Interview with Harun Demiraslan and Florent Marcadet of Step In Fluid

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Interview by Jason Guest

Jason: Thanks for taking time out for this interview. According to your Facebook bio, Step In Fluid was a long time in the making. What was it that drew you together?

Harun Demiraslan: Well, I started to work on groovy stuff three years ago apart from Trepalium. During that time, I frequently met with Florent Marcadet, well known as Klone‘s drummer he’s also a good friend of mine. I asked him if he wanted to form a band around these new ideas. He said yes and we quickly started working together to further develop the project. Then we asked our mutual friend and talented guitarist Aldrick Guadagnino to join the group. He became very interested in the project, and accepted our proposal. Later, one month before the recording of One Step Beyond, Florent heard about the bass player Stéphane Dupé. We didn’t know him before but we thought he could be interested too by Step In Fluid because of the music style. We reached him and tried a rehearsal. As we expected, he really liked the concept and said yes too. After finishing rehearsals with the new bassist, we went into the studio. Under the leadership of the producer Fabien Guilloteau (Nomad Studio), Step In Fluid finally found its shape as a band with the recording of our first album during April 2010.

Jason: When did writing begin for Step In Fluid? Was it before or after the band was together?

Harun: It was before the creation of the band.  Actually, I started to compose some themes around 2007.

Jason: Is the writing a collaborative effort? Do you jam ideas out or do you write individually and bring ideas to the band for completion?

Harun: Well, I always had a part in composition because I have a bigger affinity with the writing rather than with the guitar performance, but everybody is free to compose. Of course, sometimes Florent brings some cool drumming parts too. The track, ‘As we Dance’ is built around two of his drum patterns for example. Aldrick and Stephane integrated the band just right before the recording so they mostly worked on arrangements with us. So for this first album, I wrote most of the music and then other musicians brought their personal touch during rehearsal.

Jason: Does the approach to writing differ for Step In Fluid than with your other bands?

Harun: Yes and no. When you work with another team you have to think differently. In my case, I have to juggle with more possibilities when I’m writing for Step In Fluid because of the style. There are much more nuances and more space in that approach of music, than metal.

Florent Marcadet: I think that the main thing, which has changed, is the way of listening. Playing smoothly is a performance for us. After 15 years of punk, metal, hardcore, it’s not natural to give way to the nuances. Last year, we did a gig with Paul Brousseau (keyboard) and Matthieu Metzger (saxophone) who play with jazzmen like Louis Sclavis or Marc Ducret, among others. I remember a rehearsal just before the show. We started to jam and this sharing moment made me understand many things. For the first time of my life, I played a solo from the beginning to the end, without fear or shame, and with the intense pleasure to express what I had deep inside me. Was it musically good or not? I don’t know and it’s not very important. What matters is that each musician felt the space, which he had to give to the other one. In my mind, that was possible thanks to a good quality of listening. I was discovering what is very common for many jazz musicians: the improvisation and the authenticity of the instant. It may be a cliché but it’s not obvious for guys like us who have evolved a long time in a music genre where everything is fixed. I think we’re torn between the effectiveness of a good catchy song and the freedom that jazz can offer but which is riskier.

Jason: Are there any particular influences that had a significant effect on the writing for One Step Beyond?

Harun: Sure! Our music comes from different genres like funk, jazz, rock & metal music. So many artists have influenced us in many different ways like King Crimson, Herbie Hancock or even Meshuggah. In fact, this first album could be defined as a Hybrid jazzcore experiment

Florent: We could also quote The Roots, Tower of Power, D’Angelo, Dr Dre, Earth Wind and Fire…

Jason: You’re all clearly technically adept musicians. How do you work to ensure that technique doesn’t overshadow the music?

Harun: Personally, I mostly work technique for what I compose so I manage to keep the essential of an idea even if I start to arrange in a technical way.

Florent: Yes, technique is very important but it has to stay a tool to express an idea or an emotion. A simple groove often sounds better than a technical demonstration and we don’t want to make music only for musicians.

Jason: Can you tell us about the artwork? Who’s the artist? Why did you choose to work with them? And did you give them any specific direction?

Florent: Concerning the artwork, we’ve decided to work with Lise Marie Gauch, a French photographer who evolves, among other things, in the rock’n’roll and skateboard world. We looked for street atmosphere and Lise Marie’s work has this urban spirit. Step In Fluid expresses movement so we needed something dynamic and a bit circular. We shared ideas of textures, colors… and she brought to light perfectly what we had in mind.

Jason: How did you work around the scheduling between bands for writing and recording?

Florent: Honestly, it’s quite complicated. We don’t have a lot of time to develop Step. Trepalium and Klone are going to release a new album; Stéphane has a lot of gigs with his salsa band. Also I’m working on the new album of Hacride (French progressive metal)… But we’re all crazy about Step and we’ll do our best to defend it in the future.

Jason: Any plans to gig/tour in support of the album? If so, will we be seeing you in the UK?

Florent: For the moment, there’s no plan of tour support. The problem stays the same for every band: money. We need to invest to make some tours, to set up a good promotion… But that would be awesome to tour in UK and I’m sure that will be possible one day!

Jason: What’s the future for Step In Fluid? Will you be writing, recording, and releasing more material?

Florent: Yes, of course. This is the beginning of a beautiful musical story for us. I really hope we’ll be able to compose a new album during 2013. Step brings us so much freshness! We all need recreation and this band is definitely one of the funniest amusement park where I’ve ever been.

Jason: How do you see the future of Step In Fluid and its musical development?

Florent: Our purpose is to tempt people to dance and we’ll keep this state of mind. We talk about a voice for certain songs, new guests… There’s nothing established and that’s precisely what we love in Step.

Jason: Many thanks for taking time out for this interview. Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Florent & Harun: Thank you very much. I hope we’ll see you in live. Till then, just keep grooving!

And you can read Jason’s review of One Step Beyond here