Three crazy French guys make interesting-far away- music. And it is our duty to let you know about them now that they are in the beginning of their discography. In the following years, you might say that you first learned about them from Last Day Deaf. Chaman Chômeur may be “unemployed” but they will be our next spiritual leaders.
How did you meet and how did you decide to form the band? What has kept you together?
It was Thomas that had the idea of putting together a math rock group. At the time I didn’t know Marco, Thomas just told me that “you’ll see he can really play the drums”. He couldn’t have been more right!
How do you make your music? Who brings the ideas and the lyrics?
We really respect each other’s opinions when writing and developing a piece of music. Often it’s Thomas and myself that come up with the base material, then the three of us build on it together. Our first EP, ‘Hachis d’âne Halal’ (which translates to ‘Minced halal donkey’), was originally a fragmented composition that Thomas had thought up. In our early sessions I brought along a few ideas that we played around with, not all of them made the cut.
Do you have any music idols? Artists that you appreciate and that you feel that influenced you? Who and why?
All three of us share similar tastes when it comes to math rock and bands such as Hell or Cheval De Frise. We really like ‘avant garde’ jazz and projects like that of guitarist Mary Halvorson, Radical Satan, Jealousy Mountain Duo and Staer…
What do you want to communicate through your songs? Is there a bigger “picture” that you always have in mind?
I think, first and foremost, creating and sharing energy, surprise and a sense of danger… Our set is designed to provide the playing field for the audience to join us on our musical journey.
Your music feels easy going but the more you listen to it the more levels you find underneath. Do you feel that you are affected by the social environment or something more personal?
I am affected by both. These two aspects are constantly tugging on one another. We never get one without the other.
Did you ever have an out-of-body experience regarding your music? What was it about?
To me I feel it is more about the relationship between music and the body. The physical engagement sometimes takes you into a trance like state, but always fundamentally it is about music and the link to the physical body.
Which are the best conditions for a listener to enjoy your songs?
The perfect conditions are really dependent on each individual person. For me: the perfect place to enjoy these songs would be in a small festival in the middle of the mountains and high on magic mushrooms.
Chaman Chômeur first release: Three pieces, in math rock forms, that can travel us around an Indian fire. They are different but also they bring to us the same feeling. Talk to us about them.
At the heart of all three compositions, is that idea of voyaging, but each one in it’s own way. In our first composition, ‘Hachis d’âne Halal’, is like a fist to the pit of the stomach, rough and ready with rapid changing motives but ever present rhythm. This piece has the least elements of improvisation.
‘Nostaligie du RMI’, could be seen as resembling post rock but doesn’t really. It is our own take on blues. This composition sees the most improvisation of the three, it takes you on a long journey towards the unknown, with an explosive riff.
‘Chômagique’, takes you on a trance like journey, with repetitive base and with the drums reassembling shamanic tambour. The composition uses fire and fever-like layered and progressive guitar sounds. In concert, this composition is the most likely to make you truly take off!
For the newcomers in the music industry, a label might seem like a family. Why did you choose BeCoq Records?
BeCoq Records was created by Thomas, It was therefore the most logical label to be with. In this instance, the label certainly is like family….
What are you planning for the future? Live shows? An album? Some feasts around a veggera? Will we see you also in a tour far from France?
It is always important to us to play regularly, since we began Chaman Chômeur we play as often as we can. We really enjoy finding ourselves playing in the most unusual places, attempting to reach and touch people with our energy.
All three of us have our own separate projects outside of Chaman Chômeur, but we feel that this is a project that we can really take forward, we enjoy it and each other’s company. We have already performed in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and have recorded in Holland’s White Noise Studio.
We are currently trying to organize a tour linked to the release of our album that we are working on at the moment. We have a few dates already in the book in France and Belgium. The three of us are always open to new opportunities and venues.
I feel that the visualization of your music would be a great art project. What kind of visuals you choose for your music?
A cat drinking special brew.
If you had to choose stills from a movie as your videoclip, what would they be?
Something that grows. A Jean-Marie Poiré. “The Visitors” probably.
Is there a fun fact about the “unemployment” part of your band’s name?
No, it is a serious point really. We are in a time where the health sector in Western society is increasingly seeing a focus on healthy living. There is now a whole economy that is based making money from people wanting to be healthier or different. When people are ill they go to see their doctor and are treated with chemically manufactured products, they are not pushed towards natural alternatives. People will pay for personal trainers, seek therapy and go gym classes. In the age of the internet and with people being able to organise and treat themselves to an extent; the role of the Shaman in redundant. But mostly we are just a bunch of twats having a good time!
Photo credits: Francis (1st one), Pascale Cholette (2nd one)