What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Sylvain: From about the age of 16 or so, it was all I thought about and the only thing I wanted to do.
Angela: Music was always part of my life – singing anyway – but I am late to the party and it was just before meeting Sylvain that I started writing lyrics. The idea of creating my own music changed everything.
Introduce us to the members and your musical history.
Angela: I am an American – from New York City. Co-founder, singer, and songwriter of LUX the band with Sylvain, composer, and guitarist who has accompanied many artists in France – most notably a well-known French pop band called the “Rita Mitsouko”. Sylvain has toured extensively as has Amaury Blanchard, our drummer, who has been with known French bands Renaud, de Palmas, and others. The band is completed by our bass player, Julien Boisseau (Jesus Volt, Kaz Hawkins).
Name me your 3 favourite albums.
That’s a very short list of favorite albums!
Sylvain: AC/DC “Powerage”, The Who “Who’s Next”, The Faces “A Nod Is As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse”.
Angela: The Beatles “Abbey Road”, Cat Stevens “Teaser and the Firecat”, R.E.M. “Monster”.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Sylvain: “Highway To Hell” by AC/DC.
Angela: I have absolutely no idea.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
Sylvain: I feel as though I am more artisanal than industrial.
Angela: I am not sure if we (I) have a foot in the door but I can see a door.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
We are just now seeing this debate grow here in France but it is a discussion that our American friend, the DJ and musician Louisahhh has helped bring to the fore. Hard to reconcile the fact that many venues thrive on people drinking as much as possible which often adds to the issue. Staff at venues and people in general need to look out for each other – and not just in the context of a dimly lit mosh pit.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
It seems that consistency and frequency is the key and it is a struggle at times – especially for independent artists who do all of this themselves. It takes up a lot of time and thought.
Tell us two truths and a lie about you?
Sylvain is a fabulous dancer, Sylvain’s favourite food is pizza, Angela’s first ambition was to be on the eventing team and go to the Olympics.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
Is it Spotify that has changed the way that people listen to music or is Spotify the consequence of the way people consume music and culture in general nowadays?
But either way, it is certainly dictating the way artists release music and, as ever, plays to those with resources.
People seem to have the impression that music is “free” but it costs money to make and artists need money to survive.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
Did you buy anything you didn’t need during the pandemic?
Perhaps some tinned foods!
What was the worst experience on stage?
Sylvain: I am yet to have one.
Angela: An inept sound engineer who cut the sound in my monitor…I am scarred for life!
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
Sylvain likes to simply plug his guitar into an amp and play. He uses almost zero effect pedals (a boost, a tuner, and occasionally a delay). He doesn’t even own a pedal board…
What makes you stand out as a band?
Quite naturally, we just make the music that comes to us, without really paying attention to anything else. The result is something just a bit different, which comes from the different elements we each bring to the creation of every song.
I hear you have a new album, what can you tell us about it?
Indeed! GRAVITY is our second LP, it’s analogue, it’s rock, it’s folk, it covers a wide range of subjects and we are keen to take it on the road.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tunes.
Angela: The 10 songs on the album reflect the two ways we work; at times Sylvain gives me the music – often with a melody (a “la la” track) – and the music inspires the lyrics that I write for it. If I have an idea for a text, I work on it, and once satisfied, I give it to Sylvain who sets my words to music. If needed I edit according to what he has found. It is a fluid and a rather magical process either way.
What was the recording process like?
We have great luck in having done all of our recordings at Studio Black Box, France with sound engineer, Peter Deimel. Not only is it a beautiful analogue recording studio – a converted farmhouse in the French countryside – but the recording table and all the various elements and instruments and machines and microphones combined with Peter’s genius and great hospitality make it the place we always want to be.
The base tracks (guitar/bass/drums and first vocals) are all recorded live – the whole band together. On GRAVITY all these live takes remain. For vocals we kept a large portion of the live takes. After that, all of the other tracks (guitars galore! Backing vocals, and additional percussion) are laid down individually.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
As this is our second album, we had already learned from the first EP that you have to be as prepared as possible before going into the studio and we are. Sylvain arranges the songs and records them on the 32-track table at home, we rehearse with the band, we arrive prepared but with the understanding that the songs will always reveal themselves even more in the studio. The band is an experienced one and we record the base tracks live as mentioned.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No. For us, we view an album as a snapshot of where you are as an artist at a given moment in time. It is a fact that things can always have been done differently. But the consolation perhaps is that there is a fluidity to music. The same songs will be different when played live, they might be reinterpreted later on, played acoustic if electric or electric if acoustic.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
We would like to thank you RGM, for shining some light on LUX the band and we hope the world will have a listen.