In 2005 Stéphane Peudupin and Sebastien Pierre (both of French doom act
Inborn Suffering) decided to create a band that emphasized more on rock,
Scandinavian metal and catchy tunes. And so “Mislead” was born. The band
had been active for two years when it was disbanded. In August 2007
Stéphane Peudupin and Sébastien Pierre decided to create a new band
built on the ashes of “Mislead”. After some line-up changes, FRACTAL
GATES found a solid formation with Antoine Verdier on bass guitar,
Arnaud Hoarau on rhythmic guitar, Vivien Dumont on drums, Sebastien
Pierre on vocals and Stéphane Peudupin on lead guitars.
This marks the birth of FRACTAL GATES, a band that brings us
Metal and Dark Rock with grooved catchy tunes and screams. The band
emphasizes mainly on extra terrestrial life forms, ancient
civilizations, planets, esoterism, science fiction etc .. Energy could
be what describes Fractal Gates’s music best. The band released a
4-track demo CD at the end of 2007, this received surprisingly good
response over the world which greatly motivated them to compose more
songs. FRACTAL GATES was greatly inspired during the composition
process and in four months’ time they had all the material ready for a
full length CD.
In August 2008, the band entered the Hybreed studio and recorded and
mixed the songs with Andrew Guillotin (7th Nemesis, Glorior Belli,
Carnal Lust, Temple of Baal..). They were very satisfied with the result
and they decided to master the works at Jacob Hansen’s studio (Volbeat,
Pestilence, Non-Divine, Prey for Nothing...). The result is 49 minutes
of explosive energetic metal on the debut album entitled “Altered State
of Consciousness” which was released June 2009 through Rusty Cage
It seems there is much to talk about and so we tracked down Sébastien
Pierre (vocals / keyboards) to give us some answers for the
Congratulations on the release of your new album ‘Altered
State Of Consciousness’ which will be out soon, of course we’d like to
ask you a couple of questions about it.
First of all, could you start this interview off with a
short introduction of the members, the origin of the name of the band
and how this band got together?
Sébastien: Steph and me, also members of Inborn Suffering, wanted to
play something a little different, more rock and catchy. So first we
created the band Mislead, which split up. We reformed the band but
changed the name and line up, and began to research which concept would
serve for the lyrics. Science and science fiction used with metaphores,
that was the general idea for Fractal Gates music, lyrics and artwork.
Since the studio recording we have a stable line up.
How did you launch into writing material for ‘Altered
State Of Consciousness’ and how much time did you spend on the songs?
Sébastien: After finding the direction we wanted to follow, we started
with some melodic death dealing with SF. We had various subjects to
explore, and they became a sort of concept album in the end. This was
done quickly, I went to Steph's many times to compose together, often
managing to have one or 2 songs written in a weekend. This process
lasted some months, until we had enough choices to select the best
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
record ‘Altered State Of Consciousness’, any elements you definitely
wanted to include on the album?
Sébastien: We only wanted to have fun with the writing and recording
process, playing what we liked at this time. Also, we desired to give it
a special atmosphere, linked to SF. And we wanted the production to
sound like Swedish melodic death.
Could you please describe the implications of the title
‘Altered State Of Consciousness’, what does it stand for and is there a
special meaning behind it?
Sébastien: The ‘Altered State of Consciousness’ is something one can
discover while practising meditation, trance, hypnosis, Near Death
Experience, lucid dreams, etc. As some of our songs deal with A.S.C., we
found that this was the perfect album name to attract the curiosity.
What about the lyrics, where do you get your inspiration
from and can you tell me something more about them?
Sébastien: We talk of abductions, ancient civilizations, decorporations,
planets, etc... We got our inspiration from some SF movies, and some
recent scientific discoveries.
How important is it to you that people pay attention to
the lyrics apart from listening to the music?
Sébastien: If people want to understand the growls and to fall deeper
into the universe we propose them, it would be a good thing to read
them. But I understand that one can just like a general feeling and
music without paying any further attention to the lyrics.
Can you give us a
little background about the songs on the album, is there a story behind
Sébastien: In fact we
left 3 studio recorded songs out of our album, cause we thought it was
too long. The old tracklist was more a step by step story, now a little
less so. The listener will face an apocalyptic future, while leaving his
body to escape from a cruel dimension. His mind will travel through some
unusual emotions, before discovering the beauty of galaxies, nebulas,
unseen stars. Then he'll find out that he's not alone... and that he
never has been.
