Just like, among others, Gaël Faye, Asaf Avidan, Fatoumata Diawara, Scylla or the incredible DJ Marcelle, the Brussels residents of Guilt will be on the bill at the Esperanzah festival! which begins next Thursday. Meeting with the thinking head of the unclassifiable formation.
For years, François Custers strove to bring this musical project to life without ever succeeding as he intended. Let’s go over the reasons, multiple. Especially sincetoday, after changing working methods, things have finally taken shape: Early folk was just a way to get started and try out solo, a way to attract a handful of musicians.
Guilt is above all cut out for live. Create contact through the scene, not through social networks.
Guilton the Botanique stage last March for his first “official” concert and to play, among others, the titles of his first ep (“There’l be an afterstorm”), is primarily cut for the live. Create contact through the scene, not through social networks.
“These pieces are made to be played”, insists François, who has been in the live music world for years, and not only because he worked for a while as programmer at Atelier 210. “It was both incredible to meet groups, he comments about this period, I loved doing that, but of course there are times when not being, me, on stage often worked on me, especially since I had no concert plan for a while. being a programmer and an artist is a bit like being judge and judged. You sense there will be some suspicious or cynical looks.”
A duo formula is in development, with Saudade’s keyboardist, Brice Ninck.
Whether Guilt is François Custers, he is currently accompanied by Antoine Flipo and Martin Grégoire (Glass Museum), Pierre Van Vlanderen (Endless Dive) and Jeremy Debuysschere (Indigo Mango). “A poetic universe is created with the name of a project. I didn’t want to abandon that!” Even ifthere is a good chance that the group exists in different dimensions, depending in particular on the agendas. A duo formula is thus in development, with the keyboardist of Saudade, Brice Ninck.
The somewhat permissive “trick”
“Being compared to benchmarks is great, but the challenge is that at some point, something of ours comes out of that.”
Whatever the scope of Guilt, it remains above all a stylistic encounter. “The guitar, which comes much more from a post-rock universe, brings a kind of very intense, reverberant dimension, creates a lot of space, is something that I have always appreciated very much. At the same time, Martin and Antoine come clearly jazz but have a modern approach, notably very influenced by electronics.” And, therefore … here is a training that will not be among the best friends of the platform algorithm! “It’s more complicated for us to get our audience, concedes François Custers. But at the same time, it’s much more faithful to who we are, and I hope that after a while people will consider that we are developing our own sound. Being compared to benchmarks is great, but the challenge is that at some point, something of ours comes out of that.”
Question therefore: where is the coherence of such a project? “We constantly ask ourselves this, answers François Custers. How do you manage to ensure that it’s not just ‘good musicians, at ease in a lot of different styles, who do a bit of demonstration’? It has to remain really coherent in relation to the artistic purpose. But it’s super cool to be released, and we have this somewhat permissive thing that Antoine and I like a lot.”
“This passage from the very big to the miserable, from the micro to the macro, from the intimate and fragile to the explosive, is very much the red thread of the album.”
On this 6-track ep, the “permissive stuff” serves texts that do not leave anyone indifferent. So, for example, “Choirs of Nemesis” is dedicated “to all people who are struggling with their mental health, especially during these strange times”. Allusion both to the pandemic which, paradoxically, was for many artists a moment of creation, and to the bipolarity faced by François. “During the first confinement, I discovered that I was bipolar, and I went through very, very dark periods, where I was absent, completely gone. Fortunately, behind that, there was a form of rebirth I got to know myself… It’s such a huge subject for me that it naturally found its way into everything I wrote afterwards. it’s clear, ‘Choirs of Nemesis’ is about that, especially through the metaphor of the battlefield.”
“Who says bipolarity says ‘two sides’, adds François Custers. This passage from the very large to the miserable, from the micro to the macro, from the intimate and fragile to the explosive, is very much the red thread of the album. And it comes to justify these stylistic differences.”
“There’ll be an afterstorm”
In concert on Friday, July 29 at Esperanzah! (4 p.m., Futuro stage)
Note from L’Echo:
Hope! From Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 July. Floreffe Abbey.
Info and program: www.esperanzah.be