Interviews About Albums: Salaman Isku - Le Voyage Nocturne (2023)

In this new interview, we sat down with the French Rock/Metal band Salaman Isku to ask some questions about their new album "Le Voyage Nocturne"

1. What can you say about this new EP/CD?

Julien: Well, firstly “Le voyage nocturne” is a full-length album and secondly, it is not a new album. I self-released it in 2017. For the album itself, as the only composer, I started to compose « Le voyage nocturne » during Summer 2014 and until the next year. In fact, it is an eight years old album now for me. Hopefully, it got a second youth, so to speak, with this new release of Bitume Prods in June this year (2023). Technically, I wanted something different from what I’ve done until this time (black metal stuff mostly), something more “folk” in fact when I made the EP in 2013. The musical style of “Le voyage nocturne” is the most progressive and rock of my albums. Also, I’ve used some traditional acoustic instruments like a kantele, jew harps, and an ocarina for the music. Also, it was the first time I’ve sung with clear vocals. Last thing: V.V. Anxietas has made a beautiful artwork inspired by Van Gogh's “The Starry Night” painting (June 1889) in a more psychedelic way and with cactus. This influence is also a way to be impressionist for me as it is the aesthetic claim of the entire project (Salaman Isku). That’s for my part. I let now Buck., the sound engineer of the album, comment about what he has done on the mixing/mastering part.

Buck.: I know Julien for years, so it wasn’t difficult to know which way to go. It was the first time we worked together on an entire project, although I've advised him on some of his work in the past. Basically, he gave me free rein, and then, we talked about the work in progress and adjusted things. It's very important to talk during the process to make the vision of the artist translate into the result. I like this album a lot and am happy with the result. In fact, I like it more now than at the time, as second thoughts like "I should have done this instead of that" have faded. I had a fun time experimenting with the effects. I thought at times that it was a bit over the top, but it is supposed to represent a deep psychedelic experience and so is not gratuitous. I think it is successful in conveying the sensorial distortions of one experiment under these circumstances, at least partly. I did both mixing and mastering, taking time to allow my brain to switch from mix mode to mastering mode between the two stages. I'm primarily a mastering engineer, so it wasn't too tricky to do both.

2. What is the meaning of the EP/CD name?

Julien: Two things: “Salaman Isku” means “lightning strike” in the Finnish language. And “Le Voyage nocturne” could be translated from French by “The Nocturnal Journey“. Both names indicate that this album celebrates summertime, especially the summer night when all things are peaceful and with warm temperatures outside. Basically, I’m telling in this album my journey influenced by San Pedro cacti during a Summer Solstice in the 2000s that changed my life forever (as usual with this kind of natural entheogens). So it is celebrating Mescalito (the name given by Carlos Casteneda to the spirit of the cacti (Peyote cacti in his books)).

3. If you had to pick one song, which one would you pick?

Julien: Probably the last one “L’Aurore” (The Dawn in English). It always gives me goosebumps. To me, this song represents the spirit of this album. And I made my first music video with this song, you can watch the nearby of Caen in the Morning, a French city in the Normandy region, now available on Bitume Youtube channel ( 

4. Which inspirations have been important for this album? Like musically or friends, family, someone you'd love to thank especially?

Julien: At the heart of my musical composition of this album was a woman I felt something for. She inspired me in a way that I became fully "loaded", like a dynamo, and then I started to "hear" music. Here is my conception of composing music: I need to become fully sensitive before being able to "hear"/"receive" music from what I call "the invisible world" and then I'm able to convert/transmit what I heard in sound, in music. Like an antenna basically. 

5. Something to add? 

Julien: Thank you for giving me the possibility to talk about this album, even if I didn’t answer all your questions.

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