•  Posted in: Kogaionon Interviews

It is band with a great tradition; perhaps even the most famous on the French Metal scene, which, during all its 14 years of activity, had released many interesting albums, performed many gigs and featured many changes in the line up as well. Nevertheless, we can say that the core of this band remained compact, meaning Jean Jaques Moreac and Philippe Curtois. Let's find out something about MISANTHROPE over a nice conversation with them!

   Bonjour Philippe... S.A.S. de Argiliere, Ayveric, AS.A.S or even more recent His Most Serene Highness de L'Árgiliere! How many personalities are interconnecting here inside these scenic names? Which would be their significances? I believe they all start from Moliere... but here from... where do they lead?

   "Hello, here is Philippe Courtois, vocalist and lyricist Of MISANTHROPE-Argile since 1989. There is me the poor human been and S.A.S de l'Argiliere a super Human full of esoteric and immortal powers... All those are the same declination of Molière's Hero, Alceste, created in 1666. All is one and one is the vision of me as a multi fantastic visionnary dreamer. I always wanted to separete me from who I'm on a record or on a stage. There is the musician and me, we are two separate people without any schizophrenic feelings.  S.A.S de l'Argiliere is the voice of what Philippe cannot say."

   If we travel back in time, we discover that, back in 1989, you and two friends of yours had decided to found this very band. During almost two years you released 2 demos and one year later you released your first split CD with a South American band, TORTURER. What can you tell me about those times? How was Philippe, 14 years ago? Thinner? Had he long hair? I remember you used to play guitar by that time...while now it is only about vocals...

   "I do not say big things about the beginning, we where 3 friends, fans of extreme Metal; in '87-'88 we had to buy instruments and so we were choosing, ok you will be the bassist, you the drummer etc... I found the name during my French study class. It was fine to have a strong concept band when you read Molière and King Diamond and Kreator were huge influences for me... so it was. Well, 14 years ago I was a solid kid, fan of Metal and really believing that it was better to live in San Francisco bay area than Livry Gargan at 13 km East from Paris . Beside this we had no idea of what music was and how to record a song in studio. We had that innocence; I love innocence and its stupidities. Yes I was really thinner, I gained 30 kg from 1992-1996, you know the usual stress of a business man eh eh eh. Of course my hair was long... the last time I cut my hair was in '88 for my school exams. Then and until then I never came back to this shitty place eh eh eh. I started guitar in 1985 when my big brother borrowed me its copy Strato caster guitar jumping on my bed listening debut CD of Running Wild, Metallica, Kreator, ADX and Helloween. This stuff has always been massive in my heart... I still listen to those bands every month."

   Your first CD, "Variation of Inductive Theories", was an album which enjoyed a great unexpected success. Do you think that an explanation might be the fact that by that time bands like SEPTIC FLESH were really on the trend and thus the fans' attention was pretty much focused on Atmospheric Metal sonorities? How do you see your debut now, after so many years?

   "Yep, 'Variation On Inductive Theories' was released in April 1993 and reached a little more than 5000 copies, it costed less than 2000 euros at that time. It was pretty enjoying. The music of that album was rich and Avantgarde. Septic Flesh 'Mystic places of dawn' came out one year after MISANTHROPE's 'Variation On Inductive Theories', I think Holy brought out killer innovative band in those years from 1992 to 1995. It was until 1997 the golden years of the label. Everything was selling really well. The label and its band roosters were on the wave. Yes, we have been part of Atmo post Doom and pre Gothic Death Metal scene, at the Avantgarde as usual with a real underground way of creating songs, concept and spirit. I love 'Variation On Inductive Theories' there are many things inside... spiritually and musically. Of course, the production is 10 years old but it rules... I like it...but like a first successful debut, all the rest was mistaken or incomplete work."

   One year later you released a new CD, "Miracle: Totem Taboo". What was the impact of this material? Which new elements have you brought on the musical scene of those days? I know that the line up remained unchanged since the previous material, a fact that got altered afterwards...

