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FEEL THE TREMOR
Today marks the release of Beneath, the first LP by French band Tremor Ama. They already premiered their music video for the single Grey on More Fuzz and they have also agreed to a live video interview, in situ, which was not possible for too long. So, without further ado, let us hear what they have to say.
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How’s The Sound?
Beneath offers an album at the crossroads of too many influences to be counted, mixing and digesting over 20 years of heavy, stoner, doom, psychedelic, or progressive rock… The result is unique on its own, an album that does not fit into any category like so many others nowadays. I do not think it is relevant to try and categorize music anymore. Let us just say they have their own sound, where fuzz is the basis to build upon.
After a brooding introduction with keyboard and guitar, the album really starts with “Green Fire”, a 9:20 epic, continuing the introduction and re-using some of its elements. On this song in particular you can really hear all the different inspirations, the riffs and guitar sounds are constantly evolving, changing, while maintaining continuity. Evident good craftsmanship. The third piece, “Eclipse”, confirms that these guys were into heavy metal, particularly during the chorus that would fit a Black Sabbath song, while continuing with a guitar all in metallic arpeggios that you would rather expect in a Yawning Man’s album.
The album takes a bit of a turn with “Mirrors”, a doomier, more aggressive song, but even if the basic riff is heavier, the music keeps constantly evolving, playing around with different effects and sounds, always going somewhere unexpected, deceiving our expectations. The album is then closed by the single, “Grey”, in the continuity of “Mirrors”, faster, with more distortion and reverberation. No more hippie vibe on that one.
The mixing and mastering are very well done for a DIY production, kudos to the band on that one.
Why is this album worth listening to?
- A digest of all fuzz music has to offer
- Versatile yet coherent
- Very well done for a first album on a DIY label
In what situation should you listen to this album?
Walking in an old forest at dusk, the light playing tricks with the trees’ shadows, creating an eerie yet familiar landscape.
Anything particular to note?
Tremor Ama created their own DYI label Salade Tomate Orion for the release of the album.
Earlier this year, they recorded a very cool live session in a brewery
Transcript of the Interview
Mr. Momo: Welcome everyone to this More Fuzz interview. I’m your host Mr. Momo and I have with me Raphael and Remi from Tremor Ama to discuss their first LP “Beneath” out on June 11th. So how are you guys doing?
Remi: Pretty fine
Raphael: Well too
Mr. Momo: Thank you for agreeing to do this, as I said we don’t have enough opportunities to do live interviews like this so it’s great that we can do it with you guys. So, your first ep ‘Tremor Ama’, which was self-titled, was out in December 2017 so quite a long time ago, so what took you so long?
Remi: What took us so long? uh. Simply our first EP was a first shot for us and the rest of the band to try to make music and make a small CD
Raphael: To work together
Remi: Yeah to get along with each other musically speaking, and this album we had some change and we wanted to explore each individuality musically speaking, between each member of the band because we have some different backgrounds musically.
Raphael: different influences too
Remi: Yeah of course the major influences of Stoner uh like Dopethrone or I don’t know even
Raphael: Sleep, Kyuss…
Remi: Yes, a bit of everything.
Mr. Momo: Yeah great and who’s composing the songs mostly?
Remi: Everyone, I would say. I don’t know a single song where no one has put his little thing in it. Mostly it would be two person, we will try to make a piece together. and everyone will get along and say “ah we could change the rhythm” or “maybe the drums would do that”. Even Maxime, the drummer would say a lot to me ‘Remy tries this on the guitar’. He plays a lot of guitar, he is very good as well. So he takes my guitar, he shows me, or I would say to Maxime “and try to do *beatbox rhythm noises* or something like that”. And even Raphael, he would pick the guitar and say “Can we try this, guys, or maybe that?” *mimics guitar playing*
Raphael: Normally, someone brings a riff and we choose to keep it once someone else finds another color, another… a thing that matches and brings another dimension I think to make something new that the simple riff and I think it’s like that that we work.
Remyi: Yeah we don’t have someone who comes ‘hey guys, here’s the song’, no.
Mr. Momo: Okay so it’s an in iteration process right?
