Paris’ Exsonvaldes are creating some pretty unique and neat indie-rock/pop music. Their new album Lights is packed with upbeat, melodic treasure-tunes! To find out more, AMBY spoke with the lovely quartet about their favourite songs off Lights, playing in front of more dogs than humans, and starting with a violinist!
AMBY: Hello Exsonvaldes! Thanks for speaking with AMBY, what have you been up to?
Exsonvaldes: Thank you! We’ve just released our new album, so in the last few weeks we’ve been working on its promotion, and rehearsing. We played a few shows and radio-shows, and our tour starts next week, and we’re really looking forward to playing our new songs!
AMBY: How would you describe Exsonvaldes’ sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Exsonvaldes: I would say: handcrafted contemporary pop songs. With a great focus on melodies. At least that’s what we try to do. With a french flavor, of course.
AMBY: You have just released your new album Lights. Which tracks are your favourites?
Exsonvaldes: L’Aérotrain. It’s a very important song for us. Our first in French. For years I thought it would be impossible for us to write such a song, but eventually we did and I think it’s one of our best. I also really like the story behind the song, and the video. You know what the Aérotrain is, right?
I also really like “Days”. I remember thinking, when we finished it in the studio, that the album was finally starting to take shape. Also we did a cool DIY video for it, using iPhones and iPads, and it got noticed by Jonathan Ive who sent us en email about it.
Then I would say “Seahorses” because apparently I wouldn’t be doing this interview if it wasn’t for this song!
AMBY: Seahorses (Dolphins & finswimmers in the Red Sea) is a very cool song. What is the story behind it?
Exsonvaldes: It’s a very simple song that I started writing on the piano (even if I really can’t play the piano), then we worked together on it and quickly found this aquatic vibe that I like a lot. It’s reallly naive and dark at the same time, like a child’s song with a deeper meaning that only an adult can understand.
It tells the story of a diver who’s deep underwater, and wonders if he should swim up or not. Like the last scene in “Le Grand Bleu”.
AMBY: Does coming from Paris, France have an influence on your music? And if yes, how so?
Exsonvaldes: It certainly has an influence on my English :) For the music, it probably does, but I can’t really tell you how, because it all sounds very logical to us.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
Exsonvaldes: We once played in front of more dogs than humans.
AMBY: If you could hang out with any of your influences for a day, who would you choose?
Exsonvaldes: First I’d pick Thom Yorke but that would probably mean spend a day working in the studio, so on second thought I’d say Dave Grohl, who’s supposed to be the nicest guy in Rock n’Roll.
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
Exsonvaldes: Chokebore – “Black black”, Nirvana – “In Utero”, dEUS – “The Ideal Crash”
AMBY: If you had to describe each member in the band with one word, which word would define them?
Exsonvaldes: This is an easy one. For me it would be “Worry”, for Martin (our drummer) “Mainstream”, for Cyrille (our bass player) “Wisdom”, and for Antoine (our guitarist) “Principle”. At first I was gonna say “Sporty” for Antoine, but it sounds too much like the name of a Spice girl ;)
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Exsonvaldes: Playing live. As much as we can.
AMBY: What would a movie based on the band be called ?
Exsonvaldes: How I learned to stop worrying and love the music.
AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about Exsonvaldes that nobody knows?
Exsonvaldes: When we started we had a violinist for a few weeks, but it didn’t work out really well…
Thank you Exsonvaldes, for giving us your answers!