   "1994 'Totem Taboo' was an experience, its 4 songs unfinished from 1992 with an enormous sound, 1 remix from  'Variation On Inductive Theories' sessions and 30 minutes of new stuff. This 1994 recording was our most original and Avantgarde material ever, there is everything inside, I'm really proud of it nowadays. Yes, it was with the same line up of 'Variation On Inductive Theories' so... things came out fast and tight in studio... It was almost a studio band at that time; we never played those tracks on stage eh eh eh. Improvisation, emotions, atmosphere and avant-gardism... all that I was worshipping at that time. It was Pure Metal Art, creation with no commercial thoughts at all, pure artistic freedom."

   "1666... Theatre Bizarre" was the third opus and, to be sincere, this one really struck me! With a more simplified formula, meaning you, J.J. and Alexander Iskandar (keyboards), you've actually put up for a genuine sensation. Up to me, this was the Dark-est album of yours. I know that on this material, the other ELEND member, Renaud Tschirner, got involved himself as well. Where from such association? Was it just because both bands "belonged" to Holy Records?

   "For many people '1666... Theatre Bizarre' & 'Visionnaire' are MISANTHROPE top knock. '1666... Theatre Bizarre' was a compromise between the avant-gardist feeling and real song with structure made to be hit and played live. It was planned to be our final and last album. So we put everything in, all the remaining ideas, from blast beat songs to ballad and pure atmospheric keyboards Sympho metal. Yes it's great... and the vocals are absolutely mourning crying and emotional like hell. I love it. The formula was simpler and also Charles & Olivier left the band 4 month before entering the studio; with Jean-Jacques we had real belief in our work to release it almost alone, both of us with some help of friends and technicians. It's not the darkest; it's the most genuine in musical creativity. 'Sadistic Sex Daemon' is the darkest CD along with 'Visionnaire' to my point of view. Renaud came up to sing le roman noir in a German version. Elend where preparing the very famous "Les Ténèbres du dehors" in the same studio just after us. So it was very easy to ask Renaud to come along, they were composing next door. I was doing taxi for them from their house to the studio, this helped a lot...

Do you believe it I stayed hours alone in my car with Elend's female vocalist, Eve Gabriel Siskind, singing together depressive French pop... almost a dream, but the main thing is that we were and still are real close friends since almost 10 years now."

   Right after this album, you brought Jean Baptiste Boitel in the line up, musician who would become actually a great part of the holy trinity-MISANTHROPE. How did he convince you? Did he benefit of a serious background, which couldn't be ignored or what?

   "Jean-Baptiste was at school with Jean-Jacques, he was following the band since 2 years, coming at the rehearsal and gigs. He was the one since a long time already. Jean-Jacques told me it would be him. And since then he is with us behind the stage because last year he asked us to stop playing guitar on stage, he wanted to be behind the stage, master of MISANTHROPE stage live sound... as well as studio keyboards and synth. As he is our brother we respect his decision and the new formula is even better."

"Visionnaire" is released in 1997 and I must say that the Swedish label exercised a great influence over you. Moreover, there are pretty noticeable some Nordic melodious Death Metal shades, not to mention the cooperation with two IN FLAMES members... Tell me... was it an album with a good reception?

   "'Visionnaire' is a must for many people because that's the first time MISANTHROPE appeared as an international production with a producer. We were sleeping at Jesper's apartment and Anders friend was Fredman's assistant. 'Visionnaire' was his first album as assistant... now Anders owns a part of this studio and more... It's incredible. 'Visionnaire' includes the song 'Batisseur de cathedrales', which is our ultimate song. So it's a very important one, we also had a strong international success with that one."

   On April 1999, it came the time for "Libertine Humiliations" album. Right by that time you also performed your first serious gig, besides SEPTIC FLESH and NATRON. Tell us some of the memories remained from that time. Where they good, pleasant or not?

   "'Libertine Humiliations' is the explosion of the band in France and the concretization of our band outside France. This tour with friends of Septic Flesh was excellent, we made very nice performance. It was our real first tour with over 10 gigs in the raw only in France. We became top French band of the year 1999 and 2000. When I see that, with the eyes of the kid of the suburb of Paris, I think it was an impossible challenge. But the problem is that now we can only come down ah ah ah. It's better to keep the artistic feeling."

