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    Interview With Thot Founder Grégoire Fray About "Delta"

    "I Love All Songs on Our New Album Equally!"

    Interview von Anne
    10.05.2024 — Lesezeit: 7 min
    Deutsche Version lesen
    Interview With Thot Founder Grégoire Fray About "Delta"

    The new Thot album, "Delta", is out today! I sat down with band founder Grégoire to talk about it last week. We had a great chat, and besides the fact, Thot is now part of Pelagic Records and, of course, the new songs, we talked about Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and people needing to think about things they already know.

    Anne: Hi Grégoire! How are you? How have you been since our interview about ten years of "Obscured By The Wind"? Wow, I just realised that was 2021! Time just goes by much too fast! How have things changed since that time for Thot and for you personally (besides being part of Pelagic now)?

    Grégoire: Hi Anne, I'm doing well. Thank you, and I hope you're doing well as well. It's true; time seems to go faster when you're busy with countless things. I'm actually in the countryside, enjoying time going a bit slower. As you might know, time is relative. And I like to explore its different speeds. So things have changed on a different scale, and I'm happy to be alive, kicking, and finally able to release this new album! I really can't complain about anything.

    Anne: Congrats on your new album, "Delta", again! It's brilliant! I'm sure there are plenty of stories behind those ten pieces. Would you like to share some of them?

    Grégoire: Thank you. I'm glad you like it. Well, how about I speak about track 11? Unfortunately, it didn't make it to the final recording? I wrote most of the songs during the first COVID-19 lockdown, which started in mid-March around the EU. As you might know, the 14th of March is known as the "Pi-day". Albert Einstein was born on the 14th of March, whereas Stephen Hawking died on the 14th of March. So I wrote some kind of conversation between the two of them, and that became a song. But yes, this song is not on "Delta". Maybe the next album? Well, I miss that song.

    Anne: Oh, I’m beyond courious now! I’d love to listen to track 11!

    Which of the songs is your favourite?

    "We had a beautiful trip to Bulgaria"

    Thot – "Delta"
    Thot – "Delta"

    Grégoire: None. I love them equally (smiles).

    Anne: For the song "Hüzün," you travelled to Bulgaria to record a special video to accompany it. How did you come up with the idea, and how was the trip? If I remember correctly, it wasn't your first journey to Bulgaria.

    Grégoire: That's correct. I visited Bulgaria in 2017 with a friend of mine but only stayed in Sofia.

    As for the music video, it's 2021, and we are about to fly to Bulgaria in order to record with singers of The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices—while preparing for the trip and listening to the Hüzün demo over and over, it feels like we could also benefit from Bulgaria's landscapes and shoot a music video. So, the hunt for filming spots started on Google Maps. Then we took the road for two days across the country, filming like crazy, waking up at five in the morning to catch the rising sun on the Black Sea or getting lost in the mountains to meet with the Kukeri, with the help of National Geographic photographer Ivo Danchev. This filming experience was as epic as the protagonist's journey and was definitely a transformative experience for us, too.

    Anne: This really sounds like an exiting trip!

    I think "Delta" is one of your most versatile records so far. It sounds very industrial, rhythmic, and electric, and it also has mellow and pensive parts. I love its contrasts and the breathtaking moments in between. It is fuzzy, complicated and catchy at once. Do you still identify with the "Vegetal Noise" genre your fans once created especially for you?

    Grégoire: Thank you for asking! I really don't know what to do with this label. It really made sense with the first album, which was highly inspired by the relationship with nature. I grew up in the countryside, and I've always been very sensitive to the changing of seasons, for instance. Watching the clouds dance in the wind over the hills never bored me. All those things. And, I know that some people saw me as a weirdo when I used this label because they thought I was making music with plants, which I liked to make them believe. Also, this label was pretty and unique, whereas other genres never really fit 100 per cent of what I was doing. Today, the more accurate label would be post-industrial/rock, but I'm okay with any label people want or need to use.

    "Pelagic is more than just a record label"


    Anne: "Delta" is your first album on Pelagic. One more thing to celebrate! Wow! I was so happy when I heard the news! I'm a bit proud, too, to be honest. It feels like I discovered you for them (joking)! I'm so glad we always kept in contact and to finally talk to you personally about this big step to hear everything first-hand! How is working with the guys so far?

