1. First, please tell us about the history of the band, how it started and the activities until the present day.

Baptiste : The band started ages ago in the mighty year of 2005 when I met Adrian the drummer. We were 14 and 15. We were only a few metalheads in our small town school, so we naturally started to play music together. Back in the day, we had really no plans in mind. It was just about taking pleasure (which is still the band’s main goal). From the very beginning, we composed songs of our own about the things we loved and our social environment. It was dealing with rugby, vine and wine (our first song was called “Wine land”), parties…It was raw Heavy Metal. The turning point was the discovey of a band from our region called Nadau. It’s not Heavy metal, neither rock, just Gascon pop music (pop stands for popular, not pop like in J-pop) with some electric guitars and plenty of traditional instruments. Thanks to them, we got really interested in our endemic culture. I started to learn the boha (Gascon bagpipe) and the Gascon language. We developed the traditional sing along way of singing and we naturally found or sound signature.

So one day, in 2009 we realise that we had enough songs to put out a full album. We took plenty of time to find a decent way to record the album by ourselves (even though it was shitty material when we look at it now), to find the right mixer, the right graphic designer…and moreover Adrian was far away from Gascony because of his job. That’s why it took 4 years.

“Enradigats” (meaning: rooted) saw the light of the day in 2013. We didn’t expect anything from anyone but we had stunning reviews about it in the press –metal or not- and everyone enjoyed the disc. What a good surprise it was. It really motivated us to find other musicians to play live, because it was impossible to reproduce the album on stage just with 2 people. So in one year, we found the 5 right guys to play with us, and they became -or they already were- good friends (I will introduce them below).

Now with a solid live line-up, we jumped on stage several times. It was a really nice feeling to see our tiny project becoming real, to expose it to people who gave us back our energy. We get so enthusiastic that we recorded a second album “Volentat” (meaning : will) in 2016. Its getting a really warm welcome from everyone, maybe even more so than the first one. That’s where we are today.

2. Let us ask about the concept of Boisson Divine, and if there are, principles of the band.

Also, we are interested in the French lyrics of the band, and would like to ask you why the band chose to sing in French, with a certain dialect.

Baptiste : It’s not French, it’s GASCON!!! And it’s not a dialect, it’s a fuckin’ LANGUAGE!!! Understood? Don’t ever mess with Gascony, you fool! :)

To be more serious, we only used French on 3 songs in “Enradigats” because these are the first songs we wrote and we were not great Gascon speakers yet. Unconsciously, Gascon fitted very well to that kind of songs. Direct, hard and conqueror. We evolved in a more melodic way and the Gascon language –which is more lyrical because it’s derivate from Latin with a Basque influence-, fits perfectly to that style of epic songs.

What you have to know about Gascon language is that it is dying. We have to be honest about it. After the French “revolution” in 1789, the French became the only authorised language in the country. They declare an insidious war against all the languages of their so called “republic”. All local languages were forbidden at school. For example, teachers used to give a stone to the last pupil being caught speaking Gascon in class which meant a written punishment. To get rid of the stone, he had to catch another pupil speaking Gascon in class, and it goes on and on until the end of the day. So as you see, it was a very vicious way to impose their language. But it didn’t work until the 50’s. Everyone was talking both languages and people of my grand-fathers generation were all natural born speakers. But it started to decline after World War 2. We lost many men, we had to replace them. A lot of Italian and Spanish farmers came running out from the dictators and with the beginning of globalisation, people start moving a lot. So naturally, French became the main language.

Nowadays, you will barely hear it in the street. Only the people who are interested speak it. I don’t blame anyone and I’m not angry about it. It’s just the way the things happen and we can’t change the past. But you can be sure that as long as we are alive, Gascon will survive. It’s our legacy, and we don’t want to deny it. We want to follow the way of our father’s and keep their memory alive as long as we can -even though we really march against the wind-. Some people say that the children should better learn English and that is an “identitarian closure” but, fuck them, for me its part of the world’s richness. We can also speak good English, communicate and share our culture with the rest of the world. I’ve worked for 3 month in New-Zealand and it was a real “plus” for me to exchange my culture with the others. I was not only a French person amongst the others. I had something more to talk with people about and I could teach them some words and they taught me some vocabulary as well.


3. We noticed that the band is centered upon two members, are the rest of the members unstable?

There seems to be support members during live shows, may we ask what kind of musical activities they are involved in?

Baptiste : The answer lies in question 1 but I can introduce you the rest of the band.

