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Darkness Dynamite with Cris De Oliveira

Can you briefly summarize how the band formed and what you do in Darkness Dynamite?

I’m Cris, I play bass in Darkness Dynamite a French Metal band that’s been together for about 2 years now. The band was formed by our first singer, he found Zack the guitar player and Alex our first drummer. Nelson the other guitar player and myself joined the band soon after. We did the EP with this line up and after we decide to part ways with our first vocalist because he didn’t have the same vision of the music as the rest of us. We started to work on “The Astonishing Fury Of Mankind” with Junior on the mic and we recorded the album. After dealing with Metal Blade, Alex decided to leave the band to continue his studies. We proposed to Julien Granger to be our drummer and he gladly accepted.

Your lyrics are infused with heavy detail and raw emotion. What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a concept behind the writing of The Astonishing Fury of Mankind?

We wanted to make observations of human kind in our lyrics for this record, just put a mirror in front of us and see what happened. We didn’t want to judge, to tell if somethng’s wrong or right, just want to show to everyone what they all are able to do. So it’s normal that the lyrics are heavy and full of emotion it’s just like how we all are.

You just released The Astonishing Fury of Mankind, how has the reactions been thus far? What can fans expect when they pick up a copy?

Everybody, fans and critics were very curious about how the band would evolve, and it has been very pleasant to see good reactions so far. People are excited about the release of our record. Some will be surprised by the director of our new music, but they’ll like it much better than before!

When it came to releasing The Astonishing Fury of Mankind how did that whole package come together?

In Europe, the album is a very beautiful and classy digipack, people worked a lot on it to make something amazing. The whole package is not just an album, we’re working on videos, tees, we’re looking at the big picture. We wanted to be as huge as possible to touch more and more people with our music.

What was the recording process like, how long did you have, was there any pressure on you?

Since we started the band, there’s always been some sort of pressure. Everything happened really fast and strong for us, so when we finished to record our EP, we decided to write a full album and to make it more personal and more mature. Since we began to write the first song until we finished the mastering almost one year has passed. We’re very proud of the final product.

How do you think you will affect the Metal/Hardcore scene you are part of? What are your thoughts on the growing popularity in it as well?

We’ll effect the metal scene because we make a unique blend of music, we aren’t like “deathcore ” or “metalcore” bands, we wanted to make OUR music, we’re influenced more by the 80/90’s bands and we added that with our own vision of metal. We are still young so there is no reason for us to not continue to expand our sound and continue to grow as musicians.

You guys are from Paris, France what is the local music scene like there? Any bands you’d recommend?

To be honest France is not a “metal” country! The scene here is pretty poor, but we have some great bands, like Gojira. They are definitely the best French metal band right now.

How has Metal Blade Records been thus far for you guys? Who approached who?

It’s a really crazy story, when we finished the mastering, some labels approached us, but we always wanted something bigger, so we decided to email some songs to Metal Blade because we thought that it was a good label for the band. We sent the mail and the day after we’ve received an answer, and it took only 15 days to finish the deal!

Who did the artwork and title for the album, when you look on the final project, is there anything you wish you could have done differently?

We decided on the album title as a band, it was very much a group decision. The designer who made the artwork is Remy Cuvillier of “Headsplit Design”. He already worked for famous bands like Whitechapel, but we decided to make something different together. And the artwork is really amazing, very classy.

The name of the band Darkness Dynamite, is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?

We thought that the name was simple and representative of what the band wanted to be: an explosion of new metal for the world to hear!

Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?

We worked after the recording on the songs to get them perfect for the live show. Our fans our very much a part of our live show and we really feed off of each other’s energy. It’s something I hope we can bring to the US someday!

Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?

We worked together, we’re a band, not individuals, our record is the work of the entire band. Some members bring some riffs and together we changed them or arrange them to be as perfect as they can. We’re all on stage playing this music so we all have to feel it and be a part of it.

What are the upcoming plans for Darkness Dynamite?

Tour, tour , tour! We really want to be known by the entire world, we don’t make music to get listened by 100 of our friends, we want to share our music with as many people as possible. We are already working on new songs, the lineup is solid and we’re all enjoying playing together so a lot of good stuff is on the horizon.

Going back to the music business, what do you think of everyone downloading music, possibly even your music? Do you think it helps or hurts bands in the long run?

I think that downloading helps a lot when your band is starting, like without label, because you can be heard by a lot of different people in different countries. After the band is on a label and release albums, I think it’s a lot more helpful if fans buy the record. This business is really all about numbers, and the more well sell, the more the label can invest in us and help promote our music.

How has MYSPACE and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?

Nowadays, internet helps a lot of the artists, it’s become the place to go to find information on bands – photos, shows, videos, mp3s, etc. Even music industry professionals look a lot myspace pages to see how band’s are doing. It’s become sort of a barometer on how band’s are developing.

What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?

In studio nothing, because we were ready for it, we worked for months, we haven’t any problems. But on stage we’ve learned that we couldn’t sleep until 5 mins before the show!

What bands would you like to tour with and who has been your favorite to tour with this far? Any particular reason?

If we could we all wanted to play with Pantera, but in the real world it will be with big bands, like Metallica , Machine Head or Slipknot. We played with Bring me the Horizon, Architects, Maroon and Blessed By a Broken Heart, for now it’s the best tour that we’ve done because it was with good bands. But to be honest I think that this question is just asked too early because in few days we’ll play with Korn so it will be amazing!

What is currently playing on your iPod or CD Player?

Bjork, Circa Survive, Gallows, Jeniferever, Lamb of God, Machine Head, Meshuggah, Metallica, Pantera, Slipknot!

Describe Darkness Dynamite in three words.

Powerful, Crazy, Honest

If you had a chance to go back in time, where, what, and why?

Definitely in the 80’s because it had real bands like Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Guns ‘N Roses – I would like to see all those bands at the beginning!

How do you think the recession is affecting musicians like yourself? Is it at all?

It affects everyone, so yes it affects musicians. We all want to have a lot of work and to earn a lot of money to buy a lot of guitars, amps, alcohol, and to throw parties!

What’s your reaction when/if a fan told you a very meaningful statement such as “Your music changed my life?” Has this ever happened to you?

It already happened to me, and I’ve to be honest it’s the strongest thing that I’ve heard. We all make music and dream that what we do could change the life of someone. So when someone tell me this, I feel very accomplished.

Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?

We all are influenced by the 80/90’s bands, but bands like Guns N’ Roses, Mastodon, Tool, Deftones, or even slipknot are influences in our music.

All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?

I just work my instrument everyday to be ready , before the shows during an hour I warm up my muscles and my fingers to have the better physical condition on stage.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for all the fans who loves us and support us, and we are eager to see all of our fans on the road! Come to our shows to party and enjoy what Darkness Dynamite has to offer!

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