An Interview with The Parisian Alt-Rockers, PAERISH About Their Debut Single, “Undone”, Naming the Band After a Robin Williams Character and Much More!
Posted On 08 Mar 2016
Tag: Alan Parrish, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Bandcamp, Beatles, Biffy Clyro, Blink 182, Bruce Rintoul, France, Frederic Wah, Frightened Rabbit, Glasgow, Julien Louvion, Jumanji, Ken Andrews, Martin Dupraz, Mathias Court, Mewithoutyou, Ne Devotions, Offspring, Paerish, Paris, Robin Williams, Semi-Finalists, Smashing Pumpkins, Spotify, The City of Lights, The Smash, The world is a beautiful place, Then People Forget, Turnover, Undone, We Came From Wolves, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Weezer
Born of mutual admiration for 90s rock potentates Offspring and Weezer, the Paris-based PÆRISH is poised to be the next alternative rock smash hit-makers. “My older sister was a teenager when I was like 8 or 9 years old, and I discovered music through her,” co-founder, front-man and guitarist Mathias Court recalls of the almost ripped from the script of Almost Famous scenario of his first foray into rock. “She was playing some Offspring songs in her room and that changed me for life. The Smash album truly changed my life.”
With its foundation built on the duel inspirations of music and movies, it practically seems scripted that the original members of PÆRISH – Court, Martin Dupraz (bass) and Julien Louvion (drums) – would first meet and form as a trio five years ago in a Paris film school, where Court and Dupraz were studying film production and Louvion sound engineering. Initially adopting the name Crackity Flynn, in 2015 the three modified the group’s moniker to PÆRISH (based on the awkward, skinny kid character Alan Parrish in Jumanji) and added second guitarist Frédéric Wah. “We love Robin Williams and his characters,” Court explains. It’s kind of a tribute to who we are. We are all kids from the 90s, we’re all big fans of Blink-182 and that kind of humor. The character of Alan Parrish is a kid who’s imprisoned in an adult body. He’s still like a kid, even though he looks like an adult. Like the four of us.”
Their collective primary passion in life for music eventually led the members of PÆRISH to focus on writing songs over scripts and concentrate on performing on concert stages as opposed to working on movie sets. Buoyed by the backing of supportive parents, including Court’s David Bowie-adoring mom and Dupraz’s devoted Beatles-loving dad, a throng of around 300 – including close family members and friends – witnessed the band’s debut gig five years ago at a cool club in “The City of Lights.” Determined to be undaunted by Paris’ paltry rock scene (“It’s in a bad way,” states Dupraz. “It’s pretty hard because France, and especially Paris, is a huge EDM and hip-hop scene and city.”), and refusing to be undone by the fact that there is just one rock station (OUI-FM) in town, PÆRISH turned to social sites such as Spotify and Bandcamp.com to get their music directly into the ears and hands of their ever-expanding fan base.
The band’s hunch that placing their music on Spotify would be an effective way to garner airplay and gain followers proved to be spot-on, with the riff-roaring single “Undone” just topping 2 million streams. “‘Undone’ was one of the very last songs we composed for the album,” says Court, referring to PÆRISH’s forthcoming debut collection Semi Finalists (release date TBD). “I think it was the quickest song I’ve ever composed. I had that riff; I didn’t know what to do with it. I started to play (more) riffs one night and I think it was done in one afternoon. I think it was the quickest song we’ve ever made.”
Unlike the character in Jumanji that, although slightly modified, served as inspiration for the band name, it won’t take this four-piece from Paris 26 years to reach the musical equivalent of adulthood. Alan Parrish may have started out as a weak, scared, shy kid who eventually developed strong survival instincts, but PÆRISH is well on its way to becoming masters of its own reality, with Semi Finalists serving as just the first major move in the group’s game plan to conquer the alternative music world.
Learn more about Paerish in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! So, hows 2016 been treating you so far?
