Infectious Magazine chats with A.S. to discuss artistic collaboration, their new album Exile, and when we can expect to see them on the road. Check it out after the jump.
Infectious Magazine: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. How are you?
A.S. A bit tired but very excited and very glad to be talking to you too. We’re working hard planning the upcoming tours in the UK and US for the album and starting to get some great reviews of the album… so it’s kind of hectic but it’s a great problem to have!
IM: Your second album, Exile is set for release on April 15, via Inedible Records. What can fans expect?
A.S. For fans who are familiar with our first album “Intimate Circles” they’ll find a continuation of the sound world that defines A.S. We’re still very happy with that first album and many of the choices we made. At least, we’re still listening to it and not going “oh my god” in the wrong way. But a first album is also a proving ground for the musical universe and the signature of the group. We took a few risks on the album thinking “what the hell, we enjoy it… let’s see what people think”. So we were delighted when it was those slightly “out-there songs” (like Maybe and Intimate Circles) that people really latched on to. Some of the more obvious poppy stuffy got a much more moderate response. So, of course, we were surprised and delighted and in the second album Exile we made a conscious decisions to Do exactly what we wanted and take the time necessary to really craft something that was an expression of what we were going through and the statement that we wanted to make.
IM: What is one song in particular you’d like fans to pay specific attention to?
A.S. That’s such a hard question. Of course the first two singles “Do What You Want” and “Probable Cause” best illustrate the album. But the song I listen to most keeps changing… “Reasonable Doubts”, “Time”, “Invisible Kiss”… and that’s really what we we’re trying to do: make something you can listen to multiple times and take some time to fall in love with.
IM: You’ve said that each of your tracks on Exile is like a short film. Do you think that kind of compelling imagery is vital in today’s oversaturated music market?
A.S. As a result of our first album we’ve just stopped worrying about the music market. I’m from a classical music background and have worked in film and documentary. Personally I just love music that you can’t listen to without seeing things and when I write and arrange I’m almost always trying to create something that does that – creates an ambiance, a soundscape, the feeling of really being somewhere.
IM: Having toured France and the UK, how are you viewing your break into the US? Any plans to tour the US in the near future?
A.S. Yes. We’ll be touring the US in July-August this year. Some exciting dates already in Brooklyn, Boston, and San Francisco as we start to build up the calendar. We’re also coming back to the UK in May – June. It’s great to play to crowds who get the music and understand the lyrics. It’s a great buzz for me… of course it does mean I have to remember all the words and not just make up some franglais!
IM: Nick, you’re originally from Australia, though your base as a band is France. Do you think having that contrasting upbringing within music and what I’d imagine are fairly different music scenes has helped create such a unique sound and approach?
A.S. Yeah, I think so. We are definitely not a “pure” product of any one music scene or even national culture. Even Idriss and I have such diverse backgrounds. In classical music we tend to look down a bit on “cross-over” artists. But hybrid art forms and mixed cultures and references can be awesome… I’m thinking of Gerschwin, Rodriguez or Ravel in classical music and Radiohead, Björk and Agnes Obel in alternative. It can be so cool not to feel like you have to conform to a particular style but just do what you want musically – do something personal and authentic.
IM: Your album artwork for Exile was created with the help of French photographer, P. Gaston. Do you think that kind of artistic collaboration with local artists of all types is vital to not only the music industry, but also the art scene in general?
A.S. Yeah I do. It was fun getting Philippe to Scotland to do the photo shoot and he’s a photographer who is just so easy to work with. We shot hundreds and hundreds of photos on the Isle of Skye and West Scotland. On the previous album we worked with another very well respected French photographer François Berthier who has a huge music background. I think increasingly music is about that network you try to create around what you do. Forget traditional big budget marketing for bands like us. It’s all organic. And that’s a very different world that the Majors don’t like that much…
IM: What’s in the future for you guys?
A.S. Well at the moment we’re in the studio almost non-stop rehearsing the show for the tour. We have some songs and sketches for the next album “Reasonable Doubts” and a couple more clips in the pipeline but it’s all about trying to be where we need to be on stage in summer this year.
IM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A.S. Just the usual I guess… tour dates will be appearing on our website, so stay tuned…
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