You have noticed that interviews on Last Day Deaf are often motivated by the artists’ recent activities, live performances, new releases etc. GOLD ZEBRA’s interview though came out of our admiration to the band’s quality, as they don’t have any “hot” news yet. Being among the finest synth/cold wave bands globally, was enough to make us ask for an interview that they kindly accepted. So here, is a very instructive chat with the band, giving us many details on their course and future, also revealing why they sound so cinematic, how come they composed an original film score, and all about art. Dear people, this is GOLD ZEBRA from Montreal!

Hello GOLD ZEBRA, and welcome to Last Day Deaf! You have been releasing your art since 2010’s ‘Debut EP’ from which ‘Trans Desert’ song made a very good impact, and people started mentioning your name and sharing your music in the dedicated web pages. Montreal, Canada and a new synth-wave band…please introduce GOLD ZEBRA to our readers.

We are JP & Julie. We started out making music together in late 2009 after meeting at a party where JP was DJing. We found out we had similar taste in music and a similar vision of what we wanted to achieve as musicians. We wrote our first songs together and put them on MySpace. It all started from there.

A split 7” in 2012 with the American duo The Golden Filter, and in 2014 comes the first ‘Gold Zebra’ LP, including high quality synth-wave music. Songs like ‘Drift Away’, ‘Invisible Disorder’, ‘Love, French, Better’ put the band in the discussions of the genre’s fans, and Europe started discovering your music. In artistic terms, what “streams” are you emerging from and what is your proposal to the music fans? 

We listen to a lot of old and new music and have been into many different styles of music over the years, but the main connection is always electronic music.

We work in a very instinctive way without really identifying with a particular genre. We create around sounds and rhythms that inspire us. The most important element for us is to compose timeless songs, songs that will stand the test of time.

Berlin blog NFOP made this comment about our music which we like really like and which summarizes our creative process: «while convincingly focusing not on style and era but on those things that matter for a good pop song: arrangement and melody».

I was surprised in 2015, when I found out that “Un amour d’été” is an original motion picture soundtrack. It’s not that often for a band to create the whole soundtrack for a film, so tell us please, how you got involved with and what are the differences in these musings and the rest of your releases?

We were just returning from our first European tour in June 2013 when Jean-François Lesage, a movie director from Montreal, contacted us. He said he loved our music and wanted us to compose the soundtrack for his next movie. That’s something we’ve always dreamt of so we accepted right away!

The process was very different than composing music for our band. We attended rough cut screenings of the film with the crew (director, editors, etc.) then got back home to compose music inspired by what we had seen. To work through all stages of production and post-production with the entire film crew was a very rewarding experience.

Listening to your music is obvious that you use a hidden “cinematic” approach on the arrangements, what is your connection with that form of art?

We like to think that you can listen to our music the same way you watch a movie. That is our state of mind when we compose music.

The track list and flow of the songs are very important to us and we pay special attention to it. We try to create an atmosphere in each of the songs so that listeners can feel the story and want to join in. All the songs are interconnected and form a whole that really benefit from being listened from beginning to end, rather than on shuffle.

…And what about the lyrics? What are your stories about, where are you getting inspired from?

We are inspired by books, stories from around us or various situations we encounter. The music mostly dictates the mood and direction that the lyrics will take in the songs. The choice of French or English depends on what emotions we want to express.


During the last years, synth-wave and modern new wave music are making a blast. In Canada and USA, same as Europe we witness a new renaissance of these specific music styles. Why, in your opinion, synthetic music and “waves” attract so many people to get involved with, mentioning also a lot of dedicated, independent labels that are pushing it up?

80’s Music, created with synths and drum machines, has long been disliked. For many, this period was considered a “dark time” for music. But several sub genres have nevertheless emerged from this period and that gave life to a lot of excellent music, which remained underground until very recently.

It’s pop culture successes like the release of the 2011 movie “Drive”, or more recently the “Stranger Things” series, which allowed the general public to discover this kind of music and that enabled new groups and labels to come into the spotlight.

Synth Wave is attractive to a lot of people because it expresses a certain nostalgia and because it attempts to capture and celebrate an era’s atmosphere.

Can you share with us, please, a few new releases that moved you, or even got your pulse?

Fugitive’, the latest album from our labelmate Xarah Dion, is an incredible album. We had the chance to be the opening act at her album launch in Montreal. She is an amazing live performer.

In the last months, we also listened to the latest albums by Nicolas Jaar, Nick Cave, Geneva Jacuzzi, The Field and Suuns.

So, what hides inside the GOLD ZEBRA’s core? 

GOLD ZEBRA is one part darkness, one part light, sometimes in French, sometimes in English. It’s a celebration about yesterday, a voyage amid synthesizers, melodies and melancholies.

Future plans? An upcoming release maybe, touring?

We are currently working on a new album, which should be ready sometime in 2017 or 2018. There’s probably going to be a tour to support the album.

Thank you very much for your time GZ, you may add anything and close the interview as you like!

Thanks for the opportunity!

Photo credits: JP Richard (1st one), Michel Troy (2nd one)

Mike Dimitriou