Home SceneInterviews LOKURAH interview: There are the kind of songs that make you want to headbang automatically and that’s worth it!

LOKURAH interview: There are the kind of songs that make you want to headbang automatically and that’s worth it!

by Vjeran

When we started Metal Jacket Magazine, we wanted to somehow bring our readers closer to bands that might have a harder time breaking through to listeners in the sea of ​bands and music.
Line up: PJ = Pierre-Jean (guitarist), Flo = Florian (bassist), Alex = Alexandre (singer)

To begin with, it would be best if you introduced your band.
PJ: Hi ! We are LOKURAH, a Metal band from France which played in Metal-Hardcore style mixed with some Death-Metal elements on the first two albums. The style has evolved these last years and we have included some clean vocals and a lower guitar tuning.

Is it hard to keep all the members together since this music has no income?
PJ: Well, yes, it has been the case in the past, people have to be really passionate about the style and do it for the music and all the things around, and thinking about the money.

How do you finance yourself and can you cover the costs of recording, equipment, concerts with music?
PJ: I mainly see two possibilities in this style : being supported by your girlfriend waiting for your success to come for years or simply have a daily job and that’s what we do in the band, except for the drummer who is professional and plays in many bands. I also have my own Kemper profiles brand (PJ666) which can help to buy some gear.

What made you start playing metal music? Who were your role models in the beginning and has that changed over time?
Flo: It started as a very small punk act with friends, just for fun. But I actually enjoyed it and began to want more, both in my playing and the songs we played. At that time I was jamming a lot over Metallica songs. Several years and bands later I often seek for more extreme things to play.
Alex: For me it started in middle school, I’m a children of the nu metal wave in the 2000’s. The moment I decided to start playing music was in my brother’s room, listening him playing fade to black’s chorus. I got chills on my back, thinking “this is so cool, that’s what I want to do” then I started to play guitar and sing in small punkrock bands. It was all natural to me to take the mic, I have always sung since I’m a kid and I like to be a frontman and interact with people.
PJ: I picked up my first guitar at 17 years and my first musical heroes were Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Metallica. I still love these bands but I’ve gone on more brutal stuff since and I love many things like Swedish Death-Metal bands, Hatebreed, and also “Roadrunner“ bands Fear Factory, Machine Head, Chimaira…

Is it hard to find a publisher or is it better to self publish considering the internet?
PJ: Good question because the Internet has changed everything and labels didn’t see the bad wave coming. Nowadays you can put your tracks on streaming platforms easily but you still need some skills to promote it, so all these jobs are still here and still necessary.

What have you published so far?
PJ: In 2005 an EP with 3 tracks, in 2008 1st album „When the end comes“ and 2012 „The time to do better“. All mixed by Mobo at Conkrete Studio. And now in 2022 „Distorted truth“ mixed at Fredman Studio.

Tell us something about the new album, which will be released on November 4th via Crimson Productions.
Flo: I can just tell I met the guys, and barely three months after I was recording that album ! That’s a crazy train.
Alex: It’s been a long work to improve my abilities and to be more “professional”, this is the culmination of 4 years of work with PJ. I put myself in it, and I’m really proud of the hard work we made.
PJ: We have really delivered our best on this album and try to write aggressive songs and staying catchy and sometimes melodic at the same time.

How do you create songs, how do you record them?
Alex: In the case of Lokurah, for the last songs, some PJ’s riffs played to present his kemper’s profiles caught my attention, it instantly inspired me the firsts lines of “In Vain“. I asked him to work on it, he sent me the two riffs, making one verse and one chorus. I can’t explain how it comes, it’s like if I had it inside of me since forever and it had to come out when I ear the music for the first time. Then PJ help me to organise my singing rhythm, making it more fluid, and there we are.

Where do you get inspiration for the lyrics?
Alex: For the ones I wrote, I have two ways: the first one is to take some personnal experiences that affected me, trying to write it in a way that people can identify themselves through it. Then second way start with the awareness of our environnement. I mean social, politic and ecologic. When you play extreme music, I think you can’t just talk light, you must have something to say, where your anger come from, what do you want to change in the world for the best, what’s the message you want to bear? And try not to be caught by an ideology.
PJ: I also like to write some lyrics and they can be personal thoughts, about religion for example, but also totally fictionnal lyrics like „Copyrighted 666“ or inspired by a comic book like „Whitchfinder“.

What is your favorite song you’ve made so far and why?
Alex: It’s hard to choose. Between the ones I wrote the lyrics, I would say “Defiled” for several reasons. The text is very personal, full of my “anger energy“, and you can feel it in the way I sing it. The rhythm of the song is different of the rest of the album and I like the way it grooves. The final reason is that I really enjoy the “clean singing” parts, made simply, with power. That’s a song I put all my guts in.
PJ: So far that could be „The time to do better“ from our second album. And from our last album that would be „Void Factory“ because it’s catchy but has still got solid riffs within.

