Despite 2020 being a challenging year, Frédéric Leclercq (ex-Dragonforce, Kreator) surprised us by teaming up Saki (Mary’s Blood) and forming the new project Amahiru. Metal Insider caught up with Leclercq to discuss the self-titled debut.
Frédéric Leclercq has surprised us a lot this year between leaving Dragonforce and joining Kreator and now, the new Amahiru project. Can you discuss more about how this project came together?
Saki and I met in 2015 when her band opened for mine, and since I go to Japan often we would meet up and talk about music, but not just. The cool thing is that there’s a connection outside the music, to me it’s always crucial to make music with people you connect with on a human level. Anyways, in 2018 we decided it would be nice to work together, we got management and labels involved and quickly we were writing music. The idea was to combine metal music with touches of the Asian music since Saki is Japanese and I’ve always loved the Japanese culture. And then I contacted musician friends, Coen, Mike, and Archie, and here we are!
How has the response been so far for the debut album?
Very very good actually!!! I guess it’s always difficult to launch a new band, because we were very confident about our music, but how are people going to react? That’s not in our hands anymore, you know? But yeah, people seem to really enjoy the music. Which is, let’s be honest, a relief haha
What has the experience been like to announce a new band and release a debut album during a pandemic?
The same as without a pandemic, minus being able to do shows 🙂 I guess nothing changed on our side, we did what you normally do when you release an album: teasers, videos, interviews. What changes of course is, like I said, not being able to play the songs live, which is a shame. And I don’t know how people perceived it, if they thought it was different, but yeah, for me, apart from the concert aspect, nothing really changed. Im super enthusiastic about our music 🙂
What songs were more challenging to write on the album?
None, really. Everything came naturally. Starting a new band is very exciting because everything is, indeed, new: there are no real limitations in terms of style , nobody’s expecting anything from you, so its total freedom.. and therefore ideas were flying left and right. It was really smooth. Saki and I started to write separately, and then we met up in Tokyo and spent 3 weeks finalizing everything. Now, certain parts were challenging to perform, but that’s another story. Song writing wise, everything was easy. I really can’t think of a song that was challenging to write.Even Ninja no Tamashii, which is an instrumental, with quite a lot of changes, different atmospheres, or Lucky Star, which is also quite proggy here and there…it all came very naturally. Which I believe is a good thing.
While shows remain uncertain in different parts of the world, what do you think concerts would look like post pandemic?
I was on the phone with a friend before doing this interview and we were talking about gigs in 2021 etc.. it’s very hard to predict what’s gonna happen and how. Are people gonna freak out each time someone sneezes? Will everyone need to do a test before going to a show so everyone can relax? I’m not sure people are going to just forget about it and go back to normality. I mean, I would do that, but .. fuck, I dont know. I keep reading people’s opinions on the internet and I always think ‘what does he know? Haha so yeah, same, what do I know? hahaha
What have been some albums that helped you get through this year?
I guess whatever I’ve been involved in has helped-writing music, recording music, doing promo for Amahiru because I believe our music has a lot of positivity and that’s needed right now. Apart from that, anything goes- I listen to a lot of stuff. You need to ask me this question in a few years, when I will listen to certain albums and go « oh yeah that reminds of me of lockdown number 1 or something hahaha.
Is there anything else you want to say or add?
I hope people will enjoy our music as much as we enjoyed writing and playing it! Stay safe and positive!