Wyatt E. - Experimental, post-rock, drone journey to Orient



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Wyatt E. journey to Orient started few years ago. With absolutely no borders in playing and exploring new sounds they were wandering for some time. And slowly, the course started to lead them to the East. And soundtrack, or sonic vehicle to this trip, was a nice mixture of various styles such as drone, ambient, post-rock, and doom.
Their first release “Mount Sinai​/​Aswan” (in 2015.) got a lot of reviews from all over the world. On September the 4th Wyatt E. second album “Exile to Beyn  Neharot” got out, and soon the boys will be heading to "Road to Bosphorus" tour. So I guess we have enough reasons to talk about today with Sébastien. So...


...let’s start with pre-Wyatt E. era. You guys still play in bands Deuil, Leaf House and The K (the last one we already know). How different are/were they from, and how they lead you to Wyatt E.?
Those are three really different bands. Leaf House is an indie rock band sometimes dream pop but more often psych pop. The K. is more a punk noise thing. And Deuil was a Black/Post-Metal act.
Stephane (Leaf house) and I (the K.) started Wyatt E. as a guitar duo.

Wyatt E. was not Orient influenced band from the beginning. How did your sound involved during time, and how you got into Middle East?
In the early years with a drum machine then we skipped it and started experimenting on ambiant music under the influence of film score composer François de Roubaix and Serge Gainsbourg, especially for its Pink Floyd-ish work on the movie 'Cannabis'. So we had this movie oriented basis between the two of us and when we met our drummer Romain what our music used to express (mainly music for Western movies actually) totally took the opposite direction: Orient.

From the beginning of the band there was a plan to release six Wyatt E. albums in total. It sounds to me like there is larger, conceptual story behind those albums from the start, some points that will connect them all. So, am I right, and can you tell us more about that?
In numerology the number 6 refers to harmony. And as we wanted our work to be seen as an ensemble we aimed to release 6 records to succeed in our task.
The main idea was to create the original soundtrack for a imaginary movie or a fictional pilgrimage in a fantasized ancient Orient. An Orient seen with our paintings and movie references.

What after releasing 6th album?
Honestly I don't know. We're already working on the third and fourth records and they might be released as a double album. 6 album is already a lot and we'll see if the three of us are still up to do something after that.
I mean something interesting enough. We have a lot of musical taste in common. So it might pop up with something totally different than what we're doing now.

Your first album “Mount Sinai​/​Aswan” was released two years ago. When you compare your first and second album “Exile to Beyn  Neharot” that just got out, how do you think you music evolved? Are you in some kind of constant search for new sounds and expressions, cause the style you’re playing gives you a lot of freedom?
Yeah that's true. We feel free of experimenting everything that could be interesting for the project. And at the same time we took that orientalist direction so we also kinda have a template or something. So we're constantly looking for new sounds, new set up, new instruments and effect to enhance the music and broaden our horizons. I think you can hear it when you listen to ETBN and Mount Sinai/Aswan.

“Mount Sinai​/​Aswan” got a lot of reviews from all over the world. Websites from Canada, USA, Israel, Germany, Belgium, France… wrote about “Mount Sinai​/​Aswan”. Did you expected such a wide and good feedback?
Not at all, honestly. We started this project as a practice room band. All we wanted was releasing records. Not especially touring or anything. And we thought it'd be really hard to get attention from critics.

On your bandcamp page you wrote you are from Israel. In one of your interviews you stated that you’ve chosen that city as a crossroads for many cultures and religions, and that you want to connect people with your music. But there were some some funny and unusual moment because of Jerusalem as your hometown… You even got release offer because of that.
Yeah we met the guys of our label Shalosh Cult like that. Those people are just brilliant and their label is amazing. I warmly recommend your reader to go and check them and the artist they released on shaloshcult.bigcartel.com

Your tour “Road to Bosphorus” is about to start. Is this your first tour with Wyatt E. and what countries will you visit?
Yeah it's our first real tour with Wyatt E.
This band requires a lot of logistics and we simply weren't ready to set that up before.
We're going to Byzantium to play on both side of Bosphorus on an 11 gigs tour. We'll play in Prague, Bratislava, Timisoara, Thessaloniki, Cakovec and 2 shows in Serbia. One in Nis at feedback and one in Novi Sad at Dom b-612.

You were on tour with your other bands so, is there a difference (from your point of view) when you play in cities you played before, and when you play and explore some new countries?
I'd like to tell you that's it's everywhere the same and for some reasons it is. But regarding the Balkans if it is what you're asking, there's certainly a special atmosphere here. People may appear distant and proud sometimes but once you're breaking the ice it's totally different they're really warm people. I don't really like talking about that because I'm better at uniting people than splitting up. Haha.

Did you notice (playing live, or in any kind of contacts with your audience), is there difference between the countries in accepting your music? I mean, difference between Western, South-Eastern Europe, Balkan countries (with some Orient influences), Middle East, Israel? Do they experience you music the same way?
Yeah I'm really convinced that the experience around the music itself is universal.
That's what I wanted to say when I told you it's everywhere the same.

In your live performances how much do you improvise? Or you are trying to play the song the same way as it is on the record?
Our songs are the results of long improvisations when we're composing.
But in order to keep them tight during live acts, their structures remain the same with some compartmentalized spaces left for improvisation.

With what feeling you want your audience to leave the show?
The feeling of peaceful travel.

We've reached the end of this interview. Thank you for your time...

Interview by Miloš Pavlović



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