Genre: Heavy metal

Origin: France

Current line-up:
François - Guitar
Alexis - Vocals
Le Gorg - Bass, choirs
Pierre - Drums

Current label:
Emanes Metal Records

De Sang et d'Acier - 2009

Official Site:

1. Hello! How are you? Since you are a new band, tell us a few things about you. When were you formed? Did you play in other bands before and which are your targets with HURLEMENT?

    Didier (bass): I played in quite a lot of bands. I played in heavy metal bands, black metal bands, death metal, nu-metal, grindcore metal, disco metal, Frank Sinatra metal…
    My goal is to play heavy metal.

    François (guitars): The band was officially formed in the end of 2003. Before, I played in a heavy metal band from Paris: AKILONNIA. Alexis joined that same band before we created HURLEMENT.

    Pierre (drums): HURLEMENT is my first band. Well, I did play in AKILONNIA before Alexis joined, but it was very, very short.

    Alexis (vocals): I joined my first band in ’98 or ’99 as a complete beginner on vocals. After a few other bands that I either quit or got fired from, I joined AKILONNIA where François was playing. That’s where we wrote our first songs together, some of which became HURLEMENT songs. When François left AKILONNIA to take a heavier orientation, we formed HURLEMENT and recruited François’ brother Pierre on the drums. HURLEMENT is the first band with which I ever released anything.
    The target with the band is really quite simple: play good old traditional heavy metal and keep the flame burning. The only “ambition” we have is to be able to play a lot of concerts with people banging and screaming along to those songs.

2. From the research I did on the web I saw that your first release ever is your new album “De Sang et d'Acier” and you didn’t release a demo before. How did you manage to do that?
    Didier: We did try to make a demo but… Shit happened, and BOOM! We made an album instead. So we didn’t manage this, we were actually trying to make a demo and failed!

    François: Yes we did record tracks for a demo in 2005. But we lost the takes due to computer problems, and that doused our motivation for the demo. Instead of losing courage or wasting any more time on a crappy demo, we decided to go straight to the next level: the album!

    Alexis: I think maybe we should have recorded 7 or 8 demos. Then maybe we would not have got every possible technical problem on just that one recording, but only one or two issues for each. That would have been nice.

3. By the way what is the meaning of the band name “HURLEMENT” and how did you come up with it?
    Didier: Come to one of our rehearsals in Paris, and if your poor ears survive our singer’s warm-up session, you will have understood that “hurlement” means “scream” in French.

    Alexis: We wanted a French name, in the wake of bands like SORTILEGE or BLASPHEME because we are all fans of the 80’s French metal scene and we want to carry on that tradition. We really like what MALEDICTION did with their own name, for instance. We stayed without a name for months, maybe even one year or more. And one day, we just thought of “HURLEMENT” and it fits our style perfectly. 

4. Since the biggest part of your songs are in French, can you tell us in a few words which the meaning of each song is? Do you plan to add an English translation of your French lyrics on your site?
    Didier: Oh damn, someone who reads band lyrics… (which I rarely do)!

    François: The subjects of our songs in French are pretty simple.
    “Ordalie” is about the old medieval rule of the trial by the arms: instead of arguing for hours about who’s right or who’s telling the truth, you just bash in each other’s face and let steel decide!
    “Kamikaze”, as shown by its title, is about fanatical Japanese pilots who sacrificed their lives for the Emperor during World War II.
    “Moine Guerrier” goes back to a medieval setting, but is more fantasy-oriented. It tells the story of war monks, raised to slaughter infidels and spread the War God’s word!
    In the same style, “Mercenaire” is about a mercenary, a sword for hire giving his warrior talents to what kings will pay the most. As the chorus says, war and gold are the only laws he follows.
    “Dernier Combat” is again set in the same timeless medieval atmosphere. It tells of the last stand of a king on the battlefield, surrounded by the corpses of his subjects and warriors.

