The Distrolution / Distrolution Merch team had the chance to go to the Hellfest festival from June 19th to 26th 2022. On the program, concerts, meetings… and several interviews, which you can find every week in FR version on Distrolution Merch and in EN version on Distrolution! Discover without further delay our interview with Adrien and Arnaud from Beyond the Styx!
Hi guys. Can you introduce yourselves individually, and then introduce your band?
Arnaud : Well I’m Arnaud, I’m the lead guitarist in Beyond since December 2019.
Adrien: I’m Adrien. I drive the truck (laughs). No, I’m the drummer of the band since the beginning, since 2010. And then the band was formed at that time. First EP in 2013, and then we released our third album in February, with Arnaud who joined the band a few years ago. Roughly 200 dates, the album is out, it’s spreading well, sales are cool… In short, everything is going well!
How long did you work on this album (Sentence) and how do you divide the roles within the band?
Arnaud : When I arrived in the band, there were already 3 songs written, pre-recorded, we will say. What happened is that there was the Covid, so we composed. We compose with 5 people. We tried, each one at home, we did things on videoconference… everything we could. As soon as we had the authorization, we met to rehearse and we tried these new things. I think that in terms of time, it must be a little more than a year of composition, to arrive at the recording.
Speaking of recording, do you have a funny anecdote from a studio session?
Adrien : A little bit yeah! (laughs)
Arnaud : Wait, wait! Don’t we think about the same one?
Adrien: Well, yes!
Arnaud: I had another nice anecdote, but you can start. We have two anecdotes!
Adrien : We recorded with a Canadian. You have to know that Canadians are very, very good at humor and we worked a lot, but we also laughed a lot! You have to know that in Canada, there is a viral video.
Arnaud: But really, everybody knows it there!
Adrien: That’s it, it’s amazing. A video of a guy who pooped himself, let’s say it like that.
Arnaud: At the McDonald’s!
Adrien: At the McDonald’s!
Arnaud : From Gaspésie! A very remote place.
Adrien: From Gaspésie! Because Gaspésie is like Creuse for us.
Arnaud: And there’s only one McDonald’s!
Adrien: And there is one McDonald’s for the whole region!
Arnaud: And so we stayed on this video.
Adrien: And in fact, he films himself. The guy knows he shit his pants, but he pretends to order. And then there are people around who go…
Arnaud: “Did you shit yourself?”
Adrien: “I think you shit your pants!” And then, the guy says:
Arnaud & Adrien: “A little, yeah!” (laughs)
Arnaud: And you can’t say “A little” (laughs). It’s either you do or you don’t!
Adrien: And that’s it, that’s the anecdote! And you, do you have another one?
Arnaud: And this one in the studio yeah, we laughed because he was always doing it to us, the producer, so it’s cool! And in studio as well, we are featuring Vincent from The Butcher’s Rodeo, who came one day in studio. And I understood very quickly that he was a happy guy and so I had a good laugh with him all day long. We were waiting to do backings and all that, and we had a little moment of floating. We practiced, in fact, he showed me that he could make completely incredible noises with his mouth, like the baby crying, and so we had a kind of battle of imitation mouth noises. I was doing the chainsaw…
Adrien : Arnaud is very good at doing the chainsaw! Everyone has a specialty.
Arnaud : We spent a good hour doing that in the studio, with him, it was a nice memory! (laughs)
Adrien: We recorded some songs anyway! (laughs)
So, are these exclusive anecdotes?
Adrien: Yeah, I think so!
Arnaud: Yeah, I think we never told it!
Adrien: No, well, it stays in the band. We still laugh about it between us.
Thanks for sharing this with us. Well, now everyone will know!
Adrien: Oh well, it’s okay! We have others that we won’t tell! (laughs)
Arnaud: If you only knew! (laughs)
Adrien: Let’s say there are people who drink and shouldn’t fall asleep. But that’s another debate! (laughs)
Arnaud: I don’t know what you are talking about! (laughs)
You talked about it earlier. The album, you had to compose it remotely because of the pandemic. How did you manage your band during this special time?
Adrien : Actually, Beyond is a band that meets every week. That’s what it was all about! In rehearsals or concerts etc. We see each other every week. And yes, the Covid slowed down a little bit all that, so we said to ourselves: “We can’t give up, we must find a way to go on”. That, we suffered it, clearly! There is no other way to put it. We did things remotely, we did everything remotely! The guys would record a riff, we would send it to each other, I would record a drum over it, we would see if it worked… We made visios all together, we tried to speak, to exchange, we often made round trips. So it took much more time than when we compose all together, because we are a band that composes 100% in the rehearsal room and all together.
Arnaud: For real. In real life, just like that!
Adrien: That’s it, so it took much more time. The time to record, to send each other, to send each other again and so on… In short, it was endless! There are people who lived it better in the band than others. There are some for whom it was more complicated, this visio, this thing that didn’t speak. As soon as we had the means to be able to meet with the authorizations to move, the forms there…
I don’t even know what it’s called anymore!
Adrien: The travel justifications!
Arnaud: Yeah, yeah. I had lost it too.
Adrien: As soon as we could do that, we met, we played some music, we tried again the songs and finally, what was really positive, is that everything we could do from a distance, we played it together. Except for a few arrangements, it worked!
Arnaud: It worked, because we were working on our own.
Adrien: We kept the thread and it was positive.
