French duo As Animals sound right around a dozen times larger than songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Fred Grange and vocalist/lyricist Zara Desbonnes. They are an intriguingly strange amalgam of popular music of the past century, from jazz to synth pop to hip-hop to tortured singer/songwriters to that orchestral rock thing going on now… They’re soulfully sassy and definitely sexy… But, beyond that, they would seem happy to be whatever you would like to consider them to be. Their self-titled debut LP is set to drop in the near future and they recently took some time to enlighten me to their actual influences, the Parisian music scene, and what they currently have in the works.
Izzy: As Animals is still a relatively new project. What have been the highlights so far?
As Animals: Yes, that’s right, we are a pretty new project, but we’ve already experienced amazing moments! Recording our first album in Malmö (Sweden), working on a video clip, meeting a lot of incredible people, our first show in London, our last gig in Paris (We are touring at the moment)…
Izzy: You’re based out of Paris. What’s the music scene like over there? I’ll admit I really have no idea.
As Animals: There are a lot of great acts in and from Paris! Some I’m sure you’ve heard of are Woodkid (originally from Lyon), Phoenix, and M83 (from Antibes.)
Izzy: You’re about to release your debut LP. What proved to be the album’s most significant influences, both musical and otherwise? I understand you actually take a lot of inspiration from the world of cinema.
As Animals: Cinema, painting, and music are our main sources of inspiration. Directors like David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, and Ridley Scott, painters like Edward Hopper and Turner, and musical artists like Feist, The Dø, Kasabian, Adele, and Bjork.
Izzy: Do you have a particular favorite album track, one that you’re either most proud of or that you feel like is representative of where future sounds might be headed? “It’s Like That” is one of my favorite songs of 2014, so far. (It reminds me of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Hopefully that’s not insulting!)
As Animals: Our name actually comes from the track that we like the most – “As Animals.” It sounds like a mirror of our own tribal and wild side. Thanks for the compliment on “It’s like That.” The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are pretty cool!
Izzy: You have a number of upcoming dates throughout Europe. What can fans expect of the live show?
As Animals: We are six on stage, sometimes seven! It’s a pretty big setup because we try to recreate the epic sound of the track “As Animals” onstage. Otherwise, each show is different, and we have some surprises…
Izzy: And is there any chance US audiences might get the opportunity to see As Animals in the relatively near future?
As Animals: There are some plans … We would be very happy!
Izzy: Finally, what are your wildest hopes for 2014?
As Animals: Continue to play shows everywhere in the world. We love sharing our music with the public and we hope that it goes beyond borders.