Hailing from Brittany, Soon, She Said make "beautiful noise". You've guessed, it's all about Shoegaze and Dream Pop noise for this lot. The band have just released their début LP and so our second favorite(!) French writer Corentin caught up with the band. If you're an in-depth Shoegazer then this interview is one for you. Soon, She Said...
Reading around, you seem to be huge fans of Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and other Sarah Records artists to name a few. But there's an affiliation to more contemporary bands in the likes of Nothing and Whirr... // Whirr and Nothing are more obvious references since we were listening to them constantly when Soon, She Said started. We can't deny the Slowdive reference. Especially on a song like Blue. The Cocteau Twins reference was not an obvious starting point for us, neither was the Sarah Records one. But it's flattering. There are bands very few people know but that influenced us: Sway and their amazing EPThe Millia Pink And Green which was released in 2003. It's absolutely beautiful.
This first effort is called The First Casuality of Love Is Innocence. Isn't it a reference to teenage crushes and the learning process of love and relationships? // The title is definitely a nod at losing people and getting over with it. There is of course the Shoegaze recurrent themes of innocent love songs. The songs deal with how people meet, love each other, hate each other, break up and get better after. These kind of things start when you're a teenager but they can and do happen when you are older. But I keep being fascinated with relationships and how it can affect us.
"People tend to think that you buy a bunch of cool guitars, the right reverb, the right fuzz and go"!
There's sometimes a criticism about Dream Pop and Shoegazing that it lacks variety and buries itself in a certain cliché of its music. Yet, one of the major strengths of your album is that you find a way to have an alternation between nonchalant tunes and ones with a brisker pace... // You may be right for the cliché about shoegazing. People tend to think that you buy a bunch of cool guitars, the right reverb, the right fuzz and go! Some people do it brilliantly, even in the more recent shoegaze scene. But sometimes you end up with noise and no songs. We tend to still hesitate between heavier and poppier sounds. As we were making the album, the heavier tunes came first and later, the lighter, poppier tunes were written. It may be the reason why even if you clearly hear the references, we tried to do it “with a twist”.
With the resurgence of the Shoegazing movement it seems like the scene is growing in significance. What's your position on it? Pure revivalism or a way for bands to contribute to the building of the house? // You can't deny there's been a solid revivalism for the last 5 years. It started with MBV but they have always been idolized. I'm very happy for Slowdive because everyone picked on them in the 90's and now people are waiting for their new album. Still, I believe that people have always been making great Shoegaze albums ever since the movement appeared in the 1990's. There's certainly nostalgia for people in their late 30's and 40's, but younger people listen to the genre and some of them decide to form a band. For me that's what music is all about. You listen to a record that blows your mind and you want to grab a guitar and write music...
"A lot of Shoegaze and Dream Pop bands make beautiful noise. This constant border between dissonant sounds, swelling effects and simple, naive melodies"
You describe your music as "Beautiful Noise". Explain this to Third Outing readers? // Well the various effects that we use make our music sound noisy, blurry, ghostly. Still we hope that you can find some beauty in these sounds colliding. You're absolutely right about the reference to this Shoegaze documentary which came out a couple of years ago. The title of this documentary sums it up perfectly: a lot of Shoegaze and Dream Pop bands make beautiful noise. This constant border between dissonant sounds, swelling effects and simple, naive melodies.
You have been working with the French record label Monopsone for this LP? How come and how did it go?Someone came to a show we played a year ago in our hometown. They liked the songs and contacted us to see if we were looking for a label. I said of course, but I was not expecting much. A month later we got contacted by the Monopsone crew and we agreed to release an album with them. The people are really passionate and cool guys.
Let's talk quickly about the Nothing collective who are producing some of the more exciting Shoegazing acts, is something likely to happen with them? // We are “part” of the collective. Yann, the guy behind Nothing is busy with his own stuff at the moment. We played at the first edition of the festival in Rennes in 2016 and we also played with The Same Old Band and Soft Blonde in Paris last November. I'm sure there will be some cool news very soon and a new compilation.