Though many might know him as the former guitarist of German power metallers Freedom Call, Cédric "Cede" Dupont has moved on and formed the potent new band Downspirit. Combining power metal, traditional heavy metal, hard rock, and blues, Downspirit's brand new album, Point of Origin, is proving to be one of 2010's must hear CDs. Sea of Tranquility Staff Writer Jeff B had a chance to get the scoop on this new band and album direct from Depont himself. Read on for the full interview!
Jeff B: First of all I want to congratulate you guys on the release of your debut album "Point of Origin"! Is there anything special you'd like to tell us about it?
Cédric "Cede" Dupont: Well thank you very much Jeff, it's always nice to hear! You know we put a lot of soul, sweat and tears to create this album, and if you give positive feedback that's really really appreciated. We know we have a strong album here, and myself and everybody in the band actually is very proud of it. We just wanted to make sure, that we give everything we have to this record, and the result blows my mind!
JB: Do you have any particular favorite tracks on the "Point of Origin"?
CD: It's hard to say, cause it obviously changes every day or two. At the moment I'm really stuck with "Love Song" or "Highway Run", cause I just love Steffen's voice especially in those two songs a lot. Overall every track is kind of a favourite one, because if that was not the case, they would not end up on a record. At least not on on of ours! (laughs)
JB: How was Downspirit formed? Do any of you know each other from past band experiences?
CD: When I first thought about forming a band that combines the aggression of metal music and the emotional side of the blues, I had a certain vision how it should sound like in the end. I started looking for a line up in the End of 2008, it took a while to find the right, but in the end I think we have a very strong line up here. I know Aki from the past, he knew Steffen. Seb knew Sven, nobody knew Seb before. So it's pretty much a "does anybody know a guy that…." Kinda thing. Having built up a network in Germany over the Symphorce and Freedom Call years, definitely helped.
JB: One thing that's giving Downspirit some attention is their unique blend of blues and heavy metal. What inspired you to put these two genres together?
CD: When I first grabbed a guitar and learned how to play on it, I was stuck with blues from the first second. You know I love metal music, or hardrock music, but blues is just so much more about feeling instead of shredding or being loud as hell. So I always kind of had the idea of putting those genres together and try something new for myself. Ok, no doubt, we're a heavy band, more a metal band than a blues band, but if you listen carefully you will find plenty of influences that come from blues or rock. Some listeners might find it faster, some others might need a few spins on the record, but I don't think that's a bad thing at all!
JB: Do you prefer playing in a studio or live setting?
CD: I love both…..ok obviously those are two different pair of shoes. But I really like to do both. It's amazing to see how a song grows when you record it, when the puzzle gets stuck together piece by piece, and in the end you will have something for lifetime with you can hopefully be proud with. But playing live is just so much more fun. You get to meet a lot of new people, you get to jam, you get see alll the smiling (or crying faces, depends on the ballad, haha), and you get feedback. Being able to do both is awesome really! I would not want to become a session or studio musician only.
JB: How would you describe your songwriting process?
CD: Basically I was coming up with like 95% of all the instrumental stuff. Since it's more or less my band that I wanted to form I started writing songs all by myself. Aki wrote a song ("Lost" that is), which gives the album a fresh turn. Steffen wrote most of the lyrics and vocals, and Seb and Sven contributed a lot as a rhythm section. I think for the next album everybody will be involved more in the songwriting process, cause this is not my soloshow. It's a real band where everybody can contribute.
For "Point of Origin" it was very important that we rehearsed the songs a lot, we even played some clubshows before going to the studio, cause obviously we had to get to know each other and find out what we really wanna put on tape, or how it should sound like. And that was a great experience to make.
JB: Are there any particular bands that have a notable impact on your music?
CD: I wouldn't say particular bands, more genres…
You know everybody in Downspirit has his own kinda faves, …. I listen to a lot of the melodic stuff and on the other also aggressive music. Everything from Journey to Pantera, and I think that goes with Steffen as well. Aki is our 80's hardrock lover, Sven listens to Thrash, and Seb is very much into US-rock bands. So the whole mixture of influences make Downspirit sound like they do now.
JB: Here's the tough part... Top 5 albums (yes, only 5).
CD: Hmmmmmmm, let me see:
Alice Cooper – Hey Stoopid, Bon Jovi – New Jersey, Guns n' Roses – Appetite for Destruction, Skid Row – Slave to the Grind, and probably Richie Sambora's Stranger in this town.
JB: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us! Is there anything else you'd like to tell us before the end of the interview?
CD: Well thank you for having me! It's always a pleasure.
I hope that a lot of you guys can check out "Point of Origin", and if you like it buy it of course!
We are working hard to make it to the states as soon as possible, that's definitely a top goal to make in the next one or two years. Let's see!
Always check back on www.downspirit.com or www.myspace.com/downspirit
(Click here to read our review of Point of Origin