Spasmophiliaque is comprised of a unique blend of technicality and ruthless musicianship. They form a chaotic atmosphere that is distinctive and will draw the listener in. This band is a two-piece, with mastermind Chuck Shredinluc behind all of the instrumentals and production, and his wife Kim Shredinluc releasing some of the most belligerent gutturals in brutal death metal. This band takes most influence from artists such as Death and Nile, but also from infamous bands of their native France such as Gorod. Their debut album, First Step on the Wild Side, will be released in February 2014.
I was able to speak with Chuck Schredinluc. In the interview we discuss the history of Spasmophiliaque, how they stand out as a band and First Step on the Wild Side.
Stephanie Jensen: Can you tell me more about the meaning behind the name “Spasmophiliaque?”
Chuck Shredinluc: The name Spasphiliaque is a tribute. I had a friend who played bass. He had a lot metal bands, but none which really interested him. He loved brutal technical death metal, and dreamed about creating a band. I shared this dream, but he died suddenly when he was twenty-five, because of diabetes. He found the band name Spasmophiliaque. We could define that literally: the one who loves to suffocate. I thought it was a great name. Really cliché, but offbeat. And it’s a 100% original barbarism, never used by anyone. For a metal band, it’s a big advantage for setting apart.
Jensen: You guys play technical death metal. Why is that appealing?
Shredinluc: I love playing technical death metal for the challenge. Self-surpassing. There’s something fun in succeeding in playing a riff wich appears superhuman at first, or rhythmically incomprehensible. You feel like doing something that hardly no one can do in the world. That gives you a feeling of superiority, rather pleasant (yeah I’m a nietzschean ^^). As a listener, I love the richness of the songs. Every part is lively, and the surprise when we discover them is exhilarating. Sometimes, you are waiting for the pulse at one point, but it doesn’t happen when you thought it would. You never know when you have to headbang to be in rhythm! That’s irritating at first, but that’s the originality that I love in this music. I think it’s thanks to those experimentations that makes the music progress and find interesting ideas.
Jensen: What separates you from other bands of that genre?
Shredinluc: We try to make nutty music, with influences like King Crimson or Between the Buried and Me. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. It seems to be rare in technical bands, contrary to grind. And we try to do that as well in the music and in the lyrics, with some parodic parts.
Jensen: You’re currently a two-piece band. Do you plan on incorporating more members?
Shredinluc: For the moment, we don’t plan on forming a complete band, and we’d like to stay a studio band. We’re waiting for the public’s reaction. We’re already preparing the second album, and we plan to make three or four albums before looking for musicians. We have a family life and work. Managing a band is something really restricting concerning hours, traveling, and everyone’s mood. We had bad experiences with our old bands, and we don’t want to do that again for the moment. We’re both at home, and we can manage everything from A to Z, from recording to pressing, home-made, even artwork and soon the merchandising.
Jensen: I couldn’t find footage of you playing live. Do you plan on playing live soon? And if so, where do you plan on playing?
Shredinluc: We don’t plan on playing live soon, because we don’t have other members. If we could play live one day, we’d try to play everywhere in the world, where it’s possible to organize something in great conditions. In metal, bands have to go play live where the public is, without frontiers.
Jensen: What is the French metal scene like? Some cool bands like Gorod came from there.
Shredinluc: French metal scene is quite various, and we saw a boom in band’s creation four years ago, but now the phenomen has stopped. We saw a lot of associations created too, and a lot of concerts, but it calmed down, because the public couldn’t follow the movement. Metal was fashionable for young people (very young), with movements of deathcore, émo, and dubstep. But the fashion is finished, and just few bands survived. We have some French bands which stand out with their activity, like Svart Crown, Gorod, Betraying the Martyrs, or Atlantis Chronicles, which plays on international scene. I didn’t talk about Gojira, that everybody know since they play with Metallica.
Jensen: Your debut album is being released next year. What can you tell us about it?
Shredinluc: This project is really important for me, and it began two years ago. I wrote the song “First Step on the Wild Side” in a moment of my life where a lot of things were setting up, professionnaly and personally. I had the sensation of being an adult. I felt finally mature enough to make a personal project, which could describe a part of my universe. This album is a homemade show-case album for the band, which will evolve with the following ones. It was important for me to make everything by myself, even the sound mixing. That was the first time that I really worked on sound, and it’s something really difficult. In addition to that, I had very limited ressources, and I didn’t have a sound card, but just an old 8-tracks machine that I had for fifteen years (a boss br-600 for those who know). I had to fight with technic to get to a correct result, and I’m proud of the final result. Equipment doesn’t make everything, but it’s important when you’re working on sound. At the same time, I wanted an original sound, a little dirty, to go with the band’s frame of mind, like The Black Dahlia Murder or Nile. For vocals, we had to get a little better equipment, but my expertise is still perfectible! For the second album, we’ll have better equipment still, and we hope doing better each time.
Jensen: Do you have any specific lyrical themes?
Shredinluc: Lyrics are eclectics, and are centered on the singer (is that original?). If we should look for a connecting thread, it begins with original sin, wich leads to discovering the pure deception of God. Then she’ll release pent-up feelings on a kitten, and on deathcore generally, before realizing she’s the master of her destiny, and destiny in general. Then she will have a strange story with an eighth dwarf, in a snow white parody. And finally, she will kill the rest of the love she had, to conclude on a famous opera which says love doesn’t have rules… It’s a bit confusing when said like that, but there’s a real character evolution in this album, and I’m sure a lot of people will identify anyway.
Jensen: Do you have any vocal or playing advice you would like to share?
Shredinluc: I just have one advice, for everything you want to succeed in life: WORK! We had a French singer who said that talent without work is just an odd habit. If you want to make something of quality, you have to work a lot (in quantity), and work well (in quality). Too much work is exhausting, bad work gives bad habits. If you wanna play music, whatever instrument, learn it with a teacher, so that you don’t have to start all over again after five years of working alone the wrong way. You can work alone, but you need to know basis first. I saw drummers who think to be Gene Hoglan, who didn’t know how to hold a tempo on 120 bpm. In short: work, work, and again work, there’s no secret.
Jensen: You posted that you were on French radio stations Radio Metalhead. What was that like?
Shredinluc: The head of Radio Metalhead came across one of our songs when we put it online about two month ago. He right away asked us to put it on his radio. It was very nice to be welcomed in the milieu. We are also on a radio from Quebec, in the BlackPower show. We also have some future interviews planned up and even a chronic on the album. Pretty encouraging on the whole.
Jensen: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Shredinluc: We would like to thank Stéphanie for this interview and for her support! I wanted to add that we have three free songs on different networks (Facebook, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, VK, and YouTube) and there will be a forth one by Christmas. The album will probably be available for free as soon as it comes out. I think it’s better to be listened to for free rather that to have an album to sell that no one listens to. People who buy CDs nowadays are collectors or simply want to support a band. On out part we hope for your support, so listen and share our music.