March 1, 2023

In a new interview with Chile's Radio Futuro, bassist Frédéric Leclercq reflected on his departure from DRAGONFORCE. Leclercq, who became an official member of DRAGONFORCE in 2006, played his last show with the band in August 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. Frédéric said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I left DRAGONFORCE to join KREATOR. I wasn't happy with the direction [DRAGONFORCE] was taking. I was not happy, and there was no point in me being unhappy and arguing all the time with them. And I got the offer from KREATOR, and it was, like, 'This is perfect.' I must have a good star or an angel or a demon or something, because that was right at the time that I was, like, 'Okay, the [new DRAGONFORCE] album is gonna come out, and I'm gonna go on tour and I'm gonna be very unhappy. But I don't have anything else.' And life is life. You need to pay your bills. But then I got a phone call from Mille [Petrozza, KREATOR mainman], and it was, like, 'This is great. Ciao DRAGONFORCE. Ola KREATOR.'"

Frédéric's final collaboration with DRAGONFORCE was the band's eighth full-length album, "Extreme Power Metal", which came out in September 2019.

KREATOR played its first show with Leclercq in October 2019 in Santiago, Chile.

Last summer, Petrozza told Australia's Metal Roos about Leclercq's addition to KREATOR: "Frédéric is a total pro. He's really, really focused. He's probably the best musician in the band, with Sami [Yli-Sirniö, guitar]. Those two are real classically trained musicians. He knows everything about harmonies. He's an excellent guitar player [as well]. So it was a huge help on all levels to have him in the camp and have him be a part of the band. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made, bringing him into the band, because he's also a very nice guy to be around and he's been a friend of the band for many years now. It's a lot of positive energy that he brings into the band, a lot of joy for music. He has a great sense of humor, which is essential."

Asked if Leclercq contributed to the songwriting process for KREATOR's fifteenth studio album, "Hate Über Alles", which was released last June via Nuclear Blast, Mille said: "Most songs were written, but we worked on the song 'Dying Planet' together. And also, of course, he helped me arrange some of the songs. He's a part of the team. And he also produced the demos, really. When we were in the studio doing the band rehearsals, he did the demo recordings, and they sounded great already."

Mille went on to reiterate the importance of maintaining interpersonal harmony when choosing new members for a band.

"You really have to pick the right person," he said. "A band is like a marriage with four people. And if you pick the wrong person, it can ruin the vibe in the band and it can ruin everything, really. And so I'm really happy that we found Fred. Like I said, he's been a friend and I knew that he was looking for a new challenge. There was no such thing as auditioning new bass players. I just called Fred and asked him if he wants to join, and that was it."

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