By Keith Clement
Greetings Heli and the boys, how are you guys doing?
Xavier : Doing great and really excited for the release!!
Heli : Same, it’s amazing to finally share Kala.
Guillaume : Doing well, working on songs an extra-material to provide an exquisite live set at our release night !
You are all set for the release of Kala, how do you feel about the entire work behind this and your personal opinion of the album?
Xavier : This is a first for me personally. It’s the first full album I recorded! It was about time!
Personal opinion is that is took a lot a lot of time and effort but I am more than thankful to be sharing this with my fellow band members. An honour I would say!
Guillaume : From the moment we found the title of the album – when Heli explained us what her lyrics was about – everything went so fast! I think maybe one or two songs only were near to be finalized, but there were a lot of work ahead. We had a bit of pressure because of the short amount of time we had to complete the arrangements and to learn the songs for the recording sessions, but working again with and people we trust (Raphael James and Laurent Cocco), we quickly found our marks and everything went well. For all visual aspects, we worked once again with the one and only Above Chaos, who perfectly finds a way to recreate whatever was on Heli’s mind, with his own touch.
Personally, I think I only have a few regrets about our album, maybe none – nothing essential in any case. Everyone worked very hard, musicians and technicians, and the final result really match our expectations.
Heli : It’s the first time I share my imagination and ideas in term of music and concepts, without being shy. I feel more mature in music, and Kala was both really fun, free, and exigent to make. I’m very proud of being a part of it.
What are some of the changes you made to this new release compared to the earlier album?
Xavier : Pretty much everything I would say . Sound, feeling, our approach to song writing.
Guillaume : First of all, Xav (on guitars) and Alex (on bass) joined us just before the release date of The Line. So, we were able to work with this new cast, new people-new ideas-fresh sound, for Kala.
With The Line we explored the power/symphonic side of the progressive music we cherished at the time (some of our songs was 5 years old when we released it).
On Kala, the idea was to produce songs that fit us more nowadays: a (bit more) raw sound, intricate rhythms, and more diverse vocal techniques. When Adrien came to us with the first three songs, one of his inspiration was sonorities of the indian music, and the mythology behind the hinduism. So we headed in that direction first : India. It was a great opportunity for me to search, discover new instruments and new harmonies that would fit our music. Thereafter we broadened our research to a wider spectrum than indian music. This didn’t come from nowhere, you can here on A Mazing World from The Line that Eastern music was already something we liked to incorpore to our project!
The song writing was also more collective, everybody takes part to global arrangements. We were far more prepared when recording time arrived, and everything went way smoothly than with the previous album.
Abhinivesha was released about an year back, it talks about death and loss, how does it correlate with the entire album?
Heli : Abhinivesha is the first song we made for Kala. It gave the direction for the rest of the album.
The beginning point of Kala is the death of my half-sister father. It brought to me many questions. He had cancer and knew he was going to die soon. He died alone in his apartment and we found his body few days later.
When we went to see his body, it looked like a burnt tree. It was black as coal and dry, and there was something vegetal in that image.
So, I thought about how we are close to nature and linked to the universe around us. What do we become after we die? What does the spirit become? I explored these questions and focused on the physical, material themes, but also on the spirit issue.
The song Abhinivesha is like a frozen frame at the precise moment between life and death. And every song of the album is a frozen frame too.
Kala comes with 9 tracks, would you take a bit of time to explain me about each of them, as most of the words will be new to the listeners, it would be perfect if they can understand about the album in its entirety?
Heli : The idea was to give every song a different mood, but also to link them together. You can find some words repeated in different songs for instance.
“Abhinivesha” अभिनिवेश means “Fear of death, of material disappearance”. It takes place at the precise second between life and death. At the end of the song, we enter death. That’s why in the video clip, there is this symbolic with our coal skin.
“Sharira” शरीर (Sanskrit for “Body”) is about a buried body, decomposing and feeding the earth while “Akasha” आकाश explores cremation and mind traveling through ashes. Akasha means “Ether”, which constitutes universe. In my mind, I had this image of a burning body, the ashes floating in the air, soaring in the atmosphere and in universe, carrying the mind with them.
“Mukti” मुक्ति (“Liberation”) deals with what makes us individuals. It’s the only song which takes place right in life and society. We become an individual when we say “No”. This is what Mukti is about.
And “Bhati” भाति (“Beginning”, “to be born”) focuses on rebirth, reincarnation and new explosions of vitality. This one lies at the precise transitional moment between death and rebirth. It’s the story of a baby coming to the world. Everything is conflicted: the child struggles to hold on to the memories of a past life as new sensations emerge and he experiences unlimited love from his new parents and family.
Together “A”, “U” and “M” form the sound of creation, and “Agni” अग्नि is the fire, where everything began.
What is the reason behind getting into different cultures and adapting their music, what made you guys do something like this, though none of them belong to any of the culture?
Guillaume : I imagine that it was our curiosity to us all that drove us first in this direction. We all listen to many genre of music, our favorite bands are quite different from each other (we have a common ground in some prog-metal band, and in movie soundtrack too). We had a desire to offer a “genre of metal” that stands out, and which interests us as a musician. As I said, Adrien proposed India as a destination, and when we saw the musical and cultural richness that it could be, we documented, informed, enriched ourselves with everything we have could find on the subject. As a keyboardist, I need direction anyway that allows me to stand out in metal music. I really wanted to leave as much as possible the violins and the massive choirs aside for Kala, with oriental music I had found myself an infinite playground. In the end there were two important criteria: not to be categorized as “Indian metal”, and to obtain the most homogeneous rendering possible between these elements of oriental music and our heavy-riffing metal music.
What has been the biggest success of the band?
Xavier : I would say personally every comment, message we get. All the love from our fan is always the biggest success.
Heli : Agreed. We can’t get used to it. It’s such a feeling reading the messages of support, and meeting people after the shows. It means so much to us.
What are the plans for the release date?
Xavier : Hopefully getting through to a larger audience !!
A good night of sleep because we have been working non stop on this album and all the promotion that comes with it!
Heli : Enjoy what we made, find new gigs, hopefully a tour, spreading the word and play Kala on stage of course!
Do you have a tour scheduled for 2020?
Heli : Not yet, but we have a few gigs planned. See you at Comendatio festival (Portugal) for instance! We cannot wait.
Would you like to travel to India for a tour, to showcast your love for India?
Xavier : Yes with great pleasure
Heli : That’s a dream, and I hope it will come true!
What has been the biggest thing for the band in 2019?
Xavier : Playing at the Euroblast festival and the Ready for prog in Toulouse.
Guillaume : Being able to play at the Euroblast was clearly a milestone, this festival is quite of a temple of progressive music in europe. Adrien and myself were there as fanboys 10 years ago, being on stage and having a receptive audience was – literally – a blast.
Heli : 2019 was the year of our first festivals, and I have plenty of great memories from each place where we played. We grew up as a band, and as musicians. We made new video clips, developed our visual universe, worked on the promotion, met great artists and people, and many other things. It was such a crazy year and it’s hard to chose one thing ahah. Euroblast sure, Ready for Prog, but also our unplugged show at Criducol festival… And now 2020 begins with the Kala release, it’s amazing.
What does art and culture means to Mobius?
Xavier : A big part of our life
Heli : Almost everything. It’s a place where everybody can express feelings, thoughts. And it’s for everyone.
Do you have a message for the fans?
Xavier : I can’t thank you enough for your support
Heli : We are so glad and honored to receive your messages, to meet you after the shows, to talk with you about music. It’s great, and we say thank you all for your amazing support.
MHF Magazine/Keith Clement