“Happy being sad.” Baï-Kal

16 Apr

Call me a miserable fucker but I have always liked dark music. The Cure, Joy Division, The Smiths, Bunnymen and French band Baï-Kal.”Baï-Kal?” I hear you ask – Yes, a new band that deserve the 80’s raincoat award for service to the melancholic music industry. Lock me in a room, pull the curtains and just give me Baï-Kal’s music for a pleasurable afternoon of mistanthropic contemplation. OK it’s not all doom and gloom but there’s plenty of it.

Baï-Kal have a distinctive Post Punk aesthetic and sound a little bit like The Editors and Interpol but they add a perfectly original dimension to their music. Huge Syths, rumbling bass-lines, skeletal guitar riffs and heartfelt vocals all cement a sound that whilst being dark, also has an uplifting edge to it and like The Chameleons these guys really know how to create their art.

We caught up with the band for a few words and what a friendly bunch they were. We really do get spoilt at times.

For your information Vivid Riot : Ivan (guitar) – Julien (Bass) – Bertrand (Drummer)- Rodolphe (Keyboard) – Téva (Singer + Guitar)

Right, I suppose we should start at the beginning. Tell us about the band? Where are you from, where did you meet and how do you pronounce the band’s name?

“You can pronounce it like this : Baï (like « Bye ») Kal (like « Kalachnikov » for exemple) We come from Paris and east Suburb.”

Ivan : “In the begining, there was Julien and me. We knew each other for a long time, for a good reason… we are brothers. We played music together for 17 years. Then we met our drummer Berti (Bertrand) through our friend Rodolphe who became our Keyboard player in 2011. Téva, our singer, arrived in the band in 2008, after he answered our advert in a music blog. We already had few songs, but then we were a band and then we composed faster because we quickly found a common sensibility. We understood each other very well in the music, but Baï-Kal is not simply music… It’s a band of mates. We’re now more friends than musicians who play together. We’re a true team.”

Rest of the band : “No better words… Vote Baï-Kal !”

Who are your musical influences?

Téva : “For me, some songwritters like Eliott Smith, Old idol like Neil Young, Bowie, or Indie Rock Bands like Arcade Fire, Interpol, The National, Mando Diao, The Maccabees, Ghinzu… And for the 80’s side : Joy Division, Chameleons, The Cure…”

Ivan : “I’m close to Téva for the songwritters. And everyone joins each other around many contemporary bands like Explosions in the sky, Editors, You Say Party, The Robocop Kraus. We like Post-Rock, Indie, New Wave. Some of us listen to folk singers, Jazz, hardcore, screamo, 90’s Rock… We’re more open than we look.”

What releases have you put out to date?

“Our First EP « Happy Hours »… We’re working on new songs for the next EP or album if we’re inspired enough.”

If you had to describe the band yourselves what would your description be?

Téva : “For the music, we try  to get a mix of melancoly, rage, and melodies that give back your smile… Something like that.

For the band’s life : friendship, incoherence, lots of laughs,and relationships… We’re almost brothers now (well this is not a big change for Julien and Ivan).

Julien : “A lot of fun, instinctive music, we don’t want to have borders in our music, songs are inspired by facts of life, state of mind, feelings, and their styles are going from folk ballades to modern post-punk songs, through indie alternative rock patterns.”

Bertrand : “Music + Fun + Friends + Wine + Crystal Bio = Baï-Kal. That rocks Doesn’t it ?”

Ivan : “The best mix that can exist. I never felt this in any other band.”

Rodolphe : “… And some dark dark notes between all of that. (DNA : Dark Notes Anarchy)”

What are you all into outside of music?

Téva : “I’m a film director (music vidéos, documentaries) and editor.”

Ivan : “Works in a french insurance group.”

Bertrand : “Working in a small bank & finance consulting company.”

Rod : “CEO in the robotics field.”

Julien : “IT consulting.”

Do you have any facts about the band that may surprise us?

Bertrand : “We’ve never seen Baïkal lake.” (See Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Baikal)

Julien : “I love to start gigs with my amp muted (Julien started our biggest gig in Paris like that… A great moment.”

Rodolphe : “I remember the day Julien told us in the middle of a rehearsal” :  “Hey guys, I’m not playing in a band to make Indie Rock shits”. “Find the mistake.”

Which current bands do you most admire?

Julien : “Interpol, Editors, Cut City, The Strokes, The Cribs, Crocodiles, Phoenix, Marcel et son orchestre … and many more.”

Rodolphe : “Bloc Party, Dead 60’s.”

Bertrand : “Mando Diao, the Maccabees.”

Ivan : Arcade Fire, The National

Téva : “I could add Explosions in the sky, Sigur Ros, Beirut, the last album of Apparat is amazing too, M83 or Death Cab for Cuttie. I’ve also a soft spot for Wu Lyf and a french band named Stuck in the Sound.”

Any that you hate?

Ivan : “No anger but…”

Julien : “I hate hipsters with I-macs and Ray Ban glasses.”

Téva : “I have an I-mac and Ray Ban glasses.” (Oh no, what have we started?)

If you had to choose one of your own songs to be in a film, which song and which film would it be in?

Everyone : “Back to neverland (part1).”

“Maybe in the series Friday Night Lights but Explosions in the Sky has already taken this part… So maybe in an epic movie like  Miami Vice directed by Michael Mann… But Mogwai could be in a sulk about that. Do you have their phone number?” (Actually, no I don’t but i’ll ask around!)

Lastly, is there anything else you would like to add?

Everyone : “Thank you for talking about about us! We hope your readers will like our songs… Maybe we’ll meet soon, for a gig in England!”



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