By Arianna Govoni
Known basically for being the support act of the latest European tour by Sirenia, the French act Season Of Tears managed to get their own recognition thanks to its powerful and symphonic melodies, a great stage presence and amazing skills. On the occasion of the upcoming release of the new EP, “Wild Card”, we managed to exchange a few chats with the singer of the band, Juliette Loray, and the guitar player, Matt. Enjoy the reading!
Hi Juliette, hi Matt, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine.net! How are you doing?
Juliette: Great, thank you!
Matt: Fine as well, thank you for having us!
In order to introduce you in the best way possible to our readers, would you mind giving us a short biography of Season Of Tears?
Juliette: I’ve known Matt for a long time, and we always aimed to create music together. In 2013, we decided to start our own metal band, and looked for musicians to complete the line-up. Joined by our friends Léna and Volac, then by Gaétan, we started writing later that year, then played our first gig in early 2014. Since then, we released three recordings and played a lot of shows.
The sentence connected to the band says: “Once in, you will never be the same…”. Could you please explain us this concept?
Matt: This sentence is from our song “Wanderland”, which is a special song on its own ! About the band, we use it because we have this will to break the codes of symphonic metal, both musically and visually. It is our way to warn the listeners that they cannot expect something “traditional” from Season Of Tears.
Even if you’re a young band, you have a good live experience and two releases: “Ouroboros” e “Homines Novi”. How did these two albums have been welcomed by the French audience and the International one?
Juliette: The feedback we had on these releases were very positive! Though we didn’t reach so many countries, it was always well received, especially when we do play live.
Matt: Symphonic metal is not the most popular genre in France, so it is nice to feel that our way to do it pleases people.
Let’s suppose that you have to describe your own music to a boy or a girl who is not familiar with Season Of Tears at all. In order to arouse his/her curiosity more, mentioning the 3 best songs of your first full length album, “Homines Novi”, how would you describe your own sound and which songs would you pick up?
Matt: We probably would suggest this person the following songs: “The Second Cemetery”, “Wanderland” and “Exalt”. They all include typical elements of our music, such as modern metal sections, vocal and orchestral richness, and small surprises that won’t let him/her get bored.
Currently a few are the fans, at least the Italian ones, who are familiar with your music. If you were to convince them to give you a chance, to support Season Of Tears and to give you a listen, how would you involve them? Which motivations would you give the audience?
Juliette: Our purpose is to bring fresh air to symphonic metal. So if you are looking for a new sound and want some uncomprising metal blended with orchestral epicness, vocal richness and twisted sections, please try Season Of Tears! That’s probably something we could say…
2018 marks also the arrival of your brand new EP, “Dark Card”, an EP formed by one song only played in three different versions. Can you tell me what has pushed you, guys, to opt for this choice? Why have you decided to play one song only in three different versions rather than introducing a bigger variety using other different tracks?
Matt: The story behind this EP and this song is a bit complicated. It was originally meant to be a “single” announcing our album “Homines Novi”, with a videoclip… something very promotional. Unfortunately, the schedule did not allow us to do what we wanted at that time, and we were frustrated to be unable to release this song and the way we hoped. So we decided to wait until we could afford a proper videoclip, recording and mixing the different versions of the song in the meantime. We released the EP when we thought was a good time for us, just before going on tour.
Juliette: There’s a strong story behind the lyrics of this song, and having a matching videoclip was really important to us. It is a kind of “one-shot” for sure, but we feel that this track synthetize our music very well. It has heavy riffs, a catchy chorus, huge orchestrations and other non-metal elements… This is what Season Of Tears is about.
Recently you’ve supported Sirenia in their latest European tour, where they have played live something taken from their latest release, “Arcane Astral Aeons”. How have you been recruited for this tour?
