Well I had to get another line-up: I know play with my friends Julien and Manu Martinez on the rhythm section, and Nicolas Tchakamian on second guitar, who recorded and mixed the album. We joined Helmet on tour this past February, after which we started working on the release of this new album.
2.Ypu have a new album coming out in September, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have releaed in the past?
The new album is really raw and in your face, with big guitars, natural sounding drums but without sacrificing melody - and all these songs could be played on an acoustic guitar and work by themselves! It's still a change with what we did before as the tempos are much higher, giving the album a hardcore/punk vibe and probably adding more energy to our music. Actually, some of the older songs are being rearranged to match the new ones live.
3.The band has been around since 2007 but has only put out 3 albums, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap in between releases?
I'd say it's really due to miscommunication between the band-members on the one hand, and also not understanding how things work in the world of music.When you make a record it's something really near and dear to you. Each time I've wanted to wait for the right time to put them out, so as not to "waste" them. I can't say I've really succeeded in that, but having had to go through major line-up changes, I took the time to regroup and find the right partners. When you start from nothing, not knowing what to do, it takes time. and sadly, time flies.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
It's really about frustration: the feeling of fuckin up every time, working shit jobs to pay for living, not being able to find your way around, people bragging but not backin it up, idiotic political choices... I don't know in what measure all that will come through to the listener. However, this whole record should be taken as a whole, with the sound, the way we've played, and the artwork. Ultimately it's like a wake-up call to myself, and I hope people will see this as a shot of energy.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage perfromance?
Off the top of my head three shows come to mind:
- Paris with Hermano in 2008 at Le Trabendo : fantastic crowd, great energy on stage, really an explosive night. I thought we'd taken things a step up, that this particular night would be our break. It was not.
- London at the Camden Unicorn in 2012 : again great crowd, great club, and people were really receptive to our music. It felt like we were playing right where we should be playing.
- more recently in Marseilles at Le Poste à Galène in May: first show as a 4 piece with the new line-up, I think the best in all of the history of the band. Now I just wish for the band to play gigs like every day!
Also our tours with Nick Oliveri & Mondo Generator as well as the tour alongside Helmet this past February have been great achievements of sorts.
There's nothing fancy in our stage performances; just the band playing honest. We're the same on stage than we're in everyday life - although people keep saying they don't recognize me as I seem so calm out of the stage. It's probably just cause I'm tall.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
That's the next move. There's so much work with the release and it's tough to manage all these things at once. So far we only have shows book in France but the next move is to plan and go out on tour anywhere we can throughout Europe first, and then try US and Canada if the opportunity arises.
7.The new album is coming out on F200, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
This is the label I started to put out the record, with the help of Cargo Records UK. I had been toying with the idea of starting my own thing, that way if I were to be upset, I could only blame myself for it. With no label willing to help at this point, I started this, backed by my friends in the band, and it's a great venture really. I'm considering signing other acts to the label at some point, but first let's wait and see how we manage with that first release.
8.Page Hamilton produced the new album, what was it like working with this legendary musixian?
That was the best thing I've done in my life. It made me grow musically, I was able to explore new vocal ranges and also see guitar playing under a different light. Moreover, it impacted a lot of the other aspects of life. I should add that we had a great laugh too. It was nothing like "we're not worthy". However legendary and respected he may be, he made sure everyone felt comfortable so we could be productive; we really were "on the same page" if I may say so. I have learned a lot about arranging songs, about what works and why; on the other hand, he helped me cultivate my instinct and get straight to the point with regards to songs structures.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal, punk and hard rock?
It's really hard to say as there's so many quality bands roaming through the mist of the inter webs. It's hard for music to reach the proper ears without a solid team. But with this new record we're getting a good amount of positive feedback from UK, Germany, Italy and Spain but also the States and South America. All that, in turn, has generated some more interest for our music in France. Let's hope this keeps growing!
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We're working on new songs, and it's picking up where we left things off with Page. Since he'll be working on the next record again, I'm excited to see where we'll land. So far rhythm is the main thing, and the interaction between guitars and drums; it'll have a bit more edge overall, but will still feature melodies.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I'd like to split this into two categories: influences (up to 18 years old) and inspirations (from college onwards). I grew up with what is commonly referred to as "Grunge", and then "Britpop" (that saves me the bandname dropping that people would hastily refer us to). But the main thing in my life, that's the Beatles - from Rubber Soul to Abbey Road. Feels like I have learned everything from playing to their records as a teenager, and I could listen to them all day. It never ends, you always hear something new, a certain guitar lick will touch you in a different way, a Harrison's song will reveal itself all of a sudden, and Lennon's voice will tear your heart out. Ringo, no one can play like him, you just can't. And Paul McCartney, he keeps putting out awesome records...
After that I'd say there's been a lot of inspirations, from the first three QOTSA to James Brown to Sixteen Horsepower and Wovenhand to the classics: Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett, Zeppelin, Sabbath, The Who, the Rolling Stones... The last band that blew me away was Sleaford mods - seems like a breath of fresh air. Saw them live two years ago, it's like the hooligan version of James Brown! Other than that I'm rediscovering some classics from the 90s: Frank black's solo stuff, Ride, Fugazi...and I need my daily dose of Stranglers - from Rattus to Feline, even some of the later stuff as the songwriting is still ace.
12.What are some of yuor non musical interests?
Pizza, cats, conspiracy theory, clothes, travels, History, Italy and the Basque Country.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I really like Pizza, it's a genuine craft that needs to be mastered. And thanks so much for this interview, it was a real pleasure to talk about the band and the music we play. Hopefully we'll come play in a place near you!