Interview: Anita Stojanović

In the light of their upcoming show, which will be held on October 26th in Gjuro2 (Zagreb), we bring you an interview with guitarist and vocal Alex Harlé of a French metal band DespairHate.

DespairHateVENIA: Could you explain the name of your band, why did you call yourself DespairHate and what is the significance of it?
Alex Harlé: I’m not sure that our name really has a meaning! I think that after some beers we felt totally desperate because we haven’t found a good name for the band yet, and with a lot of alcohol, one of us probably said “we need to put HATE in the name, it’ll sound metal!” so it’ll be “DespairHate”. Nope, seriously, I don’t have any good explanation for that 🙂

VENIA: Can you describe your musical style to our readers.
Alex Harlé: The base of our music is symphonic metal, but obviously it sounds like symphonic thrash metal. We all come from different music scenes and that’s probably why we have this kind of hybrid style! Our female singer Nyx is listening and composing in various styles from French music to metal, our drummer Eric is more involved in Orchestral and movie music, JM our guitar player is a convinced metal head (I think that his mum played some Slayers records to calm him down when he was a child…), Arnaud the bass player is more in musette music and I come from the punk hard core scene!

VENIA: Your first album was released in late 2013. and is streamable.When can we expect it coming to stores? Can you give us some more information about it?
Alex Harlé: Yes, our first album has been released on late 2013 and is fully streamable on! You can purchase it online on bandcamp or in our online shop. We released our album on our own label “WinterHearted Records” and it’s officially released only in France. For sure we would love to find a label for distribution across Europe! You can expect energy, nice tunes, nice artwork (by Natalie Shau) and we put our guts into it!

VENIA: You come from France which isn’t known for metal, so could you describe the French metal scene a bit? How popular is metal in France and can you make a living as a metal musician there or do you need to have a job alongside being a musician?
Alex Harlé: You’re totally right, France is far from being the metal paradise and it’s totally shit for metal bands. The French metal scene is big and small… Big because of the thousands of small bands we have and small because of the poor conditions we have for touring and sharing our music. Most of French people are listening to what we call “variété”, which means meaningful 4 chords songs with meaningful French lyrics and performed by a meaningful singer… We don’t have metal radios, metal shows are small and few people show up… That’s why we want to play abroad and share our music and passion! You can live as a musician in France – Nyx and Arnaud do – but really few people in France are living as a metal musician. Unfortunately, we all need a job alongside to pay our bills.

VENIA: You’re going a tour across Central Europe on which you’ll visit Croatia on the 26th of October. Can you tell metal heads in Croatia why they should come to see you perform live and what they can expect from the show?
Alex Harlé: Yes, we can’t wait for this tour, we’re so excited to visit new countries and meet new people! Why Croatian metal heads should come to the show? Because if they don’t, Nyx will cast a spell on them and they’ll be cursed on 10 generations: boys will have a 2 cms dick and girls we’ll be forced to watch soccer on TV. More seriously, we have plenty of energy and good mood to share with you guys. We play a not really common sort of metal: a good friend of mine told me few months ago “you guys are bloody liars, you say that you play symphonic metal, but you’re obviously a thrash metal band playing with some orchestral samples!” I think he’s not totally wrong! We relased few months ago a live video, so you can have a look and imagine the energy in live conditions! Come to the show, in the worst case, if you don’t like us, we’ll have some beers together and talk about weather and you’ll introduce us to Croatian alcohols! And last but not least, we’ll have the chance to share the stage with other bands, and I’m 100% sure that they deserve that people show up too!