Interview with vocalist Jean-François
Interview conducted by Michel Renaud
Date online: February 8, 2002
Gurkkhas is another killer Death Metal band on the Morbid Records roster. While France has accustomed us to a proliferation of renowned Black Metal bands, its Death Metal scene has been a little more discrete. If Gurkkhas is any indication of the rest of their local DM scene, you might as well prepare yourselves for an invasion in the coming years! Band leader JF has answered a few questions shedding some light on what is Gurkkhas. Read on...
Hails JF! To start this interview, I'd like you to talk a bit about the name of the band. I think the name Gurkkhas is from some warrior tribe or something. Could you tell us more about this, and why you decided to choose that name?
M50 : Hails!. To not be boring, I will be short. These Guys are Nepalese( Gurkkhas)and are considered as the most terrible fighters worldwide ; They are a special section inside the GB army since 1815.
What's this thing about the 12 commandments, and what are they? Where did that come from?
M50 : We have created those 12 Commandments, this song is the way we have chosen to show our respect to the Gurkkhas. We have imagine this for them...And, to be honest , we wanted more commandments that the Bible has, hahahaha!
While I don't have the lyrics to the album, it seems pretty obvious that you focus on war themes. What sparkled your interest in that? Military service? :)
M50 : Everyone ask us this. Well, Military service is not an interesting thing for us and a proof of courage, it's a bullshit where you get only stupid orders. War is different. We are involved in Underground actions over here with our own organisation and fighters, that is the only thing I can say to you, friend. Our lyrics are focused on WAR-Honour, Pride, Respect, friendship, ............
How's the French Death Metal scene? The Black Metal scene is pretty well known, but you're the only French DM band I know. Is the DM scene a novelty or has it been there for a while? Any French bands you personally like?
M50 : Thanks, good to hear you know us . Since we are on Morbid all goes well for us,(firstname.lastname@example.org). Morbid does a great Job for our band, and in only some months we have been well known. Why DM bands are not known in foreign countries? Only because they think they don't have the level, only this!!, and it's false, bands like Innerfuds, Disgust, Blockheads have a fantastic potential.
What does the cover art on "A Life of Suffering" represent?
M50 : It represents" a life of suffering" for us the "suffering" term is the central head and all round is LIFE, very hard, Deep, Morbid. What is Life in fact? Only few great moments in all a Sad mass!!
How are things with your new label Morbid Records? How many albums are you supposed to release with them? Why did you leave Massacre Records?
M50 : First , I don't want to come back again on the Massacre story only because we deserve the fact that they have signed us and with this signature we have been well known very fast, so, all in all, I don't want to extend myself on this period, it's the past now. How is it with Morbid? Simple, it's the day & light if we compare the relations we have with Massacre, I am honest !! Morbid did over 1000 promos for us, many adverts everywhere, distribute and promote our band worldwide, and the most important, is really really "near" the band , I mean, they phone me each week or I phone them..and we have e mails discussions like everyday!!!! I think thousands of bands would like to have this kind of relations and the feeling is very Cool between me and Olaf/Carsten, so all is ok. Also they offer us Big festivals and tours, fuck'in great!!. We have a three deals CDC + a priority for two others!!
Has the band toured a lot so far? What territories have you covered? Any favorite crowds?
M50 : I think that the best scene is Central America. The fans are crazy and 500% devoted to the Death scene.
What tour(s) are you planning in support of your latest album?
M50 : We plan to do Italy, USA, big German festivals, Portugal, and of course France. After we'll see.
Have you ever been refused entry into a foreign country while on tour? (Canada has a bad track record for that, I figure there are probably others as well...:))
M50 : No, never but i am afraid for our next shows because we have real weapons on stage. (That'll most likely be a problem in the U.S. and Canada!! - ed)
What do you listen to beside Death Metal, or even beside metal for that matter? What's been in your CD player lately?
M50 : Lately? A US band called Thypain is that is the new Deadsun recs signature (www.deadsunrecords.com) It's the label I manage. Hmm, I also like Mike Oldfield.
What's your opinion on melodic death metal (i.e. In Flames and the likes...)?
M50 : Not my cup of tea but excellent musicians that deserve respect. You know, I am not this kind of guy who will laugh when he see an heavy metal band or a Rock one. I think musical taste is so personal that we can't laugh of each others too fast. I respect every styles even I don't listen to them!!
Your music seems to be very influenced by American Death Metal. What bands influenced you the most? Do you draw influences from other genres as well?
M50 : Morbid Angel, D-Fetus, deeds of Flesh, Dissection, Darkthrone, Anata, and tons other bands who simply are incredible, some unsigned one too!!!
Is the songwriting a team effort or is everything done by one person only (musically and lyrically)?
M50 : Rich(guitars)come and show his guitar riffs. Then we select them together (the band) and after we put the drumming, the Bass, and finally , the vocals.
Staying on the same subject, "A life..." is still a very recent release, but have you already started thinking about the next album, or maybe even started working on it? Do you write new material even while on tour, or only from home?
M50 : No, we always work on the next CD. I won't give you the title because it's a killer one, a real Warrior one, and we don't want another band to have it, hehe, also the cover is ready in our minds and our drawer is working on it. It will contain round 9 brutal death songs and normally should be out by the middle of 2003.
What are the band members' regular "day jobs"? Any problems when it's time to go on tour?
M50 : I do Deadsun recs, and only this. Rich builds houses but will stop because of the band, the drummer is a drumming teacher, and our Bass player will finish his studies in June 2002. We had, yes, problems to go on tour due to the jobs but we will finish it and then we will be able to go on tour because will soon buy our own van with beds to tour with.
For someone like me who only have the album "A Life of Suffering", what is to be expected from your previous releases? Are they pretty much in the same vein?
M50 : Yes and no, " Engraved in Blood..." was more into Death Black Core you know, and this one is more into brutal and technical Death . Everyone says that this second album is surprising because of its big step ahead!!
CD or vinyl? (and why ;))
M50 : I don't have any opinion. I guess now vinyls are for collections. I am too nervous to pass some minutes by putting an LP out and in its big box, haha, I would break it a dozen times before!!
You had a band before Gurkkhas. Can you tell us a bit more about it? What genre was it, how long was the band active, why you decided to end it, etc...:)
M50 : The genre was Death at all, but more industrial. A lot more melodic. We have toured everywhere with Big big bands with DAB and the band started to be famous a bit, but we were fed up about some members and then me & Rich have left and the band has died.
I read something about you having your own record label? Could you give more information about that? What bands have you signed, etc...?
M50 :Hehe, yes, I have signed quiet a lot of bands, here they are: Godless Truth, Disinter, DAB (demos) Edicius, Dark legion, kemet, Umbakrail, Thypain, Aendria, recueil Morbide.in Black, Dark, Death.....I also have a free mailorder catalogue with cheap CDs, get it, ask for it (email@example.com). It's a legal firm now that is growing days after days.
That's all I got! Thanks for your time! Any last words?
M50 : Only Thanks. Thanks to you, for this intie, to the fans, radios, bookers, and especially fans, and why?...because we never forget that without you and your passion to the Death & Black & grind & thrash scene no bands would exist, no CDs would be bought, airplayed, no interviews, and I personally think that too many trendies forget this nowadays. That' all, C-YA on tour!! HEAR GURKKHAS! Note: Deadsun Records will distribute sampler CDs with their catalogs. Bands interested in being included on the CDs should contact J-F at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Other information about Gurkkhas on this site|
|Review: A Life Of Suffering|
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