Interview by Connie Bach

 

Bel o Kan has an interesting combination of elements. There is the romance of symphony, an eighties flare created by the guitars, and a folk element Over it all.

Hello, Sarah.

Hello!! I’m happy to answer this interview.

Sarah, what is the story behind “Birth of a Queen”? How do you relate to it?

This album includes songs written a long time ago (“Dark and Light”, “Utopia”, “Salem”) and the other composites a little bit before the recording (“Children Call”, “Blowin’”, “Ten Thousand Milliard”). The band is created in 2001, so when I took the singer place in 2005, some songs were already composed, we chose our 11 favorite song  between the 18 we had. There are different songs in this album, for example, “Blowin’ the Wind” is very different from “Six Men” or “Too Late”. I wrote the lyrics of “Too Late” and it was easier to record it because it’s my words and my feelings I sung. It was difficult for me to record this album because it was my first time in a studio, I was afraid and I think you can hear it when you listen to the album.

Can you tell me, with some detail, how the album came together?

We recored guitars, drums, bass and keyboard in a different studio than the voices. The voices were recorded in Dedy studio with André Bermudez who made the mix and we made the mastering in Alto studio…a funny detail when I recorded voices it that André was always hurting me for fun with a little paper book when I told him that I couldn’t sing anything or anything else…

The name Bel o Kan seems to have something to do with ant society, according to your Myspace.  Can you elaborate?

Bel o Kan is the name of the ant hill in the book “Les Fourmis” (ants) of Bernard Werber.
Our first drummer Lionel who created the band chose this name because “Les Fourmis” is one of his favorite books. Bernard Werber has our album and he likes “Too Late”.

Different people describe an artist’s sound different ways. How would your perception, as Bel o Kan’s singer, differ from mine (introduction) ? It is interesting to compare perceptions, and the reasons why they differ.

Each person has his perception of our music, I could read that we played, symphonic metal, heavy, prog, power, celtic…. in my opinion, we play heavy metal melodic. Denis (bass), Fox and Khrys (guitars) like Iron Maiden, I love Epica, After Forever, Doro…even in the band we’ve many different sources of inspiration. So we compose a music varied of our different style.

Where does your musical experience come from, (I.e. your background as a singer)?

I started to sing in a musical when I was 10. I sung Edith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier…I was also dancing there for exemple, tap dancing like Shirley Temple (I love her). The musical stopped when I was 15 and I continue to sing in different places but nothing very interesting. I‘ve read in a newspaper that a melodic metal band was looking for a new singer, so I tried and i’m always here.

Marion is a choir singer who provides backup vocals for Bel O Kan. The contrast between your two unique styles is something not often seen. How did it come about, that the two of you work together? Her voice compliments yours well; some bands would try to find a backing vocalist who sounded similar to their singer; this makes Bel o Kan unique.

Marion
was the singer of another band before enter in Bel O Kan, when she left this band we called her to sing with us. We don’t want a similar voice in choir, we would that everyone can here two voices, it’s better for the music we play! Marion left the band 6-8 months ago because of her school, she hasn’t enough time to continue the band. Carole took her place in the band 6 monthes ago, you could hear her voice on the future album!

This is a question, for each band member to contribute an individual answer to. What is the best moment during a show?  (I.e.: beginning of a set, set-up, or when the crowd’s energy is at it’s highest?) What goes through your minds at this moment?

Fox:
We start every show with the symphonic introduction “Birth of a Queen” from the album, while we wait to get on stage. I think this particular moment is my favorite. There is so much tension, the anxiety and desire to go on stage mixed altogether… Of course, I also love when the public is going mad, full of energy and headbanging to what we play but I guess it is a common feeling for every Bel o Kan members so my personal choice is this climax just before going on stage.

Sarah :
My favorite moment is just when I feel that the spectators are receptive at our music, when they come to see us after the shows to tell us it was great… I want to play music to give fun and enjoy people!

Bruno :
The second part of set-list, when we play the faster songs (“Run Away”, “Ten Thousand Billions”) and when the public and the group give themselves completely for the final highlight!

Sarah
, what goes into coming up with the costume, or outfit, you will wear for a show?

I love to wear clothes that I can’t wear outside of the stage! I love to put corsets or dresses a little special, I love to make up with special colors, strass and red lipstick. Be on stage is for me like to be an actress, you’re on stage, you’re yourself but you dare everything, you enter in your other character! It‘s a magical moment, the moment when you can be free! I feel so great when I’m on stage and it’s also a moment before the show to be alone, make up me and enter in my other me! I’m not at all on stage the same that when i’m in real life!!

Bruno :
I choose my most beautiful socks, the whitest (what? this question is not for me??)

Everyone in the band has different techniques, and brings his or her own element. This is one for individual answers from everyone. Who is the strongest influence in the musical path, style, and goal of each band member?


Bruno :
I think that the musician who influences me most would be Daniel Zimmermann, a drummer of Gamma Ray and Freedom Call

Sarah :
Simone Simons, Floor Jansen and Doro, are my main influences, I try to mix différents styles and I try to have my own character

Denis :  Iron Maiden

Carole :
Floor Jansen, Anneke van Giersbergen and Sharon Den Adel

Nico :
Tuomas Holopainen and Tony Kakko

What is one story you can tell me Sarah, regarding your fans?

One day, my cousin came in a show with a friend of him who he‘s bass player and his friend bougth our album, he’s so fan of ours that he learned all music at the bass! He come to see us at all show and once he told to Denis : “Hey, I know all bass parts from the album”, it was funny!! An other day, in stage I’ve forget  the lyrics of a chorus in a song and I saw in the spectators a friend of us who knew the song so I gave him the microphone and he sung for me (I know it’s bad to forgot lyrics on stage but he saved me !)

What is the next step for the band, since the release of “Birth of A Queen”?

The next step for us is preparing shows in France or in foreign coutries, it’s important to make shows if you want that more people know our music, if you record an album to stay in your studio all day it’s not very interesting. We want to be on stage often that it’s possible.

People say a band is like a family. What (besides music) gives all of you a connection to one another,and brings everyone together?

We call us when one need of the Bel O Kan, otherwise Denis comes to make repairs our bathrooms when we have a problem, we can call him (he is a plumber) :). When someone organize a party or just dinners, he calls the other! We try all to arrive early in repetition and we leave later to have time also to discuss and to share  other things that the music

Sarah, thanks so much for your time and energy. Merci to the rest of the band as well.


Thanks to you ! I wish a long life to Femme Metal Webzine !! And thanks to all people who like our music and who give us the strength to go on !!!

 

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