Canadian death metal onslaught Insurrection is ready to push their music to the next level, with what is their fourth album to date, titled "Extraction". The album already receiving two singles released from it, with a fifth album underway already, the band plans to tour all over in no time at all, with even more plans to follow suit. Bassist Martin, discusses the album at hand, it's singles at play with touring activity in-between, with a lot more!
1. What role do you play in the band?
Martin: I’m Martin, the bass player.
2. Insurrection is your namesake, but why is that? Does the name represent a meaning or is it just a name?
Martin: Well this issue dates back to summer 2003 when we first got to jamming. Our choice was influenced by two major factors. First, we live in a very bilingual area, the Gatineau-Ottawa region which is the Capital region of Canada, we wanted find a word that would sound good both in French and English. Second, which relates to the choice of the word itself, the name Insurrection, we were, and still are after 15 very well concerned with social and political issues in Canada and around the world. This really shows in the song names and the lyrics. I would not go as far to say that Insurrection is a fully engaged and politicized band, but in a general sense, the issues we talk about, are political. An insurrection is usually said to be a violent uprising against an authority or government. In this sense, the name might be a little more radical than we are but we feel nonetheless that it embodies the essence of the band’s song writing and themes.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
Martin: This is always the tricky question! I would say that at the core of the band we have been influenced by bands like Obliveon (Longueil/Montréal), Nevermore, Misery Index, Neuraxis, and so many other bands. We’ve always revolved around thrash and death metal while never really being into strong melodic or tech. I think to be honest, we have no pretention of having the skills to be tech or super melodic. We’ve always liked ‘industrial’ or ‘mechanical’ sounding music. Not necessarily industrial metal, but more like the symbolism associated with machinery, cyber-sounding and eerie melodies. Also we love ‘groovy’ stuff. Antonin (guitar player) once told us as we were in an 8 hour ride that he always thought, even before joining the band in 2013-2014) that Insurrection was “metal you could dance to”. I think that describes our groovy side.
4.What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Martin: As I have said with the choice of name, the themes which are at the core of Insurrection’s symbolism is social and political. We have used the theme of democratic representation and the role of economic lobbies in the democratic decision-making process in songs such as Choose Your Poison and Four More Years (Prologue, 2008) and have talked about the lack of historical memory in History Repeats itself (Fracture, 2010), Checkmate (Prototype, 2013), Parasite (Extraction, 2017). We are all sci-fi geeks and have been influenced dystopian and post-apocalyptical fiction, and movies such as the Terminator series so we also talk about the perils of ever more efficient and intrusive technology (we talk a lot about our fear of toasters) in songs like Fear Tomorrow (Prologue, 2008), or Prototype (Prototype, 013) and Data Extracted… End Transmission (Extraction, 2017). These themes always raise ethical issues of our human condition which makes them fundamentally sociopolitical issues.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Martin: Yes we do! Our song writing process has changed a lot in 15 years. Prior to 2013 and Prototype Martin was one of the two guitarists, along with Vincent. Martin usually wrote songs which would be modified and finalized by the group. With Fracture, Vincent got to do more writing. When we wrote Prototype in 2012-2013 all members at the time got into the writing process, even Stef Jomphe the singer. As for Extraction all the band members at the time took songs and riffs together working until everyone could work with the songs. I (Martin) was not there, I joined during the end of the recording, but I think that Extraction is the most solid Insurrection disk because of the fundamental changes in the song writing process.
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Martin: We used to say as a joke that Insurrection is like death-thrash “with 50% more robots”. I would say that it’s a good mix of groove and heavy riffs, with some hints of more complex or intricate yet not ‘out-of-this-world’ melodies or technicity.
7. What image do you think your music conveys?
Martin: I think the music conveys and image of nice people playing the music they love to hear and play. I mean we’re pretty easy-going people and our music is also very approachable too.
8. How did you and Galy Records come together and are you happy with what they have to offer you?
Martin: We’ve known Galy for quite some time and have worked with him since 2013. Galy has represented a good portion of Quebec metal bands throughout the last decade and continues to distribute good music to this day. Right now he handles all of our distribution on Itunes and in stores.
