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THE OLD DEAD TREE (MANUEL MUNOZ)

HI, HOW ARE YOU, WHERE ARE YOU, AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING? We started the band in 1997 in Paris – France. From the beginning, we tried to build our own unique music style by mixing our numerous influences, going from pop music to death metal. Our first Mini CD “The Blossom” was released in 1999, as a self-production. Following the suicide of our first drummer and friend, Frederic Guillmot, in 1999, the band was inspired to exorcise this tragical loss and all the dark feelings and frustration his suicide invoked. The result was our first Album „The Nameless Disease“, produced by Andy Classen (DISBELIEF, GRAVEWORM, DEW SCENTED, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER…) and mastered by Goran Finberg (IN FLAMES, OPETH, DIMMU BORGIR…). The band signed a record deal with Season of Mist in 2002 who finally gave Frederic’s epic eulogy a proper release. The Old Dead Tree played several shows and fests in support of the record with the likes of OPETH, KATATONIA, SAMAEL and PARADISE LOST. In 2004, Franck Metayer, drummer since 1999, left the band in order to devote himself to his personal life. He was replaced by Foued Moukid who’s debut performance with the band appears on our new, 2005 album, „The Perpetual Motion“. Again the band worked with producer Andy Classen at Stage One Studio, and we feel very satisfied with the result! FIRST OF ALL A QUESTION YOU SURELY ANSWERED A MILLION TIMES: WHAT DOES „THE OLD DEAD TREE“ STAND FOR? I found the idea for the band name. It’s a name that stays in the head. Some people told us that the band name stuck in their minds right after reading it in magazines, internet… That’s fine because we wanted to find a name evoking something strong in people’s mind. I also like the image of an old dead tree on an esthetic point of view. You can also find a lot of interpretations in it, depending on your state of mind at the moment you see it… YOUR ALBUM RECEIVED GOOD REVIEWS ALL OVER (INCL. MINE 😉 ). HOW ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW WHEN YOU LISTEN TO IT? SATISFIED? OR IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE? We feel very proud with this Album. We did our best during the composing process and the recording sessions. We worked very hard in order to reach the perfect combination of both rage and melodies. Every single note, every cymbal hit was combined to fit together as a coherent and efficient performance. So we won’t change anything in it!!! AGAIN YOU WORKED WITH ANDY CLASSEN. NO DOUBT, HE IS EXCELLENT, AND DID A GREAT JOB. BUT WASN’T THERE AN IDEA TO GET SOMEONE FRESH? Andy Classen is an excellent producer! We are very happy because he felt so involved in this recording. He did a wonderful job! The Album carries a powerful modern sound. This is exactly the result we wanted to achieve. He usually works with extreme metal bands like DISBELIEF or DEW SCENTED. He really appreciates our music and I guess he’s happy to change his way of work sometimes. We already worked with Andy in 2002 for the recording of our first Album “The Nameless Disease”. We wanted a big and warm sound and The Stage One Studio was perfect for that. We met Andy there and discovered he was very open minded and interested in producing new things. That’s why we went back to Germany this winter to record “The Perpetual Motion”. The „work-out“ was even much better this time. We did the whole recordings/ mixing/ mastering process here at Stage-One-Studio which made the sound more compact and also much heavier than on the previous Album. HOW IS WORKING WITH HIM? NO PROBLEMS WITH THE LANGUAGE? Nein, gar nichts! Es gab kein Problem! Wir können mit Andy zusammen in English unterhalten also… Seriously, it has been a great pleasure to work with him again! We stayed 3 weeks in the studio. We recorded drums, bass guitar, guitars and vocals in 2 weeks and Andy worked the last week on the samples, mixing and mastering. The Stage One studio is in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, we had some great times there! It’s the best place to work I guess… In fact, we needed to stay concentrated and focused on our work in order to give our best in recording our parts. LISTENING TO YOUR SONGS I OFTEN HAD THE FEELING THAT EVERY INSTRUMENT „WORKS“ FOR MANUEL AND HIS VOICE. THE VOCALS SEEM TO BE A DOMINATING PART IN YOUR MUSIC. IS MANUEL A DOMINATOR/ BOSS IN SONGWRITING 😉 OR IS THE WHOLE BAND PARTICIPATING? Nicolas (guitars) and myself composed all the songs together, bringing the main ideas. Foued (drums) and Vincent (bass guitar) composed the drums and bass parts then. At the end of the composing process, we made all the final arrangements together. THE OLD DEAD TREE is a kind of “democratic” band! Each song has to approved by all bandmembers… that’s why the composing process is quite long sometimes… WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS/ FEELINGS WHILE CREATING MUSIC AND LYRICS? I always use personal life experiences to write THE OLD DEAD TREEs lyrics and many topics are developed on our new Album “The Perpetual Motion”. It goes from the questions I asked myself before my child was born to the growing tensions inside the band right after the release of our first Album “The Nameless Disease”. In fact, the band got bigger, we worked very hard and we felt more and more pressure. Unfortunately, Franck, our previous drummer, did not really bear it and decided to leave the band in order to focus on his private life… After his departure from the band, we met many drummers before