Where can readers listen to you and maybe buy your material?
PJ: you can listen to our tracks on every streaming platform and watch our videos on YouTube:
Void Factory: https://youtu.be/5_wnker63_U
In Vain: https://youtu.be/13eVsAfFOCE
With the eyes of reality: https://youtu.be/Wyk-L5FotOo
And you can buy our stuff here: https://crimsonproductions.bigcartel.com/ & https://lokurah.bandcamp.com/

How do you organize concerts, is it difficult for you and how many people come to such concerts?
PJ: Like everywhere in the world I think, not always easy but you can count on the most passionate people everytime!

In which countries have you played and where did you have the best time, where is the crowd the craziest?
PJ: Only in France until now but we hope it will change soon.

What do you think about the digital release and is it serious like CD or LP?
Alex: Nowadays digital music is the main way used to listen music. CD and LP are more like collecion stuff and merchandising, it has importance but in an other way. As a musician I love them and I think it’s essential, but as a listener, I use Spotify daily.
PJ: I like digital stuff because it’s so convenient and also CDs because the quality is better and you can read the lyrics. And now you can also the lyrics on some streaming platforms, which I think is great! But people still need you a physical release and in Metal music the album format is still important.

Was metal music more honest than today?
Flo: Musically speaking, nowadays the web is flooded with incredible players and killer tones. Sometimes I cannot but think it looks like a enormous contest about who will nail it better than every other. Maybe it has just become more obvious than before.
Alex: I think it’s the opposite, now you have to think about everything and be fully involved. Most bands have excellents skills and as Flo said, killer tones. You must add to this some communication abilities, and social medias has become essential too. Metal music was just more simple I guess.
PJ: It’s easier to do a lot of editing to make things really better nowadays. But it will be difficult to play it correctly on stage afterwards, so that may be a trap too.

How do you comment on this bunch of sub-genres in metal and is it good for metal or is it destroying it?
Flo: I have the feeling a lot of subgenres evolve quite quickly, to me that’s for the best.
Alex: I think it’s for the best. I’m discovering every days different kind of metalbands, fusionning with different kind of music. I think it’s essential to stay open-minded to improve yourself. And to keep in the same time some good old school stuff too.
PJ: I think it’s OK and sometimes necessary because the style is so wide.

Do you support this commercialization of metal music and how about the wearing of metal t-shirts by some “exposed” people who do not belong to this philosophy of metal music?
Alex: I can’t deny that when I see that, it has a bitter taste. Because those people are promoting a useless ans superficial way of life wich is totally antagonist with metal philosophy. But culture spread no matter what you think about. The good point is that’s a way to make old preconceived ideas about metal music disappear a little. And maybe a young lost soul will be randomly saved by metal (laughs).
PJ: I think it can be a good thing overall. And Metal has a strong image on the merchandising, and we can really be surprised by some musical tastes. Who knows?

What would you change in the world of metal and would you like to go back to the time before the internet if you remember it at all?
Flo: I think we had a lot less pressure upon ourselves “before”, you could just be the local band and not be automatically compared to some guys from the other side of the planet.
Alex: I totally share the point Flo said. I would add that there where more links between peoples around metal before, I remember most of metal head knew each others in a large area. There was a stronger “brotherhood”.
PJ: I think some tickets prices for concerts are crazy nowadays. But otherwise, it’s a great area for a Metal fan with all this music available.

How important is supporting the local scene and can you single out a band from your area that you would recommend to our readers?
Flo: There are some guys that play immensely well-crafted tunes here, the first ones I can think of are The Dali Thundering Concept and Atlantis Chronicles.
Alex: Of course it is, there are a lot of talented guys with music that gives you thrill. I think about Hacride & Regarde les hommes tomber.
PJ: I would pick Destinity because their last album is really great (their singer is also running our label Crimson Productions and will be pleased to read this).

How do you see this situation in the world and how do you think it will develop? Will they imprison us again, scare us or maybe send us into a big war?
Flo: I think we’re all fucked up sooner or later.
Alex: Nowadays mainstream medias are telling us what to think, there’s a storytelling against what we need to rise. I think everything is possible, most of science-fiction movies we watch 20 years ago finally happened. Scare is a useful tool to guide some fools. I can’t resolve that some motherf***er will decide for me how I should live while this one is out of 99% people’s reality I’m talking about it in “Void Factory”.

Finally, what would you say to our readers and why should they listen to you in the sea of ​​bands that are offered to them every day?
Alex: Well, I can just tell we put our sincerity and all our efforts in this album, trying to make an album that you can easily listen in one shot without being bored. There are the kind of songs that make you want to headbang automatically and that’s worth it!
PJ: It represents years of work and evolution and the production from the mighty Fredman studio gives a special touch to it.

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