9. Can you tell me a little about the songs that have been released in the form of singles, why were these chosen as such? Will they receive the music video treatment as well?
Martin: Well we have a lyric video for “System Failure” which was released August 20th 2017 on bravewords.com (http://bravewords.com/news/exclusive-insurrection-premier-system-failure-video). This is the first single we released and is also the opening track on Extraction. It felt logical to use this one first because the band has been playing that song about a year now. We felt this would be appropriate a fun for the fans who already heard this song live to have it as an official track. We released the second single with No Clean Singing (http://www.nocleansinging.com/2017/09/26/an-ncs-premiere-insurrection-data-extracted-end-transmission/). This is the closing song of the album and is also the one featuring Bruno Bernier from Obliveon. We don’t think we’ll be releasing an official video for this album (we’re broke!!!) but nothing is set in stone. We have to figure out a lot of details. There might be a live video or two in the next year. But readers will have to stay tuned in!
10. "Extraction", is the fourth album for Insurrection, what does it feel like to be upon album number four?
Martin: “Alright enough of the three-step podium”! We’re very happy with this fourth album, even if it took more time to do it (4 years). We think that a fourth album is a sign of professionalism and seriousness in a band and we’re happy to have reached this point. Bear in mind that since the beginning of the band, Insurrection has had 3 line-up changed. Stef Jomphe is the only member that’s been there for the full 14 years!
11. How would you say that "Extraction", has improved since the first album "Prologue" released back in 2009?
Martin: Actually Prologue was released in 2008. It has improved in the way we write the songs. Prologue had stuff we had been working on since almost 2004-2005. The band was formed in 2003. So we’ve had two other albums between Prologue and Extraction, and almost 10 years of practice, and of shared musical influences. I would argue that yes it has improved a lot, and our showmanship too, but this comes from hanging with a bunch of people you connect with. This pushes us to try and make better music while continuing what we’ve been doing since 2008.
12. Would you say that all of these albums, have a connection to one another in any shape or form?
Martin: One of the connection is the bilingual approach. We usually try to have a 50-50 ration of English and French songs. The themes are also present in all the albums. We’ve also tried to give the albums a link with the previous one. A melody from ‘Prologue to our demise’ is at the core of the intro to the Fracture album. This song is called “… Prologue”. Also the end of the melody in the song Processed on that same album is present in the intro “Overprocessed” on Prototype, which links that melody with the beginning of the song “Abattoir”. Finally the end of the song “Bruit sans fin” from that album is modified and became the main riff in the song “System Failure”. We think that that’s the kind of thing that is not necessarily apparent but when people find out, they think we’re pretty clever! And we like to think we are! (Haha)
13. Why should people go forth and check out "Extraction"?
Martin: They should go forth and check out “Extraction” because it’s our best album yet. It was mainly recorded at Wild Studios with Obliveon’s Pierre Rémillard and it has Bruno Bernier (Oblievon’s Frontman) singing with us on the track Data Extracted … End Transmission. It’s also really solid with no apparent flaws (aka. filler songs). I mean we’ve had some pretty awesome reviews to this day. Also people should buy Extraction, but should also come out to our shows. As I’ve said, Insurrection is a strong ‘live’ band, and we really like to talk to people at the merch table!
14. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
Martin: Another tricky question. I seriously don’t know how to answer this question. There are two redheads in the band, we’re pretty down to earth, we sing in both French and English (with a minimal accent might I add), but I think we do what all bands do, or should do, play the music they love and share that music with metalhead and music lovers everywhere!
15. What do you want to achieve as a band?
Martin: Be the first metal band to play on Mars! But more seriously, we’re trying to tour as much as we can, while dealing with work and family logistics. It’s hard to go out of the country within the current state of record companies so we mostly do it with the help of contacts in the different scenes all across Canada.
16. What does next year hold for you guys?
Martin: We’re trying to book a western-Canada tour for the summer which we never had the chance to do but always wanted to. We’ll start working on the fifth album with the new lineup in 2018-2019. This is something we’re looking forward to also.
17. Describe Insurrection in three words. Only three words?
Martin: Heavy groovy fun!