AmartiA was another band I haven't heard of before and so time to learn a bit more about the French-German cooperation. Mainman Vince was ready to answer my questions. I really appreciate it!
First please tell us a bit about the story of AmartiA!
Amartia was born in 2000 as a duo composed of me and our former bass player Nicolas Sion. We recorded a first instrumental demo we distributed by ourselves, thus helping us to recruit Marielle Duroule as singer and Vincent Duparcq on the drums. We recorded Maieutics together, released November 2002 which received a very warm welcome both from audience and press. Soon after some concerts, like Raismes Fest in France with Freak Kitchen and The Gathering, lineup changed. Britta Herzog (singer) and Nicolas Dubois (Drums) joined us in January 2004 and gave the band a sort of second life. Since then, we released Marionette last year. Athony Broggia (keyboards) and Sylvain Ecrepont (bass) - both ex-Anachronia - then completed the lineup.
I read that Amartia is Greek and means 'sin'... Any deeper meaning behind this band name? What does it mean to you?
No, not particularly ! I just found this name one night, listening to Sin/Pecado from Moonspell. On booklet's central page, there is 'sin' translated in every possible language. The Greek just pleased me and it's easy to remember!
You had a few line-up changes prior to the release of Marionette and just another one took place. What happened?
Well, Marielle was not involved enough in music and in the band, causing some tensions so who left in Sept. 2003. Vincent Duparcq stopped his musical activities and did something else. All these change have been very good for the band 'cause lineup is much stronger now. No more ego problems like it was on the first album times. Everything is much more simpler now.
Please enlighten us, why you named the album Marionette?
Albums deals about manipulation in general and about somebody who would like to be free to be able to think by herself. This is the pitch on the Revolution der Marionette song. This track is very representative of the album itself and we would like to mention. Some other titles deals about the same subject but not necessarily the same way. But beware, Marionette is NOT a concept album!
Who had the idea for the art work? Who realized it?
Who did the artwork? Original idea came from me, referring the Revolution... track I was talking about earlier. We then developed the artwork together will all band members.
On your current album you have songs in different languages... And party combine them. How come?
This was natural in fact! Britta wished to talk in her native language and since Revolution der Marionette track intro atmosphere was symphonic and a bit 'martial', she proposed us these lyrics melting German/English and French. Some people have been a bit surprised by the result but we adored working like this! These times metal is very formatted, we wanted to propose something different and I think we succeeded in it ! We are a progressive band and we go this way, to break up a bit this very frozen Metal image.
What inspires you musically? And what inspires you lyrically?
Musical inspiration does not come necessarily from a band or a musical genre but from something you lived, a place or a person. Of course, our musical references are various, thus making Amartia music very rich, but songwriting is rather spontaneous. The lyrics, Britta's work at 95%, deal about things very personal to her, reflecting her own experience about life.
Which bands (have) influence(d) you?
I was very influences by bands like Iron Maiden, Queensr che, etc... In their 80's era and especially Mike Oldfield who is my main inspiration source in guitar play! You can easily hear this on titles like NDE. Then came bands like Nine Inch Nails, Dream Theater, The Gathering, Tiamat and the 90's extreme scene. I never stop listening to music! I like diversity very much, I feel comfortable to listen to things like Seal for example or bands a bit more 'classical'.
I heard you played some shows with Epica. Tell us a bit about these shows!
We played only once with Epica, it was in Lille-Splendid (FR) in April 2006. This was a date organized by Anthony and Sylvain, they were still in Anachronia a that time. The goal was to make a concert with a big shot as headliner and our 2 bands as opener. This was a huge success (concert was sold out). This allowed us to present our music to people who did not know anything about Amartia.
I saw the video clip for Ignorance. The live footage was shot when you played with Epica. Did you recorded several shows? And what's the idea behind the other stuff? Your idea?
The video clip was done by a couple of friends who work with http://bras.mekanik.free.fr association. The proposed us to shoot our live performance and to do a video clip for our album just for free! This was a great opportunity! Otherwise no concert have been recorded for a DVD release but this is a project we would like to do in 1 year or 2. But this needs a lot of material and human needs. We wouldn't like to do the thing the bad way.
Are any more shows scheduled? Will you play some festivals?
Yes, we have two concerts scheduled in our local scene, especially a date with Amphytrion - we are on the same record label. This date will take place October 20th in Saint Andre, 5 minutes away from Lille. We will certainly play in Belgium in April 2008 with the progressive band Headline, but no festival are planned for now.
It seems that the band is spread all over France and Britta lives in Hamburg. Do you think it's an advantage? Or does it slows you down?
Britta does not live in Hamburg. She was born in Germany, but lives in France for 15 years now - like the rest of the band. So there are no heck for rehearsals or recordings with Amartia.
As the album was released in France way earlier... Have you already started writing new material?
Yes! We have nearly 6 titles ready for our third album which will be released end 2008 / begin 2009. Some titles sound more rock style, but the whole thing is still progressive.
Vince, I heard you are working on a solo album. How much will if differ from AmartiA?
Yes, I work on a solo album and some compos come from Maieutics era! I never had the opportunity to work on them, but since it's a project I strongly believe in, I had to find time to work seriously on it. This will be more instrumental in a spirit close to Mike Oldfield or Peter Gabriel. A extract is available on my MySpace page www.myspace.com/vincentvercaigne
Will you recorded it on your own? Or will you work with some other musicians?
No, I record it on my own and the album is produced by Bruno Levesque who mixed Marionette - http://silenceprod.free.fr
He works on drums programming samples and some overdubs. He will mix the album, too. The result of his work is far much further than I was expecting at best! There will be some guests, a title will be sung by former singer from Syrens Call, Valerie Paul.
Anything else you want to tell us? Something I should have asked?
Thanks to you for this intie! Come and listen to our band on www.amartia.com and www.myspace.com/amartia
Vince could shed some light on what's going on in the Amartia camp. And it seems that rock fans should keep in mind the solo project....