Stunning instinct, crushing potential : that's how to qualify the frantically active first French death metal wave in the early 90's, and that's why it got a rave reception from the genre fans all over the world.An explosion of energy and frenzy bursted out when Massacra, Loudblast and Mutilated, in all their musical ferocity, started to increase the frequency of their concert appearances to make themselves known by a wider audience. Such an offensive obviously encouraged labels not to sign death metal bands from USA or Scandinavia exclusively. Stimulated by such a powerful demonstration, a large number of new French death metal bands were formed, decided to shed blood on the altar of sacrifice. You could easily smell it when Merciless, Mestema, Mortuary, Frayeur, Catacomb and Catalepsy moved onto the attack. Unfortunately, several of them vanished into the abyss.In this maelstrom of destruction, the local scene of Bourg en Bresse was a hot spot with bands like, among others, gods Mutilated who left an indelible brand on it. It was during this period of time that the meteoric occult death metal band Deadly Dislocated rose from the depths of Hell. Formed by a bunch of maniacs, they hardly had the time to release a rehearsal tape and a demo tape under this moniker. However, they had the opportunity to open for great bands, and to make a name for themselves in the underground scene and fanzines. They never sold their souls to magazines that were more interested in dinosaurs anyway. That wave was for the initiated, which isn't the case anymore nowadays. Following their musical and personal evolution, they later changed their name for Amaymon.True to my sincere friendship for Christian, lead guitarist of the late band, now one of the men behind the record label Adipocere, it seems to me it is just about time to pay tribute to these guys. And don't call me a sheep deprived of all capacities of judgement or criticism when it comes about all those defunct bands I worship since my youthful days. True to himself, Christian demonstrates a great sense of humour in this interview, in perfect osmosis to my questions.
01 – Hello Christian! That is very nice from you to accept this interview to revive the flame of Deadly Dislocated. How do you feel about it ?
Hail to you, you old man. It is funny to be asked for an interview 18 years after the end, especially under the name DEADLY DISLOCATED and not AMAYMON that quickly took its place. It also reminds me the very beginning of the record label ADIPOCERE.
02 – Let's start from now. If my memory serves me well, the band was formed around 1988 by Fred and Sebastien. It seems to me that you were one of the very first death metal bands from France along with gods Mutilated (from Rhone-Alpes too) and Mortuary, Frayeur and Mestema(other regions).Were you aware at that time that playing death metal wasn't exactly the « hip » thing to do ? Were you in good terms with members of Mutilated, or were there ego or rivalry troubles between you ?
To tell the truth I don't really remember when we began exactly. But I think the idea of the band was rather formed around 1990. At that time I was living in Paris for my (crappy) studies. Sebastien would often ask me about when I would come back to start that band. When I finally left Paris in early '91 I think we started playing very shortly later. Death metal was clearly underdeveloped in France indeed. The first were MUTILATOR (later renamed MUTILATED), we knew them well since we were living around the same place. We were in really good terms. By the way, how could we have an ego problem? We were beginners whereas they already were Death Metal Gods. Too bad they never broke, they deserved a real international career. We also met Mestema and Frayeur at a memorable gig in Dijon. The stage was made of pallets and there even was a fuel pump behind it. But you forget cult band MASSACRA who also started at that time !(Ron: you are right indeed, I forget the main one but I prefered mentionning less-known bands)
03 – When it came to forming the band, I think main founder Fred went through a lot of troubles to find a bass player. He auditioned a lot of guys but no one had the required skill. A few months later, you and Vincent (of Daemonium and Akhenaton) joined the band. Did all of this mean that Fred was very serious and ambitious about the band? How did you meet him? How did you join them?
If my memory serves me well, there wasn't really a founding member. The band was a matter a meeting – Bourg en Bresse and Lyon !! Seb and Fred lived in Bourg, while me and Vincent lived in Lyon. I knew Seb and Fred for years and we had already talked about that project.Shortly after I joined them I brang Vincent along with me, we all had similar musical tastes so it clicked immediately. Prior to that they tried playing with Greg (who later became my brother-in-law!) but it simply didn't work. He later got into Gothic/Death Rock and formed EAT YOUR MAKE UP, releasing two albums (the first one released by ADIPOCERE!). He became a very good bassist.
04 – Can you describe how the atmosphere was like during the first rehearsals? How many times a week did you rehearse? How did you compose the songs?
