Saturday 10 February 2018

Aleks Evdokimov Interviews PRESUMPTION

I wanted to invite you to welcome new blood in the doom metal cult known as Presumption. They finally released their debut in late autumn 2017, but man – they’re actually been in business since 2007! Yes, these four angry guys play groovy, crude and really heavy doom for almost 10 years, and besides self-titled debut they managed to record three proper EPs. 

They successfully mix some thick doom, damn hard stoner and some other heavy elements in their songs absolutely competently, and it seems that they don’t plan to stop. Presumption’s vocalist and bass-player Moomoot reveals the band’s astonishing story.

Salute Moomoot! So… from where to start? I open metal-archives and it says that Presumption was founded ten years ago! You had done three EPs since 2013 to 2016, all of them are self-released… How would you describe first ten years of the band’s existence?

Hello Aleksey and thank you for your questions. I think that the first ten years allowed us to experiment with different styles (in chronological order: funeral, heavy, stoner etc.) and to forge our own musical identity. The gigs we did (approximately 100 - 150 now) also during this decade allowed us to see how the audience would react. Finally, each recording is very different and they bring a contribution in order to build our new opus.

I see that you, Anaël (drums) and Adrien (guitars) play together since 2007 and besides that you played in some bands besides Presumption together. How did it happen that you gather under the name of Presumption? What kind of concept was on your mind back then?

Yes, that's right! Anaël and myself (FYI, who is my brother) were in Azilum: a hardcore band from 2002 to 2007. At the time we were only fifteen years old. I was already listening to doom but I hadn't found other people interested in such a project and that's why we decided to create a doom band with Anaël. Adrien is a long-time friend of mine who I invited to play with us.

About other bands, we formed with Adrien and two other friends, around 2010 "EreXioN": a heavy metal band. We also participated in many other diverse and varied projects with Marvin, the other guitarist, as Obscurité (a black metal project). Moreover, Adrien and Anaël play in a Death Metal Band: Caseum.

To speak more clearly about the concept of presumption: we wanted to focus our imagery and text on the theme of justice, murder and of human deviance.

Presumption – La Meffraye

Really? What do attract you to these topics?

Some real facts have always fascinated us. Dr. Pétiot (Dr. Satan) is a rather interesting example of someone who used the cruelty of the Second World War to enrich himself. He is an interesting example of human deviance and what individualism and selfishness at its paroxysm can generate: rotten people. Some subjects of two tier justice are also very interesting because the power (financial or political) allows you to be judged differently. For me, the topic of justice is as much at home in doom as talking about grave, alcohol or satan’s whores ahah !

It’s said that the band’s influences vary from classic doom to NOLA scene, how do you manage to perform all of this in your self-title full-length released in November 2017?

Well, all these influences come from the fact that we don't really listen to the same music. For example with Dr. Satan: Celtic Frost influences us with quite tortuous riffs and a rather cold sound aesthetics. On the other hand, Atomic Fear can present certain aspects of NOLA music: guitars solos, some screams etc.. We don't focus on a single musical universe: we try to mix everything that pleases us and that gives Presumption.

And what about your own general influences as vocalist?

Frankly, it's very complicated. Singers such as Ian Gillian, Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, King Diamond, Phil Anselmo, Tom G Warrior, Lee Dorian or even Devin Townsend influence me a lot.

Maybe a little less but some singers like Kirk Windstein, Tom G Warrior, Peter Steele, Messiah Marcolin also influence me.

How and where did you record the album? Was it a real studio or a home one?

We recorded our album at La forge Studios close to Nancy (in eastern France). We recorded each instrument separately for 15 days. It is indeed a real studio that recorded, among others, Wheelfall and Phazm.

Ten years is a big date, and yet the album was released in DIY way as I see, did you find real label to release it? Do you feel that you were enough active to get out from underground?

Ahah, tricky question! Currently we released the album again in auto production but we decided to build a label (Sleeping Church Records) for distribution. However, we are not closed to future productions with other labels for the next releases. Then to answer the question of coming out from underground, I think doom metal is by definition an underground music (apart from very rare bands like Candlemass). We're not asking ourselves that question.

