INHUMATE is quite well-known in the extreme metal scene. If you are not familiar with them; INHUMATE is a 4-piece brutal  grind/death band from France, with an interesting concept. "What concept?", you might say. Well, keep on reading...
Interview made by Syukri, answered by Fred Anton on December 2001.

Greetings Fred. Sorry bothering you at this time of the year. I guess everyone in the world is quite busy either celebrating or spending the holiday during Christmas and the New Year eve. How about you?

Like almost everybody I'm on holidays and will go by my wife's parents this evening for X-mas. But believe me I really don-t care much about it and prefer answer some grinding interviews like yours!!!

GRIND YOUR SOUL is one of the organizers of The Soul Grinding Festival. I guess you are quite busy with that as well?

Yes, it's really a lot of work to put this festival up! The other organizer (Good Time) is making all the technical things, GRIND YOUR SOUL (and especially Yannick and me) are contacting the bands, putting up all the things around that: their food, their material on the stage, the hostel for the bands that come from far away... And we also do a huge advertisement campaign (flyers, posters and t-shirts especially printed for the festival). So, you were right, I'm really busy nowadays with all that goes around INHUMATE and GRIND YOUR SOUL.

Before we go to your band, we talk a bit about this interesting festival. Soul Grinding Festival is to support brutal death and grind core bands. We can see that from the name of the festival itself and also the band played for the festival in 2001. But the second festival, which will be held in February 2002 also consist of band playing melodic death and black metal? Why is that so?

Ah, ah!!! I understand that you are not a common editorialist. You are very serious and try to understand everything before asking questions!!!! And that's absolutely great to my eyes !!!!! You're 100% right saying that. This festival is here to support unsigned or signed on small labels bands. We don't want to have very well known bands on this festival. We think that many interesting bands never have the opportunity to make a REAL concert with professional structure and that's why we put this festival up. And the ideology of that fest is that it's only oriented to brutal death and grind core bands ! And the coming year (2002) will play the following brutal death or grind core bands : GOREROTTED (UK), IMPERIAL SODOMY (F), KRONOS (F), FATE (F), PUNISHMENT (A), PUNISHED EARTH (B), REQUIEM (CH), BELCHING BEET (D). But also those ones APOPLEXY (F) that play melodic death metal and ARCHAEUS (F) that play a kind of black / death metal. Why do they play ? For a very simple reason: APOPLEXY are our brother in metal, their drummer was INHUMATE first drummer (in 1990 !!!) and they come from the same city as us. They're also an old band that already have 2 CD out!!! Over here, in Strasbourg, they're well known and it should be strange to have such an underground fest without them, that's why we accepted them this year. And ARCHAEUS is also a local band. And we try to put one or two local acts as opening bands. And the underground scene is small over here so we had no other brutal and serious band to propose. And when I saw them for the first time I thought that either if the vocals were too black metal for me, the power was present and they had the feeling of a band that wanna do something and not stay home waiting for a label to pick them (what never happens...). So, hope you're not angry about that ah, ah, ah!!!

What is the aim of this festival (beside supporting brutal death/grind bands)? Is there any other metal festival/fest in France?

Hum, I think I already answered to this question before... Sorry. I can say it again: a 100% underground festival to give the possibility to underground bands to play with 100% professional conditions. Other thing: we try to keep an international vision to it with bands from several countries because we think that it's also necessary in the underground to be international!!! Out of that I don't know many serious festivals in France... I do just know the Brutal Fest that takes place in the South of France (near a city called Cannes) and that is organized by Guillaume (IMPERIAL SODOMY vocalist and runner of Criminal Rec.).

Now to INHUMATE. After "Growth" released you are still 4-piece with you on bass, Yannick on drums, David on guitar and Christophe as the vocalist?

Yes, of course ! This line up is the same since 1994 and we released 1 demo and 3 albums with it. And we all think that this line up is the definitive one, it can't change. INHUMATE had to be made with those 4 people and nobody else. And I think that is a big part of INHUMATE strength.

INHUMATE already produced 3 albums now but all are self-released. Is it too hard to get deal with proper label or you prefer to do it yourself? Phil Nauman of BRUTALIZED Mag/Productions (USA) said he is keen to sign INHUMATE.

