After having started with a spelling mistake, in order to already blast the boundaries of normality which it claimed to claim a little, the valiant and indispensable local label Les Disques Normal is in the spotlight in this month of May. Born in 2006 and with today almost 70 references in various formats (vinyl, cd, download) in its beautiful catalog, the Normal Discs celebrate their fifteen years of existence in two stages: an exhibition of the covers of a large part of the label records (enhanced by some of our photos of the bands live) at the Jardin Moderne and two evenings of concerts with no less than 8 bands from the label playing on May 20 and 21, still at the Jardin Moderne. To prepare this celebration with dignity, we offer you daily until the fateful date an interview with each of the groups. Today, we are going to meet the sensitive and flamboyant universe of Arianna Monteverdi.
Fifteen years already that the small but valiant local label Normal Discs draws and defends his independent and sensitive vision of music. In a decade and a half and more than seventy records, the little band has built an ensemble that is both highly coherent and yet deliciously adventurous. From the intimate folk of Jocari to the orchestral pop of the debut album by mermonte passing by the dandy garage of LadyJanethe indomitable rock of fat supperthe classy Americana of santa cruzthe oblique hip hop of Yes Basketball! or even indie rock alive withArianna Monteverdi… we no longer count the discs of the label which are now among our favorite cakes. We are therefore more than happy to participate in the celebrations of the first fifteen years of this great adventure. For this we went to meet the eight formations invited on the two evenings of celebration.
The impeccable EP Multiple ofArianna Monteverdi was released in September 2022 and is one of our recent favorites. We had already greatly appreciated his solo appropriation of folk canons, but the emotional strength and melodic evidence of these five unstoppable tracks literally blew us away. We are therefore totally delighted to have the opportunity to see the group live again and to exchange with the lady.
How did you discover and meet the Les Disques Normal label?
When I was playing solo with a more folk repertoire, a friend of Julian Angel told me about Regular Discs (he was already on the label). When I arrived in Nantes I started to meet and/or hear about bands like fat supper, The Missing Season, mermonte, santa cruz…So I contacted Martial and the album Getting Close was the subject of a digital release on the label in 2017. I liked the idea of working with a small label, actively present on a local scene (Rennes) and known to friends! We released our EP Multiple last September.
What did you like about them and what is a label for?
I liked the idea of working with a small label, actively present on a local scene (Rennes) and known to friends! the vinyls were pressed by M for Music, between our two cities, we went to visit the places and went to look for them with Martial. The fact of working “in a short circuit” continues and continues to please me.
A label is to be part of a musical family but more around a state of mind than a single musical genre in this case. It’s putting a foot in the professional side of music too, by meeting pros, other experienced musicians/groups, we can discuss, exchange opinions, advice. any field becomes much more enriching and rich in potential from the moment we exchange and interact with others.
With which other groups of the label do you feel affinities?
Musical and/or friendly affinities, frankly a package! yes basketball, The missing season, mermonte, Tiny Feet, fat Supper, We Only Said, LadyJane, santa cruz…
Can you name one (or more) of the label’s albums that you absolutely have to discover and tell us why?
Definitely because she’s a woman and she’s solo (so out of egocentrism diverted somewhere haha), I like it a lot As An End To Death of Tiny Feet. I listen to it often. All the albums of the groups mentioned above are tops.
Can you tell us where your very lyrical surname comes from?
This stage name comes fromArianna’s Lamentby the Baroque composer Claudio Monteverdi. I started by writing folk songs, which told a lot of sad love stories. There is in British Folk music (then American by extension) a genre of song called the Lament Songs (Complaints, songs of lamentation), these songs had the function of warning listeners of the possible disasters that could await them if they embarked on the perilous paths described in these songs. Monteverdi wrote an entire opera on the myth of the Minotaur (Et d’Ariane et Thésée). All the scores burned in a fire, but this passage “lamentations d’Ariane” survived. I was browsing the vinyls of friends of mine one day when I came across this record/cover “Il Lamento d’Arianna/Monteverdi”. And hop, the idea came to me. It’s always long to explain, but the idea arose like that and was adopted immediately 🙂
Where does this fascination for American music come from?
So I wouldn’t call it fascination, but I grew up listening to the records/bands from the 60s Revival Folk and more that my parents listened to them and had in their disco…So that’s where I feel at home simply musically. We all know the true cliché of this country where many musical movements have met and developed with bottomless richness, in particular because of the diversity of the geographical and cultural origins of its inhabitants. When you start to put your nose in it, everything is linked, so it’s hard not to continue exploring, and in doing so you become more immersed in it…
What made you go from a solo performer, to two then to four?
The electric guitar. My compositions have actually changed. So I needed a rhythm, then a lead guitar.
How would you describe the evolution of your musical universe?
I do not know. It’s linked to the search for a sound that itself will allow me to express what I want to tell. It is the what and the how that intertwine and progress together.
How did the composition and recording of Multiple go?
I had written all the songs alone, the guys found their bass and drums part. We recorded ourselves in our rehearsal studio. The songs were ready to be recorded, except for Gwen’s guitar parts which he partly wrote on the spot!
Then we entrusted the mix to a friend Louis Lemoine (from the band Roses) and the mastering at Damien Tillaut which Martial had told us about!
What should we expect for the 15th anniversary concert?
We play with a new bassist Benoît Guchet (a good friend of the band and an outstanding musician) who we have already invited to play with us on the guitar on a long piece that closes our set, at Stereolux in Nantes or during the Bars in Trans therefore a new team. We should end the set with a cover to mark the festive side of the evening but we don’t know which one yet.
What are your current and future projects?
I have to release a piano/voice cover shortly.
We’re going to look into the recording of the next album at the start of the school year!
We are still looking for a turner!
Tycho Brahe, Julian Angel, Blue Haired Girl and Arianna Monteverdi will play Friday, May 20, 2022
Fiascø, A Movement Of Return, The Marquesas and The Missing Season will play Saturday, May 21, 2022
from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Price 1 day: 12 € in presale or 15 € on site
2-day pass: 20 € only in presale
The Modern Garden, 11 rue du Manoir de Servigné, Rennes
Bus n°11 (Jardin Moderne stop)
Bus n°9 (Cleunay stop)
lines 54, 55, 56 (Berthault stop)
the event page
The website of Modern Garden
Find all our articles on the 15th anniversary celebration of label Normal Disks in our file dedicated to the event.