Interview || The One With When Waves Collide

Parisian quartet When Waves Collide recently released their new album, "Chasm", and we invited them for a friendly inquisition to discuss the themes of the album, doing creative things during the pandemic and their local scene. 

U: Bonjour et bienvenue sur Unraveled! Je vous remercie d’avoir pris le temps de faire cette interview. J’aimerais bien la conduire entièrement en français, mais malheureusement la plupart de nos lecteurs ne parlent pas la langue donc on devrait la traduire de toute façon. 
Can you please introduce yourselves and tell us your role in the band?

When Waves Collide: Bonjour et pas de soucis, merci de prendre du temps pour cette interview.
Tim: Hi, I’m Timothée and I play the bass in When Waves Collide
Adrien: Hi I’m Adrien and I play the guitar in the band.
Romain is playing the guitar in the band too and Andrea is the drummer.

U: Your new album, «Chasm», was released a few weeks ago. How’s the reception been so far?

Tim: We have been thrilled by the feedback so far. We have put a lot of effort into making this album heard by the most. The day before the release you never know how much people will listen to it and if they are gonna appreciate it. It is a real joy for us to see listeners in many countries, to read their comments. We even had some buyers in South Korea! Thanks to all of you who are listening to our music.

U: For those who may not be familiar with When Waves Collide, can you tell us a few things about the band and how it started?

Adrien: When Waves Collide defines itself as an instrumental post-rock band. Timothée, Romain, Andrea and myself have been jamming together for a little more than 2 years. There is no big mystery behind the start of the band, we actually met each other via online classified ads, did some rehearsals and we have been together since this time !

U: What was the writing and recording process for the album like?

Tim: At first we always do demos for our songs. Most of the time in this album, it started with an idea from Adrien, then each member added his own colours and arrangement. Some back and forth later, when we are finally happy with the structure, we then play the song live at our rehearsal studio. At this stage everything could still change, but we work together on an already strong base.

For the final version, we recorded all the guitars, bass and synths at our home studio. The drums were played by Andrea and recorded by his long time friend Francesco Giuliano in Napoli where they both come from.

At the end, the songs were mixed and mastered by Franz in Italy. We had to work remotely with him to make "Chasm" as we wanted. We are so happy with this collaboration on the album and the result.

U: What were the biggest challenges that you faced, releasing an album during the pandemic?

Adrien: For this album, we had the amazing opportunity to film a video clip and a live session at Espace Vasarely. Everything was done with professionals. The plan was to do it all in 4 days : 2 days of practicing and set up and 2 days for the actual performance. Sadly during the week it was announced that France was going to be confined again and everything was going to be closed. So we had to film all the live sessions in 1 day. One of the longest days of our lives! But we overcame this challenge and made it !

U: What is the meaning behind the title “Chasm” and what does it represent to you?

Tim: In this album, you find yourself through a lot of different moods as the songs go by. There is definitely some darkness but also some light as a breath in this uncertain journey. This is not a ‘feel good’ album nor an ode to depression. The all idea is to put the listener through these feelings in motion. "Chasm" is the story of a civilization at the edge of collapsing. We follow them through this slow drift until they strand at the end of the path. By thinking about the concept behind "Chasm", we were afraid to sound too pessimistic regarding the actual situation of the world - and the pandemic of course. Settling "Chasm" as a fiction story was the perfect way to keep some distance from the real world and just focus on music and human emotions.

U: You have a brilliant way to paint a cinematic landscape with just your music to fit the theme of the album. Would you ever consider adding vocals to further articulate your message?

Adrien : As previously stated, most of the songs we released are derivatives and rearranged demos that I wrote. I can’t sing at all so I never had the intention to add vocals on them. Our music is already complete with a lot of layers and we all rather keep our songs without any vocals or lyrics. This way the audience can make it its own.

U: Other than post rock, what are some of your influences in general?

Adrien : I guess my biggest influence is the Canadian band Protest The Hero, I’ve been a fan since 2008. I look up to them because they are a successful independent band which always had a great attitude towards their audience, they are engaged. A real inspiration.

Tim: I don’t think I can relate to one specific genre. Lately I really dig in Portico Quartet, Hania Rani, Radiohead, Alfa Mist, The Mattson 2, BADBADNOTGOOD and many more. In books and comics, you should definitely check the work of Hugh Howey, Chuck Palahniuk, Wilfrid Lupano, Jérémie Moreau or Larcenet. Since I’m working as an assistant director in the audiovisual industry, movies and TV have of course a huge influence on how I make music. I enjoy as much the honesty of David Simon as the epicness of Ridley Scott.

Romain: My biggest influence is Trent Reznor from NIN, the manner, the talent he has for telling stories even without any lyrics, I can't say how much influence he has had throughout my life and still has. Regarding the music, by listening to his music, I wanted from the first day to compose with emotions, share it, awaken those of others, that's what I can do with my friends from WWC, and will do as far as we can !

Andrea: I have to say that my main influence is my whole family, musicians, rockers, music lovers, who gave me the passion for music.

U: What is the post rock/metal scene like in France?

Tim: French post-scene is quite active with some well-known bands such as Lost in Kiev or Hypno5e. But we also have a strong emergent scene which we are proud to be part of today. We would like to salute some of our friends that are making this scene alive. Thank you Tiffany from Post In Paris, Eglantine from Totoromoon, and of course Adrien from Bordeaux Reverb Club (the one behind the artwork of Chasm)!

U: What is passion for you? How would you define it?

Adrien: Passion is to keep on making music, in such a difficult context, separated most of the time from your bandmates. It’s releasing an album knowing you won’t have any chance to play it live but hoping you’ll be able to share this experience with the audience. 

Tim: Passion is something you can’t avoid in your life once you find it. You do it regardless of the efforts and never reconsider your reasons.

U: If When Waves Collide were members of the Spice Girls, what would be your Spice names? 

Adrien : I would certainly be the Crooked Spice.

Tim: Sub Spice!

Andrea: Mozza Spice!

Romain: Pizza Spice!

U: If you could have a one-minute phone conversation with a younger you, what age would you call and what would you tell yourself?

Adrien : I would call my 20 years old self and I would tell him to get some bitcoins.

Tim: I would probably talk about the weather with him.

Romain: I would have told him to take some guitar lessons.

U: We are done, thank you for your time! Do you have any final words?

Yes we do: “bla2-efut”. Hope it will make sense to some of you.

Thank you Unraveled for this interview & take care all!


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