Sans Soleil

Sans Soleil - April 2014

Sans Soleil Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: April 20, 2013
Posting Date: April , 2014
Artist Hometown: Austin, TX
Links: Facebook
Recorded by: Michael Briggs @ Civil

ONE: You originally formed the group and built an audience in Denton… After relocating to Austin over the past couple years, how would you compare the two different scenes? Has the move altered the band’s course or attitude?
Dustin: I would say they’re pretty much the same, the only difference is that there’s a ton of venues here. We changed members, added new people in the band, kept doing what we always did, but with new people… things always change.
Eva: The sheer number of people here makes it a lot more fragmented than Denton. I don’t know if that’s changed our course.
Lee: There were bands we’d play with in Denton, and we’d play a few shows with them, and see the same people at every show. It was a large, nebulous group of people, but I hardly ever saw a person I didn’t recognize. Here it’s a lot harder to keep track of that.
Theron: It’s quite a bit more close knit in Denton, there’s a big population difference.
Lee: I don’t think in Denton we ever said no to a show because we weren’t interested in playing at that venue. You play everywhere in Denton, that’s what everybody does, and everybody’s really cool about it. Venues have their own little quirks, but there wasn’t anywhere that people just refused to play.
Dustin: We definitely like playing everywhere that we did in Denton.
Lee: For sure, but because there are so many venues here, you don’t need to play at every single venue. Some of them don’t have a crowd that’s going to be into what we’re doing.
Hoop: So you get a little more selective about what to do and where to play.
TWO: Since your last session, you’ve gotten a new drummer and added a bassist to the lineup. How have these changes affected the direction or songwriting?
Eva: Hoop & Theron work really well together, things have gone really smoothly.
Theron: Coming into this thing, it hasn’t ever felt awkward. I like you people.
Dustin: We knew each other beforehand. Theron & Hoop came from some pretty heavy bands in town, and bring that to the new stuff we’ve been writing. I don’t think we ever set out to write songs a certain way. I really like the new stuff we’ve been doing, and we jammed on it and worked it out, and it just kinda happened. It’s always been getting heavier, but I feel like any band should be a little different after playing together 5 years. I hope so, at least. Grow to a different sound.
Hoop: We had all played shows with each other’s bands, and it seemed like the end of the first practice, we were already working on finishing up a song by the next time we all played together.
Lee: We got a song together and working in a way we were comfortable with playing live in just a few weeks, a couple of practices a week. It used to take us months to get a song written.
Brent: Do you have any plans of recording your new(er) material? Is the idea of an album still relevant and something the band is interested in releasing?
Eva: Yes, we’re recording the weekend of March first & second. We’re recording four songs to tape, and we’re still working out how we’d like to release it.
THREE: It seems like everyone in the group has multiple projects or other bands they perform with, outside of Sans Soleil (including Communion and Dead To A Dying World). Have these outside involvements altered or influenced the compositions you create together?
Theron: I try to keep things separate, as far as riffs that I write. There’s always going to be your own style.
Dustin: Yeah, Theron came to Sans Soleil after playing in Communion. I feel like no matter what, I’m always listening to something I haven’t heard before, new or old, and that’s always going to influence you. It’s inevitable to not listen to a certain style of music and end up making something similar, in your own way.
Eva: I feel like I’ve changed a lot as a musician by working with different people. When I first joined Dead To A Dying World, they write so differently than Sans Soleil does. We’re really democratic about how we write, where Dead To A Dying World writes each part separately and pieces them together with leadership from Sean and James. Doing other recording projects and playing with other bands has really changed my definition of playing. There’s a difference between harmonizing, which I do in this band a lot, and adding embellishment. I’ve tried to bring that more into Sans Soleil. The role of strings in a band is really confusing to me, but I’ve learned more about the places it belongs and the role it has by playing with more people. In this band I feel like it’s different than any other project I’m working on. It’s almost like a lead soprano role.
Dustin: It’s kind of like a lead vocal role.
Theron: I think so, too.
Hoop: That’s the vibe I’ve gotten from everybody that’s seen us play and talked to me about it. People really like that it’s instrumental, but the viola sort of fills in that vocal role so it feels like it’s not missing.
Dustin: Yeah, and I don’t think we’ve ever thought about getting a singer. It’s not something we would necessarily say “no” to, it’s just always kind of worked out that way.
{to Eva} You’re doing Sabbath Assembly now, too.
Eva: In that project, I harmonize with other vocals, and it’s more like a vocal line there. Harmonizing with myself is a lot of fun too, I plan to do some of that on Sans Soleil’s recording.
Brent: Awesome! Are there any upcoming gigs you’re excited about and/or would like to promote?
Lee: Yeah, actually. On April 11th we’re playing the Hole In the Wall.
Dustin: And on April 22nd we’re playing Thee Silver mt. Zion after party with Lord Buffalo at the Mohawk.
Eva: We’re also talking to Sub Oslo about some dates in may, and we will announce anything else on our Facebook page.
– Email interview by Brent Frishman.