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Dystopie – Interview with Emma Piconnet & ‘Uprising’ Album Review
Jad | June 19, 2020
The most interesting part of my high school years was probably the philosophy class. Not only did I get to listen to my favourite bands back then while the professor spoke some utter bullshit, but also, I got to learn about some interest theories about our existence. One of these theories states that our reality might be a simulated experiment by a supreme species. The professor went on to say that we might be inside a video game created by this super species! Well if that is true, then this video game has one hell of a soundtrack!
For example, today, and after my irrelevant introduction that you probably should have skipped, we are going to talk about Dystopie’s new album, ‘Uprising’. We wrote a track-by-track review of the album, and we got to chat with vocalist Emma Piconnet about the album, her music, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Why? Because we can.
‘Uprising’ begins its 7 songs – 33 minutes journey through the title song, Uprising. Which begins with distant beats that grow into a great tune to make an epic first track where the band shows of their Metal power with a great melodic sound and electrifying vocals. What’s really great about this song and others on the album is that you cannot predict what will come next. The song can literally go anywhere. An example on that is the short instrumental the song takes us into at 2:15 before going into the chorus.
The show goes on with Storm of Dust, where we feel a slight change in the approach as the song begins with some high notes vocals with a more cinematic feel, added to one good riff to complete another good song. Next comes Frozen Tears, a nearly 7 minutes work of art that begins with a simple melody that grows with beats and a soft vocal sound, but then builds up into a heavier sound, still preserving the record’s tradition of quality vocals. The song is great for having so many contrasts in music in terms of heaviness and speed. The 7 minutes easily pass to be and you never feel any repetition or forcing the song to keep going on. I really love how the song is ended by becoming slower and slower, with the vocals gaining on the music volume, every time Emma repeats the chorus, until it finally dies.
Then comes the Otherside, which gives us another side of Dystopie’s sound. A slow, softer and darker sound, which a feel of transformation in its music. Emma keeps going on with her amazing vocals, as Dystopie give up some wonderful alterations in their sound.
Ascending comes next, starting with a harsher riff, but growing into another emotional song with dark vibes and that sound that makes you want to just sit there and think about life. In the last minute of the song, it ascends (pun intended) into its gorgeous heavier beat and riff again as the vocals continue in the same emotional way.
Then comes my favourite song on the album, Surrender. Why is Surrender my favourite song on the album? Good question.
Well let me first state that I’m one of those people who like pineapple on pizza. So you might have another favourite, in which case please mention it in the comments below. However, Surrender is a track that made me feel like I’ve reached a point where time has stopped and nothing else matters but the sound I’m hearing from my headphones. A wonderful arrangement of some great melodies and riffs and beats that keep on getting more and more exciting. And then at the 2:40 mark, the melody gets louder and harsher as the song invites you to surrender in such a persuasive sound that keeps on going beautifully. The vocals on this track are harsh and dark at times and emotional at other times.
Finally, The Awakening is the last song on the album and is also great with its melodic sound and variety in sounds. One hell of a way to end an album!
What we really loved about ‘Uprising’ is that despite the album being only 33 minutes long, Dystopie was able to create so many variations in the way they present their music in it. Of course, the voice of Emma that was able to configure itself with each sound, be it deep or dark or heavy or slow or fast, played a great factor in their ability to do so. But also, the production, in terms of adding some cinematic sound effects and adding multiple instruments into some songs, played a huge role in making ‘Uprising’ one hell of an enjoyable ride.
We recommend ‘Uprising’ for all of you Alternative Metal and Rock fans out there.
But why is there a Snow White and the Second Dwarfs picture in a review for a Metal album? BECAUSE WHY NOT? Also it’ relevant to the game we played with Emma. Hang on and you’ll see. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did.
Hello Emma! How are you and the other members of Dystopie doing? Hope all is good for you and you’re staying safe!
We are all doing good thank you! We are just missing rehearsal and shows due to the pandemic situation.
You have released your second album entitled ‘Uprising’. But before we talk about that, would you like to tell our readers who haven’t heard of Dystopie yet a bit about your band?
Alright! So we are Dystopie, a French metal band of five individuals. It’s hard to put a label on the music we create, alternative, progressive, industrial… we don’t bother sticking to a genre. We draw our inspiration from the dystopian universe (hence the name “Dystopie”, meaning dystopia in French) A fiction story that describes a dark utopian world. We created this band 2 years ago so we are pretty new to the game but very motivated to share our universe!
