Skullsnbones.com got the chance to interview Gui Haunting of the heavy-as-hell French band Skelethal about their recent release, Of the Depths… Read and enjoy! (Ed – Or better yet, scroll to the bottom, crank up a full album stream of Of the Depths…, and listen while you read!)
Gentlemen. Congratulations on the new album, Of the Depths…! It’s an absolute monster of a record. So, on with the questions! How does it feel to finally release your first full length album after being together for 5 years?
It’s pure pleasure to finally have it done. We work a lot for it, and we are really glad to have the final product in our hands. The deal with HHR (Hells Headbangers Records) is the cherry on the top. For each previous records, we were really excited about received the final product but this time is the most crazy. Gatefold LP + colored and picture vinyl’s looks so sick that I can’t stop looking at it ! The five years with the band flew so fast, I’m relieved we finally made it, and I’m looking forward t seeing what will happen now !
Do you still consider Skelethal a two man band even though you utilize other musicians to perform live?
Yes, totally, all the songwriting, recording and decisions are from Jon (Whiplash) and me. Since we had the same tastes and goals when we created the band, we decided to stay together to avoid compromises between too many band members. We have a clear idea about of how our death metal has to sound and how visually we want Skelethal to show.
Do you have any favorite tracks off the record?
My favorite tracks are “Chaotic Deviance” and “Sons of Zann.” “Chaotic Deviance” for it’s intensity and for the killer bridge, “Sons of Zann” for the song structure and the work on the riffs.
Absolutely a killer cover. What’s the story behind the album artwork?
Yes, Jon made his best on this cover ! We’re definitely overjoyed with the artwork ! The story is simple, as usual we like to represent creature emerging from beyond. This time we made it appears in the abyss, an unknown place where nobody is able to go, where nobody knows what dwell. We like to imagine such an entity coming to destroy humanity, which is the cancer of the earth.
It seems that here in America, not many metal fans paid much attention to what was being done in France before Gojira started getting recognition. Do you feel America is a hard market to reach for European bands just starting out? Or has the Internet and the ability for fans to access your music through websites like Bandcamp make it a lot easier to reach a wider audience and make a bit more money in the process?
I don’t know if America is different form the rest of the world. We’re a small size band and we still have a bunch of fans and friends in USA. I think true fans of death metal pay attention to the music from everywhere, not only American bands. The most difficult thing is to come playing there, and we know that’s the best way to be known.
Any plans to possibly make it here to the States to tour? And, may I suggest New Orleans? The most French city in America!
I don’t know yet, if the album reaches recognition maybe it will be possible to plan something. We the working visa bullshit it makes the thing really risky.
Bands that influenced you starting out and bands you are enjoying these days?
Since I’m listening to metal, I’ve always been a big fan of thrash metal, my favorite bands in this genre are Megadeth, Destruction, Infernal Majesty, Dark Angel, Deathrow, Sepultura. I’m also a huge fan of punk/dardcore/crust like Ripcord, Doom, Anti-cimex, DRI, Crumsuckers, Cro-mags. When we started Skelethal we clearly decided to make in sound like Swedish death metal: Nihilist, Entombed, Dismember, Carnage, Carbonized, Edge of Sanity, Grave, Merciless. But we were also influenced by a lot of other death metal bands: Death, Obituary, Autopsy, Morbid Angel, Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Carcass. Nowadays I’m still searching to discover old bands that I don’t know in a lot of genre. I recently discovered Excruciate from Sweden with the album Passage of Life, which is a masterpiece.
Is there any sort of theme or connection between the track on Of the Depths … or do they stand alone as separate entities?
The main theme is the unknown, mysteries that we’re not able to understand or even imagine. But there is no straight connection between the songs. Every songs has lyrics directly coming from my readings which are mostly sci-fi. My favorite authors are Lovercraft, Van Vogt, Curval, K. Dick, Jules Verne, Edgar A. Poe.
And, finally, my favorite question to bands outside of America. Do you think we were idiots for electing an asshat like Donald Trump as our president?
All politicians are scumbags, only Arnold Schwarzenegger is real !
Thanks for your time! If you make it to New Orleans, drinks are on King Rhino and SkullsnBones.com!
Thank you for the interview! I’ll keep it in mind! Cheers to all the readers! Death is certain, life is not !
And if an Q&A with Skelethal isn’t enough, we are proud to provide a full album stream of their new release Of the Depths … The album drops June 23 on Hells Heabangers. Pre-order it here!