The first Monday of February, 2015 starts with a fresh new interview with an alternative metal band from Nice, France, XY. Sometimes bands are complicating too much with choosing the right name, but these guys decided to go with a simple name, easy to remember. How could you not remember XY?
They are William, JL, Alex, Joey and Manu and you might heard for them through their quite popular Lady Gaga “Applause” cover (watch below). Not only Lady Gaga, they covered many more bands, from Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot to Linkin Park and Metallica. Even if it seems they are a cover band, they are far from being one of those. They already released three albums with their own music and we can expect the fourth one at the end of this year.
To find out more about this French band called XY, scroll down and read the interview.
1. Tell us who you are, who are band members and where do you come from?
Manu: Hey, we are “XY” and there is 5 of us in the band: William on vocals, JL on lead guitar, Alex on rhythm guitar, Joey on bass and Manu on the drums. We live in French Riviera, in Nice.
2. How long do you guys know each other and when was XY formed. Is the line up the same as when you started, or did any band members change over the years?
Manu: William and I created a rock/metal cover band called “Harmony,” then JL joined us in 2005 and he started writing originals. He asked us to follow him on that way and “XY” was born in 2006. The line up changed a bit. We wanted to have another guitarist in the band so Alex joined us four years later, and since the beginning we’ve had 3 different bass players before Joey joined the line up in summer 2011.
3. I must admit, you have a very interesting name. What’s the story behind XY? Why this name?
Manu: Thank you, we just wanted to have an easy name to remember and to write. People can believe it has something to do with chromosomes or equations but non of that ;-).
4. I saw you made quite a few covers already, from Lady Gaga and Slipknot to Avenged Sevenfold and David Guetta. What made you start doing covers and how excited were you when Lady Gaga tweeted your Applause cover?
Manu: At the beginning we wanted to do “So Far Away” (from Avenged Sevenfold) for fun and because we love that band, also because we’ve been touched by “the Rev’s” death. And when we saw the exponential number of view we realized that we had to continue to do some covers meanwhile we were writing our own songs.
We were very surprised, very excited and proud when we saw that Lady Gaga (which is a very good musician) shared our cover! I remember we were a few hours before a show and William called me to tell me this. It was amazing.
“The road is long and you gotta be prepared if you wanna make it.”– XY
5. When and how did you get into metal music?
Manu: Since I was a little boy my father made me discover rock music through Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd and when I was 12 years old, I started listening to Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dream Theater, Halloween, etc. So I think I can say that I was born with rock and metal music in my head and blood ;-).
Joey: My father was a rock drummer, so I’ve been listening to rock music since I was born. When I was around 12 years old, I discovered “Hybrid Theory” by Linkin Park, my first metal album and I became an instant fan! After I listened to heavier music like Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, A7x, Disturbed, I was in love with this powerful music due to heavy riffs and heavy sound, and I always wanted to play this kind of music! And now, I do it with XY! =).
Will: I was not born with metal music around me like the others. Until I was 14, I listened to French and Italian pop songs and after that, French and American hip-hop. But then came the day when I discovered Dream Theater and Metallica. I became a real fan of those 2 bands and started to play guitar and sing :).
JL: I started playing music at the age of 5 with piano. My parents were used to listen to jazz and classical music but around the age of 14, a friend of mine got me into rock/metal with Metallica and their album “Load.” From this moment on, I switched to guitar.
6. Since you are on the scene for quite a long time I am sure you went through many challenges. Was there ever a time when you simply want to quit?
Manu: Actually, we had many challenges and I think there will be many more, that’s the price to pay to grow up and reach the success. Sometimes it’s very hard but life isn’t easy, you have to fight for your dreams, so I’ll never stop.
7. What was XY’s biggest success in 2014?
Manu: I think XY’s biggest success in 2014 was the US tour in May and the “Sunstorm Festival” in Germany in July. Both were amazing. We played our last album and it was very appreciated by our fans and people who didn’t know us.
Also we were very proud when Avenged Sevenfold mentioned on their Facebook the tribute song we wrote for them: “DEATHBAT.”
8. What advice would XY give to band that are just starting up?
Manu: I think the best advice we could give is to never give up, never stop, always fight and give the best! Because the road is long and you gotta be prepared if you wanna make it…
9. What was the last album you bought?
Manu: The last album I bought was “The Gray Chapter” by Slipknot.
Joey: For me “Restoring Force” by Of Mice And Men.
Will: I don’t buy albums anymore since Spotify exists:). These days I listen to Five Finger Death Punch.
JL: Will is right! I’m into “All Hope Is Gone” by Slipknot these days!
10. Next time I go to France, what food you recommend I should try?
Manu: Cheese and wine! But there is too much different food in our country and the best is to taste all of it! ;-)
11. I believe you guys are open to all kinds of music. What is the strangest music (band, genre, whatever) you ever heard and liked?
Manu: I listen to all kind of music. I love metal, rock reggae, funck, Italian songs (for lovers, lol), but I think Skrillex is the strangest music I have ever heard and I really like it!!!
Joey: Hardtechno or hardtek, heavy electro music. I can’t listen to this everyday, but sometimes I like it.
Will: I listen a lot of stuff, mainly metal music, but I have to admit that I like Lady Gaga, Stromae, Eminem,…
JL: Skrillex is pretty innovative and amazing but last year when we played in Germany we discovered a band called Knorkator, which is the strangest thing I’ve ever heard, and their concert was… impressive and crazy.
12. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there?
Manu: We have many local shows in our area but we’re working on planning a new US tour, maybe a few gigs in Spain and Germany. You should be there because when you come to one of our shows you won’t regret it. We found what really makes us feel good on stage and this can be felt by the audience.
13. Finish this sentence: If I were a French baguette…
Manu: If I were a French baguette I would like to travel all around the world so people can taste me ;-).
Joey: If I were a French baguette I would eat myself :D.
Will: If I were a French baguette I would fill myself with a big piece of meat and tomato ketchup, then I would eat myself after a show :).
JL: If I were a French baguette my life would have been much too short… I would have known only cheese.
14. Your top 3 currently most played songs.
– “Walking On Solid Ground” by XY
– “Count The Tuscany” by Dream Theatre
– “Welcome To The Family” by Avenged Sevenfold
– “Hostage” by Dangerkids
– “Bones Exposed” by Of Mice & Men
– “Shadow Moses” by Bring Me The Horizon
– “Walking On Solid Ground” by XY
– “Gematria” by Slipknot
– “Shadow Moses” by BMTH
– “Psychosocial” by Slipknot
– “Happy” by Palisades (originally performed by Pharrell Williams)
– The next single we are working on ;)
15. What does the future hold for XY? When can we expect your forth album?
Manu: Hopefully many shows, that’s our main goal. The fourth album should come around the end of this year.
16. Would you like to thank anyone?
Manu: I would like to thank all my family and friends for their patience and support, all our fans everywhere, because without them we are nothing!
And thank you for this interview.
Joey: Thanks to my family especially my father, all my friends who supported me, all the fans, the band (XY) for this great adventure and you for the interview :D.
Will: Like Manu says, family, friends, and most of all, XY fans. But also Matt Shadows and Synyster gates for their help and support ;).
JL: Many people but to name some: my parents, A7x and Suzy Haner, my bro Shreyas Nanda, Greg Michael Harper and Achim!