‘Uprising’ is a very exciting album. I enjoyed listening to it. What is your personal favourite thing about ‘Uprising’?
What I love about this album is the energy, we really took the time to design the sounds and atmospheres. All the members of the band participated in the writing so this album really represents us with all our influences.
Some say an artists’ debut album would be a bit experimental. But the second would reflect their musical sound a lot more. Is that true in your case? To what extent does ‘Uprising’ reflect the sound you want to be known for as a band?
That’s completely true, for the second album we changed the way we work, we focused on creating an atmosphere for each song without worrying about staying absolutely in one particular genre of metal. We tried every member’s ideas which gave us more writing freedom. We stop worrying about “is this going to please our listeners?” and aim for what WE like. I believe that if you love what you’re doing then you’ll be able to share feelings more than just music.
Emma, I always like to play a game with my interviewees called ‘Which song’, where I’d ask you to pick one song to do a following task with, like introduce someone to your band, or defeat aliens…etc But, ‘Uprising’ has 7 tracks, and there are 7 dwarfs in Disney’s Snow White! So we will play a different game this time. We will play which song is which dwarf from Snow White! I’ll tell you the dwarf’s name and description and you have to tell me which song from ‘Uprising’ you can relate with most!
Which song on ‘Uprising’ is Doc, the leader of the seven dwarfs who wears glasses and mixes up his words?
It would be Surrender, because I literally mixes up lyrics on this one, I changed them many times and I end up singing old version of the lyrics.
Which song on ‘Uprising’ is Dopey, the accident-prone and mute dwarf?
Ha-ha, for this one I would say Storm of Dust, because this is the more accident-prone on stage. The rhythm pattern changes many times during the song so it’s easy to mix-up things
Which song on ‘Uprising’ is Bashful, the shy and kind-hearted dwarf?
Other Side; I wrote the lyrics on this song, they reflect how I feel about the loss of a loved one… I was shy about sharing such personal words at first but now I’m proud as this is words coming from my heart
Which song on ‘Uprising’ is Grumpy, the angry dwarf who at first opposes Snow White’s staying with the dwarf but is the first one to charge for her aid when she’s in danger?
Maybe Frozen tears for this one as the idea behind this song is more about how life can be a burden with all our fears, pains and lies
Which song on ‘Uprising’ is Sneezy, the dwarf with a powerful sneeze that can blow away the heaviest objects around him?
I summon The Awakening! The outro is just like a powerful sneeze!
Which song on ‘Uprising’ is Sleepy, the dwarf who is always tired and lethargic?
It would be Ascending, there is a more dreamlike atmosphere in this track so it’s perfect for Sleepy!
And finally, which song gets to be Happy, the dwarf who is always laughing?
The most positive song of the album is Uprising. It’s all about empowerment and rising to defend our convictions so this would feet just fine
Thank you for playing Emma! Do you have any plans for the near future you’d like to tell us about?
We’re planning a tour with the band so if we happened to be near your location we would love to see you there!
Oh I’d love to be there! Away from music, what things do you like to do in your free time, like hobbies or activities?
Gaming! At the moment I’m spending a lot of night on Final Fantasy XIV. I also love drawing and painting, so from time to time I realise digital illustration for small project (for example I realise the artwork for our album). And when the weather is too good to stay inside I love to go hiking or walk around in the wood.
The album’s cover is so eye-catching, so great job on that. Have you ever been treated in a sexist way? How would you react if you’re discriminated against based on your gender and what advice do you give people, especially women, around the world who are oppressed by their culture?
You know I grew up with powerful female role model like Xena: Warrior Princess, Pocahontas, Mulan ect… So even when I was a kid, I was not afraid to kick asses. If a boy told me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl, I proved him how wrong he was. And it’s the same today, I work as an IT project manager where 90% of my co-workers are males, so yeah I face sexist comments from time to time and I always make sure to answer back and stand my ground. But I think it’s also important to stand together, that we help each other and look out for each other. We are always stronger united. You’re not alone never forget this.
Beautiful message! Thank you for the interview Emma! It was a pleasure. Good luck for you and Dystopie in your future work!
Thank you! It was a pleasure answering your questions! Take care.