Zapruder’s self-titled sophomore album was a very peculiar discovery; let’s get to know a bit more about this post-mathcore band.
Welcome on Aristocrazia Webzine. How are you?
Zapruder: Hi! Thanks for having us. We’re good, thank you.
Let’s start with the basic questions: why did you choose Zapruder as your band name?
Etienne: Well, I remember listening to a mid-day history show on the French public radio one day, a couple of weeks after we’d started, François and I, looking for people to play music with. And the show mentioned that guy who’d accidentally filmed the whole Kennedy assassination. And the guy, an immigrant from Ukraine who sewed dresses for women, was called Abraham Zapruder. I wasn’t born in Ukraine or a dressmaker but I thought to myself «well, that’s a cool-sounding name». And for lack of a better idea, I guess, it stuck.
François: At the very beginning, we thought that it’d be interesting to make it conceptual, like making it a symbol for the impact of media on our society and so on, but we promptly realized that it was some nerdy bullshit.
In your page on the Apathia website, Amaury Sauvé is described as «eternal engineer and now 6th member of the band»: what is your line-up now?
Etienne: There’s Isaac on vocals, François on bass, Fiak on drums, Clément on sax and myself on guitar. We’ve been recording with Amaury since our first EP in 2012, and he’s helped us grow as musicians and composers with his demanding work ethics and insightful remarks as a producer. So we just feel that he’s brought a lot to us musically — he’s not actually playing in the band with us.
One of your members relocated in Canada, while the rest of the band is still in France. What changed in the band after this event?
Etienne: We’ve kinda faced that type of difficulty since our inception: one year after the band was formed we moved to different cities and already experienced this long-distance relationship. So a lot of what’s necessary to work remotely (being used to not rehearse often, mastering tools to exchange ideas online and practice alone, etc.) has been part of our arsenal for quite a while now. It’s not necessarily easy and it has forced us to slow things down a bit, focus touring on specific time slots instead of just accepting a random gig here and there.
Isaac: I’m the black sheep indeed, I moved to Canada three years ago. It’s a good question but as Etienne said we had the habit of working like this before, even if it was not a transatlantic relationship. The fact is I’m trying to come back at least once a year for a long period, so we organize to do something really important to make it worth it. Studio, tour, composition, drinking. It’s curious but I feel this distance brought us closer because now every moment counts as friends and as a band.
Despite living so distant from each other, the bromance is stronger than ever, so much that it’s listed as one of the themes of your eponymous album, together with love, sex and freedom. How do you write the lyrics for your songs?
Isaac: I have a strange way to work. I usually don’t write lyrics until the last moments because I’m focusing on the way the singing is working with the music. So I’m singing a stupid language close to the Sims or a broken English just to see where to place the voice and focus on the intensity and the groove. For this last album, I went further and decided to write in the studio, as I felt this album was supposed to be made together until the very end. I wrote quickly, I felt really free on this one. It’s definitely our most personal album. It talks about serious subjects such as consumerism, expatriation, love, friendship, sex, but has also different levels of meaning, and each song is referring to our personal stories, in a funny or awful way.
Bands with members living in different countries are not so uncommon nowadays, but everyone have their own way to compose music. How does the collaboration among you all work during the composition process?
Etienne: For that record it was pretty straightforward: we just spent a week locked up in a dingy rehearsing space. Every day we would work on the riffs someone was coming up with and every night we’d carouse and gather some more ideas for the next day. I don’t want to sound cocky or anything but we pretty much had the whole thing written in under a week, and not much was altered after that point.
Isaac: It was really crazy to be able to live this kind of moment as a human being. A whole week together, eating good food, drinking good shit and focusing on our music. We never did it before and it was an amazing experience of friendship and creation.
While The Dillinger Escape Plan and Daughters are listed as some of your inspirations, I can hear a lot more going on in your music; I even mentioned Morphine in my review. Which bands would you consider influential for your musical style?
François: I’m always amused by the «FFO» thing, as I’ve generally never listened to 50% of the bands we’re compared with. We could list all the bands that have had an influence over our musical tastes, or proudly say that we’re independent smart asses trying to create something new. These two answers would be boring and pretentious at the same time. I consider musical creation like genetic diversity: it’s a limitless process influenced and selected by environmental determinants, which are wider than all the music you like. And if you’re trying to understand it observing only one parameter at a time, your vision is very limited and also influenced by the way you chose.
Etienne: …but we quickly realized that it was nerdy bullshit.
Apparently, the kanji at the center of the cover art of Zapruder has some very deep meaning: would you explain how it is related to the album?
Etienne: It’s specifically related to one song on the record, though I don’t really want to explain any more.
Isaac: And it has also a specific meaning depending on the cohesion of the artwork built by the tremendous Chien Bleu.
So 2018 is over and we have already published our yearly playlist. Which are your favorite 2018 albums?
Etienne: Daughters’ You Won’t Get What You Want. Hands down. No questions asked. That thing gives me the creeps and makes me want to dance naked on the streets of downtown Baltimore. I love it. KEN Mode’s Loved is also a great record. I’ve seen them live a couple weeks ago and it was savage.
François: Same love for Daughters’ new effort here. The Armed put out a great album too, crazy and intense.
Isaac: I feel I missed a lot this year (didn’t have the time to listen to Zeal And Ardor or Between The Buried And Me), but yet it’s Daughters, Sleep, Coilguns, Huata and Infant Island.
Last question: how does it feel to write music walking naked and doing bodybuilding with bags filled with bottles?
Etienne: There are parts of the writing process I’m not sure I remember. That must be one of those.
François: Strong & sexy.
Isaac: Fucking stupid.
Ok, that’s enough; thanks a lot for your time. If you wish to say anything to our readers, now is the time to do it.
Etienne: I’ve lost a leather glove on the Paris metro line 4 last Saturday. It’s black. If anyone finds it, please send it to the fine folks at Aristocrazia Webzine for their leather glove collection.
Isaac: We never played in Italy but we will soon!