2 weeks after the record release party for the vinyl version of their latest album “Tight”, Julien, the guitarist and backing vocalist of Parisian melodic hardcore band BURST ONE’S SIDE, teams up with IDIOTEQ to give you some cool insights on the record, 95 District hardcore scene, the band’s evolution and the current state of hardcore punk! Read and watch below.
The limited double picture disc 10″ vinyls of “Tight” are available now via Knives Out Records!
Hey buddies! Thanks a lot for taking some time with IDIOTEQ. How are you? How’s Paris? Please tell us a little bit about your background and the 95 district.
Hi, well everything’s doing pretty good for us now, we’ve just released our first album called “tight” on Knives Out records, the CDs came out few months ago and we’re waiting for the vinyls now. We are pretty excited about that. We’re trying to book shows and write new songs too.
For Paris it’s more complicated. Since the November events the situation here is quite stressful. Policemen everywhere, everyone’s quite paranoid, afraid…I guess we don’t know what to do right now and our Government doesn’t really help with that, but I guess France is just an example of how the world is really sick now. Sick from what I don’t really know…and that’s another topic.
So we’re a pretty old band now since we started in 1999. We’ve always been a punk hardcore band, we released few demos, splits CDs and we’ve played many shows in France, few in Europe. I don’t know if we can say that we’re an “unlucky” band but every time during the ten first years we waited to go further, record an album, go on a real big tour, EVERYTIME someone in the band had to leave. Between 1999 and 2010, we’ve known something like 4 drummers, 4 bass players and 5 guitar players. I guess you can imagine how frustrating these can be; so in 2010 we’ve decided to stop the adventure.
And in 2014, after a long talk, we took the decision to start again but in a more seriously way. So we went straight to the studios and recorded our first album at the end of the year 2014 with Amaury Sauvé (BIRDS IN ROW, AS WE DRAW, WANK FOR PEACE,…). After few amazing shows in France with PENNYWISE, IGNITE, 7 SECONDS and a small Euro tour with a band called MEMORIES, the album came out and here we are now.
Well first of all, the 95 District is an area in the northern suburb of Paris. That’s where a bunch of friends decided to start a band. And after meeting more guys, that crew became even bigger and more bands appeared. We released CDs, compilations, we organized shows and festivals…we’ve done our best to create something fun and interesting so everyone in that area could be a part of it. At its golden age, the 95 District represented 7 bands (M16, STRIKE BACK, THE MARX MALLOWS, NHC, SIDE EFFECT, FULL SCREEN and BURST ONE’S SIDE). 7 bands, 7 styles: punk rock, NYHC, punk hardcore, emocore, pop punk,… With time, all those bands split up. Today, we’re the only one which is still alive with the band MEMORIES that I talked about earlier.
Yeah man, thanks for the intro!
The “Tight” goes back your roots with even more powerful tracks! Tell us about the process of composing and recording these tracks. Are you happy with the final result?
So first of all, the recording process has been a really amazing experience. We had a lot of fun spending time with Amaury Sauvé (who also worked with great French bands: BIRDS IN ROW, NINE ELEVEN, WANK FOR PEACE…); he’s a really great guy and a talented musician. We’ve decided to work with him cause we knew he could give us the sound we wanted: something honest, intense and natural.
The way we compose songs is quite easy in a way. I got the first idea and I give it to my colleagues so we can find the final shape all together. So far that’s how we do, maybe we will change it, never know…For the lyrics, I’m also the one who’s writing them, and that for two reasons: I got the best English in the band (yes sorry we are French) and since we always had that political/social ideas in our lyrics, as a social worker I got a good position to express issues.
We didn’t write new songs for that album, we wanted to go quite fast so we used old songs we’ve never recorded and gave a second birth to songs that deserved a better sound than demos.
The final result is really nice, even if the recording process wasn’t that easy. We had some bad surprises during those 10 days at the studio and that’s why the album is called “Tight” too…I think we are really proud of the final object too, the design rocks. Our friend Gaetan Heuze (POWERBISCUIT) has done an amazing job. We can’t wait to see the picture discs.
How has Amaury Sauvé impacted the final form of “Tight”? Can you expound a bit more on the details of your work with him?
Amaury is really an amazing guy; he’s so simple, so humble and so talented as the same time. He’s a very good musician and he knows how to feel the music. He knows how to catch a band energy to create something unique. Being with him was more a human being adventure than a musician one, for sure. He helped us being better musician (if we can say we are…) and he helped us being more sensitive about our songs and how to play them. It was our first time in a studio, being only the four of us and him for 10 days, so it was more about relationship than music, it’s not that easy staying with the same 4 people in a small area for 10 days…
Ok, so tell us a bit about Knives Out and your pairing with the label.
