Artist Profile | Inspiration

Interview: Grasping Beyond Creation with Simon Girard

In a time where digital forces continue to change the music industry, Beyond Creation, led by the multitalented Simon Girard, stands at the forefront of technical death metal. Naturally, we sat down with the frontman to dive deeper into his world.

Interview with Simon Girard
Reading time: about 8 minutes
Top photo by Mihaela Petrescu

As the February afternoon is turning into evening in Stockholm, it’s morning in Canada. Simon Girard brings some well-needed morning energy into our digital get-together.

Photo: B2crea

And then we start at the most logical place: the beginning.

Beyond Creation emerged in 2005 to play technical death metal, a genre renowned for complexity and precision.

“It was very difficult to find good drummers and bassists ready to play that style of music” he recalls, highlighting the first hurdles in bringing the band to life.

Finding inspiration, however, was easier. The influence of pioneers like the German tech death band Necrophagist cannot be understated.

“They were one of the main reasons I was listening to metal because they really pushed out the boundaries of technical death metal with crazy classical arrangements and blast beats,” says Simon Girard.

Since starting out, Beyond Creation has released three albums and one demo. Along the way both the band and Simon Girard have been hailed as powerful players in today’s metal scene.

Making room for progressive soundscapes

And today’s metal scene is about to get another Beyond Creation album, which serves as a follow-up to 2018’s Algorythm.

The new record aims to be a dynamic step from previous ones.

“It’s gonna be a lot more progressive than what it was before,” he shares.

The concept of a story-driven album also resonates strongly with Simon Girard, as he often aims to craft a narrative experience for listeners.

And the last album Algorythm was exactly that. A record built upon the inspiration he got from a favorite album, Traced in Air (2008) by progressive rock and metal outfit Cynic.

“You listen to every song and everything kind of seems related or linked together. You can listen to the entire album as a full story”, he says.

Native lyrics spawn new patterns

A fresh feature of Beyond Creation’s music is the addition of native French lyrics, a nod to the band’s Quebecois roots and an unusual find in the predominantly English-speaking metal world.

“I always wanted to put that at least one or two songs that are written in French because I think it’s important to remind ourselves and the people that hey, we’re from Québec”, says Simon Girard and continues:

“It’s such a different feeling when you write in your own language; the rhythm is totally different, too, because the emphasis you place on the words or syllables you use makes everything accented differently. When you put French lyrics to a song, the patterns change”.

And Simon is correct. It adds a powerful layer to the music, inviting listeners to engage on a different level, much like Swedish death metal outfit Vanhelgd or Beyond Creations compatriots Outre Tombe.

The first .strandberg* experience was “eye-opening”

For some time now, Simon Girard has been a signature .strandberg* artist, together with bandmate Kevin Chartré.

Bandmate Kevin Chartréphoto: B2crea

The frontman’s foray into the world of .strandberg* guitars was transformative for both him and the band.

Discovering the .strandberg* guitars just as he was exiting a Tokyo music store during a visit, he recalls the immediate impact.

“It was mind-blowing. It’s super lightweight, everything is super ergonomic and convenient.”

The ease of play and the natural feel of the instrument allowed him to explore new musical territories, impacting his creative output.

Reflecting on his journey with .strandberg* guitars, he emphasizes, “To me .strandberg* is the best instrument I could ever wish for. It’s so easy to play. So natural.”

Onto a fragmented experience

And just like .strandberg* aims to push the guitar industry forward, the music industry has changed a lot in the last decade, primarily in the shape of streaming.

While acknowledging the convenience of many of these changes, Simon Girard feels concerned over the smaller emphasis on albums as a concept, and the potential implications for artists.

“It’s really different nowadays… It’s not anymore ‘buying music’ where you have the album; instead you create your own playlist,” he notes, pointing out the shift towards a more fragmented listening experience, maybe spawned from our decreasing attention span.

A shift that also brings challenges to the musicians themselves. He emphasizes the importance of supporting artists directly.