We are self produced because we think that everything a label can offer us we are also able to do it by ourselves. Of course we're not big and strong enough to be compared with labels likes RELAPSE or so... But all small underground labels don't offer intersecting deals to our eyes. Usually they propose to pay the pressing and promotion. And the band gets 10% of the stuff. I think it's not very honest because usually the label makes some profit and almost never pays the bands. And the promotion usually stops when the labels has put another CD out, so if the sells were not that good, the label forgot the band and it's like if nothing had happened. We are self producing INHUMATE and self promoting it too, and now I think that in the underground scene many people heard about us. I don't think any label should have done that... And the biggest difference is that I'm sure that if we are much known it's because our last album is not too bad. Many many bands promoted by labels are known because the labels paid some full pages avd. In mags and zines... That's bullshit !!! We prefer to be known by our music first !!! It's also interesting to get a direct contact with the people that listen to your music and the last thing is that we know exactly how many albums we sell!!! Nobody can tell us lies ! You know, when we discuss with bands we're playing with, most of them say that we're right, acting in the best way, but all of them think that self production is too much work, and I agree with them!!! Now, about Phil (he is really a great guy and absolute underground supporter!!!) he always supported us but as all the other labels we can't accept a deal for the time. But maybe later will we be able to sign on a label, who knows ? If one day someone propose us the "perfect" deal?!?! But I think it's only a dream!!!

Tell us more about Grind Your Soul distro. I don't think you can do all the things that a normal label can do? How's the promotion on "Growth" going?

Another time I already answered a bit before... No, we can't do exactly the same thing a label can do, we are not rich enough to buy some full pages adv. in magazines that's sure!!! But through our distro we trade hundreds of CD and are spreading INHUMATE's name all over the world. And then we sell those stuff here in France and it helps both parts of the trade (the bands we traded and labels with and us of course). This way is also the way we get some money back to pay the next CD. We usually don't get money for our concerts because we ask just for the money for cars, sleeping place and food, not extra money to play. About "Growth"'s promotion, we did some promo CD for it and send them to all radios, fanzines, magazines, etc who want some. More than 500 promo copies have already been sent and of course it's fucking expensive but that's also the only (best) way to make a true underground promotion!!!

There is a small logo of Strasbourg Ville De Culture on your CD. What is that?

I think you're the first that ask me what this is ?!?! So, Strasbourg is the city where we come from and "ville de culture" means "city in which there is culture". You can find this small logo because the city of Strasbourg helped us in the financial way to make "Growth" possible. This can seem amazing but in the musical scene (all music styles I mean) of the Strasbourg area we are a well known band and they want to help us! Great isn't it?

I think new bands should learn from INHUMATE for not too depending on label. If the band think they are worth to be heard or musically good, then go ahead releasing stuffs and don't wait for offer. Do you have any tips or formula for bands to go to d.i.y. attitude and underground like you?

Unfortunately I think there's no absolute formula to give... I think that INHUMATE is what it is because of several things: the first one is a stable line up (I think it's maybe the most important thing), the second one is that all of us have the same idea regarding to music, third thing is that we are really motivated (I mean that we were ready to loose money and time for years for the band), the fourth thing is that we all work hard for that (answering e-mails, letters, making interview) and the last thing is that we were lucky!!! But I think each band can do it with only 2 or 3 of those ideas!

"Growth" is the third chapter of seven. It is great to know what does that mean. Perhaps you can tell more about the band concept, 'heptalogy'.

Yes, we try to do a whole concept with our CDs. This concept will be made with 7 albums that's why we call it an heptalogy. Those 7 albums will be 7 steps of a human life and will try to show that life never ends, so if life never ends then there is no time left and we arrive at what we call the abolition of time. Some people gonna tell me that life ends when a guy dies, and to this I answer that in the normal way of life all person should give birth to a child, in that case life goes on through the child, ok ? So when the parents gonna die, life won't end because the child will carry it. And when that child will die (in a normal age I mean) it should have been the same, that child, when he'll be an adult, he should have given life to his own child.
So, when the try to understand what life is for the all humanity, you can't understand when it begins and when it will end, can you? And time cannot be counted into a so wide moment, is there then a real time? Can't it be abolished? I think that yes, because he human brain isn't strong enough to understand all those things. So, that was for the whole concept. And we try to put this, to explain this through our cover artworks (and a little bit through the lyrics). Our first CD "Internal Life" was dealing with the life before life, the life inside the mother. The second one, "Ex-Pulsion", which means the moment of birth in French, is about that time. When you got the whole complete CD, you can see the pictures of that moment, maybe the biggest traumatism that all human people has to feel in it's life. Our last one, "Growth" tries to deal with all the young years, the teen ages years. More precisely the moment when you get higher and when you learn things... The moment of the beginning of the knowledge. Actually we are already working on the next one which should be named "Maturity" (that name might be changed), then will follow "The Fifth Season", "Death" and "Eternal Life". With this last CD, we close the concept and in the same way that the name sounds like the first CD, the story begins again, and never ends as long as there will be human people on Earth. Now the only thing we hope is to be able to finish this long concept. Still 4 CDs to do, we know it won't be finished before a couple of years !!!