   There are not many bands who can actually release a triple CD including some of the most important moments of their history. Well, you did that. Has this release reached its purpose? There were solely 1793 samples of it; can you land us more details?

   "For the ten years of the band in May 1999 we released a 3CD box with a 112 pages booklet with all unreleased audio material + live bootleg. It's sold out of course it was limited at 1793 copies in the memory of the year of the death by guillotine of Marie Antoinette queen of the French during the French revolution. So, expect a new box in May 2004 for our 15 years!"

   Immortal Misanthrope must be a new chapter in the band's history, especially since you had as drum player an excellent and indeed talented musician, Alex Phelipet. The mixture of Classic Heavy Death Metal with Symphonic Orchestral meant an authentic shock for the French scene, but not only. I actually must admit, it was a damned well conceived and executed album, am I wrong?

   "Yes 'Immortal Misanthrope' is our top seller so far. It closed the trilogy of Fredman studio along 'Visionnaire' & 'Libertine Humiliations'. It's a killer album; it was released in a French version, European version, Russian version, Brazilian version and of course Japanese. With such amount of money, we built up 'Le manoir des deportes', our own studio, where we recorded Argile and our latest 'Sadistic Sex Daemon' album. Jean-Baptiste did a lot for this album; it's his testament in the band. One thing: Alexis did not record the drums on that album, that's all I have to tell about him. 'Immortal Misanthrope' made a super carrier, I love this album and it was really hard to do 'Sadistic Sex Daemon' after such a good CD. But we did it."

   Your latest accomplishment has meant plenty changes as well: in line up, studio for recordings and also in style. But let us take it step by step: the same trio plus a new drummer (Gael Feret) and a new guitar player (Anthony Scemana). Where did you find these musicians? The guitar player really knows what he is doing while the drummer actually kills...

   "2002 is the big change in our history; we changed completely the line-up, changing drummer and guitarist. Jean-Jacques took the composition more personally, we had a real problem to start the album 'Sadistic Sex Daemon', big tension came out. We had together, me and Jean-Jacques, to rebuild everything conceptually and spiritually... too many people were around the band and put bullshit everywhere. So we said goodbye to all those who disturbed the good following of the band. It took almost 3 years to achieve one of our best work 'Sadistic Sex Daemon'. Gael Feret came in the band for the 'Immortal Misanthrope' tour in 2001; he is a brilliant musician, the drummer of MISANTHROPE. Dirk from Scarve told me to contact him. He was the man! Anthony Scemama is our amazing new guitarist; he is the brother of Olivia, the female bassist of No Return & Garwall who is a student of Jean-Jacques. It all came very easily. We are now, since very early 2002, a team of great musicians and friends, it is lovely."

   No one expects you to replace Sweden with Finland or -to be more précised- to give up Fredman (not since you experienced a real trilogy together) in favor of Anssi Kippo (CHILDREN OF BODOM, TO DIE FOR, SINERGY). I assume it was a pretty strange experience to record music in a place (50 km or less far from Russia) where the temperature used to reach -30 C degrees. What was the reason for your choice? I mean, why did you choose for Astia studio in particular? It is, I guess..., the third studio you entered so far. Which were the major differences that determined you to choose for it? Malicious voices say you actually spent 5-6 times less in studio this time, in comparison with earlier recordings. It happens that I know this studio was a recommendation from YEARNING...

   "Actually I love Fredman and respect him for all the trust we had together. But it seems it was impossible to continue after our Swedish trilogy. Anssi Kippo is the one and the sound is the best so far, so, no regret... just more experience and an achievement of intense studio work. Yearning boys made me in touch with Anssi, I checked how easy is to work with him. I listened to Synergy & Children of Bodom and died in from such quality. Jean- Jacques produces the band, we record it ourselves, Anssi is the mixing guy. Fredman is the bigger studio, Anssi is the hardest worker and our first 3 studio-albums were just a joke in front of Scandinavian studios. Malicious voices say always bullshit, we stayed 20 days in Fredman recording and mix included for 'Libertine Humiliations' &  'Immortal Misanthrope'. For 'Sadistic Sex Daemon' we stayed from August to December almost daily in our studio and 6 days only for the mix."

