Photos - Videos

DuplicityLiving Spirit

The 4Element story starts in 1998. Just an idea to play cover songs (and maybe more) with friends from high school. No band name, no real songs. Just starting to learn to play.

From that first band, three members decided to continue and start writing music. Phil on guitar and the Theys' brothers, Alban on drums and Cedric on bass. The name 4Element is chosen to represent the band. A concept uniting the four natural elements of wind, fire, water and earth... and a spelling mistake made on purpose.

A few months after the start of the 4Element journey, Xavier joins the band. On guitar and eventually vocals. The songs start to really jell together and be completed thanks to Xavier's past experience in a multitude of bands back in France... And a very patient temper! What are four Frenchmen doing in Texas playing progressive music!

2000 will be the year of the first album, Living Spirit. After some unsuccessful recording sessions, 4Element settles in a rehearsal space and practice, practice, practice... to finally get in the studio in April and June and record 9 songs during the graveyard shift, 8 hours of none stop playing! Finally in October the album is mastered and ready to blow people's minds. 'Living Spirit' is the start of a concept where no limits were allowed and everything needed to be explored.

During 2001, 4Element plays shows, writes more music. In October Phil decides to pursue other dreams and 4Element is back to its original format as a trio. And what a trio! Some people were saying that it felt like 6 people were on stage! We would always look at each other smiling and never reveal our secrets!

The first gig at the end of 2001, just a few months after Phil left was a test of Xavier's nerves. But at the end of the show he said that this beast was finally out of the cage. And 2002 proved to be just that with gigs in many places and new music flowing out from every pores. The music was more aggressive but subtler at the same time and with the use of synth guitars, effects and electronics.

But in mid 2002, Alban left to go back to France and the beast was stopped square in its tracks. It wouldn't be till the end of the year that 4Element would find a new breath with the addition of Tom on percussion and Esteban on drums. The music would have more of a metal approach with amazing lyrics from our dear percussion player, Tom. His first songs ever and all were used in the band. Cedric started singing as well to help out Xavier and the band kept churning new songs.

The whole year of 2003 sees the band playing still more shows. During the summer, Alban has time to record some drum parts for a yet untitled album.

2004 will be another turning point: the end of the band with Tom leaving first. 4Element keeps playing as a trio, a form that seems to work well for this group. More recordings take place, now with Esteban drumming away. Towards the end of the year he will also leave permanently. Xavier and Cedric finish recording the last parts, knowing full well that this second album will be for posterity. By the end of 2004 a chapter closes; 4Element expires.

During 2005, Cedric with the help of Xavier finalizes the last recordings, edits and mixes the album at home. The second album Duplicity is homegrown and in May it is finished and done with a DVD including videos from some of the different 4Element shows.

Will 4Element rise from its ashes? That's a question that arises now and then...

Band Practice
Alban on drums with 4Element  Alban's drumset  Cedric on bass with 4Element Phil on guitar with 4Element  Phil on guitar with 4Element  4Element  Xavier singing with 4element
Recording 'Living Spirit'
Alban recording drums for Living Spirit  Alban killing time during sessions  Alban recording drums for Living Spirit  Phil recording guitars for Living Spirit  Cedric recording bass for Living Spirit  Cedric at the controls during a session  Alban recording drums for Living Spirit
Cedric recording bass for Living Spirit  Cedric singing bass for Living Spirit  Cedric recording bass for Living Spirit  Alban recording drums for Living Spirit  Phil killing time during sessions  Cedric at the controls during a session  Alban killing time during sessions
Line Up 3 Pictures
Cedric at rehearsal  Esteban  Tom  Xavier at rehearsal

Video details: Those videos were part of a DVD put together for the Duplicity album. All the details here are from the DVD. Underground Waltz has the album’s audio track because the audio from the video tape was extremely poor. The concert footage is all from the same date from one camera. The four other tracks are from one camera and the audio is from a stereo recording we had done during the concert. Luckily the sound is better on the stereo recording than on the video tape.
Xavier Chasseuil: Guitar, Vocals
Alban Theys: Drums, Percussion, Drum machine
Cédric Theys: Bass, StickCameraman: Philippe Theys
Editing, mixing, few minor fixes: Cédric Theys
Video details: Those videos were part of a DVD put together for the Duplicity album. All the details here are from the DVD. Mid Century Sky Jump is a video that was blown up to fit the whole screen so if looked at closely (but who would want to do that!!) it looks a little squary and pixely. Fake Talk is combined with 2 cameras, one being of low quality (which explains the little pop-ups here and there).
Xavier Chasseuil: Guitar, Vocals
Tom Hoole: Percussion, Drum Machine, Vocals
Cédric Theys: Bass, Stick
Esteban Tucci: DrumsCameramen: Philippe Theys & Fidel Garcia III
Editing, mixing, few minor fixes: Cédric Theys