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Our meeting with Cyril from Stubora at Hellfest 2022!

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 Cyril, singer and guitarist of the French band Stubora!

Hi Cyril! To start this interview, please introduce yourself and your band!

Cyril: I’m Cyril, I’m the guitarist and singer of StuborA. There are 3 of us in the band, we also have Mick on bass, who also does vocals, and we have Niala, who plays drums. We’ve been around since 1996, so that’s a long history. But like some bands, I would say that the history was strewn with obstacles, sometimes big obstacles, since we even had to stop for two years, because the previous drummer had a big motorcycle accident. We had put everything on standby and so on.

And then finally, the comeback didn’t go as planned, so… That’s why our story was really cut into a lot of pieces. We really restarted in 2015 with an album, the new drummer, so we put everything back together. Even though we’ve been around for so many years, it’s really since 2015 that we started to get back to a normal activity!

We’re at the Hellfest festival. How does it feel to be in such a mythical festival?

Cyril: It’s always extremely pleasant. The first thing is that it’s extremely pleasant. It’s also good for your ego, you know! Doing an interview at Hellfest is always really nice! And it’s always special, because you see a lot of friends, a lot of people that you don’t necessarily see, except when you do concerts, quickly etc. There, sometimes, you have more time, so you also meet people who are not necessarily in the same place and you see them at the same time, in the same place! So it’s really nice. And then, there are so many bands, so many things to see. The site is incredible! There are great concerts!

Well, this year, we live a little bit I would say an edition that is already particular because it is during two weeks. Also particular because the first week, you are under an incredible drought, it was hard, and now, it’s raining, there’s floods… So it’s incredible, it’s really good. We have the chance to have, I think, the biggest festival now, especially this year. It’s a bit of a paradox I think. In France, we have the biggest metal festival, while metal, in the media, except yours and the media… We’ll say without the traditional media, it doesn’t exist! The traditional media, they don’t talk about it. Maybe now, we talk a little bit about Hellfest, but it’s true that it’s a paradox, I think!

I understand that you did both weekends. Are there any bands you didn’t want to miss when you found out about the complete lineup?

Cyril: Yeah, so for me, there are a lot of bands from the Warzone. Because I actually come from the hardcore scene. So all the bands in the Warzone: we had Agnostic Front, now we’re going to have Terror. Who else was there? I even forgot, there’s so many! But the Warzone, yeah. I thought that the first week, there was a great line up! Yesterday, there was Kreator who was really good. Well, afterwards, it got worse because with the rain, it was a bit less practical. But yeah, the first week, I thought that there was a great hardcore line up. The second week, a little less so. And then in bands that I wouldn’t like to miss, there is obviously Metallica who is closing, it’s always good to see Metallica live. Especially because it’s the first time they have it, it’s the only band they didn’t have until now. There are so many bands. I’ve seen bands that I haven’t seen in years. Godflesh, yesterday, that I saw. They really manage to have legends!

By the way, where are your two band mates? They couldn’t make it?

Cyril: So Mick was there the first week. Niala couldn’t come because he had other obligations! But Mick was there the first week. Actually, Mick is also a big music fan, so he had concert tickets to go see Metallica in Germany, he has a lot of stuff like that! He loves to go to concerts. Because we come from the East of France, so we have Luxembourg, Germany, and he had a lot of stuff to see. So he went to see concerts!

You were telling me about it earlier. Your band was created in 1996. In spite of your break, what do you think is the magic recipe to have such a longevity?

Cyril: I think it’s just a matter of passion, really. That’s what you notice… When you’re young, there are often a lot of bands. The hardest thing is the duration. Especially when you don’t have the support of a label and all that. That’s the hardest thing, because afterwards, life goes by, there are lots of other obligations and that’s what’s tricky. But what makes us “resist” is the passion. We have a passion for music that has been the same since we were young and we have always kept it. That’s what motivates us, actually. Doing the shows…

Now, we were able to start them again. We started the concerts… I don’t want to tell you anything stupid… I think it was in March, April… I don’t know! There was a new cancellation period so I knew we had some in January, but it was cancelled again, so I don’t know. But we were finally able to officially start playing shows again without really being bothered, so that’s why we’re doing it. So yeah, that’s the passion!

By the way, how do you manage your professional and personal life with the management of a band? Not too complicated?

Cyril: We actually have a great common agenda, where we put everything we have to do and all our obligations to make sure we plan everything in advance. After that, the thing is… Since we’ve been working together for a long time, Mick, I’ve known him since I was in high school, so we’re really close, so it also makes it easier to get along. We were able to develop a working method that way. We work a lot remotely, we exchange a lot. Now, we have everything we need to exchange. We each have our own home studio, so we really only meet when we need to fix things, and then we fix it in the agenda. And for the concerts, I told you, we have a common agenda, so we know directly which are our free dates and we try to anticipate and then it works. And you know, when you have the passion… you always find the time.

You each have your own home studio. I guess that was handy during the lockdown.

Cyril: Yeah! Well, it’s been years since we started… At the beginning, I wanted my own studio because I wanted to have the time to do things right. Because we all had experiences in studio where every time you finish, even when you go to a great studio, saying “I need a few more days…” and then the studio is not free, you can’t add more time etc., or you don’t have the budget. It’s always complicated! So it’s been about ten years since we started working like this. I learned. And little by little, we developed, each one, our capacity to work alone. And we can now record ourselves alone.

