GUILLAUME BIDEAU (Mnemic) – I have many techniques
- by Rune
- Posted on 15-02-2010
Guillaume Bideau er en fransk vokalist vi først fikk høre om i det franske death metal bandet Scarve. Han skiftet beite i 2006 da han valgte å ta over som vokalist i det danske bandet Mnemic, og der har han holdt seg de siste 4 årene. Guillaume begynte å growle i en alder av 20, han benytter seg av flere teknikker når han synger og han synes det ville vært morsomt å få hørt hva Devin Townsend ville ha svart på disse spørsmålene. Her er The Deepthroat Series med Guillaume Bideau fra Mnemic.
When did you start doing extreme vocals (What year and at what age)?
If you mean screams, growls, etc.. I started at the age of 20. So 11 years ago.
That's also pretty much when I started to be able to put a lot of distortion on my clean vocals.
What made you start to do extreme vocals?
I was singing the clean vocals in a death metal band, Scarve. There were a lot of possibilities of doubling many of the other singer's death parts. We were two singers in the band. So I started with only death vocals. My death vocals were ok for doublings but not for lead vocals. And by the time I found new techniques do be able to do what I do these days.
Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using?
Well not really, hahaha!! But I have many techniques… Some of them need a lot of breath and some others don't. Some of them are low volume and some others are loud! Lots of different approaches. The music naturally tells me which technique I have to use and how I have to sing.
Has your technique changed during your career?
Oh yeah, a lot! Permanently. I just found a new one less than one year ago.
Have you ever hurt yourself by using a "wrong technique"?
It depends on how your vocal chords can distort. For some people it's very easy to add distortion and for some others it's way harder. For me it's way harder. I had to change my techniques for many years before finding one, which is loud, aggressive and natural without forcing. So at the beginning it was hurting a little bit when I had to do a lot of death parts.
Is there something you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?
Not really. I never practice my voice anymore but I run a studio and work on many projects so I pretty much have to sing quite often. Plus I perform pretty often as well so I keep my vocal in shape this way. But when your voice is tired, classical singing is always welcome to put your voice back in place.
Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals?
I've met people who have got nodules by forcing all the time. Not only by screaming. So I would say that singing in general could be dangerous for your vocal chords if you force too much and sing with a really bad unnatural technique. It's really important to force as less as possible.
What is most important for you – to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms, or to have a clear diction/pronunciation?
Both. I'm a maniac in studio. I redo everything until it's perfect. Perfect for me of course, because perfection is subjective.
Do you think that extreme vocals can be made into a science, like "this is how it works for everyone, to make this sound you have to do this etc"? Or is it more intuitive and individual how to do it?
It's definitely more intuitive and individual. There's no universal technique.
Do you have any advice to people who wants to start doing extreme vocals?
Try to force as less as possible. And at the same time, try to be as much aggressive as possible. I know it sounds pretty weird but once you find the right technique; your right technique!; you don't have to force anymore to sound super aggressive.
Mention three extreme vocalists whose style you admire, and explain your choice. What specifically do you like about the styles of those three? Also mention three vocalists (not necessarily extreme vocalists), which you have been influence by, and explain in which way you have been influenced by each of them.
As extreme vocalist I would say Devin Townsend, Chino Moreno and Phil Anselmo.
I don't really know why. Probably because they sound super aggressive. And most of what they do is high pitch and I like it! I really hate death vocals like cannibal corpse, Aborted, Kataklysm, Nile, etc… To me it doesn't sound aggressive but stupid. Just a small death vocal part here and there is OK but not all the time. I don't understand this; it's not my culture. Plus I really this term hate as well: death metal. It sounds really stupid and childish to me. But once again it's a matter of taste.
As not necessarily extreme vocalist I would say Axl Rose, Devin Townsend, Phil Anselmo and Zack de la Rocha. These are the ones who influenced me the most as a rock singer. These fuckers have such great and colourful voices! Plus they sing in a very personal way. Perfect for me!!
Who do you want to challenge in this series? (Who should be the next extreme vocalist to answer these questions?) Give a brief explanation for your choice.
I would say Devin Townsend or Bjorn speed Strid maybe? Bjorn is a friend of mine so I pretty much know his answers but it could be interesting for your readers. As for Devin I would be curious to have his fucked up mind answering these questions, hehehe…