Whenever you think of melodic death metal, generally Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates, Insomnium and In Flames are the first names that pop up in every metal lover who listens to this amazing music genre. You also have to make clear that also the underground scene is packed with great underdiscovered bands who certainly need a major focus from the audience: amongst these, French metal act Swarmageddon is one of the few bands who recently started to have some recognition from both the press and the metal fans. With the release of the very first full length album, “Inhuman”, this French melodic death metal band has proven its own unfathomable talent, proving that it actually deserve a spot alongside high end and well known bands who created history. Exclusively on Femme Metal, we offer you an incredible interview we’ve conducted recently with the band!

Hi guys and welcome to Femme Metal Webzine. For me it’s such a big pleasure hosting this e-mail interview with you. Ca va?

Hi Arianna! Happy to answer your questions! Even though we miss concerts due to the pandemic, we are fine.

Today we’re here in order to talk about Swarmageddon, so my first question will be very easy! Would you mind telling us something more about the band, especially for those people who have no familiarity with you?

Swarmageddon is a metal band founded in 2015 by our singer Marion in Besançon, France. Our music mixes different kinds of metal (melodic death metal, progressive metal, slam death …) and is influenced by different bands like Gojira, Shadow Of Intent, Dark Tranquillity… We released our debut EP “An Infinite Landscape” in 2018 and our debut album “Inhuman” in 2020.

The band’s name, Swarmageddon, is indeed quite intriguing and interesting. Where does the idea of calling you like this come from?

Swarmageddon is the contraction of the words “Swarm” and “Armageddon”. According to us, it refered to the sci-fi culture, including Starship Troopers, Starcraft… There’s an idea of chaos which doesn’t seem incompatible with our music and the lyrics. But we learned not so long ago that “Swarmageddon” refers in some countries to a catastrophic cicada invasion, a phenomenon that occurs once in a generation.

Your latest album, “InHuman”, was released back in October. What kind of reception did you get right after the release?

Even if our music is still relatively unknown at the moment, the reviews of our album were rave. Despite the health crisis and the end of concerts, people bought this new album and merchandising, so we are really happy with the reception given to our music.

What can you share about its overall production, especially concerning the writing and recording process?

“Inhuman” was written and composed during the year 2019. Our guitarist, Guillaume, composed all the music in his home studio, then sent the tracks to the rest of the band. Marion wrote the lyrics and proposed the vocal lines. Then, everyone in the band changed a few small things. The album was recorded in Psyrus Studio for a week in February 2020.

I must say that the album artwork is very stimulating! I don’t know the reason why, but somehow it did remind me about Meshuggah and Fear Factory! We have this big giant machine, or so it seems, depicted in the center, held by a huge structure and praised by some human being. What’s the meaning of the cover? Is there also a hidden message in this record?

The album artwork was made by Caelan Stokkermans, a very talented young American artist who has also worked with bands like Misery Index or Inferi. Guillaume fell in love with this artwork because it reminded him of the cover of “Haven”, an album by Dark Tranquillity (he’s a huge fan). And this artwork also echoes the lyrics on the theme of the domination of machines over humanity.

Two years have passed between the release of “An Infinite Landscape” and this latest record. What has changed between the release of the first album compared to this latest one? What have been the major changes?

During these two years, there have been line-up changes, concerts, progress in our music practice and especially awareness: we realized we don’t want to do just melodic death metal: the music we love is very varied. We love technical death metal, progressive metal, slam death, deathcore… During the shows we also wanted to see more action in the pit, so we included more violent elements in “Inhuman”.

The album has been anticipated by two single, “The Fall” and “ReAnimation”, and lately you’ve also released a brand new track, “Of A Billion Screams”. How have these tracks been welcomed by the people and, specifically, do you think that these singles could be a great calling card for the audience?

Although we are still little known, Reanimation was very well received, no doubt thanks to the music video. If we could, we would make music videos for each of our songs! But a quality music video is expensive and at the moment, we are self-produced. The other tracks had good feedback but they were less emphasized. The album is rather short and contains few songs (but which are very different), so we had the idea to release all the songs as we went along with different formats: music video, lyric video, live sessions… The fact that the songs are varied can attract a different audience each time and we can also see what people like.

