Interview with Stéphane Graziani (vocals)
Interview conducted by Michel Renaud
Date online: September 8, 2003
KOB was born from the ashes of WOTAN, whose origins I believe can be traced back as far as 1976, but "Mekanism of Time" is your first official release (correct?) How does it feel to finally have your music released?
Wotan? What's that? I don't know anything about this band!. In 1976 I still was in my mother's womb ;- ))). You 're right, "Mekanism of time" is our first release. We felt very happy and proud. Can you imagine, for all of us, this album represents about 20 years of patience!! That's what we can call "experience" ;-)
How did the reunification as KOB happen, after such a long hiatus?
We cannot talk about reunification, because only Thierry and Bruno played with Wotan. As I wrote before, I really don't know any thing about this band. Actually, the birth of KOB is the result of a… stroke of luck! It's a very long story. I met Rudy 30 years ago. We've shared the same toys and drank our first beer together! I was 17 when I lost touch with him. During a long period of time, each of us played with our own bands without any connection. 4 years ago I met up Rudy again by chance and 5 minutes later we decided to play music together!! By chance Thierry (Rudy's brother) was looking for a singer. I joined the band first. A few months later Rudy joined the band too. KOB was born !!
How has the response to your first album been so far, in France and in other countries?
Very good indeed ! We got excellent responses of the French audience and magazines. Until now we are getting very good appreciation and reviews from other countries (i.e. Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Russia...)
The album has been out for a while now; do you have any idea as to the number of sales so far?
I don't know exactly! About 1000 CDs sold for France. Not so bad for the first album of an unknown French heavy metal band ;-))) ! At the moment I have no idea for the rest of the world and especially in Russia where we sold the licence to a local distributor.
What are the plans for the band? Any touring or festivals on the horizon?
We are now recording the 2nd album !! We focus all our energy and time on that, but even so, we'll appear in the first heavy metal festival of Montereau (September-France) with ADADGIO and we should open the stage for HEADLINE in Rouen (October-France).
Am I right to say the vocalist must have been influenced by Bruce Dickinson? The vocals on some songs on the album sound like Bruce singing one of those Maiden epics.
What can I say……… Thank you very much for the comparison! To my eyes, Bruce is one of the best metal singer.
Were there ever any recordings of the band back in the 80s? If yes, have you ever considered releasing some of it, as bonus tracks or even downloadable songs?
There are no old recordings with the current line up. I recorded a single with Nightreaper in 1989 and maybe there are recordings of Wotan. I suppose so. In fact, I (we) prefer promoting our new album. I like all the songs I wrote in the past but it's not really up to date. Maybe later… Who knows.
If I offer you a cookie, will you tell me what KOB means? No? How about a beer? :) Hey! I got it: "Kings Of Beer"! What do I win? :)
One beer !! not Enough ! Please do not forget: I'm French ;- )). Ok, I'll let you into the secret. KOB means… Oh! No guys, please no, don't do that ! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHRRRRRGGGGGG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (*LOL* - Ed.)
Has the band played much live so far? Where, and what size of crowds?
We played live about 10 times just after the launch of "MeKanism of Time". Not so much !! You know, it's very difficult to organize shows in France. And it's not so easy to play with international bands if you only signed a contract with "small" French label as Brennus. This is the reason why we decided to make the new album for another label. However, We had the occasion of playing live in front of about 1500 people for big festivals like the "Raimes festival" (with EDGUY). We played also everywhere in France in smaller concert halls full of about 200 or 300 people.
Soooo... what's with the inverted "K"?
Believe me, there's really no specific reason. We asked a friend to imagine a logo. He proposed the artwork you know and we liked it..that's all !!
Do you have a set date for a new album? Are you already working on new material? Same musical direction?
We are now recording the new album. I cannot give you the name of this album because it will be officially announced at the end of this month. We are recording at the same studio but we will pay a greater attention to the sound and mix. Actually, we want to take our time and produce something which sounds more "professional". Our music is definitely less influenced by the 80's. We've really found our own style and sound.
Is everyone in the band involved in the songwriting process?
You know, French guys are very lazy and speak only one language: French ;-) especially the musicians with whom I play. So I'm the only one involved in that job!
What are your sources of inspiration when writing songs?
Turn on the TV or the radio and you will get thousands themes for songs !! Every day life of common people are also good source of inspiration. I find very often good ideas in novels I read.
Do you keep up to date with the French metal scene? What good French bands would you recommend?
Of course we do ;-)) And there are a lot of good H.M French bands as "ICE CAKE", "MANIGANCE", "ADADGIO", "NEDRA", "MOONSTONE"………
What do you guys do when you're not busy with KOB?
We aim only to play music, maybe one day. You know we are not teenagers and we have to feed our families ;-)) Thierry and François are in computers, Bruno works in civil engineering and Rudy is responsible of cultural activities for a town council. Personally I'm sales and marketing manager involved in laboratory equipment.
Any comments on mp3 file sharing? Tape trading?
It's a good way to promote music through the band's web site. But, please keep on purchasing original CD's !! There are too few HM labels and tour managers in France. It's really a matter of life or death for the (French) labels and French bands.
Last words are yours!
Thank you Michel for your interview and support. We would like to say "bonjour" to all Canadian heavy metal fanatics. Keep your eyes and ears opened: our new album is coming!!
|Other information about K.O.B. on this site|
|Review: Mekanism of Time|
|Review: Strafe The Underdogs|
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