Rock Impressions

INTERVIEW WITH TAAL (italian version)
by Michele Maestrini

Can you give to our readers an introduction to the band and a brief history?
Taal is the name of a volcano surrended by a lac It's also the connection of artists and musicians come from different horizons witch cross over their influences, create together their own musical univers. Childreen of progressive rock and classical music gear freed repertory, their music influences come from rock, jazz, electro. It's a mixter of etnic and primitive rythme, true to the original. But obviously open to the future. The topics research mixing power of rock and classical instrument sonority allow to cross the frontier of established genre and create something else. TAAL, on this way, risk an inclassable existence genre (even if you can find noticed Influences) It's a free band. Invitation to sonor trips of such a formation purpose you an alternative of musics ready to be carried out, and allow you to make your own feelings. They try to bring you the best.
TAAL was created in 1992 by the trio funder (basse -guitare-drum). A powerfull experimental and improvised rock was the concept of this first formation playing under different names : "STUART'n CO" "LITTLE RATTLE" "STRATUS". In 1996 , a keyboards join the band. The music acquires then a symphonic aspect witch marks the first steps of TAAL Band.
In 2000, MUSEA produced "Mr GREEN". After a first concept venue (Mr GREEN's DREAMS) mixing concert, theather and animated film (HYPNOS by Herpin Eric) Integrate 6 new members.
Now TAAL is:
Drum and singer : LOIC BERNARDEAU
Drum and electonics samples: IGOR POLISSET
Electric and acoustic guitare: ANTHONY GABARD
Basse: DAVID DOSNON "Stuart"
Flute and singer: HELENE SONET
Cello: MEHDI ROSSIGNOL like the bird !
Technical sound: GESER
Technical light: RACHID

In your opinion, what are the differences between the two albums?
The main different between both albums is the energy and the sound due to the number of Musicians who have join the band (therefore compositions and arrangements have been made together). On the technical way, regarding the first album, we had a dead line to follow (20 days) and also two other persons out of the band had mixed and masterised the album in opposite to skymind album witch has taken 6 month to record, mixe by ourselves except the mastering by only Stéphane Brunet. At the end,"Skymind" represente us better what we are entitle to do. (During the last three years our music has riped).

Are you satified about the first album? How many copies did it sold and what are your expectations for this new release?
We are still very happy with our first album because it representes four years of work and allowed us to be known on the progressive stage.
So far, MUSEA RECORD sold 1800 copies (approximate) and more 1200 "copies of copies" for concerts, festival, friends have been sold or given on our own and our expectation for Skymind is obviously to sell as many records as possible. Banane !

What are you planning to promote this new release?
We've planed some concerts in the only country : the world !!! (GAG !) We will play in Swistzerland, Belgium, and wait for an answer for Mexico, Hungary, Italy and South America. All these for the next years and half coming. Loads of critics are on many reviews such as HARD ROCK MAGAZINE, HARD & HEAVY, CROSSROAD, BIG BANG, KOID 9, PROGRESISTE HIGHLAND, Etc..

In your songs there are a lot of folk and popular music as well as classical music influences, what is your relation with these kind of music?
We are openminded to all sorts of music witch create our influences. Our classical influence comes out of the string quartet and also Sébastien constand (Taal's Keyboard) who have followed a classical formation.

Sometime your music is very dark and other times it is more sunny, which side is closer to your feelings?
Both of them, because our policy is to mix opposite ambiances basically we do this. Not to be classified in only one music genre and breaking a quiete ambiance by a dark Side make us laugh.

I noticed that in your cds there is always the contrast between a lot of moments of calm with relaxed passages and very heavy passages with a hard distortion. Do you think you will move into a harder kind of music or you will always try to mix these two components?
For the next album, we have planned to continue in metal music and add some new Grooves witch we haven't exploited yet. The concept will obviously be different from what we did so far.

What feedback have you get back from the audience to your albums?
In concert, Taal has a very big energy witch is appreciated by the audience. The feeling found in concerts is ten times biger than the recording and for the rest just read the concerned reviews.

A lot of non speaking english bands prefer to sing in english and not in their own languages. Why did you make the same choice?
Loic Bernardeau the drummer singer prefers to write and sing in English to touch as many people as possible. Musea sells both of our album in 156 countries what explain our choice and also he is also very inspired by Pink Floyd

I think that the french prog scene is very brilliant nowadays, what do you think about it and how do you think to belong to it?
We don't want to belong to the progressive genre only, but to many other genres. In France, there are many "progressive Band" but the possibility to get through is nearly impossible (only 5 festivals run each year) Radios don't help us and broadcast shit music. We must stop to say "progressive music", we must say simply rock'n roll music, Created rock music! etc..

What are your main influences and inspirations?
Our influences come out of : Massive Attack, Sepultura, Carlos (a French
singer), Red Hot.., Azziza Mustapha Zadeh, BRATCH, Mardi gras BB, Roger sy, Napalm Death, Miles Davis, PRIMUS, Gainsbourg, Prokofiev, Renaud, Hendrix........ Everything witch comes out of our heardrums !

Can you tell me something about the origin of Skymind and how did you realize it?
Most of the titles have been created by foor of us (Stuart-basse, Antho-guitar, seb-keyboard, Loïc-drum and lyrics) like Yellow Garden, Blind Child, The Egg Shaped Moon and Stratus.
Purple Queen's lips has been composed by Igor (the second drummer) and skymind and Stratus arrangements has been composed by all of us.

You are a very numerous band, how do you combine such a lot of people?
We manage to do so, only by enjoying ourselves.

What do you think about the prog scene of today? There is something that you like?
We haven't got any opinions. We are openminded!

Listening to your music is clear you are very good musicians, how is your background? Did you all studied or some of you are self-taught musicians?
Four of us (basse-guitar-drums) are self taught and the rest of us have a classical background.
Out of TAAL, all of us play in many different bands and this is the best experience. We can adopt all styles.

How do you think is important to have a high level of technical preparation?
Drink loads of beers and smoke big joints Surprising innit?

What are your projects for the next months? There are rumours you will come to Italy can you confirm that? I think there are a lot of prog fans that would be very happy for this!
see question number11. Thank you for your support and we would be pleased to meet you in Italy
BYE !!


Reviews (in italian): Mister Green; Skymind

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