choosing Foued, who is definitely the right person! IN MY REVIEW I MENTIONED BANDS LIKE TOOL AND OPETH AS INFLUENCES. AM I RIGHT? WHAT ELSE DOES INFLUENCE YOU THE MOST (MUSIC, BOOKS, FILMS?) We all listen to many different styles of music… so it goes from 70’s pop-rock to black metal. Our main influences are bands like PINK FLOYD, PARADISE LOST, THE MARS VOLTA, or OPETH. They all created something new, unique and personal. I believe that’s the main goal to achieve as a musician. I think our music can be described as some kind of a mix between death metal and pop music. We don’t want to settle any limits, provided that music is staying driven by strong feelings and deep emotions. As I told you before, I always use personal life experiences to write THE OLD DEAD TREEs lyrics. However, we also used to be influenced sometimes by other sources of inspiration besides music. Personally, I feel inspired by books, even if it is sometimes quite hard for me to find enough time to read. Nicolas, Foued and I are huge cinema fans also, so we often discuss and debate about films. Sometimes, discussions are even turning very “passionate”! IN YOUR POINT OF VIEW, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST STEP IN THE DEVELOPMENT BETWEEN „THE NAMELESS DISEASE“ AND „THE PERPETUAL MOTION“? The new record clearly displays the growth of the band, both live and in studio. The musical direction THE OLD DEAD TREE introduced on “The Nameless Disease” has now been finetuned. All songs are definitely more mature. We recorded very violent songs, but also very melodic ones. The guitars parts are mixing aggressive riffs and softer melodic parts, while the combination of drums and bass is putting groove and rythms into the music! We also decided to add few samples to some of the songs. We did not really care about all the usual artistic limits of metal and dark rock. We wanted the audience to feel like being inside of the music while listening to this new record! SOME YEARS AGO A FRIEND AND BANDMEMBER OF YOU DIED AND YOU USED YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS TO CREATE YOUR FIRST ALBUM. IS FRÉDÉRIC STILL A PART OF YOU AND YOUR MUSIC? The former drummer of the band , Frédéric Guillemot, committed suicide in 1999. We have always considered THE OLD DEAD TREE as a real friends gathering and we were all very close to him. His gesture was a terrible shock for us! I used the Lyrics of The Nameless Disease as a way to deal with the pain and the frustration it did imply… Of course, Frederic will always be part of the band! YOUR MUSIC WOULD BE PERFECT FOR VIDEOS AND MAYBE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS. SOMETHING PLANNED? Thank you… We will soon release the video clip of the single song “Out Of Breath”, taken from our new Album! The video was shot in a castle located in a french countryside called “Berry”, in the center of France. IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO CREATE A VIDEO OR FILM FOR YOUR MUSIC (UNLIMITED BUDGET 😉 ). WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE? There would be so much things to do!!! My dream would be to work with film-makers David Fincher or David Lynch, as I am a huge fan of their films… YOU ARE DOING SOME TOURING IN EUROPE THESE DAYS… BUT I’M MISSING DATES IN GERMANY… The new songs will be promoted live across Europe this autumn alongside the dutch band EPICA. Unfortunately, The band didn’t really tour Germany yet, but I hope we’ll be able to come as soon as possible. Germany is famous to be one of the best place in Europe for all kinds of music! We are currently discussing about future dates for gigs in Germany in order to promote our new Album. JUST IN CASE YOU WOULD HAVE A FREE CHOICE: IS THERE A BAND/ ARTIST; DEAD OR ALIVE, (MAYBE OF A DIFFERENT GENRE) YOU WOULD LIKE TO PERFORM WITH LIVE? Lots of bands! Among them, I would mention PINK FLOYD, MUSE, METALLICA, MY DYING BRIDE… It would also be a pleasure to tour with PARADISE LOST again, as we already really enjoyed to play as support act with them in The Netherlands, Belgium and France! ALREADY ANY IDEAS/ VISIONS FOR NEW SONGS? Not yet! We are focusing on the promotion of our new Album “The Perpetual Motion” right now… HOW IS THE (METAL)-SCENE IN FRANCE? THERE ARE COMING MORE AND MORE GOOD BANDS (YOU, NO RETURN, YRKOON, ZUUL FX)… HAVE YOU SOME SPECIAL INSIDER TIPPS? In my opinion, the french metalscene is really improving – being also more professional and structured! Some bands are playing a very high-quality music. Moreover, bands like ANOREXIA NERVOSA (sympho black metal), PENUMBRA (sympho gothic metal) are even gaining pretty success outside France. Personally, my favorite french band is GOJIRA. These guys play an extremely personal and innovative extreme metal. They already are very popular in France and I think they will start focusing on other countries with the support of their label. You should pay attention to them, as this band is really impressive! Honestly, there is no doubt that some french bands can face international “competition” now… OK, THE LAST WORDS ARE, OF COURSE, YOURS: We are now working on the promotion of our new Album “The Perpetual Motion”, together with our label Season Of Mist. We just can’t wait for the forthcoming European tour, together with Epica on October-November 2005. Check-out our official website at www.theolddeadtree.com for more information. And, last but not least, many thanks to all german fans for their support! Be sure we will visit Germany within the next months… THX FOR YOUR TIME AND ALL THE BEST FOR THE FUTURE!

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