The story with Knives Out Record is quite easy. Johan and Anthony (our guitar player) are good friends, Anthony used to play in PROVIDENCE when someone was missing. Johan pushed him (and pushed us) to reunite and said he would help us if everything was good. I guess you know what the end of that story…He liked the album so he decided to release it on his label. We are really proud and really happy for he has done for us. And it’s also really cool to be in the same label than our friends HIGHTOWER, sometimes you can feel lonely as a punk rock band when you are on a metal hardcore label ahahah
Ok buddy, you’ve been around with BOS since 1999. How has your approach to running a band changed over the course of these years?
That band has always been about friendship and not trying to calculate anything, that’s the big thing. I guess since we reunite things have changed cause of the complete situation, the scene, the music industry…etc. When we started Internet wasn’t that popular and powerful, bands could play almost anywhere, we had so much possibilities, now its way more complicated. There are a lot of bands and culture is dying slowly. So as a band, right now you have to use all those new kind of communication and you have to be pretty active if you want your band to stay alive. That’s the big change for us, now we have to think more about how to reach people, we have to be like a small organized company and let’s be honest, we suck at that, cause it’s not natural and doesn’t look sincere to us. But now that we are “old”, I think we know what we want and what we don’t want anymore. Before we could “yes” to any ideas or possibility, now we’ve learned to say “no”.
What’s something that helped your songwriting develop as you’ve gotten more mature?
I think that now we can assume what we really like and use all the kind of music that influenced us. I don’t know if I’m a “musician” but I don’t know how you can play one kind of music without listening to any different styles. Let’s be honest punk rock isn’t the richest music for musician potentials, so listening to other styles helped us or playing in different bands, having more experiences gave us also another ideas.
About the lyrics, it’s also about assuming who you are and what you think. It’s a cliché but when you’re younger you can be easily angry against anything and not being able to explain really deeply what you got in mind cause it’s purely emotional. Growing old gave me confidence through all my experiences, so I know what I wanna say and how I wanna say that. Being angry isn’t enough, explaining smartly that anger is way better. For me the challenge is to make people think and not tell them what they have to do. I think that one of the biggest change is that now on stage I talk a lot, trying to explain our lyrics and our ideas. I sound like a preacher sometimes (ahahah).
What’s your view on the current trends and fashion in punk rock and hardcore punk scenes? What’s you view on the whole movement and its evolution?
I’m not really in touch with the scene anymore, is there still one? I don’t know. As I said Internet has changed a lot of things, the scene is probably worldwide now. To be honest I don’t care about the trends and fashion, I don’t need to follow them. But it’s crazy how bands appear and disappear so quickly now, there’s no more good bands that really last. Maybe cause members follow trends too, they play their songs and when they took what they could they stop and start something new. Just another signals of how our society is into consumerism I guess. Do those guys still believe in what they’re doing?
How has YOUR view of punk and its meaning has changed from late 90s?
We just talked about trends and fashion, so can we still talking about a movement? About somewhat meaning? I’m not sure. Maybe I got a negative approach but now I think that punk rock is mainly just a music style, his meaning is dying slowly. Medias used those mainstream bands to fool people. Who really care and believe in what Rise Against say today? How can you believe in REFUSED lyrics when you see how good their business is doing? All those so called political bands who show up with such nice haircut, great looks…I think the message has been lost. In fact, as I’m answering I realize that I don’t really know what’s going on in that punk rock universe. We talked about music but it should be about the attitude, a way of life. I’ve made choices in my life, I’ve decided to follow my ideas, that’s why I’m a social worker, in a way I kept that mentality. But what’s punk or not anyway, and who am I to judge? Maybe today punk rock is about having the best tattoos, the best jacket and the best haircut?!
I sincerely hope not. Ok, so how much are you thinking beyond this new record? Are there more recording and touring plans already in the works?
We don’t have any plans. We’re just enjoying what’s going on now, we try to have fun and see what we can do. We wanna play shows, we wanna tour but right now we can’t say about any new record, but I think we won’t try to record another album. The next one would probably be an EP. That would be way easier.
Cool. Thanks so much for your time! Feel free to wrap it up with your final words and till the next time!
Well thank you so much for your support and your help. We really appreciate. And if I had just one thing to say it would be: “Go read books!!”.