Remi: Yeah we do a lot of iterations when we composing, we try it in rehearsal, then we go on the computer, we record it, we send it on the internet “hey guys listen to it” “yeah maybe we could do that” “yeah let’s try it next rehearsal” “yeah I’m gonna try something out”.
Raphael: That’s why we are long (between releases)
Remi: Yeah yeah, we are very long because I think we are debating about every note of every song in an album, every note has its place, and we can argue between us for hours for just the notes. Because we want to have something nice and a bit of… me and Simon and even Kevin and Maxime would come as well at Raph sometimes and “why do you say that?” “uh it’s a bit complicated you know it’s a feeling about…” “Yeah I don’t understand” and another iteration goes on, and a lot of iterations. That’s a good, that’s a perfect word for it
Mr. Momo: So what is “Beneath” about? Is there a common theme to the album? Is there something you want to express to the album or is it just songs that you put together anyway or ?
Raphael: At the beginning, we didn’t have a theme on the album, and when we … when we worked on it, we…
Remi: That was a bit complicated like Raphael says because we didn’t have a plan to have a whole theme and we didn’t have a concept album. But at the end when we put all the things together we felt like ah there is really something about a small link between everything. I would say the link could be introspection talking about the general feeling of life, because we are about the same age in every member of the band, where we begin our 30s, so we experience almost the same thing, so we tend to talk a bit about it, yeah matters of life.
Raphael: All the lyrics were written before the pandemic but I think there are actual…
Remi: Yeah maybe because we are, you are talking about uh about bad, bad and little sad feelings little moments of depression, of anxiety,
Raphael: A lot of anxiety, because of society, because of the people, because of…society, emotions, life, because a lot of things
Remi: So it matches a lot with the current events of the pandemic, anxiety, missing persons, missing things, saying goodbyes to former things, like gigs and happy stuff with friends, social gathering, etc so yeah it matched, a little bit. So it’s good, for the people who will be listening to it, they will maybe feel like yeah that makes sense that’s a general opinion I guess.
Raphael: Yeah I think too.
Mr. Momo: Okay great and uh so how would you define your sound yourselves? what are you? what do you play?
Remi: The big f*cking question! what are you playing? *mumbles*
Raphael: It’s often complicated to put barriers on styles or music that we make ourselves it’s difficult to ourselves to…
Remi: Even to…, it’s difficult to express to someone who is into this small scene. And it’s even difficulter to explain it to regular people “yeah are you bringing out rock?” “yeah not quite” “you bring metal?” “not quite” “you’re playing rock?” “sure yeah…” there is a big mix of I guess a bit of psychedelic but it’s not something that could sound psychedelic to others. It’s something different to us. I’m really thinking about the intro of “mirrors”. This thing, it could be a bit psychedelic but for me, it’s segregated music, like… I forgot his name, Steve…
Raphael: Steve Reich
Remi: I’m speaking about a song of Steve Reich, the classical composer. So it’s a bit different but there is some progressive things, there are some stoner things, we have stoner riffs, but most of all I’m saying Fuzz music.
Raphael: Yeah, Fuzz music.
Remi: It could go from Kyuss to Ty Segall, to everything with a Fuzz. I guess it’s really the main thing. Simon and I are using fuzzes.
Raphael: Together we grew up in the same place, we were in the same village with so we met together when we were 10/11.
Remi: Yeah so we are friends for a long time now, we know each other very well.
Raphael: Yeah and we began with Iron Maiden, Metallica, Pantera, Slayer
Remi: Pantera, we were huge fans of Pantera, I’m still a huge fan.
Raphael: Me too so we have a lot of Heavy Metal background
Remi: Yeah, mostly for Raphael and me, a lot of Heavy Metal,of American Heavy Metal, yeah, a lot, a lot, a lot
Mr. Momo: And so you released recently a music video for the song “Gray”, the single of the album, which by the way was premiered on More Fuzz, so thank you for that. If I’m correct you directed it, am I right?
Raphael: Not exactly, my job is to work with image, I’m a director of photography so I work with lights and camera so I filmed the project yeah but it’s Jules Gondry that realized, that was the director on the project so…
Remi: I think he was asking the question more like the DIY way. We are the director yes but most of the kids or the organizations yeah the people who were surrounding us were close friends and things like that we like for the album we did a lot “ourselves”.
