Sunday 24 January 2016

Time To Go Hunting: An Interview with DUCKHUNTERS

Today's guests are part of upcoming French Stoner Metallers – Duckhunters, who released their superb debut album in December 2015. If you're a fan of bands such as Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu and Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel then these guys are the band for you.

I described the album as: “Extinction Road is a superb debut album. It's on the final epic song – Hands Of Doom – where the band finally create their own sound and show what a great band they actually are. It shows that the French Stoner Metal scene is providing another great band to check out. I would hope that on the next album that Duckhunters will carry on the sound from Hands of Doom as they have the potential to release something special in the years to come. They're not their yet but the signs are encouraging as they do have some great ideas on this album.

If you're not bothered about the concept of the album and you're only here for the riffs then you will find much to admire here. As Extinction Road is a thrilling debut album that will appeal to all fans of Stoner Rock/Metal.

I caught up Manu (Vocals) and Alain (Drums) recently to discuss how the band came about and what is Extinction Road actually about.

Hi guys. How are things with you today.

Alain: Hi ! What a lovely day !

So why did you choose the name Duckhunters for your band. Any specific meaning.

Alain: That's the name of the wild geese hunters on the Trans-Siberian construction site in the early 1900's. They were sharp-shooting badass mercenaries.

How did the band get together. Did you all know each other before forming the band.

Alain: We started playing together at the end of 2012. I had a band with Manu which had to split because of the guitarist's departure to another horizon. We started Duckhunters with Jeremy, former bassist of our old crew, and Guillaume. We met him on through internet: he shared the same will to play stoner and to drink a lot. During the 2013 summer, Jeremy left and came Isidore, today's bassist/hippie hater.

Manu: He drinks a lot too.

How would you describe your music.

Alain: It's a hard thing to do ! Well, let's say it's like a mammoth riding a T-Rex on the martian desert. More seriously, we are influenced a lot by bands like Orange Goblin, Goatsnake and Mastodon.

Your new album – Extinction Road – is superb. What can people expect from the record.

Alain: Thanks, you look beautiful too ! We invite people to ride with us through infinity on the extinction road, from a savage start to a doomed terminus.

Manu: We would like people to get hit in the face by this album the same way they would be if they saw us playing live. But also to show the potential of local scenes (Brest in this case) and draw attention outside our country.

The concept of the album is very dark. What was that your intention to release something dark as this.

Alain: Honestly, we are not very dark people. Well, if we hit our little toe in the table on a Monday morning we can release our inside kraken, of course. We are heavily influenced by post-apocaliptic imagery: books, films, comics... Manu developed this inclination in our demo (called Drop Dead) with lyrics about men who lose control, and there's an obvious tribute to Thunderdome, the most underestimated Mad Max movie of the saga. With Extinction Road, we wanted to go deeper in the post-apocaliptic genre. The dark side of our music came after the writing, when we realised that it was actually pretty twisted! And if you listen to the album, you will understand that hope isn't part of this world. Not anymore.

Manu: We built this album in order to drive auditors into the heart of what our future as humans could become. A future built (and/or destroyed) by money, violence, wars, solitude, selfishness etc.

Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

Alain: When we came in Y Prod's studios to record it, we had been playing the album's songs live for one year. So it was pretty fast. We managed to drive our crowdfunding campaign with success, even hitting the 200% score! This meant we could record 2 extra songs. The whole process was an amazing experience with the two great guys who run Y Prod. And there's also a pool table up there.

Manu: During the last year, we spent a lot of time playing our music live and trying to find the best version of each song. The way the crowd reacts at the end of a song is a good way to know it's impact. We recorded this album in professional conditions: Y Prod is a studio which began to record a lot of bands in Brittany. We are happy because they deserve it.

I think the album cover makes the album stand out. Who designed the cover. Did you have much input into the final version.

Alain: The artist is Jo Riou. He worked a lot with the stoner scene, making album covers and gig posters. He has made a name for himself in the stoner world. We discussed a lot about the album's concept and their were some other versions before this one. The result is a mix of Japanese print with a K. Dick inspiration that lets you know what kind of creatures there are in this world.

How hard is it being a band in today's world. What are the most difficult aspects in being in a band.

Alain: Playing the music you want is not hard, I guess... But the real job is to succeed rising from the huge amount of amazing bands, first in Britanny but also around the world with platforms such as Bandcamp. We heavily respect bands who succeed around us like Stonebirds. In our country, finding places to play live is harder. Venues close one after the other, and in the remaining ones you often have to share the scene with other bands. Fortunately there are associations that organize live events and artists reunions, like L'Amicale du Fuzz (Lorient) or Red Sun Fest in our city, Brest. Or plenty of association in Brittany (Rennes, St Brieuc, even Quimper last days !)

What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group collective or down to one individual.

Alain: We are a democracy. We take a decision when each of us 100% agrees. It takes time but we are always fully satisfied. Finally, we end this with swords fight.

What is your favourite song off the album.

Alain: Last Broadcast

Manu: The hidden track.

How did you get involved with music. Was it a specific band, album or artist.

Manu: First of all by listening to our favorite bands when we were younger. But our learning of music didn't go the same way for everybody. Some started playing an instrument pretty early (Alain and Guillaume) while others took to the stage later (Isidore and Manu) when they discovered the local scene and wanted to be a part of it. We all love Johnny Halliday too.

Will you be touring this record heavily.

Alain: Yeah we hope so! We would like to finally play outside our region and tour the country a bit, play with other bands etc.

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans.

Manu: Sorry, we can't play less loudly.

Alain: If it bleeds, you can kill it.

Well guys, thanks for doing this. All the best with the new album.
Alain: Thanks ! Live long and prosper.

Manu: Thank you, and thank you for this interview!

Words by Steve Howe, Manu and Alain.


Facebook | BandCamp