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Ik werd recentelijk serieus overdonderd door ‘Fantasy’, het tweede album van de Franse metalcore band Landmarks. Het album verscheen vorige maand via Arising Records en ze hebben alle troeven in handen om wereldwijd door te breken. Het logische gevolg was een goed gesprek met met Florent (zang) en Nicolas (gitaar).

Door: Koen W. | Archiveer onder metalcore

'Fantasy' is your second album. We never received the debut 'Hollow' here to review and also on the internet there is little to find. Does that mean 'Fantasy' could be your breakthrough album?
You mean like a bigger album? We have some things in discussion for touring right now. We are going to tour all around Europe in 2019. It will be the main countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and France. So yes, the reaction about it, is some bigger.

You worked hard for three years. What went through you when you heard the complete finished product for the first time?
That was like six months ago, I guess. We just send the final mastering to the label, the day of the deadline. So yeah, it was like months ago but it took some times to master and to finish everything. But the result sounded very fine.

Have you already received some reviews and how were they?
We have read some French reviews, I think two or three. And I think we are on Fuzz Magazine, a German or Czechoslovakian magazine. We are still doing a lot of interviews and as we speak the album still has to come out, but the feedback is like it sounds great. We learned a lot of things with our first two albums. We released our first album alone, we did everything alone. The production, writing and promotion. So we get some experienced in it. Now we got a label and we have some help for the promotion and stuff like that, so we can focus more on the music. And we have been touring a lot, that’s how we learned much and that’s a lot better for the band.

It is my first acquaintance with Landmarks. You have already made a name in the past in the band Coldsight where Florent Salfati was the guitarist. His vocal performance is excellent. Did you know he had that in him?
Florent: At that time I was singing in a hardcore band in Marseille. I’m playing guitar since I was twelve years old. I always wanted to play guitar because I had already a band I was singing in. When I started the band Coldsight with Nicolas it was so hard to find a singer so after a few years I decided to do the vocals.

What is the main inspiration for the lyrics on ‘Fantasy’?
That is life. I mean everything I experienced. It is all about personal feelings I had in life. That’s just it. And that means also the positive ones. The lyrics are pretty dark but they are not negative. Just dark and strange but also some positive.

You sometimes sound melodic but can also appear very aggressive. Which side do you prefer to play live?
We like to put everything in the same song. We love aggression mixed with melodic stuff. We really love the aggressive stuff.

Florent, you are singing in English but that is not your native language. Do you write your songs in French and then translate it or do you directly write them in English?
I write them in English. I have a pretty strange technic for writing stuff in English. I am just singing bullshit like random words that I am recording very early at the demo stage. Sometimes there are words in English that pop up and make sense more than others. Then I write songs about words I like in the demo. I want them to rhyme and when I do that in French then translation is not possible. I am very strict about this. French people are very shy to speak English. The new generation of young people are better in English. Our parents speak it very bad.

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And then there are another three guest contributions. I am familiar with Florestan Durand and Aaran Matts, but singer Camille Contreras is unknown to me. She delivers a beautiful performance on the duet 'Alive' though. Who is she and where do you know her from?
She is a friend of us and living in Marseille. She has been in the hardcore scene in Marseille like ten years. First she was screaming in bands for years, but when she decided to use her clean vocals one day it sounded great. I didn’t know about that. One day she was doing some covers with friends. We heard them play and instantly felt we wanted Camille to do the female part in ‘Alive’.

You already released three video’s ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Reckoning’, ‘Blistering’. That is almost one third of the album, something that you see more and more these days. Is releasing video’s and singles becoming more and more important in 2018 then the release of a whole album?
I think it is good for the fans to see that we are still doing stuff like composing music. We released ‘Fantasy’ (the song) more than a year ago and that was the single. Right now the way people are listening to music is changing. They use internet and streaming platforms. The release of a full album is not so tactful. So you have to use great videos and keep things going.

'Fantasy' is your first album on Arising Records, which is part of Nuclear Blast. I guess you can notice the difference from doing everything yourself, right?
We can see the difference comparing with the first album. We are so glad to have the Nuclear Blast family. We have much more exposure. They know their jobs. It is different about the promotion stuff. They are great to have as professionals in the team. They give advice and things like that.

How did you get in contact with them?
That would be since two years. We are in contact with them since ‘Hollow’. Maybe at the end of the recording process. Since ‘Hollow’ we are sending our album to labels, and Arising was one of the few who respond us and who were interested in the next album. Maybe not now but in the future. They asked to keep on sending demos to hear what we were doing. So we did and send some of the new songs. In the end they send us a contract about a year ago. They trust us and that is amazing. Nuclear Blast is a huge label and we are huge fans of bands on the label.

Landmarks is mainly known as metalcore band in France. If I read your Facebook page, it’s like there are hundreds of metalcore bands in France who are not known in the rest of Europe. How is it over there in the metalcore scene?
We have great bands but not that much. We have Gojira. It is not metalcore but they are the leader of the scene in France. Metal is really growing here. I guess you are right. We have a great scene. But it needs to be bigger.

You are from Marseille, in the South of France. How is life over there? Because we are from the cold and rainy Belgium and Holland.
Marseille is funny. We have the sea. Today it was 25 degrees and it is October. People keeps to go to the sea. So if you want to chill, just come to Marseille because it is great.
Playing in a band and going for it all are two different things. Should or will you sacrifice a lot for Landmarks. And I mean especially of putting so much time into it that real work and family and a little to a second place.
Yes, it is the only answer; we are putting a lot of time in the band. Every day and night. I already missed some important life times, like a wedding of one of my best friends. It is part of the deal I guess. So yes, it takes a lot of time. But we can’t complain.

Thank you very much for the time. Do you have a message or last words for our readers?
Thank you, we love you: come see us on tour. We are doing Europe next year. So just listen to us album and tell us what you think. Au revoir et bon soiree.

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