Sébastien Ayreault – 100 Fois Brisés
In our journey to discover indie rock, we meet a French artist who lives in America, in Atlanta: Sébastien Ayreault. He is also a book writer and a traveler but we are especially interested in his music, which we can call garage blues electro rock.
When did you start writing songs and how did the inspiration come to you?
I started as a kid, I would sit down in the living room and listen to records for hours. My dad had a great vinyl collection. It was mostly Johnny Hallyday and I loved it. So I started to write my own songs. The lyrics were a mix of rage and sorrow.
When you started writing songs, did you play the guitar already?
No, I was playing a drum in the attic. A drum I built myself. And really, I started to learn guitar just so I could put some chords on my lyrics. Now I mainly play guitar. But I do everything on my songs. Vocals, bass, keyboard and mixing. I try to keep it as simple as I can.
Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
They just pop into my head. Sometimes while I’m at work. Sometimes when I’m at home. I don’t sit down with my guitar and look for a song. I just wait.
Are your songs autobiographical?
Just part of them. A mix of feelings overflowing.
Do you feel more influenced by American or French culture and music?
I’m more influenced by American culture now. But I still sing in French. A bunch of French words sound stupid when you sing them (ha ha!). It’s really challenging.
Are there any musicians or groups that you chose as a model?
Gainsbourg, Bashung and Hallyday from the French side. I love Tom Petty. I wish I could write songs like he did. So simple, so powerful. Also, there’s Trent Reznor. He’s a genius. I love The Black Keys. Love all that dirty blues rock garage band. Love it.
Do you feel changed from the first songs you wrote?
I do think that I always write the same songs. Lol. I’m just trying to get better every time. Especially with the mix and the sounds. The meaning of it? I’m not sure I really care about that anymore.
Many of your videos show moving scenes, look like they were shot with a smartphone or a camera, in Point of View (POV) style. This shooting technique was born in erotic cinema, it has been very successful also in horror cinema and today it is very popular with internet users. What meaning do you give to this use of POV?
I’m a big nature documentaries fan. I also love erotic movies. I think it’s a true culture. But I really need to do better with my videos. Spend more time on it. And “time” is the problem…
The theme of nature is often present in your videos and you show it in a nostalgic and vintage style. Why do you consider it important?
I had more contact with nature here in America. The countryside is just unbelievable. I don’t know where that nostalgia comes from. It’s always been here. All my songs are nostalgic. It seems I can’t escape that feeling.
What is your favorite song from the ones you wrote?
“100 fois brisés” is one of my favorite. (It means “one hundred time broken.”) It’s rock, punk, with a pop-like melody and some nostalgic lyrics, with a big change for the ending.You made two albums: “La Marée Noire” and “100 fois brisés”.
Are you writing new songs?
Yes. I have a new LP, “L’itinéraire” with five songs. Five songs, it’s enough. I think they go well together. I still have to work on the mix. Hopefully it will be ready in September.