This week I had the pleasure of interviewing French Post Punk/Ghost Punk rockers This Will Destroy Your Ears. It was a little less conventional than usual given Covid-19 and also the fact they are currently in France, living their best artistic lives in ‘Container’, a thriving artistic community on the French Atlantic coast.
These guys are not only a huge musical talent that does not conform to the usual musical punk rock cliches and take on atonality, but they are indeed a super talent also writing, producing and directing, building their own instruments as well as their own recording studio named pARPAINg, which if you were wondering is French for cinder block!
The trio are collaborating with Portsmouth based Brutalist Records (co-founded by Sam Leadbeater & The Howlers Adam Young) on the UK re-release of their debut album CLEAR which met critical acclaim after its release across mainland Europe. I chucked some questions their way and this is what they had to say: (Their English is much better than my French!)
So I know you guys formed in 2017 but how and why did that come about?
We all played in different bands before TWDYE. In 2017, we shared a gig at ‘SAVAGE’, a venue in the south of France. This night in that old Landish Farm was really insane. We talked at length about music and especially about METZ, the Pixies and A Place To Bury Strangers I remember… Next week we tried playing together and after 1 hour we knew we had to do something as a band. It was like an obviousness.
How did you become part of ‘Container’? And what inspired you to build pARPAINg and how long did it take?
Magali and me (Pierre-Yo) are choreographers and we were part of CONTAINER before the band. The artistic community of Container works like a big fun family: the doors are always open and people are aware of everyone and everything! It’s an artist paradise for real. We already had sound equipment and started building some effect pedals and instruments with Quentin. But in our ‘sound quest’ all that was missing was a studio. So we built it in 6 months with the help of a few people and a lot of creative resourcefulness and DIY resources!
Who takes charge when you’re filming and directing your music videos?
It depends … Generally I work on filming and Magali on editing but the central idea is always taken all together with Quentin. Sometimes other artist friends help us like Blanche Konrad, Eva Urschler or Loula Productions and many more!
How did you find your first tour in the UK? And did you enjoy your time at Bear Bites Horse and how did you find Wayne Adams?
Our first tour in the UK was incredible! You can understand what « Music Pub Culture ” means when you play over the channel for the first time. You have P.A everywhere !!! In record stores, in pubs, in hotels, in garages … and they are huge. The first-ever gig we played in England was at the Mothers Ruin in Bristol. They have a P.A you can use in a 500 hundred club for an 80 people pub !!! A paradise for loud music lovers!
We met Wayne in the same period through USA Nails. We love all he produced for them for a while so we booked 2 days with him at Bear Bites Horse. In addition to being talented, he is a very kind and sweet person. And we understand thanks to him why and how the UK repeatedly managed to reinvent Rock’n’Roll: because of the fast recording sessions you have! You need to be prepared and highly focussed … If you want to take time for recording, come to France! But you may lose this urgency, what is probably the best part of British rock n roll.
You’ve shared the stage with some great post-punk bands, who has been your favourite so far?
JOHN and USA Nails are amazing live! We’d love to share gig with Life and The Murder Capital … If they read this!
Who came up with the name for the ‘Cowboy A la Mode’ record label and what inspired it?
Me when I heard for the first time « Pie à la mode »! No one in France uses this expression. For us, Cowboy À La Mode is just a Fashionable Cowboy. Imagine a Fashionable Cowboy with ice cream on top is very funny. That’s why. Or perhaps have I found a bridge between French and English languages?
Your latest single from “CLEAR” “Coffin for two” is a great track, you filmed it on a boat, that must have been pretty eventful! How did you manage it and how long did it take? Did you direct and film that too?
It was epic! We ask Loula Productions to make it for us. They already had made one in a truck for our first single ‘Kill Martel’. But I think they preferred the truck … Filming on a fishing boat is very complicated: waves, wind and lack of space for 6 hours! And above all that they got seasick. But the result is really cool. They are warriors. And we saw dolphins!!!
You released “CLEAR” last year across mainland Europe and now you’re re-releasing it in the UK on the 6th of November in collaboration with Brutalist Records, what brought the collaboration about, and what is in the exclusive UK merch bundle?
I think Sam from Brutalist Records saw them in Portsmouth at The Festing in 2018. We stayed « digitally » in touch since this time and were supposed to meet us again for a Portsmouth gig in 2020, but Coronavirus stopped the project. So when he put to us the proposition to re-release a Deluxe Edition of our debut LP, we were glad to imagine with him an artistic collaboration bundle.
– An hand screen-printed (by Lemonfolk in the UK) card outer sleeve design by Eva Urschler
– A Clear Vinyl made in France by La Manufacture de Vinyle
– An hand made screen printed track by track art print created by Atelier Winshatten
– And a screen printed TWDYE patch by Loïc Doussin.
I love that your interests include Bicolor polo shirts, molecular breakdown during electrolysis and sand yachts! Please tell me you actually do Land Sailing! And if so how often do you get to do that and how did that come about?
Unfortunately no, we don’t have enough wind in the South of France … But we’re searching for another means of transport for another music video! Perhaps we can organise something if you know some fans of Land Sailing in the UK!
What is next from TWDYE and will we see future collabs with Brutalist?
We’re working on another album but we’re taking our time. Certainly for 2022 … And yes we currently concocting something with Brutalist … keep in touch!
So there you have it! All you need to know about these Post Punk up and comers, and although I’m disappointed they are not Land Sailers, I’m looking forward to what comes next from this musical trio and their future collaborations with Brutalist records.