EMQ’s with ANTEDEUM
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with French based Atmospheric Metal project, Antedeum. Huge thanks to main man & vocalist Franck Lemasson, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Franck LEMASSON; drummer from 1993 to 2003, ‘historical’ lyricist and actual singer of the project.
I co-founded the Band in June 1993 with a former friend named Nicolas.
From that time to 2001, several musicians joined us to play/rehearse for a while, not for a long time I must say.
During a brief period – Autumn 1995/Summer 1996 – we were then recording our first ‘official’ Demo by the way “De Magia Naturalis” – Nicolas, me and friends from other local Bands, decided to form a probationary side-project to honour the memory of Ian CURTIS from JOY DIVISION : a sort of Demo and a concert were recorded and published on a very rare tape format.
A second ‘official’ Demo under the name of “ANTEDEUM” was recorded by Nicolas and I (”MkT01”) in 2000 (I was, during that period, 1996/2000 playing in various local underground projects not especially Metal ‘styled’) but despite a great ‘promoting’ work and DIY initiatives, that act stayed a little bit confidential.
From 1999 to 2009, I played in a band called LUG/LUGH (a sort of raw BM/Noise/Bizarre and ‘ISENGARD’ influenced project duo which became later the laboratory of what is better known now as LEDA SPIRIDON) with a friend named Sylvain. I suggested him to join ANTEDEUM for a series of concerts in 2001 and a third Demo recording (“Conversant Avec l’Aveugle”).
We played live in Brittany during the year 2002 most of the time helped by Gothic fans associations (even if we never endorsed the ‘Goth’ way of life) and enjoyed a very good time!
The project disbanded in 2003 after a few last concerts during the Summer of 2003.
Due to musical divergences and other particular agendas, the Band became dormant for 18 years.
A brief ‘reunion’ of two former members of ANTEDEUM and I, played for few months together and recorded a Demo under the name of A.D.M, but the initiative ended definitely in September 2013.
As I initially wrote to you before, I am the only ‘historical’ member of the Band that still stands active (as far as I know) and, after many realisations and side-projects from 2004 to 2020, I finally decided at the very end of 2019 to re-animate what I have always considered to be potentially full of artistic prospectives.
Note that the other actual two members of the group (Deni MARINOVIC – Guitars and Basses & Ethan DUCROCQ – Drums) very cordially let me answer the whole interview on my own.
How did you come up with your band name?
Well, it came to me naturally from God Itself!
Seriously, the idea of this double-meaning paradox came to my mind as I thought about a portrayal of Point Nemo, implicitly mentioned I believe, in the HP Lovecraft’s short story “Dagon”.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are French, as far as we know, but I must be precise that one of us is of Serbian origin. I am personally located in a Region called Brittany; Deni lives in the suburbs of Paris and Ethan is based in the Northern part of France : a real triangular lecture in a way.
Concerning the ‘Metal/Rock Scene’ in my Region, I must say that since I left it for working in Paris in 1997 and until my return in 2011, I did not stand as being very aware about what happened in Brittany, except the concerts I have played and maybe some main events like for instance MANOWAR in Nantes in 1998, LOUDBLAST/BLACK BOMB A (French Bands we partied with…) in Rennes (2003), GOJIRA in Rennes (2004), etc. Of course, and because of friends/relatives of mine “stayed” living there, I’ve heard about what was “happening” but I didn’t feel more concerned than that about it. I was more focused on the ‘Parisian’ Scene and on the ‘European’ one because I travelled a lot during those days.
Paris was a very interesting place to be to see many many concerts, meeting lots of diversified people and approach interesting events, from ‘mainstream’ bands to very deep and obscure Underground Projects. I guess I can’t remember all the concerts I saw there (all styles combined from Metal to Electro & Dark Ambient via Classical, Rock and ‘unclassifiable’ manifestations) but some great ‘souvenirs’ could be mentioned : IMPALED NAZARENE at The Gibus in 1998 if I’m not wrong / NON in the same year / OLD MAN’S CHILD/VITAL REMAINS (great interview with the vocalist, published in the Fanzine I was working for at the time from 1993 to 1999) / IMMORTAL in 1998 / the fantastic ‘reformation’ of IRON MAIDEN in 1999 who gave us a fading 20th Century version of what was exactly played on “Live After Death” / MARDUK in 2003 with TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL, etc.
I crossed some European countries during those years and mainly focused on ‘unclassified’ Scenes that quasi-never appear on the headlines of the ‘specialized’ Press – strange times but great and dark events especially in Eastern Europe and Germany.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Under the name of ANTEDEUM, you’ve recently heard it my friend! It appeared online for the Summer Solstice MMXXI.