Juliette: This tour was an amazing experience! Basically, when we learned that they were touring Europe, we contacted Sirenia’s management because we wanted to play as local support in the city of Nantes only, but as our music fitted well, they suggested us to do the whole tour. We ended up playing seven gigs out of ten, which is great for a first tour!
Would you mind telling a curious or a funny tour anecdote?
Matt: Well, it was not so funny at that point, but on the last show of the tour, we learned from the promoter that we would have to start playing before the doors were even open… so we expected to play our first songs in front of the press only. Then we noticed some familiar faces in the crowd, and realized that all members of Sirenia and Triosphere were right in front of us, supporting us as the audience was coming in. We felt really touched. It definitely is a great memory.
How have you been welcomed by all those people who showed up at your gigs in this latest leg of the tour?
Juliette: To be honest, we were thrilled to have really great feedback every night! Many people came to us after the shows, to buy some merchandising or just for a talk, and they were all very enthusiastic about our performances.
Matt: We were also happy to read really nice comments about us on all the live reports!
In your opinion, what have you learned from this new live experience? What will you bring home, basically?
Matt: We learned a lot, actually. Even though we were prepared, we had to be fast and efficient all the time. Be sure that we get enough rest and sleep, so we could do our best on stage every night. Adapt to different conditions from one venue to another.
Juliette: We had to be very organized, and pay attention to everything. One very important thing too is that when you live in the same tour van, with the same team during two weeks, you have to be kind to each other, respect everyone’s personal space… We learned as musicians of course, but also as human beings. Fortunately, everything went well, and we feel much more confident now.
Matt: It is like a full “level-up”!
I had the chance myself to see you live on stage a couple of weeks ago in Italy. I must say that you have a great big stage presence and – I hope this won’t might offend you – I’ve noticed some similarity with Epica, at least the first ages of this Dutch band, especially on Volac’s growls and Juliette’s appearance and vocals as well, which kinda reminded me about Simone Simons in her early period with the band. What are the bands or the musicians that, somehow, have affected your music sound?
Juliette: Thank you so much, we are glad that you enjoyed our show! About our influences, the comparison with Epica does make sense since we were heavily influenced by them at first. The fact that I am a mezzo-soprano is also one similarity.
Matt: Right now, our influences in metal go from Epica to Behemoth. We definitely have to quote Septicflesh, Dimmu Borgir, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Devin Townsend… We do enjoy modern “djent” and technical stuff as well. But we also have a lot of non-metal influences. Most of us have a solid classical background, and studied opera, jazz… Too many names to count!
Since Season Of Tears is still a new band to the people, I’d like to ask you a question that I usually ask to my interviewees, in order to have some diverse point of view: how hard is nowadays for a new band to get some recognition in its own country and abroad?
Matt: Depending on the music you are playing, it can be pretty hard. Not only do you have to be good, but you mostly need to meet people, be in the right place at the right time, make good investments, be active on social medias… There are so many good bands out there, you have to create something special.
In your opinion, given your own personal experience you’ve gathered over the years, how much work and labour is it needed, in your opinion, to get the dreamed reward?
Juliette: It is probably the work of a lifetime. We do invest a lot of time and energy in Season Of Tears, and it is a daily task. But when something good happens to the band, it feels really comforting.
In your opinion, what does make you so unique?
Matt: I think we aim for a darker vibe than a typical symphonic metal band, both in the music and on stage. We try to be as heavy and diverse as possible, and we combine this music to gory artworks, aggressive stage-clothes and make up… I don’t know if this makes our band unique, but that is usually how people remember us.
What’s currently brewing now for Season Of Tears? Will you start working on something new now that this latest tour is over?
Juliette: Our main goal right now is to keep playing as many shows as possible, in France or in other countries. In the meantime we already have a lot of new ideas for our next release, and will start working on demos in a couple of months.
Thanks for your time guys, I call you to speak in order to conclude our chat, hoping to see you very soon!
Juliette & Matt: Thank you very much for this nice interview, we hope to be back in Italy very soon!