Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Band Interview: Miss Cordite

Interview with Arnaud Jay (Bass/Backing Vocals) of Miss Cordite by Lady Kat Chaos, February 23, 2014

OCZ: Hails Arnaud! How was your show?
Arnaud Jay: Hello very fine!!!!

OCZ: I'm sure you're tired after your gig. How long was your set?
Arnaud: Tonight was very short; 35 minutes; because we opened for No Return, a reference in death metal all over the world.

OCZ: Yeah, it sure was a good bill this evening with No Return, Grazed, Rafer and yourselves. Who is charge of your set list?
Arnaud: At this time we create it together With Phil (vocals), Teddy (drums), Elsa (keyboards), Yves (lead guitar) and I on bass then I write it. We played two new tracks from our future album.

OCZ: How did your two new songs go over this evening and what are the titles of these songs?
Arnaud: The feeling was very good with the public and the titles in French are Incitation À L Émeute (Riot Incitation) and Foyer. We play more and more new songs during our dates.

OCZ: Did you play any of my favorite songs, "You Want Her Dead" or "Assis" this evening?
Arnaud: Not tonight; the set was short because of the presence of a lot of bands.

OCZ: What is the current Hard Rock and Metal scene like in France what are your thoughts about the current scenes?

Arnaud: We belong to the French metal scene as a reference in subversive metal!!!! We have a lot of dates in south France and in the beginning of 2015 we will do a tour.

OCZ: Who books all of your shows and tours? Where would you like to tour that you haven't already?

Arnaud: I do the booking. For 2014 I must find again the dates for October to December. For 2015 after the release of our second album I’m organizing a tour for July in France: Lyon, Paris, London, Bruxelles, Nantes, Bordeaux, Madrid, Montpellier, Nîmes, Toulon and finally Marseille.

OCZ: Do you have a band fund to help you do your tours or any sponsors in support to your touring?
Arnaud: At this time nothing but I'm searching for contacts for a tour operator.

OCZ: What's it like for you on tour? Where was the strangest place you had to eat? Have there been times where you didn't have enough money to eat while on tour?
Arnaud: If I manage to organize the tour with a booker, all is included in the travel and bus tour. If we don’t have enough money we will take our own vehicles and the budget for that. We will look for cheap restaurants.

OCZ: What was the most obscure or chaotic thing that has happen to you while on tour?
Arnaud: I remember a time we had lack of power to plug our stacks and instruments. Yves counted “one two three” and at four the power shut down!

OCZ: Did you ever like a band because a there was a female musician you thought was hot and then afterward started to enjoy their music?
Arnaud: The music quality doesn't depend on the sex of the musicians. I find interesting to see bands with girls or bands who compose with girls especially but I always analyze their performance for music and not for their looks.

OCZ: Why do you think that females still have it hard in the metal scene?
Arnaud: Metal must be and remained open for all. I have been surprised by female singers in death metal who have a more amazing voice than men.

OCZ: Do you find it disrespectful when other dudes yell “show us your tits” to female musicians on stage or is France more accepting to women in the scene?
Arnaud: Stupid people are in France and all over in the world. I don't accept this! Women must have the same place as men in music.

OCZ: Which band member would be the serious one, the controlling one, the romantic one, the good listener and the problem solver?
Arnaud: Amazing question. It’s easy for me. The serious one is me and I'm too serious! The controlling one and the expert with his 35 years of experience in music is Yves, the romantic one is Phil the singer, the good listener generally is me again and I solve problems with Teddy and Elsa.

OCZ: As you stated, you're currently writing a new album. How many songs have you completely written thus far?
Arnaud: Currently we have five songs ready to be discovered by our fans in France and all over the Boundaries! We hope to have a lot of fans in the U.S.!

OCZ: Talking about new stuff, you already mentioned you have five new songs. Can you tell the readers a little bit more about them: what will some of your songs be about, will you be keeping the same origins of the band or are you including different metal and rock elements?
Arnaud: Effectively the subjects of the songs are different. We talk about suicide, cocaine, and other subjects. Our style is metal and thrash; It’s my personnel feeling and origins. For the other members there are prog origins.

OCZ: I know you're still hanging out with other bands. Were you a rebel in your younger years and how has music helped you express your thoughts and feelings?
Arnaud: I wasn't a rebel but I love to compose and express our ideas in our music!

OCZ: When creating new songs do you do it the old school way; gathering together for band practice, or do you use modern technology that allows you to build up a song, piece by piece, and then send it to each other through emails?
Arnaud: Both. Because we compose in old school patterns and record all of the tracks to listen to in order to increase the quality. We have samples in intro and outro and send future tracks when we register them.

OCZ: How has your songwriting process changed over the years and how do you feel you have developed as a bassist?

Arnaud: I began as guitarist and after that I became a bassist. Currently I play both but I play bass in my band. In my previous bands I was main vocalist and bassist. So to write my songs I find a subject which interests me and do find the words to express them before to present my song to the band.

OCZ: I was wondering why you have stepped down as lead vocalist and became a backup vocalist for this band. Do you ever feel you are holding back or do you want to focus more on bass playing?
Arnaud: I love the songs and I love so much playing bass. I search for perfection and now I have more time to compose my bass lines. The quality is more efficient in this situation.

OCZ: Because you started out on guitar, it does help with composing songs. Do you miss playing guitar in a band? Did you also decide to play bass was it because it was hard finding a bass player?

Arnaud: I have dexterity in my fingers and it help me to play bass very fast. I have some guitar riffs to use in composition for Miss Cordite. It’s very interesting to purpose them to the band. My choice to play bass in bands is really my feeling, not because it's difficult to find a bass player.

