More nostalgic, bold, emotive and more playful than many of punk records you’ve hear this year, the newest split between Nantes based punk rockers THE ATTENDANTS and HEAVY HEART (Inhumano records) is a robust album that mines the past for inspiration, while rooting you in the freshness of the present. Carved to please fans of FUGAZI, THE GET UP KIDS, HOOVER, and BANNER PILOT, both bands deliver a fine mixture of emo tinged punk rock, spiced up with some pop sensitivity and nostalgia. Just a couple of days ahead of HEAVY HEART’s European tour with CHAVIRÉ and BIRDS IN ROW, we have teamed up with both bands to give you their first hand commentary about each and every track from the record. Voilà!
The new ATTENDANTS / HEAVY HEART split is on sale now at this location, with profits to be donated to anti repression funds in Western France. Drop a couple of bucks and support the good cause!
THE ATTENDANTS – “L’Etat et ses manières (The State and it’s manners)”:
On this split EP, The Attendants sing for the first time in French. The three songs are about the political and ecological earthquakes that are currently shaking the old Europe. L’Etat et ses manières, (The States and its manners) sings the solidarity with migrants. Solidarity that exists through a part of the French people that opens their homes or organizes popular canteens. Those kind of actions of solidarity that ease the constant shame of living on the French territory. Because the state while participating to the closure of Europeans borders is unable to take an honest position toward its history. Isn’t it the heir of a colonial empire? Doesn’t it owe an outstanding debt toward all Middle East and Africans people? The hospitality and solidarity toward migrants is only a kind of popular justice. We know why the state serving the bourgeoisie and colonial domination cannot say the truth to its people: the economic and political issues at stakes are too high. Still today through the France-Africa relationship, the French wealth is building on the back of colonized countries. However we still see the opposite of solidarity and hospitality actions, a part of the people sinking into nationalism and accepting that thousands of human beings drown in sees, where vacationers bathe in the summer. This is almost laughable. Why keeping borders when a part of the people start to love it’s nation, when it’s leaders and it’s great bourgeoisie that organize nationalism keep on fleeing their country in order to send their money in tax havens ?
« When resonate the call of rebel mouths, the end of a world designed for the rich doesn’t matter. »
THE ATTENDANTS – “Petites machines (Tiny machines)”:
Although, it is about being more than just generous and fair, it is about assuming the consequences of economic development of industrial societies that is responsible for the ecological catastrophy that is already happening. The catastrophy that is the cause of famines and population movements. That’s why in Petites Machines (Tiny Machines) we invite to change our habits and to radically change our behaviors. If the summer of 2019 beats every heat records in France, if thousands of young people came down in the street to warn about the ecological issues, we have to admit that it already is too late and that we don’t have any choices left. There isn’t any choices left but to radically reconsider the capitalist system we’re living in, and the chain of commands that are nothing but chains that keep people from changing their way of living. And that change cannot be done only by aiming individual habits, it has to integrate within collective tiny machines, which little by little, by contaminating directly the environment of each of us, will articulate together in order to initiate a machinery of radical transformation. And those tiny machines require to go beyond the consideration of individual existence. The direct action can be translated by shared gardens, carpools or the occupation and resistance against big urban projects. However, if the masses become progressively aware, even belatedly, that the oligarchy and leaders fooled them, they have to be careful not to be taken into wars and dictatorship through nationalism. Because to answer the issues that are brought by waves of immigrations and by ecology, to answer the economical crisis, to answer resistances forms and protest movements, the ruling classes can always carry the people toward wars.
THE ATTENDANTS – “Le Déserteur (The Deserter)”:
This is why the third song from The Attendant is a cover of the famous anti-militarist song, Le Deserteur (The Deserter) written by Boris Vian. « Mr the president I write you a letter that you may read if you find the time ». Those lyrics create an echo for the affections for the refusal of participating to mass killing, to the refusal to surrender to military discipline that forces too often to obey without thinking, to act without interrogating. But behind this call to refusal to leave for war, there is another desertion hidden, the desertion of the daily capitalist life centered around productivity. And once again the tiny machines that are punk bands come to help the transmission of a popular message, singing the revolt in a world that urgently needs to be changed.
