Eths – guitarist Staif mixes French poets with metal
text: Irma Ploeger
Guitarist and singer Stéphane Bihl (Staif) formed Eths together with guitarist Grégory Rouvière (Greg) already in 1996. Candice Clot joined the band and a powerful singer was found.
Recently their third album ‘III‘ is released by Season Of Mist and received a 7,5 out of 10 by Muzikantenweb review. An interview with Stéphane Bihl about their new musical path.
Bonjour Eths. I would like to ask you some questions about the band, the new album and touring.
Can you introduce ETHS to the Dutch public?
Stéphane Bihl (Staif): “We are a French metal band with a female singer. Candice does screaming and clean vocals as well. We love mixing different styles and influences in our music. We like to create both violent and a melodic side in the music.”
You are together as a band over thirteen years. That’s quite some time and still you are not so well known outside France. Is there a reason for it?
Staif: “We just started to play outside of France during our last tour. Then we also started working with Season Of Mist, our new record label. It was a great job, a lot of work, to become what we are in France. I think that the French language doesn’t help to enter an international market.”
When did you decide to write the lyrics in French, instead of the ‘obvious‘ English language?
Staif: “When the band started, we were all lovers of French poets and literature. Especially because we are French and it is a part of us. Also we wanted to be different than other bands. Indeed it is harder to put French language in music; when it works,it’s really good.”
The new album is very good: I like the fact that every song is a mixture of different styles. Which song is your favorite?
Staif: “That is hard to tell , because all songs on ‘III’ are my favorites. It is like to choose between your children. For me it is maybe ‘Proserpina’ because this song has many aspects I love. Like the final part what reminds me of a movie score. Also I particularly worked on the composition of this song.”
Staif: “We liked to use a graphic name for this album, because the song titles are complicated so we had to find something really simple. It appears as an evidence and we finally choose this name. It is ‘III’ and not ‘3’ because it is more esthetic and you can find many significations in this name.”
According to you, what is the biggest difference between the previous albums and ‘III’?
Staif: “In one word it’s effectiveness for me! On ‘Tératologie’ we tried so many things. So the songs are sometimes over arranged and too complicated. But we are really proud of this album. On ‘III’ we have more songs in a format. And big singing chorus, to do something different that we haven’t done before. Creating contrasts with also more aggressive parts. We always want to put our new album on a different path.”
What do you want to achieve with the band and what’s your ultimate goal?
Staif: “We want to share our music with a lot of people, meet the other bands, playing many gigs and make people feel things when they listen to our music. I want to be a part of the world metal team and hopefully leave a trace from us.”
Which album of ETHS is your favourite and why?
Staif: “It’s ‘III’, because it’s the most recent one. So the one closer to our vision for the future. Also to me it is the best production we ever had.”
What is your least favourite number of ETHS and Why?
Staif: “That is hard to tell, because I only hear mistakes when I listen to the old albums. But we are proud of each album we did and you learn a lot from it. We grew up between each of them. So they all have something different to me.”
Which artists are an inspiration for you?
Staif: “Leonardo Da Vinci and all the Italian renaissance masters inspired me a lot for ‘III.’ Da Vinci has a great vision of things – and most of all- about art. I also love many musicians that inspired me with their music like Serge Gainsbourg, John Coltrane, Sting and Trent Reznor.”
What is the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked during an interview, and what was your answer?
Staif: “One day, we were asking if we were racists because the guy conclude that from the lyrics. We said: ‘of course not and also we don’t talk about things that aren’t in our music’. We could have said ‘we are against all sort of obscurantism.’ Well human is human..and mistakes happen.”
Staif: “We like touring, because it’s huge to meet our fans and during the shows we are transformed in our ‘other personalities.’ That allows us to unwind and give a special performance.
The bad part is when you are sick and still have to go on stage; trying to give all of you. It is the worst when you’re sick on the road; many hours in the bus , it’s sometimes really long. But that is the price to this huge moment on stage!”
Is there anything you would like to say do the Dutch public?
Staif: “We hope to come back soon in Germany and near your area; to share with you our new songs and show!”
Je vous remercie de votre temps!
More on: http://www.eths.net/