HearEvil.com had the pleasure of interviewing guitarist Mathieu St-Amour, of the band Chariots of the Gods, who just released their new album, Tides of War. Below Mathieu talks about the album, the band and so much more.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to HearEvil.com the heavy music social network run by women and directed toward women about all the exciting things going on with Chariots of the Gods. Congratulations your new album Tides of War. Can you tell us about the concept behind the album?
MS: It’s not so much a concept album but more an album with a global theme; war. Each song can stand on it’s own but is linked to the others by this common theme. The title ”Tides of War” basically represents humanity’s need for war. Like the ocean’s tides, it’s an endless cycle. There’s always conflict somewhere.
How was the writing and recording process for the new album?
MS: The writing process of the album probably started not long after our first EP “Reverence” was finished, so that’s about 2 years ago. Some songs on the album are older than others, like “Revillusion(1905)”, while some were last minute additions, like “Collapse of an Empire”. The way things usually go in the writing process is that I write the whole song and structure it in a program called “GuitarPro”. I write all the music and then I sent it off to the guys and they learn/tweak their parts and then we jam it out together and from there the song evolves in it’s final form. As for lyrics, on “Reverence” I wrote all of them and on “Tides of War” Reno and I split the task in half. As for the Recording of the album itself, that monumental task was handled by producer extraordinaire Glen Robinson. He approached us and showed his interest in working with us so we when the time came for us to go back in the studio, we gave him a call. The way Glen works is very organic. He doesn’t rely on the computer to make you sound good. He wants to capture the best of you, your best takes and then bring it to another level by enhancing it with technology. Because of that, the process was harder than expected because riffs you thought you knew, under the watchful microscope eye of Glen Robinson, aren’t cutting it for him and you’ve got to step-up and perform. But it was a fun and intense experience. Personally, I dig being in the studio. Being the main song writer, its a joy to see and hear the songs become reality and be able to hear what’s in my head played back on tape.
Can you tell us about the history of the band and how you came together?
MS: We started in 2008 by playing in garages and basements, doing covers and developing as players. From there, we did shows, moved around, wrote songs and went in the studio in 2010 to record our first EP “Reverence”. That EP opened a lot of doors for us, giving us the opportunity to play better gigs and get our music out there. We kept on playing gigs and got better; we perfected our live act. We then went in the studio with Glen Robinson and recorded our first full length album “Tides of War”. Here we are; the album is out now! We have great reviews coming and plenty of shows where we can’t wait to spread our music!
Now with the release of the new album do you have any tour plans for the upcoming year?
MS: Yes, as a matter of fact we do! We have some show dates that are set already; you can check them out on our official website or on our Facebook page. We’re also in the talks with more promoters to extend our “Tides of War Tour” way into April and May. We have some summer fests in mind but nothing’s set for that yet.
You’ve been touring since 2007. What are some of your favorite songs to play live?
MS: It depends on how the night’s going, I guess! They all have a different energy. We mostly play stuff off of “Tides of War” and occasionally something from “Reverence” might pop-up in a set. As for my favourite song to play, I’d have to say “Annihilation of the Gods”. It’s a thrashier song, fast-paced, energy booster. Its always a fun one, and the crowds seem to really enjoy it well, so that makes it even cooler.
For those who have yet not seen Chariots of the Gods what can fans expect from the show?
MS: They can expect high levels of energy, lot of movement and lots of sweat. Crushing guitars, thunderous bass, shrieking solos, intense vocals and storming drums, and all that with the amps turned up to eleven!!! It’s all about the show ; entertaining the crowd and having a good time.
Who do you consider some of your biggest influences and what band or bands inspire you?
MS: As far as influences are concerned, I listen to a lot of different musical styles so that creeps into my writing. A lot of hard rock and heavy metal. Stuff like AC/DC, Kiss, Boston, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, Def Leppard, all that stuff… And of course, there’s more modern bands like In Flames, Children of Bodom, Trivium, Lamb of God, Bullet for my Valentine, All That Remains, As I Lay Dying etc…Those later bands are the ones who inspire me, not necessarily in the way I write (of course they’re influences as well) but in the way they work and have managed to make it and stay on top. The way they have kept putting out great products that people liked. The way they craft their stage shows. All that is very inspiring and I guess we try to incorporate all of that and blend it real good; and what comes out at the end is us, Chariots of the Gods, and hopefully people like it.
What do you consider some of your greatest accomplishments to date? Any regrets or experiences that you feel helped you grow personally or professionally?
MS: Like I mentioned earlier, I really like being in the studio and creating songs so having done a full length album and being able to hold that CD in my hands and say I wrote that stuff is really gratifying. And also that people seem to be enjoying the music is great! As for regrets, there’s always the occasional bump in the road on the business side of things, but I wouldn’t call them regrets, they’re more like experiences. It’s a big learning curve for us. We’re trying to do things the right way, but some things are new to us so we try to do our best and sometimes it bounces back in our faces. But its never stuff we can’t overcome or fix; it’s time consuming but it’s what we need to do to live our passion and play music.
If there’s one thing you want Chariots of the Gods to be remembered for, what would it be?
MS: Again, being the writer, I’d say good music! Of course we try to make our live shows memorable too but what we try to do on records is to bring that energy on tape and make powerful albums that represent us well.
Anything you’d like to say to your fans on HearEvil.com?
MS: Go check us out online on our official website here. You can also catch us on Facebook here . You can buy our stuff online at Bandcamp and on iTunes, AmazonMP3, eMusic, Rhapsody and a lot more. We’re out there!!! Of course if you get a chance, come and see us live, you won’t be disappointed!
THANKS A LOT!
Thank you so much Mathieu! For more on Chariots of the Gods, check out the video below for Tides of War and stop by and pick up their new album. You won’t be disappointed. Check out my review of their new album here