Interviews Julien And Oliver From BENIGHTED

[By Karim Tarek]
Speaking of the maddest, most BRUTAL bands of all time, you’re probably going to end up contemplating two bands; Anaal Nathrakh for their inhumane atrocious barbarian Black Metal, and our guests for today, BENIGHTED, for their bestial ultra-mega-super-BRUTAL Death Metal tunes.

Formed in the year 1998 in France, Benighted are a Balbigny-based Brutal Death Metal band that viciously incorporate relentless Grindcore elements into their music in a way that would make listening to them an exposure to several jeopardies including that of ear bleeding, unstoppable adrenaline and epinephrine rushes, dangling neck due to excessive head banging, and probably facing misdemeanor charges and having to show up at the court for violently assaulting random people for no particular reason!

The group now consists of Julien "Truch" Truchan – vocals, Olivier "Gab" Gabriel– guitar, Liem "Litchy" N'Guyen – guitar and occasionally bass, Eric "Candy" Lombard – bass, and Kevin "Kikou" Foley – drums. Recently they released a couple of tracks from their upcoming album entitled “Asylum Cave” that is scheduled for March, 29th via Season Of Mist records. Following a striking approach of only releasing solid full-lengths, “Asylum Cave” is their fifth album of which the released tracks foreshadow it’s going to be one hell of a killer album, as usual.

During all that hustle, I got a chance to catch up with them and ask them a few questions regarding the forthcoming “Asylum Cave” and the live shows they plan on playing.
Here’s how it went:

Karim: Hello there. First of all, I’d like state my utter pleasure and honor to have got this chance of interviewing you, as I have been a diehard fan of yours for years now, and on behalf of Metality, I welcome you on board and hope everything is going perfectly fine with you.

Julien: Hey Karim! Nice to meet you bro, everything is fine, the new album is available for a week and we’re impatient to start to tour for “Asylum Cave” promotion and play the new tracks on stage! The machine is on!

Karim: Taking a glimpse on the past, I find that you independently released your self-titled debut, then you collaborated with the French label Adipocere Records for the following three albums, then 2007’s “Icon” was released via Osmose Production, and then, eventually, “Asylum Cave” is going to be released via Season Of Mist. Question is, why do you tend to change your record label that frequently?

Oliver: It’s just a question of which are the best choices for the band? At the beginning we had the chance to sign immediately on Adipocere Records which was one of the biggest labels in France! They were really impressed by our first self-produced album that we recorded in only 5 days! Then Adipocere met some problems and had to stop the productions, Osmose Productions called us immediately to sign us and we were very proud of that cause they had so many great bands in their history like Marduk, Immortal, Vital Remains, Dark Tranquility… They did a fantastic work for our album called “Icon” but the distribution around the world was quite limited, it’s why we chose to change. Season of Mist seemed to be the perfect label to make Benighted grow the final step to the international scene!

Julien: So far, we’re very satisfied of their work, they are at the same time very friendly and professional!

Karim: The French Metal scene is a really flourishing scene, having a lot of awesome bands like yourselves, Kronos, Yyrkoon, Otargos, Destinity, Neo Inferno 262, and loads of others. Do you feel lucky about that, or you wish it was just a small scene so you could get extra recognition?

Oliver: In my opinion France has always been a very rich country in terms of metal bands, but it was very very hard to admit this kind of music as a part of our “culture”! Germany for example has always been very open for this style of music and metal is very popular there, it was absolutely not the case in France. It starts just now to change a bit, even if it’s quite slow. But with the growing of great bands like Gojira, France gets finally the place it deserves on the international level. We have so many amazing bands like the ones you noticed. It becomes easier to play everywhere for us and get a big name in the world; today I can say that France has a solid musical identity.

Karim: You’re a very active band in terms of live shows; every now and then you’re in a different country blasting a gig, how do you manage to keep up with that and also coordinate it with your personal lives? Also, are you all full-time musicians? I heard Julien works in a psychiatric hospital, mind telling us a bit about that as well?

Julien: You’re right, touring is our first purpose as a band! We made very great shows for the “Icon” promotion like Inferno Fest in Norway, Summer Breeze, Was Soll Death and Rock Area Fest in Germany, Obscene Extreme in Czech Republic, Hell Fest and Chaulnes Metal Fest in France, Metal Fest Open Air in Austria… We can say we are a live band before all; we’ve got a reputation of being very energetic and communicative on stage!

Oliver: But it’s not easy with our private life as we all have a job beside Benighted. Julien works in a psychiatric hospital for example, that’s true, and it’s in his work that he finds the entire inspiration for the lyrics and concept of Benighted!

Julien: Absolutely, and for each of us the band demands a serious organization to face every side of our lives. My job is kind of stressful but amazingly interesting! I can evacuate every hard thing I meet at work with Benighted, spurt my guts out on stage, scream the rage and use my professional experience to write lyrics very close to reality with a credible concept. The lyrics have to fit with the music, this tortured and schizophrenic way we have to play metal!

