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Video interview with Arno of Black Bomb Ä at Hellfest 2018

Black Bomb Ä is one of the pioneers in the French hardcore and metal scenes. They are around since 1995 and still alive despite many line-up changes. As they are about to release their self-titled album, we took the time for an interview with Arno, one of the 2 singers.

You played on the Mainstage 2 on saturday at 11:40AM. It’s not the first time at Hellfest, what is it like to comeback and storm it again ?

I wasn’t there in 2012, it was Shaun (Davidson). It’s been incredible. I played at Fury Fest back in the days, and it was already a huge mess. We played just before Napalm Death, good times, but today, it’s been a blast ! When I went on stage at 11:40AM, the place was already packed. Everybody came and I was like : “What the fuck?”. My heart had started to beat faster, it was cool! It’s incredible to see all these people, everybody smiling.

Verycords will soon release your new album on October 12th, and soberly titled “Black Bomb A”. You’re around for more than 20 years, so why a self-titled album now ?

Bands usually make a self-titled album, for their first record. We don’t give a shit. We are Black Bomb A, so we could name our album “Black Bomb A” in the end. It’s really brutal, like the music video we did for “Wake Up”, and still very short like 1 minute and 50 seconds. We also have longer songs with a bit less of melodic vocals, I think.

I need to step back a little. I don’t even have everything in mind for now. We will mix the album in July so … it’s gonna be brutal, very very brutal.

It’s been the greatest studio experience I’ve ever had, in my opinion, or the least painful one.

How were the recordings for this album ? You recorded it with Francis Caste …

Kind of. We did all the bass and drums with Francis Caste and we did all the vocals and guitars with Stéphane Buriez. We recorded the drums and bass at studio Sainte Marthe and it went all good. Francis Caste is an awesome guy, first as a human being, a big sense of humor and a fucking good producer !!! His ears are gold. He has very good ideas, shares them with us and can bring people to the best they can do so it’s great.

Stéphane Buriez [of Loudblast] is a long-time friend. I did many things with him, you know.We know him since we’re kids. So it was really smooth. Everything went all smooth, I think. It’s been the greatest studio experience I’ve ever had, in my opinion, or the least painful one.

You released a music video for “Wake Up”, directed by Mathieu Ezan. Can you tell us more about the song and the music video ?

We didn’t want to release a first song that will announce the album with too many melodic vocal parts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also Black Bomb A with melodic vocals ! We wanted that first song to be massive, like a big uppercut. Wake Up is a good song but we also thought about one or two other songs. We wanted to do this one because it’s a good song, Verycords liked it, people who are close to the band liked it.

It’s been quite natural for us so it’s fine. We like this song because it’s a dark one. I like that dark thing, violent and dark images and video. It makes me want to destroy everything.

What about the Riot Tour ? You’re gonna make a lot of shows until the end of the year.

Oh yeah ! It’s gonna be good. Between now and December 18th, maybe 44 shows, I think. It’s a super nice tour, we’re gonna play some killer venues, everywhere in France. We’re gonna play in so many places, it’s cool. We are super happy and I’m so stoked to start this tour.

We have to play some festivals this summer but from September 9th, we’re gonna play on every week ends. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and on, and on and on, so I’m stoked. It’s only the first leg, because we hope we can do some more shows in bigger venues later, I hope, if the turnout is good.

Playing so many shows is exhausting, what’s your special recipe to keep in shape ?

Woaw, do I need a recipe ? I don’t know, man !

You have a reputation of being partymakers !

That’s the recipe ! I don’t even know what I was about to say … but yeah, we know how to party hard. You usually have to pay attention at what you do but I don’t know … if it works, it’s fine. As long as I can do it, you know … Well, shit can happen sometimes. Sometimes, I was really wasted. Sometimes, we were all wasted after the show, but it’s fine on the next day. I can do it, it’s fineand we have a lot of fun. It’s all about fun. We laugh a lot so no pressure. We have to keep this spirit alive.

You are on the Rage Tour roster. It’s like a big family, right ?

Yeah, they’re like brothers. All the people working there, Nico, Séverine, the Tagada Jones dudes, Pepelle, … Sriracha cared about Black Bomb A’s tours first. They made us play in a lot of venues, we really appreciate. They’re brothers and I have a huge respect especially for Sev and Nico’s hard work. They were nothing when they’ve started their business and I think they have balls. They have strong ethics.

