Wooaaargh Artist Cortez Interview is up

  1. So tell us a bit about this Swizz Metallic Hardcore meets Noise rock force? As you are very new to my readers..

Greg : We are Cortez, we exist since 2001, we did 3 albums, 2 splits, lots of gig in Switzerland, France, Europe, Russia. We are influenced by bands your probably know, like Botch, Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah, Converge, Daughters, but also swiss bands like Nostromo, Knut, Kruger, Shora. In our music, we also integrate concepts from other musical styles like contemporary music or electronic music, but we play it in the sound we have, which is metal/hardcore/noise. Swiss hardcore scene has always been very good and open minded. At the time we were born, the level was pretty high, and still is. It’s a swiss tradition I guess. We are not very active, but we are good in term of quality.

2.I hear elements of  Deadguy, Converge, Melvin's , Jawbox and Jesus Lizard . Were did this  Punishing and Catchy sound from the more avant sound of hardcore come from?

Sam : It’s difficult to point exactly what comes from where, but yes theses bands made part of my DNA, like also Fugazi, Helmet, Sonic Youth, Unsane, etc… In France also there was a very interesting rock scene with bands like Virago, Sloy, Basement, Sleeppers, etc… It is the rock part in Cortez, which expresses more or less intensely. I also used to listen to a lot of Indus music during the 90’s (and I still do) like Ministry, The Young Gods, Swans, NIN, Killing Joke, Godflesh, etc… That may be what gives to our music this hammered and frontal sound.

3. Whats the Swizz scene like today I know bands like  Coroner , Celtic Frost , Samael , Krokus. Is there a hardcore scene and band you like to talk about?

Greg : Yeah these are the oldest one, and maybe the biggest acts also. Switzerland is a country were it’s difficult to make a living with the music, cause everything is expensive, and with the money most of the band gets (in Switzerland or outside), it’s pretty much impossible to make a living out of it exclusively. So we have a choice to make, like doing something big and try to make a living out of it, or doing something smaller, and have a job outside of it. We do that. So we don't feel we are feeding the monster that music business is, and we don't need to do what we don't like to do. It’s a matter of freedom, maybe. Or fear of being part of something that somehow controls your music, cause based on commercial aspects, which we don't like.
Sam: There is a real -core scene in Switzerland, it’s very dynamic, it's really worth to linger on, some of them have really laid the foundations of their style, even at the international scene, I’m thinking about The Young Gods or even Knut for example. But any Swiss bands deserves a bit of attention, you will not lose your time!

4.  Wooaaargh How did you come to work with them and how has it been to this point?

Greg : Cris came to us, I think, when we did the remaster vinyl edition of our 1st album « Initial ». He’s very involved in everything, he likes to control a lot of thing, which is good for us, cause we don't like to do all what he does. We have a very friendly relation, and professionally, I think he’s pretty good, even if some stuff could be better. But I guess he would say the same about us. So I feel everybody is trying to do the best he can, relating to the energy and the financial rewards this kind of music can bring to all parts.

5. How does Social Media and Digital age change how to be an indie band in extreme music world 2018?

Greg : Honestly, I don't really know. You can reach many more people, but everybody is more busy. So it’s cool to sell music in the whole world, and even in parts of the world we never been, even in vacation. That’s the cool thing. The bad side is that it opened the market to every people who wants to pretend to be a musician. But lot’s of them are entertainers. It was always like that, of course, even before internet. But now you can see bands that have +5000 followers and when they play live, nobody in interested to come, cause their audience is an internet audience. Or you have bands that buys followers, or views on Youtube, which make them astroturfers. They create the illusion they exist, and people believe in it… it’s weird. But music like djent genre is like that no ? You create music on your computer, and then if people like it, you create the band. We are oldschool. We did the band, and after people liked it, we did the internet stuff.
Although on this this album, it was pretty much the process I described about the djent genre. The album was written before the new singer/guitar player came in the band. That makes us a modern band, right ? ☺

6. Your album cover for " No more Conqueror " is  very interesting and must hold meaning for tracks on album how does it play into theme?

Greg : We chose the cover because it made sense with our musical vision. We don't know personally Henrij Preiss, the artist that did it. So he’s completely independent from us. What we liked was that he does some architectural work that have different levels of reading. It can be nice to see, overall. The construction is very interesting, with many different layers of polish on top of each other. The symmetry is very « post hardcore-ish » I think. The fact that there is colors in it is cool, cause we never had colors. We always had some very dark artwork, and now we didn't want that anymore, cause the music is also less dark than before, I think, but with the same intensity. Also, there are symbols in some places, and it makes it mysterious.
So it matched perfectly with our vision, which is more or less avant garde hardcore. Where can we go with this music, that we think nobody went before ? (of course you always notice other people did some same research, but always after you do it). So the meeting was perfect, and the fact he’s not « an artist that made tons of other covers » was also part of our interest, and it’s perfectly working.

