About Me

Interview with Trepalium

Adopted with the name of an ancient torture device, Trepalium certainly know how to crush bones with their technical, multifaceted and devastating death metal. In Latin, "trepalium" also means "work", a concept that the French band knows more than well, being referred to as one of the best live artists of their generation.
The French quintet is making eccentric metal records, mixing groove metal with old jazz, rock'roll and hardcore. With a 20-year career, the band is now releasing their fifth álbum and guitarist and founder Harun Demiraslan has answered our questions.

M.I. - Hi! First of all, thanks for your time! For those who don't know you, how do you characterize Trepalium?

Trepalium is a progressive groove-death metal band from France. On some albums, you can also talk about Swing metal… 

M.I. - How did you meet and how did you decide to start Trepalium?

Well. I started the band in 1999 at home with a demo after I saw for the first time Godzilla on stage (Formed as Godzilla in 1996, they changed their name to Gojira in 2001). Then, I proposed to Ludovic Chauveau (bassist) to join me in order to found a real band. After a few months of research, we met Sylvain Bouvier (Drummer) and Nicolas Amossé (Guitarist) after their last show. At that time, they played in the same band with Yann Ligner, the actual Klone’s singer. Waiting to find a frontman, Sylvain was the drummer/lead singer. Finally, after 2 years, we met KK during a show. Then we released 4 albums and 1 Ep before he decided to quit the band. Today, we continue the band with Renato Di Folco as the new singer and we’ve just released our latest album, From The Ground.

M.I. - Trepalium, originally, was the name of an ancient Roman torture instrument... Why the adoption of that name?

Partly, yes. It’s about torture but also slavery at work so why not? This idea of working hard fits pretty well with our music.

M.I. - Your first demo is from 2002... What is the biggest lesson learned during these almost 20 years in music?

It’s hard to say… you learn so much in 20 years but, I think, true success is not about living on your art but living your art. Just do your fucking thing…

M.I. - Over time, you have moved away from your original sound (Death Metal) and today you are more turned to Hardcore, with a touch of Groove and Jazz... What is the reason for this change?

Let's say these aspects have always been present in our music. I push the concept in this way ‘cause that sounds more fun to me. But who knows... maybe I'll write more death metal stuff next time.

M.I. - This last album "From the Ground", turned out the way you expected it would? Or, now, would you change anything if you could? Does it have the sound of these “new” and groovier Trepalium? And one more thing. Something that stands out immediately is the duration. At 21 minutes, it's almost an EP!

Actually, I had songs and the order in my head during the writing process. A beginning and an ending but I didn’t pay attention to the duration. I must admit that I was surprised when I put all songs together… So, I won’t change anything except add maybe 2 or 3 songs…

M.I. - This is the first album with a new singer... What did Renato Di Folco bring to your sound and band?

Melodies and a new personality on stage… I see new grounds for next albums!

M.I. - Who is your biggest influence in music? What is on your car radio, all the time?  

Nothing in particular. Sorry… All I can say is that we all appreciate metal bands like Pantera, Gojira, Meshuggah, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death… jazz and progressive bands like King Crimson, Magma, Mats/Morgan band, Snarky Puppies, Tigran Hamasyan etc… but also Pop artists, Electro, Hip Hop… 

M.I. - Speaking now of French metal... What are the biggest changes that you have seen happen in French metal, in the last 20 years?

The rise of the Hellfest and many other festivals. The worldwide recognition of bands like Gojira, Carpenter Brut, Igorrr… There are too many bands. Let’s say, the emergence of a new scene…

M.I. - Do you think it is difficult for a French metal band to succeed outside its country?

Today, I don't think so... I guess it's just difficult for any group. Whether French or foreign.

M.I. - We are all aware of what is happening in the world today and, therefore everything that is gathering people, is prohibited... Do you have plans for concerts as soon as this crisis passes? What are the places you want to play (cities, festivals…)? 

Yes. We will have some concerts in the coming months but nothing is planned abroad for the moment. But we’ll know more very soon!

M.I. - Thanks for your answers! Any last words for our readers?

Thanks for this interview and keep your passion for music alive!

For Porutugese version, click here

Questions by Ivan Santos