Modern Funeral Art is one of those innovative bands who bring us a variety of different sounds, mingling in a unique genre; thence offered to the pleasure of our ears in an intriguing combination, as intriguing as this Modern Art of Death and Funerals…
El Evil Emperor: Hails to you, hope you're doing fine after the release of your 2009 Opus.
Benoit Sangoi : Yes we're actually in promo work with the release of 500 promo copy send to labels , webzines and radios.
El Evil Emperor: Very interesting, how did you find the various review and reactions?
Benoit Sangoi : For the moment a lot of reviews are positive specially coming from the "Doom scene" , but cause to our sing type ( back from the roots of gothic rock ) the true metal fans are less enthusiastic , since the beginning of MFA we surfed on two style , metal & post-punk / gothic rock. You can find several reviews on our myspace.
El Evil Emperor: Yes, yes indeed. How helpful were these reviews concerning Label opportunities? Do you currently have some good offers?
Benoit Sangoi : We have "normally" signed with a label , at this moment I'm waiting the final agreement , we have a lot of good contacts with great label but the situation is difficult for a big part of underground label and MFA is just a studio band , label prefer sign bands who toured is more easy to promote.
El Evil Emperor: Well, since we were talking about Labels, what could you say about the deal with 'The Drama and Sin Company' and what are your expectations regarding the Label deals?
Benoit Sangoi : Well "The drama & sin company" released our two first records , they 're available on a big number of labels distribution but they didn't do any promotion . Without promotion no selling and the release of our albums just served him to trade with other labels for his personal store. During our contract we're just release one interview for a Spanish magazine, actually we are seeking a label we do a good promotion, and after all this year I understand one thing: we must do the big part of promo work and for this new album that's what we doing.
El Evil Emperor: Indeed. Let's get to know about your beginning, who founded the band, who chose the name, and your first encountering with fellow bands?
Benoit Sangoi : MFA was formed in 1996 by our current line-up , after the release of our first Demo-tape "almost angels" Pascal left France for studying in England .
during the period 2000 / 2007 we release on EP " Gateways of slumber " and one album "Hellfire" with the help of our long time friends Stef from Downfall / Discard it's why that release are a bit different of our actual sound who for me represent the true MFA . 2008 was a rebirth for MFA , Pascal back from England and we re-started the band with his original spirit
concerning the band name Modern Funeral Art was inspired by the name of a "boutique" in Toulouse , "l'art funeraire moderne", it's now closed.
El Evil Emperor: Well, you mentioned that you were formed around 13 years ago, but there was s long inactivity between 2000 and 2006? To what was it due?
Benoit Sangoi : Like I say previously , Pascal left the band during 8 years but we was certain he came back so during this period we just keep MFA alive, I really appreciate our first EP and first album but it's not our original spirit.
and in the other hand during this period Arnaud and I have had a lot of changes in our personal lives with the coming of our children etc... also during this year MFA was in slow-motion mode but now we're back , very proud of this album , and i already say we started to work on the next...
El Evil Emperor: Interesting. You mentioned the next release, but before jumping to the question about it, tell us about the recording sessions, the production and the composing process of your Album?
Benoit Sangoi : this album was recorded in our home studio , Pascal and I compose all the music and Arnaud wrote the lyrics and sing . the composing process was do during the first month of 2008 and the recording during the last 6 month . at the end of the process we decided to give the mastering work at a professional , after hours of reflection the best person seems to be Dan SWANÖ .
First because who loves a lot of his record and because we came from the same background, I decided to contact Dan , he listen , and he said ok simply. I would like to him because he's a real kind person with a lot of patience and a great open-mind.
El Evil Emperor: He is indeed. So, we're back to you mentioning the next album, what do predict and prepare for your audience, and would there be any changes in this release?
Benoit Sangoi : I think the biggest change would be the arrival of one or two French text , but it's too early to said more we just have several ideas that's all but I think it would be in the same way. For the moment we're focused on our home studio with some changes and we also work on our future guitars because we're just proudly endorsed by Mayones Guitars & Basses who already works with Paradise Lost, Tiamat , Katatonia , My Dying Bride and others: www.mayones.com
El Evil Emperor: Interesting, also Mayones would love the promotion through the Interview *Laughing*
Since you mentioned Guitars, let's talk a bit about your Tunes, the Guitar parts in particular are low pitched with remarkable timber and scale, you also use Clean vocals with heavy atmosphere and ambient background sounds, do you see is as the concept of MFA? Can you imagine MFA performing some other Musical genre if perhaps a Label would ask you to do so?
