Cheap Wine formed not so long ago in Isarian Fields, France. They released an EP with 5 incredible rocking songs. Their influences come from tons of heavy psych bands from the late 60s and early 70s. To name a few; Leaf Hound, Sir Lord Baltimore, Fresh Blueberry Pancake, Josefus and many more. They are one of the latest bands, that actually have quite an original sound, cos these days I myself miss the originality in bands; some of them sound just "too much retro". They are currently on a short tour and when they come back they will begin working on some new material. We spoke with both Valentins from the band; one is the guitarist and the other one is bassist. I really recommend you to check out their music. Here's a link to their bandcamp page:
Cheap Wine are located in the middle of Isarian Fields. Would you like to introduce yourselves?
We are four people living in the countryside of northern France between fields and forests. We know each other mostly from the high school. We all played in different bands before we start Cheap Wine. The band is composed of MD (vocals, theremin), Louis Morati (drums), Valentin Lallart (Bass guitar) and Valentin Contestin (guitar).
Both Valentins are answering your questions.
I was lucky enough to get exposed to your powerful music via your vinyl records, which came out awhile ago. The LP is called "Mystic Crow" and contains five powerful rock tracks. What can you tell us about making this album?
Actually the LP is an EP. We played for two years almost all the songs until we had to change our drummer. Then we kept working on the songs for one year with the new guy and made a lot of improvements on the songs. The EP was recorded in one week. We recorded all together in the same room except for the vocals. We had a lot of fun and we cannot wait to record a new one.
What gear did you use and where did you record it?
We record it at "Chateau des Rochers", Montataire, 20 minutes from home. We used a seventies Ibanez guitar, a seventies Rickenbacker bass, a homemade theremin and many effects I don't know, some pedals (wah wah; big muff...) and Zebra painted drums.
Is there a certain concept to a band or is this just a spontaneous song making? Maybe if we can talk about songwriting process...
We have a stock of old lyrics we tried to put together to make a song. It's a very long process to write one. Except for "Stay Strange Express" which was written by Brock McKibben, a good friend from Ohio.
We can't talk about a concept we just love to listen the heavy music from 60s/70s and we tried to play as powerful as some people did back then.
The album was out on Celebration Days Records, which I think is a label born out of festival with the same name?
Indeed, the festival was the beginning, some friends gathered to help people like us to promote their music from, now, all around the world. Thanks to internet it's much more easier now. The festival gave birth to an association which gave birth to the label. We were their first try, and many others will come ahah!
The edition of 500 vinyl came out and you are also having songs available on Bandcamp. Is there anything else remained unreleased? Are you working on something new?
We have many songs unreleased, and with time our sound is evolving, we put much more things from jazz music. Right now we are looking for an organ player and for many gigs. Always looking further.
Cheap Wine is a funny name, what's the story behind it and if you can tell us how did you guys come together? Were you in any other bands?
Few years ago I've been to America with the president of Celebration Days Records, met some friends we've met at the first Celebration Days Festival. The first day my american friend asked me what I would like to drink (I was too young at that time to buy alcohol in USA). I told him I would like to drink some cheap red wine and he came back from the store with a huge bottle of wine brand called Cheap Red Wine. Few drinks later Cheap Wine became our name.
Yes, we were in other bands, but none of us want to talk about that ahah!
Is there any local scene in your town and if so please name a few artists you like.
No local scene in our town, but Celebration Days has a partnership with some places so we can see our "far away friends" play. We can name French bands like Karma Sutra, Wolves and Moons, Subway Cowboys, Swinging Dice, Buddy Hemlock, Old Moonshine Band, Dirty Deep, Brain Pyramid, Tricératops, Aqua Nebula Oscillator.
And from abroad, Prisma Circus, Hanami, Yossarians, Syd Arthur, Jouis, Electric Smoke, Grand Mammoth.
Check the line up from Celebration Days Festival and you will find the people we like ahah!
What are some influences; maybe share some less known bands, that you like...
Sir Lord Baltimore, Josefus, Free, Taste, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Toad, Mount Rushmore, Hendrix, Zappa, Fresh Blueberry Pancake, Joseph, Captain Beefheart, Deep Purple, Canned Heat, Ten Years After, Arzachel, Bach, Thelonious Monk, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Fairport Convention ,Captain Groovy and the Bubblegum Army, Highway Robbery, Pink Floyd, Strawberry Path, Blues Creation, Leaf Hound, Groundhogs, Power of Zeus, Samuel Prody, Robby Basho and thousand other amazing bands. It would take hours to name them all.
Do you do any touring? Where can we expect you in the near future?
Our first tour lasted three days with the band Prisma Circus from Spain. We leave tomorrow for Spain to play two gigs with them. You can expect us anywhere, ahah.
We will be in England around February, March.
We've got a friend who is booking for us, so we will see. Right now we work on the new songs.
Well, thank you very much for taking your time. Is there anything I missed and you would like to share? Perhaps a message to It's Psychedelic Baby readers and to your fans worldwide?
We don't have a lot of vinyls anymore so you should hurry ahah, we would love to travel and play in new places. If you have any informations just tell us. You can be certain the live music is greater than the vinyl.
It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine, we say thank you . Keep on doing your work,
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2013
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