Lo-fi Post-punk Band Maraudeur: “We’re all in need of connection”

Original photo courtesy of Maraudeur. Handmade mixed-media collage by B.

Maraudeur’s sophomore album Puissance 4 is highly spirited, paper-thin post-punk, filled with unexpected moments and dizzying highs, stoking curiosity in the listener. There’s a freshness, joy and sense of freedom on the record, that rightly earned Marauder mentions on many underground music Best Of 2021 lists. 2022 sees Puissance‘s release on one of our favourite US labels, Feel It Records. 

In signature Gimmie-style, we interviewed Maraudeur because we love their music, wanted to know more about it and its creators, but couldn’t’ find anything out there about them. 

Maraudeur is based in Leipzig, Germany but everyone lives in different areas; can you tell us a little bit about where you live?

CAMILLE: I live in Lyon, which I would say is an interesting city regarding shows. Also, there are plenty of active and creative bands! I moved here 14 years ago because I was interested in music, and many of the bands I wanted to see were touring there. It’s also quite a pretty city, with two rivers crossing, hills… I like walking around and I’m not bored yet, so I stay here! 

LISE: I live in Leipzig, it’s green, but also grey. There are a lot of lakes; really nice in the summer!

CHARLOTTE: I live in Geneva. It’s a pretty rich city, and there are rich neighbourhoods that look awful, but there’s also a cool scene of struggling artists and nice cheap places to hang out to. It’s a small city, so everybody knows each other and solidarity is present. So even if you’re poor, you’ll get by.

What’s life been like lately for you?

LISE: Trying to re_create new assertments, which were destabilized throughout the pandemy. Héhé, a real casse-tête.

CAMILLE: Mostly working (I’m a social worker), playing shows (with Maraudeur and Litige, my other band) or hanging out at friend’s shows!

How did you first discover music?

LISE: I remember my mum hearing Janis Joplin a lot in the car . . and I hated it. I think I was scared of her voice. It changed since then.

CHARLOTTE:: I remember my mum and I listening to Crash Test Dummies when driving to l’Ardèche in the summer. Especially the “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” song. That was easy to sing along.

CAMILLE: I remember my mum listening to Roch Voisine (she found him pretty sexy), Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. But, I was more interested in dance music and the boy bands from the 90’s.

Why is music important to you?

CHARLOTTE:: Music ideas come around my head when I’m bored. It’s like if it was my brain’s favourite game to avoid boredom. Although it likes other types of art to play with, melodies are very often the first ones to pop in. So, to answer the question, I’d say music is important to me because it’s like my playground where I can create anything, set my own rules (or no rules at all) and simply have fun! And that makes me feel free. Free to express, whatever and however I want to, and also free to be myself.

CAMILLE: It helps me to deal with the strangeness of this world and to feel a bit more optimistic ! Also listening to music is a perfect way to keep curiosity alive, wanting to know more about this band, these kinds of weird sounds… It never ends! About playing music, it allowed me to challenge my own limits. And to learn dealing with others.

LISE: Music is the best meditation trick, it can keep you focused for hours, a real relief from the outside !

When did you first pick up an instrument? Who or what inspired you to?

CAMILLE: I  started playing on my brother’s drum kit, that we had at our parent’s basement.

It was just for fun, nothing serious came out of my solo starter practices.

When I moved to Lyon, I used to hang out a lot with the people at this local DIY space called Grrrnd Zero. Many people had rehearsal spaces, where we ended drunk after shows. At one point, a friend asked me to join him and his girlfriend to play music with them, and it was the first time playing drums was becoming something “real” to me. So I would say my friends, my brother inspired me to dare picking up an instrument, in spite of my lack of technical skills or lessons. I never learned anything academic or by taking lessons, and I will probably never do.

How did you meet?

CAMILLE: I met Lise and Charlotte in Brittany at a festival called Binic in 2016, where they were hanging out. I was totally high, and when I saw Lise, I was remembering her from a few months before: in fact, she played a show with Couteau Latex in Lyon. We didn’t really talked there, but we finally ended up talking that summer. I found these two girls really nice, and they pretty much invited me to join them during the weekend. Lise asked me if I wanted to play in Maraudeur but I couldn’t so far. A few months after, she emailed me for a tour in France. Again, I couldn’t be available. But Lise didn’t take it for granted, and asked me again! Then I said YES and joined

Maraudeur. Morgane and me met in Lyon, where she was living before moving to Saint-Etienne.

CHARLOTTE:: Lise and I met a long time ago, when we were teens. We started our first band together with two other guys. Funny thing is that the four of us barely knew each other before starting playing music together. So we basically met in the practice space.

LISE: Charlotte and I met Myriam, who’s playing synth and also singing on the album at a Maraudeur concert in Paris, next thing we know is that she was going on tour with us! It’s always a mind maze to talk about all the band members, cause there’s been a lot. They come, they go, its fluid. Can be sometimes confusing but it also keeps the waves flowing !

We really love your album Puissance 4, it’s so interesting, there is so much happening; what are the things that are important to you in regards to creativity?