What is the most important ingredient for a song
according to you and is there any typical way that your songs come into
Sébastien: I think that there are at least two moods for listening to a
song. The first one is when searching for some deep emotions, to live
the music. The second one is more in the need of a background music,
during any activity. In both cases, I like when the simplicity of the
structures can make you remember the melodies easily, and when a track
has cohesion, not too much prog, for example. Mid tempo is the best way
to achieve those goals. Mixed with some more technical riffs, this is
the way we prefer a song.
About the song writing, how can we imagine you work on
new songs, what's the typical writing process like for Fractal Gates?
Sébastien: As said before, Steph and me take some time during a weekend,
to focus on what we have in mind for a new thing to compose. By jamming
in the beginning, we manage to "feel" something emerging from it, a
silhouette of a song. Once this is done, we try to complete it with
other riffs to finally arrive at the end of the process. We are very
sensitive to the cymbals used for each riff, and to the way a chorus
appears. Transitions are important and are what takes, maybe, the most
time. Generally, vocals are placed afterwards, as are the keyboards. But
sometimes the order is not the same... It all depends on the alchemy
between us during the writing process.
What comes first, lyrics or melodies? Is it like you sit
down and write a new song because you need more material now or do you
wait until you get an idea?
Sébastien: We are used to composing music before writing any lyrics. But
we had the opposite process for Inborn Suffering for one or two songs,
in the end it doesn't influence the result that much. We just find it
easier to place vocals and lyrics once melodies are done. Other
musicians prefer it the other way. Usually, we prefer to meet in order
to compose when we think that we have some inspiration, cause we know
somehow it takes more time or more chance without it, to be productive.
As we composed a lot, we had far more songs than the ones present on the
How did the recording process proceed and how much time
did you spend in the studio?
Sébastien: We recorded the lead, rythmic and clean guitars, bass guitar
and keyboards at Steph's. Then we recorded the drums and vocals in the
studio, before mixing and mastering. It took several weeks to find the
right sound and to have the album finished musically. The recording and
mixing was done by the talented Andrew Guillotin, who had also done the
Inborn Suffering album sound. We mastered A.S.C. with Jacob Hansen.
Which element of the CD are you most proud of?
Sébastien: That would be the speed at which all this happened. One year
earlier we were just at the beginning of it all. And we think that the
quality of the production is quite good for a first album.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of
things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics?
What are you personally into?
Sébastien: As said before, we're into SF, Science discoveries and new
technologies, also in the field of mythology, esotericism. More simply,
we're curious and open minded.
Could you react to the following terms in just one word
Metal : elite music
Underground : METRO, work, METRO, sleep.
Internet : freedom of information
Religion : sometimes useful
Politics : clowns
Metallica : not my cup of tea
The Netherlands : chocolate
USA : 9/11
France : Food, what else?
What makes Fractal Gates different from the other death
metal bands out there?
Sébastien: Why would we want to be different from other bands?
Are there any particular bands who’ve been a big
influence in your song writing, metal or otherwise? Which album has been
your biggest musical influence, one that made you think “this is what I
want to do!”?
Sébastien: We like the bands Insomnium, old In Flames, At the Gates,
Ajattara, Rapture, Amorphis, etc. Most of our influence is from Sweden
and Finland. No particular band though.
How would you describe your own music and what are your
Sébastien: Fractal Gates could be described as melodic doomdeath with a
groovy rock feeling, a French band sounding more like a Swedish one.
What can we expect from Fractal Gates in the near future,
Sébastien: So, we are rehearsing to prepare future lives, and at the
same time we are working on the second album, which should be a sequel
Where do you see the band going within the next couple of
years, and where do you see the band’s musical direction going for the
Sébastien: We don't know if we'll still be active in the years to come,
for the moment we are just having fun and that's the most important
thing. People seem to like it so that's a plus. We hope to record the
second album as soon as possible and to be ready for sharing it live.
Anything left to say to our readers?
Sébastien: Concentrate on your presence, open your mind deeper, feed
your life with empathy.
Thanks for your time,
Antoine Verdier - Bass
Arnaud Hoarau - Guitars
Stéphane Peudupin - Guitars
Vivien Dumont - Drums
Sébastien Pierre - Vocals
(2009) - Altered State Of Consciousness