Hiding, running away, and not wanting to face reality. They seem like loose words, but with a lot of similarities between them.
We all feel alone, lonely: lost in our heads, in the infinite imagination that surrounds our thoughts. Many are wishes, others a mirage of something that may come true. In the midst of our dreams and wishes, the moment of realisation arrives: meet HIDE, a French project with a unique sound that will free us from our chains. In the dark, we walk with our imagination – and in the middle of this journey, we find “A Night”, the band’s most recent single.
This song is based on a poem by Nataliya Malakhova, a storyteller, and transports us to an endless night, where two beings cross paths for love in a world on the brink of an apocalypse. Nothing else matters except the two of them and all the passion they harbour for each other.
And if Nataliya’s passion for writing is clear in her lyrics, Alban, multi-instrumentalist and the genius behind the project, put together the most diverse sounds to compose an epic song, fresh and pure indie-rock: we feel transported through the most creative eras of international indie-rock, making respected bands like Fontaines D.C., Viagra Boys, Protomartyr or Shame blush with envy.
On April 14th we will have the opportunity to listen to more themes from the band, with the release of their first album, “Seven Heaven“. A special edition, on LP, is also available.
We took advantage of the sonic momentum to risk an interview with the band, which was promptly accepted, amidst the darkness of the night. Stay with the band:
[Where The Music Meets] Who are HIDE and how did the project come along?
[HIDE] I (Alban) started this group alone. So at first, it was a solo project. But very quickly, in front of a small screen of my computer, I started adding different instruments with sounds from another decade like ELKA instrument, which is a cheap piano, or sometimes homemade musical instruments.
In a few months, I recorded about ten tracks. It was a starting point for something new. I always find it quite fair to say that HIDE was born out of the uproar in people’s lives around us, out of the situations that surround us. And how you deal with it.
On the road the inspiration became clearer and started to take shape. First on the pages of small notebooks but also through a work of capturing moments on a film roll. Then notebooks drafts were brought to life in the studio where I started working with different musicians from diverse backgrounds. These same four musicians surround me on stage and each of them puts his/her unique energy and universe into HIDE songs.
A friend of mine, Nataliya Malakhova, a storyteller who also writes poetry, shared with me some of her works and it instantly echoed my vision of sound. Almost cinematic imagery of her texts mirrored in the melodies I had on my mind, adding a whole new, storytelling, dimension and a particular mood to my composition process. Her texts collided with my music notes thus unravelling a haunting reflection of the stories/sketches from our own lives and of those who surround us. Most of the album’s lyrics are written by her.
How did the idea for ‘A Night’ come about?
“A Night“, is one of Nataliya’s poems, coming straight out of her imagination. This poem is an ode to an endless night. The night is like a suspended time for two beings who love each other in an apocalyptic world. The passion of an almost religious order, an absolute devotion. Melting into each other like disappearing in a land filled with ghosts where everything seems to be falling apart around these two beings, in a place where nothing else matters.
In a video clip, we wanted to put an accent on the abstract side of the poem and take the viewer on some kind of a trip of one’s personal reflection with different readings.
Just like Nataliya’s poem, written in the form of dystopian anticipation, through the different sequences and shots, the clip offers a romantic but unstructured aspect thanks to the softness of the kaleidoscope.
The religious aspect is present throughout the clip. But in the figurative sense, interpreted by masks created from scratch using recycled materials.
The idea is to connect the TV sets (religious metaphor of the 21st century), the spectator (consumer), and the masks arranged in a circle on a turntable representing our ultra-fast consumption society. They create a ghostly link between our deep fears and total devotion to our consumerist alter ego. This is to confront the spectator with the paradox of being human, a versatility. “A night.. Where all gods are lost on the corner of your mouth”.
The stoic and nonchalant musicians, take on the role of preachers who spread an important message, while through the prism of the kaleidoscope effect, they embody some kind of impassive deities, illuminated in the night by a luminous shower. They stare or turn their backs on the lens, waiting for a sign of someone they cherish or someone to be cherished.
Your first album is released in April. What can we expect from it?
Many influences. The first, as you can see, is a human paradox. One expects it, sometimes. Sometimes, one gets attached to it too. But it also may surprise us in a radical way.
The second influence is musical eclecticism. Some moments are of a very soft sound while others are quite intense, primal, and even wild.
The third one is sound influences based on traditional instruments such as bandoria or lute, long instrumental moments, rock, folk, and various sound experiences to find a meeting point between Nataliya’s texts and the music.
What are your biggest inspirations?
The biggest inspiration is void. Sometimes we underestimate the importance of emptiness and its benefits. By emptiness, I rather mean the Nothing. Or Nothingness. Starting from an absolute nothing and getting something successful out of it, is more than rewarding from my personal point of view. To get there, of course, you’re taking the road that passes by such stages as doubt and questioning yourself, which for me remains one of the best inspirations ever. It guides us like some kind of primal feeling. I’m speaking about getting out of trauma here and taking this latest only to transform it into some positive experience. «To take a broken heart and make it shine» as Nataliya wrote in one of her lyrics, finds its perfect place on this album. A bit like a Breath emanating from a supernatural being, which would bring revelations to humans. And in our time we really need to believe in our greatest inspirations.
With who would you love to collaborate with and why?
Without wishing to be pretentious, David Bowie or Alain Bashung. For no particular reason. Certainly neither for their celebrity status nor for the big music industry side. There is, in these two artists, some kind of a deconsecration of the artist that the public adores. In David Bowie, I see a man who was not always qualitative, on the contrary, he expressed his determination in a crucial way, advancing in a challenging experience. His altruistic convictions for more and more strong and more logically led to many great albums. Bashung was not afraid of words. He wasn’t afraid of being misunderstood or that his texts, turns of sentences, or the slang he used, would be misinterpreted. He was doing it for himself. In doing so, he created many beautiful songs of it.
What are you listening to nowadays?
Kevin Morby, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Via Mardot, A place to bury stranger, Van Morrison.
Where can we see you guys live at this time?
A tour in some of Spain’s regions is looming in October: Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Pays Basque, Catalunya, Madrid
The first dates of the tour are in France:
11th March Angoulême La Nef
20th April Gap Le Gorille
21th April Clermont-Ferrand Le Fotomat
27th April Perpignan El Mediator (Album release)
4th May Paris Supersonic (Album release)
21st May Montpellier Victoire 2
21st July Palau del Vidre Greenland Festival
11th August Vic-la-Gardiole La ferme marine des Aresquiers
18th August domaine du grand sauvage Roquefort-des-Corbières
28th October Cannes Mjc Picaud/make noise fest
In one word, how would you describe the band?
From darkness to daylight was literally a blink of an eye. And it's with HIDE and their latest music that we connected with the world again and had an incredible soundtrack to our week. A WtMM recommendation.
More about HIDE:
Facebook – SoundCloud– Instagram – YouTube