Staircase Paradox: Beautiful Parisian indie reverb pop
To discover Staircase Paradox, let’s start with 2 songs we like:
The band’s present themselves on social media as follows:
“We are Staircase Paradox. We are two girls & two guys. We like melancholy, animals, distortions, flowers & smashed guitars. We make euphoric & sad songs with straightforward melodies you can hum all day long because that’s the way we want it to be...
We already love you, why don’t you love us yet ?”
Well … we do love them and their mature and melodic music, including styles like indie, dreampop, Altrock and shoegaze. If you do no know them, listen to them urgently.
The lineup is:
Pauline Falzon : bass & vocals
Amélie Repetto : piano, synth & vocals
Nathan Stibbe : drums
Billy Montoya : vocals & guitar
The music work to date is as follows:
2006: ... Made to Last Forever, EP
2008: Songs are Minutes Made to Last Forever, LP
2011: Lower Manhattan Hipster Elite, LP
2015: Hand Shaking Heart Stopping Moment , LP
2019: Landmines Have Feelings Too , EP
What is your music about?
It’s about lost loves, death and depression, mainly. It’s a way we use to cope with the events of our lives. Most of our lyrics are dark and depressing but there’s always hindsight and irony, and even when we’re trivial there’s a deeper reflection.
What are your goals as an artist artistically/commercially?
Do exactly what we want to do ! It obviously would be amazing if we could live from our music, but for now we settle for doing as much music as we can humanly fit in a day. Our more “operational” goal for now is to be able to do justice to our songs by giving them the best recording and the best live performances possible.
Who would you want as a dream producer, and why?
We don’t have a “dream producer” anymore. The chemistry between a band and a producer is as hazardous as in a love story… We’re currently working with a young producer (Iseo Furudoi from “Gashasound”) who works a lot with trap/electro-hip-hop musicians, and he’s doing a thousand times better job than any “rock oriented” person we’ve ever worked with.
But if you really want names, we would never say no to Josh Carter from Phantogram (Amélie), Zoot Woman (Billy), Quincy Jones (Nathan), or Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint (Pauline)
What are you trying to avoid as a band?
Getting in a rut, not pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, losing our drive…
Explain your songwriting process.
We don’t have a definite method. Sometimes someone brings an entire song and we work together until it’s every band member’s favorite song we’ve ever made (it’s a miracle that it really does happen often enough !), sometimes it comes from 30 seconds in a 30mn jam that we listen to months later and fall in love with and turn into a song... Any way is a good way !
Why do you make the music you make? Is it in you? Is it your environment?
The world we live in is deeply affecting us for sure. And it goes on top of everything life puts us through...To quote Nick Hornby in “High Fidelity” : “Am I miserable because I listen to sad songs ? Or do I listen to them because I’m miserable?” I guess we’ll never know, but without that vent (writing songs, playing loud, singing our brains out) who knows what or where we would be…
Describe your palette of sound.
We obviously use lots of reverb, chorus and delay. We try to get closer to a dream sound that would be a synthesis between Nirvana’s anger, My Bloody Valentine’s ethereal melancholy, Warpaint’s sensuality & Eliott Smith’s sophistication (yeah, easy ! … not…).
The main thing that has evolved over the years is the way we use voices. We stopped being ashamed of them. We will never be perfect, but we want to use the endless possibilities that layers of female and male voices intertwined can bring to our sound.
You are from France, what are the advantages and disadvantages as a band?
Main disadvantage (no contest) : “Why aren’t you singing in French ?” asked wayyy more often than we’d like !
Advantage: the indie rock scene is not that big and it’s pretty easy to meet passionate people who’ll want to help you with your project. “Kernel Panic” that help us with booking/promotion, and “Oh No! Factory” that help us with mixing and with our visuals (EP sleeve, some of the videos), for instance, are all people we met after shows.