Interview with Tapeworms
When “Loveless” by My Bloody Valentine was released in 1991, none of the members of the Lille-based band Tapeworms had been born yet. Despite the fact, this hasn’t stopped the band from reuniting the distorted guitars and feedback to create carefully controlled noise (similar to A Place to Bury Strangers), dreamy vocals and samples to fashion their take on the genre.
Upon listening to their first EP, “All Stars”, Slip Inside This Sound were captivated by the creativity and the maturity of Tapeworms. Recently, the band have released their second EP, “Everything Will Be Fine”, which shows that they are more than capable to push boundaries further and to evolve.
To celebrate the release of “Everything Will Be Fine”, Tapeworms took the time to reply to our questions before their release parties in Lille and in Paris.
First of all, introduce yourselves to our readers, what are your roles in the group?
We are a three-piece band with Théo Poyer on guitar and vocals, Margot Magnière on bass and vocals and Eliott Poyer on drums.
You have just released your new EP, “Everything Will Be Fine”, how do you feel? What are your impressions about the finished product?
We are very excited and very happy to share the new EP! “Everything Will Be Fine” is more developed and more elaborate than “All Stars”. This time we feel that we have taken another step further. We were heavily involved at every stage and we had fun experimenting with new ideas to push our expectations even further. It must be said that we had the chance to work with Clément (Fortin, producer) on the mixing and that helped us a lot of develop our songs and our overall sound.
Tell us how the recording of the EP went: where did you record it? How was it organised? (Did you go into the studio with all the songs already prepared?) Are there specific bands which you listened to (or non-musical influences, literary or other?) when the songs were being written?
We recorded the EP at Théo and Elliott’s grandmother’s place (yes, they’re brothers) as we usually do, recording between two slices of apple pie. In any case, the drums were recorded there because all the rest was done in various locations, mainly in our little bedrooms. Other than the samples, most of the sounds were recorded using a small dictaphone that we leave lying around whilst writing and recording. The process normally takes long period of time. Some of the first songs were even composed as we were living in different cities. It was very different to what we were able to do with “All Stars”, there was a lot of communication and we felt united, but at the same time, very separate and personal.
The songs, to a large extent, were ready before they were recorded, whereas other songs were completed during the recording and there are still some other songs which are not yet finished. What is certain is that they took shape during the mixing, we never really have any finished demos and we wanted to make each song develop into something new but at the same time to still be coherent with Clément’s vision.
All three of us have different tastes in music and we like to bring them together when we write. As the EP covers quite a long period of time, each song refers to a certain period and has different significations to each one of us. In general, our tastes range from rap to electronica, from Rage Against the Machine to Blonde Redhead, via Sweet Trip, and slightly older artists such as Cornelius, Moonshake or Helmet. Other influences for this EP? Clearly Godzilla. And then Wong Kar Wai, Ash vs Evil Dead, Bradbury, Futura, the Natural History Museum of Gent, Classic 21.
We are big fans of the song, “Medicine”, was it a natural choice for it to be the first single from “Everything Will Be Fine”?
Not at all, we all had a very personal interpretation and outlook of the EP because we all worked on it in differently. We had to discuss the choice for the first single for a long time before choosing Medicine, we also had the same problem for the track listing. We can’t even remember why we chose Medicine, in any case, it was the only song we knew exactly at the mixing process which direction it was going to take.
We noticed that you worked with a new producer, Clément Fortin, for the EP, what was his role during the recording?
For us, Clément is a friend first and a producer second. We knew his work and we had complete confidence in his qualities for producing the EP. We knew that being close would allow us to really work together. To work with him allowed us to give meaning to our compositions. He was very involved, almost as much as us, as a producer on these songs. He knew how to listen to our expectations and how to achieve them but also by accompanying us and improving the songs through his own interpretation, he knew how to have freedom in his work and that was very invaluable to us. He handled the mixing and the mastering of the EP very well. Every now and again, he does the lighting during our performances. He is also a very talented musician whose work is closer to ambient music and IDM. You should take a listen to his work at https://soundcloud.com/amorphe
Did you do things differently following your first EP, “All Stars”? What have you noticed in terms of the band’s evolution since “All Stars”?
Completely. The first EP was instinctive and necessary to have under our belts, we needed it to move forward as a band. We had the chance to work with Daniel Coborn, the drummer of Ringo Deathstarr. It was very exciting and we learnt a lot about recording music. “All Stars” was a real milestone for the band and it will always be the most violent cassette tape to listen to in a Renault Express.
We have recently discovered a number of other bands from Lille, what do you think of the music scene there?
There is a very lively musical scene in Lille and in the North in general with a lot of new and upcoming bands. There are various styles and it’s great to have so many diverse bands in the region. Other than the bands, there are a lot of people who work hard so that the indie scene here is always growing. It isn’t always an easy thing to do but the bars, the associations and other organisations are there to support the local scene and underground musicians. Lille is a cool city, you have to visit sometime. Really.
You have already played a few times in Paris, are you happy to be back in the capital? What are your most fond memories of the concerts in Paris?
Yes, always! It makes a difference to being in Lille and now there is wi-fi during the coach journey. It’s always inspiring to play in unknown territories and to meet people and hear new opinions. We have very fond memories of being in Paris, it is where we met our friends from Buddy Records and the super En Attendant Ana! Our concert at Supersonic is still our favourite performance in Paris, the first performance with a real technical and sound level, it’s also funny to hear ourselves in the monitors, sometimes.
Do you have a message for those going to your release parties in Lille and in Paris?
We will have brushed our teeth.
Bandcamp (listen to the new EP here)
Lille (with Low Bats) 14/02