SEPTEMBER AGAIN (from l-r): Pierre-Marie “PM” Chaffotte (guitar/keyboards/samples/backing vocals), Loic “Low” Chanut (lead vocals/bass), Pierre-Olivier “Spoox” Pou (drums), John Bellemon (guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
From the French Alps, September Again are a four-piece with a powerful, atmospheric alternative rock sound that is multi-layered and takes full advantage of the band’s diverse musical influences, ranging from metal to trip-hop.
Since releasing their debut album, ‘Insomniac’, last March, to an overwhelmingly positive response, the quartet’s stock with both critics and fans has kept on rising, and reached new heights recently with the unveiling of a video for one of the offering’s tracks, ‘In Vitro’.
Chatting to me about all this, as well as other band-related topics, was the collective’s frontman, Loic “Low” Chanut.
How did the band get together?
PM and I are old school friends, and we have played music since we met. After a long break (because of our jobs etc) of a few years and after many long discussions, we decided to have a go at being in a band again.
A few months before, I had met John, who was playing in another rock band, and as his style was so hypnotic and powerful, it became obvious that we would get him to join us.
Then, we started to create and test some harmonic parts, and finally, Spoox came. He was the first guy to contact us following an advert we had put out, so it was also obvious that he would be joining the band.
Immediately afterwards, we felt like we were all on the same page, both humanly and musically, and that gave us a feeling that we were going to be special.
From where did the name September Again originate?
For a long time, we had been trying to come up with a band name. A lot of names were scribbled down and modified, but none of them seemed to fit.
Eventually, the name came to us one day during a rehearsal. ‘September Again’ was the title of one of the songs we had been working on, and reading it out loud, it just sounded right, we also felt that it provided a picture of our music, and that was that.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
It’s very intuitive in fact, very natural. Usually, it all starts with a guitar riff or a drum gimmick. Everyone often knows where it could drive us, and… I don’t know, the song builds by itself. Of course, we have some very special September’s proceeds! (laughs)
What inspires the band lyrically?
I’m not a writer, basically, when we started, I didn’t want to be the vocalist, I just wanted to play bass.
The lyrics are simply inspired by the lives of everyone in the band, basically, everything that we can experience and feel.
It’s very contemplative in fact, as really, the lyrics have been written during our most intense or painful life experiences.
However, I think at the same time, the lyrics are quite basic.
Last year, you brought out a debut album, entitled ‘Insomniac’. How was the recording process for that?
In fact, we had many songs, many ideas which were finished a long time before the recording process began, as really, we only started once Spoox had arrived and kicked our asses.
John has very good skills in recording, so we chose to record all our tracks at home, and then, a sound engineer contacted us in order to work on the mix and mastering of ‘Superstitions’.
The result was awesome, and so we chose him to finalise the vocals, recording, mixing and mastering. The recording process itself was a though thing… quite a few hard night sessions, aided by huge quantities of coffee!
And how well did you all think that was received?
We are proud of the result, the quality of the sound, and the arrangement. It really reveals the emotions we want to share with people who follow us. We also had the pleasure to discover the album has so far had many very positive reviews, and that has really helped us to continue and find our musical identity.
Recently, the band unveiled a video for one of the album’s tracks, ‘In Vitro’. How did filming go for that?
We are lucky to have the chance to know the right people who like our music, and who are so talented: Ben Goletto and Charly Carrelet.
We filmed the video in our rehearsal room during a long, long night, but it was a fun, amazing, but professional experience, especially the slo-mo sessions!
Also, we went on an intense journey during filming, as a lot of unexpected events occurred.
And how has the reaction been to the video up to now?
Two weeks after releasing the video, we were surprised to find that it had got a lot of positive feedback, with people saying how awesome it was, and the video has also enabled many to discover us through YouTube, which has been great.
How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?
Playing live is our fuel! We try to share the emotions and the atmosphere of our music on stage.
Our music can appear like dark, sometimes melancholic, on the album, but in fact, once on stage, it’s mainly rage and urgency. It’s another release of our sound
What has the band got planned for the near future?
We now will try to promote our album, playing shows locally, or in other European countries. As I’ve just said, playing live and sharing our music with people is our fuel.
At the same time, we are now in a period of creation again: we’ve got many ideas, many arrangements… We need to create something new, as we still have things to say…
And finally, what is your long-term aim?
To share our music, and to continue to live this beautiful dream we’ve had since childhood: to make people feel emotion with our music, create our own universe with our own waves, and continue to share these precious moments with friends.
‘INSOMNIAC’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM SEPTEMBER AGAIN, IS OUT NOW.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: