ELLIPSIS: "At the end we pushed our desires, creativity being the only law for us!"
A genre-melting album with a playing time of 40 minutes but only two songs... Curious? Here we go with the new opus of French band ELLIPSIS, "Sadistikal Mentaculus", which came out on May 13th, 2022, and features a guest appearance of non other than legendary drummer John Macaluso.
Glad about the opportunity to chat with singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer Emmanuelson about their development, the record's concept and artwork. Welcome to learn more here:
Hey, thanks for making time to answer my questions. How are you today?
A real pleasure for me Katha. I’m fine! A lot of musical projects, a lot of changes in my life, positive changes, so 😊
Great to hear :-) Could you please introduce ELLIPSIS to our readers?
We started ELLIPSIS a little before 2000, with Manu, Fla and Phil, and have recorded five albums as well as an EP so far. Our new bassist Fred arrived a few years ago, then Adrien joined us for live shows, and now became our permanent keyboarder. It’s important to be friend, a family first.
And we play Psycho Metal!
We hadn’t recorded anything since 2009, so it was time to get back to work and return with a new album but with a certain “mark”, a special concept. We also wanted to play concerts again, which we hadn't done since Hellfest in 2007.
So you just released your fifth album, “Sadistikal Mentaculus”, the first within 13 years. How do you feel about it, and how was the reception so far?
We are happy with this new release because it took a very long time to come out, but we wanted something unique - like it or not. The fans of the first hour are really delighted, and this encourages us to already prepare a new opus!
S.M. took us time as much by its composition as by the different musicians who play on these two pieces, which have 20 minutes each. We worked with two drummers, Emmanuel Salesiani (our official drummer) and John Macaluso (Michael Romeo, Ark, Yngwie Malmsteen, James La Brie…), as well as some guys from another band for some guitars or keyboards.
That's awesome! Let’s take a look at the eye-catching cover artwork: What can you tell us about its origins, and how does it reflect the album thematically?
I don't remember where this photo came from, I just found it magical and disturbing.
The album tells the story of Siamese sisters - one of them can no longer bear to live together in one body and wants to kill her sister, even if she'll also die afterwards. There is a lot of nostalgia about their past, their inner scars, and they’re very pious and close to god life.
This idea fascinates me: how to live in one body with two minds, linked forever while being two different entities!
But maybe it's also only one person who invents a twin…
I see. Your music comes along dark, with a great variety composition-wise. Could you tell us a bit about your writing process, please?
ELLIPSIS has always had rather dark and tortured songs, we have always liked to have multiple influences and mix what we like while giving meaning to the songs.
I initially wanted to write a single 40-minutes title, such as the fabulous "Crimson" by Edge of Sanity for example, and in the end we wrote two radically different tracks representing the different characters of the two Siamese sisters. While "Sadistikal" is more extreme with a lot of changes and atmospheres, "Mentaculus" shows a more symphonic and theatrical side.
The goal was to captivate the listener throughout the two songs with unusual things, sometimes very experimental. At the end we pushed our desires, creativity being the only law for us!
In our music, you can hear prog, noise, metal, extreme metal, fusion, symphonic metal, avantgarde…
Love that: No genre-boundaries, just the music. While your other bands (Venus Syndrome, Rising Steel, Lonewolf…) are clearly rooted into heavy and powermetal, ELLIPSIS isn’t that easy to pigeonhole, which makes the result very expressive. Where do you see your main influences?
There’s a lot actually (haha), as I have 5000 CDs at home, and you can find metal, jazz, funk, experimental, rock, noise… For this album you can find traces of Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, Waltari, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, early Sepultura, Dimmu Borgir, John Zorn, Type O Negative…
It’s very important to listen to a lot of different things, so as not to be withdrawn and repeat yourself. I love heavy metal in first since I started with that, but no limits to hear new music!
Can totally relate to that. How did you come up with your band’s name, and is there a deeper meaning behind “Ellipsis” for you?
I wanted an original name. At the time, I was listening to Scorn's album called “Ellipsis” and immediately liked this name, which represents something mystical and not just a geometric line.
Let’s talk about ELLIPSIS live: What was your most memorable show so far?
For sure the tour with Opeth in France: Amazing guys! And when you are encouraged by Mikael Akerfeldt himself, it allows you to tell yourself that you are on the right way.
The tour with Arcturus was great too, so was our last show at Hellfest.
How would you describe the rock / metal scene in France, and is there anything special about it? Did you notice changes over the recent years?
I believe that many French bands have talent in all styles of metal, but I think we still lack real structures to bring them out of the shadows, as French labels do not always believe in the values of the bands in their country.
Otherwise, I notice that originality also becomes “un savoir faire à la française”, so it's very good :-)
What can you tell us about your future plans?
A new album for the end of 2023, maybe 2024. We already have more than 20 minutes of music including a 9 minutes song: “The Coroner Is Back”. A lot of influences like Pestilence, Steven Wilson, Coroner, Alice In Chains…
Call me intrigued :-) Do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?
I would like the human race to be less stupid, less selfish and more united, and above all in a real tolerance... So, protect your loved ones, make your dreams come true, always be determined and don't let anyone hurt you!
That’s a perfect closing. Thanks again for your time, and all the best for you and your musical plans \m/
Thanks Katha for your time and passion. Was my pleasure!