Confined, the Saintais de Lysistrata and Frànçois Marry, the leader of Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains, took advantage of this health break to set up a new project. In the beginning, a band just for fun but, finally, a high-flying album and a tour in perspective.
In a red sofa of La Sirène, where Park was preparing his next concerts, the four fanatics of this decidedly surprising Saintaise scene, decided to advance masked. Primitive masks like failed smileys in salt dough, like a chainsaw massacre but nice.
Inevitably, the anonymity is rather relative for the regulars of the room of La Pallice. From left to right, we easily recognize Ben, Théo, guitarist and bass player of Lysistrata, next to Frànçois Marry and Max, the drummer. At first glance, we can therefore be surprised by this musical companionship.
With The Atlas Mountains, Frànçois would almost look like a veteran in this indy landscape of the French pop and world scene. After all, it was in 2005, an eternity, that he released his first album before signing, later, with, excuse me, the English label Domino Records (Franz Ferdinand, The Kills, Artic Monkeys). Independent, he remained so, cultivating this delicate vein of intelligent, powerful and sensual pop.
The Lysistrata trio, on the other hand, tumbled unceremoniously into the landscape much later, in 2017. Their noise fury made everything collapse and, very quickly, they chained concerts in Europe, China, Canada. Definitely, Saintes, the sleeping beauty, hides her game well. But from there to imagine that these two universes can one day find themselves on the same stage.
“There is an update that happened quickly because we come from the same city, we ate the same stone and I think there are common references in Lysis and Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains that are not not visible in each of the projects”, explains Frànçois, “especially bands from the 90s like Sparklehorse and Yo La Tengo. And then it fell into a period when we had time. world bins and we took the opportunity to record. We made a Covid baby“.
With “Awakening Happy”, the first single released last January, Park immediately announces the color. The clip shot in Saint-Jean d’Angély smacks of “Do it yourself” with our four lads in suits eating ice cream on a motocross field. Unlikely. Yes, those turned out fine.
“We had no pressure, we just wanted to have fun”, admits Théo, “the goal was really to have fun. We just let ourselves be guided by the pleasure of playing the guitar, the drums and bass”. Simply.
More surprising perhaps is to find the voice of Frànçois Marry with this wall of amps and these talented youngsters. “It’s a territory that I had already explored when I was younger and, even with Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains, we had quite massive sounds but more on percussion. But it’s true that I missed it a lot to not be carried away by the heavy sound. I think it feels good, it cleans up. There was a kind of apathy in 2019 before the world order came to a standstill and I felt it was necessary to ‘have a scraping sound’.
Conversely, the second single “Ghost” shows us another more delicate facet of “Lysis” even if, before, the Saintais had repeatedly shown the vast extent of emotional palette of which they were capable. “Lysis’ music is also a bit up and down”, confirms Théo, “we have quite massive stuff but also calmer, beautiful things, finer stuff. So there, it allows us to calm down a bit, to play with restraint and try to contain our fingers and our voices. It’s a great exercise”.
And these weird masks then? Because it’s been bothering us a bit since the start of the interview. “In fact, what happened was that, during a rehearsal, some were making guitar recordings and others were making pizzas,” Frànçois awkwardly tries to justify himself, “pizza recordings took precedence but the pizza got a little overcooked and it became a group utensil”. Ok, whose act.
And the future? The release of the album is scheduled for March 25th via Vicious Circle. Concerts are already scheduled at the Confort Moderne in Poitiers, at La Nef in Angoulême and, of course, at La Sirène from La Rochelle on April 8. And otherwise ? “We’re going to do a first farewell tour and we’re all going to end up in the metaverse.” It seems reasonable.