By the way, the whole discography of the Band is listenable on our Bandcamp Page, from MXMCXIII early Acts to the MMXX reissues of some unreleased projects and live tapes that I exhumed and partially ‘home mastered’. www.antedeum.bandcamp.com/
‘Venite Adoremus Et Procidam’ (Full Audio)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Concerning the core of the debuting lyrics I wrote for ANTEDEUM : Edgar Poe, HP Lovecraft (not specially a ‘scoop’ in that musical vein but not so spread as an inspiration in France in 1993 as far as I believe in that subjective ‘truth’), Isaac Asimov, Lord Byron, Umberto Eco, Bram Stocker, some XIXth Century’s French, English and Russian Theosophists/Alchemists were by my side I think to blow to my brain some words which, over time, have become less and less awkward!
What first got you into music?
Despite our ‘difficult’ relationships to the end, my father opened a part of my mind playing lots of 50’s Rock’ n Roll/Country/Hillbilly Boogie/Jazz/US and French Folk legendary songs at home (Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Eddy Cochran, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, Johnny Cash, Lionel Hampton, Bill Monroe, Dave Dudley, Gilbert Bécaud, Jacques Brel and many more).
Then one of my grand-mothers made me discover some aspects of the debut XXth Century’s French popular singers and artists like Tino Rossi, Maurice Chevallier, etc.
By the way, one of my great uncles was a professional singer in the 30’s.
My mother was more into 60’s Folk Music like Joan Baez, etc.
Of course, all the tribes that I frequented between 1985 and 2015 have also largely contributed to shaping my current tastes, which remain – and I hope for ever – imbued with a great evolutionary plasticity.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
Oh, there are many : from John Zorn to people from November’s Doom, My Dying Bride, Bell Witch or Pall Bearer to Phil Anselmo – just love his En Minor newest manifestation – or Trent Reznor, people from Ulver, Portishead, etc.
But even more, working with Kari Rueslåtten would be an honour.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
The Dynamo Eindhoven! Joke…Oh maybe The Summer Breeze Fest (France), The Burning Man in the US (so weird, I mean if it still exists), anything possible in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe (Brutal Assault Fest) or Japan. It may be linked to my insatiable desire to discover those countries more than I already know at the time.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Interesting. It was in Germany in 1999…I was invited – as a guest – to play ‘percussion’ with a French Post Industrial Project. We were touring a little bit in Eastern Europe and former RDA. One man gave me some day a VHS which was a compilation of his personal projects : a series of very weird video-clips linked to very weird musical parts as well. He was persuaded that I could have the possibility to help him to be signed (‘labelized’ in fact) but I tried to explain him that it was not the case, that I couldn’t do anything for him : no way! He gave me a copy of the tape and left quickly…I wrote to him weeks later to re-explain things I tried to during this day. I still have the VHS somewhere in my archives.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Stay tuned! Lol. Seriously? Be aesthetically demanding and only become naturalized ‘Human’ when they, themselves, become more difficult to convince.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
There are so many…Nikolaï Andreïevitch Rimski-Korsakov, Gilbert Bécaud, Eddy Cochran, Lux Interior from The Cramps, Peter Steele…
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Allow a fraction of the Unmanifest to cross the border that separates us from Him by extracting unintelligible data in order to make them intelligible
Check the tracks of a project before sending it to the factory for production : a one-way ticket that should not be missed as much as possible!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
A paradox of our time has consisted in making more “accessible” (technically) the musical production stricto sensu of these last years, thus facilitating the increase in number of the said production which, by the mechanism of an unlimited offer, tends to make everyone’s production invisible by drowning it in the mass.
I am not convinced that much can be done about it, however, it could be that one day the process is reversible and that one “returns” by the play of an overall decrease, to a constrained ceiling of the quantity of works produced each year. If we could at least avoid a total ‘dematerialization’ of productions via the conservation of works by means of “physical” supports (vinyls, etc.) themselves, by their design, capable of constituting separate works of Art whole, then all would not be lost!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
If you mean a Metal Album : “Walls Of Jericho” – Helloween.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyls are the best.
Cassettes are cute.
CD’s keep the tempo unchanged.
Downloads can increase the number of people your music can reach.
To each his role.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Probably a night with a French Goth Metal combo named “October 27th” – Nantes, France, Spring 2002.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’m a sort of gentleman farmer, painter, drawer, writer and poet so…But first of all, I would like one day to improve myself in horticulture.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Dizzying! Well, dead or alive? Anyway. Not necessarily in the order of importance that I give them:
Non exhaustive list.
What’s next for the band?
Independently of the -needed- promotional work of the EP “Venite Adoremus…” which is going on at present and for an indefinite period, we should work on the composition of the material necessary for the preparation of a second Opus next Fall. It should be about exploring new atmospheres while staying almost in the same musical vein…
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Is that what you meant?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thx a lot for your questions, support and attention! Best regards to all the people – past, present and future- who (will?) believe(d) in the living reality of ANTEDEUM.
I thank God for having placed my two comrades in my path – You know who you are.
Take care of yourself in these strange times!
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