OCZ: How long have you been playing bass for and who are some of your influences as a bassist, guitarist and vocalist?

Arnaud: I began playing bass in 1998 and I played in bands as bassist and vocalist for seven years. My bass influences are Slayer, Sepultura, Metallica, Overkill, Korn and Megadeth. For vocals: Corey Taylor. Tom Araya, James Hetfield, Robert Plant David Coverdale, Ian Gillan...

OCZ: I've noticed that you're into Thrash Metal. What are your favorite Slayer and Overkill albums?
Arnaud: From Slayer I love South Of Heaven and from Overkill, without a doubt, Under The Influence.

OCZ: Are you still a fan of Metallica today? What bands from France do you enjoy?
Arnaud: Metallica is one of my main influences by their reliability and availability on stage! In France I love Loudblast, No Return, ADX, Pleymo, Silmarils, The Temple Of Nemesis.

OCZ: Do you use a pick or finger-style and do you feel that it’s important to learn them both? How have you dealt with callouses?
Arnaud: For me as a purist I play with my fingers. I have more feeling in tech inf. Each string as fast as I can. I have callouses on my fingers and I love playing in slap too. I accept the other styles of bassists who play with a pick.

OCZ: It can be very painful playing with callouses at times. But that's what it’s all about; pushing hard, pain, blood and so forth. Do you still have fun playing live, creating music or has promoting taken some of that away?
Arnaud: All of that for me I think its the essence of the musician. I love the feeling with the public at each date. I love composing.

OCZ: What do you love most about composing? What was the first song you ever composed? Do you have a special place where you like to create your songs? Do you like creating music or the lyrics more?
Arnaud: Composing is for me is very significant because when you compose, you create something from nothing with your feeling and your personality and your technical efficiencies. My first song is very far in time and it was on guitar not bass. I compose everywhere and I don't need special conditions. The studio is very comfortable. I’m capable of creating lyrics and music.

OCZ: Are you self-taught or have you taken lessons? What was the best tip anyone has given you about playing guitar, bass or vocals? What would be your best tip or advice to give to someone just starting out?

Arnaud: I am self-taught at guitar, bass and vocals. As a child my parents gave me the possibility to learn music in music school during two years and my first girlfriend was experienced in playing classical guitar. She learned and showed me a lot of things and after playing in bands I continue to learn. As a consequence my best tip is to always find the time to work to reach technical performances and feel playing the instrument you have chosen. Music is a means to express yourself and technicality is the basis to do that.

OCZ: What bass are you using for both recording and for gigs? Do you ever switch bass during your shows?
Arnaud: Currently I play on Cort strings and soon I’ll be playing on a bass designed for me. On stage I switch my basses. I have the same bass for shows and composing. Soon I will have three basses.

OCZ: Who will be designing your bass? Do you guys have other endorsements, if so who and who else would you like to be endorsed by?
Arnaud: À instrument maker on Marseille in France. I have looked for a long time but there are not enough choices for me. My future bass will be more than an instrument; it will be a tool to work. There are no endorsements at this time but we will be interested in Jackson, BC Rich or others.

OCZ: What would you like to have added to your bass and what can you do without? What about amps?
Arnaud: I have added what chorus or distortion I want to use during the shows. My stack is composed of one head Hartke 500W, one combo with 4x10 speakers and one with 1x15 speaker. It’s really enough because my stack is linke with the table for the front sound sonorisation. I'm designing my new bass at this time.

OCZ: Let's talk about your 2010 self-titled full length. How long did it take you to write it?
Arnaud: This album is the result of different periods of our great guitarist Yves. So I could say that he needed three years Alone and the formation before to write it and record it in 2010.

OCZ: What inspired you to write “Sex Addict,” “Love Theme” and “Star System”?
Arnaud: For Sex Addict the lyrics are really explicit to understand the subject. Love Theme is about a personal experience and Star System is about the system mediatized with special people in the jet set fond of celebrity and success.

OCZ: How has the response been so far? Where can one purchase it if it's still available? What are your thoughts on free websites where one can download your music? How has the internet helped you and hurt you in the long run?

Arnaud: The album is available on iTunes and Deezer and on our new site following the link to Paypal. On this same site you can download tracks of the album for free. The internet is a fantastic tool for our communication and since 2010 we have spread the ideology of Miss Cordite over the French Boundaries to other countries. It’s easier than twenty years ago! To communicate is very simple and depends of the number of clicks you are capable of doing! But we aren't alone on the web and currently it’s a war to make our place!

OCZ: Some metal bands often have a few slogans to motivate themselves in special moments, such as before gigs or during rehearsals. Do you have any?
Arnaud: Not at all but we know how to motivate before a show or during our training in the studio. It often happiness to be in front of our fans and give them what they expecting!

OCZ: Besides music, what else is important to you? What do you like doing outside of music? Arnaud: Music is one of my most important passion. I have other hobbies like tennis, roller-blade, footing, karate, and volleyball. I love going to cinema or traveling if I can.

OCZ: When did the band form and how did you guys all know each other? Introduce the band members and what craft they master? How did you come up with the band name and what does it mean to you?
Arnaud: The band was formed in 2007 by Yves, and the lineup was not the same as today. The drummer, the singer and the bassist have changed. The band name was already found when I joined and I find it original. Miss as a young precious woman and Cordite as an explosive used in the First World War in bands to allow the functioning of the weapon. Miss Cordite has an explosive ideology.

OCZ: Is there one thing you would realistically like to achieve with your upcoming album?
Arnaud: Yes the next album will have a more thrash and metal tonality. Don t miss it at the beginning of 2015.


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