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Monday, March 5, 2018


One thing I don't talk much about is music because, I pretty much don't listen to anything after the 90's, and, also, I am terrible at describing music in general. Any random day you could catch me listening to anything from Bon Jovi to Iron Maiden to Heart to Fabio Frizzi.

One day I was looking around on Facebook in the Fulci Lives! (The Lucio Fulci Fanclub) group and someone had posted a video for this band, Deathbell, and their video, "Come To Trouble." Being that I am a die hard Fulciphile, and saw that the thumbnail photo was Emily (Cinzia Monreale) from The Beyond, I definitely had to check it out.

I'm a simple, old (36) man, and I just call all Metal, "Metal." I'm aware of different sub-genres like Thrash, Speed, Hardcore, Grindcore, and all that, but I don't really classify them; If I listen and like it, then that's it.

I listened to the full album and was all-in. What I listened to reminded me of vintage Black Sabbath, if all they did was perform songs like the brooding, low-tuned, titular "Black Sabbath." Deathbell's sound provides an atmosphere of dread, but it's a groovy kind of dread; a chill kind of dread. This is music I could write to, and currently am.

When I was done listening to the album, I messaged them right away on Facebook and sent them a few questions, soooo.....

Ladies and Gentleman! Without further adieu: They're gloomy! They're doomy!! They are DEATHBELL!!!

Horror Parlor: Tell me about yourselves; Tell me the story of Deathbell

Bast: Hi Jon, First of all thank you for the questions, and the interest in our music.

We are Deathbell. Val, Rob and myself are from the south of Toulouse, grew up on small villages lost on the hills before the Pyrenees Mountains. Lauren is from Carlow, Ireland. We all live in the city of Toulouse in France now and we are around 27-28 years old.

Val, Rob and I met quite a long time ago, we are all close friends. I met Lauren in 2012 while studying in Dubin, Ireland.

The idea was born in 2014, I was living in Paris with Lauren. We were going to nearly every doom show on a weekly basis and spent most of our time talking about music and horror movies. During the year we moved to Toulouse, France, it was a great opportunity to start this band. This is where Rob and Val joined and where the story really began. Val was already playing Bass in the band Soyuz Bear (sludge/doom band), they asked me to join the band and I did. Rob is an amazing drummer, I knew this was going to work out with him, never doubted it for a second.

You must be thinking that 4 years is quite a long time to write an album but some members moved to other countries for months and everything was slowed down, but anytime we could we were practising, recording songs and focusing on what we really want to do. The first song of the album With The Beyond was written in 2016.

HP: What were your musical influences?

Bast: We have many bands we love that influenced our way of lives beyond the composition of this album. I could surely enumerate some bands that motivated us to create music and somehow made Deathbell happen. I would say that on the process of writing we at least thought once about these bands (in disorder): Acid King, Electric Wizard, Ramesses, Sleep, Jex Thoth, Blood Ceremony, The Devil's Blood, Black Sabbath, High Priest of Saturn, Uncle Acid, Saint Vitus, Windhand, Cough, Salem's pot, Jucifer, Samsara Blues Experiment, Earth, Sabbath Assembly, Witchthroat Serpent, Ufomammut, WITTR, Urfaust, Goblin, Fabio Frizzi, Matt Uelmen... (and more)

Lauren: American country music has always spoken to me, it could be because my mother would always play this one Trisha Yearwood CD in the car as I grew up. The lap steel continues to tug at my heartstrings. I still have to see Hank Williams III Live!
Bastien introduced me to metal when I met him, I went along to my first festival (Hellfest) in 2013 knowing nothing but with an open mind. When I saw SLEEP live that was it. Hooked on DOOM!

Rob: Alongside Sludge and Doom references I listen to that Bast and Lauren already mentioned, I embraced many genres, from psychedelic electronic music to death metal and that probably influenced the approach I have to the drums and artistic feelings in general in many ways.

HP: What are your favorite Horror films? 

Bast: There are loads of movies we like for particular detail, being huge fans we watch them all the time, its good to know that we still have not even watched half of them yet. Some movies that made me like the genre are Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Cannibal Holocaust.

Lauren: I think Bastien hit the nail on the head there, can't beat a good old classic horror! I’ve always been a horror addict (I mean of course when its four to one with the girls I'll watch a Romance, no problem!)

Val: Some old horror movies had a big effect on me, like The Shining or Psycho. I remember when I watched The Shining as teenager it really fucked up my mind. You can feel all the steps of madness with Nicholson, it’s disturbing. On my favourites list there is Braindead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, Shaun of the Dead or Bad Taste!

HP: How long have you all been playing music

Val: I started playing bass back in 2012 when I began with Soyuz Bear, I had a bass at home so I started practising and having rehearsals with the band. Now I really enjoy trying different pedal effects, amps to try and create my own sound.