HEAVY HEART – “Ghost Town”:
This song talks about the city, the place the four of us live in. It all starts from a feeling of despair, from feeling powerless toward the modern metropolis, where we’re constantly surrounded by police trucks, consumption sites and homeless people – and it’s like we’ve got used to see this misery. Even worse, the managers of the metropolis are building new infrastructures designed for keeping people from resting in the street, and along the same lines every social movement is systematically and violently repressed: the cities have to be « cleaned » and pacified to attract rich tourists, well off inhabitants and investments. The city is the place where the morbid consequences of capitalism, injustice, inequalities are the most striking, where we can feel them more intensively than anywhere else. Sometimes we feel like public spaces have become closed areas, where every details have been settled in order to avoid gatherings, parties and conspiracy. People are being pushed toward the private realm: we have to stay home if we don’t want to consume, produce or work. The case of the attack from the urbanist toward the inhabitant of the district La Plaine in Marseille is a relevant and recent example among others. So these lyrics started from this desperation toward these gentrification processes, sometime very insidious like it can be the case in Nantes where the cultural policy is used as a tool. In the meantime several pretty joyful events happened in Nantes while we were writing these songs : the opening of La Dérive (an associative café), a castle next to the university occupied to host exiles, demonstrations that often ended with the construction of a symbolic places like the House of The People built downtown in an hour, a self-managed garden…This song is a way to pay tribute to the ones, everywhere in the world, that try by any means to take back some power over the city, within some districts, to build solidarity and resistance streams and that live it on a daily basis.
HEAVY HEART – “Clever Lies”:
These lyrics are about History, and more precisely the way we are taught History, particularly in school. I studied History at the university and I realized a few years later that the way it was taught disturbed me, and more precisely the so called neutrality (named « Historical objectivity ») that some teachers use in order to awkwardly hide their right wing opinions. The official History of a country like France, its national novel, is a narrative that glorifies war, domination (on its own territory but also beyond), exploitation of colonies, and a hymn to the man of providence, savior of the nation. The notion of collectivity doesn’t have its place in this official history. This song is an homage to the defeated of history, like these Communards killed to the very last, and it underlines something that in our opinion is very important: we have to write our own singular and collective history, what we live and do in order to create archives, to be able to pass on our stories to present and future friends and to avoid the truth of an event being owned by media and historians serving power.
« To start a revolution is always about forgetting the « facts » from the past, which is the uncontested field of winners, whereas we remember what’s unfinished, which is on the opposite the kingdom of the defeated. » Marcello Tari
HEAVY HEART – “Freiburg “
For the past two years, we tried to aim our writing toward something different. We wanted to talk more about joy, collective experiments rather than being sad and stuck with personal issues like we used to. These lyrics are a bit different from the other songs we wrote at this time because they are about self-acceptance. Although if this topic is more personal than the others it doesn’t feel like a step back. I’ve had trouble in the past accepting myself for what I am, I suffered quite often from the comparison I made between me and people I loved and admired (So, I guess this song is more about collectivity than I thought).
In my mind, I built a fictional version of myself over the years that I wanted to become by any means necessary, leading me to an unhealthy mix of guilt and shame about who I am. When I fully realized that this mindset was really dangerous for my mental health, I decided to make this ridiculous fantasized version of myself talk one last time and I made it write a good bye note.
I don’t feel burden by this as I used to anymore, partly because writing these lyrics really helped to break the curse. Heavy Heart lyrics are always co-written, Lylian and I took the habit to meet and write together, and being able to share this with a close friend truly helped me. I truly believe in the healing power of writing, especially when it implies sharing. Nevertheless I usually don’t feel comfortable exposing something that intimate, may be this is why the subject is not obvious when we listen to the song, but I figured that if it has a tiny chance to help people with similar issues to stop beating themselves up then it was worth the shot to release it.
This is about learning to see the beauty in others without envy, it is about learning to be a better human being in accepting to see the beauty in ourselves.
We wrote this song while on tour two years ago. We broke our van in Freiburg and got stuck in this awesome place called KTS for two days. Special thanks and hello to Laurin, Darius, people at KTS for hosting us and helping us out convincing the mechanic to repair our van on time, and !ATTENTION! for sharing this bumming experience with us.