Could you share with us the genesis of OAKS and the process that led to the development of your distinct sound?
When Thibault moved to Paris he contacted me to play some of his tunes. Then we found a drummer to complete the band. But we never found a good singer for that kind of sound… The vocals define the type of the music not just the vocals but it takes a large part of the impact you give with your music. Then after several attempts we turned instrumental.
What inspired you to pursue a career in instrumental and progressive music, and what attracted you to this particular genre?
Thibault and I were always in love with prog music… a large part of the prog bands are not so in the vocal aspect at 100%… it’s clearly not the easiest way to create metal songs but we like that way now. It forces us to concentrate our music on ambiances… atmospheres…
Can you walk us through your approach to creating instrumental music and the process you follow for songwriting?
It’s a long process. It takes a lot of time to write non vocal music… I don’t think we have a process… there are too many aspects…
In the instrumental and progressive music scene, how important is experimentation and boundary-pushing? How do you stay innovative and continuously evolve as a musician?
Experimentation and boundary-pushing is the meaning of playing music I think!!!
Could you elaborate on the themes or concepts that you explore through your music, and how you communicate these ideas without the use of lyrics?
As soon as we create some tunes and music we get some ideas of the concept we want to create. Thibault mostly comes with the first ideas of the concept and we work keeping these ideas in mind.
How do you balance the contrasting elements in your music, such as the heavy and the introspective?
It’s the way we wrote the songs. Thibault and I use a lot of different settings, intensity and effect to vary our songs. The absence of vocals forces us to get imaginative!!
Who are your major non-musical influences, and how do they impact your sound?
Non musical..? Life !!! Everything around us.
Can you take us through the creative process behind the making of “Genesis of the Abstract”?
It was a long process. We first have to work on our own sound. Creating and having a personal sound is very important for us. Then we get a bunch of songs but very soon the ideas of a conceptual album pops up. Thibaut wanted to work on this Abstract subject and we try to make it real through our music. The idea of the album is a journey through the creation of the Abstract from the void to the shape. Thibault wrote a text to explain this journey which was the red line for all of us to create this conceptual album.
What is the significance of visuals in your music, be it through album art, music videos, or live performances? How do you use these visual elements to enhance your instrumental music?
Visuals are really important to us. It’s a significant part of our shows. It helps to get more into the music. In live shows we use a lot of abstract video projections to help the people to get inside.
As a Paris-based band, what have been your experiences in the local music scene?
You know we are not really “in the scene”. Fortunately we have our own studios and rehearsal room. But there are a lot of great bands here. We love to share the stage with Vantre or Mauvaise Foi which are great friends of us. There also have great indie place to play like l’International and Olympic Café.
How do you envision the future of OAKS in terms of growth and evolution?
Actually we are going to record a “special” song (stay in touch!!) and we are working on a new record and trying to gig more. But it’s a bit difficult for an instrumental proggy metal band!!!!
Where do you think the instrumental and progressive music scene is headed, and how do you see your role in shaping its future?
Well, it seems that there is a trend around instrumental metal bands right now. There is very exciting stuff coming out by the way! Of course one of the best is Russian Circles which are still touring and recording albums regularly. I don’t know if we will have a role on the future of instrumental music but we feel lucky to already have the support of Argonauta Records and to be able to create and live our music.
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