Great…so far! Our first single on Spotify, “Undone”, just hit 2 million streams and our second single we just uploaded, “Then People Forget”, has over 200,000 streams already! We are really thankful for Spotify and the support of the curators & community. [Mathias] In addition, we’ve been playing some great shows with amazing bands like Turnover, Mewithoutyou, The world is a beautiful place & more. We look forward to whats next. [Martin]
Can you talk about you all first met each other at a Paris Film School in 2010?
When I started my first year in film studies, I met Julien (drummer) during an orientation weekend for freshmen students, he was studying sound engineering and we quickly became friends, talking a lot about Scottish bands like Biffy Clyro and Frightened Rabbit. Then I met Martin (bass) who was in charge of film screenings in our schools amphitheater, we shared similar interests in American bands we used to grow up listening too. [Mathias]
How exactly did you go from film school to starting a band together? Was that a smooth transition to make for you all?
It all started as a spontaneous thing, as we all grew up playing in different bands. I felt ready to start a new project at that time of my life, and it quickly became more and more ambitious throughout the years. We still have our everyday jobs, but our common dream has always been to tour as much as we could with our songs. [Mathias]
What was the process like of recording your first album in Glasgow?
We spent a lot of time working on the songs before going to Glasgow, we recorded it at first in France in 2014 with a friend as demos to send it to our producer in Glasgow and to improve the songs. We also wrote some songs (like Undone) just before we left to Glasgow.
We did everything we could to be really efficient once in Glasgow. Our producer, Bruce Rintoul, was really helpful and there was no waste of time at all in the studio, it was a great teamwork and we had an amazing time there. [Martin]
How does it feel to finally be putting out your debut album? How long did you work on it?
We spent more than 3 years working on the album. Writing the songs, working on rehearsals, demos and finally, recording it.
Its with great pride, and a relief, to finally put out the album ! We worked so hard and for so long, we cant wait to release it. People seem to love our two singles, so we really want them to listen to the rest of the album. [Martin]
What was the inspiration for your single, Undone? Generally, where do you get the inspiration for your music?
Undone” is the quickest song I’ve ever composed. I was trying to make an instrumental song with keyboards and 80’s drums. But I thought that guitar riff deserved to be put in a powerful rock song, so that’s how it all changed.
We recorded the demo in one afternoon, and we immediately knew that it would be the first single to announce the album. I usually get inspiration after a tough day, when playing guitar feels more like a relief than just a hobby. I always start with guitar, as it is my main and favorite instrument, then lyrics come naturally according to whats in my mind. [Mathias]
How would you describe the music scene in Paris today? Do you think its always growing and changing?
As a rock band, its pretty hard because rock music isnt big at all here in Paris at the moment. A lot of rock bands here use synths or EDM in their music, and all the press and labels here love it because it sells records. So there are a few bands like Paerish here. We like EDM and these bands, but thats not what we like the most, we really just want to make music with noisy guitars! There are great webzines, indie associations, promoters and rock radio who help bands like us, there’s always a bright side! [Martin]
In 2015, you opened for bands like We Were Promised Jetpacks, No Devotions and others. Whats that been like for the group? Whatd been a favorite touring memory so far?
It’s amazing ! Its a great chance for us because it allows us to play in great venues in front of a brand new audience who doesnt know us.
We went on a UK tour in England and Scotland with our Scottish friends We Came From Wolves and it was amazing. We played cool venues, met a lot of cool people and we discovered a beautiful country, Scotland!
What bands have continued to inspire Paerish through the years? Who would you love to work with in the future?
We grew up listening to bands like Blink 182, Weezer or the Smashing Pumpkins and all this 90’s alternative rock, so naturally, our music can sound like this.
Working, touring or playing with these bands would be a dream for us ! And of course we have a list of producers we’d love to work with, all those amazing guys who worked on the albums we grew up with, for example Ken Andrews.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
We try to make the most honest songs as possible, something that can be listened in both good and bad times. If these songs have the ability to make people feel good in their lives, this will be the best reward for us.
I try not to be too specific in my lyrics for I want people to hear our songs thinking about their own stories and experiences.[Mathias]
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves or music?
Thank you for reading this, and hopefully we will see you soon on tour! Merci !