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Interview: We Were Evergreen

5 min read

With a brand new album released this month, Parisian trio We Were Evergreen have so far enjoyed a journey filled with single and EP offerings and acclaimed live shows since the bands inception back in 2008.

Towards provides the band with their first full length release and ahead of the albums release we caught up with We Were Evergreen band member and multi-instrumentalist Michael Liot to discuss the record, touring plans for 2014 and the bands creative process. Here is what he had to tell us:

Brendon Veevers: How are the band today and where in the world does our interview find you all?

Michael Liot: We are very good, currently in Paris for some promotion and about to go to play our first festival of the year in Bourges, further south.

BV: You are on the verge of releasing your debut album, Towards. How is everyone in the band feeling knowing that your first album is about to be unveiled?

ML: We have been waiting so long to first make, then release this album – it has been living with us for a while, so the idea that other people will be able to discover it in just a few days is terribly exciting. It’s hard to believe it’s only days away.

WeWereEvergreen-TowardsBV: What plans do you have to celebrate the release of the record?

ML: We’ll be traveling from Middlesborough to Glasgow on the release day, so maybe we can have a field party with some sheep on the way.

BV: For those who haven’t heard of We Were Evergreen before, how would you best describe the style and sound of the music you create?

ML: It’s a blend of past and present, of here and there, of organics and electronics – nostalgic pop with a whole lot of percussions and a tropical twinge.

BV: So far you have released a couple of well-received singles from the record including Daughters and False Start, and you have also offered a few EP’s over the last few years. Would you say the style of the songs and EP’s you have released in the past are indicative to what we may expect to hear on the new album or has your sound changed quite a bit over the years?

ML: We have definitely evolved from a rather upbeat naivety to something perhaps deeper: they remain pop songs, but we’ve widened our range, the sound is more textured and more personal. We’ve tried to give a more dynamic, ‘live’ feel to the album. It’s all about the grooves!

BV: Can you tell us how the band formed? How initiated the formation and has the line-up remained intact since you started?

ML: We’re all from different parts of France but met in Paris when we were students. At the very beginning there was Fabienne and I, then William joined and we felt that although we wanted to have a lot of different instruments, three was the magic number and we liked the challenge of trying to do everything ourselves.

BV: How did the name We Were Evergreen come about and what is the meaning of it?

ML: When William joined the band, Evergreen became We Were Evergreen – the meaning is up to you, but we liked the oxymoron within suggesting both youth and melancholy, which felt fitting with our music.

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BV: What individual strengths do you think each member of the band brings to the We Were Evergreen table?

ML: Regarding our creative process, we sometimes think of the band as a body – I’m the skeleton, William is the muscles and Fabienne is the skin. We each bring different tastes and influences, which hopefully makes up for a more interesting mix.

BV: You are all from France but you are now based in London. Was it a professional decision that you decided to relocate to the UK or for personal reasons?

ML: Fabienne is the only true Parisian. William and I are respectively from south-west and south-east France, thus creating quite a stretched out origin triangle. We had the opportunity of playing a very small set in a London flat a few years ago, and just so happened to meet people who were interested in our music and helped us play more there – after about six months of Eurostar back-and-forths, we all decided to take a leap of faith across the Channel and settle in London for good, and we don’t regret it.

BV: What have the advantages been for the band from living and recording the album in London?

ML: Living in London has been both a harrowing and truly exciting experience. Discovering the local scene and approach to the music industry as a whole helped us gain some perspective on the music we were making. We wanted to challenge ourselves and were more excited by Charlie Andrew’s fresh approach to sound than by what we had known in France.

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BV: When it comes to song-writing, what inspires the band the most? Are there any specific themes that tend to show up more than others throughout your music?

ML: The album is very much about movement and direction – hence the name Towards. It is about motion versus stillness, body versus mind, individual memory versus collective history. We’ve always been obsessed with traveling and exploring, which is perhaps we use instruments borrowed from other cultures (like the charango and xylophone), and of course moving to England was itself a step “towards”, if not forward. We need to be in constant evolution.

BV: Over the last few years you have played a lot of shows and festivals. Are there plans to take Towards out on the road throughout 2014?

ML: Yes, the Towards Tour starts on May 1st and will take us across the UK, then to France, Europe and (we hope) beyond! It is our first real headline tour, including a date at London’s Scala on May 15th.

BV: London is an ideal base for the summer festival season. Are there plans to perform at any of this years UK festivals?

ML: Quite excitingly we will be performing for the first time at Glastonbury this year! We have yet never even been there but obviously heard a lot about it, so we’re very curious to find out what the vibes will be. Among others, we’re also playing The Great Escape, Lovebox, Wilderness, Larmer Tree, Kendal Rising and Festibelly!

We Were Evergreen’s brand new studio album Towards is out now.