I’m the one who reintegrates, who makes the mix, master etc. But then, with all the confinements, the Covid period, well actually we were much freer than the others, because we didn’t need to book anything. Unfortunately, the first thing is that we had a new album out in 2019, November 2019. So we were supposed to start the concerts in March 2020… Everything was stopped! We said to ourselves: “So, we have nothing to do”, that’s why we made an EP. We made an EP while being in confinement because we were able to exchange, to work remotely, we made visio to talk about the tracks, to try things together. And we benefited in fact from the facility of technology to be able to make an EP. Because we wouldn’t have done it without it.

Are you talking about your EP “Aprem au Garage”?

Cyril: Yeah!

It was also a way for you to stay in touch with your fans!

Cyril: We did two EPs, because we did “Vision Obscure” which we did during the lockdown, and then we thought… It was for Christmas. We thought: “People don’t have concerts or anything”. We did the EP of covers that we had started to do. So it’s the same, as we are autonomous. Especially that the EP “Garage” was only distributed in digital. As they are covers, we put it in download, it was available during the period of end of the year in free access. Everyone who wanted to download it downloaded it, and then it disappeared.

On this EP, if I’m not mistaken, there are covers in English, whereas you usually release songs in French. Was it a challenge for you?

Cyril: No, because… Well, challenge yes, it always is! When the band started, we were in English. Since the first part of the band’s history, we are still more hardcore, we sing in English. In fact, when Mick joined the band, he came with a much more melodic singing. We changed our style because we wanted to do other things at that time. That’s also why there are really different stages in the band. And we thought that our English wasn’t perfect enough to do it, because the accent, especially when it’s melodic, well you hear it if it’s not perfect. And we said to ourselves: “Why not sing in French? We’re French, we sing in French, there are lots of bands doing it, it would work well.

Even if our style is maybe a little bit further away from what is usually done with a French song, but we said to ourselves: “Let’s go!”. In fact, we found ourselves in a good position, because we manage to write lyrics that are perhaps deeper, more detailed than when we did it in English, because we have perhaps less vocabulary in English. But now, quite naturally, we came back to singing in English, which is what we did before and what we had already done. And we don’t forbid ourselves from one day covering songs with bits of English or others. In fact, we don’t put any constraints on ourselves!

You anticipated my next question: can we imagine, in the future, new songs in English?

Cyril: Yeah, so maybe not song. At the very least, maybe! But I don’t think so. I don’t think we’ll do a song in English. If there was a chorus in English, yeah, why not. In fact, it all depends on the title, it all depends on what you want to say and what the message is!

Would it be possible to detail your composition process and the roles of each band member? Do you each have a predefined role or is it a real team work?

Cyril: Well, it’s both! Mick and I write the songs, we compose the songs and we write the lyrics. Generally, we have an initial exchange until we come up with something that we feel is accomplished musically and in terms of singing melodies. At this point, we bring in Niala who will rechallenge everything rhythmic in the songs. Niala already plays several instruments.

He plays guitar, bass and drums. He has this ability to take a step back on the groove, the rhythms, so he will suggest, change elements. And from that moment, we freeze the song and that’s when we write the lyrics. So sometimes, you’ll have songs that are 100% Mick or 100% me, and sometimes, we mix. Sometimes, Mick will have a better idea for a vocal line on one of my songs, it can vary!

For us, it’s the melody that comes first. We’ve always been looking for the melodies and the whole thing. That the melody of the song fits perfectly. So we are first on the melody, and then we force ourselves to write the text that sticks to the melody.

On your EP “Vision Obscure”, is there a track that speaks to you more personally than another?

Cyril: So personally, I don’t know. I think that “Atta” is a little bit particular because it talks about a story that comes from our region, from Lorraine. Because it is the arrival of Attila in Lorraine. It is a song, when I had seen the history… I thought it was quite strong in relation to our region. He passed through Metz, since we are from Lorraine. And I wanted to put it in. So that’s one of the songs that I thought was strong.

Which is also strong because it goes back a little bit to our roots with thrash. It’s a bit more thrash than the others. Because we mix a little bit all these styles: heavy, thrash, rock and even sometimes a little bit of stoner. We have this mix, because it represents all our influences. So we try, like this, to mix everything. So this one, it’s the song that is maybe, let’s say, a little bit different. It’s the closest one.

What are the future projects of Stubora?

Cyril: We decided to start a new album. So we are composing the new songs. We’re usually pretty slow when it’s like this. It will take us a few months. What we would like is to be able to record it by the end of the year. We would like this time to approach a label, because we see that there, we arrive at our limits in terms of agenda. We were talking about it earlier. So we’d like some help to try to push us a little further and continue to develop the band. So now, we’re starting. We already have a few tracks, we’ve already started talking with Mick. There are things that will probably be a little bit different, maybe a lot different. We like to refresh, not to take the same recipe each time we make new songs. We mix influences so it’s always… We’re not going to do pop tomorrow, or indus’! But yeah, we already have a few things that are going to be different!

Stubora - Tournée 2022

That was my last question, the last word is for you! If you have a message for our readers, now is the time!

Cyril: Well, thank you for interviewing us! And don’t hesitate to go on the streaming platforms to listen to us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram. We try to publish a maximum of things. In fact, we like to share what we live, so we try to share it on Instagram, on Facebook as much as possible, especially when we play concerts. When we have time, we share We were in the South of France, so for us, it was crossing France. So we also like to share so that people can see a little behind the scenes. They should not hesitate to follow us and listen to us!

Interview by Valentine KLIPFEL for Distrolution / Distrolution Merch.
Thanks to Cyril from Stubora for his time.
Thanks to Roger WESSIER from Replica Promotion for the opportunity, as well as to the press team of the Hellfest Festival (Elo, Romain…).

About Valentine

I've been writing for various music websites since 2011 and joined Distrolution in 2017. Huge fan of pop punk and punk rock music.

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