I think that like many bands in their beginning, we tried to train ourselves by doing covers. But we very quickly started composing. Everyone proposed riffs and melodies, then we tried to assemble them all to form a song. That may explain why the song structures were pretty complex. When the music was done, Seb would sing Fred's texts in a Glenn Benton (Deicide) manner. Sometimes Vincent would had a second voice to give it all a bit of originality. We rehearsed on week-ends only because we were living too far away from each other to meet more often.
05 – The name Deadly Dislocated deals with the obscure morbidity of human body putrefaction. That reminds me the american gory death metal scene of the time that claimed being under the influence of splatter movies such as Braindead, Cabal, Dawn of the Dead, Hellraiser... and cultivated a macabre imagery in harmony with their lyrics. Would you say that you plagiarized them to a certain extent? How important was the influence of such movies on the band lyrics?
Actually Fred's lyrics had no real link to the Gore scene. That's why we rapidly changed our name into AMAYMON, a name that matched the dark and esoteric lyrics.
06 – About the lyrics : Fred was the main writer, influenced by his own dark thoughts. However, everytime he was asked for more details or explanations about them in interviews, he wasn't very cooperative, reluctant even. He hated bands whose lyrics dealt with black magic, satanism and sorcery without any sort of true knowledge of these subjects, using esoteric symbols to give an impressive image of their bands, or just for « fun ». So in the end it wasn't surprising that the lyrics didn't appear on the demos covers. Looking more closely, my first impression is that he really seemed to be into occultism and black magic, confer 'The Holy Ghost'. Could you tell more about all this ? The change of the band's name was done to reflect that interest ? It was already obvious in those years that the scene was plagued by clowns playing with the same old satanic clichés again and again, thus demonstrating their own lack of knowledge... about you, how did you consider all those pseudo satanic bands?
All of this is Fred's business, his beliefs and knowledge in that field. I am a total atheist and know nothing about all this. That said, I think he must have explained these things in some interviews, when the questions were interesting; but when the man before him was just looking for sensationalism, it was quickly done. Many bands use satanic clichés because of the trend value, and because it sticks to black metal. More than anything many do it by antichristianism and for the shock value, I can understand that. So in that sense it doesn't disturb me.
07 – Before we start talking about your discography, another thought comes through my mind about Fred : he said the band was formed around 1988 but do you know why he waited for so long before engaging a second guitarist and a bassist, since the first rehearsal/demo was done in 1991 ? To my knowledge he could have composed several songs with Sebastien (guitar, vocals) before you joined the band.
I don't remember if Fred and Seb had played together before. I think the band was just a project back then. But we really started composing when the band was fully formed.
08 – Good. The very first material available was a rehearsal tape I would qualify as a rehearsal/demo. The sound is pretty cacophonous but that goes along with the disturbing aspect of the music. The mix isn't good, with too loud guitars, a hardly audible bass, and the drums lost in the background. But I like the result all the same. On how many tracks was it recorded ? Were you satisfied with it ? How were the reactions like in your surrounding ? I suppose only a handful of copies were dubbed, since I've never seen it in any trade list...
Ha ha, it only was a rehearsal tape (Ron : it was however released as an official tape!). So talking about a 'mix' is off the subject. We had the habit of recording our rehearsals on a small tape recorder, so that we could play along the tape at home and modify our parts. When we had enough songs finalized, we decided to release that tape to get the band known. It was cacophonous indeed, because it was recorded live in the rehearsal room, without a mixing table, without even a microphone, only the small portable recorder. We did it with our restricted means, and the means of the time ! We rapidly started wondering if having released it was a good idea, because of the poor sound quality, but also because we kept modifying the songs after that. All in all we were always disatisfied and always found a way to improve the songs. Maybe we were under the influence of Mutilated, because Michel had that state of mind too. But to go through a process of self-criticism improved our music, even if one day or another you have to make a decision about a given song and skip to a new one, or it never ends. About that tape, I don't remember very well, we dubbed maybe 100 or 200 copies, some of them were sent as promotional material to fanzines. It allowed us to get reviews and interviews from all over the world.
09 – Your biography mentions that your influences ranged from Morbid Angel to Profanitica. How do you describe your style : Death/black, or Black/death metal ? What bands did make your morbid souls plunge into that kind of music, and made you want to play it by yourselves ? Fred cited Mutilated among others, do you share his opinion?
