“Millions of years ago, the first elemental bricks of life on a planet in the solar system began a process that led to an evolved life form, the only survivor of the place where it was born… An enigmatic side effect, came from nowhere, changed the game. The divine time was invited, the skull and bones as old chaplets.Since this meeting in the depths of the ages we have taken a celestial place, we saw the height in our mindedness, and we prevailed on the animal reign. Our destiny written in our genes, nothing could stop this perpetual change. Until the death of the last renegade, reality will still belong to men.One day we’ll find the finest way to reconnect with the outer space…”– Taken from the band’s Facebook
Hailing from France, Lone Survivors is a progressive metalcore/djent/progressive band that is sure to be brought to everyone’s attention when they release their debut album Ground Zero later this year. Featuring exceptionally talented musicians from a plethora of different musical backgrounds, the group was solidified by the addition of Matthieu Romarin (of Uneven Structure) on vocals. Mixing technicality with melody and progression, Ground Zero is an absolute thrill to listen to and is bound to make some year end lists when the guys decide to unleash this beast of an album upon the world. Be sure to support these guys by giving them a like on Facebook and be sure to keep an eye on their official site here to get the chance to order some merch or the album itself! I had the chance to chat with Olivier and Francois about a multitude of topics including the overall theme of the album, what it was like trying to recruit a vocalist, how their first ever show went, among many other topics. Be sure to read about it below!
Lone Survivors is:
Olivier Crescence : Bass – Compositor /Author
Samuel Smith : Guitar – Compositor
Francois Lescuyer : Guitar (producer)
Jeremy Piau : Drums
Matthieu Romarin : Vocals
1 – Originally what brought all of you together to form a band?
François : I am at the origin of the project. I posted an ad on the internet like “wants of a metal band”. Pretty soon I met Olivier and our first drummer and the adventure started.
2 – Where did the name of the band originate from? Is there any name you almost went with using?
Olivier : We took some time (a long time) to define the artistic direction we would like to have. But regarding the name of the band, I wrote some time ago a small literary novel about humanity and our future, mixing real historic events and anticipation/science fiction of what could be our future in the next thousands of years, so the name of the band directly results of this story. And later the work of composition too.
3 – What made you all decide on sticking with the metalcore/progressive metal/djent genre? Did you ever experiment with different genres before choosing what you did?
Olivier : When I met François, we needed another guitarist to begin the project. François wanted to make some metal music so, being close to a friend, Samuel (both are from reunion Island and we played together for twenty years in many metal bands), I proposed him to start this new adventure. I was a big fan of metal in general, and at this time I listened lots of Djent/metalcore music and bands and my goal was to do something in this way. I only had an idea of the universe and the intellectual story I wanted to tell (we really started the work of composition from scratch!).
4 – Is it difficult for Matthieu to devote time to Lone-Survivors as well as with Uneven Structure?
Olivier : I don’t think it is difficult for him for the moment (first, the timing is good for our collaboration), and we have a very professional relationship. We will make all our possible to facilitate his investment on the two projects. Anyway, he has at heart to defend Lone Survivors colour on stages, so we trust him for the future!
5 – There are a lot of bands playing similar music now-a-days, what do you feel separates you from your contemporaries?
François / Olivier : In our point of view, we belong to the sphere of the metalcore / progressive metal scene. That said, we strive to keep in mind to make music that will remain accessible to the widest possible metal audience, mixing influences ranging from djent, progressive metal to metalcore, and more.
6 – About how long would you say you spent on writing the album?
Olivier : We took almost 2 years to achieve the entire process of writing and recording. But there is something important to notice: we didn’t knew 3 month before the mix the name of our singer (and if we’ll had one!) In fact, we composed and I wrote the lyrics of the entire album with only an idea of what we wanted on the vocals (something like 70% metalcore sing and 30% clean vocals). After two years we were anxious not to find our frontman, we posted lots of ads on internet and facebook to find a singer, and finally we got in touch with Matthieu from Uneven Structure (much known in Europe Metal Prog Scene), he listened to the pre-production we made and send us a first trial : it was a blast to hear what he had done !! As Matthieu lived in the south of France, we never met him during the entire recording of the album! It was an incredible sequence of work during two month before the mix.
7 – Conceptually, what are you trying to convey with the lyrics on this album? Are there any reoccurring themes or meanings?
Olivier : The main theme tell the story of humanity from the dawn ages to a future which transhumanism and quantum physics will allow us to reconnect with the “original form’’ of intelligence in the universe. It mixes historic events and science fiction elements, but the purpose is optimistic, even if it underlines the auto-destruction of the human being.
8 – Is there a specific lyric or song that sticks with you the most? If so, why?
