Whether it was André Breton or Salvador Dali, surrealism has long since made its impression on not only the art world, but fashion, design, and even music. The latter includes musical groups like CARRÉ. We talked with one of their own, and dove into the realm of conceptual art, expanding minimalism, and more like the two live-performance videos for “Rollercoaster” and “Turn Down The Choir.” All of that and more awaits below…
Kendra: You dropped a couple of live videos back at the end of August, but before we dive into the videos I’d like to get more into the songs. The first one being “Turn Down the Choir.” One of the elements that sort of inspired this track is that trance one goes under when a concert starts. I’d love to know what was the first concert that made you feel otherworldly both as a fan and as a performer.
CARRÉ: As a fan, the first concert I remember feeling a sort of trance was Rage Against The Machine in Paris. I grew up listening to them and the adrenaline before the show made the whole experience very special. Otherwise, Nine Inch Nails at The Hollywood Bowl in 2014 was potentially the best show I’ve seen in my life.
As a performer, I feel it a lot, whether it’s with a big crowd or on a smaller scale. The first CARRÉ performance from which those two videos come was definitely an experience in that vein, unforgettable and heartwarming.
Kendra: Then there’s a whole other trance of sorts of “Rollercoaster,” a song that you said was penned after an experience with DMT. I’m not too familiar with hallucinogens but I was intrigued by this Netflix documentary about how helpful the world of science felt they were back in the day, and then how the government was like, nah – enough of that. From a creative perspective though, how do you feel those enhance your artistry?
CARRÉ: I’m not going to do an apology for drugs. Psychedelics as a whole, I think, boost an aspect of confidence where you stop asking yourself the questions every artist should stay away from. Is it finished, am I heading in the right direction…everything becomes a bit more crystal clear. Most likely on a microdose side of it, otherwise everything becomes a little too distorted and sometimes greatness can come from it but it’s hard to control it most of the time.
DMT is a whole different beast. It’s the equivalent of a parallel universe where time and space don’t exist as we know it. It’s a challenge to write anything that makes sense in a world that doesn’t make any sense. But that’s where surrealism comes and through allegories, we’re trying to recreate the experience that will be in the end unique for everyone.
Kendra: Back to the live videos, they were both shot at an art space rather than a traditional venue – which for a music video makes sense but a live performance? What made you want to stray from the norm for that?
CARRÉ: CARRÉ started as a conceptual idea, based on surrealism art. There are influences from all over the place based on each component of the band (everyone brings their background to contribute), French Touch, electronic music, industrial, psychedelic, and rock, but the concept is heavy in the play. Therefore, it felt (especially for the first show) more natural to lay it down for people in an art venue rather than a regular one. It took more work for us to install everything but the payoff is much higher in terms of the message and the look of it.
Kendra: You revolved the performances not only around a live aspect but also shapes and a monochromatic plane. What was the reason behind the red hues? Minimalism is key in the concept.
CARRÉ: The music, at the end of the day, is not very minimal for the most part because we’re trying to fill the gap between electronic and rock/punk/industrial music. So we’re trying to recreate the aspect of minimalism through monochromatic colors and geometric patterns, influenced by artists such as André Breton, Kandinski, or more modern NY painter Peter Halley. The red has been surrounding us the whole time (Jules and myself, Keveen are both Tauruses), it’s a heavy signifier of vigor, love, life, health, and religious fervor (not in a literal way but more in a mythology aspect of it, which allegories are a big part of the lyrical content of CARRÉ).
Kendra: Are there any plans to head back to The Forge and record future live videos there?
CARRÉ: We did a couple of shows since the Forge in regular venues but we want to take it to an art space again for the next performance. We do have The Forge in mind again but it might be more interesting to find a different spot as I don’t really like to repeat myself. A new environment equals a new concept and a new look, without completely changing it up and keeping the identity of the band.
Kendra: Time for a side note – with this being October, I’m asking everyone to recall their favorite Halloween costume growing up – and if you don’t have one, perhaps your favorite candy to pick up for yourself now that you’re grown and don’t have to go door to door for it…
CARRÉ: OK so this question is gonna trigger a different kind of answer as we’re all French and Halloween was NOT a thing growing up. So that being said, my favorite costume (which I speak for myself) will have to be a more recent one. In 2018 I dressed up as the Goblin King (David Bowie character in the movie ‘Labyrinth’), and that’s probably the costume I was the most proud about.
Kendra: Lastly, with a couple of new videos out now, what else can people expect as we continue into fall?
CARRÉ: We have one more single “Instinctive Exit” (that we’ve been playing live) that needs to come out and it will with a video as well. Probably expect it around fall time, still need to find adjustments. We will probably play another show or two before the end of this year. Then the plan is to release a second EP early next year with a couple of singles already out plus a few more surprises so stay tuned for all that.