Have any of you played in other bands? Yes in many bands, for example I played irish folk rock, funk, jazz, progressive death... But my specialities are rock and prog metal rock, which I play for 20 years.
How is it that you started playing music? At the age of 14, because it wasn't possible sooner. I studied two years classical percussions then only drums.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? For my main band, Rappel(s), which is a tribute to a French popular rock band "Téléphone" we are Nicolas on drums (35), Loïc on rythm guitars (38), Stan on bass and lead vocals (32) and Nikk on lead guitars (32)
Have you had other previous members? At the beginning there was an other drummer and lead guitar, but we are in the band for 2 years.
Did you make music even when you were young? I played in band nearly as soon as I learned drums, but not before I went to the music school (totally not an autodidact :)
Where are you from? I'm from Rouen, a big town in Normandy, France.
What year did the band form? Rappel(s) was formed in 2012, in Lyon - France.
What's your style of genre? It's typical french popular roots rock, speed, power and beer.
How often and where do you reherse? We rehearsed a lot at the beginning but now we concentrate on the live.
How have you developed since you started with the music? I've learned in many music schools to focus on jazz, afro cuban, funk... To be able to play many styles, and now to teach them too.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I teach drums, rock workshop and batucada. My hobbies are karate, mountain bike and watching movies and concerts.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Yes, I think it would be very helpful for us, to play more often with less time to waste to search venues. People who come to the concerts really like our playing and leave with great smiles!
What made you decide to make this music? Because we were friends at the beginning and we all like this music, which is still very popular in France (the original band had splitted but has played a few concerts for two years, often sold out). In France we often have a cover band to take pleasure and find concerts more easily, and a compo band in more typical style.
Have you done any covers live? Before this band I've played some covers live but not so much. Queen, Led Zep, The Doors or Hendrix one. I tried a RHCP tribute band but in France it wasn't that easy to find gigs.
What language do you sing in? In French, they have one song in english, but we don't play it anymore cause it's not known enough.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? They have 35 to 45 because this music was much known in the 80's, I'm not sure that young people know many of the songs... But they enjoy dancing on it!
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? As the original band doesn't have so many hits, and we have to play 2hours, we still play the same songs. Sometimes we change the order.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? Yes I live in a house with my wife and children, near Lyon.
What was your first gig like? I don't really remember but, but my first public appearance was in the music school, I played claves on a track! And I was totally stressed!
What was your latest gig? In a restaurant two days ago, great atmosphere because of people who really like the tunes.
Have you had to cancel a gig? Never till today! I hope I'll never have to!
Where have you played live this year? With this band, especially in bars and restaurants, we're so looking for bigger and hottest places!
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? At the moment, we haven't so many gigs confirmed, we're waiting for contacts to confirm.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? At the moment, no marchandise because of our repertoire ; covers. But we're thinking to t shirts, stickers, and why not recording a dvd. It would be a good way for the public to keep a souvenir from us!
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? I'm against illegal downloading, but if they pay (or if the composer upload it for free) why not. I totally and from far prefer cds and LPs, because I love having an object and a booklet. I don't buy music on the net. For me it's a pity, because mp3 have a lack of quality, but if it's only to listen on a Iphone or on a computer, it's not that bad. I own an old hi fi system with really good speakers, so I can't listen to compressed music!
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Artists, labels, and all the music industry now earns less money as in the 80's, but they have to adapt to these new forms... If no one buys music anymore, they have to find new ways to collect money and pay the artists. On the other side, it makes the link shorter between the artist and the buyer, so more money for this one.
What do you think of my work? It's really cool, communication on the internet and social networks is now one the most important thing in a career, as important as the way you play your instrument, even more!
Do you have any role models or idols? As a drummer, I'm a big fan of John Bonham, Keith Moon, Roger Taylor and all the prog drummers from the Canterbury prog school. In current musicians : Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Haken, Opeth and many other bands and drummers (influences on my website)
Why do you think that they exist? Because they're really good, they worked hard and they were at the good place the right moment!
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Both! I always recognize old bands in the current ones, by listening to the way someone play we can find the bands he loves! For sure I know more my old cds - because at the beginnings I didn't own so many - but I find really great inspiration and new sounds on current bands.
What have been your biggest obstacles? In 2000 I missed an audition for a prog metal band, I wanted to stop school if I were taken! (so I continued :)
What advice would you give other bands or artists? As many artists say : have your goal, work for it and especially never loose it! Never surrender! Don't try to be who you're not to follow fashion. If someone loves your music or playing, great, and if he doesn't : no big deal! Now I live from the music, concerts and lessons, but it was hard at the beginning.
How do you get psyched for a gig? I listen to the repertoire, play along, to remember the songs. But as I know it I never rehearse a lot. What I always do is cleaning and tuning my drums, the cymbals, and prepare my brain and body to be as loud as possible!
Do you have any new material?
Not really new. I got my beautiful and incredibly gorgeous drums since 2015, I have a partnership with the Quebecian "Ayotte Custom Drums" brand. I ordered the kit of my life, chose every little detail and only had to wait 6 months! These drums are amazing, all photos and details are available on my facebook or my website.
I also endorse RLRRLRLL clothing, a French brand which creates t shirt for drummers, and SLX ear monitors, French also.
Today I have to find a cymbals partnership, waiting for that I keep on buying really cool Paiste ones!!
What are your web sites?
For the band : http://www.rappels-le-groupe.fr/
on Instagram : nico_mermoud_drummer, my Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/NicolasMermoud
How can people reach you? The easiest way is By Facebook, on my page (Nicolas Mermoud Drummer) or personal acount
What are your plans for the future? Play much gigs with Rappel(s)!! And I'm working on a new rock metal prog project (I'm still looking for keyboard, singer and bass player), it'll be only compos. News will come very soon! I also record drums tracks by the internet don't hesitate to contact me!
Do you have something to add? I'd like to thank you for this interview. People who read this, don't hesitate to like my pages and share my drum covers if you like it!