ALABASTERDS: Dumb Music for Hipsters

ALABASTERDS is a wild grunge trio hailing from Lille, northern France, producing loud and catchy noises since early 2013

Hi. Tell us something about Alabasterds project.
Ciao! We’re a wild grunge trio hailing from Lille, northern France. We’re around since early 2013. Bandmates include Julien on lead vocals and guitar, Roch on drums and back vocals and Braeckman on bass and back vocals. We met through a music school back in our place, and founded the band on the idea of producing loud and catchy noises… We just love being around and play music together, and we felt that this was the right combo to express ourselves. We all improved a lot in the process, and it feels really good to experience how tight and strong we can sound when together.
Julien writes pretty much everything, while Roch and Braeckman work on the arrangements. We have a pretty fast writing process, which is not to be confused with scamping the job, but only goes along with the band aesthetic: direct and soulful, and certainly not overthought.

Tell us something about your last musical production.
We released two EPs and two videos yet. Our last effort is called ‘Dumb Music for Hipsters’, which was a response sent to critics we got at the beginning of the band. Our music doesn’t claim itself to be something else than a freaking exciting outlet. We’re really proud of the result. It’ll be something we’ll remember with a smile when we’ll be old.
It was recorded live (except for the voices and guitars overdubs) in one day, without click. We like to think music is a living art form, which can evolve on the spot according to your mood and temper, and we truly believe that these songs did capture who we were at the time. It’s been recorded, mixed and mastered by our friend Romtomcat ( at Sofa Studio and Squirrel & Fox Studios. He did a tremendous job, and really got himself into the vibe. So, cheers mate!

Which artists have influenced your style & sound, if any?
As a band, we’d be somewhere between Nirvana, The Melvins, Minor Threat, Kyuss, Mudhoney, Bad Brains, Weezer, The Vines, The Hives etc. We’re deeply into 90’s alternative sound, groovy ass rock ‘n roll, with a touch of trashy punk sound. As individuals, we’re fucked man, we could probably do a Caribbean black metal act and make it grungey if we didn’t focus a bit.

How is being a band from Lille – France? What’s the best live act in your area? Tell us something about it.
Lille is really well placed on the map of european touring bands, so we’re lucky to see a lot of great gigs. Many strong scenes around here: punk, rock, hardcore, hip-hop… Unfortunately it doesn’t always mix the way it should, and the scene clichés are a bit boring. We enjoy pretty much everything that rocks, and we only trust the music. The way you dress, the way you drink, the way you talk are nothing to compare with the way you sweat on stage. We’re all on the same boat and shouldn’t try to float by destroying the deck. Anyway.
Lille’s still a great city with many shows going on every night, and a bunch of great venues (which are pushed through rough times by the authorities here, but that’s another story): shout out to L’Amul Solo, El Diablo Club, Le CCL, L’Imposture, and many more cool places and people that keep on rocking here.
Local heroes include our dear friend Radical Suckers (speedrock), Burning Lady (punkrock), Grüppe (mathcrust jazzy), Obsolete Radio (post something awesome), Psykokondriak (funkpunk), Slice Of Life (emo punk), The Lumberjack Feedback (instrumental doom) among dozens of killer bands.

On you define your genre: “Grunge and Alternative”. What does it mean to be a grunge band today?
As we said, we do believe in fusion of genres, and it seems hard to remain labeled in one specific category nowadays. So we had to put a name on our rock ‘n roll, and the heavy guitar sound, punkish hits with sing along choruses and creepy sad lyrics brought us to the grunge identity. But it would probably be more realistic to give the credit to the audience: we play for anyone that needs a good time, for the outcasts, the old rockers and the broke ass youngsters, regardless of what you’re listening to, what you’re wearing or how ugly you are. Taking depression to a whole new level of fun. This is what grunge is about, right?

Did you made any tours in Europe in the past? Do you prefer to play in France or outside your country? Are you connected with other bands or musical movements in Italy or in Europe? Tell us something about it.
Unfortunately, and until recently, we were losers without driving licenses, so we weren’t able to tour as much as we would have wanted. We managed to go out and trash some stages in Belgium and Germany though, and had a blast. Thanks to previous band experiences, we did tour a bit and made great friends. Our bassist promote some shows for said friends, great human beings and musicians we met along the road (Blowfuse, Egos At The Door, Stillbust, Petrol Girls, Seditius, Rewinder, Black Art, Lanterns, Negative Panda…).

Are you looking for gigs in the next future? Do you plan to have a tour in the near future… Tell us something about it.
Hell yeah! We’re planning a UK tour next october with our pals in Radical Suckers, and going south in April. We’ll meet again soon, friends!

What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?
Blowfuse (Spain), Stillbust (UK), Seditius (IT), Black Art (UK), The Blind Shake (USA), Negative Panda (UK), Valours (UK), Burning Lady (FR), Antares (IT) Guerilla Poubelle (FR), many more as always…

Tell us something about your best and your worst memory on the road.
We’re so tired of being told we play too loud. We’re so happy to make crowd surfing contests as often as possible. We hated (for obvious non-musical reasons) that the attack on Charlie Hebdo forced us to cancel a gig in Paris that same day. We love to see people jubilating after a gig, and we always try to be at our top to make everyone’s night go insane.

What do you think of Do you think it could be a good tool to facilitate the process of booking and organizing shows? Do you have any suggestions?
This is the best damn thing that happened in a while, by and for passionate people and music lovers. You guys rock. All the best and respect to your project, which must take an awful lot of time and deserves the brightest future, like all disinterested madness. Cheers!