Interview: Vilaine Tracks
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
When I was 9, my parents wanted me to discover music and after trying the piano, I switched to drums. It did not last long before I really enjoyed it thanks to a great drum teacher.
In any case, I think I would have been into music anyway due to my family environment, with a father always listening to music at home.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I practice sport: swimming, running or cycling is a great thing to clear my mind.
How long has your band been around?
VILAINE TRACKS was formed was formed around Arnaud, (guitarist / band leader) and Thierry on bass in 2016. Ben, on saxophone, joined the year after I, on the drums, joined in 2018.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
VILAINE TRACKS is based out in the French city of Le Mans, city well known in the world for its car race. However, I don’t really think that the area where we are form influences our music, especially as all our lyrics are written in English.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The origin of the band’s name comes from the name of a Village (Vilaine) near Le Mans where band leader used to live. And we added TRACKS because of our UK/US music influences.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best show we have played in May 2019, in a local music contest in order to open for a rock band at a local summer festival that brings up to 3000 people. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but the conditions were great: excellent venue, great sound and a good audience too.
Our worst concert took place a couple of weeks later, when we played in the old town of Le Mans, outside, and we were told to play very quietly because of the noise for the neighbors…
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
I personally had the chance to play in a very intimate Dublin venue called ‘The Cradaddy’ and that was a great experience and a great souvenir too.
There are a couple of very good venues in the west of France but one of our dream would be to be selected to play at the 24 Hours of Le Mans car race as there are two stages for live music and it always a great experience to play there.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
I would personally love to open for the Foo Fighters.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
The first one would be to practice as much as possible. The second one would be to take some time off, like 2 or 3 days, in a different environment to practice and spend some time as a band. That’s one of the best things for creativity and band cohesion too.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Spend more time practicing my instrument as I lack technics, despite having played for more than 30 years.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
‘No more zeroes”, the last song of our EP “Sunny Grave”. What makes up slightly different to any other rock/punk band is the addition of the saxophone. We are all impressed with the saxophone solo on this song as well as the quality of the sound thanks to the recording arrangements from our sound engineer on this song.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
It is a song called “Lose Control”, from the first band EP. Again, it is an energic song with a great saxophone solo. Due to the lockdown, we haven’t had the chance to play live our new EP and we are sure that some of our new songs will soon become our favorite and most requested too.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Arnaud, our band leader, composes our music, by coming to us with almost all the guitar riffs and then, also writes the lyrics. Arnaud is getting inspiration from some key moments of his personal life.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Obviously, it does happen sometimes, like in every bands. We all think that it is way better to express your feelings and what you have in mind rather than keeping it for yourself.
We get past them by listening to the others and talking openly.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
We are just out from a long weekend where we met for the first time this year ((due to the lockdown). Obviously, we enjoyed a lot playing the whole weekend. Having fun, playing songs from our setlist was on the agenda but we also took the time to explore new ideas our band leader Arnaud has worked on the last couple of months. Talking about recording a new EP is definitely coming a bit too soon but that will be a target we have in mind for next year.