   Before you reached Finland, with the album, J.J Moreac has mastered the artistic production and all technical details (guitars, bass, French lyrics) assisted by Jean-Baptiste Boitel as sound engineer. Solely the drums and the English lyrics were mixed in Finland. Why so? I find it at least curious...

   "Not all the music has been mixed in Astia studio. Drums and English vocals have been recorded in an other studio, not our own studio 'Le manoir des déportées' and not Astia but a huge Parisian studio called recorder. That's all."

   Well, I must confess, this new album made a great impression on me! I can't say exactly if good or bad, but there is obvious you had changed the direction. What happened to Jean Jaques ? What exactly impressed him that much so that he came out with such music? A kind of Heavy Metal in a glorious shape yet pretty extreme as well... There are some Power/Progressive touches also. I believe it is the most explosive and prevailing album so far...and it is characterized by both violence and rapidity, caused by the guitars' riffs, absolutely charming...

   "Thanks for your words, Jean-Jacques wanted an album more straight and Dark with killer technical riffing, from Heavy to Black Death and Avantgarde with Power. We recorded 15 songs, 10 are on this CD. Yes, you are right your description is fine. I trust Jean-Jacques and his work, it's perfect. I also just did my lyrics on 'Sadistic Sex Daemon' because I was just back from Argile promotion and I was musically empty. Anyway lyrics are a must even in MISANTHROPE history."

   Lyrics must be, as always, your mission. Tell me, is Moliere playing the same important role inside your obsessions? And then... the same erotic themes, of occultism and poems... Am I wrong if I say this album carries out a message rather francophone than overall European? Perhaps even an elitist message?

   "My lyrics are me. I'm French and try to show the world what is cultural in the past France. The one I dream of."

   As far as the vocals are regarded..., damn, your voice's inflexions are simply amazing! Either Black or Death...or even Heavy Metal..., have you decided not to follow any rule?

   "Like King Diamond, but in my own world I do what I want and have no limits. I'll even try to have more clean and singed vocals as well in the future."

   There is a beautiful gesture I noticed. For each CD, the buyer receives as bonus another one, containing 30 minutes of unpublished music and a video support, of 20 minutes, taken during the recording sessions. Well, I assume it was about a substantial budget since you afforded such free gift... How did you come to such idea?

   "No, it's not for each CD, it's for the one who gets the French limited edition Double CD digipack strictly limited to 3000 copies. Now with mp3 downloading we have to give really more to the guy who puts 20 euros in our CD in shop. We do that just to keep at least the same amount of CDs sold as 'Immortal Misanthrope' and not to regress as the whole fuckin' CD market over here. I loved the idea to give more than the album, it's cool and it was fun to video anyway... with 450 euros you can make easily a good video of your making of... due that I have a numeric video camera. Thanks Holy to let us doing this on this support."

   Well, the photos printed on the booklet of the CD simply seem so awkward... and inappropriate! Please, do not get me wrong, but the dark side of the album has not even the slightest connection with the band's members' big smiles (I find them pretty incongruous and in best case funny). I have the impression that both music and lyrics of this album are much too serious so that these photos would fit... Am I wrong?

   "Well it's your point of view; we can make evil music and be nice people. I always smile with a sadistic face on every CD. It's always the same story. We like to have fun because life is so shitty; we make everything turning out its way and give ridiculousness to this world empty of feeling. We are like that dark in Music, Fun in life. Maybe our music and lyrics are an exorcism that permits us to leave on this earth. I saw Marduk boys in Hotel playing with bananas on the top of their head, check DVD of Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth... I even saw things that I cannot tell. MISANTHROPE is extremely serious with everything, but it's the French class, if we meet one day, a thing that I hope I will offer a good night of drinks and laughing. This is the way we are living... My life is smooth and hot, it is dandy and libertine. I can cry and laugh I have no connection at all with our Art."

   There are quite some gigs that you performed lately...and some continue to pop up. Tell me about MISANTHROPE on the stage...Can you relate some memories next to the gigs you had with bands like DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH, GLOOMY GRIM or YEARNING ?