    Alexis: We did not plan to add English translations of the songs. Actually, we just never considered it. If we ever get enough people asking, I will try to make English versions (even though it should be François’ task because he’s the one that wrote those lyrics! Get to work you bastard!)

5. Do you think that singing in French might make some people that would like your music, not listen to you? To make it simpler, do you believe that the French language can be an obstacle to sell many CDs abroad from your country?
    Didier: Well, if we are aiming for the Western African or South-Eastern Asian markets, no problem because a lot of people understand French there! Of course, this might get more complicated if we want to conquer the American market…
    More seriously, French is a beautiful language and can fit music as well as English does. Millions of metal fans around the world have no clue about IRON MAIDEN or ACDC’s lyrics in English, and still those bands are selling tons of CDs, so is language really a problem? I don’t think so, not one second. I think singing in French is actually an advantage, and such originality can open doors that English would not. Furthermore, French is perfect for building a following in our own country. In France, bands like KILLERS, ADX, BLASPHEME, SORTILEGE, TRUST remained very popular. French heavy metal fans still have a special spot in their hearts for songs in French.

    François: And anyway, the choice of language has never been (and never will be) based on such considerations. We do not aim for this or that market, we do not care who likes it or not. Language is part of a larger process that comes with songwriting. Some songs will sound better with French, others with English. We have chosen not to limit ourselves to one or the other language.

    Alexis: I have always enjoyed non-English bands that sing in their native languages. Be that Spanish, Russian, French, anything, it gives a special edge to the music and often brings more conviction in the vocals. You know, BARON ROJO, ARIA, ORPHANED LAND, POKOLGEP… Recently, CRYSTAL VIPERr release a Polish version of “The Last Axeman” on their last EP, and I much prefer it to the English version, I’d wish the whole album was in Polish (even though I don’t speak a word of it)! And of course, I am a huge fan of SORTILEGE, KILLERS, ADX and that whole scene, and trying to recreate some of this 80’s French heavy metal vibe just satisfies me.
    But on the other hand, I learnt metal by listening to bands like JUDAS PRIEST and MANOWAR and having a song in English has also become very natural to me. And this is the point: we refuse to choose one of those sides just for the sake of having an image. People are very often saying that singing in French will lead you to one pool of audience and close the other one, and singing in English will do the opposite. Both can work, but you’re supposed to choose one of those and build your image upon that. Well, NO. Fuck off. We love both, and we are going to do both. If that makes us sell less, too fucking bad.
    And this is also why on the album we avoided having something like French on side A and English on side B.

6. Personally I am a big RUNNING WILD fan and it might be just me, but I think that you have some influences from the first era of this band along with some ADX elements. What do you think about it? Which other bands have influenced you as musicians in one way or another?
    Didier: RUNNING WILD (and not only their first albums) are a major influence in the way we set guitar riffs, just as MOTORHEAD are a major influence for bass. Rock ’n’ Rolf has a very special riffing style, and it is quite obvious that François has listened to RUNNING WILD a lot. Our two other major influences are the 80’s French heavy metal scene and the old MANOWAR albums.

    François: Yes, RUNNING WILD is indeed a big influence… So it shows that much? Wait until we start belting out songs about pirates!

    Alexis: One other very obvious influence is MANOWAR. Both on the purely vocal side and for songwriting. Another big one is JUDAS PRIEST, though I think it’s less obvious, more underlying.

7. By the way RUNNING WILD will play their last show in the forthcoming WACKEN festival, which are your thoughts about it?
    Didier: I was lucky enough to see them in their time of greatness, so I don’t expect much from that farewell show. The band stopped touring long ago, and is only a shadow of what it used to be. Their last Wacken show was not up to what power they had in the 80’s and early 90’s. Rock ’n’ Rolf does not want to tour anymore, and so he’s stepping out.

