Picture by Rémy Tortosa
Tagged as indie folk rock, the Charly&Faust sound is a much richer tapestry of flavours than that hints at and a captivating seduction for ears and thought as proven by a recently released EP. We had a chance to look into the creative heart of the California based band, finding out about its origins, that new EP, creating songs and much more…
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?
Charly: We are Charly&Faust, an Indie Folk-Rock band composed of six members. I am Charly (Marie Weill), one of the lead singers of the band and rhythm guitarist.
CH: My name is Coralie Hervé and I’m the drummer the band, I joined Charly&Faust in October 2016.
ER: Hi, I’m Eric Reymond. I play bass and do the backing vocals. I’m from Switzerland and I moved to Los Angeles to study at Musicians Institute. I met Coralie on the first day of school and she introduced me to the rest of the band because they were searching for a bass player.
NL: I’m Nathan Lorber, I play keys, and I met the rest of the band following a Facebook notice.
JF: I’m Jeff (Jefferson Fichou) the lead guitar player. I met the band at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.
Faust: I am Faust; the other lead singer of the band. Charly and I, first met in Paris few years ago, and we started to make music together when we moved in LA. The connection between us was great, but not powerful enough yet. That is why we decided to build a band. Now, We are like a little family!
Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?
CH: I was in a band with some of my friends for 6 years. It was only for fun but it taught me how to play and work with other people.
Faust: It’s the first time I’m part of a band so there is for sure no impact for me.
JF: I’ve been playing in a lot of different projects here in LA and back in France. It’s important to have such experiences in the music world but everything is evolving faster and smoother with Charly&Faust.
Charly: I got bands before, but it never really worked. We were not going to the same musical direction. I have the chance to now play in two bands with people that I love working with. Charly&Faust is my main band, the one I lead with Faust, but I also play bass and sing backing vocals in another band called The Sutra. I am also working on my next solo EP now. All these experiences are complementary for me and help me to go further in my artistic process in each of them.
ER: Yes, I had two bands back home and I was playing with two other bands here when Charly&Faust asked me to join them. I don’t think it has any impact on my way of playing; I’m always trying to play everything.
NL: I have my own project called Polymorph, as well as a couple of other bands on the side.
Picture by Rémy Tortosa
What inspired the band name?
ER: It comes from the nicknames of the two singers and leaders.
Faust: We just wanted to use something that goes well together!
Charly: Like our music collaboration!
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
Charly: I think for Faust and I music is a way to express ourselves. That was the main idea behind this band. Be free to express our feelings and vision of the world. For the sound part, we are listening old and new music so we wanted to illustrate that in our sound.
Faust: When you play in a band, you feel stronger than ever. All together, we deliver a message and it has a better impact this way. We talk about several feelings from heart breaking to society topics to humanity questions.
NL: I think one of the key points of our sound is to mix a broad range of styles, both old and new.
And those same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
Faust: Yes that’s pretty much the same. I mean the process is the same but with time the other members bring their own touch, their own way which is something I love!
JF: We’re still a pretty young band; we just started about a year ago.
Charly: The only thing that changed is that before forming the full band, Faust and I were composing our songs with an acoustic set up which sometimes was bringing guitar melodies a bit different than what we got now that we are composing with an electric set up.
How would you say your sound has evolved since its beginnings?
JF: We sound more like a band now. I mean everybody has brought some elements to the music and that’s great.
Faust: I just think that the more I practice with the band, my feelings and my way to approach music evolved. Experiencing music with them makes my personal sound evolves and this way makes the sound of Charly&Faust evolves.
CH: At the beginning, there was only Charly and Faust so it was more acoustic, folk. When the rest of us arrived, it turned more indie, rock and now we have some electronic sound added to our music.
Charly: I would say that we are starting to know each other better which allow us to play better together and go further in our creative process. We also improved a lot the vocals harmonies in my opinion.
ER: It’s way more professional now. The electronic elements are certainly a plus to make our sound more professional.
Is the creative movement within the band a more organic thing or do you go out to deliberately try and push new things?
Faust: You know we all have ideas and try to make them work all together which sometimes works really good and sometimes not but what matters is the fact we communicate a lot about it to make sure that we all go in the same direction.
ER: In general, I would say it has been always organic, but, of course, sometimes it’s nice to set boundaries to not get stuck in our comfort zone.
CH: I will say both. The first songs were already written so we kept them like they were but we experimented a lot with the new songs that we arranged all together.
Charly: I would say that it is a mix between both and that it depends of the song we are creating and its topic too.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
ER: Yes, Vulfpeck, Radiohead and Jack White help me to construct my bass lines stronger.
NL: A big influence for me is Pink Floyd, which also happen to be my favorite band. And the important role Rick Wright had in that band taught me how critical the role of a keyboardist is. You don’t just play melodies or chords, but are a central part of creating textures and setting up the whole atmosphere of a song.
Charly: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero, Imagine Dragons, Tracy Chapman, Assaf Avidan, etc.
Faust: I have so many artists who inspired me like Michael Jackson, Joan Jett, the Beatles, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Coldplay… I have so much more but I’m gonna stop here *laughs*
CH : I am more of a hard rock/rock drummer, so it’s really interesting to play with Charly&Faust, to add some electronic sounds and find some groove which works with all the other instruments.
Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?
