Interview: Benighted Drummer Talks Recent Live Album, France’s Metal Scene

French death metal/grindcore act Benighted recently released a live CD/DVD combo titled “Brutal Live The Sick”. This combo features their performance at Sylak Open Air along with other greats such as Gojira, Turbonegro, Coroner, and Red Fang.  I had the chance to do an email interview with the band’s drummer, Kevin Foley, about this new release as well as other topics.

Can you tell us a little bit about your new live Cd+Dvd “Brutal Live the Sick”?

After the release of our latest record  “Carnivore Sublime”, we realized that we didn’t make anything special for the 15th anniversary of the band. We had in mind for a long time to record a live album and DVD as our main strength, which are our live performances. So as soon as we had the confirmation for the Sylak Festival, we chose to do it there and make this live CD/DVD in a limited edition as a gift to our fans who have supported us for such a long time.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPFJFBlBExQ&w=560&h=315]

What made you choose this particular concert for this two disc combo?

The promoters are very good friends of ours and have supported us since the very beginning. It’s the biggest festival in our area and it was obvious to record it there and thank them by the way for what they’ve done for the band even when we just started.

Whats your thoughts on the state of death metal today?

It’s great to see that the biggest bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Napalm Death and many more are still up there producing amazing albums, and on the other side bands like Cattle Decapitation (can’t wait to hear their upcoming record) and Anaal Nathrakh are bringing  a new sound to the scene. We are very lucky in France to have bands like Loudblast, Kronos, Gorod, Blockheads and Inhumate that prove France is exporting its scene.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccgqj3KDaVY&w=420&h=315]

You guys started out as a black metal band. What made you decide to make the drastic change from black metal to deathgrind?

Death Metal and Black Metal have always been a part of our music. Black Metal is still an influence to us like Grindcore, Hardcore, Punk around a Death Metal spine. Our music has to be brutal and groovy before all, and we don’t fear any experiment that could sound totally different than death metal if it serves the efficiency of our music.

What do you think is the most important element a metal band should focus on? Technically, brutality or something else?

Efficiency before all and by all means, using brutality, technique or high speed tempos.

Vocalist Julien Truchan works in a psychiatric hospital. Is this a major influence on the band’s lyrics?

All the lyrics in Benighted are inspired by his professional experience and taken from true cases and pathologies he has met at his job. If our music is kinda schizophrenic, our concept is totally respecting the reality of what mental illnesses are. The last album, for example deals with the story of a man suffering with a borderline personality and each track is about a part of his life and symptoms of his disease.

Any advice for young bands starting up?

Always be honest with the music you play. Don’t ever follow fashion styles, that’s the secret of the band.

If you were trapped on a desert island and could only bring one album which would it be and why?

Anaal Nathrakh / Passion, especially with the second song that really sounds like the apocalypse to me.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPwOKohNY9s&w=420&h=315]