I’m pleased to make your acquaintance. You seem like a very busy man – Savage Sinusoid has been released and your live calendar is full with dates taking you across Europe (and briefly to Israel) up to November. How do you feel about the performances so far? Are people giving you a good reaction to the new material?
Until now the feedbacks have been incredible, it feels so great to finally see the album you’ve been working on for so long time being shared and discovered. The few live performances we did since the album is out has been crazy, I have never seen such a responsive audience, we’ll really looking forward the tour this Autumn!
Also, with such music, it’s not possible to only have positive feedbacks, there are some haters and some conservative listeners complaining about the « non usual » format of the music, so we also face some angry people!
I’m interested to know what sort of response you get to the band’s performance at some of the festival dates you have played; maybe where people haven’t heard your music before. Do you see a big difference in the crowd reaction depending on where you are performing? Do you have a particular highlight you would like to share?
Now the audience seems to know us a little bit as there are less people going away during the shows ahaha it was a time when nobody know us at all, some people were shocked by what they heard and left the club while some people when getting very much into it.
Still, when we play at some popular festivals, there is always a kind of clear distinction between some people who hates it and some people who loves it. Last festival we played was at Hellfest last week but the responses there was incredibly positive, for sure not everybody knows us as we play front to almost 10.000 people, but everybody seemed to be enjoying a lot, still with some « what the fuck » expression on some faces.
It’s an extensive tour and your live schedule is a very busy one that includes a lot of travelling. How does the band stay energised and focussed during what I imagine to be a gruelling few months?
We love doing music and touring, I guess that’s what keeps us alive, but in fact we have never experienced such a long touring, so we have no idea how it gonna happen for real.
Let’s talk about the new album. Firstly, congratulations; Savage Sinusoid is an impressive piece of work. True to previous Igorrr releases, the album effortlessly blends a myriad of influences together. I can hear death growls, blastbeats and breakbeats alongside classical influences and folk music. There’s drum and bass, dubstep and black metal guitars going on too. The impressive thing is how seamlessly it all fits together. You obviously have a passion for all of these styles. Can you tell us how these influences appeared in your life as you got older and discovered music? What came first and how did your tastes develop?
It all started when I was a teenager, I was obsessively looking for a band or an artist destroying all the limits of music and include all the styles I love, a band able to bring what all the boring mainstream bands could not bring. I didn’t find any band like that, so basically, I just wrote the music I wanted to listen to. This is what inspired me, I love metal, baroque music, electronic or traditional Balkan music and I wanted to have all the music I love in one place, without segregation. I guess the result is very specific but I didn’t write the music in the purpose to please anybody, it was more something personal, making my own « ideal music ».
You weave these styles together with an erratic flair. Songs shift suddenly and move quickly with an almost ADHD-esque pattern of focus, yet the attention to detail seems meticulous. Can you tell us about your song writing process? How much of the final arrangements are established before you start to record? Is much of it improvised or changed as you progress?
It’s a very written music, there is no much improvisation on it, expect maybe on Houmous where I ask the accordion player Pierre Mussi to improvise on the track. You can see the footage on the Making Of part1 on YouTube. Expect that, everything is very written.
Concerning the song writing process, there is no really much any method I use all the time, it all depend of the track. Basically, music is coming by itself in my mind, I just have to write it down. As I got synesthesia, I see a bit the tracks as paintings. In order to create the painting, I need different colors, which means for me different instruments. Since I know what to record and where to place it when I have the track in mind, I can start the recordings.
How long did the project take, from the first ideas to the final masters being complete?
For Savage Sinusoid it took me a bit more than 4 years to make it real, it was a pretty challenging album to make actually.
Was there anything significant or unique to this project that sets it apart from your other work?
Yes, on this Igorrr album, I wanted to work without any sample while keeping a complete variety of all the styles I love. I also wanted to reach the « live feeling » of this music, which is a very personal vision of it, kind of my ideal personal music.
As there are many musical universes I love, and wanted to include everything on this album, I had to find the perfect instrumentalist per style and per instrument in order to make it as good as I could, I didn’t want to play all the instruments myself as I think a guy spending all his life playing a specific instrument in a specific style would sound a way better than me playing just a bit of each.
To my ears, the album is a resounding success. Would you say the final product represents what you set out to achieve at the start?
Absolutely, I had an precise idea of what I wanted for this album, but I made more than was planned, for example, a track like Spaghetti Forever, Au Revoir or the end of Robert, was not in the plans. in fact, eventually, with Savage Sinusoid I made like the album I wanted to listen to back then as a teenager.
So following an incredibly productive period and when the dust settles on the tour, what comes next for Gautier Serre? Will you be focussed on more Igorrr or will your focus shift to something else. What are you current plans? Another Chicken Sonata maybe?
All the plans for now are touring and touring, the rest will depend of how Savage Sinusoid is received. Also, last year I’ve done the OST for the new movie of Bruno Dumont, called « Jeannette », the movie will be released this Autumn as well.
I would have loved to make more chicken sonatas, but Patrick (my hen) has passed away some months ago and won’t be preforming anymore. Fortunately I got plenty of un-used footage from here playing the piano, so maybe one day I’m gonna do some more tracks with it.
Many thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Good luck with the upcoming shows. I certainly hope to be at your next London performance.
See you in London