   "We just finish a Belgium & France 14 gigs tour for the 'Sadistic Daemon' tour 2003. So, many things happened; we played with Suppuration, Paradise Lost, Sonata Arctica, Division Alpha, Furia etc... We did so many shows in the past... Incredible tons of memories are hidden everywhere in my mind. Cannibal Corpse, Gamma Ray and Nightfall's shows were also pretty intense. MISANTHROPE on stage is Ultra Metal riffing like hell and unleashing the daemons fury. Vocals are ultimate from the deepest Black Metal guttural growl to emotional cries... On stage it is real action, 90 minutes of sweat and blood. You must invite us to come and play in your country it's easy, just e-mail me."

   After almost 15 years of activity, I assume many ask when do you think it is the time you actually say farewell to this way of living, right? Like if there is a time for growing up to maturity... What would make a pertinent answer for this kind of question?

   "For the moment I live the best years of my life with MISANTHROPE. This line-up is just perfect. It's not the moment to stop, I keep on selling tons of records, I play live very often, and I have fun and meet crazy people. This is a real part of my life. I still have so many things to do and say with MISANTHROPE... I'm sure that we will feast the 20 years of the band in 2009 eh eh eh. I want to re-conquer our lost throne. This is more comfortable than it has been in the first place for me."

   And since we are here, at the longevity issue, tell me, which would be MISANTHROPE's philosophy? Perhaps you could explain the significance of the name and maybe the reason you chose it. Maybe you could tell me which was the thematic core you expressed all along this period of activity? As far as music is regarded, this band always played something atemporal..., no clichés, no trendy influences, which is of a great advantage as well as of a great risk. People, young people especially, prefer listening to trendy bands and, moreover, the melody seems to be now a sine qua non despite of virtuosity or else. Could we be rather too old or there is too much superficiality around... these days?

   "MISANTHROPE philosophy is passion for Metal and a will to introduce to every listener of the band the grandiose and perfect past of the French country. What my ancestors did ... I'm the remains of what has been built and thought in the past 2000 years. I'm spreading the memory and the culture of my old nice nation, kings and revolution. Now France is lost and almost dead artistically. It's a shame on the democrats and French government. A MISANTHROPE in Molière's (he is the one who created the word) way is the one who loves so much mankind that he is ready to leave him and stay alone far from him until human being will be enough true, courteous and human. Not fuckin anxious animals with no belief as man is nowadays with hate, anger and frustration. I really believe in those words. I leave outside this world; in my own world that I built since 12 years ago with my girl and friends. I live for the Metal and MISANTHROPE, many people joined us, we are numerous and proud of leaving of our passion and not being fake men in this world of TV frustration, fuck the TV, the system really sucks, I'm not a punk, you know that but it can't be that way. It destroyed so many things. Musically we never had enormous success, but we always got thousands people listening MISANTHROPE even since the split CD in 1991. It's great to be almost 15 years old and been a forever new band with new idea and real development. Young people listen what the chosen few ask them to listen to. We just have to teach them to go to My Dying Bride and Kadenzza instead of Linkin Park and Korn. The day will come... We are on the bottom of the wave but it will come back. The business makes almost everything; it's not the quality or the originality nowadays. Major have hands on the metal market; even Roadrunner & Spinefarm has been sold to Universal Music. There is almost no hope for independent company... The return to the Underground is the only solution."

   I believe there is a track in which your father is featured. How come? Where from did you get this idea? I remember a similar thing happened with ORPHANED LAND's second album...

   "Yes, he came for doing electricity in my house like every good father, I told him let's try your voice in the microphone and improvise. He said 'All my life, I built up my soon, in a dark romanticism, heretic aristocrat, followers of the black sun'. We did 3 takes and it came out that Way... as we say as father as son eh eh eh. It was excellent that Jean-Jacques told me that we can keep it for the album. Yes, you are right about Orphaned Land, but honestly I forgot about. I think when bands like MISANTHROPE & Orphaned Land we have so much connection with culture and history it's generally a family affair, not just an individual thought."

   Well, here comes a common question I am afraid I cannot avoid. What is it that we should expect from MISANTHROPE for the future?

