Interview: BIG|BRAVE

BIG-BRAVE-by-Pascha-Marrow-3.jpg

(Photo Credit: Pascha Morrow)

Many bands owe the shaping of their sound to the environment around them, and Montreal’s experimental metal band BIG|BRAVE are a perfect case study of how a multifaceted environment can bring out the best from multiple areas of a musicians knowledge.

Surrounding themselves with well respected artists of the area from the likes of Constellation Records heavyweights Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Mortal Orchestra is an impressive start in an of itself, and the burgeoning Quebec music scene is home to a tonne of many more like-minded personnel, with some creating exciting, experimental pieces of their own.

Third album Ardor – and the second on Southern Lord Records after 2015’s Au De La – sees the trio continuing to explore the sonic space between doom, sludge and more accessible post-punk traits, while upping the ante to create a surrealist canvas that sounds like no other band around them.

I spoke with the trio before their London headline show in the dark depths of Kamio on the 22nd October.

Ardor is the first record you have recorded whilst being signed to a label, but a lot has stayed the same (recorded in Hotel2Tango, with Jessica Moss and Thierry Amor). How was it to have this stability going into your third record?

The stability is a welcomed gift. We are very happy to have such wonderful talented people backing us up.

For Ardor, you went into the studio with Radwan Ghazi Moumneh. Was his work with artists outside of the metal world – such as the likes of Suuns and Avec Le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche – a shaping factor in the outcome of the record?

The shaping factor was his keen ear, work ethic, professionalism, enthusiasm and love of music in general.
I feel like there is a more grandeur sense to Ardor than previous records. Do you feel that there has been a shift in the band towards creating a sound that is on a larger, moodier scale? 
Absolutely there has been a shift. We are always trying to push ourselves and our work.
I have read of an apartment that Robin and Mathieu shared where playing music was difficult due to the prospect of noise complaints. Are the quieter moments on the record an extension of the thinking you had whilst being under this previous constraint?
Yes it has, but not just on this record, it’s been a theme we’ve always been experimenting with.
I’m interested in understanding how closely your live work compares to the studio output. Will Jessica Moss be with you for the whole tour? And if not, how will the performance change according to the tools you have at your disposal?  
Live is not a recording so naturally they are very different experiences. as the songs are definitely altered when played live, the sweat and our physicality is something a record will never be able to capture.
This tour will be the second time you’ve managed to travel to Europe, and you’ve played with some acts – such as Sun O))) – that have years of live experience under their belt. Have you learnt anything from those or your first EU tour that you would like to utilise this time around?  
Just keep on keeping on. it took a while for sunn to get where they at now. as for most bands we’ve opened/toured with. out music (and theirs) isn’t catchy, it requires a few listens. Things take time but as we’ve seen, it can be pretty rewarding if keep pushing it.

TOUR DATES: 

21.10 Brigthon, UK @ Sticky´s mike Frog **
22.10 Manchester, UK @ Star and Garter **
23.10 London, UK @ Underworld **
24.10 Lille, FRA @ Le Biplan
25.10 Rennes, FRA @ BarHic **
26.10 Nantes, FRA @ Soy Festival
27.10 Roeun, FRA @ 3Pieces
28.10 Paris, FRA @ Gare XP
29.10 Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg / Southern Lord Showcase
31.10 Martigny, CH @ Caves Du Manoir
01.11 Zero Branco TV @ AltroQuando (new addition)
02.11 Lubiana, SLO @ Gromka
03.11 Ravenna, ITA @ Bronson
04.11 Recanati, ITA @ Dong
05.11 Perugia, ITA @ Serendipity
07.11 Lyon, FRA @ Sonic
08.11 Antwerp Autumn Falls, BE @ Het Bos
09.11 Utrecht, NL @ Le Guess Who?
12.11 Utrecht, NL @ Le Guess Who? as part of 12HOURDRONE
13.11 Oldenburg, DE @ MTS
14.11 Mannheim, DE @ Kurzbar
15.11 Brno, CZ @ Herna (new addition)
16.11 Leipzig, DE @ Ilses Erika
17.11 Dresden, DE @ Scheune
18.11 Berlin, DE @ ACUD

** with Jessica Moss

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