Let’s inject some good vibes in the first days of 2021. We’ll do so by listening to Slim & The Beast’s two EPs. Part I and II are following one another with style and it was the perfect opportunity for us to talk with the band about music. Reviews. Interview.
In 2019, Slim & The Beast, unveiled a colourful EP, fitting with its time: Part I. On it, we discovered Lisbon and Pasadena. Both transported us in a feelgood universe filled with sunshine. And it’s the idea. With Part II, the band, with diverse origins, continues with a smile to make us move. That’s part of their DNA. Sometimes calmer, this second EP has kept the same inspirations rock, vintage and fun colourful pop, as Left Behind demonstrates it, and this without ever stopping at the borders of genres and possible mixes. And it seems Slim & The Beast are hopeful. With Part II released in November 2020, we got the opportunity to talk with the band about their hopes, projects, EPs and memories.
Unis Son: You’ve always created some feel-good music, I’m thinking about Lisbon and Pasadena mostly, but 2020 has been quite difficult for everyone. Has the pandemic been a factor for you to continue to create feel-good music? Has it made you more willing to continue to explore that?
Samuel: I think it makes us willing to continue to make music. I’m trying to think of some sound we did recently if they’re like less feel-good feel than previous ones. I think they’re a bit more reflected ones because we just had a bit more time to reflect, you know. Lisbon we wrote it in a couple of hours because Aaron was returning from Portugal, he was excited about the trip and it just came together as a kind of summary. Same for Pasadena, Aaron wrote a poem for our dad and it came up quickly. It’s not the same vibes now, we’re not travelling, we don’t have fun times about travels.
US: What was the record process for Part II?
Aurélien: Part one and Part two have been in the work pretty much at the same time. I guess the difference would be that during the beginning of the quarantine we started to work a little bit more remotely, you know like finishing some sessions, and then going back in the studio couple months later… But overall is the same process, the same people and just releasing the two EP in two separate times you know.
US: Aaron, you created the visual for the video for Left Behind, and it has something very satisfying to it. Are you behind all the visuals for the band?
Aaron: I am.
US: Lovely! What are your inspirations?
Aaron: Well, I always loved illustrations and drawing, it’s always been part of my life and it gives me so much fun to be able to combine both of my passions into one. I don’t think it was something we really all talked about, it kind of falls like ‘hey do you want to do the visual for the album’ you know. I love this idea of having a visual for each song and that being part of a bigger picture. It’s been incredibly satisfying to be part of the album in that way, kind of have my creative style, kind of have sort of stamp for Slim and the Beast because it can change in the future. I actually went to a university for illustration and intended to be an artist, it’s been fun, and I love it being a part of Slim and the Beast’s artwork.
US: Talking about the future, or plans, do you have any for 2021, or wishes?
Aurélien: Yeah, a PS5! [laughs]
Samuel: Yeah and playing music, with people watching us, that’s the number 1. We started this tour with Caravan Palace and three days in, lockdown began and the tour just started to be cancelled. The main thing is performing you know, it’s a different challenge when you’re used to playing a lot and then you’re going the complete other way: not playing. There’s the energy we’re lacking, we miss swinging out, play music and dancing. We want to get that back in any form, being able to feel the direct effects of us playing for people.
US: Have you thought about any online gigs with potential interaction with the audience? Do you think that something you could do?
Aurélien: Not sure. We tried something kind of similar in March and April, with a pre-recorded live that we put together because we were in separate places. So unless we’re all in the same room it’s difficult to do this sort of live gig because of the distance thing. We tried and it worked but it was a lot of fucking work. So, maybe, but that’s not for us right now, because what we’re looking at is playing live in a way we’re used to. It’s kind of what we have in mind right now, so nothing other than that to be honest.
US: Last question, but not least: what is your very first musical memory?
Aaron: So, Samuel and I were born in France, near Montpellier, and both our parents are voice teaches and they were going touring, doing different workshop, and my dad used to go to Montpellier and every time he left when we were babies, he would do a recording of his voice over these classical songs [Listz – Liebesträume], and we’d play it before bed every night. But we left France when we were two and an half, three. So I have like this very intense connection to that song especially with my dad but also associate it to really missing someone. This song always hit really hard on me. But I think that’s my earliest memory because I can’t remember anything before that…
Samuel: I think of a similar period when our parents were on that commune voice teaching, and because of the old stone walls and the age of the building, you could hear people singing all the time, but also doing like lot of vocal work, kind of like weird moaning and hear some kind of opera. I think that one of my earliest memories was like being somewhere when you hear the constant sound of people singing and harmonizing together, just voices around… Aaron and I grew up singing in the car with our parents.
Aurelien: I think one of my earliest memories I have was with my dad, because my dad was in New York, he just used to go on with the New York Times and every week or every month he would get the top ten albums, or at least get one or two of the top ten album reviewed by the New York Times. And when I was like eight or nine, one of Nirvana’s album came out, he had no idea what it was but just decide to get it. I remember him coming home with the Nevermind album with the baby swimming you know, and he just dropped it on my bed and I’m like ‘ugh classical music’ you know, it was something my dad picked up so I don’t want this and he was like ‘listen to it, people are talking about this music, you want it, I’m sure it’s interesting!’ And I put it on and Smells Like Teen Spirit came on and he was like ‘aaaah!’ [hands covering his ears] and runs out of the room and I’m just like ‘hell yeah! This is great dad thanks’ and he was like ‘turn that off!’. It’s just like the first memories I have of music really getting to me hard you know.
Thank you so much to Slim and The Beast for sharing their time with us and answering our questions. The two Eps Part I and II are available now on all platforms.
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