1. For people who are not familiar with Mystery Blue, how would you describe your sound and what you offer?
Mystery Blue is a Heavy Metal band from France with a powerful sound, chunky riffs, a killing machine behind the drums and melodic vocals. Our influences lay in the NWOBHM (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxonâ€¦) and also in the thrash scene of the Bay Area (Exodus, Forbidden, Testament, Death Angelâ€¦). We enjoy creating songs and recording them but what we love above all is sharing them live with an audience of crazy head bangers!
2. Mystery Blue has been around since 1982, and you came aboard in the mid to late 90â€™s. Were you familiar with this band going into it, and also how did they discover you?
Yeah I had been hanging around the band for quite a while already, it was the NÂ°1 Heavy Metal band in our region â€“Alsace-(and still is ;-)) and I went to all concerts I could afford as a teenager. I must admit that I was often dreaming to replace their singer 😉 but I didnâ€™t think at all that it could really happen one dayâ€¦but it did! At the time their singer left, the guitar player encouraged me to audition in particular because of my good English knowledge and also cause he had seen me on stage while I was singing in a cover band. Finally I got the job.
3. Do you think as a female musician you have to work twice as hard as the males to get respect?
Well I never felt a lack of respect, at least not in the band and not among the fans either. Perhaps in the press when I sometimes read reviews which are critical about my voice only because Iâ€™m a woman, for example they might say in the conclusion â€œfor those who can bear female vocalsâ€, but in this case you can work as hard as you wish and be the best singer in the world it wonâ€™t make no difference. But nowadays I donâ€™t give a fâ€¦ about such remarks as meanwhile I get loads of recognition from the fans.
4. Any offers yet to join Nightwish? What about The Gathering? Most importantly if Tuomas were to ask, would you do it?
Certainly notâ€¦I have never been asked and would never imagine doing such a silly thing. I donâ€™t even understand you asking this question (except for the fun of it perhaps) cause the bands you name are much too far away from my musical styleâ€¦sure I seeâ€¦bands with female singers 😉
5. If music did not pan out for you, what was the backup plan?
Besides being member of Mystery Blue all of us have some kind of job, more or less regular (mostly part time). Of course it would be perfect if we could live from our art only, but even if this doesnâ€™t work out weâ€™ll continue playing music till the end of time. We donâ€™t do this for the business part, itâ€™s our passion and weâ€™ll always carry on even if the path is tough sometimes cause the pleasure we get out of it is much bigger!
6. What was your first musical memory or song that made you want to pursuit music?
It must have been the song â€œCrazy Trainâ€ from Ozzy Osbourne. The first time I heard it I felt such an energy, power and creativity, I immediately wanted to sing along!
7. You guys have played quite a few live shows. Who was the best band or singer you guys played with? Also, you knew this was coming, you have to spill on this..who were the worst to you guys?
We particularly enjoyed sharing the stage with the band Heathen (US), great Thrash Metal with very good musicians and also very friendly guys we met at the Head bangers Open Air in Germany. For the singer I would certainly mention Andreas Babuschkin from the German Power Metal band Paragon. We had the occasion to play with them several times and I like Andreasâ€™ voice which is quite different from mine with a rough Udo-like touch, this lead us to record a duet on one of the songs of our new album: Running with the Pack (you may get a glance of the making of)
Concerning your second question, for me personally I would say (strangely!) a band mainly composed of women called Rock Bitch. Not because of their music which was quite all right -maybe a bit too soft- but on stage they deliver some feminist messages and play nearly naked. I didnâ€™t care for their show but the moment I went on stage, as a reaction the whole audience started screaming at me â€œÃ poilâ€ (French for get naked) which I didnâ€™t find too pleasant and completely irrelevant.
8. Nathalie, you guys are doing a cd signing for your new record, (just assume this is going to go well for you) and a fan comes up to you and wants you to sign his cd and pulls out an illegal burn of it. What do you do?
Hum, I would probably be surprised and burst out laughing, but then Iâ€™d try to explain to the fan that it would be cool to help the bands he likes in buying their records because otherwise they wonâ€™t be able to continue sharing their music and recording good quality CDs.
