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A Dirty Dozen with ANTHONY CHOGNARD from ELYOSE – February 2023

| 25 February 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “ELYOSE are thrilled to release their new album, Déviante, which is out worldwide. A nu-metal band hailing from France, Elyose is a collaboration between guitarist/producer Anthony Chognard (ex-Smash Hit Combo) and vocalist Justine Daaé (The Erinyes). Anthony’s vivid songwriting and Justine’s ethereal, feminine vocals in her native French result in a sound that’s punchy, modern, and emotional. Déviante is the band’s fourth studio full-length, and can be found on all major streaming platforms. To celebrate the release, Elyose have dropped a new music video for the song “Vendredi Noir.” We get Anthony to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our lastest single “Vendredi Noir” has a very special mood. It has a ¾ rhythm feel that swings and makes the song groove. Verses are full electronics with keyboards and beats, so when the band hit the chorus it hits very hard. Justine’s vocals are also very particular in this song. We did the Migos flow on the verses, Opera style choirs on the bridge, and clean vocals on the choruses. There are so many genres within a single song, going from Metalcore to Hip-Hop, with classical choirs and blast beats in between… that it makes it very unusual!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve been always fascinated by music. First it was cassette tapes, I remember listening to ABBA in my parents HiFi. When I got my first radios and hifi systems I was always recording my favorites songs on the radio. One of my favorite games was to pretend I was hosting a radio show: I was talking to my imaginary audience and played my favorites songs. But it really clicked in 2002, I was in my first big open air festival. I was with my best friend and his father, the headliners were Muse and Rammstein. What a night! My friend bought a bass after that show and I bought my first guitar, with a crappy 10W mini amp. We started to make noise (we didn’t know any music theory, and didn’t know how to tune our instruments lol) in my garage that summer, found a drummer right after and started making “songs”. I never looked back since. After one or two years we found a singer and a new drummer and formed our first band, started to play shows and had a lot of fun during the weekends! After 3 or 4 years and more than a hundred shows, I joined Smash Hit Combo and toured with them until 2018.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I started listening to rock music with Nirvana and The Offspring, it was my introduction to “heavy music”, I had that friend at school who used to steal his older brother’s tapes so we could listen to them. After that I became a huge fan of the late 90s NuMetal vibe. Deftones and Korn are in my top favorite bands. Marilyn Manson was a big influence production wise, I remember the first time I listened to Mechanical Animals, this album is so deep with so many layers! After that I listened to the 2000s deathcore / metalcore scene and got into Djent with Periphery. Today I feel like it depends on the seasons, I tend to listen to (and write) heavier music during the winter, and softer during the summer. I love Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, Jazz and Electronic music. I like to listen to the new trends, I don’t like everything but there’s always something interesting you can learn.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

That’s a hard one! There are so many vocalists that would make a great duo with Justine. I know from our fans requests that Rachel Aspe (Eths / Cage fight) and Vicky Psarakis, would be a good pick. Also my friend Jennifer Gervais, an other French singer (Dust In Mind) could be a great collaboration. Internationally I’d say Simone Simons (Epica),  Tarja Turunen (Nightwish), Alissa White (Arch Enemy), Otep Shamaya (Otep), Maria Brink (In This Moment),  or Courtney Laplante (Spiritbox)… There are so many talented vocalists out there! Personally I’d love to work with Sam Carter from Architects, he’s such an amazing singer and screamer. Add Jon Davis (Korn) and Chino Moreno (Deftones) and you have my top 3. I’d love to work with Mick Gordon or Jordan Fish because I love their taste on keyboards and production. And if I’d have to give our music to mix to somebody else, I’d go with Dan Lancaster or Zakk Cervini.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love fitness! I have a very healthy lifestyle, I love running, swimming and bodyweight training. I like to travel and explore the world, road trips, hiking. I love reading too, ancient philosophy and stoicism especially. Lately I found myself enjoying cooking and learning about nutrition.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I think Justine got it perfect by saying Elyose is Epica’s and Rammstein lovechild. For someone who is not into heavy music, I’d say it’s Metal or Heavy Rock with beautiful classical vocals. The band comparison I’ve heard the most is Evanescence, especially from people who are not into Metal music. To me our music is a little more complex but Evanescence is so popular that I can understand why people compare us to them. And Amy Lee is a great singer, so in the end it’s a compliment!

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We’re both very introverted people and Justine and I have not toured since we met. When we were in the studio last September we were very focused on the work and the recording, no smalltime. I can say for myself that I don’t drink alcohol, but I could be the one that bring water for everybody, and I love cooking, so maybe that would be me haha. That’s not my style to sing with an acoustic guitar (I’m awful at it) so I’d say Justine, but with a piano instead!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

3 years ago I saw Korn playing in Montreal, I cried almost the full show, it was so good (I think they were in their best shape ever, I saw them several times and it was by far the best show). I’m constantly amazed by the musicians I work with. Music is so complex and personal, and everybody has his own way to express it. Working with a lot of artists in different genres is such a blessing and a constant learning process.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

To me music speaks more than words. It’s a way to express myself, share my thoughts and emotions. When sometimes I can’t speak, I can easily write a song and let go. Being creative, tour around the world, meet new people, being a musician is such a gift. I can’t imagine my life without music. But one of my wildest dream would be to go outer space, so I’d go with being an astronaut.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I love to speak about musical influences and different styles of music. There are so may genres and sub genres and I love to listen to new music. Anything related to traveling, different cultures and philosophy. The least I can say is that interview is going great so far! I’d say the “Female fronted metal scene”. I know that Justine is tired of that sexist term… We’re a female fronted metal band so “how does it feel to be a woman in a men’s world” is a question that comes out a lot. I don’t blame anyone, but to me it also categorizes our music in a way that’s too cliché. And today there are so much more women on stage, that it makes that topic a little outdated. When I like a band, I don’t care whether it’s a woman or a man singing / playing. It’s a double edge sword though, because it can encourage more women to do music, and that’s a good thing. For the anecdote, science says that women hear better than men and got more high frequencies sensitivity. We need more women in this industry, especially production!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

There are so many! It’s hard to say because I’m a firm believer that you learn a lot from your mistakes and failures. I know that good communication and setting up boundaries was a challenge in my previous bands, and I’m still working on it today. If I could go back in time, I’d learn music theory, production and mixing sooner.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Damn there are SO MANY!!! ABBA – Because it’s my first memory of music. It’s the first band I remember listening when I was a kid. Their songwriting and melodies are pristine, plus I’ve never been to Sweden yet. Deftones – Deftones – Because that’s one of my favorite album of all time. I know Chino uses weird techniques to record his vocals because he doesn’t like recording on headphones. Terry Date is one of my favorite producer from that era. Slipknot – Slipknot – Because it was so new at the time, I’ve never heard anything like that. It’s so raw, brutal and drity. Actually any recording session with Ross Robinson would be awesome (Korn or Limp Bizkit firsts album for example). Any Marilyn Manson’s album for the production and the way he write music. Dr.Dre – 2001 – Because I love hip-hop and this album is legendary. I know Dre is a great producer and engineer and it would be awesome to learn from him. And there are so many great artists like Eminem, Snoop dog , Xzibit on that album. So good! It’s like cheating! Any Michael Jackson album, because, what a legend! Metallica – Black album – I’m not a big fan of the band but this album is such a standard in the Metal genre. Back in the days the tones (especially on drums) they got were so amazing that is established a new standard for the Metal scene. I should stop here because there are so many that come to my mind!






Category: Interviews

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ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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