First Fragment Gets Exposed!!

The Canadian metal movement has given us First Fragment– and their release of Dasein, a creation of melodic riffs inspired by neoclassical sounds. Their masterpiece was released on May 20th. via Unique Leader Records, this band can shred and be technical all at once. The extreme sounds projected by Guitarists Gabriel Brault-Pilon and Phillipe Tougas are exuberayting. We had a chat with the guys of this remarkable band and hit some nerves, but nonetheless we were able to get you guys in the door of their inspiring life. Check out what the guys had to say to some obnoxious questions and some intriguing ones.

Hostile Jo:   ” What drives the band to create such tech death metal?”

First Fragment:  If you’re asking about what is driving us to create music this technical, I would say first that the main purpose of our music was never to be as “technical” as possible. Technique is just a tool and not an end in itself. When it comes to the way we play our riffs, we simply do not limit ourselves when it comes to creating the most detailed melodies possible. Our main drive is the will to create songs and riffs that are as memorable as possible, regardless if they’re considered “technical” or not. They are perceived by many to be extremely technical, but the progressions underneath these riffs are often extremely simplistic! You’d be surprised at how many chord progressions we’ve borrowed from traditional heavy metal bands alone…

HJ:  “Where do you get inspiration for the melody on songs like Emergence?”

FF: “It’s hard to say. This specific song was written very…spontaneously, and a very long time ago. The riffs just popped in our heads out of nowhere and we went along with it. It was co-written by Gabriel and me. A lot of old riffs that were written for another band were also added to the mold, and were transformed to fit with the song’s flow and vibe so it didn’t end up being a riff salad. If this question was about a song like L’entité, I’d say the inspiration came from 80’s power/neoclassical metal bands and flamenco music, but Émergence is a weird mix of a lot of stuff.”

HJ: “What made you sing in French only and not in English?”

FF: “Because we’re from Quebec and we speak French. It’s pretty logical, and it baffles me that people consider this choice to be weird. English isn’t the only language on the planet! There is also another reason though. David’s English is…not exactly coherent. At first, half of the lyrics on the album were in English but they terribly paled in comparison to his French lyrics which floored us. It didn’t make sense to sing in two languages and have the English half not on-par with the other half, so we decided to write solely in French and translate the English lyrics back to French.”

HJ: “Would you consider singing any songs in English?”
FF: “Nope.”

HJ: “What was the process during the recording of Dasein?”

FF: “We were very fortunate to have the chance to work with some of the most patient and talented engineers around – Mathieu Marcotte (rhythm/clean/classical/bass guitar recording, mastering), Hugues Deslauriers (lead guitar recording, bass and guitar re-amping, mixing), Zack Ohren (Drum Recording) and my father Pierre Tougas (Vocal recording). However, many things occurred during the process that made the whole thing a nightmare. We never were available at the same time so it dragged. Mathieu Marcotte’s computer got stolen by some crook (whom I hope died of cancer) and our previous drummer left before the drum recording so it delayed things considerably.

We had to find a new session drummer and searched for 3 months before finding Troy Fullerton of Severed Savior to learn and record the whole album. He learned the whole thing quite quickly though, considering how many tracks, fills and riffs he had to memorize not to mention he had to create new arrangements as well. This album is over 55 minutes after all! By February 2015 we were all done. We had started in August 2013. I’m sure many bands have gone through something similar before (if not longer). The process was painful, but the end result was worth it!”

HJ: “The bass is prominent in the entire album, do you believe its important to be able to hear those killer bass notes?”

FF: “Yes. Otherwise, what is the point of even recording bass on an album if it’s not even going to be audible? Especially when there is so much hard work put into the creation of these basslines. I hate when the bass is buried under the mix regardless of what genre I’m listening to. Listen to Watchtower’s Control and Resistance or Cirith Ungol’s King of the Dead and tell me those albums would be just as good if the bass was 3 times quieter. Overly loud bass or no bass at all is my new motto.”

HJ: “The flamenco sounds can definitely be heard through out the album, however, “Prelude En Sol Diese Minuer”, is classical what makes you say hey let me add this song into a tech metal album? And what do you expect the audience to think?”

FF: “We’ve always included classical/jazz influenced intros in our songs. We decided to make a full song out of something like that to break the album in two and give the album a chance to breathe. We also liked the contrast between putting a classical-influenced song right before our most evil-sounding song (Archétype).  The song fits perfectly with the band’s classical influences and is a direct tribute to Paganini and JS Bach. The audience can think whatever they like. If they think it doesn’t fit, they’re simply wrong and it’s their problem.” 

HJ: “Who is your favorite composer from the classical era and why?”

FF: “Renaissance : Not familiar with any
Baroque : Handel, Vivaldi, Bach
Classical : Haydn
Romantic : Paganini, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Brahms
Modernist : Shostakovich, Xenakis, Schoenberg, Messiaen
Reasons : too many. Go ahead and judge my pleb taste in classical music.”

HJ: “The line up is all over the place, and you do have some guests’ appearances, will there ever be solid line-up, for both touring and recording sessions?”

FF: “It’s not over the place. We had to work with Troy Fullerton for the album recording since we lost our previous drummer. Samuel Santiago (ex-Gorod) joined in 2015 after the recording was long-finished, and joined as our full-time permanent drummer (both live and studio). We’d work with Troy again for an album if Samuel suddenly died from spontaneous combustion but that’s unlikely haha. We have a solid line-up now thanks to Samuel. The guest appearances on our album have nothing to do with the band’s line-up though.”

HJ: “What has been you favorite album release of 2016 thus far?”

FF: “The new Blood Incantation album. It’s not out until August but I am part of their inner circle so I’ve heard the whole album a whiiiiiile ago. It makes all other modern death metal bands look and sound like amateurs.”

HJ: “What are the touring plans?”
FF: “We have a small tour coming up in July. It’s still too early to tell you about our other plans because it’s still in the works. But it’s coming soon!”

HJ: “Who would be your ideal line up for your tour?”

FF: “Something that features at least ONE of these bands : Toxik, Coroner, Nocturnus, Cacophony, Martyr, Symphony X, etc. Or opening for a Tony MacAlpine tour.”

HJ: “How more do you want to accomplish with this side project, can we expect a second full-length album?”

FF: “First Fragment is not a side-project. You can expect a 2nd, 3rd, 4th album, tours and so on… We’re not in a hurry but we plan on making everything happen!”

For more on First Fragment just click here.



4 thoughts on “First Fragment Gets Exposed!!

  1. “The extreme sounds projected by Guitarist Gabriel Brault-Pilon and Philippe Tougas****** are exuberating”

    There are two guitarists in the band ; )

    Thanks !


    • You are right!!! I added the other talented guitarist, I knew I had forgotten something on this killer article/ interview Thanks for the feed back keep shredding guys!!


  2. Pingback: First Fragment-Unleashes the First of Multiple Guitar Playthrough Videos. |

  3. Pingback: FIRST FRAGMENT: Canadian Neoclassical Tech Death Collective Announces First Ever US Tour This Fall |

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