Created by two brothers from Caen, France, known from other projects including Mercury Tales, Et On Tuera Tous Les Affreux (queer acab hardcore punk), Skopje (emo punk) and Død (experimental Doom), new post metal tinged doom project hln (stands for Hélène) and their debut demo is a moody, atmospheric, heavy wonder. Today, to fully immerse in its bleakness, we sat down with the band to give you some more background about their legendary local scene, and share some insights about their craft.
Words by HLN: Julien (guitar, vocals, drum machine), and Benjamin: bass).
We come from a city with a great DIY background, the people who later formed bands like Amanda Woodward or Mort Mort Mort, or Nico from Destructure records were the people we were looking up to. Setting up shows we were attending and that made us want to play in bands, but with that DIY ethics.”
Nowadays, the scene here is more quiet. People from that area got families or moved away.
Yet, we have a nice autonomous place for a few years now, called La Petroleuse, we practice and set up shows there, but yeah, less people are into punk hardcore here I guess than there were in early to mid 2000’s.
The people from Nine Eleven are based in Caen now (they are originally from Le Mans), bands that recently done some stuff are Cemented Minds, Tromblon (who are about to drop a new album)… but yeah, not as prolific as it was once before.
Before the pandemic, Ben and me just noticed that our friends in our bands were not as available as we would like to practice, so we decided we should play the two of us, to satisfy our need to play all the time.
I started writing riffs, mainly influence by bands like Windhand, Acid King, but with my emo/screamo background I guess… and we did our first practice the day of our grand mother funeral, We needed to spend some time together and make some noise to distact us from the pain. She was a big deal to us, practically raised us. She was also always supportive of whatever we were doing. So we decided to name the band after her.
We wrote four songs in one month and a half, then we recorded them at home, in my basement.
Track by track commentary:
Regarder les gens s’aimer:
I wrote the lyrics while watching our friend’s Martin video clip for his project Francis Doomer and the Clubkick for the song « fast cars and bad boys ». (https://youtu.be/ROhElEFHaQc) He lives in a huge flat with some friends, including the singer of my other band, and the video is just them chilling. Seeing them having fun with the sad soundtrack made me kinda depressed. I was really missing them, we haven’t seen each other in weeks because of the lockdown. So yeah, the lyrics are about seeing people loving each other (Regarder les gens s’aimer), while I’m there, lonely and depressed, reflecting on my life, and mainly my past. Wondering where I screwed up, while I’m actually privileged with a job I don’t hate, a house and a long term relationship. All those mixed feelings got me to write those lyrics.
This one is quiet simple. There is no hope anymore. Well, at least I can see none. No hope no futur.
I don’t really need to explain more. We all know the world is doomed.
Contempler le néant:
The lyrics from this one are actually some lyrics from one of the first song I’ve ever written, for a screamo band, that later became Isaie Buried Memorial (https://youtu.be/eFcnPldte7U) it’s pretty much the consequences of the previous song, just sitting here, watching the world falling appart.
Et Puis Pleurer:
This one has a reference to Daitro’s album name « Laisser vivre les squelettes ». I never was a really big fan of Daitro, though we played a bunch of shows with them, but I liked the line.
This one is about depression (big spoiler here…) about letting yourself fall, being afraid of never being able to climb back. Trying, failing, being jealous of other people lives, and then letting your past lives on with you, just admit it, and cry, to finaly pass to something else I guess.
I have a hard time moving along with my past. I had several lives, several bands, several group of friends, got canceled by some, several lovers, and sometimes the nolstagia is overwhelming.
And crying is often liberating.