NL: It usually starts with Charly and Faust bringing lyrics and some vague structure and chords progression to the table. And from that, the whole band participates to enrich the musical and rhythmical aspects, and kind of put flesh on the skeleton.
Charly: Since Faust is the one who writes lyrics, she is usually the one coming to me with a new idea. Then, as Nathan said, we work just the two of us on the lyrics and the melody before working on it with the entire band. We started to work this way and it always worked pretty well, so even if we love having the other members ideas during the creative process, we like to have this moment just the two of us to be sure it is going where we want things to go.
Faust: I usually write the lyrics of the songs, sometimes even come up with a small melody. Charly co-write them with me, and most of our melodies are from her creativity with her guitar.
ER: Generally Charly and Faust bring the idea and we all together construct around to create the best song possible.
JF : My favorite moment is when we’re all jamming together to make a new song sounds as good as we can.
Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not reside?
Faust: Usually my inspirations come from the moments when I am by myself and feel alone.
Charly: It can come from a melody I composed, from a word or sentence one of us heard, etc.
ER: For my song It’s Weird Outside (that you can find in our EP Wild World), I based it on my personal life. But I try to write more about the story of people I know and feelings that affect us all at some point in our life.
Would you give us some background to your latest release?
Faust: Our latest release is our EP ! It is an Indie-Folk-Rock EP talking about love, heart breaking, life, society and humanity. We are very proud of this new baby!
NL: It’s been the result of the contribution of several different formations of the band, up to the current one. So this EP presents variety through its diverse contributions, yet still a strong sense of unity and consistency, since all of the songs are the brainchildren of Charly and Faust!
Charly: Anything wouldn’t have been possible without the help of wonderful people like Pease S. Nistades who did the artistic production on it and Gerhard Westphalen who mixed and mastered it. We also released our first music video No Rush directed by Mariano Schoendorff Ared and produced by Zoé Pelloux. You should definitely go check it on YouTube! We shot it on film and we are so happy of this amazing result!
Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.
Faust: Well it talks about how monstrous humans can get, how much you can give love to someone and how much it can hurt. You will have to listen to our EP to know more about all that!
Charly: The themes of our songs are most of the time about experiences we lived or we saw happening to people around us. It is very personal for Faust and I.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
Charly: We are an Indie band, so we don’t really have the choice of losing hours and hours in studio trying to figure out how a song should go. We have limited time of studio so we have to come prepared, which actually allows us to go further in our creative process. It’s not a bad thing!
Faust: We usually go in studio prepared and we record. As Charly said, no time to lose! Everything must be ready, from the lead vocals to the backing vocals.
JF: We’re adding a few elements on the spot during the recording sessions but the songs are already in their final states.
CH : For the drum part, there are already written before going to the studio so the other members have a solid base to work with. I can’t screw it up!
ER: The recording process of our EP was pretty much a mix of the two options. The main structure of the songs was established. With Coralie, we record the rhythmic section with this structure and after we add the other instruments. Afterwards there are always ideas coming up that we keep on the final version.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect?
CH : I really like it, we really have a connection together and hope that people can feel it too. It’s so fun to play with people who experiment the music same as you.
Faust: Live shows are so much fun! The connection with our audience and the band members! It always feels too short!
Charly: Live is one of the best parts for sure. It allows you to share with the band and the audience what the songs really mean to you. And it can be always different depending of what happened during your day.
ER: There’s none. *laughs* No I would say when the rehearsal ends. *laughs* Seriously, my favorite aspect is the cohesion we have on stage and during rehearsals. It’s not common to find this in a band. We don’t just play with other musicians, we play with friends.
NL: It’s always a great feeling to present the result of our hard work to the public, especially considering the amazing feedback they usually give us.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?
Faust: I think the secret is playing, playing and playing music, create small buzz as much as you can, respect people and having good connections with your band members, which we are actually doing. Let’s see how it goes now.
Charly: Patience is the key word! And hard working too. You just need to be smart and work your ass off and it will eventually pay one day! You just need to get ideas that nobody thought of before you.
JF: If you have the drive, the patience and the stamina, everything is possible.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date, good or bad?
JF: Internet is a fantastic tool for new bands, we’re trying to use it as much as possible to grow our fan base and network.
Faust: I think social medias are great to build your fan base, but I don’t think that is the real bones of your success! Even if for our generation it definitely helps.
Charly: Social medias are a free way to have people talking about you and follow your actualities. It is of course just a part of what should be done for a band to promote what they are doing, but it is a really good beginning! That is your chance to share you music without waiting for music professionals to tell you if you are good enough to be heard by an audience. For example, we are now posting a new video on our YouTube channel every Thursday to make sure people can see us play live shows, do rehearsals, etc.
NL: As for a lot of young bands, the internet and social media is a central part of our communication with fans and the distribution of our music. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t perhaps be part of the band, since that’s how I got news that they were looking for a keyboard player.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Faust: Hey! Come join our world!
CH : Enjoy your life and do what you love.
ER: Don’t tell anyone but we have a secret project coming up 😉
JF: We’re playing often in the Los Angeles area, come say hello at our next show! You can find all the info about it on our website https://www.charlyandfaust.com/ !!
Charly: Thanks for your time! We are playing at The Mint LA on November 30th at 9:30PM, if you want to come get a beer with us!
Pete RingMaster 09/12/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright