Evohé (France) 28/02/2012
Unfortunately just a few months ago, i got to know the music of Evohé, a four member band from France, although they have released only two albums the 11 years of their existence, they showed me with their recent album, Annwvyn, that they have a lot to offer. In order to get to know them better, I contacted aBssyD, the guitarist of the band, and he gave me much information about Evohé and much more.
1. Hi aBssyD, thanks a lot for the interview. Do you want to give me some information about Evohé starting from the idea of forming a band, how it became reality and tell me about your journey until now? What does Evohé mean?
aBssyD: Evohé started in 2001, with the release of the first demo called “Non Serviam”. After that, we had a deal with Oaken Shield and our first album “Tellus Mater” came out in 2005. We took our time to create Annwvyn. In the meantime, Dalgrin formed another band called Malmort. In 2009, we decided to start from the ground up and wrote new songs for a new album. Indeed, Evohé rises from the relationship of old friends, something really meaningful to me. The band is not only about music but a real sense of friendship. I don’t consider music without all this. “Evohé” is taken from the greek mythology, it is the war-cry of the priestesses of Bacchus in honor of Dionysos. It defines nature, sexuality and trance-like state. Nothing but good stuff, right?
2. Some of the band’s members participate in other bands too. Do you want to tell me more about it? Is there any cooperation or support between those bands?
aBssyD: Yes, you’re right. Dalgrin plays in Malmort, a really good True Black Metal band. Furthass plays guitar in it but only as a session member and in a band called Zombokoast, a garage/zombie/punk band. Absolutely incredible! Hljodr plays in Caïnan Dawn, another really fuckin’ good Black Metal band. These bands and Evohé rarely play together due mainly to the fact that we all have are own musical identity which, of course, is a really good thing by itself.
3. Your second full length album, “Annwvyn”, has just been released and for me it is very good. Do you want to tell me how much time did it take you to complete it and how was the recording circumstances? Are you satisfied with this release? Is there anything that you notice now and you would like to change it?
aBssyD: Thanks, glad you like it! About the recording of Annwvyn, we had the drum tracks made in La Grolle Studio. Dalgrin got his own studio, so we recorded everything else there. It definitely took us a long time, maybe a little bit too much, because we really tried a lot of different things like different types of setups for the guitars, etc. The fact that we got all that time wasn’t a really good thing in the end. We drowned ourselves with ideas, experimentation, and kept adding more stuff to the music. There is a time in the creative process when you have to set things in stone and try to not touch it. I think we’ll do things a little differently for the next one. The mastering was done by Jamal of West West Side Studio and we are very satisfied about it.
4. I don’t want to categorize your music to “pagan” Black Metal or anything like that because I think that it merges a lot of different kind of styles. How would you describe your music and how would you call it?
aBssyD: We cannot easily define our craft. As mentioned, every one of us listen to a lot of different styles of music. I think Evohé still has a Black Metal vibe but we like epic songs with powerful riffs. We try to incorporate and mix all these kind of influences in our music and see what we come up with. Concerning Annwvyn, some people say we play Pagan Black Metal… If I really have to choose one, I think that it would be the most appropriate for Evohé but I agree with you, it’s just the “most appropriate” but not what it fully is…
5. How do you get inspired to write music and lyrics? Which bands or music genres do you think has influenced your music?
aBssyD: As I see songwriting, it must be done painlessly. We have to get right to the point and understand it easily. If it’s not the case, well, it’s probably not worth it ! After we get what we’re looking for, we work on the arrangements which take a lot of time. The soul of the song we craft must be found quickly. I think we can feel it when listening our music. It’s the same for the lyrics. Bands like Bathory, Satyricon, Emperor, Enslaved, Immortal as well as metal bands like Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Skyclad, Sabbat inspired us a lot and influenced our music.
6. This is your first release with Unlight Productions. Are you satisfied by the cooperation with them, the support and respect they offer to the band?
aBssyD: Not too much to say about this thus far...
7. What kind of comments have you gotten by the fans and the press for your recent release?
aBssyD: The feedbacks we’ve got so far are very good and that’s an excellent thing! Compared to Tellus Mater which was a lot rawer, some people were surprised by the turn we took but welcomed it nonetheless and saw in Annwvyn an album that was much more mature. I’m glad it came out that way because the third album might throw off people who liked Tellus Mater...
8. I know it’s too early but have you started composing material for your next release? About when do you have in mind to release new material?
aBssyD: Yes, we have about eight new songs ready now! We don’t want to do what we did for this album: wait another 6 years to release something new! We want to record the follow-up as soon as possible. I would like to start recording it before the end of this year.
9. Have you planned any live performances for the promotion of the new album? Where and when?
aBssyD: We’ve just started playing together again and we’re definitely ready to play shows. We had a much needed break, because we mainly focused on the writing process for the third album. Evohé did really good live performances, people who saw us know that, and we want to be ready for our next concerts. We just green-lighted a gig with Temple of Baal this summer.
10. Have you ever played outside of France? Which live performance was the best experience so far?
aBssyD: We don’t play outside of France, because we are not really looking for that either… One of my personal favorite was the show we played with Marduk and another one with Nargaroth. There were lots of people and we played in really professional conditions which is pretty rare these days. Definitely good memories!
11. Your lyrics are pagan. Do you want to explain to me the philosophical background that the band supports and promotes? What to you think about religion in general?
aBssyD: Yes, our lyrics are about paganism. The Spirit of Evohé IS pagan. We are fond of mythology, old beliefs and customs. We just contemplate humanity through the ages. I feel really close and tied to the ancient god. On the cover of Annwvyn, you can see the Horned God, Cernnunos… This god has a lot of importance to me. I am more interested in how mankind uses religion to control and enslave people. My vision of religion is very personal. It needs to be found by each individual and you have to live it and mostly not listen to the bullshit that you are being force-fed. Religion as it is commonly seen is an absolute necessity for weak-spirited minds. It gives you some guidelines about death and the meaning of our existence. Everyone is entitled to believe what they choose.
12. What do you do for a living? What’s your opinion about Black Metal scene in France? Are there any new bands that you like and support?
aBssyD: There are a lot of good Black Metal bands here, but I don’t know many of them… I don’t get out a lot. I, kind of, lost touch with the scene and don’t follow it as much. In fact I am absolutely not interested in the idea of knowing those people. The only members of a Black Metal band I know are the guys from Nehëmah, but I know them because we live in the same city..
13. How do you imagine Evohé in the future? Do you have any goals you want to achieve in the next years?
aBssyD: We’re already envisioning a third album which is going to take us some time. After each new album we release, there’s always this weird moment of absence. Let’s not forget that we do this as a hobby even though it pushes us a bit. We would like to be known a little bit more and I would like people to know our music but we would need to find a label that would push the envelope much further...
14. Thank you for the interview. Do you want to sum up your near future plans and also if you want, add something for conclusion?
aBssyD: Thank you and your excellent webzine for the support. You will hopefully hear from us soon enough and maybe, someday, we’ll be able to play a show in your beautiful country... I know that Greece is going through a rough time and I hope that you will find the best path to a more serene future. I wish you all the best and don’t forget, as Martin would say: “May your guardian spirits be with you always...”