Combining catchy riffs with intensely powerful vocals and moving lyrics, Tritriren is a metal meets alternative rock artist with a difference. We speak with Tritriren about his latest album Insert Sad Quote Here, musical inspirations and phobias.
OSR: What can you tell us about your album Insert Sad Quote Here?
Tritriren: Insert Sad Quote Here is my fourth official release as a one-man band. It was written and recorded between August and October 2020 in my home studio in Paris, France. I played every instrument and did the artwork, which is basically me drawing my dumb face.
OSR: DId you experience any challenges with the writing and recording of Insert Sad Quote Here?
Tritriren: Usually, I like to challenge myself with crazy deadlines like releasing one song every week so by the end of the month I have a mini-album finished and ready to go. Kinda like a musical picture of who I am at a certain time, which is also the reason why I redraw the same album cover again and again for every album. It’s a fun process but it always ends up sounding like a collection of songs with no real purpose other than existing.
For Insert Sad Quote Here, I really wanted to have a great tracklisting where everything has a meaning, where the interludes are as good as the songs. In the end, the music is a bit more focused and bit more serious. I also played far more synths than usual on a lot of songs using vocoders, organs, adding a lot of noisy and ambient stuff. Kinda like plunging a metal cat into a bathtub filled with post-hardcore water, clean it up with a Marilyn Manson soap and finally wash it out with existentialism. Something like that.
OSR: Do you have a favourite track on the album?
Tritriren: ‘Sigmund Fraud’ is definitely my favourite of the bunch. Right in the middle of the song, there is this bridge where the music quietens down and the listener can lay back and relax a little. Then there is a reading of the storm monologue from Kafka On The Shore – the book written by Haruki Murakami. It is pretty much the turning point where everything becomes distorted, dark and gloomy.
The album starts with a silly song about being scared of getting sunburns at the beach, but it slowly takes you on a journey through depression and self-doubt. It sums up how everyone felt when we got locked down for the second time. This is also the reason why the title of the album is so corny. Everything becomes drama nowadays so it was a reaction to that, sort of. ‘Nopeless Like Home’ almost made it but it was so stupid I went for the blandest option instead.
OSR: What about a least favourite track?
Tritriren: I guess ‘Matte Painting’ is my least favourite song but only because I love the rest so much. It is also a sonic tribute to Zozobra and the late Caleb Scofield, so I can’t diss the track that much.
OSR: Who or what inspired you to make music?
Tritriren: At one point, when we were fourteen or fifteen years old, me and my friends were deeply into rock and metal music. We basically wanted to be what was all the rage back then: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse and Blink 182. So we decided to start a band. There was a lot of fighting because everybody wanted to be the bass player for some reason, but my parents eventually bought me my first guitar. I have never stopped playing since.
I was also the “Guitar Pro guy” so I would seek for tablatures and burn CDs with bad-sounding playbacks so we could practice with our fake band. This is how I became completely obsessed with music, the writing process, recording, mixing and all that good stuff. Now, here I am, a full grown-up man playing loud music in my bedroom while watching the world decay.
OSR: Covid-19 has affected the music industry to a great extent. What ways can a musician overcome issues like no live shows or not being able to record in-person?
Tritriren: As a sound engineer and musician, I can tell you this is really complicated. It is really hard for some bands to exist as an entity without rehearsals, live shows and human interactions. Hopefully, technology has helped us a lot and everyone can make music at home. Bands and labels are organising a lot of streamed concerts and social media is used cleverly to be more than just advertising. There are a lot of things going on in term of creativity right now.
OSR: Do you believe Covid-19 will affect the music industry in the long-term?
Tritriren: It is already looking bad as a lot of small labels and associations simply died during the lockdown as they had little to no incomes. The real problem is that the government isn’t taking culture seriously and nothing is done to help out the local scene. Eventually, only the big touring companies will prevail and back up mainstream artists, but the pill is hard to swallow for bands playing niche music in front of 30 people in a basement. I am still hopeful because I can see the excitement and the energy going on.
OSR: When did you decide you wanted to enter the music industry?
Tritriren: It’s not until 2012 that I started to take things seriously when my old band was able to get a booker and a real structure. Since then, I’ve always tried to take things to the next level with my other projects. I guess entering the music industry is still an ongoing dream as I barely make money off of it. My little toe might have entered it a couple of times though. On a more serious note, I’ve met a lot of great people through the years and I hope I can consider myself part of the community.
OSR: What was your favourite subject at school?
Tritriren: Growing up as a French young man trying to translate every bit of lyrics I could find, I think I’ve always loved studying English. It opened so many doors to me. I wish I didn’t butcher the language each time I try to speak, though.
OSR: Do you have any phobias?
Tritriren: Ok, this is a funny one. I’m utterly scared of pigeons. Pigeons are my nemesis. Everything about them is wrong.
OSR: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2021?
Tritriren: It is not so much a resolution as it is more a mission statement that I keep repeating myself every year. Stop caring too much and just go with the flow. As Rivers Cuomo said, “everything will be alright in the end.”
OSR: Why should people listen to your music?
Tritriren: If you like heavy, distorted guitars with cool riffs, catchy hooks and the right amount of harshness and melodies you might be able to have fun listening to Insert Sad Quote Here. If you like tongue-in-cheek lyrics sung with a terrible French accent, you might also have a lot of fun. Finally, if you like music made with a lot of care and passion, well, what are you still doing here? Go listen to it!
Thank you to Tritriren for speaking with us. For more from Tritriren check out his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.