Olivier : “Six feet under” => In the story this is the moment in time where our planet became unlivable for the humanity (because of the global warming we precipitated…reminds you something?), and we were obliged to live underground for hundred years, with a drastic reduction of the biodiversity and population on earth. After hundred years underground and with great scientific discoveries, we decided to find another planet as soon as possible to save humanity. Then began the debut story of the Lone Survivors !
9 – What is the music scene like in France ? Are there many bands playing a similar style or are you guys unique to your area?
Olivier : In France, the prog/djent scene is not really known of the public audience. We try to follow the path of bands like Hypno5e or Gojira, to bring something different and with mixing different influences which spokes to us. Sincerely, I didn’t find another band in France like us (nor in Europe), and assuming a lot of influences into the composition into the metalcore/djent/prog scene. In France people like to categorize all things (and bands), but I love to think that it will be difficult to define/ categorize us or our music, I hope it will be our force/potency.
10 – Who would you say your biggest influences are? Are all of you mainly into the same genres or are your tastes in music more varied?
Olivier / Samuel : Our Biggest influences in metal are « Meshuggah », Tesseract », “After the burial”, “’Gojira”and older precursors like “TOOL” and “Karnivool”. But we have twenty years of experience in a lot of bands in different styles of music and metal.
11 – Whatʼs the story behind the album artwork? Is there a specific theme behind it?
Olivier : The album artwork is related to the story of the lone survivors, the way we find to export our humanity to other worlds, the moment we discover a new planet…. It is mostly focused on the anticipation of our future in space, and what we could find/discover as we wander in deep space and time.
12 – What albums were you listening to while writing/recording the album?
Olivier : I was listening mostly to djent and metalcore music, albums like “dig deep” and “wolves within” from “AFTER THE BURIAL, “one” from “TESSERACT”, “All Roads Lead Here”from “CHIMP SPANNER”. But I listened and played all styles of music for 20 years now, so it helps me a lot in the composition process.
13 – Any major albums youʼre looking forward to that come out this upcoming year?
François : “Ever Green” from “AFTER THE BURIAL
Olivier : Not really, I am always waiting for the next Meshuggah all the time ?
14 – Who did you work with as a producer? What kind of experience did you have?
Olivier : Francois is the producer of the band. We had a very close relation with him and he let us composed the entire album without intervening in the process. He was mostly present in the mix and mastering and his opinion was precious to validate lots of changes we made in the last moments of mixing the album.
15 – Any big plans for tours coming up ?
François / Olivier : We are working on it. We made our first gig on April 26 with one-week residence before to define and the show and release our Electronic Press Kit (EPK). We will be actively searching for bookers to tour in Europe, and to tour in the US is on our projection. We will unveil others official music videos soon while the distribution of the album. We all have a solid experience on many stages all over the world, we just want to tour now with Lone Survivors and to make discover our universe with Ground Zero album, as it is the most exciting and demanding project of our life so far !
16 – Whatʼs it like to independently release the album? What made you wish to crowdfund the album in the beginning? Did it turn out to be a success?
François : It’s scary and exciting at the same time. So we did our best for the recording, we learned a lot from our mixer (Fred Duquesne, a famous producer in France) and he helped us a lot in the recording/mixing approach. The mastering war executed by a famous musician in Sweden, Magnus Lindberg. As soon as we decided to enter the record process, we wanted to be accompanied by recognized professionals in the metal music world.
Olivier : Samuel (the other guitarist of LS) supervised all the recording but it was not easy to be sure of the sound of each instruments, as we used mostly numeric/digital heads, speakers and effects, and no experience in this recording process. But I knew precisely what result I wanted to achieve (hopefully!)
François: Regarding the crowdfunding, it was a good idea to make noise about the project, but financially speaking, it was not a great success, as we expected (we were totally unknown of the French metal scene). But this still allowed us to start building our fanbase and to begin the community management around the band.
17 – Speaking of touring, what are some of your favorite touring or show memories? Excited for your record release show on the 26th?
Olivier : April 26 (and the week before) was a founding act for the band. We met for the first time our singer Matthieu and we passed on week in a huge professional auditorium to build and imagine the show we want to do (and promote) with this album . It was the best conditions for us and the producer made sure to put all the necessary means to guarantee success, and it was really one in every aspects, specially our first show which was acclaimed by the public!!
18 – Who would you say the nicest band you have ever played a show with is?
François : We never play with this nicest band for the moment … But we will love to play with lots of bands ! (this is the next question haha)
19 – If you had the opportunity to tour with 3 bands, past or present, who would you tour with?
We would love to play with Tool (past), Meshuggah, After the Burial.
20 – Is there anything youʼd like to say your current or future fan base?
François : We consider our fanbase as a family with whom to create and to move forward. We imagine maybe something participative for next albums.
Olivier : In the near future, we will try to better illustrate “Ground Zero” in a series of music videos, so stay in touch with us, this is just the beginning of the story of Lone Survivors!