A Q&A with Rémi Fossat from the band SLIFT 
First off, where did the idea for the artwork for the new album ‘ILION’ come from?

After UMMON, it seemed logical to us to continue working with the same illustrator, Philipe CAZA, as the two albums are linked, in the manner of The Iliad and The Odyssey. We wanted some colour for this album, so we came across this drawing and it seemed obvious to us to choose it for the cover.

The new album is out now. How would you compare this record to your previous releases, it does seem a natural progression?
For me, it's probably the band's most accomplished album. It's also the one that took us the longest to compose. Certain tracks, like Ilion, took 3 years to take their current form. We really wanted to do something different from UMMON, pushing all the emotions we wanted to convey to the max. We discovered a lot of great bands on tour, and started listening to other sounds, which inevitably influenced us when we composed this record. So yes, I think it was a natural progression.

How did you create your sound and what music influences you today?
For Ilion, Jean (singer-guitarist) arrives at rehearsals with skeletons of songs, he has the album outline in his head, we talk about it, he explains it to us, and we start to see the songs, which move as each person's ideas unfold. Some passages/riffs come from jams we've done during rehearsal, so it's a bit of a mix of all that.   When we wrote this record, we listened a lot to King Crimson's "Red" album.

Where did you play your first gig as a band? And your last gig?
Mmmmmh, I don't remember the first gig as SLIFT precisely, but I'm sure it was in a small cellar in Toulouse that smelled of beer and cold cigarettes. The last concert, and not the least, was in Seattle for KEXP.

Do you think current trends of streaming, merch and touring makes music a viable career these days or does music always have to be supplemented with other jobs?

In my opinion, these days you can make a living from music as your main job and it's not always necessary to have another job. Although, I don't think that streaming is something that brings in enough money for a band to make a living from it, but touring and selling merchandise can make that possible. Moreover, in France we are lucky to have a special status for performing artists, known as "intermittence du spectacle" for which a certain number of conditions must be fulfilled. If you do, you have access to a minimum amount of money on days you're not performing. 
It's however important to notice it's not that easy to make a living from music and that a lot of artists need to take another job to be able to play their music all over their country or the world.

What can the audiences expect at your upcoming live shows?

The audiences can expect one hour and a half of music from our albums Ilion and Ummon. We've rearranged some songs for the live show but I think the best thing to do is to come and listen with your own ears and see with your own eyes. 

What is your favourite story from life on the road so far?
In the early days of the band, we did a concert in a ski resort in the summer. We were sleeping there and Jean and Canek had already gone to bed, so I brought the car with the gear back in front of where we were sleeping and got out of the car to pee next to it, when I started to see it gradually lowering into the car park. I couldn't do anything but watch it fall.  The car fell 5m and crashed further down onto another car park where there was only one space left, and of course it fell onto this space. I recovered my bass from the time with a cracked head, but everything else had held up, quite lucky ahah.

If you could choose to tour with any other current band or artist, who would that be and why?
Personally, I'd love to tour with Melvins. We're big fans of theirs, and I've never seen them live. It would kill two birds with one stone. I hope it will happen one day !
UK & European tour dates start shortly