Bordeaux hardcore band, No Matter What, coming up with their colorful aesthetics and potent lyrical themes, have taken a distinct approach to their music that combines elements of hardcore and metal with a vibrancy typically unseen in the genre. With their new album already gaining traction, it’s time to delve into a track by track commentary that unpacks the depth within this high energy offering.
Born from their shared admiration for bands like Hatebreed, Sworn Enemy, First Blood, and Lionheart, No Matter What brings a unique dimension to their sound – an intricate mix of heavy breakdowns, sharp guitar tones, and catchy choruses, served alongside a strong, inspiring narrative. The album is a testament to the strength of character, the power of perseverance, and the resilience to transform life’s adversities into fuel for self-improvement.
In the wake of their powerful singles, “For The Win,” a compelling anthem about friendship and triumph, and “Pure Strength,” featuring Drew York from Stray From The Path, the band has undoubtedly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Each track from their debut self-titled album bears its own soul, bringing a layer of life experience, emotional depth, and a call for unity in overcoming struggles.
Remarkably, the entirety of this album was self-recorded, a laborious process spread across various nondescript locations ranging from personal apartments to rehearsal studios. The crafting of the album extended from 2018 to 2020, an expansive timeline that now seems a distant memory. The progression towards the album’s completion was somewhat of an odyssey, punctuated significantly by the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
This group, ardent lovers of live music, found the confinement to studios for extended periods rather challenging. The absence of rehearsals and the repetitive trials of being secluded for the recording process proved to be a profound contrast to their passion for onstage performances. Despite their self-recording venture, they were compelled to re-record certain sections that lost their initial appeal after multiple listens.
The endeavor was not without its hurdles; with a constrained budget, they set out on their journey, accepting that some elements, such as the backing vocals, would not be as polished as they would have liked. The recording sessions, strewn across different days and rooms with varying microphones, led to inconsistencies in audio levels, thereby posing a challenge during the mixing process to achieve a harmonious final mix.
The band entrusted the mix to their friend, Jules Martson, hailing from Marseille, located on the diametrically opposite side of France. Despite the imperfect takes he was provided, Martson managed to deliver an impressive result. Simultaneously, the band continued their live performances and indulged in crafting new music during the recording phase.
Now, they eagerly anticipate their next recording journey, this time, within the confines of a professional studio. However, their deep-seated longing for live performances remains as they look forward to hitting the stage once again before immersing themselves in the studio environment.
Today, we dive deep into each and every track from the album, with a special rundown by No Matter What themlseves. Check it out below.
Basically we were just jamming with our friend Simon, who is also a producer and sound engineer. We had the idea to put some rap influenced interludes into the album since a long time, but we did both during the same night. Chilling while listening to Three 6 Mafia and Future we had some cool ideas. He showed us some instrumentals and we picked 2.
It’s probably the oldest song of the record, it’s kind of a beatdown song (we used to be more beatdown influenced back in the day). The song is about trying to not overthink things. Letting go of the bad things. Everything is temporary, even the hard times, and you have to realise that even if it’s overwhelming.
We really like that song. It has been written a pretty long time ago too but we still love it. It’s such an energic track. The riffs are groovy, and the song ends with this side to side riff, it made it so fun to play live. The song talks about staying strong in your ideas even if people don’t understand the person you are. It’s about staying true to yourself and focusing on improving yourself. We wanted to add some spice to the track. We had the opportunity to make that feature with Drew from Stray From The Path. He was in France at that time, not touring because of covid. We talked on instagram and he was searching bands to collaborate with. We always liked his band so we thought “ok that’s cool, let’s go”. Funny stuff because I used to go to Stray From The Path shows when I was like 17 years old.
This is the second single we released, we really like the breaks and the changing tempos on this one. The two-step riff at the end goes really hard. This song also brings a good energy live. It is about quitting manipulative people. It’s about getting some power back on yourself. In life, some people tell you something that is meaningful to you, while actually thinking the opposite. Don’t give them what they want from you.
Following the previous track, this one talks about trust, betrayal and loyalty. You don’t have to trust anyone before you trust yourself. Nothing is more important in the end than the opinion you have of yourself. Way more than the opinion other people have on you. You can’t put all your trust in something or someone, if you’re not proud of yourself in the first time. Focus on making that happen. This is a pretty groovy song, with fast parts, good for circle pits in live. It also ends with what is the heaviest breakdown we have probably.
Leads Us To Our Grave
This song is a fast song, it’s more in the punk/hardcore vibe than the rest of the album. We even add a kind of surf punk part, with harmonic vocals. It’s a song about addiction, about overcoming it. Because every addiction simply leads us to our grave, slowly or fast. Addiction is fueled by negative emotions, that are fueled by addiction. It’s a vicious circle that needs to be broken one way or another.
As we are also bi rap and hip hop listeners we really wanted to have a trap interlude splitting the album. This one is dark but also sounds like a party banger. That’s what we liked about it. You can easily imagine yourself in the streets of a big city at night while listening to it. Like the intro, it’s also Simon who worked on this one, he’s a pretty good beatmaker.
It’s the third single we released, and we shot a music video for this one. It features our friend Yoann from Smash It ! A punk hardcore band from our hometown, Bordeaux. It’s a song about friendship and success, going hard with your team and getting all the trophies. That’s what it’s all about. A groovy motivating song, with some gang vocals you can easily remember and sing out loud when it’s needed. We really love that song, it’s a really cool song to play live, it brings a whole new level of energy. It’s a shoutout song, we always dedicate it to our friends.
Maybe the heaviest track of the record. There’s a big beatdown vibe in this one, also a very fast “thrashy” part. We mixed a little bit of all of our influences in this one, we wanted to make something catchy and heavy at the same time. The lyrics are about the people talking too much shit on the internet and who spread negativity all around. People who blame other people for trying to act for a better world, telling them “it’s not enough, we can’t do anything anyway”. This mentality is shitty and leads nowhere, so fuck the haters, and do what you can for a better world. Even a small step is a good beginning.
No Matter What
It’s the name of our band and the name of the album. So this track resumes everything we stand for, musically and lyrically. There’s everything we like in this song, two-steps verses, a chorus, singalongs and a side to side to end the track the best way possible. It’s a song about inclusion, acceptance and standing together as one. We wanted a catchy chorus everybody can relate to, with sing-alongs. It’s the last track we wrote on this record and we thought it would make a perfect ending to our first record. We first named the track “No Matter What”, then we decided to use it as our band name, and then to use it as the album title. It’s also the last word on the record, and that means a lot to us.