I recently had the pleasure of talking to Bastien Deleule, guitarist and clean vocalist of the French metal band NightShade. Bastien’s career in music doesn’t just stop at performing- he also owns and operates his own recording studio and is the full-time manager and producer of his band. We talked about quite a few things, ranging from all-things NightShade to a showdown/battle between an Alpine Ibex and Prime Minister Manuel Valls- and everything in between!
Ouch That Hertz!: So, first off, introduce yourself!
Bastien: Hello, I’m Bastien! I created NightShade almost 10 years ago now and I’m playing guitar and doing clean vocals as well as managing and producing the band.
OTH!: How did you get in to metal? What was it that you heard that made you realize you wanted to play this genre?
Bastien: My Dad was always listening to bands like Queen, SCorpions, Trust, Starshooter… So, I think that helped. At first I liked it because it was more violent than what you could listen to on the radio. I felt this emotion, these goosebumps, and I quickly wanted to pick up [the] guitar after I discovered the band X-Japan.
OTH!: When did you start Nalcon Studio and what made you want to open your own studio? What’s your background in studio recording work?
Bastien: I started it 3 years ago, I also recorded our previous album An Endless Vision in it. Since I opened it, I recorded Sweetest Devilry’s album Wrong Turn, which got mixed/mastered by Eyal Levi. I’m actually recording their second one, too. And I’ve recorded singles for a few local bands as well.
I wanted to open my own studio after going to Sweden to record Lost In Motion with Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd.
As far as my background goes, I was already recording some demos via Cubase, but after a few weeks with them I came back home and started reading some books, tutorials about ProTools, etc., and then I finally opened my own studio!
OTH!: So, Bastien, you recorded Predilections at your own studio. Is it weird to you to be working on your own band’s music?
Bastien: I wouldn’t say “weird,” but more “stressful.” I liked it a lot, even I had a lot of nightmares and not much time to sleep haha. When you’re recording your own music, you’re always looking for perfection, always wanting to do the takes again and again until you have the perfect one. When you spend 2 years of your life writing songs and then when you record it, it doesn’t sound like what you were looking for, so you end up spending a lot of time finding a solution and rearranging it. It blows my mind! You’re always looking for something to add or delete. And I’m someone who can [get frustrated] and scream easily, so the other members can tell you that there was a lot of frustrated screaming during the recording.
OTH!: Speaking of Predilections, what’s it like working with mixing/mastering genius Joey Sturgis? Is it as magical as I think it is?
Bastien: It was fantastic! We had the sound we were looking for! We told him what we were looking for and he immediately knew what to do! It was a pleasure working with him and I hope to work with him again in the future!
OTH!: I listened to your latest single, “Uchronia,” and I personally think that it showed a whole new level of maturity and musicality in NightShade’s overall sound. What drove you guys to really start balancing in the orchestral elements with the technical and grittier side of the instrumentals?
Bastien: We always wanted to use this kind of sound. We used violins in “The Depth of Memory” for our introduction, but we never had enough experience to make some great orchestral sounds to fit with our riffs. This time with Fabien Letren (who has written with me since our album Lost In Motion), we let him have a lot of creative control, and I think we found the perfect NightShade identity. We also received the help of a great friend named Simon Rouquette to help us make the orchestral sounds.
OTH!: It’s been two years since NightShade has put out an album. Can you tell me what the writing process for this new album has been like? What can fans and listeners expect from Predilections?
Bastien: It’s been really hard. With Fabien we were sending riffs back and forth to each other- one starting the song, one finishing it, etc. It’s been a lot of work,a lot of riffs, and a lot of songs didn’t make the cut.
After An Endless Vision, we decided to put our best into this next album, no matter what amount of time it would take us.
We weren’t able to tour the US due to visa issues and then some members left the band, so it was like, “Fuck it, let’s make the best album we can and make it sound like we always wanted.” So many sad things happened during the writing and recording of this new opus, and it affected the lyrics and some songs, like “My Orchid,” which was written in only one night (music and lyrics). I think fans and new listeners can expect a trip in our universe: they will share with us our pain, regrets, rage, and our glory.
For me, this album is our most powerful one- it’s our most melodic and personal. We really put everything we wanted to in it! Even if some people will probably scream “Blasphemy!” after hearing the end of “For Those Who Fight.”
OTH!: You guys underwent some heavy lineup changes within NightShade after your album An Endless Vision. I personally love your current lineup (you’re all excellent musicians!), but can you tell me why the former members left? Was it just a difference of opinions or something else?
Bastien: After An Endless Vision,I had to find some new members, but it was not because we were all on bad terms with each other. It was just because two of them had to go back to school, one had to find a full-time job, and another one wasn’t able to tour.
I want NightShade members to be able to tour every time, and I understand that it’s a hard choice and a hard lifestyle for some people. Some people think it’s easy to live on the road and sleep in a van, but after two days they want to come back home, or something happened in their life and they have to leave the band to find a job and help some members of their family.
I’m not gonna lie, our current lineup is amazing! To me, Trevor is the best vocalist we’ve had since the beginning! (Sorry to our past screamer, but it’s a fact [that Trevor’s the best].) Each one of us is motivated as Hell, we have tour experience, and we’re all crazy stupid dudes. We love to play together and after the Asia tour, I can tell you we had a lot of fun and can’t wait to be all back on the road to play our new songs!
OTH!: Speaking of new members, where did you find your new vocalist, Trevor? Dude has some seriously mad skills!
Bastien: NightShade and his ex-band Annex Theory were supposed to tour Canada together, but it didn’t happen. We still kept in contact with each other. After his band broke up and I was looking for a new vocalist, I contacted him and he immediately accepted!
Trevor knew Alex and proposed that he join the band as well on guitar.
And, about Vincent, I had a friend studying with him at a music school and after meeting him, we decided to work together as well.
They all have crazy skills! Trevor is a monster on vocals, Alex can play fucking fast solos, and Vincent is a killer drummer! And the most important thing is they are wonderful human beings- easy to talk to, to laugh with, and they’re all extremely professional!
OTH!: So, after Predilections is released, what’s the next step for NightShade? Any upcoming tours at all?
Bastien: Of course! We are actually working on many tours in Europe, USA, Japan, China, and Canada. Our main goal is to be hitting the road as much as possible! It seems like we’re gonna be busy this year!
OTH!: Alright, now for the most serious of all serious questions. An Alpine Ibex vs. Prime Minister Manuel Valls holding a sandwich: who would win in a battle to the death?
Bastien: The Alpine Ibex, of course! He’d even eat the sandwich!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, Bastien! Before you go, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Bastien: Thank you for this interview! It was a pleasure! I hope you and all the other people reading this will enjoy our new album! Don’t hesitate to check out our new music video for our single “Uchronia” on Youtube and if you like it, you can pre-order the album with the links in our video description! See you on the road!
NightShade’s Predilections will be out on February 12th on Marked Man Records