Is it the concept the band came up with or you came up with the idea?

In fact the idea of that concept came after "Internal Life". When we were thinking for a title to the second album. We thought that it should be interesting to make something that should follow (especially in the artwork) the first album, so we decided to do something around birth and in French the word "expulsion" means the exact moment when the child sees the light. After that Christophe and me had some interesting moments of brainstorming and finally the whole concept arrived. We try to have it particularly into the artwork (alos a bit in the lyrics too) because we think that will push people really interested to see the CD and then they'll understand another dimension of INHUMATE, a dimension beyond music ! We try to think to everything, all booklet and CD artwork took us a long time so we can explain each things of it.

INHUMATE concept is a bit serious compare with other grind/death band. You still have "Maturity" , "The Fifth Season", "Death" and "Eternal Life" to be released. Do you positively sure INHUMATE can complete the 7 chapter? The guys in INHUMATE must have other things to do beside the band and I think it will like 10 years to complete that. Will the band be disbanded or what happen if some band member leaves or if you leave before the seven chapters complete?

We hope to finish... We know it should take many years and we all have several things to do besides the band (we're all over 29 years old, so the easy life with the parents is finished for a long time and now we have to really think about our everyday life with job, family, etc...) but for the moment we're still very motivated. If one guys wanted to stop, then I think that the INHUMATE entity (to which the concept, the story of Life is happening) should die. INHUMATE is David, Yannick, Christophe and me and nothing else. Of course all of us already had bad moments regarding to the band, thinking to stop but every time the other showed him that he had something to do with that fucking band and the things went on better! Now, we just HOPE we will be able to finish it.... It should be great isn't it?

What do you prefer other to call INHUMATE music?

I don't care what people say... We say we play grind death and that's all. Before it was more death grind (more death, less grind), now it's grind death because it's the opposite! Getting more and more brutal with the years.

The grind/death scene is interesting. Most of bands like to release lots of limited split release, 7" EP, etc. Why is that so? Tradition? Is easy to write a grind/death until the band has so many songs?

Another time I think we're not following this mainstream because we never released tracks for anything else than our own productions. We did several split tapes with bands like TRAUMA (Hol), DISEMBOWEL (Gre), FUNERAL MARCH (Slo), MAGGOT SHOES (Ger) and a split EP with ALIENATION MENTAL (Cz) but in all those cases it was live tracks (taken from several concerts) or tracks taken from our CD. As we are self produced, we don't look for labels and so if labels want to have some INHUMATE stuffs, they have to take what we propose them, we won't release especially for them. And I think it's not so easy to find many interesting ideas to release some CD and the bands that act like this (releasing many many stuff with new tracks all the time) have it more easy than us to compose music, they're lucky on that side !. It's also a way for the band to not be forgotten, if they release a split EP every 6 months, and also many bands try to get recognition in making split stuffs with known bands !! We never tried to do that because we try to be known for what we are only !

I heard that INHUMATE will have a split release with Indonesian DELIRIUM TREMENS. If it is true, when can we hear it? DELIRIUM TREMENS has some line-up problems at the being. So why DELIRIUM TREMENS? There are a lot more brutal death/grind band in Indonesia to be chose from.

Yes, we should have made that release, unfortunately I was long to send the stuff (I never sent it...), it should have been a live one! The idea came from Doni (DELIRIUM TREMENS vocalist) and when I had a good recording to send him I heard that he had moved into
another band! And he didn't tell it to me... So I thought that the split tape project was fucked up... And since that time no news from him (I didn't write too...) so I think this project will never happen... Why was it this band ? Just because he asked me! But I know you have many bands, your scene seems to be very active and that's great man !!!

Have you listen to any bands from SouthEast Asia?

I know BLOODY GORE, DELIRIUM TREMENS, SADISTIS and so other I can't remember now. But I have most contacts in Indonesia and Singapore. Are they the only countries with an underground scene ?

When will we hear the next output from the band?

Good question everybody asks me... I really don't know. I hope over 1 year, hope not more... Things are going slower than what we thought ! You know it's more difficult to release the 4th album than the 1st one!

Thank you for your time. Anything else to add?

All readers feel free to contact me at:
1 rue du college

All letters and e-mail will get an answer!!!! No rock star IRC needed! We also have our huge distro (just ask to get the free list) at:
c/o Yannick GIESS
61 route de l'hopital

Thanx 1000 times for this great and interesting interview!!! You do fucking rule!!!!!