French modern metal act Dagoba, have never managed to break into the scene outside of their own country, despite writing and recording truly excellent material. With the release of newest album ‘Post Mortem Nihil Est’, they are hoping to change that, vocalist Shawter reveals exclusively to Ghost Cult…
In what way is ‘Post Mortem Nihil Est’ a progression from the last album?
The new album is way more straightforward in character and more in-your-face as it were. This time around the rest of the guys liked the material that I brought in, so we didn’t spend too much time changing and rearranging stuff. With the previous album I compromised too much when a band member wasn’t happy with a certain part and I feel the album as a whole suffered from it.
How did the recording sessions for ‘Post Mortem Nihil Est’ go compared to previous ocassions?
On the new album we worked with Logan Mader, who has also worked with bands like Gojira and Fear Factory. We’re not a rich band, so we were on a tight budget. He was really cool about it and he cut us a nice deal. Our drummer recorded his parts in his home studio and the rest was recorded in my own studio in Marseille. Logan handled the mixing and mastering. This was also the first time we produced an album ourselves. I really wanted to record the album in a relatively short time, instead of recording one song per week and the next one a month later or so. I wanted the process to be short and precise. We’ll use this working method on the next album as well.
What are the main influences for Dagoba?
We’re influenced by many bands. Our drummer is really into modern metal, like Fear Factory for instance. Especially their drumming is a big influence on him. I’m very inspired by bands like Metallica and Pantera, but I’m also very much into Norwegian black metal. I like the symphonic stuff like Dimmu Borgir and Emperor, but I’m also into older black metal, like Mayhem and Burzum. When you combine those big American bands with black metal you’ll get Dagoba, haha.
Last year guitarist Izakar decided to leave the band. How did this influence the songwriting process for the new album? Did it bring around any major changes in Dagoba’s sound?
Our previous guitarist didn’t write or compose a single note for Dagoba. I’m the main songwriter/composer within the band, so his leaving didn’t affect our band sounds or the way ‘Post Mortem Nihil Est’ turned out. I like to compose songs in the winter time. I live in Marseille which is very near to the Mediterranean Sea. In the Summer I like to spend time on the beach and have a good time with my friends, so I don’t get much writing done. When I’m working on new music I don’t listen to metal, because I don’t want too be much influenced and distracted by other bands.
Gojira is pretty much the first French metal band in a very long time that actually broke through to a wider foreign audience. Do you guys have the ambition?
Gojira’s hard work only seems to work for them. Many bands from France hope to have a similar kind of breakthrough. The only way to achieve that is to work hard, create great music and give it your all when you’re on stage. We always played in other countries as well, like the UK and The Netherlands. I don’t think it really matters from which country a band comes, because in the end it’s all about the music. I listen to bands from Norway, England and Sweden for instance. I like to listen to those bands because of the music and not because they’re from a certain country.
What touring plans do you guys have?
We’re signed to a big label now and that enables us to do a lot of touring in Europe and North America. We’ll be playing a couple of festivals in the summer, like Sonisphere in the UK. It isn’t clear yet what the touring schedule will be like in September and beyond, but I’m sure there will be lots of touring ahead of us.