Interview: Côme

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Like us, many of you have probably come to learn that France has no shortage of talented young indie-rock groups. While they certainly don’t live-up to the hype of the powerhouses found in Canada or the US, they very rarely fail to impress us.

Côme, a new Parisian band made up of Lucas Barbier and Francois Byrski, are following in the path of their predecessors, and have yet to disappoint us. Since listening to their most recent EP, Côme Duo Rock, we have been head-over-heels with the band’s crunchy garage-rock aesthetic and uniquely wavering vocals — something we can’t quite pinpoint the source of, yet.

Naturally, when we got word that the band would be stopping by Malta to play Rock the South 2nd Edition Music Festival, we knew we had to sit-down and chat with the boys. Before their arrival, we took the time to ask them a few questions regarding their formation, influences and their current listening habits.

Indie Current: Who are Côme?

C: Côme is made up of the friendship between two guys: Lucas Barbier and Francois Byrski. Including several interesting artists which gravitate around us like Arthur Xavier-Rolay (Video, Art), and Seb (Bass and Guitar).

IC: When did you guys start to play as a band? How did it happen?

C: We were students when we first met, during the final year of our University studies. But we really started as a band two years later when Francois came to Paris. At the beginning we just wanted to strike a balance between Francois’ pop and folk influences (The Smashing Pumpkins, Elliott Smith, Beck, Foo Fighters) and Lucas’ noisy ones
(Sonic Youth, Slint, Sebadoh), but ended up forming what is now Côme.

IC: What kind of music do you play?

C: We like to say that we’re just playing rock music, but we must admit that, year-after-year it has become more than that. I guess we’re playing a kind of rock music with a lot of colors, energy, and rhythm. We make every song with the same recipe: we only do what we want to do!

IC: Who are the influences behind your music? What are artists, genres, bands do you site your style of music to?

C: We both listen to a huge quantity of music and a variety of styles like noise-rock, classical and contemporary music. We have a real curiosity in music and started listening to more specific artists very early on — a time when most pre-teens aren’t interested in music. Last night we saw Foals on stage, and even if we don’t play exactly the same kind of rock, we completely understand their energy and style.

IC: With who have you played with and where?

C: Not very famous bands for you, I guess. Maybe you should know Stuck in the Sound?

IC: Is there any album or EP of yours that you would suggest we listen to, and do you have plans in the future to release anything else?

C: We have released several EPs since 2008 and we’re proud to announce our first album, Hands Wrapped in White Paper Gloves. We spent a long time on it and we’re so happy when we listen to it; Francois Ernie and Arno Bordas from Stuck in the Sound produced the album.

IC: With whom would like to colloborate in your music — any particular artist, band, DJ? And why would you choose that collaboration?

C: Hmm… no one really. We like a collaboration that starts with a real human link, and we’re ready to work with not only musicians, but every artist who can bring something new or powerful to Côme.

IC: Who are your favourite bands or artists?

C: We have a lot of favorite bands, but above all we would have to choose: Foals, Pinback, Sonic Youth, Slint, and The Smashing Pumpkins — well, their first album that is.

IC: Who are you listening to at the moment?

C: We’re listening to Alt-J, although their last gig in Paris was a bit disappointing.

Côme will be playing at the Rock the South 2nd Edition Music Festival, on the 5th and 6th of April, along with Italian rock band Aim, and local Maltese acts such as Cable 35The Shh, Dolls for Idols, 3 Stops to China, No Snow/No Alps, and many more.

Shawn James

Lisbon-via-Budapest-via-Berlin-via-London-via-Malta-based creative writer and festival organizer for Bewildered & BEWYLD. View all post →