Liverpool-based duo Jean Foutre are flying well under the radar. They make a big noise for two blokes. They have made and self-released a really cool album. It’s loud. It’s raucous. It’s moody. It’s a mongrel of genres. It should be heard.
Music Republic Magazine is first to get behind them and give this great new 12-track record a well deserved pat on the back.
If you dig your grunge, your rock, your electro stuff and guitars that’ll damage your spleen; then get your lugholes around their just-released album “Last Miserable Granite Spring”. It’s on their Soundcloud page, which you can access below this article.
It surprised all at Music Republic Magazine HQ (posh way of describing this large cardboard box we work from!), and should have the same effect on most who come across it. They’ve actually made our job bloody difficult to describe it, to be honest. Better to hear it and make up your own minds.
I can tell you…the opener “Delta Mike” is a winner. Really infectious riff and groove. Rocks like a Mutha. Very Seattle grunge-inspired is our bet. But whatever; it is shit hot. Press repeat…Track of the month for us. Band of the month for us. One of the best discoveries of the year too.
Gabe and Alex list their influences as 90’s Dance music, Drum n Bass, Industrial Rock and Grunge. So they nod heavily to all of that and more, on the record. They are listening to Nick Drake and Nine Inch Nails right now. They like Dave Grohl and they like Trent Reznor.
So pick the bones out of that and add some awesome ear-drum bursting guitars, and some off-the-wall songwriting, and you will only be half way there to what these cool little sods are all about.
We cannot name anyone else out there right now making a sound like this. On first listen, the first few tracks brought Nirvana to mind and then they veer off that particular freeway to another direction entirely. Impressive gear.
So, we invited the lads to fill in our band Q&A to get ’em into our “Undiscovered Zone” pronto, to shout about this exciting new outfit and their cracking debut album. Out of nowhere, they have made a big impression here and should do really well with their future musical efforts if people pick up on this record * (see P.S.) and they get airplay, more media exposure and punters turning up to their gigs.
We will most definitely be keeping tabs on their progress and turning up at a gig in the near future armed with a camera, a note pad and great expectations (that’d make a good book title, don’t you think?)
Gabe got stuck into our Q&A and tells us about Alex’s fight with a tractor – where he came badly second, his own risk to life when writing songs at home, and the duo’s daily Subway visits; but not the gritty, urban, graffiti-smeared kind you may be thinking of, or to set up camp as buskers!
* P.S. Good luck with getting national radio airplay with this band’s surname!!! (If you don’t speak French, Google it!) Funny though.
- Who is in the band and what do they do/play?
The band is made up of just two people at the minute: Gabe, vocals and bass, and Alex, vocals and guitar.
- Oldest and youngest – and ages please?
Gabe is 24, Alex is 26.
- Where and when was the band formed? How did you meet? Where are you all based now?
The band formed when we met in Sardinia in 2013. We were both born in Sardinia and lived there for most part of our lives. We’ve spent the last 3 years in the UK, seeking fortune basically. Sardinia is a place that looks so great, especially in the summer. But the winter there, everything is dead. People like us have so much time to think about life down there, that it drives you mad.
We went to the same High School, but I only knew Alex by sight, eventually got in touch when I was kicked out of my former band over there. Lost and hopeless, with nowhere to go, we joined forces in order to find a way out of those ordinary lives we led (and we still lead). We’re based in Liverpool UK now, by way of Amsterdam, London and Manchester.
- Have any of the members worked with any famous names or had any solo success before joining this band? What other bands have members been in?
Not at all. We’ve only been in a couple of forgettable small bands in our town down in Sardinia, and some cover bands.
- What day jobs has each member had?
Subway. We both work in Subway, the fast food place, in the same company.Where every day I ask myself, why am I still here?
- Who writes the songs?
Both of us do!
- What recordings have been released so far? Singles / EPs / albums.
Just one, it was released a couple of days ago: “Last Miserable Granite Spring”. It is self-released.
- First public performance? When and where, how many people there? How did it go? Any funny or dramatic stories from that gig?
In Liverpool, at the Zanzibar Club, a couple of months ago. No one was there. At least not for our set, that was the last one that night.
Not a single person in the crowd; just our girlfriends who weren’t even listening, and the staff, who were already cleaning and brushing the floor. Not even the sound engineer was listening. The whole night was dramatic.
- Main influences of the band? Can split this to one for each member or collectively as a band.
90’s Dance music, Drum n Bass, Industrial Rock and Grunge, mainly.
- Best moment in music so far?
- Do you guys want to be famous? Do you think you will be?
Yes, we do, it is pointless lying. We want our music to be famous and yo get as many people as possible, dancing.
- What is the dream for your band and your music?
Stop making butties and cleaning loos – and have the possibility to spend most of our time in a studio and touring. And build my own studio on a mountain in Sardinia. And have unlimited pricey local wines at all times.
- How do you describe your music style to a stranger who asks: “what kind of music does your band play”?
Dirty, scatty guitar and bass riffs. Electronic music-influenced, fast drum machine beats and shouty choruses we’d like you to sing along with and dance to. All with a gloomy, negative, hypochondriacal atmosphere as a background.
- What do you want your music to say about you?
I’d like it to paint a picture of the state of cheerful unhappiness we’ve been living in.
- Funniest or most dramatic thing that has ever happened to the band – or a member?
Alex got run over by a tractor during a Carnival parade while pissed in 2013. Fortunately, he only broke a foot. I got a close-up view of it, it was hilarious.
- Who is the joker in the band? An anecdote (or two) to back this up will be good!
When he was on the ground, with the tractor’s wheel on his leg, the first thing he rushed to do was eagerly retrieving the cigarette he dropped when he was run over!
- Who needs to be centre of attention?
Jean Foutre does.
- Who is the bossy one?
Depending on the situation, both of us are the bossy one.
- Who hogs the mirror in the dressing room?
We both wear shitty clothes and look quite scruffy most of the time, but we’re getting better at it. Alex bought a decent mirror last month.
I still don’t have one in my room in a shared house, apart from a tiny one in my bog; and the light has been broken for a year anyway. And it rains from upstairs as well…
- Who is always late?
I am unfortunately. I haven’t even got a beard yet
- Who are you guys listening to right now; bands/artists?
Gabe: Nick Drake
Alex: Nine Inch Nails’ last record
- Choose one album each that you could not live without if you were stuck on a desert island? (Cannot be your own!)
Gabe: Blood Sugar Sex Magik – RHCP
Alessio: Welcome to Sky Valley – Kyuss
- Who would be your dream collaboration; to record with or to perform on stage with?
Gabe: Have Dave Grohl drum for us live
Alex: Trent Reznor
- A: X Factor, B: The Voice, C: Britain’s Got Talent, D: Gouge your own eyes out with a rusty spoon? Choose A, B, C or D!
Surely D. Swerve that stuff
25. Plans for rest of this year and next year?
Play one decent gig; with at least 10 people in the audience
Stop making sandwiches. Stop cleaning toilets.
Fix Alex’s amp
Fix my room’s toilet ceiling or move to acceptable accommodation where I could write music without fearing the whole first floor wil collapse on me
Only play music. That’s it!
- Please provide a personal message from the band to our readers, as to why they should listen to your music and go see you live – in one or two paragraphs.
“Listen to our album. You might find out you are a Jean Foutre as well. It’s the most genuine and only thing that we are proud to have done in our lives. And we want you all to dance to it, and rejoice at this little piece of mal de vivre”.