On March 26, I got to sit down and have an interview with Julien Truchan of Benighted. This was the bands first time in North America. So to be able to have an interview with him during their current tour was awesome! When I had gotten to the venue, I had apparently gotten there a bit early. Bands were walking around and chatting to one another. Across from me was Benighted. At one point Truchan did something pretty funny with one of his band mates. When they laughed and I commented, they introduced themselves. When I mentioned I had an interview with Truchan, he was very excited and eager! After we all finished our drinks, Truchan and I walked downstairs and started recording. I hope you enjoy the interview!
YesterdazeNews Magazine, Patrick Burt: How has your experience been in the US for the tour so far?
Truchan: Actually, we were under a lot of stress because we were having troubles with our visas. We got ours really, really late. For example, I got mine on Monday and I had a plane to catch at 6 A.M. on Tuesday. But we finally made it! Our drummer had some issues with his visa as well. He had to reschedule his flight, but everything was fine. We arrived I think two hours before playing or first gig in Detroit, but we were so excited, and tired, but we gave everything we had because we were so excited to be here. It was great!
I think tonight is our fifth gig of the tour. And so far every night of the tour has been reactive. Everybody seems to have known us from a long time ago, and they’ve been waiting for us to arrive, so we are very very happy about this tour so far.
You guys have been around for 20 years now. With this being your first time in the US, how does it feel to finally be over here playing for those fans who’ve been waiting to see you?
Truchan: It is an amazing experience because we always meet someone who says “Guys we have been waiting for you for so many years!”. We wanted to come here but you we all have other jobs besides Benighted. It’s a lot of money to come here. We wanted our first tour in America to be something big! Not something that we would regret. We know that it can be tiring to tour the US from stories we have heard. With this package though with Aborted, Cryptopsy, and Hideous Divinity it was just the perfect occasion to do it finally! When we got asked and saw the bill we were like “Guys, we need to do it and do it now! Let’s see what happens”. So far it is just fantastic!
Have you been getting to do a lot of tourist things while being over here? Or has it been just shows and stuff non stop?
Truchan: (laughs a bit) Oh Yes! The good thing is it’s not just all shows all the time. We get a lot of downtime during the day because we drive at night. So when we arrive to the next city we like to go visit. For example, today, we went to this building in Seattle to see all of the landscape around.
Ah, you got to go to the Space Needle.
Truchan: I think so yeah, that was it! Of course it was a very touristic thing, but it was so impressive for us coming from Europe. We don’t have this kind of huge building, we have beautiful landscape as well, but it’s really particular to be able to enjoy it from such a high building. Every city we go to, if we have the opportunity to see something, we will do it. Of course we are here to share our music with our fans, but we are also here to take everything we can on a personal level. For me for example, it is my very first experience in the US and I’m enjoying visiting it.
Has it been overwhelming or much different from Europe in your opinion? Or has being able to travel around and explore been a natural transition.
Truchan: It is a bit different because you have a very, very, VERY, huge country (we both start laughing). And we have been getting to experience all of it considering the driving we have to do. Actually for example, when we left yesterday from Denver, we drove all night. When we were there it was sunny and cool. During the night, we were in Wyoming and there was a lot of snow. Like three meters high on each side of the road! Which for us we were like “My god, did we just change seasons while going through the country?”. Then two hours before we got into Seattle, there was still snow, there was still rain, and when we arrived it was sunny and warm. We were thinking alright, I guess it’s shorts and T-shirt weather! It was very strange to experience such different weather by just driving.
I’ve made the trip from Washington to Minnesota before. When I was going through North Dakota, I was looking around and it was nice, sunny and beautiful. A couple hours later, the sky was black, there was thunder and lightning and then a tornado came through. It was very odd to have it change so quick.
Truchan: (laughing) It is very impressive to see it happen!
So the last album you guys came out with was “Necrobleed“. Which was a fantastic album and was geared more towards the death metal side of everything. Do you have any plans for a new Benighted album anytime soon?
Truchan: Actually we are working on a new album! We have to back in the studio at the end of the year to record it so it can be released at the beginning of 2020. Hopefully by about February or March I guess. We are now currently working on the new material to make it happen, because “Necrobleed” will be three years old at the point our new baby is born so to speak.
Do you have any idea of what we can be expecting from it? Is it going to sound a bit more death metal or grindcore? What should us as fans be looking at?
Truchan: It will of course be our roots of death metal, but for this next album we are really hoping to add a little bit of a creepy way to things. Mainly some parts that will make people feel a little uncomfortable when you listen to it. We are also wanting to add a bit more of our hardcore influence into it. We kind of let that fall for “Necrobleed” and we’d like it back because we miss it. I think the new album will be brutal for sure, creepy as well, and very groovy.
I’m really glad your adding the influence back. I’m a huge hardcore fan (Points at my Terror hat and tattoo).
Truchan: (sees the tattoo) Oh!!!!! That’s awesome!!!!!
With that being said, what bands helped influence you to write? Also, do you know what influences any of your band mates as well?
Truchan: Actually, for example we all are long time fans of Napalm Death of course. For myself I am also a huge fan of Sick Of It All and Terror as well. This kind of band is not the same kind of singing, but sometimes with the rhythm, I want to not just add death metal vocals but I feel the want for my hardcore vocals. That’s because that’s my gut telling me about the momentum of the song. We are always heavily influenced by bands directly or indirectly as well. For example Aborted are our long time friends. And it’s funny because sometimes while at a show we will got up to them and be like “Hey man, you stole a bit of us right?” (we both start laughing). It’s also the same on the other side though, so it’s just perfect.
So yeah, I’d say Napalm Death for sure. Emmanuel (guitarist) is really into black metal. Which is very different for us. He has this way of writing songs where he likes to include some black metal parts that are very creepy when you listen to it, and that’s really good when you listen to the Benighted music.
Speaking of the core influence with black metal. Are you familiar with the band Carnifex?
Truchan: Of course!
It kind of reminds me of what they’ve been doing with their last couple albums.
Last Question for you. This is one I like to ask to get perspective from others. I actually asked the to Scott from Carnifex as well. So playing here over in the US it is usually playing more club shows, or small theaters. I’ve seen over in Europe it is usually a bit bigger and and more involved. What is the biggest difference in your opinion from the fan base, concerts themselves.
Truchan: I’d say for the crowds, every time I arrive to a concert it’s very natural for me to make people react to music. That’s my thing. I want to share it with the people I am in front of. I interact a lot with the public. It is the same to me weather I am in a small club, or at a massive festival because, I look at people in the eyes and say “Hey! we are here to party together!”. And I love to do that! It is just part of my culture.
I’d say there isn’t much difference for me. When I arrive on stage, my purpose is to make people enjoy what we are playing and say “Hey everybody! Came party with us!”. It doesn’t matter to me what music you like, we are here to have a good time and I would like us all to share this moment. And most of the time that works.
That’s awesome! I’m glad to hear that. I enjoy hearing that from any artist honestly, it doesn’t matter what they play. If they love it, more than likely I will also.
Truchan: I love it! That’s what Benighted is made for.
Thank you so much Julien for all of your time. It was truly a pleasure!
Check out our coverage from the show as well here!