    François: They should have played that farewell show ten years ago…

    Alexis: I think it sucks that they announced it only after Wacken was sold-out. That’s one final disregard for their hardcore fans. I wouldn’t have gone myself anyway, because Wacken is too expensive and, for a classic heavy metal fan like me, the billing has become much too poor for the price these last years (and I’m saving my vacation days for better festivals). But I’m sure a lot of nostalgic RUNNING WILD fans would have loved to see that show.  Rolf obviously does not like touring, and RUNNING WILD is very hard to catch on stage if you don’t happen to live near where they play one of their rare dates. So I’m sure a lot of fans would have loved to seize that one last occasion to finally see the band live, even if it is not up to its past glory, or to pay their respects. But they can’t.
    And as for the band stopping… Well, I’m a huge fan of what they did until the end of the 90’s, so I can’t help feeling sad. But let’s face it, the band has not been a real band anymore for years and the flame has long been gone. 

8. Your co-patriots LONEWOLF are quite known here in Greece. Do you believe that this can happen with HURLEMENT too? Will you come for a show in our country?
    Didier: Yes, our friends from LONEWOLF have a great following in Greece, and I think our style could have a chance to conquer the Greek fans because they love classic heavy metal that accepts no compromise. So we do hope to reach the Greek audience. And if anyone invites us to play there, we’ll come!

    François: We are already in contact with some Greek metal fans, and we cannot help but thinking that the Hellenic Warriors could really like our music. Playing there would be awesome! The LONEWOLF guys have nothing but praise to say about the Greek audience, and we’ll do everything we can to make that happen. Germany is the classic temple of heavy metal, but next to that, Greece, Italy and Spain have also become major countries. When you think of festivals like the Up The Hammers, the Play It Loud, The Pounding Metal…

    Alexis: I think I first realized how crazy the Greek audience must be when the ICED EARTH “Alive in Athens” album came out. And I often wished I could easily fly there, like when BROCAS HELM played in Greece. On the bootlegs, the atmospheres sound incredible! Of course, we cannot begin to compare ourselves to those great bands, but, still, Greece seems to be an incredible country for heavy metal warriors, and we really hope to get a chance to enjoy a taste of this madness. At least, I’m sure our style fits this. We wear the same patches on our vests, we play the same style. Now we have to get lucky and have a chance to get invited there.

9. The cover artwork of your album is impressive, yet very dark. I can’t hide that the first time I saw it I thought you were a pagan/black metal band. Who is the painter? How did you choose it to become the cover for your album?
    Didier: The cover was painted by J.P. Fournier, a French artist who already worked with many European bands. He’s a very talented guy. We ordered a painting from him and gave him some general instructions about tone and spirit... the result far exceeded our expectations! The final print comes out a bit darker than the original, which does give it a bit of a gloomy feel. Maybe this is where you found a pagan/black touch. But with our great 80’s-like logo (which was drawn by the same artist), there should be no mistake about the style.

    Alexis: When we decided to contact him, we never expected he would come out with such a great painting. I’m really proud to release a first album with such a killer cover. Nowadays, many bands are just doing a fast Photoshop rendering, because, well, it’s cheaper and easier. I can understand it, of course, because most bands (like us) are already struggling hard to release anything. But still, I’m a bit conservative there. I keep a soft spot for hand-drawn covers, so I’m really satisfied we went for that solution. This is the first visual impression many people will get of us, better a killer painting than our ugly faces!

10. Which of the songs that you have included in your album took you the most time to complete and which one was the easiest and why?
    François: That’s a tough question. I think the oldest songs were the easier to write and play (“Kamikaze”, “Dernier Combat”). Then we gained a bit of experience, and songs became a bit more complex (“Mercenaire”, “Gala Night”, “NOTK”). But we’re still quite, quite far from prog metal!