Listening to “InHuman”, I’ve found such a great music variety. You label youselves as a “melodic death metal band”, but the album shows off a lot of great new elements. There’s not only melodic death metal here, but also some progressive metal passages and also some black melodies which make this album even more intriguing! Already listening to the opening track “Silence”, I’ve recalled some Insomnium and Dark Tranquillity (my fav band ever!) for what it concerns the guitar work, while the vocals are more guttural and remind me about Otep, Jinjer or even Julien Truchan from Benighted (I hope you won’t get offended by the way). It seems that this record kinda reflects your music background as well. What have been the bands who have affected your sound?

You’re totally right ! Indeed, we really want to play the music that we usually like to hear, and which is very varied. And don’t worry, the singers you mentioned are very good and that really sounds like a compliment! We like calm, melancholic music as much as more “aggressive” music, so bands like Dark Tranquillity, Gojira, old Arch Enemy, Shadow Of Intent, Aversions Crown, or The Human Abstract have influenced us. We’ve been told many times that our influences seem to come from Strapping Young Lad, but consciously, that wasn’t really our intention (although we love this band). It would seem that this mix of styles all very different perhaps brings us closer to SYL.

In an area of interest that is becoming quite boring, it’s always nice hearing something fress! Marion, your clean singing kinda impressed me a lot as much as your growl, which is very powerful and deep! What have been the singers who have influenced you the most?

First of all, thank you! About my clean vocals, my favorite singers are Floor Jansen of Nightwish and Amy Lee of Evanescence. I don’t pretend to come close to it, but maybe they influenced my way of singing.
I learned to growl on my own while listening to Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy. The singers of Jinjer, Entheos, and Spirit Box are the ones I like the most so they may have influenced me more or less consciously. I think we learn a lot by imitating and over time, and listening to different singers, you find your own style.

Let’s supposed that you have to describe your music to somebody who has no clue about what you do. If you were to choose the best song or the best three songs in order to arouse people’s curiosity, which songs would you pick and why?

We would pick Reanimation, Blood Stained Origami and Of A Billion Screams. These are our favorite songs. It seems these are also the most popular songs at the moment. We also think that this choice is interesting to describe our music to people who don’t know us because these tracks show all our nuances: there is growl, clean vocals, fast and aggressive elements, while others are calmer and slower.

“Die And Retry” is a very peculiar track that immediately caught up my attention, especially because it’s an instrumental song that concludes the album. What can you tell me about this particular one?

We must see this outro as an end scene of a horror film, where we see that finally, the evil has not disappeared, that it is still there, ready to return to the slightest inattention. It is a scene that tells the organic birth of a being half-man half-machine, something we don’t know yet that will question us ethically.

What can you share about the current French extreme metal music scene? I have to say that, except for Benighted, Gojira, Svart Crown and a few other, my acknowledgement is very poor!

In recent times it is very active in our eyes, “big” bands begins shine or come back, or in any case to export. I think for example of Gorod, Igorrr, Alcest, Aephanemer or Fractal Universe, all of which are signed on big labels. A few years ago we counted these bands signed on the fingers of one hand. Today, we regularly see these names on international FB groups.

The album has been released back in October and it gained a very good feedbacks from the press. Do you have any particular ambition or desire right now?

We would like to find sponsors who support us, and why not a label if a correct deal is presented. Anything that would allow us to be discovered by more people.

Swarmageddon is a very young and promising band, even if it seems to be still very unknown at least here in Italy. You have indeed gained some recognition outside France and this is a very important point but I’d love to ask you: in your opinion, how hard is for a new band to get some recognition both in its own country and abroad? How much work is needed to get some little attention?

This is very difficult and takes a long time. We realized that a big communication work is necessary to reach people, especially if like us, you come out of nowhere! You can be the best musician in the world, but if nobody hears you, if nobody knows who you are, then you will never get far… Music is not a meritocracy.

You know, unfortunately due to COVID-19, it’ll be pretty hard for both you and so many other metal bands to go on tour and properly promote a new album. What will your future project be?

Failing to be able to perform concerts, we’ll try to broadcast as much content as possible on the internet: music videos, lyric videos, live sessions, covers…

Thanks so much guys for having me with you today and for giving me the chance to talk about Swarmageddon! As our tradition wants, I call the interviewee to share the final words with us so I call you to speak and I really hope to see you very soon in Italy as well, maybe with Dark Tranquillity? Who knows! Merci beaucoup!

We would love to play in Italy with Dark Tranquillity! We want to thank all the people who support us and believe in us. Your comments motivate us even more! Don’t hesitate to support your favorite musicians and bands during these hard times : you can do it easily, for example by following them on social networks, sharing their content, buying their merch …
And above all take care of yourself! Thanks for interviewing us !


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