9. Same cd signing, your next fan wants to take a picture with you. Harmless right, well during the picture his hands seem to touch a little too much. What do you do?
Well, would depend on how he looks like ïŠïŠïŠ
10. I been dying to ask a woman in metal this question, if your record label or even a band mate came up to you and said, â€œListen, you guys or we are not selling what the band should be selling and we need to change things up a little. We want you to take off your wedding ring and play it up a little that youâ€™re single and do these women in rock poses and sell your sex appeal moreâ€. Would you do it?
I donâ€™t mind taking some nice poses if itâ€™s not too extreme or slutty. But it still has to fit in the style of the band and obviously our image goes more towards Judas Priest than J.Loâ€¦
11. If you could tour with anyone alive or dead, who would you want to tour with and why?
Judas Priest: cause it would be magical for me to approach the Metal God. He has invented so many things with his powerful screaming vocal style
Ozzy Osbourne: because this guy just knows how to get crazy (I was a total Ozzy fan as a teenager!)
12. Do you still get nervous before playing live? Also, have you ever had a time when you are playing and your mind goes blank? If so, how do you handle that?
No this never happened to me, I feel at home on stage, no without joking when you play a concert youâ€™re surrounded by people who like you, wanna have fun with youâ€¦so why be nervous? Excited, sure, but only positively.
13. Do you think of yourself as a sex symbol? If Metal Hammer, or Revolver wanted to do just pictures of you and a small write up about the band, would you do it? I mean letâ€™s be honest, how many of us would buy Revolver if they had pictures of Tom Ayara of Slayer in a bikini top or Lemmy in panties, and better yet Rob Halford of Priest in a silk negligee and boots? Nathalie, do any of these male images sound appealing to you as a female? Also would you go out after seeing these pictures and buy Defenders of the Faith, Reign in Blood or Iron Fist?
Iâ€™m not sure our friends would appreciate your proposal ïŠ But why not, if they would wish to do it for fun I would still buy their albums. Of course Iâ€™m saying this about famous artists who won everybodyâ€™s respect a long time ago, but Iâ€™m not sure it would be the same for unknown musicians. I think you have to be a little careful what image you give because weâ€™re not just singers, we also represent our band. So for my part I donâ€™t think I would agree to appear in very sexy or extreme poses. In the end whatâ€™s important is the music and to answer the beginning of your question Iâ€™d rather be called a great singer than a sexy woman (even if I know itâ€™s important for you guys!);-)
14. This is name association. I give you a band you just talk and tell me whatever you want to.
a. Lacuna Coil : Iâ€™m not too much into pop music
b. Mystery Blue : Hum what can I say, this is what makes my life complete and exciting, a band where I can freely express myself surrounded by great musicians and cool guys. Weâ€™re a bunch of friends playing in the true sense of the word!
c. Within Temptation : same answer as for a
d. Pantera : Great band with sharp riffs and true metal hymns like â€œWalkâ€ or â€œCowboys from Hellâ€œ which blast your head!
15. When people hear your vocals on this record, comparisons could be made to old school Priest and Queensryche. Do these comparisons seem fair to you? How would you describe your vocal delivery on this record?
Well I can only say thank you. Such comparisons just cut a big smile on my face as singers like Rob Halford & Geoff Tate are among my vocal models and also part of my inspiration. So I feel honored to be compared to such great artists, especially being a girl 😉
A few times I even saw a reference to John Arch which made me go whooo!! This guy has got everything from the voice to the technique and incredible melodiesâ€¦have you ever tried singing along the song â€œCheyenneâ€ (A Twist of Fate)?
16. A new record is out which means, touring and press. We all love those press people, do you read all the press the band gets and reviews? If so, does the bad stuff get to you?
Sure I try to read everything, I find it interesting even if thereâ€™s also bad stuff, sometimes it makes you question yourself on certain aspects, sometimes you just think â€œwhat an idiotâ€â€¦but the reward is that there are more and more cool reviews and the press even seems to get used to female vocals in a Metal band and appreciate it more and more (which was rarer some years ago) ïŠ You may have a look at
17. If a young girl came up to you after a show and say to you, â€œI want to do that when I grow upâ€. What advice would you offer and what would you tell her in general?
