Infectious Magazine chats with La Fin Absolute du Monde to talk international touring tips, hospitality and new music in this exclusive interview. Check it out after the jump.
Infectious Magazine: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. How are you?
La Fin Absolute du Monde: We’re good. As we write this to you we’re in Glasgow, Scotland, at the home of our label mates, Hotstuff & The Eyecandy, an amazing electronic/guitar duo. They’re like the party version of us! Other than that, it’s really cold here … like really cold. We’re from California and this is NOT Spring weather! Lucky for us, we’ve been able to encounter some amazing people that make this journey a worthwhile learning experience.
IM: You’re currently on a UK tour. Can you give us your top 5 tour tips for bands about to embark on their first tour/first tour in another country?
La Fin Absolute du Monde:
1. Fully book your tour beforehand. Nothing’s worse than the empty, off days of spending money just to survive. Plan ahead.
2. Figure out your transportation beforehand. Keep in mind that the roads are different, the traffic patterns are different and the cars are different. Rental car companies won’t always give unlimited mileage with the permission to travel to unlimited countries. Most cars are manual transmission … with the stick being on the LEFT side. Not to mention that the standard car here is TINY … It’s easy to fill a car up with bodies with no room for luggage, much less gear. Gas, or petro, as they call it, is almost $10 USD/gallon. We travel via public transportation. Trains are expensive. Buses are cheaper. Megabus is cheapest. And the more in advance you book your ticket, the cheaper it will be. But note that you’ll also have to figure out transfer points because there will not always be a direct route.
3. Do NOT expect any sort of hospitality in the UK. Whereas most, if not all, venues in the US provide at least a meal (if they serve food) and usually a friendly fan and new friend will offer a couch or spare room or floor to stay, venues in the UK do not offer hospitality. Ask first. Couchsurfers.com seems to be a good way of finding a free room and you can always invite your host and their friends to the shows!
4. Don’t expect good and cheap food. First of all, the UK is not known for its delicious food. Secondly, with the exchange rate, food is very expensive. Don’t let restaurants entice you with their $12 lunch specials. That shit’s still about $15 USD … for one person. We eat a gross amount of PB and J sandwiches (although we’ve discovered a generic chocolate spread … because Nutella is expensive here too … adds a tremendous taste of je ne sais quois! Groceries at the supermarket are definitely cheaper. Still, be careful. You’ll see a lot of pound and two pound items that will add up! Oh, but we do have a guilty pleasure … Poundland … they’ve got ton of £1 snacks.
5. Travel light. Whether you’re renting a car or traveling via public transportation, you’ll need to haul around a lot of gear that would be hard to fit in a little car (unless you end up renting a big, expensive van) or in a bus compartment. Lucky for us, there’s only two of us. Our live show is simple with just a laptop. Jason left his Line 6 Vetta II at home and came with his Line 6 XT floor pedal. He plugs right into the PA. He doesn’t get the feedback effects that he likes to achieve, but the smaller and lighter, less bulky gig bag is so much easier to travel with.
Apart from that, remember that you’re not going to be seen by the same people wearing the same outfit.
IM: You’ve spoken about the enormous help of having a team of producers, and how it has not only allowed you to focus on other aspects of the music, but to provide fresh ideas. As difficult as it can be, do you think being able to open up and trust other people with your craft is essential to growth?
La Fin Absolute du Monde: We just had this discussion recently with some other bands. We can’t speak for others, but for us, working with other people has been an amazing experience for us. We started this project dealing with technology at such a novice level that we came out of our recording session having learned so many new things that we definitely apply now. Especially since it’s just the two of us, it’s so easy to stroke each other’s egos and get really amped about our musical ideas. Sometimes we need an outsider to let us know where we can improve. Of course, we may not always agree but we are always open to sounding better, especially if they understand our sound. The downside, though, is the attempt at trying to make us sound like someone else. We don’t like it when people try to make us sound like Portishead part 2. We love Portishead. Like REALLY LOVE PORTISHEAD, but we have to be us. We are not Portishead.
IM: You recently reached number 10 on the ReverbNation Alternative Charts for the US. Congratulations! Talent aside, what do you attribute that success to?
La Fin Absolute du Monde: Thanks for the acknowledgment but we can hardly call it “success”. It’s a great achievement to have people from all over the world comment on how much they love your stuff, but it’s not like we stopped working because we’ve achieved that. You can’t base your success on your internet fame. And so we work. And do loads of shameless self-promotion. Having an ever so gracious network of encouraging and supporting friends and fans is also great to fool into believing in us almost as much as we believe in ourselves. But we definitely feel we wouldn’t have this profile, whatever level it’s at it, without having gone the old-fashioned route … TOURING, TOURING, AND MORE TOURING.
IM: You’re super interactive and candid with your fan base, which I think is really
important, especially with so much social media surrounding us. Do you think
having that level of interaction and honesty has proven more beneficial or
challenging over time?
La Fin Absolute du Monde: We feel terribly awkward around fake people. We both really hate small talk. We like to delve immediately into people’s personal lives and what really motivates them to be who they are. We also hate the impersonal relationships of social media. We love conversation. And laughter. It’s just the two of us so we just LOVE to talk to someone else other than us two. Plus, being in our mid-30’s and having led multiple lifetimes that include major success and great loss and tremendous heartache, we are way past our egos. We know all too well how imperfect we are and we are very honest. We want to think people notice this type of sincerity pretty quickly and so we make friends pretty easily. We’re extremely fortunate to meet so many people who want to help us along our journey. This only motivates us to set ourselves in the position to be able to reciprocate the same gracious and unlimited hospitality. Again, we wouldn’t be able to do this ourselves. We’d be very foolish to think so. Not to say we haven’t come across some shady individuals. We definitely have stories of some seriously suspect individuals. But they don’t at all overshadow the fabulous people we’ve met from all over the world.
IM: What’s in the future for your band?
La Fin Absolute du Monde: Touring, touring, and more touring. Around the world touring. More music. Much more music that will absolutely pull some sort of heartstring to remind you that life sucks. But don’t worry, the mood will be set every so beautifully. You’ll love being alive.
IM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
La Fin Absolute du Monde: Yes. We will always always accept generous hospitality. A warm place to stay and a hot meal or a bag snacks … that’s HUGE for us. But we will never have our hand out for charity. If you want to offer a donation, well…. we’ll think about it. But we are trying to make a living out of entertaining audiences and selling our lovingly-made merchandise. If you love listening to our music, please come see a show. It’s a completely different experience. We just want the help of sharing our music. Best for several people to obtain some great music for a few dollars few times a year than a few to give a one-time big lump sum of money. The music will last a life time. The one-time lump sum might go to an evening of debauchery with soda and prostitutes. Where do you want your money to go?
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