    Alexis: The easiest one must have been “Dernier Combat”. It’s a very simple song, which does not mean it’s less good… For me, complexity and song quality have absolutely nothing to do with one another. As for the hardest one… “Screaming”, maybe, because we had stupidly overlooked some technical details in the heat of rehearsals and had to panic-rewrite some guitar parts that did not fit when recording. Also, we had some really crappy equipment, and I had to do about 3 million takes (at least) to get the vocals right, because our microphone and sound card just could not handle the amount of screaming that goes on there. It sounded either too crunchy because of the volume, or too weak when we took it lower to avoid the crunch. It took quite some trial and error to find the middle point. On one or two days, I was getting headaches in the evening, just because I spent hours screaming and screaming on and we still couldn’t keep those takes.

11. Why do you think that a big part of the European metal fans prefers to search the U.S. underground metal scene and not the European one which is as rich as the U.S. one?
    Didier: I am not so sure that this is true for all European countries. Here in France, metal fans do like the NWOBHM and the underground German scene a lot. Of course, the U.S. underground scene is teeming with bands who had to go through the grunge wave of the 90’s and had trouble getting promoted, and it is a great source of discovery. But a lot of countries have some fantastic bands, if you just take the trouble to look for it. I hope that, in the future, fans will expand their scope. 

    Alexis: For me, a band’s country of origin is not very important. I mean, it is of course interesting to know that and link it to their personality, but I do not have one favorite scene or anything. I will just take what is good, and I’m actually always happy to find a good band that comes from an “unusual” place. As for your question… Well, we are fans of epic metal, and you do find a lot of American bands in the founders and shapers of the epic or warrior style. I’m just citing some as they come to my mind, but early MANOWAR, OMEN, MANILLA ROAD, JAG PANZER, TITAN FORCE, SAVAGE GRACE, all these incredible bands and more came from America. They were of course not the only ones at all, but they did leave a major mark on the underground heavy metal tradition. Maybe then it is in a way natural that people will turn in that direction when looking for more.

12. Do you remember the weirdest description that you have read so far for your music? Can you share it with us?
    Didier: In general, people are sensible when they describe our influences. We get more surprises when people describe the band members. Once, some guy on the Internet said we were young…

    Pierre: Do not forget that time when a guy compared Alexis’ vocals to Inspector Clouseau!

    Alexis: Our style is quite clear in all its good metal brainlessness and immaturity, so no one has been drunk enough so far to call us something completely far off like prog or disco or anything. You know, we are a very small and unknown band, so we did not get enough coverage to have read that much crazy stuff about ourselves. And since we do not buy advertising pages, bigger magazines will not mention us here. So most people that would talk about us in the first place are informed enough to identify us at least vaguely well. Of course, the occasional idiot will bash us for playing old-fashioned and outdated music… But that’s not “weird”. Only stupid.

13. By the way have you left any songs out from your debut album? Do you plan to include them in a future release of yours?
    Didier: No, all the songs that were ready are included in the album.

    François: We wrote until we had enough good songs complete to make an album, then we recorded them. No fillers, no trash.

    Alexis: Recording was already hard enough and took quite a lot of time and sacrifices. So we didn’t record one second of music that did not go on the album (if you don’t count Didier’s snoring). Some bands will record a lot of stuff, then select what they will keep… We do not work like that. That’s too artificial for me. A song has a life of its own, and we don’t copy/paste parts around in the studio to fit the producer (of course we don’t have a producer).
    We already have enough song projects for two more albums at least, but they are not complete. They are written, but we still need to learn to play them together, and they have to pass the test and adaptations of real rehearsals. So far, five songs are complete, and we will record rough and “early” versions of two of them for two compilations. When we have rehearsed enough tracks, we’ll do the next album.

14. Thanks for your time answering my questions! Good luck with your album! The last lines of this interview belong to you, so write whatever you want…  
    Didier: Are metal girls pretty in Greece? If yes, maybe we’ll come and play there often…

    François: Thanks a lot for that interview! We really hope we can play over there one day! 

    Pierre: And for anyone who hasn’t heard of us, I just want to remind you that you can listen to some songs on our site

    Alexis: See, Pierre is the brain in this band. He thinks of the important stuff. One brain for four is not a lot, though.
    Thanks again for your interest! 

Nick  “Verkaim”  Parastatidis