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22 July 2019

INTERVIEW: Nebula Glow.

Nebula Glow is a Parisian quintet consisting of members Valentina Esposito (guitar/vocals), Quentin Le Roch (guitar/vocals), Manuel Devier (bass), Gregory Wojcik (lead guitar) and Antoine Lenest (drums). The band released a debut self-titled EP in June via Somewherecold Records, and the songs featured on it quickly impressed us. The gorgeous textures, heavenly vocals and well-crafted compositions are absolutely stunning. Do yourself a favor and check out the EP on Bandcamp – you won’t disappointed! We hope you enjoy getting to know more about Nebula Glow in the interview below.

How and when was the band formed?
Val: The band formed in 2015. Quentin (guitarist/singer) and Manuel (bass player) used to work together. Coincidentally, they realised that they didn’t only share the same workplace but musical tastes as well! Quentin was going through some hard times and the music really helped with that. Then they start to look for musicians online and Greg (lead guitarist) came along, then me (Valentina, guitarist/singer). Antoine (drummer) came later; he’s our second drummer and he was a friend of friend.

Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (any new releases, tour, etc.)?
Val: We just released our first EP but actually the songs have been there for a pretty long time. Quentin is a very prolific songwriter, he has tons of news songs on his hard drives! So, right now we’re working on those, three of which are ready, and planning gigs. It’s cool to see how the songwriting is evolving and we keep on learning how to work together. There’s five of us -- plenty of ideas!
Manuel: When we have enough  material, it might be the time to hit the studio once again!

Do you consider your music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?
Val: We call ourselves Shoegaze, Post-Rock and Alternative rock 90s as there are clear influences of all of these genres in our songs and sound. We love and follow these scenes, but we don’t want to repeat a working formula. We’d like to find our way within the spectrum of things we like. We come from so many different musical backgrounds that it would be strange for us as well.

Quentin: I am constantly listening to an eclectic array of music, up to 10 hours a day! I mainly come from punk, metal, hardcore and I’ve always been fan of Deftones. At the same time I grew up with The Cure, Bowie, Queen...I listen as much Brit pop as black metal, as classical, as electronic. What moves and influences me isn’t a particular genre, but a sensibility, a feeling, a melody, when the message is clear and it gives the goosebumps.

Val: Manuel likes post hardcore and early math-rock, Greg listens to a lot of post-rock, Antoine to jazz and me to riot grrrls, songwriters, post punk and shoegaze. Genres help to give a name to music, help people to select and not having to go through literally everything to find something they like.

What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artists, any favorites?
Quentin: We’re big fans of Nothing, Holy Fawn, Hatchie, Slow Crush and Cloakroom.

What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?
Quentin: My Jazzmasters + Twin Reverb + Big Muff + Shimmer
Val: I’m in love with my Roland Jazz Chorus and my brand new glittery Reverend guitar!
Manuel: I think the most important piece of gear, the one that helped us define our sound, is the Big Sky reverb from Strymon.  It allowed Quentin and Greg to really sculpt the aural landscape that the songs live in. For my part, I recently acquired a Your and You’re from Montreal Assembly. It’s a killer oscillator fuzz! Even Antoine like to experiment, bringing a second snare into his drumming. One of the things I like is that we are all ready to experiment with new configurations, new pedals, amps and such to find the right mood for each song.

What is your process for recording your music? What gear and/or software do you use? What would you recommend for others?
Val: First Quentin records his songs using Logic. He’s a big geek composing every single instrument part and spending plenty of time on it! He’s a volcano of ideas, we’re very lucky. Then I bring my vocals and lyrics, working closely with Quentin to make sure to be faithful to the first concept/ feeling of the song. Then everyone else studies their parts, modifying sometimes and adding their bits. We then work all together refining everyone’s part and the song structure. Every band has a different work dynamic I guess, and I’ve seen so many bands getting all bitter about ego reasons. Having a band, it’s teamwork.

Quentin: When I have “THE” idea I can even wake up in the middle of the night and record a few notes on my Iphone. The day after I work on it on Logic, only using the software’s effects at this very first stage. Then I export the tracks to have them on Reaper, it’s an open source software and it’s great for sharing.

Manuel: We also recorded our EP by ourselves. It was definitely hard work. It’s been mixed and mastered on ProTools by the great people at Jonesy Agency who did a stellar job. They really took the time to speak with us, listen to our references and our remarks on the mix.

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?
Manuel: We’re currently happily signed with Somewherecold Records and Araki. Having someone with us who’s used to this is really reassuring and helps to relieve a lot of pressure.
Quentin: Before getting signed we had our DIY Bandcamp. Everyone does this to be heard and reach to a greater audience. It’s a win-win as it helps record labels to find the artists they want to promote.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?
Val: Definitely vinyl! We’re nostalgic about cassette tapes but we’re not there yet. Vinyl are beautiful, each vinyl has a story. Quentin, Greg and me could spend tons of money of them. And then, as their friends say, “They’ll eat soil for the rest of the month.”

Manuel: We are all consumers of physical releases. Of course, the music is at the heart of everything but to have an object as big as a vinyl (compared to other formats) is something. The artwork really shines. And tapes hit home for me. It’s listening to The Clash in the family car going on vacation all over again. And the cheapness aspect is a plus for me.

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?
Quentin: Johnny Marr (The Smiths) for his touch on the guitar, Robert Smith (The Cure) for the melodies and the feelings, Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) for the originality of his songs, Slowdive, Deftones for the post rock atmospheres and prog evolutions.

Manuel: I’m a huge fan of the Louisville math-rock scene and indie rock. I try to use that spirit in ways that work with our sound and tracks.

Valentina: The early Cranberries (as some of you can probably hear) have been a huge influence on me as I grew up listening to them. I was 10 and I learned English, to play guitar and started to write songs and sing. Then Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Cure, MBV, PJ Harvey, Suzanne Vega and riot grrrls. Recently, I’m having a big Kate Bush crush!

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?
Val: We don’t have a specific band philosophy apart from doing what we like and what we believe in. Music is a blessing and there’s no reason to “lie” in it. Otherwise, we all have personal ones...I guess that mine is as easy as “Carpe diem”!

Quentin: When things go well they won’t last. When things go badly the worst is yet to come…So get ready for it!
Val: Hellooo happiness :P
Manuel: I think it would be try to be the best version of yourself. We all have fairly different views on life and how to react to it. I think all of it adds up to something better, just as all of our influences work toward something more.