“The best way to help the band is to buy directly from them at the show”, he says, and also advises to avoid big online merch stores, and shop straight from the band themselves instead.

With more strings, comes more possibilities

Complex music demands complex instruments. Simon Girard’s journey from 6 to 8-string guitars marked a change in Beyond Creation’s sound.

Photo: Irina Gradenko

“Adding two strings, you have much more possibilities,” he says, highlighting the impact of the change on the band’s music.

The move from 6 to 8-string wasn’t just about accessing lower tones. It also expanded the band’s musical canvas.

“I really see it differently than a lot of people who play 8-string. It’s a chance to play through an extended palette of sound. It’s fantastic,” he says.

Mastering the 8-string guitar presented challenges, yet he viewed it as an opportunity to broaden Beyond Creation’s horizons. Even if that meant a steep learning curve.

“It’s two more strings that you don’t know what to do with it at first. But little by little you get there”, he says.

New sonic territories (and Costa Rica) awaits

As Beyond Creation forges ahead, they will continue to push the ever evolving tech death genre to new territories. Ironic in a way, given that Simon sees something getting lost in another evolution, the one taking place in the music industry.

And his insights are more than words. They offer a window to the current musical ecosystem, which whether you like it or not, isn’t very beneficial to the creative forces themselves, but rather rewards the powerhouses behind this colossal transformation.

A topic that could be discussed forever, I guess.

But instead, me and Simon Girard say our goodbye, and I also wish him a safe trip. He’s headed for Costa Rica with his wife, as a newly married couple.

Buen viaje!

3 fast questions to Simon Girard

Which is the best concept album ever according to you, and why?

“It is so hard to put a definitive answer to this but one for sure that I have listened to since I’m young and never got bored of it is “Dark Side Of The Moon” from Pink Floyd. Even though “Wish You Were Here” is absolutely fantastic, I feel like DSOTM is the one that the continuum of the storytelling is at its apogee. You go through one song to the other, through many different energy and ambiances but always find yourself following the storyline and theme.”

Which is your favorite .strandberg* guitar and why?

“I think my favorite Strandberg guitar is the White Sweden made to measure which I received in 2019 for the touring album cycle of “Algorythm”. I discovered that I especially love the feel and sound of the maple fretboard. This guitar also has a very powerful, versatile and dynamic sound, and on top, it vibrates a lot more than the other guitars that I own, which I think has created a special bond between us two.

As I started learning music with accordion during 8 years and then studied classical guitar music, I presume I’ve always been used to instruments that physically resonate a lot on my chest. So finding an electric guitar that projects this amount of vibration on me is definitely a big plus!

If you can only play one Beyond Creation song to someone to best capture the band’s identity and what you are all about, which song would that be and why?

“I really like versatility. I try to vary the feels, ambiances and pace between each song and albums. You can find many different genres and influences from one song to the other so it’s hard to put your finger on one song in particular.

Our most popular song is “Omnipresent Perception” which I agree, can show a lot of different facets of the band, but I’d personally like to present “Algorythm” has a great overview of the band’s sound. This song to me contains a good balance between melody and technicality but also shows the particular attention that is put into the storytelling and the mix of different musical genres.”

Simons Girards .strandberg* gear

  • Guitar 1 Strandberg US Boden 8-string
  • Guitar 2 Strandberg Sweden made to measure #71 8-string tremolo model
  • Guitar 3 Strandberg Sweden made to measure 8-string 
  • Guitar 4 Strandberg Classic NX 6 Malta Blue
  • Boden Bass Prog 5 10th Anniversary Gold

3 favorite records

  • Cynic – Traced in Air (2008)
  • Album 2 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
  • Album 3 The Contortionist – Clairvoyant

Facts about Beyond Creation


  • Simon Girard on guitars and vocals 
  • Kévin Chartré on guitars
  • Philippe Boucher on drums
  • Hugo Doyon-Karout on bass


  • The Aura (2011)
  • Earthborn Evolution (2014)
  • Algorythm (2018)

Important links

Strandberg Magazine

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