What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
We’ve both always been in contact with music instruments because our parents are musicians too. We’ve found pretty soon that playing track from others was not that stimulating for us and we’d prefer create our own material. As a teenager, Maxime started an indie rock band with college friends from the south of France whereas Manon was doing dark electro soundscapes.
About Tender Tones, we have met each other back in 2013 and decided to test if our musical ‘scheme’ was compatible on a track. We have jammed a bit, worked on the arrangement very fast. We thought that the result was ok enough to be put online, so we found this name, Tender Tones. Fortunately, this track, ‘We are’, immediately rings a bell at Les Inrocks (well known french magazine), and the people there carried us far in their musical competition so it kind of formalise the existence of the band.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
As all of our tracks, In Dreamed Lives was composed and recorded at home. It was the immediate follow up of our 2016’s track, ‘What Happened’. By the time, we were composing one track, then releasing it, with no other plan than : ‘it’s finished, let’s put it online’. But What happened was our ‘biggest bang’ back then so we have spent a huge amount of time refining its successor, and other fresh ideas. Unfortunately, all the new material was stolen by burglars with barely no trace of what we loose. It took long months to re-buy instrument and stuff, and more simply, to find the motivation to play music again.
But we were kind of haunted by this tremulous synth for a year (you can hear it from the beginning of the track), so we went back to music to try to recreate it. We rebuilt it from our souvenirs and the fantasies we have created about it and it gave the title of the track. Finally, we don’t know if it’s the old synth or no.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
It’s hard for us to answer that question because we don’t have any conscious influences when we are writing tracks. We can be obsessed for months about one melodic phrase or chord progression, and this process kind of nurture itself. About influences, The motto is : ‘all but synth pop’. We are currently listening a lot to foreign styles like brazilian stuff, gnawa and japanese composers. Obviously, we know a bit about the intense genre hybridation that occured in the 80’s in Europe. Somewhere between french mainstream composers, more radical and experimental stuff, and the most obscure gay porn soundtracks. The link is the ingenuous, playful and somewhat non altered use of instruments.
While listening to our tracks, you might think that we might be cinema lovers, and that’s true.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Tender Tones really focuses on recreating this smooth, haunting nostalgic feeling that synth pop can deliver. It’s not a pretext to make people dance or to add a fashion random chill sensation on a hook. From a melodic stand point, we also think that we have a very french approach of composition (unexpected layers, playful and kind of poetic instrumental lines, twisted textures) even if most of our tracks are sang in english.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
L’inconnu du Lac – Alain Guiraudie
Burning – Lee Chang Dong
Mulholland Drive – David Lynch
Monsieur Ouine – Georges Bernanos
Le Désert des Tartares – Dino Buzatti
La Déchéance d’un homme – Osamu Dazai
Architecture and Morality – OMD
Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys
Histoire de Melody Nelson – Serge Gainsbourg
Is the is are – DIIV
L’aventura – Sébastien Tellier
Little Dark Age – MGMT
Twin Peaks seasons – David Lynch
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Michel Gondry
Marie-Antoinette – Sofia Coppola
Mémoire d’une autre vie – Raymond Guiol, my grandfather
Sukkwan Island – David Vann
Bonjour Tristesse – Françoise Sagan
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Really it’s two different kind of pleasure and each step is important. First of all, you have the joy to craft, explore and inhabitate alone your own work. But at a point it’s kind of stifling and you need to invite people to get in also, if you still want to enjoy it.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
A few years ago, we have played a dj set in a small bar in Paris, now closed. Jain, the famous world music singer was unknown at this moment and played the first part. The funny thing about it is that we didn’t realize that this top chart artist and this kind girl looping guitare samples for her family and friends was the same person until a friend told us so a few months ago.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
It’s hard for us to answer the question as we are fully committed to each of them. Before releasing it, we make us sure that a track will explore new territories for us or refined what we’ve done before, and at the same time be consistent with the rest of our work.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
We will share a bunch of new tracks, playing them live where people want to listen to it and find a label to release a proper record.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with Tender Tones:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Tendertones
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/user/TenderTones
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/tender_tones/
Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/tender-tones
Twitter : https://twitter.com/Tender_Tones