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chemicalsweetkid promo2021 byJulienKidamInterview with

Julien Kidam (vocals) from Chemical Sweet Kid

CHEMICAL SWEET KID made themselves known to the wider public especially in 2019 while on tour with AESTHETIC PERFECTION, however, their artistic output roots back to 2011 when ‘Tears of Pain’ was released. The band is on the eve of a new single release – ‘A new day’ will be out on 9 April - so I took a chance to ask Julien Kidam a few questions about the new single, but also about his musical background, live videos and his collaborations with other artists.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: Hi Julien, I believe it’s the first time we are having an interview for Reflections of Darkness (besides the tattoo interview), so, as a little introduction - could you tell me more about the story behind CHEMICAL SWEET KID? How was the band form and was is it actually the soul-bound chemistry you're sharing as musicians working together?
Julien: CHEMICAL SWEET KID was created just by chance in 2008. Back then, I used to be a DJand I had started creating electronic music a couple of years before. I didn’t plan to form any band and I was definitely not a singer but when I was booked for a DJ set in the bar I used to play, I thought that this time I could give a try for a live show with my own songs instead of a classic DJ set. That’s how it all started! At the beginning, I was alone on stage, then Kora Li joined me and we had several line-up changes. Now I’m with two old friends of mine: Yann (guitar player) who also used to be in the techno scene. That’s actually how we met 20 years ago; and Gautier (keyboard) who is also in charge of most of our lyric videos. Basically, I’m writing music and lyrics, then I send them to Yann to add the guitar parts.

RoD: You create very energetic, harsh music verging electronics and industrial. Are these particular genres to your taste as well or is your music background different?
Julien: In my early teenage years, I used to be a big fan of GUNS N ROSES, and I still am. That was my very first big crush for music after Michael Jackson when I was six. Then, I went to some more heavy things like SEPULTURA, KORN, FEAR FACTORY, WHITE ZOMBIE... Around my 20, I discovered electronic hardcore music and rave parties. That's when I started DJing and being involved in music. A couple of years after, by any chance, I found myself at a concert of a French goth band called TANTRUM. I was totally a stranger to this goth scene but I immediately appreciated the music as well as the ambiance. I think that was the real beginning of CSK. That’s when I started to turn my music from electronic-hardcore to goth and industrial.

RoD: Tell me more about your collaboration with AESTHETIC PERFECTION. I know you were on tour together, back in 2019 and you recorded a song together. It’s called ‘Lockdown’…
Julien: Indeed, we were on tour together and that’s a very great memory. Since then, we started talking about a collaboration but we both were running out of time. As with the first lockdown everything had been frozen, we were finally able to make this collaboration a reality.

RoD: What is actually the lockdown experience for you personally? Does it make you totally worn out or rather more creative?
Julien: These last years have been really busy for me with a lot of stress, mainly for personal reasons. This first lockdown was finally not a so bad thing for me. It allows me to take a break from the jungle out there, to breathe and focus on the most important things. Besides, I was not able to write any music for a long time and that was a good opportunity to get back to it. Now I must admit that it’s starting to last too long and I really miss the stage and sharing time with people after the show.

chemicalsweetkid promo2021cut byJulienKidam

RoD: Speaking of creative… I know there is a new single on the way…it’s called ‘A new day’. I gave it an ear and I must say, it’s really kicking. Could you give some more details regarding the release? When is it scheduled to be out and what that “new day” actually stand for?
Julien: I’m very glad that you liked it! People who have listened to the song usually say it’s more mainstream and optimistic than the usual CSK stuff. Even if that was not made on purpose I agree. Of course, it’s not mainstream in the way a Pop song can be but I feel there’s something different with this one. We also worked secretly with ERIC13 of COMBICHRIST to provide a bonus acoustic version of the song and we are really happy with it. The song tells us the story of a character living and growing up in the shadow of someone else and realizing that not caring about what other people say or think about him will help him to make this new day his, becoming his real self and not being in the shadow anymore.

RoD: Is there a new album planned or on the way to follow the single?
Julien: Even if the songwriting process is done, nothing is planned yet. In the first place because with all this pandemic I don’t think this is a good time to release a full new album but we also still have to work on all the guitar parts.

RoD: I know you have some live shows scheduled for 2021, i.e., at Amphi Festival or the tour with PROJECT PITCHFORK. Do you actually think they are going to take place taking the current situation into consideration?
Julien: I don’t know if they will take place or not, I can only hope. The tour with PROJECT PITCHFORK has already been postponed three times so I keep my fingers crossed.

RoD: We mentioned AESTHETIC PERFECTION or PROJECT PITCHFORK - do you have any other artists you like co-operating with or would like to co-operate with?
Julien: To me, collaboration is mainly a matter of friendship. I like to cooperate with musiciansI know personally and with who I’ve been sharing great moments. I recently made a remix of ERIC13’s song Black Lipstick and a couple of years ago another one for Erk Aircrag’s side project RABIA SORDA. On our last album ‘Fear Never Dies’ we had some great remixes by AGONOIZE and NACHTMAHR.

RoD: I liked the videos for ‘Playing with knives’ and ‘Never enough’ - do you have a regular team responsible for the production or these artists’ change?
Julien: I wish I had but unfortunately, it’s not that easy. For our first ever videoclip we worked with a guy living in our hometown. He made a second video for us then he moved. When the time came for another video, I had to find someone else. And the story is repeating… That’s why we don’t always work with the same team which may finally not be that bad since it brings some new points of view and new ways of working. But that’s stressful.

RoD: What part of being a musician do you like the best: live concerts, composing process, contacting fan base or promo?
Julien: Live and songwriting process are the essence of the band. They are dependent on each other and without these two they would be no band, right? Of course, I like to be in contact with our fans but I’m not that good for promo. I prefer being in the creative process and sharing time with people in real life than desperately trying to sell an album on social media.

RoD: Last question - what next? When can we expect from you?
Julien: Who knows ;)

RoD: Thank you for your time!

Picture by Julien Kidam

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