   "You should expect us to be back to the throne and enjoying our brotherhood as much as possible. I want to keep on going with this line-up as much as possible, not just being there, make a CD every 2-3 years and then goodbye. It is really about being every day in the Metal, in all its forms it's my real goal; I like music and Metal production."

   ARGILE is just another project of yours and J.J's and, featuring a mixture of Heavy with Doom Metal yet in a more atmospheric version, has made its debut last year. Tell me about the feedback. I am curious if people still listen to this style as I find it rather placed in nostalgia than in the present days...

   "Argile is a real Band, our second band. We made an album in 4 years; we hope to make a new one in 2006... We will see... MISANTHROPE eats our time. The feedback was excellent, Avantgarde Doom Death like in the good old days of the early 1990. It's for me a MISANTHROPE album between 'Miracles totem Taboo and '1666... Theatre Bizarre' mixed with a tribute album to Celtic Frost's 'Into the Pandemonium'. Yes, many people are into it, of course it's really more underground that MISANTHROPE but you find people really into Argile and not into MISANTHROPE at all. It's funny for me because I do not see so many differences. Same members, Fredman studio, same label and stuff from the second period of MISANTHROPE. It's nice to offer something different. I listen to a lot of '80 early '90 Metal, I love nostalgia, I hate Retro, but nostalgia is smooth and cold. This is fine for me."

   Do you plan to release another album with ARGILE?

   "We almost compose it, 3 songs still remains to be finished, but we are unfortunately not able to record it before 2006. So time shall tell. I really want to do few gigs to promote that second CD. So, we must be ready."

   I have heard many rumors regarding CLAY. Unfortunately, I know not too many about it.

   "Argile is me, what I like deeply. MISANTHROPE is a super band in which I'm into, has success and love. I think this is simply like this."

   Let us cover the other activity of yours next to Severine, Holy Records, which seems to be pretty important as well. How is it to be the boss?

   "We both own the company, it's nice, gives a lot of stress but fruits are tasty when at the end you live in your world and for the Metal. There is no real boss, we are a team, it makes nothing special because we have done almost only Holy Records in our life."

   Which would be the criteria that guide you when you offer a deal to a band? Which were the best sold albums so far (how many copies?)? And the worst?

   "The worst is around 1300 copies and the best is Elend "Les ténèbres du dehors" around 24.000 copies. In 1995 every CD was sold in a minimum of 4000-8000 copies, now you can cut this really down. To be signed in you just have to bring something new and be terribly good with your instruments and production. Power, originality and feeling are the points."

   SEPTIC FLESH was an etalon for Holy yet you broke up with them. Why? Hammerheart invested pretty much trust into them and it seems that it wasn't a failure since their last album was quite a big success. So it happened with ELEND... and maybe this will be the future for ON THORNS I LAY..., see Black Lotus Records...

   "We didn't brake up, the deal was over, we had not enough money to continue with them. They went to the one who could pay. We want to be realistic with the investment and the sales. If it's disconnected, we have to find a solution. If there is no solution then... goodbye. Their latest album is brilliant, but SEPTIC FLESH split up, a stange happening indeed. This happened to Elend, but they are back on Holy since two years ago. Music for Nations has been a disaster for them. Black Lotus has fun to take back all the good old Holy bands, Nightfall, On Thorns I Lay, The poor 1991 demo of Septic Flesh etc... I wish them good luck. I really prefer to see Orphaned Land on Century Media. With their new album 'Mabool' they will destroy everything."

   Tell me, if you were to choose, which would be the bands you would definitely enjoy signing a contract? What new acquisitions were completed? Can you tell me about future releases?

   "Séverine wishes to sign with Paradise Lost and I with Celtic Frost eh eh eh. We just signs Kadenzza from Japan, Frozen Shadows from Canada and Garwall from France. For 2004 we have planned new Rajna, debut of Frozen Shadows, new Gloomy Grim, debut of Garwall, 15 years box of MISANTHROPE, new Elend, New Natron, New Soulgrind etc..".

   There are many interpretations next to the bands who are promoted by "personal" labels... if you know what I mean... Well it is the case of MISANTHROPE as well. How do you comment such? Are there any advantages?