Lauren: I am lucky I grew up surrounded by music in my family, I was always singing in choirs, and played violin in an orchestra for years. My mother has made it to the Notre-dame cathedral in Paris with her Organ skills, she could teach me a thing or two about the keys! My Grandad is 94 now and still plays his Fiddle down at the local pub every Monday night with his mates. So yeah music runs in the family and never stops!

Rob: I have had drumsticks in my hands for 20 years now, I played in a few bands until now but Deathbell is the first Doom pack I got into.

Bast: I started to play bass guitar when I was in high school I was around 16. I never stopped practising since, playing over with Guitar Pro for a long time and I learned some techniques that way. Jamming at home with friends. Then I started to do some creative projects on my own doing drum programming, guitar and bass, not a serious project, it was basically all different kinds of music all put together, thrash metal, doom metal, black metal, drone, I called it Innertsea. Then, it really got serious with the bands Soyuz Bear and Deathbell in 2014.

HP: For someone like me that calls all Heavy Metal, just Metal (I’m old, lay off!), describe your brand of metal and what makes it so.

Bast: I would describe our music as Doom Metal because of the way the feelings are transmitted to the listeners. By that, I mean that Doom Metal is the type of music that is one of the less cerebral types of expression, it is about the feeling and energy, technique is barely existent because it is irrelevant. The sound provides comfort by its warmth and fullness but still the music talks about death, curses and doom, this simply talks to the inner-self, the subconscious, it makes imaginative things, dreams, be melancholic, contemplative and romantic.

To describe it without words, try to go in a forest at night with a few candles and some Jex Thoth(any album), some High Priest of Saturn (Son of Earth and Sky) or some Electric Wizard (Witchcult Today), and listen to the full album while wandering, then if you wish sit somewhere, burn some incense or simply smell the forest, look around, upward, let your imagination go, you will get to know what it is. And that is exactly the kind of album we wished to write, an album that let you do this, freely, with no rush, that stops the time, and that we would listen to ourselves.

HP: Who edited the video for “Come to Trouble?” I recognize some footage like, The Beyond, Don’t Torture a Duckling and possibly Texas Chainsaw Massacre (I believe that was Sally’s eyeball closeup towards the end), but there was a lot I didn’t recognize. What are the other clips in there? Are any clips brand new made for this video?

Bast: I edited the video, The idea of creating this Music Video came from one evening, we were watching Simon, King Of the Witches on in the background, muted, while having a few drinks and chatting with Lauren and a friend. To the discussion came the new song we were just after composing. We were looking at the movie at the same time and we felt something there, it was working with the music, we knew we had to try something.

Creating a music video was new to me but luckily a close friend, Vincent, which is doing this everyday gave me loads of tips and rules to make a video edit look great. I am more than thankful for this.

While messing around with the video some ideas came and my goal became to create another story with other movies. To do so, I picked a few characters and made them interact with each other. The most important films that provides this "casting" are:

Character 1: Simon, King of The Witches, Deep Red
Character 2: Mephisto Waltz, Don't Torture a Duckling
Character 3: The Beyond, Simon, King of The Witches

We should not reveal more, we just want viewers to pick what they want out of it. The other movies that I used are here as fillers for the symbolic, movement and for general atmosphere: The Curse of the Crimson Altar, The House of Seven Corpses, Don't Look Now, Squirm, The Godsend, It Follows, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (I think that's it)

HP: I love the cover of the album. Who designed it? Apart from horror themes, it gives me a Dark Crystal (my fave film of all time) kind of vibe.

Bast: I also did it, advised by the whole band, that was the longest part, it took us months, we tried many different artworks for the album, and finally ended up with this one which we are happy about, it summarize properly the music without saying too much about it, something quite simple for a first release. The eye and the moon were here since the beginning.

HP: Speaking of Covers. Everyone loves a fun cover song. What is your guilty pleasure cover song that you would do live? (No judgement if it is Copa Cabana or Never Gonna Give You Up. (Actually, a metal Rick Astley would be sick!))

Bast: We are not really into covers, a cover from us would more likely be a tribute, like the song Voodoo Dust performed by Urfaust for exemple.

Lauren: I would love to do something Rock’n Roll from WhiteMiles or " Devil Man" by Blues Pills. This looks like great craic!

Val: I read recently some article about the 10 year anniversary of The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull from Earth. It makes my thinks about a slow trippy tribute show could be fun.

HP: If money was no object, describe your ultimate fantasy live show. Would you incorporate animatronics, spray everyone with blood? What would you do?

Bast: We would love to make it to some festivals and be able to tours to meet musicians and fans to share with. We are still working on the stage plan. I can tell you one thing now and it will be different in 2 months, it will depend on where our reflection leads us to. What is sure is that we will try hard to make our fantasies reality.

HP: Describe what people can expect when seeing you live

Bast: We leave the live expectation as a surprise, it would be pretentious to say what to expect now. All I can say is that if it sounds pretty good during rehearsals, the feelings should be there.

You can buy the album here. What are you waiting for???

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