From the diary of a dragonslayer: Interview with the Darkly Venus Aversa Part 1 – Smirking Revenge

Some time ago I had announced a little special for my blog. And here it is: My first interview with one of the featured bands, Smirking Revenge. The questions were answered by Gabrielle Bordeleau (bass & backing vocals). No long introduction, let the artist speak for herself!

Drachentöter: Describe your band and your style of music. What do you think makes your band special?

Gabrielle Bordeleau: We are a mixture between death, black, nu-metal and forces of nature. What makes us special is that we don’t limit ourselves into a specific style. Our compositions follow our inspirations, and we have no boundaries. The fact that we are all women in the band is also something we don’t see often in metal music, and it brings a feminine and vicious touch.

 

DT: Who did the band come together? What where your intentions?

GB: Roxanne and Joannie (guitarist and drummer) had another project called Aenygmist, an all-female black metal band who war active from 2007 to 2012. The band split up, but both still wanted to play music together. They found Charlotte (our ex-singer) and me after, in 2013. Charlotte left in 2015 to pursue her own projects, and we then met Marie.

Our intentions are to deliver a message throughout our music. We talked about the upsides and downsides of technology in our EP called «Mind Uploading», released in 2014. But we take it to another level with our upcoming album «Magna Mater», that we will be recording soon. Environment will be a big part of the subject. Musically, it is going to be a lot different than the previous EP, because the artistic process is not the same. The EP was more a research for our sound.

 

DT: Who are your musical and non-musical influences? What kind of music do you prefer personally?

GB: We all enjoy nu-metal band, such as Korn, Mudvayne, Slipknot, Kittie, etc. Gojira is also an influence for us.

 

DT: Who writes the songs? Do you work on the song together or who is mostly responsible for it?

GB: Roxanne writes her own parts first, then Joannie writes the drum, I write my bass parts and then Marie put lyrics on it. So we all contribute.

 

DT: What inspires you to do what you do?

GB: Injustice, passion, nature.

 

DT: How does music affect you and the world around you?

GB: I think music is why we all are alive today. Music supported us when we needed it, it understood us and still is today. When the music is good enough to give you chills, it’s a feeling you cannot describe with words. And that is what we live for.

 

DT: How do you promote your band and shows?

GB: Mostly on our facebook page. But we are also on Reverbnation and Bandcamp. There is a website under construction.

 

DT: Describe your shows, visual and musically. Do you have any “special effects”?

GB: We enjoy special makeups. Not necessarily black metal-ish. We like to change them depending of the gig.

 

DT: What’s your opinion of the music industry today?

GB: Well, it has its upsides and downsides. With internet, you can stream anything you want, and it brings more visibility to underground bands. But, there’s so much choice now, so much music to listen to, the question is: where to begin?

Also, playing music for a living is almost impossible, especially in metal. Damn, even bigger names like Deftones have to tour to pay their bills! (Link)

 

DT: What was your best/biggest show? What was the worst one?

GB: Our biggest show was in June 2015 when we played alongside Beyond Creation in Jonquière, Qc. The worst was in Quebec  City November 1st 2014, but it was also the funniest because people were so weird and the place really creepy.  There was also a show in Trois-Rivières, Qc.  when almost nobody showed up.

 

DT: Tell me about your life as a band. How is it to work and play together?

GB: Luckily, we get along really well. We’re not only bandmates, but friends, which is not the case for every band. We share experiences, feelings, joy, sadness, etc.

 

DT: Describe the Extreme Metal subculture of Quebec. Can you tell a difference to the rest of Canada? Do you have experience with the crowd in other countries? What’s the difference there?

GB: It’s a close community. Everybody knows everybody. We only played in Canada so I couldn’t tell the difference between the scene here and somewhere else.

 

DT: How are your connections in the scene? Do you have bands you like to play with? Do you have favorite clubs or festivals?

GB: We’re close with Ordoxe, Insurrection, Spacemak3r, Eternal Judgment, all Quebec-based metal bands. We really enjoyed playing at the Katacombes, Montreal.

 

DT: Do you think it’s a difference, being a female metalhead than being a male one? How

are experiences as individual persons?

GB: Yes, because as a female in a mostly male-composed scene, you have more pressure. For example, if an all-male band didn’t perform well one night, you won’t say «it’s because they’re men». But if something goes wrong during our set, some people will think «it’s because they’re women». We received comments like «you’re good for a women band» too many times. Also, some people tend to judge women more by their looks than by their talent. This is what society tells us.

But, being women can also be an advantage. People are curious, and seeing women in metal is refreshing.

 

DT: Do you think that all-female-bands have more problems with getting known/famous?

GB: It can be an advantage and a disadvantage. People tend to be more judging towards women in metal, but it is also something people would like to see more often.

 

DT: Did you have negative experiences with bookers, promoters or the audience because you are an all-female-band?

GB: Not as a recall. Maybe with some from the audience with sexist comments.

 

DT: What are your plans for the future? Are you working on a new release?

GB: We will soon record our full length «Magna Mater». We wish to release it in August.

 

DT: What are your dreams and goals for your band?

GB: We want to be heard, and we want to share our music with the world!

 

DT: Any last words you want so share?

GB: If you want to reach us, here’s some links:

Smirking Revenge bei facebook

Smirking Revenge bei bandcamp

Smirking Revenge bei twitter

Smirking Revenge bei reverbnation

Smirking Revenge bei Instagram

Smirking Revenge Youtube-Channel

 

Smirking Revenge Email

And rock on! \m/

 

Thanks a lot for the interview!

