how the new album is going to be received by the listeners. I think most people will love it and it will be a great surprise for everyone.
Pierre: But we can’t say too much.
Quentin: But first of all I have to say something: Big shoutout to PERIPHERY who are the greatest — (everyone bursts out in laughter)
Olly: Wow. Okay… okay, I understand. We see what’s happening here.
Quentin: Big shoutout to MONUMENTS, VOLA and ATLAS, of course, for being the best bands we have ever toured with. (cheering)
We are already way more ahead then I expected, you actually caught me off-guard with this revelation! I wanted to ask you about how you feel about your night at Radar Festival.
Quentin: It’s been so much fun! It’s so great to see the guys from VOLA and MONUMENTS here as well, it brings back the memories of the tour we had together. The crowd at our gig tonight was lit, too!
You seemed to have some technical difficulties at the beginning of your
set, what happened there?
Quentin: (laughs) Yeah, the Radar team didn’t know how to plug in two guitars at the same time.
Nothing serious, then!
Daniel: I’d love to know how you and Pierre met because you have quite an age gap. (ed. Quentin (22), Pierre (30))
Quentin: I can just say I was still a child when it happened. (everyone laughs) It was maybe almost ten years ago and Pierre was already known in Paris for his fucking guitar playing skills and everything… he’s already a daddy (laughter) and I was just beginning to play in bands and the like at the age of 14. I think the first time we met was after a DREAM THEATRE show in 2011. We also had a few mutual friends so it was easy to get in touch after that. Few days after the show we went to party and thus our love story began. And that night it was very… hot, I have to say. (laughter)
Olly: So, you guys are close, huh? (laughter) I have a question for you, boys! You have recently switched guitar companies and you both have signature models. They look really cool! What’s the company and how is that relationship?
Quentin: So the company is called Vola —
Olly: Shoutout to VOLA, baby! (everyone bursts into laughter)
Quentin: Vola is a brand new guitar company that started out about 3 years ago and is run by a guy that used to work in the ESP custom shop line in Asia and decided to build his own guitars. He works both in the U.S as well as in Japan and we are in a very good relationship with the company because they approached us first, which is a really great thing. I got the first phone call the morning after we had gotten our plane tickets to Los Angeles to meet the guys at the NAMM show. There we designed the guitars. They just asked us what did we want, what is our dream guitar. So we’ve designed something very cool that we just received about 3 weeks ago. They are very different from what we have used before.
Pierre: They are not like a typical ‘metal’ guitar, to be honest.
Quentin: The point was to make something that we can use in sessions and not just only in KADINJA. I actually did a reggae recording with it just last week. Vola did an awesome job on the guitars, they are the most versatile instruments we have ever played. They are pretty much the same guitars the only thing that changes is the profile of the body shape and the wood.
How do you feel about the reception of your latest album, ‘Super 90’’?
Quentin: It was received very well because I think we took a direction that people weren’t really expecting in terms of style and production.
Pierre: More organic and more natural.
Quentin: Our first album “Ascendancy” that we did 2 years ago was produced more of as a djent album and with “Super 90” that’s not the case.
Olly: I’ve heard the album, I think as a fan — can I talk about the Kadinja album real quick?
Yeah, for sure!
Olly: I think Kwiny and Pierre are two of the most underrated guitarists ever; they are very creative and they have a lot of exciting flare. A lot of technical bands have a lot of showy-offy parts but it doesn’t really sound very natural or authentic and these boys really make it happen. There’s always some new shit going on that you don’t expect and I really love it. The album is great. Hats off to you boys, you are both da men and —
Quentin: …and a big shoutout to MONUMENTS and VOLA and ATLAS!(laughter)
Daniel: What’s the story or meaning behind ‘Super 90’’?
Quentin: Uh, it’s not like a funny story or anything crazy. I think it’s kind of referring to the production direction that we took. As we said earlier, something very organic, no crunchy guitar tones and all that sort of stuff. Our biggest inspirations in KADINJA’s music, apart from bands like early-PERIPHERY and MONUMENTS, are pretty much every nu-metal band from the ’90’s such as KORN and with ‘Super 90” and we wanted to bring that sound back to the scene.
Nu-metal back on the scene? Is Philippe going to rap on the next album?
Pierre: Yes, exactly. A lot. (laughter)
Amazing! Are you going to do a Limp Bizkit cover on it?
