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20th November 2008
One-Way Mirror is a French rock/metal act formed by 5 friends better known for belonging to bands such as Mnemic and Soilwork. As Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork and One-Way Mirrorís drummer) is sound checking, I meet with the rest of the band in their comfy backstage room a short while before their support slot for Soilwork taking place tonight at the Islington Academy. After a bit of chit chat in our native tongue, I have to explain to the guys that itís much easier for me to do this interview in English as it will save me to translate it all later. A couple of beers popped open and here we goÖ
METAL DISCOVERY: How are you feeling tonight?
FRANCK POTVIN: Great! We are feeling very good and itís always a pleasure to play in London. Personally, I like this town and Islington Academy is a good venue that has a very good sound and good PAs. Itís the last gig in the UK so itís going to be crazy.
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(Franck Potvin on his best touring memoryÖor what to do when you break your hand)
"Itís funny because now, 2 years later, some people recognise me as the guy who sang naked in Glasgow!"
Franck, Guillaume, Loic, and David backstage at London's Islington Academy, 20th November 2008
Photograph copyright © 2008 Kristell Gathoye - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Kristell Gathoye
GUILLAUME BIDEAU: Itís always the same when you do a UK tour, you go to a few different cities where no press turns up but London is always the key gig for bands. A bit more pressure but fuck the pressure, we can do this!
DAVID POTVIN: Usually, we are being asked what it means. [ed. Mirror which is partially reflective and partially transparent]
Official One-Way Mirror Website:
Official One-Way Mirror MySpace:
One-Way Mirror (2008)
Thanks to Andy Turner at Metal Blade UK for arranging the interview
LOIC COLIN: I think the major thing is that this band is very different from all our other bands. [ed. Mnemic; Soilwork; Lyzanxia; Scarve]
MD: How is the tour going so far?
FP: Fucking well! The first gig was a little bit messy but then it got better and the gig in Amsterdam was great. A lot of fans turned up there.
GB: Itís pretty cool to be on tour with Soilwork as they are friends of ours. Weíve been on tour with them many times so itís always a pleasure to share a bus. A lot of fun.
MD: You must have heard this question a few times but why did you choose that name for the band?
FP: No, itís actually the first time.
GB: Well, we had been looking for a name for a long time and itís always hard to come up with something that everybody likes. We had the album recorded and mastered and we really needed to find a name. We sent the album to our art designer because he is very creative and asked him to come up with some ideas. Then, when we got the artwork back, I think it was David who said ďOne-Way MirrorĒ and we stuck to that.
DP: We thought it fitted our band. [In an evil voice] We like to look at things without people seeing us and we like people looking at us. [Laughs]
MD: How would you describe your debut album and how are you different from other metal bands?
FP: Because we are really close friends. At the beginning it was just a friendís story.
GB: But lots of bands are friends! [Laughs]
FP: No, thatís not true! Look at some bands fighting each other!
GB: I think the kind of music we play is good for people who want to get into metal. If you want to get into metal, listen to One-Way Mirror because itís not that complicated, itís catchy, heavy, itís a bit like easy listening metal. We want to do some metal that our parents can listen to!
DP: Actually, my mum listens to Cannibal Corpse!
GB: Itís not that different from anybody else. We didnít do this album to start a musical revolution. We just wanted to do something efficient and that really pleases us.
FP: Something thatís fun for all of us and easy to play so we can have fun on stage.
GB: Well, not that easy to play sometimes.
MD: How did the recording go for this album?
DP: Very drunk!
LC: It was the drunkest session we have ever had.
FP: We started the recording by drums of course in Sweden.
GB: We used a close friend of ours, Daniel Bergstrand, who also worked with In Flames and Meshuggah. Then David and I produced the album so we recorded everything else in our own studio in France. It took something like a month and a half I think. Then, we went to Denmark where Tue Madsen mixed and mastered it.
FP: It was very relaxed. It took a year all together to finish it.
GB: We are pretty busy with our other bands so we took it easy.
