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Christina Fakhry 15 Apr 2015

We Are Match: Paris’s Latest ‘Coup de Coeur’ Lands in Beirut

After taking the French alternative scene by storm with their first EP, Parisian indie-rock band We Are Match will be landing in Beirut on Thursday, April 16 as part of Beirut Jam Sessions’ latest event. Formed in 2012, the act was awarded the Sosh Aime Les Inrocks Lab Jury Prize in 2013 before releasing their highly acclaimed debut album Relizane in 2014. Beirut.com interviewed members of the French band who shared with us their passions, experiences and expectations for the upcoming gig.

Beirut.com: Are you guys truly a match as your group name suggests?

We Are Match: Well, we are, yes [laughs]. We grew up together as friends. There was always a very strong bond between us. In the context of music, each of us brings a different yet complementary thing to the band.

Beirut.com: What did it feel like to be named French cultural magazine Les Inrocks’s lastest “coup de cœur” after the release of your debut EP Relizane?

We Are Match: We were very happy and honored! And maybe a bit surprised. It actually went really fast, we were making music for fun in a farm in Normandy and a few months later we were playing that music in Le Trianon, one of the most beautiful venues in Paris, with Les Inrocks congratulating us. It was crazy, like a dream.

Beirut.com: Cats are a recurrent theme in your photos. Is there a particular story behind this?

We Are Match: A joke, yes. A big joke [laughs]. In the beginning, we weren’t really keen on showing our faces, we wanted people to focus first on our music, not who we are. But still we had to provide photos of the band to newspapers. We were sitting in the living room of the tiny apartment where we were living at the time, scratching our heads, wondering what we should do. Aurélien kept meowing all afternoon (don’t ask us why…), it must have driven us crazy. We decided to put cats on our faces. And that was that, a joke.

Beirut.com: You are said to have retreated into a forest house in preparation for your first album. How did this kind of isolated location influence your music?

We Are Match: This isolated location influenced our music in two ways. On the one hand, we unconsciously talked a lot about being alone in the lyrics of this new album; it was sometimes strange to live all together in this house apart from the real world. On the other hand, it was really beneficial since we could propose a new kind of music, without comments from our entourage nor influences from other artists; we just proposed what we felt without fearing external comments.

Beirut.com: What are your biggest musical influences?

We Are Match: We grew up listening to bands such as Grizzly Bear, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Gorillaz… a lot of stuff actually. And this is what nurtures our creativity, our different personalities, our different tastes. We tried to confront them to create new music. I guess we admire bands that are able to reinvent themselves through time, to show a wide range of colors in their music. We admire eclecticism.

Beirut.com: After establishing your name on the French alternative music scene with your first EP, where are you guys heading with your upcoming LP?

We Are Match: More mature stuff, more personal maybe too. After finishing our first EP, we thought, “there’s so much more we want to say, to experiment with, to give to people.” So we took a couple of days of rest and then started working on the album (laughs). We worked hard to compose and produce these new songs, we wanted to get the same sound we had in our heads.

Beirut.com: You offered the song Relizane (which also gave your first album its title) as a Christmas gift to your fans in 2013. When should we expect your latest musical gift?

We Are Match: Well, a few weeks ago we offered a first taste of our album which is due in September: a new song called “Speaking Machines”. It shows a new aspect of our music, darker, dancier. There’s much more other stuff that we want to share with people and we’re working on how to do it right now. But there are definitely more gifts to come before September.

Beirut.com: What do you expect your upcoming Beirut gig to be like?

We Are Match:We’re so curious about Lebanon! We want to discover the people, the country, the culture… and we definitely want this gig to be a big mess!

The concert hosted by Beirut jam Sessions in collaboration with the French Institute, is slated for Thursday, April 16 at The Grand Factory. Find out more on Facebook.