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French melodic rock/AOR band Toyz have just released their very strong debut album, 'House of Cards' via Escape Music. It's modern but with hints of White Lion's arena rock and the keyboard led AOR of,say, Drive, She Said. Over to keyboards player Chris Musicien...
1. What are you currently up to? (e.g. touring/studio,etc.)

Our first album was ready in June after being mixed by Corey Mc Fadyen (Brighton Rock, Panik, Miles Above, The Ladder) in Toronto, Canada. Ever since, we have started writing new songs for our second album and we're doing really well with some new catchy melodies. We are also rehearsing the songs from our first album to play live since a few projects seem to become serious.

2. Brief history of the band and the style of music you play.

The band was created in 1997 by Luke (Lead vocals), Jean-Christophe (Drums) and Oliver (Guitars). The line-up was unstable until 2001 when Jérôme (Bass) and I , Chris (Keyboards) entered the band. We worked hard together to obtain a well-balanced album made up of true rock songs along with powerful ballads.

The love of melodies and harmonies is the link for all the songsin the album.

I don't personally like very much having our music categorized within boundaries. Even though some people think we play AOR or Melodic Rock, I'd rather say that our musical range is much more extensive, which gives us the opportunity to explore various styles from metal to FM music. To sum up, I think we play rock music with an open-mindedness to other influences that may fit our music to make it richer.

3. Who was/is are the biggest influences on your career?

The open-mindedness that I've just mentioned is certainly due to various influences. Rock music is our common background but each of us has his own path and influences: Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Threshold, Dream Theater, Marillion, Toto but also classical music!

4. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?

The highlight was the signing of a contract with Khalil Turk at Escape Music. No lowpoints, we firmly have a positive attitude for our music: music is fun and rock'n'roll is our life. We want to remain hopeful, following the lucky star that has been ours for the last 2 years.

5. What would Toyz like to achieve ideally by this time next year?

- More gigs to approach our public and to show that French rock can be a good surprise, as some reviewers said :-)

- a second album.

6. Could you take us through some highlights of your debut release, 'House of Cards'?

Well the album has just been released so it's too soon to have a clear cut view of what's going on.

Escape has expended a great deal of energy in the last few weeks for promotion and contacts with the media.

We have also worked a lot for the opening of our website

As far as the media are concerned, most reviews were quite positive about our first album; yet a few reviewers didn't like the album, fair enough!!!

7. How easy/hard is it to get gigs and what are your touring plans for the album?
France is really NOT the country for rock music, that's for sure! Getting gigs is very difficult but we hope that with our fisrt album we can have more opportunities. And indeed, no sooner than today we received an email with a proposal for a series of gigs. Just wait and see where it will lead us ;-)
8. Do you see the interest in rock & metal music growing in the UK & Europe at the moment?

I really think that there is a growing interest for rock and metal music in Europe. It's becoming bigger and bigger. Even in France Rock is coming back in the hits with bands like Placebo, Muse, Linkin Park. on that respect we can beoptimistic . I just wish Rock were as popular in France as it is in England, Germany or Italy.

9. What's the most rock 'n' roll moment the band has had so far?
Our last gig in La Villette, Paris. so cool.
10. What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?

"House of Cards" is available on the net , , and many more sites! and of course on Escape's site :

11. Message to your fans?

Thanks for believing in our music, we love you

CD review

Interview © 2004 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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