If you want to label it, let's say we played Evil Brutal Death Metal, between Morbid Angel and Deicide who both were our main influences. We were all fans of Morbid Angels off course, and we all liked Mutilated too. Except that we almost only listened to demos or singles by small underground bands. Vincent and I had animated an underground radio program in the area of Lyon, and we broadcasted almost demos and Eps only, and very few albums !! Fred was in touch with lots of underground death metal bands of the time. Seb was the less into underground music, he was more into speed and thrash metal but went into death metal quite fast with the early releases by Morbid Angel and Deicide.
10 – Aproximately one year after the release of the rehearsal/demo tape, the 'De Profundis' demo saw the light of day and exposed a remarkable work, with far more elaborated, yet still as dark, compositions. Unfortunately the production isn't mistake-free once again. The sound isn't loud enough, and the mix could have been easily better. Did you go through some kind of troubles during its recording ? For how long did you stay in the recording studio ? Do you remember how many copies were sold ? Why is it so short ?
After one year our songs were really improved, so we wanted and needed to propose something more professional than our rehearsal tape. So we went into a studio, but also through a lot of troubles too. We had technical problems and I think that the engineer must have known nothing about that style of music. But it also was our mistake to believe that the studio would do everything. Actually, you must already have your sound and setting before entering the recording room, and only after will the engineer put the finishing touches by his own means. But there it really was a mess and at one point we almost discarded everything. Fortunately we had a friend in Lyon who ran a true recording studio, he managed to save what could be saved and in the end we were able to release that demo, even if the production lacks in quality, even by the standards of the time. Short ? It often was the case for demos. Anyway we lacked time and money to record more songs. We also wanted to keep some for later releases. Since it took us so much time to compose and finalize songs, we had to put some on the back burner. Number of copies sold ? About 300 or 400 I think, maybe more, but I don't remember ; it doesn't matter. I prefer selling 50 copies and still hearing people talking about it 20 years later rather than selling 1000 demos nobody gives a shit about anymore.
11 – Your first gig was in Ardèche at a friend's place. That reminds me unforgettable memories of that kind with my buddies of Burial Vault. Fred remained silent about the question asked by my pal Yann of Necrobestiality zine.
Yes, in my birthplace : Ardèche ! It was a private party for a birthday, in a great village hall. We had a great time in Satillieu ! Thank you 1000 times to those who organized that evening party.
12 – After this beer-flavoured warm-up, the second gig took place in Dijon with Mestema and Frayeur... What memory do you keep of it?
A very good one, as I told you in question number 2!
13 – In May 1992, you opened for Gorefest in Lyon but your set was ruined by the so-called tour crew of Gorefest. Fred told me that the incompetent guy at the mixing desk didn't bother to turn the stage monitors on. Could you tell me more about that evening?
We were really excited to open for GOREFEST. They were almost unknown because their first excellent album Mindloss had just been released. But thanks to our contacts through the underground we knew they were an excellent death metal band. Cherry on the top, it was to happen in a large and great hall in Lyon. Unfortunately GOREFEST weren't known at all so only 70 people showed up ! But to us it was great all the same. That said we had serious problems with the sound. Balances went great, but then during the gig we just couldn't hear a single note. I don't remember how it sounded like to the audience, but on stage it was total mud, and given our style we had no mark to play straight. Fred on drums had no monitor. So he played the entire songs by memory without hearing what we were doing or what part we were playing. It seemed it went well nevertheless. About the sound engineer, thinking back to it I think he must have mistaken our settings for those of the other opener, Strange Putrefaction, a grindcore band from Lyon (Hi Lord D.D. !! Remember my video of the gig, hu hu).
14 – The founder of 'In My Veins' complained to Fred that Slayer made a heavy use of nazi symbols at the time of 'Reign in Blood'. He replied that everybody could express his political opinions in his own way and that a lot of people liked their attitude. Posing with a flag and an iron cross in the then magazines was pretty unusual, that was all before NS black metal and NS death metal, which bands don't get such exposure anyway due the obligatory boycott... So what were your political opinions about all of that?
No comment, politics stinks more and more ! Just have a look at the situation in France now. Nobody could protect it and it will get even worse in the years to come. I never wanted to mix music and politics (Ron : let's remain traditional and tax the poorer).
15 – Let's get back to less provocative subjects. I was very surprised to learn that you had contacts with a long list of cult bands, such as Carcass, The True Mayhem, Rotting Christ, Morbid Angel, Unleashed, Dark Throne, Samael, Sinister, Abominog, Profanitica, Acrostichon, etc... Did you send them your demo ? Did you get a good feedback?