   "We almost always been on Holy Records, yes it's good, sometime it's very hard to explain to the other members, but it's overall great. You can see what is really happening behind the curtain, it's a real reflection of the mirror. You keep the head on the shoulders and check easily errors and good points. Royalties are never late ah ah ah."

   Roberto (Avantgarde Music/MONUMENTUM) makes (in Kogaionon #6) a controversial statement: "I wonder who would sign MISANTHROPE for example, if their man wouldn't be the label boss of Holy Records". What do you think about such? It sounds rather malicious, don't you think? By the way, in time, haven't you received some other offers from different labels?

   "Ah, Roberto is so weird sometimes; he hates me or is it for arrogance then? Well, in 2003, MISANTHROPE with 'Sadistic Sex Daemon' has been the best sale of the label. That's a good reason I think I talked with many labels for European license, but they always have the same answer, they want as well the French market for MISANTHROPE eh eh eh and Holy keeps the French market obviously."

   As it happens with each field, music means as well a business and marketing and promotion simply are the key of success, either we like it or not and usually to the detriment of quality music. If we add fashion in this equation, then the result is more than clear. How do you think it happened for the Underground bands to reach the same functionality in this metropolitan system?

   "There is underground and business, we are independent underground label and artist... creator of what will be tomorrow U.G. business. Success is not the point, passion and equality is the matter of our job."

   If you were the president of your country what would be the first and important things you would like to change or improve? Would you return to the national currency instead of Euro?

   "No, I like euro, it's great, when I go to Holland buying laughing cigarettes it's really easier ah ah ah. I really prefer drinking' champagne and wine than smoking'. If I'm president I would like to stop all the shit from the French TV and to teach all our children how to read since they do not know what is a book and I will teach them music and how to develop their head in musical creation as well, today's children do not know how to create their own world."

   Philippe, tell me something about you: age, family, children, hobbies, religion...how is it a regular day of your life?

   "I'm born in Saint Denis (where Louis the XVI and Marie Antoinette are buried) the 15-04-1970, I have two big brothers and my parents are still alive. I live as you know with Séverine and we started together Holy in late 1991 straight after school. We have no children, no pets, and a German car. I like reading, painting and all kind of art is our hobbies, I'm Catholic Christian from my parents, and I like the ritual... But it's sometime a little hard to be part of a religion especially in 2004... And I love food. I wake up at 7am, make my daily things start Holy at 9am be back home at 20 pm eat, go to Paris meeting MISANTHROPE boys staying 3-4 ours together rehearsing, going to a gig, watching a kung fu movie or just talking... back home have a good book and sleep a little less than 6 hours."

   Where do you place yourself in the next five years?

   "I don't want to change anything until 2009. Then we will see. I will maybe move somewhere else down in South of France. Here at 65 km from Paris it's really cold."

   What albums did fascinate you lately? Movies?

   "This noon I watched the 3rd part of the 'Lord of the Ring', cool fights, it reminded me a lot Philippe Druillet-Gustave Flaubert Comic Book Salemmbo. Hero from China directed by Zhang Yimou was Brilliant as well. I enjoyed the best of rerecorded and remastered of Running Wild, new Dimmu Borgir, new Gojira, new King Diamond and new Scarve."

   If I was to visit France, what would you recommend to visit, except Eiffel and Louvru?

   "Notre Dame de Paris, The Sacred Heart, Saint Denis basilica (where Louis the XVI and Marie Antoinette are buried), and all the beautiful country side full of castles and ancient medieval architecture."

   Philippe, I do appreciate for this interview. I wish you success and good luck in everything you do and may we hear soon of each other. Yet, tell me what does it mean: Hypocondrium Force? Do you think that life really is a perpetual war?

   "Thanks a lot for this ultimate interview, there is 15 years of my life inside, it took me 3 nights to type it, many private things are inside, use it for a good will. Hypocondrium Force is the MISANTHROPE fans horde all over the world, so join us now. Cheers, enjoy life... our war is our music, on our stage, in the pit and inside our lyrics. Try one day listen to something else than what they ask you to do. Underground is our world, we won't disappoint it. Thanks for your support. Keep the faith and believe only in what you experienced, in nothing else."

January 2004.