Benoit Sangoi : For the moment we 're just using Gibson guitars in B-tuning for us Gibson pickups are a very particular timber our future guitars are equipped with.
since the beginning the concept is to married heavy atmosphere of metal , great melodies and clean vocals but not in the way of the others band , arnaud's vocals are very "80's".
El Evil Emperor: I'll re-phrase the last question in some sort of way.
What do you think of covers and tributes? And would you perform a cover song if your Label ask you to do so?
Benoit Sangoi : I think we can play other style but MFA must stay in this way but we loves to add a different song in our album , for this it's Mary Jane Kelly.
Arnaud our singer lead a neo-folk project called Pale Roses www.myspace.com/morepaleroses his first album will be release at the beginning of 2010 by the eastern front
I really loves the cover but a bit different , i don't see utility for us to cover Paradise Lost for example , we plan to cover a Neil Young song , "down let you bring it down" a magnificent song composed during his acoustic period.
El Evil Emperor: Let's talk about the lineup: Besides the two Stefs who left, you had a steady lineup. What were the reasons for their departure, and how is the atmosphere among you as teammates.
Benoit Sangoi : The two stefs were never officially members of MFA they 're just help us during the absence of Pascal , they 're release a fantastic work on our first album but now the true MFA is on march , Pascal has a natural born feeling for play great melodies and it's an important part of our sound.
El Evil Emperor: And how is the atmosphere within the group? I understand roles are shared concerning composition and lyrics, do you often have quarrels or misunderstandings?
Benoit Sangoi : MFA is for first a friend adventure it's for this reason we don't toured , we don't want others musicians. we're all good jobs , family etc… For us MFA is not a job , there is no money or other , it's just pleasure that's why there is never had problems.
El Evil Emperor: Tell us about your live performances, still no live appearances?
Benoit Sangoi : MFA never played live , since the beginning we decided to stay like "hermit" in the studio , no seriously MFA is a real friend story and for playing live we must add other persons and we don't want it . And our job didn't permit us to tour seriously.
El Evil Emperor: Yes indeed, touring might seem unachievable since you are not devoted Musicians and have other jobs, but a concert wouldn't be a bad idea.
Did you make this decision due to the band's genre, or yet for the lack of Live Musicians?
Benoit Sangoi : We know a lot of great musician for play with us but one more time MFA is for us only a pleasure without stress . and I must say I prefer more simple music to see live.
El Evil Emperor: 'More simple Music' as in reference to other Musical genres? Do you believe the composition process of MFA to be a complicated one?
Benoit Sangoi : I really think studio and live are two different approach and truly the MFA songs aren't complicated but in our songs there is a lot of riffs and little guitars who make this particular sound and i think it's really difficult to reproduce live , in certain part it had 5 different guitar parts , not complicated but gradually a big difficulty for live.
El Evil Emperor: I understand that parts within the band are divided, While Arnaud is the lyricist, you and Pascal compose the Music if I'm not wrong, does Arnaud choose the Album titles and song titles as well?
Benoit Sangoi : yes of course it's his job , Pascal and I read the text and the titles but really after all this year we never said "no" or "it's bad" , I can't speak for Arnaud but I think the next album lyrics would be more personal Arnaud is a bit bored to write about esotericism.
El Evil Emperor: Very well. Now during 13 years of activity, were there any important parts, milestones... etc?
Benoit Sangoi : We 're big child and for us there is a lot of important parts , the creation of a good riff is an important part , but I think when we receive the master CD back from the Hand of Dan with the real great sound he do was a great moment for Pascal and I because we're addict to big sound.
El Evil Emperor: About the French Underground Scene, what could you say, both locally and nation-wide?
Benoit Sangoi : Toulouse had a lot of great band like Psykup , Punish yourself , Downfall , Sidilarsen and others , I'm really happy because French band are now internationally known and that's great . Concerning "Dark music" I think Ataraxie will became a monster they deserve to became a big band like My Dying Bride.
El Evil Emperor: What are your favorite bands, bands that you'd like to listen and not necessarily influencing MFA?
Benoit Sangoi : The list is very long but : Paradise Lost , Joy Division , Bolt thrower , Rozz Willianms , Entombed , Current 93 , Carcass etc...
El Evil Emperor: A wide variety of genres indeed. What are your future steps, besides producing the next album?
Benoit Sangoi : The next steps for us is recording a good album , i hope we could find a deal who could be paid a mix and mastering with Dan , I really loves to release a limited vinyl Ep but it's very expensive.
El Evil Emperor: It's been a pleasure, any last words to our readers and your fans?
Benoit Sangoi : Ok first of all thanks a lot for this great interview , I would thanks all the Zines , Radios and fans who had the open-mind to support us, Doom with a View coming soon.