Pierre plays the boha. It’s traditional bagpipe. The last boha player died in the late 50’s but fortunately a luthier discover one of these in a museum in the 70’s and started to make them again. Nowadays there are 4 or 5 boha makers and more than 200 players and it is increasing. This instrument is really back from the dead. Compared to the Highland bagpipe, it’s tinier and you can produce 3 different notes with the drones instead of one, which gives it a unique touch. Possibilities are endless. Pierre is also playing with the famous folk-metal band Skiltron.

Ayla is playing a traditional 3 holes flute called the “flabuta” wich is sometimes associated to a stringed-tambourine called “toum-toum”. She can also sing and play the Hurdy-gurdy. She’s the only girl in the band. She brings the female touch in a band of rustic guys.

Luca is playing the rhythm guitar. He can play solo as well but he is shy. He is afraid to be in the light but unfortunately he is the most beautiful man that the gods ever made so all the girls –and the boys- are looking at him. We play rugby together in the same team but he plays number 9 and some rugby purists says that real rugby players stop at number 8. Too bad for him… He lacks a bit of fat.

Florent is playing the bass. So as you guess, I have nothing to say about him because no one ever wants to know that much about the bass player. Except when the bass player is Steve Harris.

Adrian is playing the drums and he can sing. So basically, he just beat on animal skins and shouts. He is the most Neanderthalic guy in the band. He is also a great cooker which will be very useful if we have to tour one day.

I play the guitar and I sing most of the time. I learn singing in my car so we always put distortion on the bass to remind me the sound of a motor. If not, I’m not able to perform.


4. While there are many Folk-Metal bands nowadays, are there elements you are aware of when making Boisson Divine’s music, to differentiate from the other bands? 

Baptiste : Simply, I think our culture is enough to differentiate ourselves from the other bands. We use a language that nearly no one ever heard before and traditional instrumentswhich can only be find in our land. Moreover we are honest and we bring a real culture that is existing and alive (even though if it tends to disappear) on stage. We are not surfing on the folk-metal fashion and pretend to be Vikings or Celts. We are what we are in the real life, and it’s just a reflection of our lives, or our father’s lives. We do talk about our mythology, heroes and legends because we are really fond of it but not only that, we want the people to know that Gascony is still alive, that’s why we talk about current things as well. I think that a culture should not be carved in the past. We got to keep it evolving a little bit to make it alive. That’s why we blend traditional music with Heavy Metal. I mean, I really like pure traditional music bands and I don’t want them to change but sometimes it’s hard to export and rare are the bands which are known overseas. We know that with our Heavy Metal side we can touch people that would have never heard of our culture. And it’s a great opportunity to show what we really are to the rest of the world. And that’s how I’m doing an Interview with a Japanese magazine…

5.Having read the band’s website, Boisson Divine seems to be influenced by 80′s heavy metal, Folk Metal and local bands,

and we believe that the band have generated a truly unique sound by adopting those sounds in a skillfull manner.

For example, the song « Quin Braguèr » has made a distinct sound by introducing the phrase from « La Danse de l’ours », and it was very impressive.

How are these ideas born?

Baptiste : It really came naturally. “La danse de l’ours” (meaning : the bear dance) is a very popular song and we put it in the middle of “Quin Braguèr” because we really like this tune. Or maybe because we were running out of inspiration, so we stole the song from the unknown composer. A strange fact with “La danse de l’ours” is that you can find a version of it in Hungaria with a very similar name. They also have their own bagpipe called “Duda” which is looking pretty similar to the boha once you take all the decorations off. It’s interesting because we don’t have so much in common with Hungarians despite the fact we are both Europeans-. We know nothing about the Boha’s origin. I don’t know if Hungarians knows about Duda’s Origin. We should maybe ask them. Or we can imagine something :

***Christopher Lee’s voice***

A long time ago, in the age of the red moon, Magyars try to invade Gascony but the opposite side was too strong with their army of mighty dragons with steel bérets. They failed. A prisoner was captured and enslaved during the battle. He was forced to stay there and forced to learn the lands culture, including boha playing. But, on a cold starless night, he was left alone with no surveillance, because everyone in the town gets drunk in celebrating the victory over the nearest village rugby team. So he escaped on the back of a goat. The only thing he could carry was a boha and he used it as a food bag. But he quickly ran out of food and he had no choice other than kill the goat to survive. To honour the beast, he took the skull and fixed it on the top of the boha. That’s how the Duda was created”.

Yep, it can definitely be a 17 minutes epic song on the third album…

6. If there are other songs which adopted phrases from existing folk music, may we ask of their original title?

Also, we would like to know if there are folk musicians which influenced Boisson Divine.


