French Black Metal Masters CELESTE Are Back And More Evil Than Ever
The French black metal scene is at an all time peak right now, with the country churning out great records seemingly every week. While Celeste have certainly held themselves apart from that scene, it's hard not to tie them into their nation's impressive output. Their latest offering, Infidèle(s) is a cut above their peers'. Truly devastating, this sixth release hints at dark new futures for the band.
The band spent four long years polishing this record into the spiritually crushing masterpiece found here, and the forward thinking vision of the group has clearly only been pushed to further extremes. The balls out nihilism of the bottom end is only matched by the twisted vocals, reminding us again and again why this band has become one of the defining groups of their generation. Cult favorites for a notoriously picky group of fans, it's easy to see why Celeste are viewed as some of the best out there right now. They were a fun interview at Psycho Las Vegas too – you can read that below!
On the new record the band had this to say:
We're glad to finally present our 6th album Infidèle(s). It's been a 4 years process to write this effort, but we're really proud of the outcome. We feel like it's more melodic but more metal oriented at the same time compared to our previous releases. The help of Sebastian (who joined the band right after Animale(s)) was crucial in the writing process. His particular style of riffing helped the band to bring more nuance and diversity to our music. That makes this definitely our most accomplished work to date. We also payed a lot of attention to the production to make it sound much cohesive, and as usual we collaborated heavily with a talented photographer (Marta Bevacqua) to provide iconic artwork.
Stream it now:
And the interview:How are you guys?
Guillaume (G): In a good place – we played and we're relaxed now.
Johan (J): It's a cool fest despite some problems we had with the gear – it was pretty good.
How does it feel to fly from France to Vegas to play for 45 minutes!
J: We are used to it. We haven't traveled so far for one show but we have driven 12 hours to play 45 minutes. It's much further to come here but it's totally fine. And we're doing a show tomorrow in LA which lets us enjoy things a bit more. These are our first shows here.
A lot of French bands have a hard time leaving France – why do you think you've been able to expand?
J: Because we are genuine. We were one of the first to do this kind of music so it helped us to get a name quickly. Of course we have a very positive audience in the US and the UK but it's nothing compared to a band like Gojira who played here yesterday. We are known abroad but are not the biggest.
Antoine (A): It might be because we have a very different style of doing shows and composing music.
J: The live show is quite different and I think that's helped us. I don't know if that's a good way to get famous but it has probably helped the name.
What inspired the live show?
J: From the very beginning we tried to do something different from the other bands but it's hard to find something totally new. We started with strobes, tube lights and smoke. But that had already been done by Amenra and we were searching for something new. A friend of ours came to a party with headlamps and we thought it was funny. It looks silly, but why not? We tried it once with white lights and it was cool and then we switched to red and have stuck to it since then.
Something I've always loved about France is the good black metal from the country – what inspires so much black metal from that country?
G: I didn't know France inspired black metal!
J: France has always been good in art. Black metal is a kind of art for sure. That's why we do it I guess! We aren't really a friendly people and kind of sad stereotypically and I think that helps it.
Do you not identify with French black metal?
J: We never play with them. We know we are linked but we don't know them. A lot of them are just studio bands. A lot of people compare us to bands like Blut Aus Nord but I don't know how being French makes us linked. We don't play shows together and don't really have the same audience. If you would meet us and some of those bands you would totally know who is from which band. We are very different from them.
What about your attitude is different?
J: We aren't serious at all. Music is fun. We have a concept between our albums and take it seriously with album titles and all the scenery behind it but it doesn't mean we always have to be serious. We're just friends enjoying music and going on tour. Being in Las Vegas is pretty much the climax of what we have done as a band. It feels weird to play here and we just want to enjoy being together and have fun. We aren't serious – but don't tell anyone!
G: We are serious when we work with the music but we don't take ourselves seriously.
A: We just enjoy it when we are on stage. We have a specific mindset but we don't have an attitude.
G: We don't want to be famous.
Sebastien (S): We just want to have fun!
J: We work a lot on the music and we work with serious people but in general we want to have fun.
When you were forming this band was it hard to find folks with that attitude?
J: I mean we were all friends at the time – just alcoholic dumbass guys so it was comfortable to join up.
I'm a little thrown by your separation from the scene because I've always touted you as one of the best examples of the scene…
J: Were you expecting something else? (Laughter) We're not trying to show off our cultural knowledge with this band.
What inspires you?
G: We try to touch everything we listen to, to make it more evil and to fuse it together.
J: It's not only a patchwork of influences though. I think that one of the things we've done is to create new things from our influences. They are really widespread. We listen to deathcore, Katy Perry, and weird emo stuff. So the whole thing can seem like a silly idea. But if you just take something from each of those it would suck. One main idea is to do the most violent and darkest thing we can play and create. That's mainly what we have tried to do for the last 12 years and for the last few albums we have tried a few different things, but that's the general aim!