Sebastien Parentin - 02.02.12

Interviewed by
Sebastien Parentin - 02.02.12The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:

Sebastien Parentin


1. How did you get your band name?

I’m a solo artist: my guitarist, bassist, and drummer are keyboard controlled virtual plug-ins... The good thing is that I didn't’t have to rack my brains to find a band name!

2. How did this band get started?

The funny thing is that, in the early beginnings (2 years ago), I didn't’t plan to release my songs to the public. As an up-coming songwriter, I used to play my songs just for myself and close friends. Back in my school days I jammed with a few friends from university and we decided to form a rock band. We played famous songs as well as original material without any pretentiousness, just for fun. Gradually, considering the positive feedback from my band-mates and fans, I realized that I had some good songwriting skills. As soon as I finished my studies, the band obviously broke up... then I decided to take things one step further and record my own songs. Finally, the first song that came out was “Before You Go”.

3. What bands are you influenced by?

British melodic alternative rock bands like Coldplay, Keane, Muse, or Archive have mostly influenced me. Coldplay is definitely my favorite band out there, even if I feel less and less close to their last artistic choices. I think they moved away from their debut melancholic universe where simple soft rock arrangements with leading piano and bright pure echo guitars were very present. However, I don’t really disapprove. I notice this band is just trying out new ideas again and again... but without losing their precious songwriting talent. All these bands make me realize that we could create beautiful airy rock creations with a piano-driven tapestry. I also like electro/progressive groups like Radiohead or Sigur Rós for the wonderful elaborate ambiance that breathes in each one of their songs, even if it’s sometimes less accessible for the listeners.

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?

My answer will maybe surprise you, but I was never as impressed by a band as when I watched Sade's concert, Lovers Live at Anaheim in 2001. I wasn't there unfortunately, but I watched the DVD. I really loved watching it, not only for Sade's, voice, but also for her bands performance, which was truly amazing. Every note was played at the right time; every solo part was deeply thought through, the background vocals surrounding Sade voice were subtle and beautiful; the drums and bass grooved perfectly... it really sounded exhilarating! After she performed “Smooth Operator”, the band went on to a 4 minute improvisation song titled “Redeye”. I encourage everyone to watch the video on youtube, and then you’ll know what I’m talking about! For completely different reasons, I also think about Pink Floyd, because I love the feel of the power of their space trippy rock atmosphere, and I'd have a ringside seat during David Gilmour’s guitar solo on “Comfortably Numb” (For me, the best guitar solo I've ever heard).

5. Best food to eat on tour?

I haven't toured yet.

6. Why should people listen to your band?

According to my friends and the reviews I had from several songwriting competitions, I’d say that my music could touch people. Deep, catchy, and peaceful are words that come quite often when describing my music. It’s always a great pleasure for me to hear that. I always try to write songs that resonate with listeners. More technically speaking, people particularly like my voice, harmonies, and the strings (violins, cellos) in my arrangements. I have multiple iconic influences, but I’m always trying to find my own unique sound.

7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?

Maybe... a javelin thrower, because I like throwing things...

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?

Yeah, let’s dream! First and foremost my father, because without him I’d be nothing, musically speaking. When I was a child, lazy and uninterested in anything, he enrolled me into music school. It was there that I decided to become a pianist, and since that day he paid for my piano lessons for ten years straight. He also worked as singer/songwriter with some great international artists on different French pop albums. I’d also thank a few close friends. I especially think about Dominika Titková, a talented Slovak singer who I worked with. She believed in me, and her supportive words definitely gave me the boost of self-confidence I needed to move forward.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?

I think the music industry should offer more “tools” for young songwriters to help them meet industry leaders by making their work more accessible.

10. Memorable tour experience?

Have not toured yet!

11. What does AP.net mean to you?

Honestly, I didn't’t hear about AP until this interview my publicist sent over. AP looks interesting. I noticed that its a good site to discover a lot of exciting emerging artists who come from various music scenes. This is also a place that gives artists the opportunity to easily interact each other. Looks good!

12. What is your favorite song to play?

No song comes to mind. However, I think “We Are” is the song I get the most satisfaction from playing. Surprisingly, “Ebb and Flow” is the song that I get the most positive feedback from.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?

France is a beautiful country. Tourists from foreign countries often have only Paris in mind when they’re talked about France... Yes, Paris is a romantic city, and there are a lot of monuments and cultural places, which make it one of the most interesting cities in Europe to visit. But, this is probably the last destination where I’d like to go for vacation. There are many other vacation spots in France that I’d recommend you: les Alpes, les Pyrénées (if you like the mountains), la Corse called here l’Île de Beauté (the Isle of Beauty, in the south of France) for its magnificent landscape, also la Côte d’Azur which became famous thanks to events like Cannes festival, or cities like St Tropez, etc.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?

One song: “Take on Me” from A-Ha. I was a child when I watched the video for the first time, maybe 5 years old. I felt attracted to it, but at the same time the music video terrified me because as a child, I didn't’t understand why the girl could jump from reality into the animation, and vice-versa, do you remember? It frightened me. Each time I watched the animation I would cry. Don’t worry... I’m ok now (I think?) ...

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

To read other people' minds. So I can know ahead of time when people are full of crap.

16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?

None as of yet.

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?

I would say... almost everything! I'm a very private guy. Even with my closest friends, I don't easily open up.

18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?

The songs I submitted, through Sonicbids were selected for some brief airplay on a few US radio stations promoting indie artists. I’m aware that, nowadays, it's very hard for indie artists like myself without any label support to get any radio play. In France (I think it’s the same thing as in the US), a few majors control radio. As far as I know, there are no quality radio station dedicated to indie music here in France.

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like sports. Music is my all time-consuming passion, but when I don’t feel like writing, or playing, I usually go running or rollerblading for hours just to take my mind off things. Otherwise, nothing very original: going to the cinema watching TV and reading books. (I like H.P. Lovecraft tortured universe, thrillers, French poetry), and well- written TV series (House, Dexter, Damages...). I’d like to travel more, but I have too many exciting musical ideas going through my mind, so I prefer devoting my spare time to songwriting. Ill most definitely do some traveling in the future.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Falling for the wrong girl! haha!
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