Well cool, thatâ€™s a lot of fun, even if itâ€™s also a lot of work, but if music is your passion and you pick an instrument which suits you then itâ€™s really much more pleasure than work. I enjoy every rehearsal, when Iâ€™m tired I might not feel like it at first but after a few guitar riffs and wild drum beats itâ€™s magical: Iâ€™m just there enjoying the music & good vibes and nothing else matters 😉
18. If you could sum up the last almost two decades playing music in one sentence what would it be?
I would summarize it in 3 words:
– PASSION: I feel lucky to be able to sing in a band I love
– FRIENDSHIP within the band and with the fans
– LIBERTY to live a life full of exciting moments to escape the boring â€œnormalâ€ life
19. Letâ€™s be honest, a fact of life is we all grow older. As the years go on is it harder and harder to leave your normal life behind to go on tour and go in the studio to work on music? Do you feel the sacrifices you have to commit to are still worth doing this?
Personally I donâ€™t find it harder (perhaps because I donâ€™t have kids and my life hasnâ€™t really changed through the years). Iâ€™m still excited to go on tour or to the studio. Of course we may get tired more quickly than before but we also gain more experience and technical skills which make things easier again, and when the guitar hits the 1st note all pain is forgotten! This is what brightens up my life and the sacrifices (even if I donâ€™t see them like this, Iâ€™d rather call them choices) are totally worth it.
20. The American music scene as you may know is dead, the concept of a record store is alive in the form of Itunes and a grocery store that you can buy the latest Mystery Blue cd then get some cereal and a bottle of wine one aisle away. How is the music scene in France?
In France itâ€™s quite similar, even if you still find some record stores and also a few smaller shops held by enthusiasts. But they tend to disappear as well. Letâ€™s face it, the internet rules
21. You know beside music, we are a site for horror films as well. Are you a fan of horror movies? If so, give us some titles that you like.
Iâ€™m a total horror movie fan! Perhaps you would have guessed it from some of our songs as itâ€™s always a big inspiration for me. Some movies are really obsessional, they live with me for years, even decades like the classics â€œNight of the Living Deadâ€ (you might have recognized the intro of our previous record â€œHell & Furyâ€ ;-)) or â€œManiacâ€ which is a real horror masterpiece. I also fancy less serious movies like â€œThe Evil Deadâ€ which I find very amusing. One movie I saw recently and still roams in my memory some nights is â€œIncident At Sans Asylum â€œ a true piece of horror in a dark oppressive atmosphere and quite brutalâ€¦this one I didnâ€™t find funny at all! But what generally scare me most is definitely zombies, recently I got addicted to the â€œThe Walking Deadâ€ series, yeah I must be a bit crazy but I just love this stuff!!
22. This is the end, and I will bow to you and say I am so honored for this moment. Not too hard, I hopeâ€¦this is where I let you plug and promote what you got on the agenda..thank you so muchâ€¦.
After the release of our new album â€œConquer The Worldâ€ CONQUER THE WORLD Trailer we plan to play as many gigs as possible all over the place to share the new songs with all the crazy Metal heads around. We started with some concerts and festivals in France, in June weâ€™ll play the Underwall Festival in Zadar, Croatia and after a few gig in Germany and The Netherlands we plan a tour in Japan for the autumn. We would of course love to come over to the US for a few wild gigs ïŠ ïŠ Thanks for such a lively and interesting interview!
I thought her singing was awesome; this interview was just as awesome. The first person since Stephen of Taproot to be honest and say who were bad to them on tour, and we all know the others everyone has been on tours that someone did not do good business and fans want to know, so Nathalie did dish. And she dissed Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation which is always welcome, and she is not only beautiful but a horror film fan. You guys should rush out and get this cd, and support this band. Great stuffâ€¦.plus if you are cute she may let you touch her who knows ha haâ€¦.thanks so much to Mystery Blue and their PR for letting me harass their singer.