MD: Why did you choose to cover the song 'Relax'?
FP: I got the idea. I was listening to it as we were looking for a cover to do.
GB: We couldnít agree!
FP: I proposed ĎRelaxí and they all thought it was a cool idea as the song is already kinda rock so it was easy to cover. Our next cover will be one of Scissor Sisters' songs. ĎMaryí maybe. We donít know which one yet.
DP: We had the idea to cover, er, whatís the name of the drunk girl again?
FP: Amy Whinehouse!
GB: Yeah, we thought we could use it as an intro on stage or something.
MD: Why do you think so many metal bands have side projects?
FP: Because you need money! [Laughs]
LC: Because I think most metal musicians are more open-minded than in Jazz or Reggae or other types of music.
GB: We grew up listening to a lot of different types of music and not metal only. Sometimes itís cool to get away from heavy death and thrash metal and do something a bit cooler. We just try to express ourselves a bit differently. Thatís the idea. We also have a hip hop band.
MD: Really?
GB: Yeah, yeah, itís true! Just to get away from metal and have fun because sometimes metal is not that open-minded. The musicians are but with the music itself you have some clichťs to respect and you canít rap on songs or do what you want.
MD: Is it difficult to stay true to 2 or more bands at a time?
DP: No itís not. If you like what youíre doing and youíre not bored, you can do it all.
FP: As long as you have fun, itís ok.
DP: If you get bored you have to quit.
MD: How does it feel to play in an established band like Mnemic (Guillaume Bideau) and then play to smaller crowds with a side project?
GB: Again, as long as you like what youíre doing, itís fine. We all started to play in bars in front of 3 people. But now, we know everyone, we have a good network of relationships so itís just easier now. I did a gig with Metallica in front of 65,000 people and then the last Mnemic gig in front of some 150 people but this is music, you have ups and downs all the time. And itís not so bad what we do really! We have our own studio and we know a lot of people so we can do things really fast now.
MD: What are your best and worst touring memories?
FP: I remember a tour with Lyzanxia 2 years ago in Glasgow where I broke my hand on stage. I decided to get naked, take the microphone and sing. Itís funny because now, 2 years later, some people recognise me as the guy who sang naked in Glasgow!
MD: Hang on, why did you sing naked because of a broken hand?
FP: Because it hurt and I was so pissed off so I got too hot and took my T-shirt off and the crowd just shouted ďtake off everything!Ē so I did. Why not?
MD: Only replying to a demand then. And the worst one then?
GB: I canít think of anything. Only good memories!
MD: Who would you ask to headline your own festival?
GB: Pantera! The Beatles!
FP: The Rolling Stones so it would attract a lot of people which means lots of money so we can buy a lot of alcohol. Come on guys!
GB: Metallica of course.
DP: Megadeth.
FP: Faith No More. I would pay a lot to see Mike Patton with the rest of the band.
GB: Yeah good idea!
MD: Who would you ask to clean the mucky toilets?
GB: There is French band called ????, 4 questions marks. They are fucking Meshuggah copycats. They are awful! I could easily use them to clean my toilets and lick my shit in the rest room! I hate them!
FP: For me itís Mnemic. The singer sucks! [laugh]
MD: Whatís the craziest thing a fan did to you?
GB: A fan made me draw a cock on his belly. That was funny. His girlfriend was laughing her head off.
MD: What would be your best UK band?
DP: Bullet for My Valentine! No, Iím joking.
FP: Exit Ten.
LC: Massive Attack.
FP: Yes, Massive Attack is one of the best bands in the world.
DP: Muse.
FP: Oh yeah and Muse definitely.
GB: The Beatles.
MD: If I would buy a drink, what should I get you?
DP: Bloody Mary.
GB: White Russian for me.
LC: Vodka on beer.
FP: What? So itís not Vodka on the rock but Vodka on beer. The cheapest one! Very cheap beer for Loic!
MD: Thatís it for me guys! Thank you!
FP: Great interview [clapping]. Damn, Iím knackered. [ed. translated from French]