Karim: This year is still at its beginning, what are you expecting to achieve in it and what goals are you eager to attain for this year?

Oliver: For now the album is out and we want to play a lot to make discover the new tracks to our fans! We’re already planned to play to the Summer Breeze for example and we have a French tour with other European dates before this summer. We’d like to make a big European tour in September as support of a big band and my personal dream would be to tour in the USA and South America where we’ve lots of fans asking for years that we finally come! The returns we already have with “Asylum Cave” are just awesome so it can only announce the best for what follows!

: You confirmed for this year’s Neurotic Deathfest, taking place in the Netherlands, next month alongside a big fat list of bands that I was actually drooling while checking them - like for instance: At The Gates, Obituary, Hate Eternal, Decapitated, Grave, Misery Index, Nox, Prostitute Disfigurement, Aeon, Obscura, and Blood Red Throne. You’re also confirmed to play in this year’s Summer Breeze, which is going to be your second time in Summer Breeze after 2009, if my memory serves me, alongside Aborted, Bolt Thrower, God Dethroned (whom are going to disband by the end of this year), Enslaved, Marduk, Destruction, Sodom, Vomitory, Primordial, and others.

How excited are you about that and how do you feel about sharing the stage with such brutally face-breaking lineups given that adding you to both lineups would probably cause something like a planetary collision or a universal explosion due to awesomeness overabundance?

Oliver: Actually it’s the third time we play to the Neurotic Deathfest and I have to say that it’s one of my favorite festivals in whole Europe. The line-up this year is so brutal, varied and cult! I can’t wait to be there! Last year we played there, receiving a great audience! Julien sang a song with Sven on the Aborted show too! It seems that we have a very cool reputation in Netherlands!

: Through all the numerous shows you played, you surely had a lot of good and band memories, mind sharing some of the best and worst memories, on or off stage, also some funny moments if there are?

Julien: One of our best will be in 2007 as we played to a festival in France the Saturday and another 1000km far the day after! So we drove the entire night after the first gig and when we finally arrived to the next city (Paris), our truck was damaged and we were forced to wait because the location was quite far! We took every material we’ve been able to in our hands, rented some taxis (cause it was Sunday at 12:00, the perfect time to get some help!) and finally arrived 20minutes before playing! We were so angry, tired and full of rage that we did one of our best concerts for sure!! We were like possessed on stage, we put all our rage in our show and it was fantastic!

: I know you record your music in the awesome Kohlekeller Studio in Germany, do you find yourselves encumbered with the fact that you have to pack and leave to Germany for some time just to have your album recorded or is it always a chill trip?

Oliver: No, it’s always a pleasure to go there for the recordings! We feel like home at the Kohlekeller Studio and Kohle is a very good friend to us! In fact, everything is cool when we’re there, the work is made in a very friendly atmosphere and when we’ve done, and we go to party in town all together! We often meet our friends from Crematory or Disbelief who lives close and invite us to have a bier! Believe me, it’s everything but definitely not hard to get there!

Julien: And the result follows, Kohle is great as a producer! The sound of the new album is the best we never had!

Karim: A question that always pops into my mind and I’m sure it does to most of the fans out there, what exactly are the things that influence you and inspire you to play this stark extraordinary sick music? Also, what are your musical influences? And what are some of your favorite bands?

Oliver: We always create our tracks by the same way; one of us comes with some riffs and we build structure, breaks, arrangements… all together. Our different influences and ways to see the track make a very particular mix that sounds Benighted! In the band, some of us listen more to Grindcore, Death Metal, but other are fond of Hardcore, Heavy Metal and other stuff. Our different identities serve the same sick beast which is the band!

Julien: If I should say our main great bands we all agree, it would be Napalm Death, Dying Fetus, Aborted or Nasum.

: Metality is a Middle Eastern webzine that supports and promotes the Middle Eastern scene, would you like to break new grounds and play some gigs in the Middle East in the future, in spite of having played in Israel already?

Julien: It would be with gigantesque pleasure! We can’t wait to play everywhere it will be possible! We’re so impatient to share our music with new people and discover different countries!

Karim: Okay, I won’t keep you any longer. I just want to thank you again on behalf of Metality for this pleasant opportunity, we are glad to have had you here. Feel free to share any last words with Metality readers and your fans, and stay brutal!

Thank you very much for the interview Karim! Hope to meet you soon on tour! We invite everyone to listen to our new album! It will catch you straight to the throat and won’t let you breath until its last second! Stay sick guys!

Check out “Fritzl” from the new album here:,20659

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  1. Awesome interview! They sound like such awesome people to talk to as well!

  2. Thanks, man. Yes, they are, and they're way too brutal as well.