Interview: Nicolas Delestrade of Novelists

Novelists are a progressive metal band from Paris. The band started out in early 2013, when Florestan and Amael Durand met former A Call To Sincerity members Matteo Gelsomino, Nicolas Delestrade and Charles-Henri Teule, and the rest is history. Novelists started out on a strong footing with the release of 6 singles, one every two months, those tracks creating the foundations for a strong and loyal fan base from the get-go. Novelists then released their debut album, Souvenirs via Arising Empire / Nuclear Blast in November 2015. Finally, Novelists are back with a follow up concept album, musingly named, Noir. We got to chat with Bass player, Nicolas Delestrade, about the new album, touring, the French metal scene and more.

How is it now that your new album Noir is finally out for people to hear and enjoy?

It's great man, I'm just so glad that it's out and we worked really hard on it and we'd been working on it for a really long time. It's good to know what people think about it now that they can hear it, and they seem to like it for the most part, so that is a great feeling.

It's been getting some really fantastic reviews so it's well deserved. How long had you been working on the album in total?

It's hard to say, I think because the oldest song on the album was written about two years ago. So that was even before the first album was released, Then we really started working hard on the album, I would say about one year ago. It was a bit hard because the writing process took much longer than we originally thought it would. Everything was bit hard this time because we didn't want to do any compromise and we just worked relentlessly on it until we were happy with it. Obviously it took way longer than Souvenirs did, that was our first record and we were less ambitious with it.

Your next European tour sees you join Australia's very own Make Them Suffer, are you excited about playing with them?

Yes we're very excited. To be honest we didn't really know about them until about a year ago when they released the song 'Ether' and that's when we discovered them and we actually fell in love with the song. Then we loved the record that they just put out also, so we are extremely happy to be playing with them soon.

How was your Summer over in Europe with all of the festivals? Did you play some very memorable shows with lots of cool bands?

Yeah, we played with While She Sleeps and Northlane, we did a really cool tour with them this Summer, and it was amazing, those are two bands that we really look up to. It was great to tour with them. We did a few really awesome festivals in Germany actually, we played With Full Force which is about 80,000 people in total, so it's huge. There are some really big festivals over here and that was probably the biggest we've been a part of. It always feels really weird to play in front of that many people, I mean obviously there was not 80,000 people in front of us when we played but there's still so many people there and you feel like, I don't know, it's just a surreal experience and it's hard to describe, but it's really nice.

What's it like over in France right now for the heavy music scene? Is it quite strong or still pretty underground?

There's a lot of smaller bands that are doing cool stuff and trying to make it the right way by working hard and being professional. It's definitely growing. It's not where Australia is right now from what I can see, you guys have some amazing bands and they're very talented. We're looking to help make the French metal scene grow by supporting these other bands and showing people that you can actually make it and get signed by a label like Nuclear Blast, it's possible. We're hoping to help develop the French scene definitely.

Are you guys hoping to come over to Australia at some stage for a tour?

We really want to, for sure. We know that there are a good amount of people in Australia who would like to see us perform. It's the frustrating part of being in Novelists, we have quite a few fans in Australia and America but we've never toured there for almost four years now. We've been doing plenty of European tours, but our main goal would be to tour Australia and the United States, preferably on this album cycle. It's especially hard logistically for us to come over there because you pay $10,000 EU for the flight tickets and then you only play about five shows when you're over there. But we still want to do it, of course. It's just a bit hard.

Your new album is incredible by the way, it's one of the best Progressive Metalcore album of 2017. What's your favourite thing about the new album and favourite memory whilst working on it?

I think my favourite thing would be the fact that we just explored a lot more of our personalities on this record. We went really further on this than we did on Souvenirs, we decided not to set any boundaries and also I was really happy about the Matt's vocals, especially his clean vocals. They've really improved since our first album. It's just really nice to be able to hear the progression with how it turned out in the end. It's exactly how we wanted it to sound.

Noir is out now on all music platforms via Arising Empire and SharpTone Records.

Written by Steve Jenkins.

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