Baptiste : Yes, on “enradigats”, the song “Hilhotà de delà l’aiga” is a traditional song from a valley in Bearn, usually sung acappella like most of the traditional songs. We can’t date it, too ancient. On “Volentat”, you have “Los tilholèrs” which was composed by Pèir de Lesca who lived in the 18th century. It deals with sea sailors of Baiona area (which is not and will never be part of the Basque country, of course). You also have the twin guitars soli on “Sent pançard” where you can hear “Aqueras montanhas”, the most popular Gascon song written –according to the legend- by Gaston Febus, a lord of the 14th century.

We are not influenced by a particular folk musician because it’s a popular music and there is no “Gascon folk music superstar”. Of course, some people are more famous than others one but everyone can be a musician. Its spontaneous music so everyone can bring his instrument to the pub or any other place, join the circle and play. We have got singing circles called “cantèras” where you can find very different levels. One studied music in a music school, his circle neighbour only sings in this bathroom on Sunday and one is a teenager who came to sing along with his grand-mother…As I previously said, its popular music -music by the people- so there’s no ego-conflicts.

But we are very influenced by bands like “Nadau”, “Los pagalhós” or “L’ouzoum”. They are singing a couple of traditional songs but they compose new songs in traditional ways (or sometimes not). It’s a good example of how you can make our ancient culture enter the 21 century and keep it exciting and fresh.

7. What are the bands which you listen often or favor, regardless of influences to Boisson Divine?

Baptiste : One of the bands we all listen to is Iron Maiden. We are big fans and our passion for the Irons brought us together to play at the very beginning. Yes, it all started with Maiden. Personally, I’m keen on Heavy and Power Metal : Accept, Edguy, Avantasia, Judas Priest, Dio, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Unisonic, Manowar, Blind guardian, Rainbow, Hammerfall, Grand Magus, Sabaton and the Mighty Rhapsody of Fire!

In Folk Rock/Metal : the main influence is Dropkick Murphy’s. We listen so often to them in third half-time when we were teenagers (after the first and second half’s of a rugby match,there is the third half – where everyone has a big drink together). And also, It make sense that Hantaoma was a major influence at the beginning.

In terms of traditional Gascon bands, refer to question 6. You can Also add bands like : Vox Bigerri, Daunas de còr or Balaguèra.

And finally, I am huge fan of the band Credence Clearwater Revival. It brought me to listen some classic rock band from the 60’s like : The Animals, The Box tops or the Turtles.

8. Boisson Divine has released a second album this March, please tell us about this album from the band’s point of view.

The first album was impressive, but we feel that the second album has evolved even further.

What are the impressions you hold to the second album, and please share with us if there are points you would like the audience to concentrate on.

Baptiste : We are still proud of our first record. It was a good reflection of our teenage life on the borders of Riscle. Direct, ass-kicking, full of energy and optimistic. Of course all these adjectives can fit to our second record but I think “Volentat” is going further in many ways. We evolve from teenagers to young boys (We are only 24-25 years old now) and unconsciously it impacts our music. I wouldn’t say that it’s the “maturity album” because it’s too cliché -and we still talk about picking mushrooms or tits- but you can feel that the songs are more epic, longer, diversified. We really develop the melodic side in the singing and it really adds something more intense to the song. Also, some subjects are more serious and you can feel a deeper atmosphere like in “Pujar” were we talk about elevation –be it spiritual or physical- or “Aiga d’aur” were we speak about Armagnac, our local Brandy in a very poetic way and comparing it to a woman instead of doing just another drinking song.

I am aware that a part of our audience may prefer “Enradigats” because it got this first record innocence that you can’t reproduce and some songs are really brut. But I think that “Volentat” is more adventurous. It still got this very catchy vibe but we make our style evolve without denying it. I really want the people to listen to this album with headphones because there are many details adding richness to the songs, a great variety of instruments in the arrangements.

Focus on the lyrics too (Check them on the bandcamp translated in English. Our physical booklet is shitty). We are not only saying bullshit and dumb facts about over-drinking parties. You can pick some historic and cultural subjects and we spend a lot of time writing them.

I want you to focus on the solos as well. They are not technical or demonstrative, there are just melodic and you can sing the majority of them. I’m not very keen on shredders. Of course some of them are very impressive but sometimes it’s just guitar masturbation and at the end of the song you can’t remember anything except the sound of a helicopter crashing down. I like guitarists like Wolf Hoffman, who are not over the top. We all know that this guy is a technical beast but his solo are always made to serve the song and not to demonstrate that he is the best or the fastest guitarist the world ever. Sure, he can go fast but he always stays melodic and full of feeling. For example, one of my favourite solo is the one in “Touch too much” by AC/DC. Simple but efficient.

I also have to say that I’m not a very good guitar player and I’m totally unable to shred. That’s maybe why I’ve found so many excuses not to shred.