We have something to share and we don’t care much about what people think

Are you a bit stressed out about how your album will be welcomed, from the press to your long-time fans ?

It’s always a pleasure when people come and say : “Yeah ! Great ambum ! Cool !” Speaking for myself, I don’t give a shit about what people think. Don’t get me wrong, it’s heart-warming when people say “Your show was dope ! I really love your new song. Your new album is my favorite”, or the contrary. Of course, we love when our fans tell us they like what we do. We do music because we love it, we have something to share and we don’t care much about what people think. We are a bit rough when it comes to this but we have also a good sense of humor. Take it easy.

What is the most iconic Black Bomb A song ?

I think we won’t agree on the song among all the band members. I’d say Mary, because it’s the most famous song. I used to love Police back in the days, Make Your Choice, there are a lot of iconic songs but I’d say Mary because it’s the most famous. And I like weed.

You are one of the most famous French punk/metal/hardcore band. Typical question but why don’t you have songs in French with Black Bomb A ?

We all have a music background that comes from the English and American culture. I used to listen to music when I stayed at my grand mother with my cousins, she made me listen to English rock, you know. MC5, stuff like this. Led Zeppelin, The Doors… Then I discovered more brutal stuff, punk stuff, The Exploited, GBA, Discharge, Bad Brains, Bad Religion, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, so my music background comes from there, as well as all the band members.

Poun was very much into Les Bérus (Berrurier Noir). I didn’t care about that. It was not my cup of tea at all. I have a huge respect for the band but I didn’t like their music. Lyrics are cool though, but I’ve never been into this band. I needed better played music. Sorry to say this.

It makes sense to me : French is not a rock ‘n roll language. It’s a pain in the ass to write good rock ‘n roll lyrics in French. It’s more straightforward when you have to write lyrics in English. English sounds good, nothing to do with French. The way it sounds, your know?

You did a featuring on stage with Benighted on Altar stage on Friday. Could you tell us more and what are your ties with Benighted ?

I know the band from the beginning. I’ve always loved what they do and they are really talentend guys ! We met them once on a show and I watched them, it was a festival. So we met and we got along pretty well. We’ve learned to know each others and we became close friends, really close friends. Julien, the singer of Benighted, told me that he wanted to do a featuring on a previous album. I wasn’t in Black Bomb A anymore at this moment so I was basically doing nothing, I kinda stopped doing music. So we met and he told me : “We are in the making of Necrobreed, our next album. There’s a song for you. All these parts are for you and you have to record them”. I accepted because I love these guys. They are adorable ! Musically speaking, they are awesome, man ! Julien’s vocals are crazy and he can do so many things with his voice ! I was really honored, so I did it. They sent me the track and Julien told me : “There’s a text part there, then, you can do what you want.”

It happened like this. I did all the vocal takes at home with Jacou, in Jacou’s studio, and I sent all the stuff to Kristian Kohle, their producer, who’s an incredible dude. We did it for the first time for their 20th birthday at CCO in Villeurbane and we did it again today. It was so good and we were like “Fuck, yeah”. There were a ton of people on this day : Sven of Aborted, Niklas of Shining, so we had a very good time and we had much fun. They were happy and they told me : “We both play at Hellfest this year, so you have to do it again !” I loved it! Man, there were so many people at the Altar stage !

Is there any band you saw at Hellfest and really made you fall on your ass ?

Seven Hate. Burning Heads too! They are good friends but I’ve always loved this band, musically speaking. It’s really good French punk/rock. They’re still and will always be at the top. There were Uncommonmenfrommars too, very cool, but I really loved the Burning Heads show and they played a lot of songs I love. There were Svinkels, very cool too ! Otherwise, Get The Shot, our friends from Quebec. Really cool, very good dudes. I was just done with my show on the Mainstage and I ran at the back of the stages to get to the Warzone stage.

The last words are for you ! Let’s go !

Keep coming to the shows. Come. Bring some people with you. Keep being interested in some new bands.There are a lot of fucking good bands around, everywhere in the world, very intesting bands. In France too, there are a lot of bands that aren’t that big and really rocks! Keep making bands, set up shows, and make this kind of events alive. Be … just be good people.

About Greg Legarand

As a musician, I've been involved in bands since the early 2000's and have been constantly releasing records and touring since then. I use to play the guitar and sing in Bare Teeth and sometimes do solo stuff. I've founded Distrolution to provide bands and labels tools and services they need to get more exposure and help them as best as I can.

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