France is the hub of many interesting bands, especially from area of progressive Metal, Black, Death, or Thrash Metal. AUTOKRATOR combines just the two genres, the most repulsive ones, Black and Death Metal in a pretty ugly symbiosis. This malicious band consists of two beasts, namely Loic.F on guitar and bass guitar (also known from N.K.V.D) and David Bailey on vocals. As for their discography, they have three albums, "Autokrator" debut '15, "The Obedience To Authority" '16 and finally the latest "Hammer of the Heretics" from 2018. After listening to the new material I was sure I have to ask and interview the band. Their style is simply overwhelming, recognizing them as soon as you dive into their style. Lyrically they also offer interesting themes from the history and acts of some dictators and so on. Their music is not easy, it's extreme over extreme, violent and dark at the same time, but the word belongs to LF (guit, bass).
Greetings to AUTOKRATOR band. There is probably no other metal band with such a name. How did occur to you this band name? What does it symbolize to you?
I was working on a new N.K.V.D album, which later became the first AUTOKRATOR album.
The album was about nastiest Roman Emperors.
I found than the old Greek name for "Emperor", was "Autokrator".
As it sounds well, and as it also symbolized despotic self ruler, I took this name.
You have already released three full-lengths, including the latest "Hammer of The Heretics," representing your current musical, artistic or expressive peaks. You play Death Metal enriched by Black or Doom Metal influences, but in a way that makes it difficult to compare you to someone. Are you trying to make your music original, or you are simply writing what you want to hear?
I always have a sound, a vision in head, which I transcribe it into music.
There s no real plan to be original, or whatever.
The harmonies of the guitar lines are interesting. It cannot be said directly it would be about melody in the true sense, but after longer listening the material will pour into memory with the feeling of heaviness, anger and darkness. How do you approach to writing process? Do you have some kind of mode you work with, or you just let go through your natural flow?
I write when I have an idea in mind. Once transcribed, I record it, and then work to make it sound the best.
Sometimes a riff sounds good on guitar alone, and doesn't once mixed with all instruments.
Have you been using some special acts at writing process as altered states of consciousness, or you have to find yourself in a particular pleasant or unpleasant environment, whether you can get into a conscious state by meditation in which you can work?
I'm an early bird, and like to run in the woods at 4/5 am, with an empty stomach, especially during winter when temperature are negative.
Most of the time I have a kind of feeling that my mind disconnect from my body.
Most of my musical ideas come during these moments.
From my point of view, your music seems to be overall, but especially on the new CD, as if it was shrouded. First as if only contours of the fog were seen and gradually, after longer listening, there still remains some imprint of inaccessibility. But that's just my personal view. Do you perceive your music as striking or you try to add something that remains hidden?
There are always hidden parts in the music, that very few people notice or understand.
Autocracy is a political system where the state or the empire is dominated by one autocrator trying to control it all alone. This example is not only a historical fact, but in many cases even today's reality. It has several supporters, according to some it may be a good system if the autocrator is a good and righteous ruler. Worse is dictator and tyrant, which has happened in many cases. What do you think is in a man that he can go so deeply he gets into the dictator's stage, a tyrant?
Dictator are led by three motivations : money, power and personality cult.
If you try to earn more money, work your way up or use social medias, you re a potential dictator :-)
Evil is inside each of us, what is lacking is only an event which unleashes it.
Another harsh case is hierocracy. Do you think spiritual ones, priests should rule politically? From history we often met the spiritual government and eventually it was bad enough, for example, in the Middle Ages, the Inquisition killed more people than during the Second World War. While the executors and rulers were Christians who preach the opposite values.
I'm not partisan of mixing politics and religion.
Politics are based on economical and social facts, religion on beliefs and writings written thousands of years ago.
Does Christianity still have such strong power and influence today as, for example, in the Middle Ages? There is a theory the Holy Inquisition still exists, only changing the name and maybe means. What is your personal view? What is the situation with Christianity, or perhaps another church power in France?
Church and Christianity have no more power in France.
Holy Inquisition still exists, it's now called Jihad.
Are you an empiric person or you have a tendency to believe things that go beyond normal logical understanding? Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you could not explain the cause in your own mind?
Sometimes things goes beyond any kind of logic.
Could you mention some literary or cinematic gems that have influenced you and could have some impact on the creation of AUTOKRATOR? How much does art attract you in general and which sector you prefer? Have you often been listening, for example, classical music?
I don't listen to classical music. Concerning art, few has influence on Autokrator. The only thing I read, which has influence on music, are biographies and psychological books. I like real facts, and not fairy tales.
Do you already have a vision of another AUTOKRATOR album? Can you ever imagine how the next work will sound (where it will lead) and then, by gradual steps you achieve the final outcome? Or does everything arise at the moment when you are writing and the picture is created after it's finished?
I reached my goal with "Hammer of the Heretics" so I don't feel the need to create any new music for Autokrator. I always have the vision before creating something, with more or less the final image in mind.
Ok, that would be all from me. Wish AUTOKRATOR next creative steps and if you have a message for your fans, you have the space, thank you once again.
Thanks for your interest. The vinyl version of "Hammer of the Heretics" will be out early 2019 on Death Kvlt Productions.