Arnaud: Even if it lasted a long time, we didn’t fall behind, because we were working each on our own, on the composition or on the rest, so that when we arrived, we knew that our time was counted, so we went all out!
Adrien to Arnaud: You’re getting closer and closer to me, it disturbs me, because I’m hot! (laughs)
Do you remember your first show after the pandemic?
Adrien : Yeah, well yes! Well that’s easy. The 8 Fest.
Arnaud: The 8 Fest!
Adrien : Everything was there to make it cool. There was an outside stage etc. Anyway, it was a festival, it was the first organization, but the guys, they were really excited! It was in Brittany and during the day, storm warning, orange vigilance…
Arnaud : In only one department! Ours!
Adrien : So they repatriated the concert in a room which was normally planned to do the backstage, so it became the concert room. They said “But we’ll leave some outside tents so that people can put the bar, because we don’t have the space”. And in two hours time, the orange became red, waterspouts, waterspouts, never seen that! Wind and stuff! They were strapping the arbors down so it wouldn’t fly away. Anyway, the outdoor catastrophe. Afterwards, it was full inside. Sold out! It was as hot as here, in the room, although it was in October, the end of October. As hot as here, the humidity level, the same! And it was… the fight! (laughs)
Arnaud: From the sound check!
Adrien : Yeah, that’s it. We were doing the linecheck, people started to mosher while we were still on the linecheck (laughs). I remember it personally, I’m not someone who stresses before going on stage, I really take the stage as a cool thing, but there’s a little bit of “Wait, we haven’t played for a year and a half, we don’t have any automatism”. Because the band is also a lot of automatisms. That’s why we rehearse a lot, we see each other every week and so on. To have fun, you have to have your head elsewhere and not have to think about what you have to do for the next riff. There, it was “Have we not lost these automatisms?”. Well, finally no! But there was a little moment of “Oh, it’s been a year and a half since we played!” and that first bass drum hit, that first feeling of playing again, you say to yourself “Oh that’s cool! It feels good!”
What do you like most about concerts?
Adrien : Concerts ! (laughs)
Arnaud : The audience… Seeing them having fun, it’s really the best reward, really. Sometimes I see two feet of a guy, I don’t even see his head, people are running on stage, things are happening… And I say to myself “Guys, this is what we do, it’s not for nothing!” These guys, they are externalizing.
Adrien : The good atmosphere, and the people, as you say, are here to have fun. The example that Yoann gives, which marked him the most, is a show we did in a cellar, where the guys were running on one side of the wall, running back the other way, they were catching each other and hop! They went around the vault with their feet, it was flying (laughs). It was the sun of the cellar vault, you know! Well, things like that where you think that people are ingenious and full of inventiveness, to always surprise us.
Arnaud: Yeah, it’s true!
I like the word ingenious. I would have said a bit dangerous too (laughs)
Adrien: No, because they don’t get hurt! (laughs)
Arnaud: They are stuntmen (laughs)
You mentioned it before. Your band has done about 200 dates and you’ve played in several countries. Is there one that particularly marked you?
Arnaud: I’ll let you answer (to Adrien), because I…
Adrien: Well yes, because you only played in France. No, no you did Belgium!
Arnaud : Belgium!
Adrien : Honestly, it would be complicated to answer, because in each country, there is something cool to do. In Belgium it’s the welcoming, the audience, the people, the generosity. We always talk about the generosity of the North, but it’s not for nothing. It’s real, it’s true! To have toured everywhere, between the South-East and the North of France, it’s two completely different mentalities, but really. So there is that, and that is also in Belgium: the welcoming. In Holland, the quality of the bands you play with. The amateurs in Holland are the pros in France, in fact! They play like crazy! When you go there, you shit your pants because, without being Gaspésie (laughs)… And then the level, super nice people, of course.
Germany is the same. Rigorous people. Spain, it is the heat, whereas we were in the middle of February and we were very well received, it was nice. Switzerland, it’s for their quiet side, and the same, we arrived on time at the gating, and finally, the orga arrived later than the band saying “Oh, well it’s the first time I see a band on time!”. So yeah, I couldn’t tell you ONE country, because finally, everywhere there is live music, there are people behind it and that’s what’s important!
It is indeed a very hard question, because from one country to another, it is so different. Maybe you take the time to visit a little bit when you are there, but still…
Adrien: It’s hard! It’s very, very hard, because you have very little time. You drive a lot, and when you arrive, you already have to unload the stuff, set up the merch… And finally, it’s rare when you visit the cities!
To end this interview, can we talk about your future projects?
Adrien : No! (laughs)
Maybe I should have turned the question differently (laughs)
Adrien : No, it’s a joke! Well… touring for the album. That’s it, tour, tour, tour.
Arnaud: We’re back on stage in July. On July 9th, at the RIIP Fest, in Tours. So we play at home!
Adrien: With Integrity!
Arnaud: Yeah, with Integrity! There is a poster which is clearly…
Adrien : Amazing !
Arnaud : That’s it! And then after, the Useless Fest at the end of August. Yeah, small festivals and then, that’s it!
Adrien: And the big tour!
Arnaud : European tour coming soon!
Adrien: We’re leaving… The first date is Dijon, and the last date will be the Czech Republic, passing by Germany, Belgium and Holland.
Arnaud: So the countries he likes!
This was my last question, thank you for taking the time to answer it and see you soon!
Arnaud & Adrien : We’re the ones thanking you!