Pierre: I won’t say anything! (laughter)
Quentin: The only thing I can say is: big shoutout to MONUMENTS, VOLA and ATLAS. (laughter)
Since we have been talking tours a lot, do you have any destinations where you’d love to go to?
Quentin: Finland? (ed. Clever boy!)
Olly: For MONUMENTS the only place we haven’t really been is Asia. We’ve done India, but we haven’t been to the oriental side of things, we haven’t been to Japan, China, Vietnam —
Quentin: You really have to do it!
Olly: You guys have been to Japan and China! What the hell is that?! Where have you not been that you would love to go?
Quentin: Ah! Everywhere where you have been touring in the past 3 months! (laughter)
So how was it in Asia? And what was KADINJA’s experience of the Phronesis tour?
Quentin: The Asian tour was really something else. It was our first time there and we didn’t really know what to expect. We had 12 shows in China and 2 in Japan. We arrived there thinking “If there are 40 people at the venue, we’re good” and we only had sold-out shows at venues with the capacity of 200-300 people. It was very surprising to us as well. Fans are insane over there, I will never forget those guys and girls. We will definitely try and return there next year! As far as the tour with MONUMENTS is concerned, that was KADINJA’s first big tour and we were pretty nervous about mainly two things: will we survive as a band and, of course, going on tour with one our greatest inspirations. About 5 years ago if we would have had to choose one band to tour with, it would have been MONUMENTS. But everything went so smoothly and naturally. 4 bands on the same tour bus, something like 35 shows together and not a single problem along the way. It was truly the most awesome tour ever.
Daniel: I’d honestly love to tour with VOLA, KADINJA and ATLAS again. If that was a tour package that could happen again down the line, that would excite me a lot!
Olly: That was socially the best tour of my entire life! Everyone was a legend, everyone worked really hard, all the bands were really helping us to make it go smooth as well. The KADINJA boys helped us set up a guitar masterclass in Paris for me and Browne, that was amazing. The ATLAS boys are the hardest-working band I’ve ever met. They’re like a proper unit, they’re full-on brothers. VOLA are just an amazing band, you only have to listen to just one song to understand that. That tour was socially and musically the best package, so I’d love to redo that, whether it’d be a 10-year anniversary or we’d take it to the States or wherever it may be. That would be amazing.
Olly, you actually do have a fun story about the Paris show when you played bass for KADINJA, care to share that with us?
Olly: Yeah, for one song! I actually messed it up but nobody knew because after about two riffs into the song the sound engineer realized the bass was broken, so he muted me and put the album tracks on through the PA. (laughter) I had no idea and I was stressing trying my best!
Quentin: So we all were like, “Oh, he’s really tight, man, it’s crazy!”
Olly: And then when I got off stage everyone was like, “Dude, I had no idea you could shred bass that hard! That was album-perfect!” I was like, “No, it wasn’t, I dropped my pick and there were riffs I wasn’t playing.” (laughter)
Quentin: That’s one of the best memories of the tour!
Olly: The funny thing is, basically Morgan (ed. the drummer of KADINJA) challenged me saying, “You have to come and do it!”. KADINJA’s music is really difficult – very technical and very challenging. So, for like a week or two before I was trying to learn it every day, backstage, any moment I had off-time to get it done. I was really working hard at it! I don’t play bass and I was trying to internalize all the grooves and the different numbers and patterns. And when it came to the day, sold-out Paris show, I was like “Alright, let’s do it!” and then two riffs in, little did I know, I’d been turned off. Someone should have realized when I dropped the pick in the middle riff and the bass was still killing it! (laughter) That’s why everyone was really wide-eyed like “Yo, you smashed it!” So that was the moment when I was playing bass without playing bass. If we could do that tour again, I’d do it in a heartbeat!
Do you guys have any last thoughts you want to share with the world?
Olly: Yeah, I got you! Fuck bitches, get money, work hard. Tip your waitresses, tip your bartenders. Listen to VOLA. Listen to KADINJA. Listen to ATLAS. Listen to THE SCRATCH. Listen to MORAY PRINGLE. Listen to MONUMENTS. Judit Molnár in the building, MONUMENTS, baby, 2019 Radar Festival!
Quentin: It’s all good. I just want to drink a beer now.
Interview by Judit Molnár