At that time it was harder then it is now to get in touch with bands. You really had to be motivated, but then the links established were more solid and more « true » then they are nowadays with superficial networks such as Myspace or Facebook, or even just e-mails. We really had to write letters, and had to wait for a long time before getting a reply from a foreign country. But when a band received a letter from a foreign land, they paid more attention to it then they do now, because they receive dozens of e-mails a day. Fred was in touch with Jeff of Carcass, Mayhem, Morbid Angel, Johnny of Unleashed (whom we met several times ; he's a really great guy!) and many others. Vincent was good friend with Rotting Christ, he went to Greece to meet them. About myself, before all of that I had connections to the thrash metal scene by means of travels to Germany, Holland and Scandinavia (Kreator, Sodom, Deathrow, Living Death, Violent Force, Artillery, Entombed, Acrostichon, Disembowel, Deathrow, Tankard…). By the way I am in touch again with Acrostichon who have just reformed, Spina Bifida too, and Disembowel for whom we hope to release a record ! Only such bands can make me motivated enough to make new productions on Adipocere ! I was also in touch with Chuck at the beginning of DEATH and I met him one time in Germany. I respected the person and his career enormously and was very saddened by his death (Ron : let's not forget genius Quorthon of Bathory whose loss is, in my opinion, the most important in the metal scene). I was also in touch with LEGACY, who later became TESTAMENT !! I think their demo was the greatest I ever got from a band. Their career speaks for itself.
16 – Shit, why the EP never saw the light of day on your label Adipocere Records ? What was the main reason for changing name to Amaymon ? Why did the band split up after that ?
What EP ? (Ron : Fred had talked about an EP in an interview for Necrobestiality Zine, this is none of my invention !!!) About the name, I talked about it earlier. We had no gory lyrics so the name Deadly Discarded didn't match. The band didn't split immediately after. We first recorded our split CD with our Quebec cousins PURULENCE (Ron : I wanted to say « split up after the release of the split CD off course, I am not so ignorant hu hu... excellent split album by the way). We pressed 2000 CDs and still have a few in stock. After that the band lived on for a short time. We made our last gig in Germany with MIASMA, BLOOD, GUT and MANGLED TORSOS !! Little by little the band morphed into WINDS OF SIRIUS in which only Fred and Vincent remained. The style changed and I was too busy with the label.
17 – When Fred and Vincent came on holidays to my place (and carried along the pile of records I had ordered). Some times later, Fred sold his enormous collection of demos and singles. Did he change radically ? Do you still have contacts with the other bandmembers ? What have become of them ?
Fred and I are still good friends. Our families regularly meet. He doesn't play music anymore. He still likes the old bands but listens to a lot of other stuff, more in a prog rock style. When bands like UNLEASHED play in Lyon, he goes there straight. Next tuesday we will go together to a gig by MOTORHEAD and VULCAIN ! For a few years we meet Seb again. He lives in the south so we seldom meet. We went to see METALLICA together in Nimes old arenas because we are both old fans of the band ! Vincent plays with Michel (ex Mutilated ! It's a small world we live in) in THE SEVEN GATES. But we have no contact anymore because I haven't forgiven him some things he did after he left Adipocere. Too bad.
18 – Your turn to ask me a question.
Christian : What are you gonna do with this interview ?
Ron : Now that's a strange question. Did you reply under the influence of 'Chouchen' ? I know you love that liquor, don't you ?
Christian : Fuck yeah, a good chouchen would please me and I would say less bullshit, haha.
Ron : You would not be the only one then !
19 – This interview will reach its agony by letting your own inspiration free. Thank you for sharing a piece of your precious time Christian.
I couldn't refuse this to you, even if I am still as overwhelmed. Often at home in the evening I keep working for Adipocere, on mails, on the website, new releases to order... When do you go to Bresse again, to have a good 'poulet à la crème' ? (Ron : it seems Mister Bivel is a talented cooker. Maybe you had lessons with Cyril Lignac ? To tell the truth I live in the old time of my ancestors, and the horse towing my wagon shows signs of strain. Since the wages here are the lowest in France, I should tell Santa 'Sarkozy' Klaus to bring me a new one in order to come and meet you.
Interview : Kanz-Noz
Infernal Thanks To Psychopath ZAMOTH