Fresh off the release of their new album ‘Do Not Return Fire’ on KROD Records, Paris based emo infused indie alt rock band FLÈCHE sat down with us to talk a bit about their project, captivating and a competent new offering, their inspirations, and their Parisian alt scene. See the full interview below.
Flèche (Paris, FR), four fans of The Get Up Kids having each previously played in a bunch of bands and now trying to mix the thick rock and harmonies of Alice in Chains with the technical pop of Minus the Bear. What we like is to make the melody that alternates soft verses and heavy choruses. / KROD Records
The band comments:
We wanted melodic and clear verses and ultra dynamic and saturated choruses. Big, drooling fuzz! But as we’re emokids, we’re still pretty sad melody on these borderline grunge passages.
We talk about things in our lives, usually the negative ones. So instead of talking about it, we make it into songs.
For fans of: The Get Up Kids, Alice in Chains, Minus The Bear.
Hey there guys! Thanks so much for joining us here on IDIOTEQ. Your unique mixture of experimental rock, energized and emotional indie rock fits our tastes very much and, I must say, your new offering lures the listener through a maze that twists and turns around seemingly known corners, but also drawing into the fresh unknown. Great vibes! Tell us a bit about the amalgam of inspirations, your experiences and backgrounds that enabled you to create this record.
Nicolas: Hey! Thanks. Amalgam of inspirations is a great way to sum this up. It might have been risky, mixing all those influences, but up until now the reactions saying it overall sounds coherent means we were right to do what we did, without overthinking it. As a joke we wrote in our biography that we played in a total of 500 bands, of course it’s a lot less than that, but accumulating a wide range of past musical experiences (hardcore, indie, emo, post-rock, punk-rock…) explains why we sound like we do now. This record is also the result of us celebrating the bands we listened to, from our teenage years to now.
Michaël: Hey ! and i guess as we’re not getting any younger we had time to “digest” our influences, so we can avoir the whole copycat thing. Also the greater the musical landscape you appreciate, the greater your views about a certain genre or how you compose music is.
How’s Paris alt rock scene doing these days? Can you give us a sketch of of its development throughout the years and the current state?
Nicolas: It has changed a lot. The main thing I witnessed in the last 15 years for the alternative rock scene here is the disappearance of DIY venues or DIY booking agents within the center of Paris, at least for melodic rock like we do.
This side of things is pretty much dead, to be honest, mostly because DIY or unequipped venues are too noisy for gentrified areas.
The result is that everything tends to be more professional, but the downside is it offers less space for young bands to grow through trial and error.
That lack of renewal also means the “scene” gets older, the audience and the bands. I guess it’s how music works, through cycles, and young people aren’t that interested in alternative rock this time but maybe it’ll come back later.
Also… On the one hand, the hardcore/metal scene will survive because within Paris or in the near suburbs there will always be activists for extreme music, on the other hand you have pop music bands that can play at low volume in any venue. But for bands like us who sit between genres the place feels very limited.
Michael: As Nicolas pointed out, DIY is slowly dying, there’s still here and there commited people putting out shows and really helping newcoming bands. But in general, the alt rock scene is not at its best, just like rock music in general in France.
In Paris, things tend to get ugly as more and more bars are closing their stage or are forced to close due to complaints from neighbours. Good bands are still emerging though, like Brian’s Magic Tears, Hallowed Ground, etc.
Give us some good venues, labels and artists recommendations. What’s there, both locally and nation-wise, that’s interesting and worth following this year?
Nicolas: The “Supersonic” has a free entrance policy and a nice musical programming. That’d be the place to go check first in Paris. Other venues are Le Petit Bain, L’Espace B, Le Point Éphémère…
Bands, I’d say my bandmates’ side-projects Necrodancer and Sure. Also check out Hallowed Ground, Paerish, Jean Jean, Celeste, Comity, Forever Pavot, Lane, Sport, Mermonte, Decibelles…
Shootout to our record label Krod Records! Also you should keep an eye on labels such as Throatruiner and Musicfearsatan.
Michael: I second Nicolas on the “Supersonic”, this venue is doing a lot for the musical scene in Paris. Hopefully “La Mécanique Ondulatoire” will be allowed to set up shows again soon and all the venue that Nicolas mentioned earlier.
As for the bands i’ll add Almeeva, Ingrina, Worst Doubt and my other band Sure (just google sure tasting revenge ;)
Ok, so back to your new record, I’m intrigued by the incorporation of these artsy images in your artwork. What was your process for selecting the images? Do you see them as illustrations for specific themes, or do they work to serve a different purpose?
Nicolas: The basis for this album’s artwork is a photo from Matthieu Venot, a talented minimalistic photographer and a friend of Mickaël (vocals, guitars). He showed us a selection of pictures and we all agreed on this one. I like the fact that it isn’t the kind of style you’d expect when listening to our music. It’s cool to grab people’s attention with unexpected visuals.
Michael: Visually this picture is strong with bright colours and yes kind of not expected for this style of music. We all wanted a change from the typical “alt rock” artwork. There’s no hidden signification, it’s just pretty and sometimes that’s all it takes, no secret messages just art.
Are there any particular visual artists that influence your work, or that you feel resonate with your musical and art related interests?
Nicolas: Not really… I mean, for example the four of us are into sci-fi but I wouldn’t say it influences our work.
See, we made 4 music videos but they visually have nothing in common.
Michael: Sci-Fi is running through our veins and the retro-futurism illustrations are something we feel attracted to but it doesn’t show up in the visual. The only thing i guess, looking at our videos is the 90’s nostalgia, as we’re all born in the early 80’s.
Is there anything running this band taught you in particular, so you feel that you learned from the whole multi-faceted process?
Nicolas: Musically speaking, I learned that writing our four instrumental parts each in our own corners can be a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing on the previous releases because our sound was lighter and it resulted in complicated but playful harmonies. Now that we’re heavier we need to be more effective on impact, and it requires us to listen more closely to each other and be more synchronized…
Michael: precision might be the key word here and also how to focus on obtaining a sound, as a musician your own sound without overstepping on your bandmates.
Finally, what’re working on now and what is in the pipeline for future work from FLECHE? What’s on your schedule at the moment?
Nicolas: For now we’re focused on promoting this album as much as we can, with playing as many shows as we can!
Thanks so much for your time! Appreciate it. Feel free to drop your last words and take care! Cheers from Warsaw
Nicolas: Thanks for having us! We’re honored to talk about the band outside of our usual area. Cheers.
Michael: Thanks a lot for welcoming us !