9. Have there been any changes to the band, from 2013 when you released the first album to the present day where you released the second album?

Also, from the Boisson Divine’s perspective, what are the changes or differences between the second and the first album? 

Refer to question 8.

10. What kind of old instruments does the band use during live performances and recording, and how many of them are there?

Baptiste : As I said previously, the main instrument is the “boha”, which I have already introduced. Pierre just received his new handmade “boha” by Yan Cozian, a very sophisticated one with many possibilities. We have so much we can do with it. You can hear the “flabuta”, a traditional three hole flute, played with a strange instrument of the land : the ‘toum toum” (stringed tambourine) which is half the size of Ayla. It only can produce two notes and we use it as a rhythmic instrument. So much to carry for such limited possibilities… But it’s a funny one so we keep it. You can also hear chromatic accordion, whistle or mandolin. The polyphonic way of singing can be considered has an instrument too. We may gonna use more old instruments in the future. There are many sleeping treasures waiting for us but I can’t tell you more about it.

11. Please tell us about the French Metal music scene from your perspective.

French folk metal bands like Hantaoma, Stille Volk, Valuatir, and Bran Barr are sometime seen in Japanese record shop, are there any acqaintance with these bands?

Baptiste : Especially with those bands, you’re right! Hantaoma put out their first record just right after we created the band. Adrian already was a huge fan of Stille Volk, but when they turned into metal it was just the album we all expected. What a Blast! They are the first Gascon Metal band, we didn’t invent anything we are usurpators ! So yes, it definitely influenced us at the very beginning.

You have to know that I have already recorded the rhythmic guitars for the second Hantaoma album which will be out this year. Patrice Roques, one of the headmasters called me one day and said to me : “Do you want to record the rhythmic guitars on the new Hantaoma album? My shoulder is injured and I’m not as good as I used to be 10 years before” Fuck yes, It’s a great honour! I didn’t expect it at all. The circle comes back around.

Also, Fëarann from Valuatir record the bass and some bagpipes on the new Hantaoma. So, even if we never met, we are on the same disc.

12. Please share with us if there are any French bands or musicians which Boisson Divine would like to introduce to the world.

Baptiste : You should check “Marilis Orionna”. She’s sometimes associated to what we called “World Music” event though it’s a stupid term. She’s producing a kind of acoustic and experimental music and she sings in our language. It’s quite disturbing sometimes but always interesting and she’s a great poet. Listen to “la valsa aquera” or “que’t balharei la man”

And also a very well-know band called Soldat Louis. They are from Brittany. They use bagpipes and other folk instruments mixed with rock or popular music but they sing in French. Their lyrics are often dealing with sailor stories. Listen to the songs “C’est un pays” and “Pavillon noir”. This, Dropckik Murphy’s and Nadau were 85% of what we were listening after a rugby match.

13. Although Boisson Divine has just released the second album, are there plans for the third album?

What are the plans for the future?

Baptiste : Oh yes! You know that the last song for “Enradigats” was composed in 2009? The album came out in 2013 so during these 4 years we had the time to compose plenty songs. The majority is on “Volentat” but we didn’t want the disc to exceed 45 minutes. So we keep some of them in the back of our minds.

The last song on “Volentat” was composed in August 2014. So you guess that it’s the same story. On this day, I can say to you that 90% of the music is ready. We don’t know which song will appear on the next album yet but it’s getting clearer in my head. It will be as heavy, epic and catchy that the previous one but the folk-side will be shining under the spotlight and you can wait for some new experimentation. It’s important for us to try new things (even though it’s not drastic changes) to keep it going. Personally, I don’t like to do the same things over and over. We still have a lot to do, especially with the lyrics but I think that it will deal with Gascony . What a surprise isn’t it?

 So, wait for it in 2018 or 2019. I know that it’s a long time to wait but we are not a professional band and we don’t want to become one. We want a keep it as a hobby to not destroy this kind of innocent spirit which inhabit us. When you start mixing artistry and creation with money, you can drift away from your initial goal. We don’t want it to happen and we like many things outside of music. I need this diversity and balance in my life.

14. Could we have a message from the band, for the Japanese readers of this Fanzine?

Bapiste : Thanks a lot for the interview, it’s an honour. You have to know that the first disc we ever sold on the internet was ordered by a Japanese guy. It was really surprising for us. We are no one, we came out of nowhere. When we started the band, we didn’t though one second that our music could touch people so far away from us with total different cultures. It’s really motivating and it makes us realise that finally, our music can be universal. So thanks to you and maybe that one day we will have enough fans in Japan to give shows and exchange some Saké with Armagnac.

Adishatz and Itadakimasu.


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