Conversation with Alpha du Centaure (France, Post-Rock)
Not only do Alpha du Centaure great music, but they are also a very nice group of people. Soon after contacting them, we had a great conversation on Skype. One thing is for sure: they love music & love doing music.
They were in their rehearsal studio, before their weekly 4 to 5 hours session. The conversation was in French, which made it easy.
The band is:
Cédric Tessonneau (guitar),
Gaël Marcou (guitar),
Florian Duclaye (drums),
Rémi Balmassière (bass & keyboard)
Alpha du Centaure was started as a solo project by Cédric who plays the guitar. He loves post-rock and shoegaze among other things. He was inspired to create the sound and atmosphere of Alpha du Centaure when listening to a 2014 Slowdive live video, and more precisely by their cover of a Syd Barrett song (Golden Hair). He was experimenting and creating at home at the time and began to work on the EP's songs.
"I invented the riffs for la nuit esquisse des reliefs brumeux jamming with Gaêl one evening. I then kept on working and experimenting that night until I got what I wanted."
The band was soon joined by his roommate, Gaël, also on the guitar, influenced by the metal and black metal scene.
" I wrote fredonner l'amertume de ton âme trying to get closer to Cédric's shoe gaze and post-rock influences, as a mortuary waltz that then brings you toward something more luminous"
As two DIY enthusiasts, they settled in an attic in Aramon (a small village located between Nîmes and Avignon in the south east of France) to record their first EP called "La couleur de mes rêves" ("The colour of my dreams").
"We wanted to create an atmosphere that reminds the listener of feelings that they never got, or had forgotten, and that the music will bring alive.
We wanted to work on the feeling of melancholy, but never going too far, keeping a note of optimism through our songs to leave space for hope.
We worked on our music by phase, sculpting every texture to find the best sound possible for the song, the moment"
As it was mainly a solo project originally, there was no live take.
"All was done in direct intake on the computer using Cubase as daw and guitar rig for the effects."
It is impressive to hear the sound they could have with such a straight forward process.
Since November 2015, Alpha du Centaure's notoriety has increased thanks to several webzines, blogs, radios and web radios... Motivated by such positive feedback, they decided to start playing live and recruited Florian on drums and Rémi on bass.
"Florian has a very diverse background and does music for a living. He brings jazz and progressive rock influences to Alpha du Centaure.
Rémi will not only play the bass, but also the Moog keyboard, bringing a more lunar sound to the next EP"
On how the creative process is now working, Cedric tells us:
"Gaël and I bring the base chords, and after this, it is a really organic process as we all work, with many new ideas originating from our different music backgrounds."
The band is currently in the process of creating the second EP which will be called "Le déséquilibre originel" (The original disequilibrium), scheduled for September 2017.
"The new EP will be recorded with live takes as opposed to computer only takes. The moog will add extra lunar textures. We will also have a professional sound engineer, Sébastien Rossi from Zi-on Prod (Zi-on), to help us.
The 4 songs are ready. They will be slower, with a more collective input. The influence of metal and black metal will be more present on the new EP as a result of Gaël's background.
We are working with the US record label Pyrrich Victory records for the release of the new EP"
Their presence on the web
This first opus is excellent. I listen to it often, finding new sounds, new intentions, never getting tired of it. The band is a very nice bunch of people, loving what they are doing. It so clear in their conversation.
I am really looking forward to the next EP, if only to see where it will bring their music too. There is greatness in the seeds. I look forward to see how it will grow.