In divided times, the power of music is undeniable. When that music is ferociously original and defiantly uplifting, the impact is even greater. Formed in Paris, December 2014, by Dublin-born singer/guitarist Gary Kelly and Parisian guitarist Steven Andre, MOLYBARON have become one of the most talked-about bands in the modern metal scene. With a sound that encompasses everything from state-of-the-art tech-grooves and anthemic metal to multi-layered atmospherics and giant, muscular hard rock riffs beyond, the band’s eccentric flair always sets them apart from the rest.
“The most common thing I read when critics describe our music is their difficultly placing us in a genre: is it rock, is it metal, progressive metal, groove metal?” posits Kelly. “Well in fact, I believe it’s all of the above.”
Released in 2017, MOLYBARON’s self-titled and self-released album provided a startling showcase for this new musical force. Wilfully eclectic but still brimming with powerhouse melodies and moments of mind-bending metal dexterity, the album received widespread acclaim and led the band to be offered a series of high profile support slots and festival appearances , including a European tour with NYC metallers A Pale Horse Named Death in 2019. Meanwhile, the band’s next artistic plan was being plotted, the results of which can be heard on MOLYBARON’s extraordinary second album, The Mutiny. Like its predecessor, it offers innumerable hidden depths, both musical and lyrical.
“The lyrics on our debut album were highly influenced by the hysteria surrounding the 2016 US election and the corporate mainstream media fanning the flames. This time around I wanted to bring it closer to home and make the narrative easier to write about, so many of the lyrics are pretty personal to me, or people close to me. The overriding theme of the songs describe an uphill struggle to overcome mental health issues, guilt, regret, depression, drug abuse.”
From the infectious aggression and giant hooks of opener Animals, to the thunderous denouement of crushing closer Ordinary Madness, The Mutiny once again affirms MOLYBARON’s idiosyncratic identity and irresistible charms. As Metal Hammer UK put it: “Diverse and satisfying, The Mutiny is a banger!” The album was also declared Album of the Month in Rock Hard magazine.
Kelly’s songwriting has hit new heights of ingenuity, and the ensemble performances of comrades Steven Andre (guitar), Sebastien de Saint-Angel (bass) and Camille Greneron (drums) are never less than precise, potent and bursting with personality. Right now, these fearless artisans are in a field of one, evoking the visionary fervour of bands like ALTER BRIDGE, SYSTEM OF A DOWN or MUSE, while never sounding remotely like any of them.
“We definitely can’t be defined by genre. It’s unintentional and certainly not by design, but in the end, the answer is pretty simple. I write and produce most of the songs for the band, but I suppose I’m odd, I never sit down and listen to music. I rarely go to gigs, I don’t play other artist’s music on guitar, it doesn’t give me any pleasure, I’m just happy in my own little zone. So really, I have no idea what people are listening to, what’s cool, what’s not. This has been pretty healthy for me, it allows me to write what I feel, without the worry of fitting a certain category.”
Recent times have proved that fans of heavy music are becoming increasingly open-minded and hungry for new and fervently individual music. As they prove over and over again on The Mutiny, MOLYBARON have struck upon something gloriously fresh and invigorating: a sound fit for the future, but rooted in oomph and heft of heavy music’s illustrious past.
“Like all musicians, of course we dream of playing stadiums around the globe, but I can’t say there was ever a masterplan,” Kelly concludes. “We’re very aware there’s no easy road to success. Making a living through music is akin to winning the lottery, so we’ve kept our expectations firmly grounded. But with that said, we do believe in our music and in the right hands, with the right support, it could be taken to a mass audience, but who knows what the future holds. So, let’s just say, currently our modest masterplan is… world domination”