 

In this sense:

Good hunting!

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From the diary of a dragonslayer: Darkly Venus Aversa Part 3 – Smirking Revenge. Or: The sweet sound of revenge (including review.)

This one goes out to the international crowd. With some help from my former blog-buddy Donna Quichotte I translated my last entry. Thanks a lot. Hope you enjoy it!

A new entry, a new band, a new continent! Welcome to the third part of the Darkly Venus Aversa series. I’ve noticed that the previous bands are not only from different countries but even from different continents. After Anguished from Finland/Europe and Fedra from Colombia/South America, today we travel to North America, Canada, and dedicate ourselves to the band Smirking Revenge!

Smirking Revenge is a band from Montreal and was founded in 2012, so they are still a relatively young band. However, most musicians have played previously in other bands, for example in the now split-up all-female band Aenygmist that can almost be considered as predecessor band for Smirking Revenge. Currently, the band consists of the four musicians Joannie Gagnon (drums), Marie Claude Gosselin (vocals), Roxane Labonté (guitar & backing vocals) and Gabrielle Bordeleau (bass & backing vocals).

The only previously published release is the band’s EP „Mind Uploading“, which was released in 2014 on their own, then still with the former singer Charlotte Lemieux (2012-2015). The work includes 6 tracks, including an instrumental intro and an instrumental interlude, at a total running length of 20:31 minutes. Reviews from the internet reviewed the publication rather average. To make myself a picture, I bought a digital copy, offered on the bandcamp page for 6 Canadian dollars (converted € 3.90) for downloading. Smirking Revenge play a slightly black-influenced form of death metal, with lyrics that revolve around increasing mechanization/industrialization and its consequences for society.

Tracklist:

  1. Broadcasting Liberty (instrumental intro)
  2. Cattle
  3. Living Organ Bank
  4. Dehumanization (instrumental interlude)
  5. Mind Uploading
  6. Transhuman Utopian World

„Broadcasting Liberty“ is a nice intro made of radio interferences and sound samples, which are accompanied by slow guitar riffs. It ends with a partial quote of the US civil rights activist Mario Savio, where you’ll notice the thematic orientation: „[…] that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all”. A very atmospheric beginning before the first song „Cattle“ kicks in. The text is about a dystopian society where people were degenerated into slaves of technology and ends with a call for resistance. The song is carried by sluggish guitars that are accompanied by staccato drums. The music, which underlines the lyrics with a machinelike rhythm, creates a nice interplay. However, the spark does not really leap over, especially because the missing changes in the music towards the end of the song, when its lyrics call for the resistance. The next song „Living Organ Bank“ resembles thematically the film „The Island„, where people are grown as a living „spare parts warehouse“. The text is written from the perspective of one of these „living organ banks“ and is full of social criticism of the system which brought them to this unworthy life. Now the music becomes really pushing, the guitars are faster and more aggressive, with breaks and small interludes that make the song varied without destroying the mood. It follows the interlude „Dehumanization“ which consists of quiet guitar lines and drums. Again and again, a voice whispers the words „Upload your mind“. In this deceptive calm of the next song „Mind Uploading“ abruptly cuts, but not inept. Again a cinematic parallel can be drawn to the lyrics, this time for the film „Surrogates“, but here the personality is completely transferred to a mechanical counterpart. The text can be seen as a criticism of the mentioned transhumanism and names the risk of losing the human element with the body. The music is again a little more slowly, going in some passages is near to Doom before picking up speed again, but more aggressive than „Cattle“ and therefore knows how to impress. The guitar lines are varied and go from Death over Black to Doom. The last song „Trashuman Utopian World“ is a break with the far more technology critical texts, toward the desire to help with technology and to create a world in which technology is serving people. It is spoken by the hope of overcoming various diseases with technology. It ends with the words „Technology helps us move forward“. The song itself is held in midtempo, has more melodic guitar lines than in the previous songs and acts on the whole less aggressive, there are whole passages that are very quiet, even though the drums always fire perk blast beats to the whole. A worth finale.

What can I finally say about „Mind Uploading“? The EP is maybe not last word on the subject, but quite interesting. Criticisms are partly bumpy merging of text and music and that sometimes the song structures are not so interesting and can not compete to the lyrics. „Cattle“ is not the best opener to choose, because it does not create a desire to listen to the better rest of the EP but the other songs know how to please. The EP concept is well conceived and runs through music, lyrics and artwork. The voice of the departing singer Charlotte Lemieux is consistent and not really to criticize, although more vocal diversity would be quite desirable. You get good music for a small price! My personal highlight: „Transhuman Utopian World“

The imagery of the band will not hesitate to bright colors, but acting harmoniously and coherently in the band pictures as well as in the artwork. Especially the promo image in the title combines the individuality and color of the band members well with the gray environment, destroyed by industry and technology, a stylistic device that takes place in most images. They put the human being as diverse and multifaceted individual in contrast to technology.

The previous work at least makes me curious and hopeful regarding what there might be waiting for us. If they continue to develop in the chosen direction, work on sound and song structures, nothing should stand in the way of a bright future. I hope that this entry can make a small contribution to help.

In this sense:

Good hunting!

Smirking Revenge bei facebook

Smirking Revenge bei bandcamp

Smirking Revenge bei twitter

Smirking Revenge bei reverbnation

Smirking Revenge bei Instagram