7. Also why is the artwork different colors for CD and Vinyl?

Greg : Cause when we had to chose we thought we probably will work with this artist once, and it’s for this album, so why not using more artworks ? Henrij Preiss has a style you recognize immediately, so we thought it would be interesting to make our « Henrij Preiss style » album by using different artworks for the different formats we want to print.

8. In 4 words describe your sound to someone about to listen for 1st time ,

Greg : Contemporary math hardcore noise

9.  “According to Claude Bernard”  is an adventure in a video to watch  the colors are very much red and rust in nature is there a story behind that?
Where was it recorded as it seem very epic in vision. Do you think this is a good picture of the band on film?

Sam: Everything that was filmed on a white background matches exactly to what I wanted to do, but about everything the outside's scenes, at the time of pre-production, I had in mind a different vision of the current result. But I keep my initial idea in mind, if I will be able to afford the technical issues, I will put in an image one day or another. The red color came during the post-prod. Although I love black and white, it didn’t suit totally. Red color brings this gloomy, grimy aspect. I do not know if the result corresponds to what the band is, but it remains consistent with the music style… We managed by ourselves with our abilities and resources, we still have a lot to learn, we do tests, we try to experiment things, like this camera movement that goes under the drum, it was a good challenge with our limited technical capabilities and knowleges.

10. If a large label like Metal blade or  Century media came and offered a deal are these things that interest Cortez or is Wooaaargh the perfect home?

Greg : Until now we had many different labels, plus my label Get A Life ! Records. I like it cause it makes us very independent. Money is not really a problem (but we are not rich at all). We can compose, record, release on our own if we want. So we don't need anybody. What i think is good with different small independent labels (on this album we have a French, Swiss, Russian, Belgian, German label) is that they have an audience that is really into what they do. So we can use them to be in touch with many hardcore (not the musical meaning) fans, in different countries. It’s cool like that.
Problem with bigger label, and us, is that we are a pretty small band, so I guess they wont spend a lot of money on us and we will not sell a lot, compared to bigger band that wants that. We don't need to sell a lot. So we don't do that much to sell either. We like to produce music, and tour. If a bigger label wants to produce our music, then it depends on what they offer that we might need. But we don't need them. It’s not a goal.

11.  I do hear  alot of music homage to labels like  Amrep, Revelation and even Slam a ham. Did you grow up as guys loving that hardcore, crust and grind styles?

Greg : Not at all, for me. I don't know these labels. I will do my research. Thanx.
Sam: I was quite familiar with Amrep, I used to listen a lot of Chokebore, Melvins and co,  and I followed Revelation from afar, especially Kiss it Goodbye, but I don’t know at all Slam a ham, thanks for the tip!

12. What music is impressing the members of Cortez Currently?

Greg : Any music made with integrity and heart. In every style. Now I can listen to a Dodecahedron album, or a Kelly Moran one.
Sam: Same as Greg, I can listen to any kind of music, even diametrically opposed.
Antoine : Christian Wolfarth

13. PR seems to be critical in 2018 to get band name out there. Do you feel a good PR team is most important for exposure in 2018?

Greg : I really don't know. I don't really care, honestly. We do promotion in France specially, cause we have good links with this market, and we do international promotion with Dewar. He seems very cool and professional, and he seems to have a good integrity, so I trust him. I like to work people I trust in.

14. Where do you see Cortez next album heading will it be a shock or more found sound now and keeping with it?

Greg : When we did « No More Conqueror » we had no idea about what we would compose. We notice the slight change of style while doing it. We have no plan when we start. Of course we have ideas, but it doesn't mean they are good ones… So I have no clue about what we will do next. What we are talking now is not doing a « No More Conqueror 2 », like we didn't want to do a « Phoebus 2 ». So, we’ll see.

15. Do the members of Cortez have other projects or is this all the 3  of you need?

Greg : I play also some modern jazz music, some rocky tzigan stuff, electronic music with drums, studio for some artists, and more. I’m not pro anymore, cause it’s boring ans stressful. I grow my 2 children and I do music and gardening.
Sam: I’ve some solo stuffs, but it’s very sporadic. I mostly mix for other bands in my home studio, so it takes me almost all my (free) time. With my two boys it’s difficult to do everything that I want.

Antoine :  I currently plays in LEON, Kokhlias@Loulan, has various projects (solo and collaborative) in the field of sound-art and experimental music.

16. How does live to recording differ for band and is there one over other you prefer?

Greg : I like both. It’s different musical situations that require different skills, and bring different rewards.

17. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here

Greg : This world needs more love, so love each other more. The rest will follow.