Do you plan to start the label only to release Presumption’s albums or do you want to support some other bands?

No. We already have some CDs of other bands in our mail-order. We also plan to sign some groups for distribution. We have already identified a few groups that we are potentially interested in. But I can't tell you any more!

How do you see Presumption compared to other bands of current French doom scene? I know that Barabbas releases their album DIY too and they play a lot, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band are on Emanes Records, Forsaken Peddlers are on their own and Northwinds are with Black Widow still. How often do you cross with them?

We don't place ourselves either under or above it: we all do our little ritual for Satan blablabla, drink beers, smoke joints and lights off!

All I can tell you is that I’ve known TBDLB since I was 15-16 years (2006) old. At the time I was listening to Reverend Bizarre, Yob, Cathedral and I was looking for French doom bands on Myspace (it sucks now... ah ah ah) and I found TBDLB. After that, I stopped following them on internet but we finally met in Poitiers a few years ago (2015) where we shared the stage together with Stonewitch.

The first time that I discovered Barabbas was an exchange of our first EP with their first opus Barabbas between Stéphane LeSaux and our “coach” Tony. We then shared a first date together in 2014. Then we played two more times together: in Rennes and Bressuire.

TBDLB we did a lot of dates together I won't be able to mention them all to you, sorry! About Forsaken Peddlers, it is very recent and it was a date in Louviers in Normandy. That was really cool! What good memories with all these guys!

Presumption – Dr. Satan

The new albums sounds damn HEAVY, I bet that it should be played really LOUD alive. What’s about gigs? Where do you usually play? Do you play abroad or only perform some local shows?

In fact, we have played in different countries: France, Belgium, Spain and Ireland. When we play at Le Mans, we take a bit more "presumptuous" scenes. Otherwise, we appreciate the atmosphere of bars or clubs. I think that one of our weaknesses is that we don't perform in many festivals.

Man, what do you mean talking about “presumptuous” scenes?

Ah ah ! Well, for us it's quite large venues on Le Mans with a good technical crew and a very pleasant stage comfort. We're going to say rooms that can accommodate between 200 and 400 people.

There were songs with French lyrics on your early records, why did you abandon it on ‘Presumption’ full-length?

Well, to put it simply, I liked to write lyrics in French and sing them. But over time, I found that it didn't sound as good as I wanted it to. We also received some negative comments on singing in French. Actually, you're raising an interesting subject here. Most of the French singers (in metal in general) are seen by a large number of people as being "redneck". I do not share that view at all. Some people are very good at French singing (e.g. Barabbas) and others are not so good: it's just harder to give a groove to the French language.

However do metal-archives speak truth tagging your lyrics as “hell, magic, serial killers, spirit, war”?

Yes, absolutely ! Because some old tracks as Anvil Devil speaks about Alaister Crowley, Ancestral Rites is about Yog Sothoth. War: more or less in Atomic Fear. Albert Fish Blues : what category do you think it is? Ah ah.

The band is based in Le Mans, pretty old city with rich history, how does it influence on your lyrics or maybe music?

It is true, this city is rich in history as much on old ramparts still present or on the remains of Roman vestiges in the basement or the cathedral St Julien which is magnificent! As not to lie to you, the city didn't necessarily inspire us. Le Mans is nevertheless a good place to create doom metal music!

I see that the band actively uses religious images and symbolism, is it a part of your scene image or are you really so bloody pious?

No, it is simply part of our visual. For instance, our main symbol first looks like a Christian cross (very present in the Rock and Metal universe) but it is here to relate a more philosophical concept between this religion and justice: in both cases it is a classical dualistic vision of good and evil. The roots are here to underline how deeply rooted these concepts are in us. But I've read many esoteric books and also so many Grimm brothers' tales and in both cases, I'm delighted about those fairy tales!

Okay, thanks for the interview Moomoot! I wish you all the best in spreading of Presumption’s Word! Would you like something else to tell before we switch off our PCs?

Thank you for your interesting questions. Just that we're very happy to have released this first album. Other projects, gigs are already underway and we're looking forward to meeting some cool public! Maybe we'll drink a vodka together in Russia someday? Se ya!

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Presumption