weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
Forget about England and Germany, these days France is the place to be! France has a huge history when it comes to Oi! music, yet the presence is impressive as well. One of the new bands is Outreau who just released their first EP. The band plays Oi! with a large dose of hardcore.
February 2015 – band website
Let’s start with something non-music related… We probably can’t ignore the terrorist attacks from last week in France. Is there anything you’d like to say about it and do you have any idea what impact it will have on French society?
First of all we’d like to thank you for the interest!
It might be hard to combine all band members views but I think we’ll agree on that, (it’s pessimistic for sure) : intelligence won’t win this war soon, so we expect french society to go through hard times in upcoming years. We won’t give you a political analysis of the horrific attack, but in fact we’ve been a bit upset by the way many people reacted. It’s been very pathetic. People, media, politics, most of them seem to have forgotten the sense of words such as dignity and decency.
Now music related. What does the name Outreau mean?
Outreau is a town in the North of France that has been the theater of a terrible justice scandal in 2004 that affected all the french society. It’s also been a media earthquake during about 3 years. To explain it in few words, about fifteen people of this town have been accused of taking part in a child abuse network; they’ve all been sent to prison before their trial. The media treatment of the case was very aggressive, ignoring the presumption of innocence. It later appeared that the woman at the origin of the accusations was lying in some of her testimonies and that justice didn’t investigate properly. Some of the accused have seen their lifes destroyed, one committed suicide in jail, and finally most of them were released, but the case hasn’t been fully solved because justice hardly assumed this huge mistake. Why did we choose that name for the band? We don’t really know, it first came as a really bad joke but then we all agreed on that. This name is the symbol of justice failure, and damn we like to provoke and remind everyone that nothing is perfect around here!
Can you shortly describe the band’s history? If I’m correct most members have a history in other Oi! bands as well. Does that mean that Outreau is a side project or is it a real band?
At the very beginning Outreau began with Maël (drums), Simon (bass) and Don C (guitar). Don C was in Gonna Get Yours and Maël in Danger and other bands. I joined the band in 2013 and it’s at that moment that the band took the name Outreau.
It was a side project but it turned out to be a real band. We did a few gigs and recorded some tracks and Don C finally left us at the end of 2013. David, who played in Gonna Get Yours many years ago, took the guitar and we recorded the first EP with him. Just like every Paris band we all have links with other bands and we definitely have a strong one with Gonna Get Yours in which Simon is now playing guitar. Maël is now playing drums in the re-formation of R.A.S.
Your music is very HC orientated. Do you see yourself as an Oi! band, HC band, Oi!-core band or does all these labels doesn’t matter to you?
We have a rawer sound than the current Oi! bands in France but we’re not a hardcore band. We all agree on the fact that we are an Oi! band. I think we just mix our influences. We’re all big fans of Oi! and hardcore punk, so it just came out like this. It’s kind of our identity, we just play it as we like it: heavy, pissed and raw!
When i think of French music i think of R.A.S., Komintern Sect etc. Classic bands from the 80ies who all sung in French. These days more and more French punk bands sing in English. Where does this change come from and is it difficult for you to sing in a different language?
It’s true, many more bands sing in english in France. I think it’s just a generation thing. We’re all constantly listening to many bands singing in english so, for me, it just came naturally to sing in english too, even if we had a lot of very good bands singing in french. It may be more difficult in some ways because english is not my mother tongue, but singing in French is not easy at all either as our grammar and our conjugation are hell! I suppose that it’s the same reason for the other bands.
Recently you released your debute EP. The sound could be a little better in my opinion but i was amazed by the energy of the songs. What’s your view on the EP?
We would like to thank Une Vie Pour Rien Records (UVPR) and Crom Records for the release of our EP and everybody who helped us. We are really proud of it even if now we see that we could have done it better. You are not the first person to tell us about our sound but this directly refers to our influences. Like I said earlier we are fans of hardcore punk and oi! and we like raw recordings. Nowadays, records are over produced and really lack of energy and aggressivity. It sometimes barely sounds like punk. We wanted something different, maybe closer to what the 80’s had produced.
The current wave of French Oi! & punk bands is very impressive. Is it only Paris or are there more French regions we should keep an eye on? Do you think it’s already time for a volume 3 in the Chaos En France series?
It’s obvious that something is happening now in France but I don’t think that we can say that it’s a regional movement. For instance in Paris we’re about fifteen persons playing in each other’s bands or doing stuff like concert organization…
But you have to keep an eye on Syndrome 81 and Traître. They both sing in french and that’s awesome! Especially the first one. Syndrome 81 have a Criminal Damage sound and Traître is closer to classic french oi! Dig it! I don’t think we are ready for a Chaos en France volume 3 but we are getting close.
Do you have any closing comments?
I’d like to thank everybody who supported us from the very first day. And thank you too.