Updated: Jun 24
Via Sick and Destroy Webzine : "Technical death metal, mixed with neoclassical metal tunes, sounds enough interesting? Yeah, welcome, Canadian band First Fragment! Tell me about First Fragment. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore? And what has been brought you into technical death metal?"
Hi there. The name “First Fragment” was originally a working title that we decided to keep. We weren’t looking for a name to go along with a specific theme and it was catchy sounding so we kept it. Our love for neoclassical metal and extreme, relentless death metal is what brought us to play the music we play now.
“Dasein” album was released three month ago. How does that make you feel? Do you feel you have put album into masses without any wishes to change something now? Tell me more about “Dasein”? Album ideas etc… Also, are there some songs which you have decided to exclude from the album?
It feels truly great to have finally released something that has been in the works for 3 years. However, I’m just talking about the recording process here. The song themselves are between 6 to 12 years old. It was about time we got this album out so we could move on to do other things. I wouldn’t change anything on Dasein though. There are almost 200 different songs we could’ve included on Dasein. We felt those 11 were some of the best we had. Although there are many differences and contrasts between these songs, I think they all flow well together and I can’t imagine how the album would be like had we replaced one of the tracks for another one.
Any European tours planned this year?
Nope, but we do want to play some European dates in 2017 at the very least.
Your main themes are: Metaphorical Themes, Abstract/Expressionistic Poetry, Ongoing Conceptual Saga… Can you tell me more on this topic?
Dasein is a conceptual album that follows the original concept/story that was established with the EP’s lyrics. The way David writes his lyrics is very unique though. He only writes rhymes, and they are written in a very enigmatic yet poetic way. Only him alone knows the true meaning behind the lyrics and every sentence is a piece of a very mysterious puzzle. He is currently writing a book about the conceptual story he has created for our lyrics.
Do you feel you have achieved something new in music now in difference from “The Afterthought Ecstasy”?
The songs on Dasein are simply better arranged, better composed, more intense and better played. There’s no question about it. Although the production on TAE was very satisfactory, the overall feel and playing on the EP was too mechanical (and with a drum machine, it doesn’t help). On Dasein, the performances are tight but organic and the production is much less sterile. I can understand Dasein being a little harder to digest than a 27 minute EP on first listen because of it’s length, but I simply disagree with the few that have said the EP was superior.
In your opinion, what is the best way to define First Fragment’s sound?
If I had to describe our sound with one sentence, it would probably be something like “Yngwie Malmsteen with blastbeats and growls”. We play a very extreme form of metal that belongs in both the “technical death metal” and “neoclassical metal” subcategories.
So, are you on hiatus now, just relaxed and looking for album feedbacks, or did you started to compose new stuff immediately?
Definitely not on hiatus. We are always working on new material. We have 200+ songs written. The tough part is selecting the songs that will end up on our next recording. We have to keep writing new material too because we don’t want to have yet another album only made of old songs like on Dasein. It can take us a long time to write newer, fresh songs so we’re certainly in no rush.
What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
80’s power/neoclassical/prog metal: APOCRYPHA, HELSTAR, JOEY TAFOLLA, TOXIK, CACOPHONY, RACER X, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, WATCHTOWER Technical Death Metal: SPAWN OF POSSESSION, NECROPHAGIST, THEORY IN PRACTICE, MARTYR, CAPHARNAUM, ATHEIST The compositions of JS BACH, N. PAGANINI, A. VIVALDI, J. HAYDN and the masterful works of PACO DE LUCIA greatly influenced our music as well. Obviously, there are dozens, if not hundreds of other artists that influenced us in many ways so I’ll just name these for now.
Is there some well-known musician in particular that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
Oh for sure, but I can’t tell you who. Regardless, you’ll know about this soon enough. Keep an eye on our social media sites during the upcoming months. If you meant guest musicians, then I would say I’d really to have Josh Christian of TOXIK do a guest solo on our next album. He is the most underrated metal guitarist ever.
What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
We have no specific strategy set-up yet, but we are working on finding one. Things are progressing slowly but surely. With the help of our new manager François of SPC Enterprise, things will go smoothly. For now, we’re just writing music, booking tours, and preparing playthrough videos.
Do you have any other hobby beside music?
When I don’t play music with my bands or compose, I collect releases from old bands, listen to music all day, read a book or play video games. That is when I’m not working. I still enjoy nights out in the company of good friends once in a while, but I mostly enjoy solitary activities the most.
Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
Absolutely. Just to give you an example, my father sometimes work as our live sound engineer, has mixed our first two demos and has recorded vocals on all our releases ever. I come from a family of musicians. My mother has been extremely supportive as well. The other members of First Fragment are also closely followed by their relatives in their musical endeavors. We are very lucky to be surrounded by people who care for what we do best.
How’s the metal scene in Quebec right now? Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc there these days? As far as I know – there was always decent scene in Quebec!
It’s okay. Too much emphasis on black metal and technical death metal nowadays (yes, I know it is ironic for me to say this), but at least Quebec is good at those I guess. We have a scene for every subgenre, but it’s not well balanced. Doom metal ? Almost nonexistent. Heavy/speed metal? Idem. Deathcore? There’s at least 50 deathcore bands per square mile or so it seems. Otherwise, it’s easy to get gigs in the Montreal area with the presence of multiple booking agencies. We have a few metal shops scattered around, but only an handful in the whole province are worth visiting if you’re looking for truly obscure stuff or old school gems.
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road!
Thanks for the interview. Hope to see you at one of our shows one day! Conducted by sickanddestroy.info