CHAVIRé (French for “capsized”), just released what’s, for instance, one of my favourite 2015 demo tape although I’m not a true connoisseur of that kind of punk rock. Actually, France has a large tradition of late 90s/early 00s screamo bands, singing in French and that’s basically what’s introduce me to that specific type of music – I do not listen that much to French singing bands and I personnally think emo music’s the perfect way to transmit the poetry of our language.
CHAVIRé are pretty young but their demo is super efficient: great atmosphere, great lyrics and inspiration.
1/ CHAVIRÉ is the new “kid on the block” of french emo/screamo scene. Can each one of you introduce how, when and why he joined the band and explain us why CHAVIRÉ walks over French emo tradition (bands like AMANDA WOODWARD, DAÏTRO, MIHAI EDRISCH, AUSSITÔT MORT…)?
E – Hi Jean, so yes we are CHAVIRÉ and we come from Nantes, Western France. I would say that we started rehearsing something like a year and a half ago, personally I wanted to start something that would have been a combination between the music from the bands you quote below and some political ideals I wanted to talk about.
A – We’ve been really eager to play in a french emo band for a long time, so as soon as we started talking seriously about it… We had no hesitation, we were in.
2/ Why did you chose that name “CHAVIRÉ”? Can you try to explain us the meaning of that choice regarding the kind of punk rock you play?
E – I just said that we started to play together in late 2013, but in fact we were thinking about this name way before we even had our first rehearsal together ! We have a game that basically consists in finding cliché names for imaginary bands, so you easily guess that the one we found for an emo/screamo band was CHAVIRÉ… And we kept it. I admit that it may have something to do with the only LP of BELLE ÉPOQUE – “À la dérive” – that we all truly love, and also with this french zine we’ve really appreciated for long time now ; PLUS QUE DES MOTS.
A – Chaviré is name with a dark and gloomy side but it’s also poetical in a certain way the pronunciation actually mimes the meaning of the word.
3/ Was it important for you to sing in French? Who writes the lyrics and which themes are you trying to approach? For example who wrote “Je Suis Cioran”? I’m sure you know why I’m asking that specifical question – even if the “Je suis Charlie” fashion occurred months after the recording sessions of your demo tape – but I have to admit I really want to ask you if that “Je Suis Cioran” motto is still on the agenda with all the fucking “intellectual/sociological” mess reigning over French social networks users?
E – Actually writing in french was a choice we made when we started the band. Probably because of our influences plus it sounded right with the music. I am writing the lyrics. French is the language I am the more confortable with, I think it was important for us to use it to build the bridge between our feelings and ideals (and the way to translate them faithfully) and radical politics. “Je suis Cioran” is a song that deals with the cult of negativity in our microcosm, it was written as an opposition to this trend to be « the more negative , sad and nihilistic person », as if it was something cool. Of course the Old World we are living in is awful and disgusting, but once we’ve made peace with that finding, how can you get over it? looking for solutions, how can we rebuild things together ? The title is a reference to the ORCHID song “I am Nietzsche”. We released the demo a few days before the events that occurred at Charlie Hebdo, as individuals we didn’t feel like “Charlie” for a lot of personal and political reasons – which doesn’t mean that we were not desolated for the victims – and this was hard to explain because as you said, the media coverage surrounded us and it was hard to hear a lucid and pertinent analysis about all this.
4/ A part from Emil Cioran, does any other writer/philosopher or maybe film director has a strong influence on CHAVIRÉ or on your personal lives?
E – The lyrics of CHAVIRÉ are influenced a lot by some philosophers (and writers more generally) and it may appear in our band, in its lyrics and everything around the music. I wouldn’t say that Emil CIORAN is an influence because I’m not an expert of his whole work. I definitely feel closer from the theories of the Situationist International (which are really often quoted in our work) or the Frankfurt School and sociologists as Henri LEFEBVRE or Michel DE CERTEAU.
5/ Do you play in other bands than CHAVIRÉ?
A – I used to play in a hardcore melodic band called Homesick and sometimes I play the drums in LA RUPTURE my bro’s indie punk band.
E – I also used to sing in HOMESICK. We are all playing with other friends, in other projects, none have released anything concrete yet anyway.
(split w/ LA RUPTURE)
6/ I have to admit that I don’t really listen to emo/screamo bands myself. From time to time I’m looking for interesting bands playing that kind of music and I was really glad and lucky to discover CHAVIRÉ several months ago but, recently – even if it’s not really emo and absolutely not screamo – my attention has been a lot focused on bands like PRAISE, GIVE (which really remind me a lot of a DISCHORD-era of emo/punk music) or even RITUAL MESS. What do you think of these bands?
E – It seems there are some really great bands that are playing this kind of Dischord punk, from the “second wave”, PRAISE, GIVE, PLAIDS or RED HARE remind me EMBRACE, DAG NASTY or RITES OF SPRING. We played in our hometown with PRAISE in January, it was a great night and PRAISE killed it, we had a talk after the show about this DC scene.
7/ I’ve of course noticed your email address was “xchaviréx”. Are you a straight edge band?
E – The address without the X was already taken so we X’d it. Actually we’re not a straight edge band, some of us are straight edge individuals, some of us drink and some of us don’t drink but don’t call themselves “straight edge”.
8/ On your bandcamp profile, we can see that you describe CHAVIRÉ as a “DIY emo” band, and also a political band – does it explain the “A” (Anarchy? Animal Liberation?) featuring on your logo? In your opinion, what’s a DIY band in 2015?
E – So yes, a part of our artwork is a circled A made by flowers. It was meaningful for us, we do consider ourself as a political band or at least as something more than just some friends playing music for fun. As individuals we feel close from values than can be considered as “anarchist”. We are trying at our level to take a stand against sexism, homophobia, racism, speciesism and in favor of alternatives to change our living in adequacy with our ethics and principles.
9/ Do you wanna finish this interview dealing with the local scene from Nantes? What’s going on down there concerning bands, distros, venues?
E – All of us are also taking part in a booking collective in Nantes called THINGS WE SAY (firstname.lastname@example.org), we are trying to bring a little bit more than music. we make vegan food for the audience, connect shows with political and social issues… Some bands decided to stop here recently but it seems there are plenty of new bands starting, can’t wait to see all this in a few months. Some new venues are opening too.
Thanks again for the interview and the interest about all this.