Get ready for double the assault! Lead guitarist Cedric Cede Dupont and former Ivanhoe member Andy B. Franck founded Symphorce in 1998 to play a more straight-ahead kind of metal. Based out of Germany, the band play a potent mixture of metal and prog, coming up with an album called Twice Second that delivers heaviness to the infinite power. Highwire Daze recently spoke with Cede about the mathematics of being in Symphorce, other German bands and freaky seahorses!
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Symphorce and how long the band has been together.
Cedric “Cede” Dupont: Actually Symphorce was founded in late 1998 when Andy our singer left Ivanhoe, which was a prog metal band in Germany. He wanted to do something on his own, playing a more straight away kind of metal. He was totally sick of prog metal, so he wanted to play a sort of power metal. The first record Truth Promises came out in ‘99. And right after this record was when we got him to join the band to play the guitar. Nowadays I’m playing lead guitar in Symphorce. We recorded a second album called Sanctuary and that was the record that was more guitar orientated. And after this record, our keyboarder left the band as a steady member, but he still is working for us in the studio, and you can hear it also on the latest album from us. Instead of having a keyboarder in the band, we decided to continue with a rhythm guitar player – and that made our sound much more heavier and kick ass. The third album PhorcefulAhead came out last year and now we’re ready with the fourth album for Symphorce called Twice Second. We’re still playing modern power metal. It’s another record that will hopefully hit a lot of faces in the world.
Twice Second. What does that title mean?
It doesn’t have a special meaning or special message. It’s just another game of words that Andy came up with. He loves to play around with those kinds of stupid bullshit. If you take Sanctuary or PhorcefulAhead, they were also a play on words. Twice Second, just because it’s our fourth album, he though it would be a good idea – because you know twice/two and the second two again makes four. So it’s pretty much about mathematics in here.
So what is it with those freaky seahorses on the cover?
You really think they are freaky? I think they are sort of kindly sweet seahorses. Of course it’s not the typical heavy metal cover artwork, but then Symphorce has never been a band that looks too much on the other side and is absolutely not really cliché. We thought it was a very cool cover idea. The first thing was, when it got to a point that we had to decide who was going to do our cover artwork, we were thinking about Travis Smith who has also worked for Iced Earth, Nevermore, and Soilwork. The only important thing for us was to have something in blue. Since water is quite blue, that was his first thought. He came over with those seahorses, and first of all we thought it looked very much like a prog metal cover, but it just looks great and unique and that’s the reason why we have chosen it. Not because it has a special story or meaning. It looks great and in the limited edition digipack, it looks really cool.
Where did the bonus track Under The Curse come from?
It’s a song Dennis our bass player wrote. All the songs on Twice Second were written by me and Dennis. Andy came in with the vocal line lyrics after all the songs were finished with the music. When we decided to do a limited edition, we first only recorded 11 tracks and after that we were choosing a certain bonus track. It’s not a bonus track like it’s the worst song on the album. The song doesn’t really fit in to the other songs, but since we wanted a limited edition we decided to take it as a bonus track. I think After The Curse has a little bit of this rock and roll attitude if you listen to the chorus. I think it’s quite a cool track. It’s not one of my favorites I have to say, but still it’s a very good song.
What are some of songs you are most excited about on the new album?
It’s very hard to say, because it changes day to day. But probably at the moment, one of them at least is Tears, rI think Tears is pretty much describing our music because it has the trademarks – you have a lot of great melodies and vocal lines and sharp guitar riffs and good solos in the song. Besides that, I think Cause Of Laughter is a pretty amazing track, which I was co-writing with our rhythm guitarist Markus. But every track on the album is one of my favorites.
How did your recent tour with Grave Digger go and what were the guys like?
It was absolutely amazing! We played in Germany and Switzerland and Austria and because it was only for 13 dates, we were sad a little bit when it was over. It could have been longer. It was very, very cool because we weren’t really expecting a lot, because we thought probably Grave Digger’s audience would be too traditional for our kind of music. We were absolutely wrong! Every night was a blast! Also the guys from Grave Digger were really cool guys. They treat their support bands very well. It was a very relaxed and very funny tour. We had a lot of parties going on, I tell you…
Any tales of decadence you’d care to share?