    Grégoire: Thank you so much! And thank you for following us over the years. I actually discovered Sounds Vegan thanks to an interview with Lost in Kiev, which is also on Pelagic and with whom I'm friends. Let's say we're coming in full circle, then. Anyway, working with Pelagic is very exciting and stimulating. This is a community of strong and creative minds. More than just another record label. There's the remarkable aesthetic of each release. There is the brilliant idea of a vinyl subscription. I listen to many bands from the roaster; I know some of them personally. This is why having the opportunity to contribute to this unique community is something absolutely thriving for my bandmates and me.

    Anne: From the first chord or line of text you wrote to the vinyl edition ready to be delivered. How long did it take you to finish "Delta"?

    Grégoire: Too long. Almost four years from the first notes to the mastering. But like I said earlier, time is relative!

    Anne: What do your plans following the record release look like? I suppose there's a lot in the making at Pelagic.

    "The album is part of a wider ecosystem of releases"

    Grégoire: We had three music videos (+ one piano/version of the first single, released on Piano Day) prior to the album release. And we have some more content to come, such as studio footage, acoustic versions, and maybe other music videos. I like to think of the record as the centrepiece of a wider ecosystem or universe, I must say. Pelagic also really helps us promote and connect with new listeners. Also, we have some live shows coming, such as our release party in Brussels on the 13th of June, the ArcTanGent Festival and the Pelagic Festival in August. More shows have to be confirmed. I hope to see you at one of these shows, hopefully?

    Anne: I hope to see you on stage again soon, too!

    It seems the music scene is evolving into new, scary directions. On the one hand, there are artists who own private jets and earn millions with promotions deals, and on the other hand, there are those who need to work full-time and are forced to plan their tour so that it falls on their scarce holiday days. It's usually those who make the greatest, most creative and exciting music, which they produce and sell themselves, who can't even earn enough from it to quit their job in the factory or office. Even the Guardian just posted an article about this discrepancy. How do you explain that? Why is most of the money always spent on music that could basically just be programmed by an AI nowadays to be a bit nasty and also very honest? Do you see an end to this development? Do you think it's going to be the other way around at some point? I mean, it's also not very climate-positive to hop around in private jets, is it? Are we going back to honouring the good work at some point? Or, let's stay with the climate crisis topic: Are we doomed because humans are too stupid?

    "Some like to rehash existing formulas while others like to experiment and follow new paths"


    Grégoire: Well, maybe we are doomed indeed, whether it will be because of natural catastrophes or nuclear conflict. Perhaps that's the way things go with every civilisation. Or just life. You are born, you exist, you evolve, you learn, you fail, and you vanish like stars.

    As for your question about the music scene, I think there are many reasons why we are here today: there's the internet, there's the AI, there's the COVID, there's the possibility for almost anyone to produce music (see how cheap it is to buy some decent recording gear nowadays), among other things. There's greed, laziness and stupidity as well. But am I to decide who's stupid or not? On the other hand, there's so MUCH music (and art) being produced. Are we able to appreciate everything? Some people need to listen to what they already know. Some people like to discover new things. Some artists tend to rehash existing formulas, whereas others like to experiment and follow new paths.

    As for my own experience, I know I've embraced this way of life because I knew it would be challenging on every level possible. And still. Being on such a cool label as Pelagic doesn't mean that touring gets super easy or that I don't have personal problems. I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining. I'm just trying to get some distance. I did that a lot during the first lockdown. We had no idea if we would ever be able to enjoy live music again the way we used to. If not, we would have invented another way to express ourselves, I guess, right?

    Anne: Yes! I think you're absolutely right! If there was one thing in the world you could change. What would it be and why?

    Grégoire: The ending of Alien: Resurrection!

    Anne: This totally makes sense to me! I want that, too!Thanks again for answering my questions! I'll see you on the road!

    Grégoire: Always a pleasure! Thank you, Anne, and take care!

    Get the new Thot album, "Delta" on Bandcamp 1 now!

    Thot – "Hüzün"

    Thot – "Supercluster"

    Thot – "Supercluster" (Silent Session)

    1. Thot – "Delta", Bandcamp

    © 2024 · · Anne Reis