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Progressive Rock Interviews

Delusion Squared

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Delusion Squared from 2010

MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – both individually and as a band?

Lorraine Young: I'm a singer since I can speak and maybe even before. Also I'm playing acoustic guitar.

Steve Francis: I've been playing music and composing for many years, from classical piano training to playing guitar and composing for several obscure bands, and also doing some solo work.

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: I've got pretty much the same musical history as Steve, only my favorite instrument is the bass.

Steve Francis: In 2008, we started playing together with Emmanuel de Saint Méen in a local cover band specializing in power rock and metal, but this was not very satisfactory considering our mutual desire to create some original music. The project was launched in 2009, and we recorded the first demos and discussed the concept and story behind the album. It was soon very clear this was going to be a female fronted project, so we set to look for the perfect vocalist. Several singers got a message from us, including Sharon den Adel from Within Temptation. Fortunately she did not answer it, and we ended up meeting Lorraine Young, who is a young lady completely in love with singing. Her dedication and her magnificent voice play a major role in the album.

MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
Steve Francis: I've dreamed myself a luthier, so I guess I would be crafting custom guitars... only it's still involvement in music.

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Maybe a gardener in a desert...

Lorraine Young: I've never thought about that

MSJ: How did the name of the group originate?
Lorraine Young: There was a brainstorm between the three of us... the name had to somehow be related to the story, it had to appeal to the three of us, and also it had to be uncommon enough that we could easily get some visibility online. We considered more than a hundred names I believe (I've got the list somewhere...)
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
Steve Francis: I've been an avid listener and admirer of Steve Lukather, ELO, Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, then Steve Morse, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Anathema, O.S.I., Pain of Salvation, Opeth...

Lorraine Young: Hayley Williams, Sharon den Adel, Angela Gossow, Porcupine Tree and many others

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Anathema, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Adagio, too many to cite them all actually

MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Steve Francis: Considering the sci-fi nature of the story behind the album, I think we have no choice but to release two more albums for the trilogy to be complete! Seriously, we are currently talking with some labels, and personally I'm eager to get back to "composition mode,” which is my favorite work, probably thanks to some serendipitous experiences. One such moment was laying down Prof. Stephen Hawking's speech on the intro of "What We Will Be,” the whole piece was instantly in place, and the music took on an intensity that gave us goose bump.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Steve Francis: storytelling?

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Basically I consider it to be progressive rock, although some fans talk about symphonic rock, well that's okay with me

Lorraine Young: Actually, I hate to have our "music pigeonholed or labeled"

MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Following Mike Portnoy's recent announcement, we would like to publicly invite him to play on the second album!

Steve Francis:  Seriously I think the three of us would be thrilled to work with several musicians we admire and respect... Steve Morse, Steven Wilson, Mikael Åkerfeldt, Jim Matheos would be my personal favorites.

MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Steve Francis: One thing is for sure, this is much more efficient at delivering music on a global scale. We are still waiting for some digital resellers to list our album...

We chose to let things happen online after releasing the album, and today there are more than 90 different direct download sites offering it as "free sound.” Honestly, I like the exposure, but I'm a bit uncomfortable with some of these guys competing with our official websites in search results. I mean, I'd like people looking for Delusion Squared to still be able to find us, not only leeched copies!

MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
Lorraine Young:  This is great!

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Don't care

MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Emmanuel de Saint Méen: uh ?

Lorraine Young:  Some manufactured artists from well-known TV shows... Also Justin Bieber (but can he be considered a superhero?)

Steve Francis: Some people I'm uncomfortable with are in Performing Right Societies or in record labels, actively lobbying the governments of several places in the world so that the Internet is heavily filtered. I guess that's the reason for the copyright plot in the album...

MSJ:

If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Mike Portnoy on drums, because he's amazing and also because he's currently free

Lorraine Young: Kurt Cobain, one of the most evocative voices I've ever heard

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Jaco Pastorius (he's already playing with Kurt where he is, I'm sure)

Steve Francis: Steve Vai, he's an alien and he loves secrets, and also Derek Sherinian on the keyboards

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Steve Francis: Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here - flawless.

Lorraine Young: These days I'm listening to Office of Strategic Influence, and also I really enjoy Old Detroit Radio, I'm in love with their title Eisbrecher

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Touchstone, double live CD Live in the US, with my friend Adam J. Hogdson

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Steve Francis: Transitions from Iain Banks, although I'm not sure I like it as much as I enjoyed his "Culture" works.

Lorraine Young: Montesquieu, Persian Letters

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: the last Houellebecq, The Map and the Territory

MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Steve Francis: I think that was Kamelot in Paris, epic! We were together with de Saint Méen, who was here primarily to see the support band Adagio

Lorraine Young: Paramore, it was great

MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”
Steve Francis: Nope. No guilt, only pleasure

Lorraine Young: Lady Gaga...

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: uh?

MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Steve Francis: I'd go for a (nerdy) sci-fi dinner, with the late Frank Herbert, with Greg Egan, and with Arjen Lucassen. This would probably be the genesis to an ambitious, guest-stars filled, symphonic-math-prog-rock concept-album with an epic story about religious virtual beings reinventing quantum politics on a galactic scale

Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Artists from the beat generation: William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac

Lorraine Young: My three best friends

MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
Emmanuel de Saint Méen: Sure, thanks to all our fans and long live Music Street Journal!
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