Well, gentlemen always stay in silence. But there was a lot of beer, a lot of metal music. It was a really cool thing. I was talking to the Grave Digger guitarist all of the time about Jimi Hendrix and Zack Wilde. We said we should probably do a Jimi Hendrix session during one of our sound checks – which we did at the last show at sound check. That was pretty cool. Jimi cools! Definitely if you are a guitarist you would understand.
When are you guys coming over here to the States to play?
As soon as possible. Whenever we should get the chance to play there, we’d never say no. We would play for some French fries, chewing gum and some blonde girls. But realistically, it’s very expensive doing touring. For a band like Symphorce, it’s probably more important to do more touring in Europe. But as I said, whenever there’s a possibility or if Twice Second is doing well in the States, we could probably come over and play there as well. It would be like a dream come true for us. So whenever we get the chance, we will be there to kick your ass.
So how is it going in your other band Freedom Call?
Everything is great so far. It’s a lot of fun playing in both bands. I really enjoy playing the melodic kind of metal in Freedom Call, but I’ve also got an aggressive beast in me that wants to play in Symphorce. Our long awaiting live album is coming out April 19th in Europe – I’m not sure when it will be in the States. We’re going to do another tour in Europe – a rock and roll show – and that’s it for the moment.
Are you ever afraid that the schedule for the two bands might get mixed up and clash?
Not really, as long as we talk to each other early enough. It’s not a big deal. Whenever there should be some crossings in the schedule, we always have solutions. I mean, last year in Wacken I played twice a day. Freedom Call played the main stage around half past four in the afternoon and two hours later I was taking the stage again with Symphorce. In the first seconds of Symphorce it was kind of weird, but I recognized immediately it was another band so it was no problem.
Have both the bands ever thought about touring together?
I don’t think that’s really foreseen in the future. It wouldn’t be a problem playing a couple of shows on the road, but if you were on the road for a couple of weeks, it would probably be too exhausting. It would be very hard, doing parts for both bands would probably be my death. It would be an adventure for one week, but playing a whole tour, I don’t know.
Is your vocalist also in another band?
He sings in Brainstorm, which is another power metal band, but more traditional. Everybody in the band has other bands. Obviously Brainstorm and Freedom Call are the biggest ones, but also the other members have more underground bands that they spend their time with. It makes it interesting as musicians and it gives you a lot of experience.
Who’s the guy with the short hair in the band?
He’s the drummer. He’s always the lost guy between hairy guys. It was kind of funny when we did the photo shoot. He’s proud of himself, but when he stands in the middle of longhaired guys, he feels like a little teletubby. We told him, “Hey, let your hair grow.” And he says, “Nah, I’m gonna keep it like this.” Since he’s playing drums onstage, it’s not a problem – we’re not that clichéd where we think every metal musician has to have long hair. In Symphorce it looks great when four people in front are banging their heads. There’s a lot of energy going on there.
If Britney Spears invited you to tour with her band for a year and leave Freedom Call and Symphorce behind, what would you do?
Oh, I’d go for that tour man. But Britney Spears would have to do a good offer for me. I’d leave Symphorce and Freedom Call on the side for a year, but she’d have to pay $500 a night for playing and I want to have some extra services as well. So I wouldn’t say no.
So what’s up next in the future for you guys?
We are playing some more shows in Europe. That’s the plan right now – taking some summer festivals and play more shows. That’s what it’s all about. And since Andy in going on tour with Brainstorm and I’m going on tour with Freedom Call in the Spring, we’re going to be busy with this a little bit. We hope if Twice Second is doing well, we’re going to tour with Symphorce again in autumn. But we’ll see what happens. It’s always an adventure. And if we’re very lucky, we’ll play the States and Britney Spears will be the opening act for us.
That would be good. Maybe you could arrange it so her and Andy could do a duet together.
Andy is going to keep aside. It’s my turn. I’d rather sing some backing vocals with her.
Sounds good. So one last question. Do you have any messages for metal fans here in the States who might want to check out your music?
They should probably go on our website symphorce.net where they can find a pre-listening station where they can listen to the new album Twice Second. It’s actually just streamed so it’s radio quality. And if they really like it, they should go to the shops instead of downloading it. Because downloading doesn’t help to bring us overseas. And hopefully we’ll get to see all the boys and girls onstage as soon as possible.
Twice Second by Symphorce is now available from Metal Blade Records!
METAL BLADE RECORDS: The Record Label for Symphorce
SYMPHORCE: Their Official Home Page!
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