CHARLOTTE:: I think I partly answered that question before, but I’ll add a few things. So if I keep going with my music/playground metaphor, let’s say that creativity is actually the whole playground, and music is an area of it. And in this area, there are many mini-areas, which each contains many mini-mini-areas, etc. etc. And that’s where keeping the metaphor gets tricky because it’s even more fun to try to play in different areas at the same time, haha! My point being that there’s so much to discover and experiment, all it takes is to be curious and to dare to try out stuff. And as this is all about fun, then it’s even more fun when there are friends around! More people means more ideas and more ways to look at things. It also means compromises, but it’s worth it. Compromises can also be a way to mix up things even more and generate more interesting stuff. So, to summarise, I’d say that diversity of ideas, experimentation, collaboration, curiosity and courage are the keys to be creative and inspired for me.

What’s the story behind the title? (I’d never heard of the word before and looked it up because I’m a nerd and love finding new words, and found it means “great power, influence, or prowess”).

LISE: Héhé. Actually it’s the name of a game. Puissance is also a mathematical term, it means “to the fourth”. We used it as a small clin d’oeil to the fact that it’s the first time that we recorded all together, as if it made it then possible to multiply our capacity to create something. But puissance does mean power, yes. Greater scale power.

What kinds of songs do you enjoy writing the most?

CHARLOTTE: I have no preference actually. I like writing any songs. Diversity is nice, otherwise I get bored.

LISE: Short & dirty.

CAMILLE: A song I can’t play, like ‘I’m Here’

Is there anything that you find challenging about songwriting?

CHARLOTTE: Lyrics! Lyrics are hard… And remembering everything. Structures, riffs, lyrics, pfiouuu… I’m sure songwriting is a good memory exercise for the brain! And on a darker note, songwriting can be scary sometimes. Starting a song can make me feel unsafe and stressed. But I rarely feel this way in bands though. The other’s input keeps me inspired, and the group dynamic works like an anchor into the real world and prevents me from drifting on Anxiety Sea.

CAMILLE: To adapt myself to the weird structures of Maraudeur ! 

Where have you found inspiration for a recent song you have written?

LISE: I’d like to talk about a song that we’ve been working on ‘La Jaguar.’ We were having a residency in Geneva and we would always eat in the parking lot, because that’s where the sun was. We laughed about the fact that we were stealing the spot of expensive cars (there’s a lot in Geneva).

CHARLOTTE:: … A parking spot by the river and where the sun always shines! We imagined that some rich person actually bought this spot for the view and the sun exposure, haha!

CAMILLE: There is a song that we refer to as “the Eddy Current” one, which is totally not similar to the great Eddy Current Suppression Ring, but it’s funny we were understanding each other while calling it like that. And we love this band.

CHARLOTTE: It’s true now the result is very different, but originally it was because of the guitar riff that sounded a bit like them. Personally, I still hear it, and I enjoy that.

How long did it take to write Puissance 4; do you write collaboratively?

LISE: We were one month in Leipzig; to write, practice, go on tour for a week and even mix the album. It was obviously way too much of a plan but it worked. We did re-mixed some vocals a bit later though. There was already four songs that were already written/partly recorded, but the rest we did all together.

CAMILLE: I’ve never spent so much time in such a short duration in a rehearsal space. Sometimes it was intense.  But it was a cool experience ! 

What’s your favourite song on the album? What do you love about it? What’s it about?

LISE: I would talk about the sound of the album. We were really restrained in terms of mixing and that’s what makes it special… to me. I think the fact that we mixed all together gave the album an envelope, even though some songs sound really different; you can hear there are two different snare, for example.  

What is one of your fondest memories from recording the album?

CAMILLE: Eating every day in 15 days at least the same croque monsieur! 

CHARLOTTE: Recording live on tape, aiming for the perfect one-shot that never happens, but ending up liking the flaws. And then, mixing on a super nice big boy of a mixer, turning knobs live, it was like a multiple hands choreography! And, knowing there won’t be no turning back. We didn’t own a multiple track interface at that time, so we were bouncing the songs stereo, and yep, that was it.

We love the Puissance 4 cover drawings. You screen-printed it yourself, right? I understand many artists contributed; what was the idea behind having many artists draw something? How do you think it reflects the album’s music or themes?

LISE: My theory would be that we like to involve our personal vicinity into our work. I like the idea to somehow pay tribute to it. It would be kind of a disillusion to believe that this album just came out of only our minds; there are people around, smells, buildings, atmospheres, dirty punk caves,  there’s places we like go to whether it’s in Leipzig, Lyon, Genève, Saint Etienne, Burgundy. It felt like a good way to bridge this environment to what we do. We’re all in need of connection.

CAMILLE: I totally agree with Lise! 

What’s next for Maraudeur?

MARAUDEUR: An Italian tour in November. Rehearse in the summer. Welcome a new member in the crew! And, record a new album at the end of the year if everything works out! Thanks for the interview!!! 

GET Puissance 4 via Feel It Records (US). MARAUDEUR Bandcamp. In Australian find it via Tenth Court Records and Repressed Records. Follow @maraudeur_zeband and Maraudeur on Facebook.

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