I convinced my parents to buy my first snare drum (I was fed up with playing the drums on cushions and saucepans with knitting needles), it was a 14 x5,5" steel TAMA swingstar . My first real drum set arrived the year after, it was a MAXWIN (very poor quality) the rhodoïd was unstuck, the legs of the toms were rusted, the heads had bumps
But my dream was now about to begin, thanks to the guitarist I've mentioned before I founded the band VESTATISTA, with whom I was to play a few gigs in our area.
During this period I spent a lot of time listening to Heavy Metal : JUDAS PRIEST, STRYPER, SAXON and especially LOUDNESS (Munetaka HIGUCHI), EARTHSHAKER and MÖTLEY CRÜE, their drummer Tommy LEE has had a huge influenced on me, both as to the way of playing and as to the configuration of the drum kit (you know what I mean : two bass drums, almost horizontal toms, two floor toms, chinas on each side...), that's why I bought a double pedal.
VESTATISTA split, I joined the band FREDDY and took part in real concerts , discovered stage fright and changed my drum kit :
I found my CAPELLE Turbo . A friend of mine who had subscribed to MODERN DRUMMER magazine presented me with jazz-rock drummers such as Dave WECKL, Steve GADD, Billy COBHAM, Terry BOZZIO, RUSH and Neil PEART as well as all the great American drummers. I then decided to take real drum lessons as I thought my playing was flawed . Then I formed the band EMPIRE and discovered impair beats and 70s progressive rock thanks to bands like YES, ATOLL, MONALISA, GENTLE GIANT and ANGE. As EMPIRE was sort of getting out of breath I joined the band LAST DREAM (with whom I was to play for 2 years) and I got back to my first musical love : real American Hard Rock, and I bought a second bass drum.
After my military service ANGEL DUST contacted me to play along with them. I was very much involved in this project, so much so that I organised concerts, took part in a few festivals and even wrote a few lyrics. That suited me well: lots of double bass drum and fast" rhythms!
During a festival from which I had come as a mere spectator a drummer who was to come for a demo didn't show up , so I was asked to replace him on the spot. Though I suffered from flu and I was not quite prepared I managed to show my technical competence of that time : double bass drums galore ! Members of the band VARECH noticed me and wanted me to be their drummer...Concerts, festival and recording sessions were to follow ...which proved to be quite successful as far as the local « metal » audiences are concerned.
I discovered a musical style which was quite unusual to me : rather slow tunes, heavy guitars, complex structures ,"death" singing. Thanks to the bans members I discovered bands like CANDLEMASS, OSIRIS, CYNIC, WATCHTOWER, MEMENTO MORI and drummer Snowy SHAW who influenced me a lot ; I also rediscovered GENESIS, Terry BOZZIO in UK... Noël, the drummer of a local band called MELEM gave me a few lessons during that period and I learned a lot of things thanks to him.
Some of VARECH's members left the band and I then discovered DREAM THEATER and Mike PORTNOY ! ! ! ! ! OUCH ! ! ! ! ! That drummer was able to mix double bass drum, impair beats, heavy sound, lightness ,brutality and technicality of very good taste...So I worked out...took a few extra lessons, practised ostinatos, impair beats...And VARECH became ENNEADE.
The arrival of new members ant the wish to play a more personal kind of music brought us to create more technical music, coloured both with metal AND progressive elements. I was getting particularly interested in vintage drum kits and in brands such as ROGERS, SLINGERLAND,GRETSCH, LUDWIG and got hold of a few books on this topic.
Thanks to MAGNA CARTA, MUSEA and other record companies progressive metal got more and more democratic : CAIRO, SHADOW GALLERY, ICE AGE, BI KYO RAN, IVANHOE, LEMUR VOICE, EMPTY TREMOR were signed up and distributed all over the world, Terry BOZZIO participated in EXPLORERS CLUB and BLACK LIGHT SYNDROME. Mike PORTNOY took part in the tribute to RUSH with WORKING MAN and later to LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT. I discovered REGENCY during a festival (in which we should have played ! ! !) and once again I REALY got amazed.... thanks to drummer Charles MONZAT. I then really rediscovered the great bands KING CRIMSON and MAGMA.
1998 was the year of THE show, among others, but this one was very important to us since we played for the after show when DREAM THEATER played in LYON on 20th February . Much stage fright for a concert which eventually passed off quite well and which remains one of my best memories (yet it was quite a lot of emotion to play for more than one hour with pre-programmed sequences in front of an audience that had been amazed by the great band they had just been watching, and , on top of it, to see John MYUNG at the far end of the room, who looked quite interested in what we were playing).
I resumed drum lessons at a school in LYON which turned out to be working like a factory, so I bought methods, educational videos among which the one by Virgil DONATI , an amazing Australian drummer who is certainly not of this earth , I also bought videos by Akira JIMBO, Terry BOZZIO, Simon PHILIPS, Billy COBHAM...and changed my drum kit.
Alongside ENNEADE, the band MACBETH (U.S Hard Rock) asked me to help them occasionally and replace their drummer who had quit. After a series of concerts, ENNEADE recorded a 5 track demo in which progressive rock met jazz rock and even acid jazz(!!!)
Since we disagreed as to the future musical direction of the band we decided to part and explore our personal tastes in other bands (such as KOSMIC ZOO).