EMQ’s With ICE CHEMICALS
Hi Everyone. Welcome to another EMQS interview, this time with French Progressive Metalcore band, Ice Chemicals. Huge thanks to them for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
We are Ice Chemicals, we play a kind of Progressive Metalcore, with some influences from Industrial Metal or Gothic Metal. It really depends on the tracks, as we like to experiment.
As for the history, we have to go back to 2013: Stéphane and Kevin were playing in a Death Metal band called Nepenths. The band broke up and both wanted to continue to play together. They formed the embryo of Ice Chemicals in 2018, wrote and recorded the instrumental parts of a first EP called “Primal”. Geoffrey joined the group as singer in 2019 and began working on the lyrics. Then COVID happened, putting everything on pause until the beginning of 2021. At that time Anaïs joined the group and wrote the vocal parts. In the summer Geoffrey and Anaïs recorded the vocal parts, allowing them to finish the mix and to release the EP in august 2021. Later on, seduced by the band’s music, Alex joined the band as drummer.
How did you come up with your band name?
We wanted a name linked to space but every cool name was already taken. An early idea was “Conjunction of the Spheres” as reference to the Witcher universe, but it was kind of difficult to say and too long. Finally Stéphane was reading a Batman comic and created this derivative from “ACE CHEMICALS”, twisting it to “ice” to inspire some kind of Nordic vibe. “Chemicals”, as a “science” word is also a reference to the modern sound we were looking for.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from the Paris region, in France. Compared to some other countries such as the US or Sweden and Norway, the Metal scene is kind of timid. But there are a lot of talented bands not known internationally except for a few exceptions, such as Gojira. That’s probably because Metal is not really considered as “true” music by French media. However the scene is getting a lot of spotlight thanks to the Hellfest getting bigger and bigger.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
The ‘Primal’ music video in November 2021, from our EP released in August 2021.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Periphery, Slipknot, and Soilwork are the main influences with regards to the writing of instrumental parts. However each member has different tastes, so we try to incorporate a lot of different things from various universes and atmospheres.
What first got you into music?
Stephane’s father taught him the guitar as a kid. Discovering metal as a teenager, he wanted to create his own sound. Kevin met Stephane, and after a lot of fun on Guitar Hero’s drums, he began practising for real. Geoffrey took interest in metal as a teenager and always dreamt of being a singer. At some point he began taking singing lessons and loved it. Anaïs grew up in a household filled with music. She studied piano at music conservatory, and some bass guitar. Singing came later.
Alex grew up in a family full of rhythmic musicians: bass players, drummers…
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
Devin Townsend. We would surely learn a lot from him. Besides, he is a very nice guy.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Hellfest is the biggest scene in our country, so it would be a big step for us. Wacken open air would also be a great experience.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
No weird gift yet. What were you expecting ?
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thanks a lot for your support. The messages we receive are pushing us to work harder and to release new songs!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Stephane: Alexi Laiho
Kevin: George Michael
Geoffrey: Wayne Static
Anaïs: Peter Steele
Alex: Joey Jordison
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Geoffrey: My work takes a lot of space in my life, so I love playing music as it fully occupies my brain with something else. I also love discovering music theory and new instruments, it’s like learning a new language. I hate that it takes so much practice to get good ☺
Stéphane: I also love to escape. And to create. The thing I hate the most as a metal musician is when someone says Metal music (or Jazz and any technical style of music) is just noise and requires no skill, then compares it with a random pop artist who have poor music skills or no originality. When you make music for a long time it is very frustrating to read or hear these kinds of comments from random guys.
Kevin: I love to compose and to create an atmosphere, a universe. I hate setting up my instruments.
Anaïs: I love when it’s effortless. I hate when it feels like work.
Alex: I love progressing, feeling that I am getting better. I hate when I feel stuck and that I do not evolve anymore.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
We see a lot of hypocrisy in this industry. Too often, success is more about “who you know”, than about the quality of what you do.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Kevin: Devin Townsend – “Deconstruction”
Geoffrey: Marilyn Manson – “Holy Wood”
Stephane: Death – “Symbolic”
Anaïs: Björk – “Debut”
Alex: Pleymo – “Episode 2 : Medecine Cake”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?
Streaming has allowed people to discover so many little bands that would be unknown without that. Even if the system is not perfect in terms of remuneration, it makes it very easy for little bands to release music and get heard even without the support of a major.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
No gigs to date, thanks to COVID.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
None of us is a musician as a prime activity, so…
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Lemmy Kilmister, Henry Cavill, Maynard James Keenan, Sheldon Cooper, Bryan Cranston
What’s next for the band?
We are currently working on another EP. We plan to release it around spring 2022.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/artist/ice-chemicals/1580315132
Youtube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCr8yuWv3-cAVGF8wJF-wGww
Other platforms: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/icechemicals/primal
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
In France we call it a “petit gateau”. It works for both cake and biscuit.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Omelette du fromage!
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