Mr. Momo: Yeah on your own as possible. Well I mean for the concept and the uh how you film etc… how do you film it etc… Were you the main person in charge, let’s say?
Raphael: A little yeah, a little because I love camera, so it’s my job but I had a lot of expectations about the… the how do you say?
Remi: You wanted to do something good.
Raphael: that represents us
Remi: yeah, and it was the first time we had a clip for one of our projects
Raphael: and it’s a bit complicated to be in front of camera and behind the camera so that’s why I had a very good team with us and with me a lot of time and we were a lot on the music video, we were “a lot”… we were fifteen yeah?
Remi: yeah fifteen
Raphael: yeah fifteen people so a real crew yeah and uh it was very very good
Remi: It was exhausting but it was very nice! Because we worked with close friends, everyone almost knew everyone, so they were not the thing you can have when you are like a customer if everyone was a friend. So it was a very good atmosphere during the whole thing. So yeah the way we did it really represents us, our way of doing things.
Mr. Momo: Okay and so for the video you actually shot the band in an underground quarry? So how did you find this place? Because it looks good on camera!
Remi: we have a lot of places uh in your uh where we live, like, A LOT
Raphael: Exactly we live just a little north of Paris in one hour something like that in the north of Paris and we are between fields and forests
Remi: There is a lot of quarries in here yeah to make houses and uh things like that in the past centuries. So, it’s like there is a quarry every 10 kilometers. At least! Everyone I know knows like five or six different where to go since that would be places when we used to train when we were teenagers
Raphael: When we were teenagers we were a lot in…
Mr. Momo: free parties?
Raphael: “free parties”
Remi: Not free parties, free party is big and organized, it was more like six friends than three packs of beers. It was more like a teenage thing not really organized.
Raphael: Sometimes in quarries, sometimes in forest, sometimes in fields too…
Mr. Momo: So overall it was a good experience
Remi: Yeah it felt like home
Raphael: Especially that in this quarry, during the shoot, there was an ambient… I don’t know… uhh that was a nice atmosphere!
Remi: It was a normal day for me almost. For me it was normal, it was the way… the kind of place where it’s normal for us to play. It was intended, like for us, for our music, that’s why we say a lot about how we have terrific sound, we like the big wobble. Like the wobbling intro of the album Maxime and I have worked a lot on the bass things because “Tremor Ama” we want to have tremors, anything like that and when you are underground in a quarry like this, yeah you feel like the tremor of Tremor Ama.
Raphael: In our sound, we work a lot with uh transform… not transformation but with modelization of nature natural sounds, like tremor, like wind, like leaves or some things like that. And that I think it was a very good choice to shoot the band’s playback for the music video in this place I think it was a very good experience.
Remi: Yeah it was very nice.
Mr. Momo: So you also released a live session for “Eclipse” earlier this year which you shot in a brewery so how did that happen?
Raphael: Very well too! No, it was…
Remi: Friends again?
Raphael: We have one friend that’s working in the brewery and uh it’s a little brewery, a familial and local brewery.
Remi: Like “Craft beer”
Raphael: A little bit of craft beer, yeah like Ipa, wheat beer or…
Remi: They do everything yeah from the whitest to the blackest beer.
Raphael: Yeah and they are very open-minded…
Remi: And they’re pretty nice people, at first we went there to see our friend. We were together visiting our friend Cedric and when we went there he showed us around”Oh do you want to visit the building?” “Yeah why not, why not take the tour” and we were looking for a place to do a live session by the time i had some ideas in different places and we were working on this and when I saw the brewery I was like “Raph, Raph, we got to play here! You see everything, the ceiling, the floor, everything is good” There was a reverberation!
Raphael: The reverb was awesome.
Mr. Momo: Yeah, the sound is very good on that video.
Remi: We told Cedric “Do you think we could do something here?” And he said “Yeah! Of course, you can do this here!” “Let’s do it!” So we organized it, we had once again a lot of our friends who came to give some help, it was in a nice place, again with friends, and the sound was…
Raphael: And a lot of good beer…
Remi: And the people from the brewery, Big up to the guys of the Brasserie d’Orville btw, gave us a lot a lot of f*cking good beer just because they are nice people, so thanks to them a lot! Go buy their beers, there’re good! La Brasserie d’Orville
Mr. Momo: Alright and um so “Beneath” is released on your own DIY label called Salade Tomate Orion so why did you choose to publish it independently and do you plan to produce other things with this label?
