Tgod: O.K. Let's start with the band name.
How is the name Yyrkoon pronounced exactly? (eer-koon)(ur-koon)(ir-koon)
Stef ( guitar/vocals) : Usually, we pronounce it, Eer-koon. Hehe ! yeah, very original & strange name isn't it !?
Tgod: What does it mean and how did it become the band's name?
Stef: Yyrkoon comes from Elric Saga, a dark heroic fantasy novel wrote by an American writer named Michael Moorcock. Yyrkoon in Moorcock's writings is the name of a sorcerer. We chose to call our band Yyrkoon in 1995 for it's original sonority and ortograph... Our concept is not based at all on Elric and this novel. This is the problem when you choose to take a proper name, a lot of people imagine that the band concept is linked to the name. Yyrkoon is a name and doesn't have any signification in french, english or chinese
Tgod: About the band members:
When did you first decide to become musicians and learn to play and write songs?
Stef: As I started to play guitar. In fact, even if I was totally bad player, I was really excited by the possibility to create my own music, to control everything and top find killer ideas. So I begun to record my first riffs on a recorder/tape, besides, I should have my first tape somewhere ! hehe. The motivation was immediate and is still here. We were all seduced by music in general, our parents were accustomed to listen to good records like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, J. Hendrix, Pink Floyd... and that was our first music education in our life and it was important in the fact to do something with the music by the continuation.
Tgod: When and how did Yyrkoon first become a band?
Stef: Yyrkoon was formed in 1995. I started the band with Laurent (drums) and we recorded our first demo in 1996 with two others guys, but quickly they left the band and we had to find new musicians. That was really hard for us because we knew several problems of line-up, and I can say that we really found are ideal line-up for our second album in 2001 called "Dying Sun". Jeff : guitar, Victo : bass guitar, Laurent : Drums and me, Stéphane : Guitars & vocals
Tgod: The band has gone through a number of lineup changes.
Why? and What affect did each change have on the band?
Stef: For shity motivation problems in the whole. Our drummer have left the band last year due to personal problems, we had to call a session drummer for the recording of "Occult Medicine". If those changes affected our music ? Not at all... I compose the whole of the songs with Jeff, we are working like this from the beginning of the band. The members who came to play with us knew that. They were not really composers but we worked on the arragement together.
Tgod: Occult Medicine is an awesome cd.
How did it all come together? The Writing. The Music?
Stef: Well, in Yyrkoon I work essentially with Jeff the other guitarist. I compose the whole of the riffs & music in the band I play each solos on "Occult Medicine" excepted one on the song "Trapped Into Life", the solo distribution is done naturally. I work first on basic ideas, after that I present it to my bandmates and we work all on the final arrangements to obtain Yyrkoon balance. Jeff often brings his new riffs to completemy job and Victo (bass guitar) purposes rhythms and linkings. This method is the result of our final sound.
Tgod: Is this line up set now?
Stef: Yeah !!! Laurent our former drummer came back with us since one month, full of motivation. We discussed a long moment before playing again together, but he was in the band since 1996, so we think that he has his place in Yyrkoon and the right to have a second try.
Tgod: I compared you guys to Testament in my review. Good old school Testament.
What did you guys listen to growing up?
Stef: Influences...? Well, I can cite you some of the bands or authors that we enjoy a lot and who have led us certainly to our result, but we insist on the fact that there no fun and no deep interest to copy music and context that exist already. We bring automatically our own point of view and "philosophy" to give us up ! "Occult Medicine" is based on our fascination for medecine in general and especially for all we can imagine through it. Forbidden formulas, hidden experiences, diverse and horrible creations... Lyrically, gore for gore does not interests us, we need something more, like a fantastic tension that gives a morbid tone to the whole. I can mention you Hp. Lovecraft for his excellent novel "Dr Herbert West, Re-animator" that influenced me on "Occult Medicine"'s concept. We are fan of Lovecraft's stories. Musically, we really like bands like Morbid Angel, Carcass, Death, Emperor, King Diamond, Decapitated, Coroner, Slayer, Aborted, Entombed, Testament, Immortal...
Tgod: What might we find in your cd player today?
Stef: Classical music, flamenco, blues, rock'n'roll, rocka billy...
Tgod: How are the clubs in France and tell me about your live shows/festivals.
Stef: We have good venues in France and good organisation with pro material and conditions, that's ok ! we just have finished a European tour with Impaled Nazarene and Phazm ! that was excellent !! some new plans are coming... nothing is planed for an US tour but that would be a fucking pleasure to play in your country that's sure !! of course many gigs in france to promote our new album. Personaly, I would like to share the stage with Morbid Angel ! A lot of dates are planned in France to continue our album promotion. A cool fest in Germany in May, with Dissection, Suffocation, Vomitory, Entombed...
Tgod: What is the general state of metal in Europe? Is it going strong?
Stef: Yeah I think so. Very good quality bands from here and there ! that shows us that new generation is still fan of thrashy/death metal music. Metal now, knows maybe more different styles but in the whole everybody is satisfied (I hope).
Tgod: Where does Yyrkoon fit in right now and what can be expected of them over the next few years?
Stef: We decided to work again with Jacob Hansen for the next album. We booked three weeks in november 2005... We hope to play everywhere !! not only in europe but in your country too. Many tours, many new albums hehe !! This is the first time that Yyrkoon knows an international promotion. Osmose productions offers us a quality job ! A lot of people from abroad are discovering our band with this album. To be continued...
Tgod: I would absolutely love to see you guys live! I'll bet it's a blast. Crowds over here a insane! Especially in New Jersey where I live. How are the crowds in Europe these days?
Stef: Be patient man, we will come to blast your town ! :p Crowds ? hummm.... receptive and opened to new bands, that's pretty cool ! we received a lot of good reviews. We need each kind of support, we count on you guys !
Tgod: Any chance we'll be seeing you in the States any time soon?
Stef: Nothing is planed for an US tour but that would be a fucking pleasure to play in your country that's sure !! of course many gigs in france to promote our new album. Personaly, I would like to share the stage with Morbid Angel !
Tgod: I think you'll like it over here!! Bring it!!
Stef: Thanx a lot for this interesting interview dude ! I hope that you will have set of good time by reading it. Keep an ear on our new album guys !!! we need your support, ENJOY !! check our website to find extra, updates are frequent; http://www.yyrkoon.net