Before I received your (self-titled) album, I had never heard of Melt. Can you please introduce yourselves to our readers?
Olivier: We're a bunch of misfits. Our dear bass player is the most normal of us and thank God he is with us. We play a dark mix of rock and metal in a country too superficially happy to pay attention to us. But nevermind, we survive. We've been existing as a band since march 2015, and before that we created music alone, Charlotte and I.
What inspired you to start creating music and why did it result in the kind of music that we hear on this album?
Olivier: For me, Olivier, I think that Iron Maiden had some importance for me, I discovered them when I was fifteen and this made me buy my first guitar. After that I got into metal with bands like Slayer, Sepultura and a lot of obscure metal bands. The mood of metal always talked to me, it's serious, dark, aggressive, lonely and solemn and it perfectly matches with my personality. But I'm just a listener, I'm not interested in playing metal because it's too codified for me and I always wanted to create MY stuff, I wrote music to discover my feelings.
Charlotte: It's never been about inspiration for me, but more about surviving in this world: it was a necessity, I had no choice being inspired or not, I had to do what I did.
I know that Melt totally melted my face away with its heaviness and intensity. Can you tell us why you decided on the name Melt?
Olivier: Ten years ago we were in an abandoned house, we lived and hide in it by the time, because Charlotte had to escape from psychiatric hospital and we had nowhere to go. Some nights were hard because there's always been arguments between Charlotte and I, and one particular night, as I was drunk as usual, the whole situation filled me with sadness, and as I began to cry I felt some kind of relief and thought of the last words of the replicant in the movie 'Blade Runner': "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." We will melt in death at the end. This is the story, but I can't really explain the feeling in it, I already tried but it's impossible.
I hear a lot of different things in your music. Do you have any musical influences? And if so, will you tell us a bit more about that?
Olivier: To be honest, I don't know, but I don't think I have influences. As I told, one of my favorite kind of music is metal but I didn't wanna play it because there's no sadness in it. I also like classic music, movie scores, folk and gothic weird stuff. But none of these are to be found in the music I create.
Charlotte: I don't know what a musical influence is. My only influence are my feelings, that's it, this is what creates the singing: I can't be influenced because I don't see me in the human world.
If my French is alright, I understand you started out as a duo (Charlotte and Olivier) and it was not until years later that Julien and Roméo were added to the line-up. How did you guys work as a duo? And how did you meet up with Jux and Roméo?
Olivier: we worked chaotically, with a lot of booze. Charlotte learned how to play guitar and scream, and I was hammering a drum kit but I had a few songs I wrote before I met Charlotte. After a while we had the idea to create a band with these songs. Charlotte looked for vocal lines. And that was it. This situation lasted for years because we had a lot to create before being able to start a four person band, and anyway we had too many problems and difficulties, we weren't ready. When we met Roméo we already had a band experience but it hasn't been working, the drum and bass player wouldn't understand what we expressed. After six months they left the band so we looked for a new drummer and that lonely weirdo depressive guy appeared, he perfectly played the songs, sincerely liked them and was eager to join the band. After that we found a bass player but he wouldn't stay in the band, we felt that the relation between him and us was degrading so at the end of a gig I was speaking with someone from the audience, a guy quite enthusiastic about our music so I just asked him if he played bass. He did. So he joined the band. These are two talented musicians, and very good persons, we're very lucky we met them.
I was also wondering: how does the songwriting go? You are a band of four people, but I get the impression that the intensity of the music is maintained mainly by Charlotte and Olivier. I could be wrong, of course. Does every member add something to each song?
Olivier: I always wrote the music alone. Charlotte gave the song a second breath with her vocals, the guitar solo on 'Reine' and the opening arpeggio of 'Thorn'. I also wrote some specific bass and drum lines for certain tracks but Julien and Roméo create new ones when I can't find anything that makes the songs stronger.
Charlotte's vocals seem to come from a place far beyond this world. Especially the song 'Stigmata' really tears holes in people's souls. Where does this intensity come from?
Charlotte: It comes from nowhere, it's just the way I am, I am like this. 'Stigmata' is one of my feelings.
And what are the songs about? Not just lyrically, but as a whole?
Charlotte: Hard to say if not impossible, because as I told I don't see me in the human world. The lyrics come from an alternative consciousness. It's about me and my future, what I will become. The lyrics are a distant call of something asking you to come and showing you your way.
I find it very interesting to read that Charlotte went through a crisis at some point in her life. I understand if you would rather keep this a mystery, but since this had an impact on your music I was wondering if you would please tell us about that.
Charlotte: Not much to say, these are moments when you're out of the world, you're facing your very own truth. I can't describe, but it inspired in me the feelings and the words of a new state I express in music. Your ego dies, your personality dies, who you were before dies and you become someone else. This is someone else but it's you more than ever.
'ShiroKuroMelt' stands out from the rest of the songs in that it is a lot quieter. It is still very "alien" and suits the album perfectly. What's the story behind this song?
Charlotte: The song just came out this way. I wander in me and my voices as I would in a secret kingdom, as in a dream.
Another song that is different from the rest is 'Kitane'. It has no vocals, yet when you listen to it a complete story unfolds in the mind. Is this "just" a piece of art or is it meant to tell a story? And if so, what is your own interpretation of it?
Olivier: There is no story in 'Kitane'. I express always the same thing in my music, with or without vocals: a tension between light and darkness, torment and victory, it's like a fight that would be the vital movement of the soul. Kitane means "star" in Malagasy. I met a girl named like that and just after I had a car accident, - I was drunk. Went to hospital and slept in jail. After that I wrote the song.
As a final word I would like to thank you a lot for this masterpiece. What can we expect from Melt in the future?
Olivier: We're already planning the next album, we'll try release a track from it before the end of the year with a video clip.
Thanks a lot for your time! If you want to add anything, please do so!
Olivier: Well, a big thanks to you, it's not easy at all for us to draw attention in our country because most of the French people aren't in this kind of mood, it's Mediterranean you know, so we're happy to see that our music is understood somewhere. I also want to thank Leeroy, a friend of Charlotte and I, he was often there with us to bring help when we needed it.