Raphael: For the moment the choice that we made, it was that we…
Remi: For me, I was with Maxime with a lot into it so I think I could answer to that so the way we saw it we had songs we needed to do an album with them and we thought okay we could go to a studio we are not well known so we can’t get into a label easily so there is some financial problems because we wanted to do something nice, not just a small album with shitty sound and stuff and we asked ourselves with Maxime, like we are a lot into production music.
Raphael: Yeah Maxime is a sound engineer that’s our force too
Remi: And I’m a lot into music production, I own a lot of instruments, microphones, we have Maxime and I. And asking friends for some microphones and preamplificator. We could do it so we said “okay”. The only thing we did not do ourselves was the drums recording we did record at the Yellow Room Studio.
Raphael: Yeah in Thignonville, with Jonathan Jamet.
Remi: I think yeah and we began from the drums and we built everything by our own, we were recording at my place or at Maxime place for months
Mr. Momo: And you mastered it yourself too?
Remi: No, no, we did mix it.
Raphael: We mixed it ourselves but …
Remi: Maxime did mix the thing and I, some assistance like “Do you want some coffee?”
Raphael: And for the master we worked with Thomas de Fraguier, that is a very good in sound engineering, at the beginning it was only for the vinyl, and when we heard what he did (for the digital)…
Remi: For free! What a nice guy!
Raphael: We chose to keep its work for the digital platform and for the cd.
Mr. Momo: And so do you plan to develop the label? Do you know if you want to?
Remi: We are not quite sure uh for the moment like for the next month, no.
Raphael: Actually we only worked for this project yeah for ourselves, for this project, but in the future, yeah I would like it.
Remi: Because with Maxime, you, and others we did a pretty good job, we could do it for someone else
Raphael: Or we can work with other labels too
Remi: Also we can work with other labels, with other people, maybe. We could do a lot of things. We created Salade Tomate Orion, ah first time I say it with the accent ahah
Raphael: Salade Tomate Orion, for the information, it’s a joke. In french when you buy a doner kebab, the first thing the chef asks you is “Salade Tomate Oignon?” it’s like “do you want salad, tomatoes, and onions?” so in french, it’s Salade-Tomate-Oignon and you can say “no just tomatoes” or not, “just no …” and for us it’s salade tomate Orion…
Remi: Like the galaxy, like ahah, the joke is here
Raphael: It’s a little jokey
Mr. Momo: Okay great and so have you started planning to get on the road? Some concerts possibly a tour? Or is it a little bit early?
Remi: We are in May 2021, the pandemic is still going… In France, gigs are a bit (complicated) and we are not quite sure, and no one is quite sure of anything so we’re not planning on touring for now
Raphael: It will be too difficult, too complicated
Remi: So much complications, so much risks but two gigs, yeah we are eager to do gigs we want to do gigs we are trying to organize some and at some point yeah we would really like to tour, at some point
Raphael: And to go where we can too… so
Remi: Book us! We want to gig, book us!
Mr. Momo: Alright, alright, alright, and uh so now it’s time for a bit of promo I guess
Remi: Yeah yeah buy our album! Bandcamp!
Raphael: Yeah for the moment the pre-orders are open so don’t hesitate to make it to get yours and the album will be out on the 11th of June.
Remi: Or just have a look on Spotify, Deezer, on youtube, or anything.
Raphael: We made a copy on our Bandcamp. So it’s Tremor Ama, on Bandcamp, you can see our trips.
Mr. Momo: We’ll put links anyway in the description, and in the article, so you can find so people can find the music. Anything you would like to add?
Remi: It was a long run motherf*cker but we did it!
Raphael: Yeah and it was really good, it was a very good pleasure to be here. Thanks to More Fuzz. Thank you everyone we will work with.
Mr. Momo: And thank you very much for watching and we’ll see you around, bye!
Raphael: Bye, see you, on the road!
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