Interviews: CKRAFT

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Jazz Metal band CKRAFT from France. Check out this band and follow them on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or come out just like that?

Charles (CKRAFT's bandleader): I think musicians and composers are very similar to craftsmen, in the sense that we all use noble material -for us, middle-aged melodies, the culture of jazz and that of metal- just like craftsmen would use different varieties of wood, minerals, etc. and create something unprecedented directly from these materials, combined with their art, their expertise and experience. That's why I named this band CKRAFT, along with the fact that "Kraft" in German, means strength/energy/force! And there you have it, a mixture of "craft" and "Kraft"!

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Charles: Well, I grew up listening to metal, it was the only music that would really make sense to me as a teenager. I'd spend hours listening to KoRn, Slipknot, and especially Gojira. Their album "The Link" really changed my perception of music and I still listen to it as an adult with the same passion and awe. Later in my formative years, I saw a jazz big band play live and I was blown away by the exuberant freedom that this music was projecting from the stage. Sooner or later I had to blend these genres!

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Charles: Indeed yes! I met most of my guys at Paris’ National Conservatory of music (CNSM) where we were studying at the same time, except William our drummer who was at Berklee. I had met him earlier in my formative years, in a conservatoire in Metz (eastern France) and, already back then, he struck me as someone who could just play anything. Combining him with my Conservatoire friends created the magic that I was looking for to execute this music!

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Charles: There's a lot of variety here! I'd throw a few names here and you guys will have to guess which bandmember it belongs to! Meshuggah, Gogira, Car Bomb, Imperial Triumphant, John Coltrane, Tigran Hamasyan 5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Charles: The Gregorian chants that I use as melodic material for CKRAFT's compositions are all very inspiring, they all tell a little magical story and/or a religious belief, and the melodies are incredibly powerful, they crossed all these centuries to end up in modern music so I have the feeling that no matter what music you write around them, having a Gregorian melody in it will always give a strong direction to the music

6. Where was your last gig?

Charles: the last one was in Paris (FRANCE) when we released our first album "Epic Discordant Vision". The next one is in Savigny (FRANCE), we're supporting the legendary band SHINING from Norway, it's on the 1st of October 2023 if you're around, it's not too far from Paris and the venue is awesome so come say hi!

7. Where would you like to perform?

Charles: For now we never played more than 700-800 km away from our HQ (Paris), so I guess I'd love it to travel more with this band and share our music with the world! I'd love to go to Japan & Taiwan, I have a thing for the food there! 

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

Charles: I'm dreaming of having a Tigran Hamasyan and/or a Fredrick Thordendal solo on our next albums. These guys are ultimate masters and major influences on my soloing!

9. Whom not?

Charles: OK that's an impossible question! [laughs]

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Charles: Of course, stage fright is normal, just let it go once you start playing. Follow your instinct, play only what you know, don't try to impress anyone, and most of all, tell yourself that you're not that important in this world. 99.99% of the audience doesn't give two hoots about your wrong notes, they're here to have a good time so have a good time with them. Works for me (most of the time!)

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Charles: Meshuggah and Car Bomb, the way they mess up with rhythms and clavas and the general intelligence and intelligibility of their compositions always blow my mind.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Charles: Nothing weird so far! But I do tend to forget what people say when they're drunk!

13. What do you think of your fans?

Charles: Everything. We do what we do to express something personal, but it’s for them to experience.

14. What do you think of our site?

Charles: It's brilliant, thanks a lot for supporting the independent Metal scene, it means the world to us!

15. Something to add?

Charles: We have a few gigs coming and recording a 2nd album as we speak so make sure to show us some love on social media! Everything can be found here:

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