The exceptionally talented, and multi-instrumented, Sylvaine featured in our NEW MUSIC YOU NEED IN 2015 editions of PULSE off the back of the release of her stunning debut album Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart with its ethereal waves of ambience taking in elements of post-rock, shoegaze, goth rock, post-punk, black metal, and much, much more.
Last year was an incredibly busy year for Sylvaine what with said debut album and an extensive touring schedule and it looks like this year is going to be much the same. I caught up with here for a bit of a natter and a chinwag and Sylvaine revealed she’s got even bigger plans on the table for this year. This is why you need here in your musical life in 2015.
Hello Sylvaine, and how are you? How’s the new year shaping up?
– Hello to you too! I’m doing very well, thank you! The new year is off to a good start on my part. At the moment, I’m finishing up the last demos for my second album, so hopefully I will be able to start the recording of the album in late spring/summer. Busy times, as always.
We recently included you in our New Music You Need in 2015 features, but how would you describe your sound in your own words? What’s your music all about to you?
– I was always attracted to the mixture of heavy music and delicate melodies and more ethereal aspects, so this is what I try to do in my music too. The main focus is on emotions and atmospheres/moods, as I believe music is all about expressing something that lies within you. I also have a love for melodies and like to include some groovy drum patterns to back up all the dreamy layers. I find myself struggling a bit to describe my own music, so I usually leave it up to the listeners to decide what my music is to them, which genre it’s a part of and so forth.
Who would you say are you biggest influences, musically and otherwise?
– Just like any other artist, I’m very inspired by the music I love, but at the same time I try not to draw too much direct inspiration from these bands/artist. I want to create something that is mine, my own sound, which is characteristic to my projects. I’m a very big fan of all kinds of ethereal and emotional music, like stuff from the post-punk scene, the dreampop scene, the old goth/darkwave scene and the newer post rock scene, so of course some of the bands from these genres have inspired my sound. Other things that influence me both as a musician and on a personal level is nature, art, literature, movies, visually beautiful places and so on. I’m a very visually inspired person.
Seeing as you essentially play everything on your album, Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart, do you have a long history of musicianship? Did you start playing at an early age?
– I was brought into the world of music at a very early age, since both my parents worked in the music business and were musicians themselves. In the beginning of my teenage years I realized that thru music, I could express feelings I otherwise had problems letting out, so I started to experiment with my voice and on the piano. Shortly after, I started studying music and began to have lessons to develop my technique for both vocals and piano, as well as drum lessons. The other instruments I play, I learned on my own in an independent way. I just started playing guitar 2 years ago, something I ‘m very happy about. This instrument is much better for me composition wise than the piano, which was as my instrument of choice for making music when I was a teenager.
Speaking of your album, how have you found that the reaction to it has been so far?
– I’m very happy to say that the feedback from the audience and also the music press has been very good so far! It’s quite touching and a bit surreal to read the beautiful words people write to me about this album. I’m actually surprised by the amount of interest people have shown for it, seeing as I’m an unknown artist that released an album on my own. I ‘m super thankful to everyone out there who has shown interest and supported my project so far!
Last year you completed a tour of South America alongside French act Alcest. How did that come about, and how was the tour? Any good stories?
– I would never have imagined that my first tour would be in South America, supporting one of my favourite bands Alcest, so even before leaving, I was so thankful and excited to be a part of this tour. The shows themselves were amazing and the South American audience was one of the best audiences I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t have asked for a better start! It was a very successful tour, with the best people and truly an amazing experience that will be remembered for a long, long time. There were a few interesting stories from this tour in South America. One was when we almost missed the show in Santiago, because of extreme weather and cancelled planes. We were all super stressed, but in the end we managed to get on a flight that arrived just a few hours before show start. We travelled directly from the airport to the venue, with everyone preparing and getting ready for the show in the car. It was quite chaotic! I ended up doing an extremely short sound check, with the audience inside the venue, screaming for Alcest haha. But the show was great for both bands, so we can’t complain too much!
Seeing as last year was a busy year for you with touring and releasing the album, are you taking are a break this year or is it going to be another busy one? More music? More tours?
– Oh no, this year will be just as busy or even more so than the last! I absolutely love what I do, so for now, I really don’t feel the need to take a break from it. Besides, I have problems sitting still for too long at a time, so I like keeping busy, haha! Like I already mentioned, I’m currently finishing the music for my second album, so more music will be coming in late 2015/early 2016. I also plan to work on the live side of my project, so that means finding the right musicians and so on. So yes, another busy year, and I’m already looking forward to it!
Obviously there’s yourself, and we’ve mentioned Alcest, but are there any other bands/musicians you’d recommend we listen to? Any up and comers or contemporaries of yours?
– I tend to listen to and prefer music “from the past”, but there are also some very interesting new artist out there. The American duo Hammock is a wonderful band that I listen to a lot. I also love contemporary bands like Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros, Wild Nothing, Mono and Nothing. I could recommend any of those bands to people that like atmospheric moods and emotional music. For more up-and-coming bands I could mention the French band Crown. They are really, really great, full of power and darker energies, but also very dreamy.
Now, our very own vulture here at Cultured Vultures goes by the name of Voltaire. If you had a pet vulture that was especially cultured what would you call it?
– Well, that’s surely the first and last time I will ever have the chance to express my vulture-name preferences! I think perhaps I would name him Charles, after two poets that have been a big inspiration on my work and also to me on a personal level; Baudelaire and Bukowski.
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